Review Of Telling Sonny, by Liz Gauffreau

First of all, I’d like to start out by wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May you find joy and peace in this season and throughout 2022!

This will be my last review for 2021, and it ends well!

Synopsis

At nineteen, pretty, vivacious Faby Gagne is still waiting for her life to begin. The time is 1924, the place Enosburg Falls, Vermont. With school over, her time is now occupied with mundane chores and avoiding the crossfire of resentment between her mother and her grandmother.

As the time approaches for the annual vaudeville show to arrive in the village, Faby watches the posters go up with increasing excitement. She is the best kind of audience for the Small Time: she does not discriminate. 

When the show comes to the Opera House at last, Faby catches the eye of charming hoofer Slim White, who sets a course for her life that she never could have imagined.

My Turn

During the era of flapper girls and vaudeville thrills, the idea of being a farmer’s wife in rural Vermont holds little appeal for young Faby Gagne. In an act of youthful naivety, and despite her sister Josephine’s warnings, she allows herself to be courted by a vaudeville performer, who goes by the stage name of Slim White.

Things happen, as they do, and Faby’s life is forever changed. Though she gets her wish to leave Enosburgh Falls, things on the ‘circuit’ are not all glitz and glory. A coming-of-age story with a cautionary undertone, Telling Sonny will hold your attention and immerse you into the Roarin’ Twenties.  Though I found some of the excessive descriptions concerning mundane details to grow a bit long in the tooth, Elizabeth does an excellent job of building a connection to her characters. You cannot read this story without developing a significant degree of compassion for the once spirited Faby, who discovers that life doesn’t always tailor itself to your dreams.

There is a melancholic edge to this story, but it’s peppered with the joy and strength of true family love and support. They are there for her, whenever she needs them. I’d recommend this book for those who enjoy visiting by-gone eras and characters that are both larger than life yet must subsist on stale sandwiches and bad coffee.   

I’m giving Telling Sonny Four Stars!

Please note that I only post reviews on books I deem four or five stars. Life is short and if I don’t like a book, I simply won’t finish it.

Meet Elizabeth:

Elizabeth Gauffreau writes fiction and poetry with a strong connection to family and place. She holds a B.A. in English from Old Dominion University and an M.A. in English/Fiction Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She is currently the Assistant Dean of Curriculum & Assessment for Champlain College Online, where she is an Associate Professor. Her fiction and poetry have been published in literary magazines and several themed anthologies. Her debut novel, Telling Sonny, was published by Adelaide Books in 2018. Liz lives in Nottingham, New Hampshire with her husband.

Connect with her, check out her books and make that purchase:

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Review of Desolation Bluff, by Toni Pike

It’s been awhile since I’ve last posted a book review, so I’ll be changing that today. My TBR pile is growing and lately I’ve done little about working it down. Another situation that I’m changing. 🙂

Today I bring you my thoughts on Desolation Bluff, by Toni Pike.

Take it away, Amazon:

Blind romance author Oliver Cameron uses the pen name of Fidel Amore and thinks he has the perfect life at his country estate near Desolation Bluff. After a honeymoon in Paris, his wife Vanessa continues her work as his assistant. His friend Ray is the business manager who lives in the gatehouse and also acts as the public face of Fidel Amore, doing all those book-signing trips that Oliver never wanted to attend. Helen Dunkley is the housekeeper devoted to him since childhood – but she detests the two newcomers.

Complications set in when Ray, working on his old car, accidentally backs into Oliver. His injuries appear minor but the next day he suddenly regains his sight. Oliver wants Ray and Vanessa to be the first to hear his good news, but when he finds them he uncovers a shocking betrayal.

Thanks Amazon, I’ll take it from here:

It’s hard to delve into the nitty-gritty of this book and keep from revealing the plots and twists. It’s a fun, quick read, with a “Got ya!” ending. The story flows well and Toni has done a great job of creating characters that are easily sympathized or hated.

Some of the plot is predictable, yet I liked the way it was knit together. I couldn’t help but smile at the “comeuppance” served so cleverly by the protagonists.

There’s just enough romance to wet the taste buds of fans of the genre, and enough to appeal to those who prefer action/thriller. A great balance of both. I’m giving this one, FOUR STARS!

