Book Review: Wreckleaf

The Book

Book One of the Wreckleaf Series.The very thing that keeps me alive… could easily kill you. Seventeen-year-old Nerissa John isn’t supposed to exist. Designed as a disposable novelty, her kind were eliminated years ago. But after a fatal act of self-defense exposes her, Nerissa and her outlawed family are captured. Under false identities, they are enslaved in the most exclusive place on Earth—the island of Panacea, the lap of luxury for the world’s elite traveler. In exchange for their unique, but perilous service to the island’s governing authorities, Nerissa and her family are allowed to live.

With the opening of the tourist Season and the launch of another island-made product promising health and vitality, Nerissa makes a disturbing discovery. She and her family have become unwitting accomplices in a deadly experiment of unimaginable magnitude. She vows to redeem her past by exposing the corrupt, power-hungry officials who control both her family and the pure-humans she has somehow grown to love. It is their only hope for true freedom. But what will her blind determination cost? Will she once again do more harm than good? “A real page-turner, Wreckleaf is a fast-paced, emotional rollercoaster that celebrates both our differences and our equality—a hauntingly relatable, beautifully moody YA debut that will leave you calling for FREEDOM!”

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Wreckleaf-1-JD-Steiner/dp/0692104526

My Review

As is often the case, the cover is what first drew me to this book. But little did I know about the fantasy journey JD Steiner with Wreckleaf.

Nerissa and her kind are hybrids, who require a special leaf, found only under the ocean on ship wrecks, to survive. When Nerissa unwittingly uncovers a well hidden secret about experiments being done on her own kind, as well as those being performed on unsuspecting tourist, who visit the lavish vacation spot of Panacea, she becomes a target for those who don’t wish their secrets revealed. But the more she learns, the more determined she becomes to expose the truth, before she loses any more of those she loves.

An exciting and fast-paced YA fantasy that keeps readers guessing until the very last page. I give Wreckleaf five quills.

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Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read in exchange for ARCs. Have a book you’d like reviewed? You can request a review here.


Book Review: Mind Over Magic

The Audio Book

Morgen is experiencing a midlife crisis when she travels to a small Washington town to handle her late grandmother’s estate. But upon arrival, she discovers the house is full of witch paraphernalia — and that she has powers she never knew about! Can Morgen adapt to her new reality while racing to solve her grandmother’s mysterious death?

Purchase Link: https://www.chirpbooks.com/audiobooks/mind-over-magic-by-lindsay-buroker

My Review

I listened to the audiobook of Mind Over Magic, by Lindsay Buroker, and narrated by Vivianne Leheny. I have listened to this fantasy mystery three times, because it is so well crafted, with vivid descriptions and distinctive characters. Lindsay Buroker is known best for her snarky dialog and this book is no exception. Her humor allows for realistic reactions to bizarre occurrences such as finding a wolf on the hood of your car and then watching it change into a man, or discovering that your grandmother was a witch.

Morgan Keller is a practical and analytical data base tech who doesn’t believe in witches or werewolves. When she arrives at her grandmother’s home to wrap up the estate and decide what to do with her inheritance, it feels like she’s walked into another world. Grandma had some secrets that she hadn’t shared with the rest of the family, like the fact that she was a witch. The werewolf who lives in the barn claims that her grandmother was murdered with magic, and it’s up to Morgan to learn who the killer is. But in a town with two packs of werewolves and a local witches’ coven, this is no easy task.

Lehany does a fine in bringing the different characters to life. But I will say that her French accent is better than her Spanish one. In truth though, she handles a full cast of characters quite well, offering a distinctive voice for each one.

A fun and quirky story, with distinctive characters readers will grow to love. This is the first book in Buroker’s A Witch in Wolf Wood series. I would definetly read the others, as I want to hear more from these characters. I give Mind Over Magic five quills.

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Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read in exchange for ARCs. Have a book you’d like reviewed? You can request a review here.


