April #BookReviews @linneatanner @teagangeneviene @RobertaEaton17 @harmony_kent @ColleenChesebro @Marjorie_Mallon @mhurdle112

Most of my book reviews for April have either been for Lone Star Literary Blog Tours or NetGalley, and already posted, but I do have three more to add.

Courtesy Pixabay

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

This is a well-written short story incorporating ancient Roman history with fiction. The author did a great job of writing a fictitious account of what could have actually happened. The story begins when two young aristocrats are contemplating their futures. Lucius Antonius is sure of a high-ranking position under Augustus Caeser.
To his surprise, when he is summoned to meet with Augustus, he finds himself forced into a position of either forsaking his family or facing sure death. The father of young Lucius is accused of being a traitor and Augustus issues the order that Lucius must assist in his father’s forced suicide.
The young man is torn between his love for his father and fear of Augustus if he doesn’t obey.
I enjoyed the bit of romance between Lucius and his slave, Brigata. The story shows the great contrast between slaves and noblemen and the big lesson Lucius learns.
While my heart broke for all the injustice being doled out by Caesar, I enjoyed the growth in Lucius as he had to make hard choices. The story depicts the time period perfectly.

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

This thirteenth segment of the Dead of Winter series is heart-stopping! Battles are raging. Arawan has amassed a huge army of the dead and the fingers of grayness are creeping closer and closer to Pergesca. But Goddesses are appearing in this part of the story and it leaves me hopeful that together with their combined powers, they might defeat the king of the nightwalkers. Coventina was introduced in this part of the story and although tiny, she is mighty and fierce. Emlyn’s confidence in her own abilities is growing by leaps and bounds. She is experimenting with different pieces of magic and is surprising herself when the results are astounding. Then the goddess Deae Matres embeds the emblem of the society of the Deae Matres, the five-petal flower, into Emlyn’s skin. That makes her the youngest ever to bear the mark of the society.
We see in this segment of the story just how deeply attached Emlyn has become to all of her friends. She cannot bear the thought of losing any of them in the fierce battle.
Then we get to see Thyrus, The Listener show back up in the form of a dragon. Emlyn’s affection for him is touching. The battles rage and Emlyn is in grave danger when the story comes to an end. I cannot wait for the conclusion!

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

Poetry Treasures is an apt title for this unique collection and collaboration of poetry. It is an eclectic and talented group of poets who have come together to contribute to this anthology, and while writing styles are different, each poem is to be savored. Reading this collection also gave me the opportunity to meet some new authors, such as Elizabeth Merry, Jules Paige, and D. Avery. At the same time, I enjoyed poems from authors that I know and follow, Robbie Cheadle, Colleen Cheseboro, Miriam Hurdle, M.J. Mallon, and Harmony Kent. I’d be hard-pressed to pick a favorite. Each poem deals with relationships in some way, as that is the overarching theme.

M.J. Mallon’s poem, “No Holidays for Writers,” struck a chord with me. Here’s one small example, “Goading, grinning, “Edits to do!” My evil editor winks. Tormenting me…with spelling games confuse and contest…”
Then there’s this one from Lynda McKinney Lambert. “I heard the roar of Harley Thunder. The warrior in black leathers returned home.”
I loved all of the poems. So, if you want something with variety and are a lover of deeply expressed poetry, this would be a great book for you!

That’s it for me for April. If you missed any of my other reviews for the month, here you go.

https://jansikesblog.com/2022/04/21/bookreview-the-catch-heartofafrica-bookblogtour-lonestarlit/

https://jansikesblog.com/2022/04/09/bookreview-summer-nights-with-a-cowboy-_caitlincrews-netgalley/

https://jansikesblog.com/2022/04/08/the-bones-of-amoret-newrelease-herbertwriter-lonestarlit/

Mountain Laurel Christmas On Tour – Day 10! #ShortStory #Christmas #FamilyDrama #Music

Hop in the wagon and let’s head for the final stop on this short tour!

The magical gypsy wagon is taking us a little south, to Austin, Texas for a visit with the enigmatic John Howell!

I truly have no recollection of when I first met John Howell. Seems like I’ve always known him. He is a diverse author who started his writing career with the John Cannon series of thrillers. If you love that genre and haven’t read these books yet, you’re missing out on some heart-pounding action and twisted plots.

Anyone who knows John recognizes his unique sense of humor. In fact, he’s quite famous for it as he shares it freely on his daily blogs. Are you following Fiction Favorites? If not, today is a great day to start!

His latest release, Eternal Road – The Final Stop, took him in a different and more spiritual direction, and it is my favorite from him so far.

