11/17/18

The Last Mermaid Princess by Lily Lewis

The Last Mermaid Princess by Lily Lewis
Synopsis:
Lily Chaidee was never at home with herself, her family, or her geography, and as a hybrid-Asian growing up in the Texas Panhandle during the 1960’s, she was ill-equipped to face the challenges that would inevitably come. Amarillo, an inhospitable place for an ethnically diverse family, was only part of the problem. Mental illness, sexual predation, addiction, and hypocrisy lay formidable difficulties in her path. But Lily was smart, and smart people often find ways to triumph over horrific circumstances. Even if she could claim her joy, sometimes the worst enemy dwells within. Lily must seek her peace and her place in order to rise above the things that bind her.
The Last Mermaid Princess by Lily Lewis is described by the author as her pseudo-autobiography and tells the life story of Lily Chaidee. Born to a mentally unstable white mother and an emotionally unavailable Thai father, she was frequently subjected to racial abuse as well as emotional and physical abuse and struggled to find love anywhere she could, the latter leading her on a downward path of self-destruction. The toxic love from those closest to her resulted in her shutting down her feelings and closing her heart and her body to the appalling things that she was subjected to. Unable to resurrect emotions that over the years she had buried deep within her, Lily unwittingly finds herself becoming a duplicate of her mother. It takes a long period of self-evaluation, numerous mistakes, imprudent decisions, and heart-wrenching experiences before Lily is able to rise above her past and become what she perceives as a perfect mother to her children.
Unfortunately, without realizing until it was too late, Lily discovers that her actions destroy all that she has held dear, and she loses those she loves the most. It takes ill-health and the onset of her senior years for Lily to reflect on her life, to realize where she had put her own needs above those of her children, and to see how her past had dictated her future.
The Last Mermaid Princess by Lily Lewis is an incredible personal account of growing up in the 1960’s and 1970’s when racism in Texas was rife, and drug abuse an everyday occurrence. The author, Lily Lewis, writes beautifully, full of emotion even when she recounts the darkest times. She has a wonderful command of the written word, with descriptive phrases that resonate with the reader, such as ‘depression followed me like a shadow’ when struggling to find the positive side of every negative, and referring to herself as a ‘ghost hoarder’ when focusing on the many people and things that haunt her from the past. I found the whole book to be a compelling read, and I know it will be a story that will stay with me for a long time. Such was the skill of writing that I felt a personal attachment to Lily, even empathizing when she made blatant mistakes and acted inappropriately, or made decisions that would clearly end in disaster.
In the current social landscape with a growing awareness of sexual improprieties and misogyny and deep-seated racism and hypocrisy, the themes of the book demonstrate that these problems have always been there, hiding in plain sight. The marginalization that young Lily experiences along with other forms of exploitation only go to show that beneath the friendly Texas hospitality dwells a sinister side.
I have rarely felt such strong feelings for an author, and I commend Lily Lewis for conveying every conceivable emotion with exquisite prose in a gripping and heart-wrenching story.
Reviewed by Jane Finch for Chick Lit Cafe
Purchase The Last Mermaid Princess @Amazon Here

Watch the Book Trailer for The Last Mermaid Princess by Lily Lewis

11/9/18

Fresh off the Starship by Ann Crawford - Book Review

Fresh off the Starship by Ann Crawford
Synopsis:
Wrong place, right time? A starbeing was supposed to travel light-years across the universe to help humanity by working in Washington, D.C.–but she accidentally lands in a small Kansas town in the body of Missy. Join her on this whimsical journey as she discovers the beauty of life and love on Earth.
Author Ann Crawford’s trademark optimism brings us a witty and wise book filled with memorable characters and insights into what makes us all so very human.
Fresh off the Starship is a wonderful and fun chick lit style book with a spin on science fiction.
Missy, a young woman is not human, but instead she is a glorious being from a distant galaxy light years away. From Andromeda, she is headed to earth-to be precise-to aid humans and the people of earth in whatever way she can. However, her ship takes a turn and she winds up in Kansas instead. As she is waking up, she can hear the voices of the humans talking to her. But, the voices sound so strange to her and not like the English she had learned in her studies. She is in Kansas now and they definitely speak with an accent. Instead of reaching humans on a grander degree, Missy is now stuck in Kansas living life like a human. She is determined to complete her assignment even though she is in small-town Kansas. Readers follow Missy on her adventure to help humanity discover the beauty of nature and the world around us.
Fresh off the Starship by Ann Crawford is a light, warm-hearted book that readers will revel in and certainly appreciate. It is highly entertaining and full of wit and charm. It is intelligent and fun at the same time. It is written with a clear concise voice with a message that we humans need to hear. I was fully engaged from the very first chapter, as this book grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.
This honestly is a beautiful story from an extremely gifted writer. With fluently penned prose and a captivating romantic storyline and plot, Ann Crawford gives readers a one of a kind tale. We have a strong, rather bewildered heroine to be inspired by and a cast full of colorful characters. They are well developed and fleshed out with strengths and weaknesses we all can relate to. I loved Missy-she is a genuine character who had me thinking, making this a very thought-provoking book. Readers are reminded that life is beautiful and much more brilliant than we perceive.
I thoroughly enjoyed Fresh off the Starship and savored every word. Ann Crawford aptly has a flair for writing descriptive words that put the reader right on the scene, watching on as the story unfolds. I could visualize the entire setting and Missy’s unique take on things. This is a book that I would highly recommend to lovers of chick lit, science fiction, adventure and even fantasy lovers. The compelling ending is wonderful and completely satisfying.
Praise for Fresh off the Starship, a page turner and one of the best books I have read in a long time. Pick up your copy and be delighted and inspired.
Reviewed by Artisan Book Reviews
Purchase Fresh off the Starship by Ann Crawford @Amazon Here