Treasuring Poetry 2023 – Meet poet and author Andrew McDowell and a review #poetry #bookreview #Treasuring Poetry

Which famous poet has influenced your poetry the most?

When I was young, I admired William Shakespeare. I was impressed with how he used words to convey emotions and ideas, and I wanted to follow his example. In my junior year of high school, I participated in a Poetry Out Loud contest where we had to recite a poem. I chose Sonnet XVIII (“Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?”) and won third place. The Shakespearean sonnet was the first poetic form I tried to consistently write in beyond regular rhyming lines. It would not be until college that I began branching out to other forms and eventually free verse.

Which poem that you’ve read has impacted the way you see things in life?

This was a tough one, but one poem that has impacted me is Robert Frost’s famous “The Road Not Taken.”

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

In what way has this poem influenced your viewpoint?

Most people interpret it as about making new trails, which is how I interpreted it as a child. Many times, when I’ve been walking, when I took a turn different from the norm, the last three lines presented themselves in my mind.

However, I’d heard that interpretation is accurate, so I looked it up, and to my surprise, it’s true. Frost wrote it as a joke regarding his friend and colleague Edward Thomas, who often hiked with him and had trouble deciding which way to go. The poem is not only about how choices we make determine where we go in life, but also that we often look back and wonder whether we’ve made the right choice. Though I did not grow up with that interpretation, I have found it to be true and profound.

Perhaps Frost’s way of telling poetry influenced me, too; I remember a professor in college, who taught a poetry class I was in, observed that I liked to end poems with a meaning or lesson, drawing a parallel to Frost.

What is your favorite of your own poems?

This was another tough one, because several have special meaning to me. But of those I have published so far, one that deeply resonates is “Lonely Wolf,” which appeared in the 2019 Spring Edition of And I Thought Literary Magazine. It was written in college as a failed attempt at a pantoum, but after a few rejections, I rewrote it as a villanelle. It speaks to the loneliness I have felt—socially and romantically.

I am a lonely wolf who walks at night.

Amongst the tall pine trees and heavy snow,

Hear my cry to the half-moon shining bright.

***

Young once within a den huddled tight.

The years passed and sadly I had to go.

I am a lonely wolf who walks at night.

***

Embarking for the greatest peak tonight,

There shall I convey my long-held sorrow.

Hear my cry to the half-moon shining bright.

***

Though many have come within my sight,

Why they stand distant I can never know.

I am a lonely wolf who walks at night.

***

Winter’s bitter cold reigns in silent might.

Dark silence only brings light to my woe.

Hear my cry to the half-moon shining bright.

***

Here I stand alone on this rocky height.

Here I do bay up where countless stars glow.

I am a lonely wolf who walks at night.

Hear my cry to the half-moon shining bright.

What’s next for you in your writing career?

My focus right now is fiction. My fantasy novel Mystical Greenwood came out in a new edition, so my primary goal is to complete the sequel. I do have many unpublished poems, so I want to keep an eye out for publishing opportunities. A volume of poetry isn’t out of the question—if I can find a unifying theme (my poems touch on many unique ones).

About Andrew McDowell

Andrew McDowell became interested in writing at age 11, inspired by childhood passions for stories and make-believe. By the time he was 13, he knew he wanted to be a writer. He studied at St. Mary’s College and the University of Maryland, College Park. He is a member of the Maryland Writers’ Association.

In addition to his fantasy novel Mystical Greenwood, Andrew has written poetry, short stories, and creative nonfiction, and he is interested in writing drama and lyrics. He was diagnosed with Asperger syndrome, an autism spectrum disorder, when he was 14.

Find Andrew McDowell

Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | LinkedIn | Tumblr | Goodreads | Amazon

Review of Mystical Greenwood

What Amazon says

Dermot is a fifteen-year-old boy living in a remote village in the land of Denú. He has always longed for something more in his life. Now, everything changes after he sees a renowned creature–a gryphon–in the sky, and then crosses paths with a reclusive healer who harbors a secret.