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

I loved everything about this unique story by John Howell. When James dies in a single-car accident, he is met in the afterlife by a childhood friend who disappeared when they were in grade school, and her body was never found. She has taken the assignment of helping James adapt to the afterlife and find his eternal home. The adventures start when they experience time travel back to pivotal times in history, and all while still in the ’56 olds that James crashed in the physical world. From the gunfight at the OK Corral to the Alamo, to a World War, James finds himself placed at strategic moments of time that facilitate self-discovery. He even has a face-to-face encounter with Satan himself. And in the midst of it all, Sam and James learn what it means to love someone. They even have love-making adventures, However, one of my favorite parts of the story is when Sam comes face-to-face with her murderer and he gets the justice he deserves at his own hand. If you are looking for a story that is different from anything you’ve ever read, have a fascination with a “what-if” scenario about the afterlife, and love adventures, you will love this new book from Mr. Howell! It is well-written and fast-paced.


To view John’s work, click HERE!

Grab a book from John, then head on over to his blog where we are talking about my newest release, Mountain Laurel Christmas!

Leave a comment, share, and enter to win my Blog Tour Giveaway!

John Howell’s Blog Stop

Mountain Laurel Christmas On Tour – Day 9! #ShortStory #Christmas #FamilyDrama #Music

Climb in the wagon with me. We’re off to another stop on this short tour!

Today, I am so honored to be featured on Mae Clair‘s beautiful blog site!

I can’t exactly remember when I first became acquainted with Mae, but distinctly remember the first book I read of hers. The book was “A Thousand Yesteryears,” and is book one in the Point Pleasant series. Mae portrayed the mythical creature in this book, The Mothman, in such a way that I felt empathy for him. That book made me a fan of Mae’s and I have read almost everything she’s ever written. She is a master at writing mythology and legend into her stories along with a touch of romance. And when I read her Hode’s Hill Series with dual timelines, I was astounded. Her talent is unquestionably amazing.

Her latest release is Things Old and Forgotten. This book is made up of an eclectic group of short stories and is a great way to introduce yourself to this author if you haven’t already met her.

MY REVIEW:

This book is a solid adventure, from one story to the next. While each is different and eclectic, one common thread is woven throughout, and that is Mae Clair’s distinctive writing voice. It is hard to pick favorites, but for me, a few stood out on a personal level.
Kin-Slayer was a mixture of family drama and a mythical creature. I was not prepared for the gut-wrenching ending. The author did a fabulous job of showing the emotions of a tortured soul.
Desert White was probably my favorite. Suicide is not always the answer, as Micah had imagined. The redemption in this story left me smiling. Here is an example of the descriptive prose from that short story: “But in the desert—with life ebbing from his veins, the bloated moon a silent observer overhead—he’d been seized by a violent desire to live.”
Miss Lily Makes a Wish had me chuckling. To watch this frail old lady command an entire army of genies was nothing short of brilliant writing!
I’d be remiss not to mention Father’s Day. That story tore at my heart and left me astounded. If you are looking for entertaining stories that take you off the beaten path, you are going to love this book from Mae Clair! I highly recommend it!


She has an extensive catalog, which you can see HERE.

I highly suggest you pick up one of Mae’s books, then head on over to her blog where we are talking about my newest release, Mountain Laurel Christmas!

Leave a comment, share, and enter to win my Blog Tour Giveaway!

Mae Clair’s Blog Stop

Mountain Laurel Christmas On Tour – Day 8! #ShortStory #Christmas #FamilyDrama #Music

Climb in the wagon with me. We’re off to another stop on this short tour!

After a weekend to rest, the horses are ready to go again! This time, we’re off to Oregon to visit with D. Wallace Peach!

Diana is best known for her prolific prose, depth of detail, and well-developed characters. She has earned a reputation as a storyteller extraordinaire, and is an Amazon best-selling fantasy author! She said, “I live my characters, love with them, cry for them, laugh at their humor.” That is evident in her work. If you’re not already following her blog, Myths of the Mirror, you’re missing out.

Her latest release is The Ferryman And The Sea Witch.

MY REVIEW:

Where to start! This is a story that captured me from the beginning. It has all the elements I love – human flaws and emotions mixed with fantasy creatures. Callum, at the age of fourteen, was hired on the Brid Clarion King’s ship as a cabin boy. When their nets captured a merrow, daughter of Panmar, the sea witch, the sailors celebrated, taunted, and laughed at the captured merrow as she slowly died. All except Callum, who anguished at the merrow’s sorrow. As the sea roiled with the anger and revenge of the sea witch, he lunged forward and cut the net, releasing the merrow. But it was too late. She was already dead. What follows this event is the setting for the entire story. A bargain with the sea witch set Callum’s destiny in motion. In exchange for human sacrifices to the sea witch, Callum and his ship, the Windwraith, is the only vessel the sea witch allows to traverse over the merrow trench, and he becomes known as the Ferryman. He is the lifeline between two warring nations, Haf Killik and Brid Clarion. Haf Killik is ruled by queen Caspia and Brid Clarion, King Thayne. The only thing that will end the bargain with the sea witch and make it possible for other vessels to sail is the blood of royalty. This story has moments of heartbreaking anguish and sorrow coupled with jaw-dropping surprises. The author does a fantastic job of world-building. Her descriptive phrases bring the story to life. Through her words, I can clearly see the floating city of Haf Killik, rusting sea vessels joined together with ropes and chains. It is a compelling read and I devoured it, staying up way past my normal bedtime to finish. The ending is satisfying and left me feeling hopeful for the future of this fictional world. I highly recommend it!