11/8/18

Immortals’ Requiem - Vincent Bobbe - Book Review

Immortals’ Requiem by Vincent Bobbe
Grimdark Fantasy: Speculative fiction
There are beings that live a shadow’s breadth from our reality…
They are the dreams and nightmares of humanity, the ancient seeds of fairy-tale and superstition. These are the Immortals, creatures of magic that should live forever… and they are fading.
When a horror two thousand years dead returns to contemporary England, creatures long thought lost to myth and legend collide in a scramble for survival that could tumble civilization back into the dark ages of blood and death.
Immortals’ Requiem is a Tolkienesque grimdark fantasy based in both a modern day city and vast supernatural worlds. If you like the idea of a drunken elf with a shotgun, an ancient warrior with a chainsaw and a whole host of violent supernatural beings you’ll love this gritty Amazon Number 1 Bestseller.
Buy Immortals’ Requiem to lose yourself in this epic award winning dark fantasy adventure today!
Immortals’ Requiem by Vincent Bobbe is a wild fantastical ride in a horrific setting filled with creatures made of nightmares. This is a story that is so terrifying that I could barely read it, and definitely couldn’t put it down. The characters in this book range from mortals to monsters of every kind. They are immortals waging war against one another and it is one scary battle. Characters are being killed off and blood is everywhere.
There are several plot lines that come together like an intricate puzzle. It flows nicely, is easy to follow along and keep up with the pace – which is extremely fast. Told in the third person of the different creatures, I found it to be extraordinary that the author could pull it off the way he did. This book is not for the faint of heart. It is perfect for those that love great storytelling coupled with dark minded, frightening creatures that are relentless and blood thirsty.
The world building in this otherworldly book is nothing less than brilliant. Vincent Bobbe has created vivid scenes, situations and locations full of supernatural beings, vampires, elves, shapeshifters, fairies, zombies, giants, etc. He has taken the fae world and put it all into one outstanding book. I felt like I was there watching on as the story unfolded. His descriptive writing had me on the scene, and Immortals’ Requiem is unlike anything I have ever read.
With a hand full of major characters, we follow along as the story unfolds in modern day England. The characters are complex and well developed. For a dark fantasy, they are extremely believable and realistic. Because of the masterful way this book is written, the entire story is believable and realistic. The characters are not without emotion, and the book brought up feelings that were relatable to me. It is a violent and graphic novel with an original premise and idea. Vincent Bobbe has won this reader over and Artisan Book Reviews highly recommends Immortals’ Requiem by Vincent Bobbe to all lovers of grimdark fantasy and horror.
Purchase Immortals’ Requiem @Amazon Here