Soon, he and his brother have no choice but to leave the only home they’ve ever known. They travel with new friends across the land through several great forests, along the way meeting an old man, a family of unicorns, and witnessing an important birth. They must evade fire-breathing dragons and dark-armored soldiers hunting them down, all serving an evil sorcerer determined to subjugate the kingdom, and who will stop at nothing to destroy them.

Denú’s only hope is if a renowned coven returns to face the enemy after years in hiding. Dermot, however, suspects their own role may be more significant than he thought, as he slowly discovers a power which exists amongst the trees and creatures of every greenwood. Can they save those they hold dear? Will Dermot find what he has sought? Or will all that’s free and good be consumed by darkness?

My review

Andrew McDowell has written an extraordinary fantasy tale which centres around the guardians of nature and the Greenwood, called driadors. The plot follows a typical good versus evil path, but the overlay of the protection versus the destruction of the natural environment was unusual, topical, and really fantastic.

Dermot and his brother, Brian, do not get on. Brian is the son who always does as he is asked by his parents and fits the mould of a pleaser, while Dermot is a dreamer and has always felt he was intended for more than his life as an apprentice blacksmith to his father. The rivalry between the two boys comes to a head when Dermot is carried away by a hunting gryphon. Dermot persuades the gryphon to drop him but he is injured during his fall. He wakes up in the care of a healer called Saershe, and her grandson, Ruairi. Dermot realises that they are not ordinary forest dwellers and, following his return home, he becomes obsessed with finding them again.

Brian becomes aware that Dermot has had some sort of unusual experience during his absence and uses this knowledge to stir up trouble for Dermot with their parents. Meanwhile, an evil force in the shape of a fallen driador called Taranis, is lurking just beyond the village, waiting for an opportunity to wreak havoc and destruction and restart an old battle against the driadors. Dermot and Brian will have to learn to trust and rely on each other, and harness the power of nature if they want to save the Greenwood, their friends, family, and themselves.

This is an unusual and well paced story with interesting characters, and these elements more than makes up for the odd moments in the book when Dermot and Brian’s emotional reactions to situations seem slightly lacking in depth or incongruent to the circumstances.

The author has great potential as a writer and I would love to read the next book in this series and find out what happens next in the battle for control between Taranis and the driadors.

Purchase Mystical Greenwood

Amazon US

Andrew McDowell Amazon Author Page

My review of As the World Burns: Writers and Artists Reflect on a World Gone Mad

What amazon says

As the World Burns: Writers and Artists Reflect on a World Gone Mad is an anthology of poetry, prose, essay, and art inspired by the unprecedented events of the year 2020. It embraces fierce and raw creative works relating to life during the Covid-19 pandemic, Black Lives Matter, Donald Trump, and the economic uncertainty and horror of the last eight months. One hundred and fourteen writers and artists spanning ten countries and 30 states are represented in this powerful volume. It is both a story of survival and an act of resistance.

“We speak with many voices, to the damage wrought in these violent, fevered months. Let us never forget or turn away, from what is just, what is necessary, to keep light alive in this world.”

My review

This is an interesting recording by numerous contributors, of the status of the world and society in the run up to the Covid lockdowns, and during the subsequent on-going pandemic. The writings, which comprise of mainly poetry, but also some essays and visual art pieces, also cover events that ran parallel to the lockdowns and pandemic that had an impact on society and politics.

Reading this anthology is an adventure as the messages are intense and vivid and the styles of writing hugely varied due to the significant number of contributors. Although not all the styles of poetry appealed to me, they were all memorable due to the strong emotional messaging, and well worth reading.

My favourite poems are as follows: Falls the Shadow by John W. Leys, I Think the Birds don’t Care by Kelsey Hontz (the words “Somebody has mixed up the two themes of apocalypse and paradise, which would be a fireable offense if anybody were still in the director’s chair for this year of hindsight.” really resonated with me.), Lately by L. Stevens, Quarantine by Andrew McDowell, Upon Waking in a Pandemic by Christine E. Ray, Choice Perhaps by Jane Dougherty, Thirteen Ways of Looking at Life before the Virus by Leslea Newman, Am I Angry? by John W. Leys, Virus by Erik Klingenberg (nightpoet), and Tumbling by Merril D. Smith.