She has an extensive catalog, which you can see HERE.

Grab a book from Diana, then head on over to her blog where we are talking about my newest release, Mountain Laurel Christmas!

Leave a comment, share, and enter to win my Blog Tour Giveaway!

D. Wallace Peach’s Blog Stop

Mountain Laurel Christmas On Tour – Day 7! #ShortStory #Christmas #FamilyDrama #Music

Climb in the wagon with me. We’re off to another stop on this short tour!

You may need a blanket for our next journey as we are heading up north to Michigan for a visit with Beem Weeks!

I first met Beem when I joined a book club way back in 2015. His was one of the first books I picked up and read as a part of that club. I have never forgotten Jazz Baby! It made me an instant fan of this talented writer!

Here is just a short excerpt from my review and it really does sum it up:

This novel is written in the style of Faulkner or Steinbeck, revealing torrid secrets that we all prefer to remain hidden. Touching on social issues that beg to remain in the shadows, Beem Weeks has done a great job weaving this tale. The southern dialect is written to perfection and I could see and hear the characters as they spoke. If you like a story that keeps you guessing and makes you gasp a few times, then you’ll like this coming-of-age story about Emily Ann “Baby” Teegarten. How was this going to end for the poverty-stricken southern girl with a gift? Baby Teegarten can sing!

I have often referred to Beem Weeks as the master of “show don’t tell.” He has a way of drawing a strong visual with his words and unique writing style. He has written numerous short stories and has several releases newer than Jazz Baby, but it was that book that made me a forever fan.

BEEM WEEKS AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

If you are a fan of short stories, as I am, Beem has a diverse variety to offer, including some posted on his website.

For more from Beem Weeks, click HERE!

Grab a book from Beem, then head on over to his blog where we are talking about my newest release, Mountain Laurel Christmas!

Leave a comment, share, and enter to win my Blog Tour Giveaway!

Beem Weeks Blog Tour Stop

Mountain Laurel Christmas On Tour – Day 6! #ShortStory #Christmas #FamilyDrama #Music

Climb in the wagon with me. We’re off to another stop on this short tour!

Today we are taking this magical gypsy wagon on a short jaunt over to East Texas for a visit with Joan Hall!

Joan is a fellow Texas author and a Story Empire contributor. She is best known for writing mystery and romantic suspense, but one of my favorite things from Joan is her informative and entertaining monthly blog posts about the Moon. If that interests you, click HERE to catch up on all of them.

She introduced us to the Legend of Madeira Series this year and both the short story introduction and first novel are outstanding stories!

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

I read the prequel to this first story, “House of Sorrow” in the Legends of Madeira Series, and couldn’t wait to read more of the story. I was not disappointed! Is it possible that a house can be cursed? Or is it the job that is cursed? When Tami and Jason move to New Mexico for Jason to start his new job as Police Chief of Madeira, they become embroiled in a deadly mystery that seemingly haunts the victorian mansion they purchased. Two unsolved murders a century apart seem oddly connected and Tami is determined to find the answers and break the curse that threatens to destroy their new life. The author went back and forth between the time periods, the two murders, and the present. At times I was confused about the people and places, but the author wrapped it all up in a satisfying ending with lots of plot twists and layering along the way. I was not able to guess the identity of the murderer among the list of suspects, so it came as a surprise when the identity was revealed along with the reasons behind the grisly acts. I love how the author brought the influence of the moon cycles into the story and how it played an integral part in the unfolding. This is a story filled with action, memorable characters, and small-town drama. If you love a good mystery, you will enjoy this story!

To see more of Joan’s work, visit HERE!

Grab a book or two from this talented author, then head on over to the blog tour.

Leave a comment, share, and enter to win my Blog Tour Giveaway!

Joan Hall’s Blog Tour Stop

Mountain Laurel Christmas On Tour – Day 5! #ShortStory #Christmas #FamilyDrama #Music

Climb in the wagon with me. We’re off to another stop on this short tour!

Our next stop is at Staci Troilo’s place in Pennsylvania, USA!

Staci is not only a prolific award-winning author, but also an award-winning recipe developer. And she is a fellow Story Empire contributor. She has a Master’s Degree in professional writing and I am in awe of her expertise. She has written everything from short stories to lengthy series, from sci-fi to romance, and each piece reflects her diversity.