11/7/18

Six Months - Mona Sedrak - Book Review

Six Months by Mona Sedrak
Synopsis:
For twenty years, Mikala Jacobson had it all: loyal friends, a precious little girl, and a man who adores her. Then double tragedy strikes and her perfect world shatters.
Good friends, Rena and Jake are instantly by her side, protecting her from her husband David’s sordid secret life and his final drunken confession.
With their help, Mikala finds strength to rebuild and redefine her life. As her spirit and heart heal, she not only finds closure, but the beauty of a new love built upon an old friendship.
Mikala Jacobson is a wife and mother that has a beautiful fulfilling life, having everything she has ever desired. But then, tragedy strikes when her daughter is killed in a car crash. Mikala is devastated and stricken with grief. She must find the strength to rise above, carry on and survive. Mikala had everything, a loving husband, a beautiful daughter and close loyal friends.  What was once the perfect life, now seems to be left in ruins. Forever gone.
Six Months by Mona Sedrak is a passionate story of a woman who has lost everything and must endure grief, sorrow and loss and somehow find the strength to rise above the tragedy and its intense negative effects that it has had on her life. After her daughter’s death, she begins to learn some painful truths regarding her husband, and realizes that the life she had was not what she thought it was.
The death, betrayals and lies have torn down her life and now she is left with the daunting task of rebuilding her life. With a couple of great loyal and helpful friends, she does begin the healing process. When Jake comes to her rescue and helps her begin to live again, will Mikala open her heart at a chance at love again? Readers are taken on a journey of what it would be like to live through the horrifying devastation of loss that a person could experience in life.
Mona Sedrak has crafted a captivating, beautiful and poignant story that pulls at the heart strings and gives readers a rollercoaster ride of emotion and incredible passion. In this dramatic piece of fiction, the premise is original and extraordinary. While the main character, Mikala, struggles to heal and regain her life, I was moved to tears on many occasions. It felt so real to me that I cried, smiled and felt the struggle and pain myself. This is due to the exemplary descriptive writing style of author Mona Sedrak. I was impressed by how she wrote the dialogue between the characters. The characters are well developed and fleshed out with personalities that readers will love and relate to.
For readers looking for a journey filled with beauty, drama and emotion, Six Months is the book for you. You will smile, cry, and root for Mikala as she suffers and goes through more losses and grief than any person should ever have to endure. Then we see her inspiring recovery. Woven within the storyline is romance, friendship, love, hope, the importance of family, and dealing with guilt. There is something for everyone in this novel, especially those who can relate to the trauma of loss.
From the very first chapter of Six Months, I was hooked, fully engaged and didn’t want to put the book down. Towards the end, I was strongly desiring to see that Mikala would get the gratifying happy ending she so deserved. Life can be difficult and many people go through these very things. Six Months is rich in detail and filled with emotion, hope and inspiration. This book does not let the reader down. It is a worthy read written by an insightful writer with a unique lyrical voice. This is the best book that I have read in a long time. Highly recommended by Chick Lit Café.
Purchase Six Months @Amazon here

11/5/18

Wobbles by Leah Venegas - Book Review

Wobbles by Leah Venegas
Synopsis:
**WINNER OF A 2018 MOONBEAM CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARD***
Wobbles is a young leapfrog who has trouble learning to leap. He gets teased in school and feels alone. One day, a new student befriends Wobbles and tells him that her father, who is a champion leaper, had the same problem. With the help of his new friend and her father, Wobbles takes his first successful leap.
As the end of the school year arrives, Wobbles must conquer his fear and succeed in the leaping competition. Will he be able to show the students who bullied him that he is no longer afraid of them?
This book is about perseverance, endurance, and success from working hard and facing your fears.
Wobbles by Leah Venegas is an adorable children’s book about a little humble leapfrog that is trying to learn to leap. On his first day back to school, he tells his father he doesn’t want to go because he can’t leap yet. He is afraid. His father gently encourages him and he goes on to leaping school.
On his first attempt to leap, he fails and the other little frogs laugh at him. Then, a little girl frog makes friends with him and encourages him. She tells Wobbles that her father was a slow learner too. But, he overcame his fear and went on to be a champion leaper. Her father agrees to help little Wobbles learn to leap. He tells him that he needs to overcome his fear and leap with his whole heart. After much practice, Wobbles learns to leap from one lily pad to another. He wins the contest at school and is inspired to help other little frogs learn to leap too.
Wobbles by Leah Venegas is an exciting adventure that young children will be delighted in. It teaches children several important lessons about learning new things. Little Wobbles had a lot of fear of failing and being laughed at. But, he overcame his fear and learned to do things with his whole heart. He practiced and practiced.
This book will be a favorite among children everywhere. It relates to young children that the feeling of embarrassment is normal and so is being fearful. However, by practicing with determination, they can do the very things that they are unsure of. Although a child may have a weakness in an area, he/she can still succeed. Bullying and self-esteem are important lessons in this book.
This book is delightful and captivating. The illustrations are enchanting and will surely bring the child much joy. The storyline and plot are easy to understand and written in a way that young children will be able to follow along and comprehend. I read it to my little grandchildren and they loved it. They have had me read it to them over and over again. It packs a nice important message inside while visually engaging the reader. It is a cute story filled with excitement and emotion. Leah Venegasis an excellent children’s author. I highly recommend Wobbles for all young children.
Reviewed by Chick Lit Café
Purchase Wobbles @Amazon Here