Two of the essays, were particularly interesting to me. I-Soul-Ation by Dr. Sneha Rooh. The closing words of this essay have sadly not come to fruition, in my opinion:

“I would like to think that we will hug people longer, be grateful to be able to work, that we will smile brighter when the masks come off and we’ll let the smiles fully enter our hearts, that we will be careful abut the lies sold to us and remember that we are precious mortals with precious lives and an immense ability to connect and care.”

I am of the view, that the world has returned to its previous status quo with alarming speed and that as a species, we have learned nothing from the lockdowns and the pandemic.

The other essay I particularly enjoyed was Serendipity by Kim D. Bailey.

This book is an important documenting of life during this difficult and stressful time of life when the entire world united to face a common enemy. Sadly, we have still not learned our lesson, as I mentioned above, but perhaps some of us have found more courage to fight for a better eventual outcome for our planet and for humanity.

Purchase As the World Burns

Amazon US

About Robbie Cheadle

Award-winning, bestselling author, Robbie Cheadle, has published thirteen children’s book and two poetry books. Her work has also appeared in poetry and short story anthologies.

Robbie also has two novels published under the name of Roberta Eaton Cheadle and has horror, paranormal, and fantasy short stories featured in several anthologies under this name.

The ten Sir Chocolate children’s picture books, co-authored by Robbie and Michael Cheadle, are written in sweet, short rhymes which are easy for young children to follow and are illustrated with pictures of delicious cakes and cake decorations. Each book also includes simple recipes or biscuit art directions which children can make under adult supervision.

Robbie’s blog includes recipes, fondant and cake artwork, poetry, and book reviews. https://robbiesinspiration.wordpress.com/


Book Review: Vanished on Vacation

What they’re saying on Amazon

  • “Fantastic book with many twists and turns!” – Alese M. Brockman
  • “Jennifer outdid herself. Vanished on Vacation needs to be3 made into a movie.” – Kindle Customer
  • “Suspense at its best” – Reita Pendry

The Book

As a frantic search for missing student Avery Jennings begins, everyone is hiding something—Avery’s family and friends, the resort’s staff, and its wealthy guests. It’s up to FBI Special Agent Victoria Heslin to dig deeper. Motivated by her own mother’s abduction years ago, she’s determined not to let Avery become another missing person statistic.

The Mexican authorities aren’t cooperating, and Victoria realizes she’s up against something more powerful than she imagined. Taking matters into her own hands, she plunges into a hellish ordeal that will test her strength and courage like never before.

“How much will you risk to find this girl?” the officer asked.
“Whatever it takes,” Victoria answered without hesitation.

Or is it already too late?

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Vanished-Vacation-Agent-Victoria-Heslin-ebook/dp/B09YJ79K6X/

My Review

Vanished on Vacation, by Jennifer Ruff, is a contemporary thriller that will keep readers on the edges of their seats. I didn’t want to put this book down. I was compelled to keep reading to the very last page.

Women disappear in Mexico all the time, but when a young American girl vanishes without a trace, folks tend to sit up and pay attention. Especially when she is the niece of one of the FBI’s top agents. That’s when agents Hiesling and Rivera are put on the case, and they will leave no stone in Mexico unturned to find young Avery, who disappeared on the last day of her vacation. But when the Mexican authorities suddenly turn cold and uncooperative, they get the feeling they’ve stumbled onto something bigger than just the kidnapping of one girl.

A thoroughly entertaining and suspenseful read. I give Vanished on Vacation five quills.

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Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read in exchange for ARCs. Have a book you’d like reviewed? You can request a review here.