Her most recent release is a short story romance that I absolutely adored! It is Book 1 in the Keystone Couples Series. I loved the humor and realism in this story. The characters are relatable as are the situations.

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

In this short story, Piper has been fired from yet another job. And on top of being fired, she lost her good luck charm, a dried red chrysanthemum. Now she’s sure her luck is forever going to be bad. She returns to her father’s home early for the Christmas holidays and immediately bumps into an old crush from high school. And she struggles to form words, which is ironic considering she writes words for a living. But Tommy Burnett affects her that way. He’s handsome, a great catch, and everything she’s dreamed of. I won’t give any spoilers here, but Jack Rhodes, her best friend since grade school is her steady influence. When she needs help, he’s always there and never asks for anything in return. I love how Piper grew in the pages of this short read. Sometimes the obvious is right under our noses and we fail to see it. This is an entertaining holiday read that is short and sweet with a satisfying ending. The writing is flawless and I highly recommend it.

For more from Staci Troilo, click HERE!

Grab a book or two from this talented author, then head on over to the blog tour.

Leave a comment, share, and enter to win my Blog Tour Giveaway!

Staci Troilo’s Blog Tour Stop

Mountain Laurel Christmas On Tour – Day 4! #ShortStory #Christmas #FamilyDrama #Music

Climb in the wagon with me. We’re off to another stop on this short tour!

Today we are taking this magical gypsy wagon across the waters to the UK for a visit with Harmony Kent!

I have known Harmony for many years and have the deepest respect and admiration for her writing talent, diversity, and bravery. She is a fellow Story Empire member and is known for her wonderful support of other authors. If you visit her website, you’ll find this quote and I think it aptly describes her. “As well as being an avid reader and writer, Harmony also offers reviews and supports her fellow indie authors, Harmony works hard to promote and protect high standards within the indie publishing arena.  She is always on the lookout for talent and excellence, and will freely promote any authors or books who she feels have these attributes.”

Her most recent release is a compelling psychological journey that had me on the edge of my seat, biting my fingernails. She depicts a parents’ worst nightmare in a visual and emotive way. I could not stop reading until I knew what happened to this boy, and the ending left me reeling. I highly recommend it!

PURCHASE LINK

To see Harmony’s diverse selection of books, visit HERE!

Grab a book or two from this talented author, then head on over to the blog tour.

Leave a comment, share, and enter to win my Blog Tour Giveaway!

Harmony Kent’s Blog Tour Stop

Mountain Laurel Christmas On Tour – Day 3! #ShortStory #Christmas #FamilyDrama #Music

Climb in the wagon with me. We’re off to another stop on this short tour!

The destination is D.L. Finn‘s beautiful blog site!

D.L. Finn is an eclectic author whose motto is “embrace your inner child.” I’ve enjoyed her work for many years. I would be hard-pressed to pick a favorite from her extensive catalog, so I’m going to tell you about her latest release and share my review.

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

I have enjoyed everything I’ve read from this author and this book is no exception. The author has a unique talent for making you stop and think, “What if?” In this book about the tree fairies and the ancient Redwood trees, we find an ordinary family with an extraordinary connection to nature on a camping trip. What happens to the children first, then to the adults is both heartwarming and magical. The family is given a mission to save the beautiful Redwood forest from destruction. The author takes us years ahead and we find the two children, Daniel and Colette grown, married, and with children of their own. The tree fairies visit again and the connection is forged between the human and fairy families. The two short stories following, are in two different fairies’ POV and are delightful as well. This book is classified as a Middle School level, but at almost seventy, I thoroughly enjoyed it, so it is a wonderful read for all ages! If you love magic, nature, and fantasy all combined into a lovely heartwarming story, you will love this book! I highly recommend it.

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

So, pick up a book from this talented author, then head on over to the blog tour.

Leave a comment, share, and enter to win my Blog Tour Giveaway!

D.L. Finn’s Blog Tour Stop!

Mountain Laurel Christmas On Tour – Day 2! #ShortStory #Christmas #FamilyDrama #Music

I am thrilled to take Mountain Laurel Christmas on a short blog tour!

The gypsy wagon rolls on to Gwen Plano’s Blog today.

I first met Gwen Plano many years ago when we were both members of a book club. We co-hosted a radio show for a couple of years with another talented author and in that time I got to know her kind and gentle spirit and big heart. Her first book is a memoir that I highly recommend. It is well-written and pulls no punches as she addresses spousal abuse and life afterward.

PURCHASE LINK

You can find her fiction books HERE!

So, pick up a book from this talented author, then head on over to the blog tour.

Leave a comment, share, and enter to win my Blog Tour Giveaway!

Gwen Plano’s Blog Tour Post