11/1/18

Santa's Dog by Joann Sky - Book Review


Santa’s Dog by Joann Sky
Synopsis:
Sometimes the best gifts choose YOU!
Follow the adventures of Santa’s best dog, Lance, when he falls from the sleigh one Christmas Eve. He’s taken in by the animal shelter then brought home by a military family who needs some help as Dad is called to serve his country. When Christmas Eve comes ’round the next year, Lance must decide whether to return to the North Pole with his friend Santa or stay with his new family.
If you love dogs, if you have family in the military, or if you believe in Santa, you will be touched by this heartwarming tale for youngsters and the young-at-heart!
Santa’s Dog by Joann Sky is a charming one of a kind Christmas story. At the North Pole, Santa has a secret that no one knows about, he has one hundred dogs, and he loves each one of them the same. However, one special dog named Lance, gets to sleep on Santa’s bed every night. Lance and Santa have been friends forever and they are never far apart from one another. But then something terrible happens and Lance falls out of Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve. He gets lost but is quickly picked up by a local animal shelter (thank goodness for animal shelters.) A very nice family adopts him and he soon becomes a part of the family and is dearly loved and appreciated. He misses Santa and Santa misses Lance. For the whole next year Lance is busy making his new family happy and he loves each one of them. What will happen when Santa returns to see him next Christmas Eve? Will Lance stay with his new family that needs him desperately, or will he return to the North Pole with his dear old friend Santa Claus?
Santa’s Dog by Joann Sky is an entertaining story for young children to love and cherish. It has a unique storyline and premise. It is fast paced and has easy to understand words for the young child. Parents will love this splendid tale as well.
It’s an amusing rhyming story that children will delight in and enjoy. It pulls you in and yanks at your heartstrings and won’t let go. It has a fabulous moral and nice subtle messages throughout. It is about love and finding one’s life purpose. The illustrations are lovely and playful, perfect for children to love and appreciate.
I thought it was a great idea to include the importance of adopting shelter dogs. And how many times, a shelter dog is the perfect addition to any family that wants a loyal companion to love and care for. Also, the little family that adopts Lance is a military family with their father gone from home in active duty. It shows how the perfect shelter dog can fill a void in the hearts of the entire family.
I read Santa’s Dog to my little grandchildren and they totally adored it. They became emotional several times during the story. They’ve had me read it to them over and over again and were excited every time. I highly recommend this original Christmas story to all families with young children and early readers. Buy it now in time for the holidays. Your children will love Santa’s Dog by Joann Sky.
Chick Lit Cafe recommends Santa’s Dog to all children everywhere
Purchase Santa’s Dog @Amazon Here

10/31/18

Four Takeaways and a Funeral By Kerrie Noor

Four Takeaways and a Funeral: A Deliciously Succulent Comedy (Belly dancing and Beyond) By Kerrie Noor
Synopsis:
Mavis and Lumpy are getting married. It is to be a small affair with a hot and spicy theme, a few close friends, and a celebrant on Skype.
“We want no fuss,” said Mavis. “Just lots of food, great photos, and belly-dancing.”
However…
Mavis’s idea of hot and spicy is not Lumpy’s, and Lumpy’s idea of great photos is definitely not Mavis’s. Mavis and Lumpy find there is more to getting married than organizing the dips. And as their relationship spirals out of control Mavis loses her mother and must come to terms with a past she would rather forget.
With a funeral befitting a sitcom, sibling rivalry on a par with a Shakespearean tragedy and a dying mother’s impossible wish; Mavis and Lumpy relationship crumbles like a burnt chapatti.
And it is up to Nefertiti to make “things” right…so she thinks.
Four Takeaways and a Funeral by Kerrie Noor is a hilarious romp of a tale about a couple that are getting married and things get ridiculously out of control.
Mavis and Lumpy are the celebrated couple that are planning their wedding. Mavis has her idea of how she wants her wedding planned but Lumpy has other ideas. Mavis wants her wedding to be hot and spicy with lots of belly dancing and photos. Lumpy’s idea of hot and spicy is Indian food for their Scottish wedding.
Then there is Mavis’ sister, Fanny, who is always right about everything, causing a constant flow of sister rivalry. All of a sudden, Mavis’ mother passes away and there is a funeral in the mix.
Things spin out of control and Mavis and Lumpy are about to fall apart. But, in comes Nefertiti, the belly dancing instructor, to save the day.
Four Takeaways and a Funeral by Kerrie Noor is a down right funny comedy that readers will be thoroughly entertained by. The story is narrated by the eccentric belly dancing instructor, Nefertiti. She is always there doing crazy things and is best friends with Mavis. There are other quirky characters like the bag lady that is camped out in the backyard.
This book totally lives up to its description. I found myself laughing my head off on many occasions. The storyline and plot flow with ease. The characters are colorful and realistic at the same time. They are well developed and charming. I totally got into them and all their antics had me in stitches. The settings, food and people are described so vividly that I had a perfect picture in my mind of the whole scene.
There are many humorous situations going on and readers will be turning the pages quickly while laughing out loud hilariously. Witty and fun, Four Takeaways and a Funeral is an original work of humor and satire. It is written very well and has a completely unique plot and storyline. This is the first book in the series that I have read and it was easy for me to understand what was transpiring and simple to get to know the various charming characters. There are two previous books in the series that I am definitely going to read.
Kerrie Noor has a way with words that draws the reader in right from the very first chapter. Her style is completely different from anything I have read before and I loved every word of her quirky, unconventional book. It’s captivating, kooky and offbeat and perfect to cure the blues. I totally recommend this book to readers that love comedies and something different for a change. This book is a great escape from ordinary everyday life. Highly recommended by Chick Lit Cafe.
Purchase Four Takeaways and a Funeral @Amazon here