Book Review: Lover’s Moon

Lover’s Moon is a part of Mark Leslie’s Canadian Werewolf series, with co-author Julie Strauss. This is the romance story that tells the tale of how the two lovers, Michael and Gail met. And since one of the lovers is a werewolf, I guess that makes it a werewolf romance.

Although the audio book has a version narrated by professional narrators, the version I listened to was a free podcast version on Spotify, narrated by the authors. Mark narrates Michael’s parts and Julie narrates the parts for Gail, and for me, they will always be the voices of those characters, because they did an amazing job.

Technically, this might be considered a podcast review. I mean, what do you call it when the authors release a serialized version of their audio book in a podcast format for their readers for free? I call it brilliant!

You too can enjoy this delightfully entertaining werewolf romance for free, and read by the authors here: https://www.amazon.com/Lovers-Moon/dp/B0B1Z3QBYB/

Lover’s Moon

You can purchase a copy of Lover’s Moon in ebook, print, or audiobook format here: https://books2read.com/b/loversmoon

My Review

After listening to the audio book, Canadian Werewolf in New York, I was in love with the characters of Micheal and Gail, and I was left with many questions. Michael was the P.O.V. character, so you knew where he was coming from, and he obviously has still has feelings for his old flame, and regrets for having to end the relationship. Gail appears again after a long period when she had been out of the picture and her character was a bit more unpredictable. It was clear that there is history between these two, and I wanted to know more.

Lover’s Moon is the tale of how Michael and Gail met, their relationship and their break-up. If you’ve never read a werewolf romance, this quirky tale might be just for you. Lefebvre’s Canadian Werewolf series isn’t horror with a lot of blood and guts, but stories told with a touch of humor from the human perspective of the werewolf, and Michael’s relationship with Gail is a touching one, with the ups and downs of a roller-coaster. Their story will steal your heart. It did mine. And co-writing with Julie Strauss, having her write, and narrate, the chapter’s that are Gail’s perspective absoulutely works. Her portrayal of Gail in the narration is priceless.

Lover’s Moon, by Mark Leslie and Julie Strauss, is a quirky werewolf romance that will steal readers’ hearts, and create a dire urge to read or listen to the rest of the series. What more could a reader ask for? I give it five quills.

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Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read in exchange for ARCs. Have a book you’d like reviewed? You can request a review here.


Book Review: The Necromancer’s Daughter

The cover for The Necromancer’s Daughter, by D. Wallace Peach is what first caught my eye. It promised an intriguing world, perhaps a winter wonderland, and at least one interesting character and of course, I just had to read the book. And I was glad that I did. This story is a skillfully chrafter hero’s journey, the protagonist thrown into an unfamiliar role which she hadn’t asked for with an objective that seems impossible to achieve.

Denied a living heir, the widowed king spies from a distance. But he heeds the claims of the fiery Vicar of the Red Order—in the eyes of the Blessed One, Aster is an abomination, and to embrace the evil of resurrection will doom his rule.

As the king’s life nears its end, he defies the vicar’s warning and summons the necromancer’s daughter. For his boldness, he falls to an assassin’s blade. Armed with righteousness and iron-clad conviction, the Order’s brothers ride into the leas to cleanse the land of evil.

To save her father’s life, Aster leads them beyond Verdane’s wall into the Forest of Silvern Cats, a wilderness of dragons and barbarian tribes. Unprepared for a world rife with danger and unchecked power, a world divided by those who practice magic and those who hunt them, she must choose whether to trust the one man offering her aid, the one man most likely to betray her—her enemy’s son.

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Necromancers-Daughter-D-Wallace-Peach-ebook/dp/B0B92G7QZX/

My Review

The Necromancer’s Daughter, by D. Wallace Peach, is an exceptionally well crafted dark fantasy story, with well developed characters and a wonderfully crafted world of haves and have nots, with most fearing what they don’t understand. Peach has constructed a segregated world, where those of like kind are seperated and sadly, misunderstood. Into this world, she injects Aster, a reborn princess, raised as the necromancer’s daughter, since those who have been healed of death are not widely accepted in the mountains of Blackrock.