Knights After My Heart by Sonya Jesus - Book Review

Knights After My Heart by Sonya Jesus
Synopsis
Amelia’s past issues and personal time limits propel her into a relationship that alters her normal life at Westbrook University. Connor, her new potential boyfriend, triggers jealousy, rehashes old relationships, sparks new ones, and ignites a rage in others that will devastate her ordinary life. As she desperately tries to hold on to her pre-Connor life, she struggles to balance the new-found attention while trying to follow her heart. Something she realizes is complicated… very complicated – because her heart has no idea where it’s going.
Connor may be the change Lia is looking for, but he is certainly not the ending Hawk wants for his Queen. Hawk’s invested too much time in planning his future to let some random guy walk away with his happily ever after. He will do anything to protect her virtue, even if it means protecting her from herself because Amelia belongs to him.
He’s chosen her…
He’s watched her…
He’s studied her…
He knows everything there is to learn about her…
And when the time is right she will reign his heart.
Knights After My Heart by Sonya Jesus is an intriguing young adult book filled with twists and turns. The main character of the book is Amelia. Amelia has not had much success in the way of relationships.
But she has a prospective new boyfriend, Connor, who has been after her to be his girlfriend. She is somewhat reluctant and has always had a habit of shutting herself down when it comes to the men in her life when things get confining. The problem with Amelia accepting Connor as her boyfriend is complicated. It brings up issues of jealousy, past relationships, it brings on new ones, and sparks anger in others that could ruin her everyday life.
As a college student at Westbrook University and the possibility of a new boyfriend, Amelia has a lot going for her. But things are not that simple for this young women. And if she knew that a guy named Hawk, has beenstalking her, she would really be over the top devastated. Hawk wants Amelia to be his queen. He knows everything about her and has been studying her intently. Amelia’s best friend, Robins, is the ultimate friend and the guy that the girls all want to be with. Amelia is popular and seems to have it all. But, to what extent will Hawk go to in order to make Amelia his queen?
Knights After My Heart is one wild ride. It is a romantic mystery filled with fascinating characters and interesting plot twists. I couldn’t put it down and devoured it to the very last page, which was a cliffhanger, causing me to want to quickly get the next book in the series in my hands. With the appealing descriptions and activity of college life, all readers will love to reminisce and dream about college life. This is such an entertaining, beguiling, and riveting sexy story. Perfectly crafted with powerful believable characters.
The wonderful descriptive writing put me right on the scene watching on as the story unfolded. I could see and feel the emotions and relate to what the characters were going through.
The romance in this book is also unique and there is an unexpected twist in the form of a love triangle of sorts. This book is full of mystery with suspicious behavior making it an enthralling suspenseful novel to revel in and be startled by. I became unnerved on many occasions and was stricken speechless.
The characters are fabulous and well developed with strengths, flaws and attitudes. They are relatable and likable except for the questionable and somewhat creepy guy, Hawk. The story is told in two POV’s, Amelia’s and Hawk’s. It works well with in the storyline and flows seamlessly. I was fully impressed by the way Sonja Jesus wrote the dialogue between the characters. She has a unique original voice that resounds on every page. I am definitely going to read more from author Sonya Jesus. Chick Lit Cafe highly recommends Knights After My Heart by Sonya Jesus
Purchase Knights After My Heart @Amazon Here

10/24/18

Bittersweep by Wareeze Woodson - Book Review

Bittersweep by Wareeze Woodson
Synopsis:
Elizabeth lifted her chin. After fifteen years, she was back in Bittersweep, Texas, intent on discovering the reason she and her family were forced to leave without her mother in the wagon. Her memories were that of a five-year-old child, but she still recalled blowing cinders and ash rising over the treetops behind the wagon. She needed to know if her memory was accurate or clouded with age.
Under the assumed name of Campbell, she had accepted a teaching position in the small township. Her first encounter with the chairman of the school board was a disaster. He jerked her out of the way of a team of runaway horses dragging a heavy wagon directly toward her. Drat! She was off to a great start.
Elizabeth returns to the small township of Bittersweep, Texas, after leaving with her family fifteen years prior. She has some memories of her family’s forced departure from Bittersweep, and even at the young age of five, she keenly remembers that her mother was not with them when they left, but she wonders why. Elizabeth is haunted and determined to discover the reason why they were forced to leave and why her mother didn’t leave Bittersweep with them.
In the small town of Bittersweep, Elizabeth takes on the position of the local teacher under the assumed name of Campbell. She is also on a mission to find her mother’s treasured box. Elizabeth has a lot going on, including protecting her heart from the good-looking and striking chairman of the school board. Then she is falsely accused of murder. There are many questions and mysteries to be solved, like who was involved in the bank robbery, for one?
Wareeze Woodson has woven a wonderful historical fiction novel filled with intrigue and drama. The story and plot is full and complete, lacking nothing. There are twists and turns around every corner and plenty of mystery to keep this reader fully engaged from start to finish. There are a lot of well written, unexpected surprises in this engrossing story.
The excellent descriptive writing had me visualizing the settings, smells and people while putting me right on the scene set back in Texas in 1897. The author has a way with words that draws the reader in and holds their attention from the very first chapter.
Bittersweep is a captivating book with a great storyline that is rich and meaningful. The fully developed characters are realistic and relatable and I loved the personalities of Elizabeth and JP.
Readers will be intrigued by the various mysteries that are the focus of this book. It had me guessing and trying to figure out the many secrets, puzzling circumstances and affairs. Woodson has developed several plot points that come together in a significant, exciting culmination and finale.
Wareeze Woodson has done a superb job in writing Bittersweep. She is an excellent writer and is noted as so. Thus, Bittersweep is one of the best historical fictions that I have read in a long time and I plan to read it again.
Chick Lit Cafe highly recommends Bittersweep to all avid historical fiction fans and those that love a good escape.
Purchase Bittersweep @Amazon Here

10/15/18

A Place Called Schugara by Joe English

A Place Called Schugara by Joe English
A story of life, death, love lost and meaning found in Schugara and beyond.
A Place Called Schugara by Joe English is a literary masterpiece. In it we have three main characters that all descend on the Caribbean island of Mabouhey. Travers Landeman, an Ohio businessman, Albert Sidney McNab, an insurance investigator from New York, and a bookseller from Chicago, Joe Rogers, all connect on the small island. Each has his own story and reason for going to the island and each finds much more than he anticipated. Their destinies end up being tied to one another as they creatively help each other resolve their issues.
This book was so much more than what I was expecting. Spanning decades, continents and cultures, A Place Called Schugara is rich, detailed, and engaging. The characters are the foundation of this fabulous novel. They are well developed with compelling, defined personalities. Author Joe English has created characters that evolve exponentially and naturally throughout the storyline. Each one is an integral thread in the overall story which adds interest and intrigue to the plot. Each one has a story to tell, and their own baggage to carry, and author Joe English tells it well. These characters and their specific stories are fabulous, memorable and artful. Along with the three main characters, there are many other notable ones as well, all adding to the quality and flow of the novel.
There is a mix of societal issues embedded within the plot. The author touches on the Catholic Church abuse scandals, the War on Drugs and more. There is a lot going on in this book and the narrative flows beautifully. Readers will feel the author’s sense of humor through his appealing play on words. This book is truly written by a master storyteller and excellent wordsmith.
I found A Place Called Schugara to be spellbinding and absorbing. I couldn’t put it down and read on quickly to find out what was going to happen next. I learned many interesting facts; A Place Called Schugara held my full attention. It is a rather long novel to read, but well worth the time invested. Chick Lit Cafe highly recommends this book to all discerning readers.
Recognition is due Line by Lion Publishing of Louisville, Kentucky, for bringing A PLACE CALLED SCHUGARA to the world as well as the vision and courage of Amanda Rotach Lamkin, its publisher.  That we have A PLACE CALLED SCHUGARA to ponder, to savor, to enjoy demonstrates the importance of keeping the nation’s independent publishing houses vibrant. Maximum espect.
Purchase A Place Called Schugara @Amazon Today