But when the King Aldring is murdered, leaving no other heir, the Vicar of the Red Order will do anything he can to prevent Aster from claiming the throne, including blaming the necromancer for the King’s murder, and sending she and her father into hiding. Her father is all she has in the world, and she flees to her mother’s people in the neighboring kingdom, in order to save him. In the strange land of Catticut’s forrest, with foes on all sides, Aster makes new friends in unlikely places, as she makes her way to her uncle, the King of Blackrock to make her plea, and hopes beyoond hope that he will aide her in rescuing her father.

I was totally engaged with Peach’s characters and completely emmersed in her world. I give The Necromancer’s Daughter five quills.

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Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read in exchange for ARCs. Have a book you’d like reviewed? You can request a review here.


Book Review: Ashali and the Blue Horseman

Ashali and the Blue Horseman, by Jordan Elizabeth is a superhero medley that is sure to please, although the protagonist may be more of a super-antihero. Ashali knows she has powers, which she has kept hidden, but when she meets the Blue Horseman, all of that changes and she finds herself on a hero’s journey, whether she wants to or not. Where do these powers come from? How did she come by them? These are the questions readers will find themselves asking, but fear not. By the end of the story, all questions are answered and then some.

What starts out as a simple date with a super-hunky guy, turns Ashali into becoming an unwitting target of the super crime syndicate, Ives. Will the powers she has taken such care to keep hidden be enough to keep her alive? And will the hunky, but hostile superhero be able to defeat Ives without her? And will she hook up with the superhero’s hot alter ego? … I guess you’ll just have to read the book to find out.

Ashali and the Blue Horseman

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Ashali-Blue-Horseman-Jordan-Elizabeth/dp/B0B9R26W47

Fun and entertaining. I give Ashali and the Blue Horseman four quills.

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Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read in exchange for ARCs. Have a book you’d like reviewed? Contact Kaye at kayebooth(at)yahoo(dot)com.


Book Reviews: “The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin” & “Down to Dirt”

The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin

Hogwarts hasn’t got anything on Roanoke Academy and the magical world created by L. Jagi Lamplighter in The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin. Rachel Griffin has worked hard to prepare for attending, and now as one of the youngest students at Roanoke, she has a lot of expectations to uphold and her magic must be in top form to keep up with the rest of her class. But there is something amiss at Roanoke Academy; a new magic being used for ill gains, an assasin disguised as an agent, a princess who goes places whenever she touches certain people, and a raven which only Rachel can see. Rachel must figure out what is happening and how to battle the forces of evil which seem to be decending upon them and threaten to take over her magical world.

Skillfully crafted to offer up all the pieces for readers to put the puzzle together. It’ a lot shorter than the story about the kid with the owl but just as thoroughly entertaining. Rachel Griffin is a sharp young lady with magical inclinations that will win your heart and make you want more. I give The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin five quills.

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Unexpected-Enlightenment-Rachel-Griffin-Books-ebook/dp/B01FVJ7DAY

Down to Dirt

Down to Dirt, by Kevin Killiany is a wonderful young adult science fiction novel with an underlying social moral. after spending her whole life in space, Mara’s family decides to send her to visit her Earth bound relatives on what spacers call Dirt. She arrives on Earth fearful and a little confused, but within a few weeks she will come to question everything she has ever been taught about Dirt. With a little help from her cousin, Beth, and her friend Jael, who each in thier own way challenge the prejudices that came with her, Mara begins to see things in different light.

Down to Dirt addresses social issues via a fictional alternate timeline world to create a story which is both engaging and entertaining. I give it five quills.

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Down-Dirt-Stars-Book-ebook/dp/B01HDT14HI

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Join Kaye Lynne Booth & WordCrafter Press Readers’ Group for WordCrafter Press book & event news, including the awesome releases of author Kaye Lynne Booth. Get a free digital copy of her short story collection, Last Call and Other Short Fiction, as a sampling of her works just for joining.