10/12/18

Speaking in Tungs by Karla Jay - Book Review

Speaking in Tungs by Karla Jay
Synopsis:
2018 Florida Authors and Publishers Association (FAPA) President’s Award in Humor and Chic Lit! In this entertaining first novel set in rural Pennsylvania, a young woman from San Francisco searches for her birth parents while beginning her first job as a home-health speech pathologist. She soon learns how hard one job can be as she navigates the backwoods of Tungston, (“Tungs”) trying to comply with the needs of her quirky patients, all the while being stalked by a violent fugitive, and finding herself unexpectedly falling for the charms of a small-town, including one hot fireman. Through no fault of her own, she exposes a criminal who has been safely hidden in the thick forest, and now as he tries to stop her from exposing him, her patients’ lives, as well as her own are in jeopardy.
After the death of her parents, Marleigh Benning, a young woman with a degree in speech pathology, discovers that she was adopted. She decides to search for her birth parents and takes an internship as a home health speech therapist. But, she soon realizes that her job isn’t going to be easy, as she traverses through the backcountry of Tungston, Pennsylvania. As she tries to meet the needs and deal with her quirky unusual patients, she is definitely out of her element in this rural town, being from San Francisco, California, she is miles away from home and in a completely different societal setting. However, she begins to not only fall for the town of Tungston, but also for a hot fireman. She also finds herself and her patients in danger, as she is being stalked by a hardened and vicious escapee that she has unintentionally exposed.
Speaking in Tungs by Karla Jay is an intriguing engaging story that follows the life of one young woman who finds herself in a part of the country that she is totally unfamiliar with. There are dirt roads, peculiar small town stores and residents that are completely different than what she is used to from living in the west. Marleigh is dependable and reliable, intelligent and very likable. She is attracted to the fireman and feeling very passionate. She is out of place but determined to be a part of the community and make her life work in this foreign place she now calls home. This is a hilarious story with emotional moments that will touch every reader’s heart.
Speaking in Tungs is a heartwarming story filled with twists and turns and bold unusual, yet realistic characters. This story has a very different premise with a speech therapist going to live, work and fall in love in a pastoral setting in Pennsylvania. It is a multi-genre piece. It’s a romance, a mystery, a laugh out loud humorous chick lit read and a lightly suspenseful novel. The characters in this fabulous book are quirky, colorful and well developed. They humored me and had me thinking that I would love to know them in person. I found myself being drawn towards them and really caring about them. I love it when a book has me really desiring to know the people and be a part of their lives and live where they live.
Karla Jay has an exciting unique voice and a way with words that draws the reader in from the very first chapter. Even the title of this book gives readers insight into her distinctive creative play on words. She grew up in the area that is the setting of the book and mixes facts with fiction well. Her descriptive writing is filled vivid scenes of the landscapes and woods and had me craving to visit that part of the country and to behold the beauty of the land with its lush green countryside that she often describes in her story.
Speaking in Tungs had me completely hooked from the very beginning to the final last satisfying page. It is one of the best novels that I have read in a long time. This was Karla Jay’s debut novel and she has written more since then. I will definitely be picking up and reading the sequel to this book entitled “Speaking of the Devil.” Chick Lit Café highly recommends Speaking in Tungs to all readers.
Purchase book @Amazon here.