Book Review: Ghost Walk

Ghost Walk, by Melissa Bowersock is Book 1 in her Lacy Fitzpatrick and Sam Firecloud Mystery series. This paranormal mystery is more of a crime fiction story, than a cozy. An ex-cop turned P.I. and a spirit seeing Indian team up to find the answers, through both paranormal evidence which only Sam can see and forensics and the strong investigative skills of Lacey, to crimes which have eluded the law, bringing justice to both the living and the dead.

This first book in the series covers the story of the developing relationship between the two partners and promises more mysteries to come. They are good. Lacey knows how to track down the clues, and with inside information coming from beyond, she has the pieces to the puzzle that local law enforcement lacks. Sam has learned to keep his gift under wraps, but has an undeniable urge to help the dead who cry out to him, and partnering up with Lacey, might be just what he needs to help him do that.

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Ghost-Lacey-Fitzpatrick-Firecloud-Mystery-ebook/dp/B01MUCZR5T

This well crafted tale is a quick and entertaining read, which carefully lays out the clues for the detectives and the readers to discover. The two main characters are both down to earth and very relatable. I give Ghost Walk five quills.

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Join Kaye Lynne Booth & WordCrafter Press Readers’ Group for WordCrafter Press book & event news, including the awesome releases of author Kaye Lynne Booth. Get a free digital copy of her short story collection, Last Call and Other Short Fiction, as a sampling of her works just for joining.


Day 8 of the WordCrafter “Visions” Book Blog Tour

Visions Book Blog Tour

Today is Day 8 and we’re wrapping up the WordCrafter Visions Book Blog Tour here on Writing to be Read. We’ve had a fantastic tour for this unique fantasy, science fiction, and horror anthology. For anyone who might have missed a stop along the way, you’ll find links to each stop below. Note that they will not work until each post goes live. We’re running a great digital giveaway and all it takes to enter is a comment, so visit any stops you missed and leave a comment so I know you were there.

Monday – October 17 – Guest Post – Billie Holladay Skelley & Winning Story Interview with Roberta Eaton Cheadle – Writing to be Read

Tuesday – October 18 – Guest Post – Michaele Jordan & Review – Patty’s World

Wednesday – October 19 – Guest Post – D.L. Mullan – The Showers of Blessings

Thursday – October 20 – Guest Post – C.R. Johanssen & Review – Robbie’s Inspiration

Friday – October 21 – Guest Post – Patty L. Fletcher & Review – Zigler’s News

Saturday – October 22 – Guest Post – Jeff Bowles – Writing to be Read & Interview w/ Kaye Lynne Booth on SaraWesleyMcBride

Sunday – October 23 – Guest Post – Stephanie Kraner & Review – Roberta Writes

Monday – October 24 – Guest Post – Joseph Carabis – Writing to be Read & Review – Undawnted

Digital Giveaway

Three digital copies of Visions will go to three lucky winners.

Enter at each stop just by leaving a comment so I know you were there.

Follow the tour, comment at each stop, and learn more about this exceptional anthology.

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Visions

Grab your copy today from your favorite book distributor through the Books2Read UBL: https://books2read.com/u/49Lk28

About the Book

An author’s visions are revealed through their stories. Many authors have strange and unusual stories, indeed. Within these pages, you will find the stories of eighteen different authors, each unique and thought provoking. These are the fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, and horror stories that will keep you awake long into the night.

What happens when:

An inexplicable monster plagues a town for generations, taking people… and souvenirs?

A post-apocalyptic band of travelers finds their salvation in an archaic machine?

The prey turns out to be the predator for a band of human traffickers?

Someone chooses to be happy in a world where emotions are regulated and controlled?

A village girl is chosen to be the spider queen?