10/10/18

Murder, She Wrote: Manuscript for Murder by Jon Land

Murder, She Wrote: Manuscript for Murder by Jon Land
Synopsis:
Jessica Fletcher investigates a mysterious manuscript with deadly consequences in the latest entry in this USA Today bestselling series…
Jessica Fletcher has had plenty to worry about over her storied career, both as a bestselling novelist and amateur sleuth. But she never had any reason to worry about her longtime publisher, Lane Barfield, who also happens to be a trusted friend. When mounting evidence of financial malfeasance leads to an FBI investigation of Lane, Jessica can’t believe what she’s reading.
So when Barfield turns up dead, Jessica takes on the task of proving Barfield’s innocence–she can’t fathom someone she’s known and trusted for so long cheating her. Sure enough, Jessica’s lone wolf investigation turns up several oddities and inconsistencies in Barfield’s murder. Jessica knows something is being covered up, but what exactly? The trail she takes to answer that question reveals something far more nefarious afoot, involving shadowy characters from the heights of power in Washington. At the heart of Jessica’s investigation lies a manuscript Barfield had intended to bring out after all other publishers had turned it down. The problem is that manuscript has disappeared, all traces of its submission and very existence having been wiped off the books.
With her own life now in jeopardy, Jessica refuses to back off and sets her sights on learning the contents of that manuscript and what about it may have led to several murders. Every step she takes brings her closer to the truth of what lies in the pages, as well as the person who penned them.
In Jon Land’s second installment in the famed Murder She Wrote series, Jessica Fletcher is about to solve, yet, another murder. The story starts with Jessica being told by fellow writer Thomas Rudd that their mutual editor friend and publisher, Lane Barfield, may be stealing money from their accounts.
The next day, Barfield asks for Jessica’s opinion on a manuscript entitled, The Affair. Barfield states that it will be the next big political thriller. It is a confidential manuscript that Barfield is hoping will save his company from bankruptcy. Jessica is supposed to have the only copy, but Rudd has stolen a copy that was on a flash drive after he challenged Barfield about the thieving. Soon, both of the men turn up dead, from what appears to be suicides. Jessica is left to sort out the conundrum of whether the volatile manuscript could be the reason for their deaths.
Jon Land does it again with his new volume in the Jessica Fletchermystery writer series. In Manuscript for Murder, Jessica is given a modern and more up to date persona as she gets more into technology and goes from Cabot Cove, Maine to New York City and, later, to Washington DC. The President is in danger and Jessica is at her very best as she manages the twists and turns that solving this mystery takes her on.
Fans will love Manuscript for Murder, as it is a compelling and engaging whodunit. If you love cozy mysteries, this will be right up your alley. Readers will be guessing at every turn of the page. This book is unputdownable and will keep all mystery fans up late at night turning the pages quickly to find out what happens next. Filled with action, excitement and intrigue, Jessica, once again, stumbles upon another mystery to be solved. In her capable hands, this murder mystery is puzzling, up to date, irresistible and complete. With plenty of well thought out clues, Jon Land gives readers a run for their money and a challenge for their minds.
Manuscript for Murder hits the ground running and gives readers an entertaining and enjoyable good time. I am a diehard Murder She Wrotefan and Manuscript for Murder has to be at the very top of my list for best sellers. I was drawn in and immersed from the very first chapter right to the eye opening and satisfying finale. Jon Land has been given the privilege and challenge of writing the Murder She Wrote series and he is doing a highly remarkable job. He is an excellent bestselling author and they couldn’t have chosen anyone more worthy of the assignment to carry on this popular magnificent mystery series.
Jessica Fletcher is better than ever. Chick Lit Cafe highly recommends Manuscript for Murder by Jon Land to all mystery and Jessica Fletcher fans and beyond.
Reviewed by Jewel Hart for Chick Lit Cafe
Purchase Murder, She Wrote: Manuscript for Murder by Best Selling Author Jon Land @Amazon Here

9/17/18

The Revelation: Rise of the Fallen by David Salvi

The Revelation: Rise of the Fallen by David Salvi
Synopsis:
The war has started. Michael and Gabriel must find the other two archangels. Evan, the world’s richest man, is revealed as the Antichrist with armies of evil and beasts of the apocalypse at his command to decimate the world. Lies and deceit put Evan on the world stage before his horrific plots unfold. Michael and his angels must stop them. And somewhere the holy family is hiding, and waiting for their guardian angel to save them. This is an action-packed thriller from beginning to end! Part 2 of The Revelation series by David Salvi doesn’t disappoint!
The Revelation: Rise of the Fallen by David Salvi is Book 2 in The Revelation book series. The story follows archangels Michael and Gabriel whose mission is to stop the world’s wealthiest person, Evan, (aka the Antichrist) in his determination to bring about the downfall of the earth. His plan? To bring about the destruction of the digital age and all its appurtenances and watch the world literally grind to a halt and cease to function. Evan is narcissistic and indomitable and he commands his legions and evil beings to assist him with no care for the lives of those who get in his way. He cares not whether child, man, woman, family or powerful ruler; Evan will let no earthly man prevent him from achieving his goal.
Enter the ethereal superheroes, Gabriel and Michael, who together with Uriel and Raphael engage in a fight that is not only the quintessential fight of good against evil, but the very essence of civilization depends on their success. Michael appears as a somewhat reluctant archangel at times, tortured by concern for his human family and his child Joshua, who is more than just an ordinary child. But his faith that God will protect them gives the assurance he needs to continue his mission. Gabriel is steadfast and dependable and where he needs to be, which is at Michael’s side.
The Revelation is an amazing piece of writing. The author, David Salvi, has developed a perfect ‘voice’ for this battle between heaven and hell, between good and evil, and between all that is right and all that is wrong. The writing is strong and confident and believable, and each main character has the reader totally hooked. I have not had the benefit of reading Book One in this series, but this did not detract from enjoying Book Two and now looking forward with great expectation to Book Three.
The Revelation: Rise of the Fallen by David Salvi  has quite an impact on the reader. Not only is it disturbing from the point of view of the gullibility and susceptibility portrayed in world leaders whose role one would expect is to protect those who have elected them, but in the sheer complete callousness of Evan as the Antichrist. One cannot help but compare the scenario created by David Salvi to the state of our world today, to its reliability on technology, and the power of a deceitful smile.
This book is a credit to a writer who is clearly a craftsman of the written word. A memorable book that will have every reader turning to their Bible for reassurance that all is well with the world.
Reviewed by Jane Finch for Chick Lit Cafe
Purchase The Revelation by David Salvi @Amazon Here