Grab your copy today and find out. Let authors such as W.T. Paterson, Joseph Carabis, Kaye Lynne Booth, Michaele Jordan, Stephanie Kraner, and others, including the author of the winning story in the WordCrafter 2022 Short Fiction Contest, Roberta Eaton Cheadle, tantalize your thoughts and share their

Visions

From Kaye Lynne Booth, editor of Once Upon an Ever After: Modern Fairy Tales & Folklore, Refracted Reflections: Twisted Tales of Duality & Deception and Gilded Glass: Twisted Myths & Shattered Fairy Tales.

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For today’s tour stop, we have a guest post by contributing author, Joseph Carrabis, here on Writing to be Read, and then over on Undawnted, DL Mullan has a review of his story, “Marianne”.

Guest Post

The Genesis of Marianne 


Marianne originally was Mitre and dealt with how grown children deal with a senile parent. It was set at an ocean front home and many of the plot points in Mitre made it through to Marianne, except Mitre presented a dim view of people professing Christianity in order to avoid unpleasant responsibilities, and Mitre – a devout Catholic and an immigrant – is senile throughout the story.
The original Mitre draft – written sometime in the early 1970s. I was a live-in groundsman/driver/bodyguard for a wealthy family who lived in a mansion on the ocean – never worked for me although I appreciated the idea behind it and most of the plot points, so into a drawer it went (we didn’t have computers back then). I rewrote it twice in 1988 (at which point it made it into a computer), twice again in 1998, then again in 2013, 2015, 2017, twice in 2018 and ’19, and remained unsatisfied although I knew each rewrite got closer to the core story. I rewrote it four times in 2020 which is when Mitre became Marianne and I realized what wasn’t working for me. It took me four more rewrites to get the characters’ voices, the fantasy concept, the myth induction, and associated elements to work to my satisfaction.
Here are some specifics:

  • What worked
    • the low character count. Good short stories are rarely Cecile B. DeMille productions.
    • The family dynamic.
    • The relationship between Mitre/Marianne and her deceased husband.
    • The oceanfront home setting.
    • Licorice.
  • What didn’t work
    • Ragging on Christianity/Christians – too easy a target.
    • The introduction of a Catholic, immigrant background – not relevant, red herrings, and weakened the story line.
    • Poor storycrafting.
  • What I liked originally – The resolution.
  • Why I couldn’t let the story go – I don’t think I’ve ever let anything go. I have close to 16G of stories, novels, plot lines, characters, settings, et cetera, on my hard disk waiting for me to finish them. Specific to Mitre/Marianne, I couldn’t let go of the victimization and abuse of the elderly idea (even though it came to me long before it was a recognized cultural concern).

About Joseph Carrabis

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That wraps up up today’s tour stop on Writing to be Read, but be sure to drop over to Undawnted for a review of “Marianne” by DL Mullan.

Also, Joseph ran his own set of blog posts on the anthology, with sixteen contribiuting authors featured. His posts can be found as follows.

Janet Garber & “The Treatment”

Michaele Jordan & “Farewell, My Miko”


Stephanie Kraner & “Here, Now, Wherever”


Jeff Bowles & “Wilding of the Painted World”


Billie Holladay Skelley & “Secret Thoughts”


Sara Wesley McBride & “The Devil’s Bridge” & “The Haunted Palazzo”


Leah Cutter & “Survivor”


Roberta Eaton Cheadle & “The Bite”

Julie Jones & “Tourist Trap”


DL Mullan & “Reality Hackers”


Christa Planko & “The Vanishing Tattoo”


Patty L. Fletcher & “The Portal Brings Christmas Love”


Kaye Lynne Booth & If You’re Happy and You Know It”

Zack Ellafy & “At the Mountains, Majesty”

C.R. Johanssen & “Her Beholder”


Joseph Carrabis & “Marianne”

Thank you all so much for joining us and I hope you all enjoyed this tour as much as I have. There’s still time to get more entries in the giveaway by visiting each stop through the links at the top of the page. I will post the winners for the giveaway tomorrow in a special announcement post.

And don’t forget to grab your copy of Visions.

Purchase Link: https://books2read.com/u/49Lk28

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