Meet Toni:

Toni Pike is a multi-genre author who enjoys writing exciting thrillers for adults, non-fiction, and hilarious books for children. She also loves travelling and being with family and friends. She lives in Australia and firmly believes that coffee and long walks are an essential part of any day.

Do you like books that you can’t stop reading? Pike is the author of DESOLATION BLUFF, DEAD DRY HEART and The Jotham Fletcher Mystery Thriller Series: THE MAGUS COVENANT, THE ROCK OF MAGUS, THE MAGUS EPIPHANY and HOLY SPEAR OF MAGUS.

The Brody Cody Series is for children aged 6-9: BRODY CODY AND THE STEPMOTHER FROM OUTER SPACE and BRODY CODY AND THE HAUNTED VACATION HOUSE.

She’s also the author of two non-fiction books. THE ONE WAY DIET is a no-nonsense guide to losing weight and coping with the journey. HAPPY TRAVELS 101 is a short book of travel tips with great advice for anyone who wants to travel overseas.

Website

Amazon.com

Review of Father of Contention, by Lanie Mores

Hey! I’m baaackk! After spending a few days away, I’m playing catch-up with my blog, social media, and visiting all you fine folks!

I’m starting out by posting my review for Father of Contention, written by Lanie Mores. If you like what you see, please click on the links at the bottom.

What Amazon Says:

There was only ever meant to be one Creator. In 1972, German scientist Renner Scholz travels to Barbora Bay, Washington to continue his research in recombinant DNA technology. Only believing in things proven by science, his deeply held beliefs are challenged when he meets Milena Nowak, a psychic. After a whirlwind romance, Renner becomes obsessed with understanding Milena’s unexplainable ability. Stumbling upon an exclusive occult ritual involving an evil spell that connects him to the spiritual realm where psychic abilities and power originate, he finds the answers he’s been searching for…but at a cost. Compelled by the ritual, Renner pursues a new vein of research. He develops the genetic blueprint to produce psychic abilities in humans—creating a superhuman—without realizing he is the main player in a plot to destroy mankind. Milena senses that Renner has changed and a new darkness resides within him. Helplessly she watches as the man she loves transforms, becoming deceptive, volatile and both physically and mentally more powerful. Can Milena save Renner from this evil presence? Or will she become an unwilling participant in his next experiment—one of the darkest kinds?

My Turn:

The supernatural meets the scientific in this exciting tale that stays one step ahead of the reader at every twist. Renner is a man possessed by a strong desire to disprove his cruel biological father’s contemptuous labels. But life happens, and as each plan crumbles, he grasps for any handhold that will help realize his goals. Unwittingly, he grabs the devil’s coattails and is infested by an entity so powerful it mutates every cell into a cancerous aberration.

Milena, gifted with ‘insight,’ witnesses the horrific transformation and is helpless to stop it.

The plot moves along relatively quick and is choc full of deception, violence, broken trust, dark secrets, and murder. There is an intricate dance between the scientific and the supernatural that begs the question: How much of Renner’s descent into depravity is biologically induced, and how much is ‘otherworldly?’

I recommend you read this book and draw your own conclusions.

An excellent read that’s earned FIVE STARS!    

Meet Lanie

Lanie Mores is the award-winning author of the science fiction and fantasy book series, Father of Contention. An active member of the Canadian Authors Association, she also enjoys writing poetry, and magazine editorials featuring health and wellness. Her passions include fitness, baking, gaming, and binge-reading and watching anything to do with monsters. She lives in Ontario with her family and forever barking fur babies, Batman and Petri.

Connect with her nd purchase your copy:

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Father of Contention Guardian of Angel Sea of Forgetfulness

Review of The Ferryman and the Sea Witch, by D. Wallace Peach

The dawn of a new week, and with a hot cup of joe steaming beside me, I’m bringing you my thoughts on D. Wallace Peach’s, The Ferryman and the Sea Witch.

What Amazon says:

The merrow rule the sea. Slender creatures, fair of face, with silver scales and the graceful tails of angelfish. Caught in a Brid Clarion net, the daughter of the sea witch perishes in the sunlit air. Her fingers dangle above the swells.

The queen of the sea bares her sharp teeth and, in a fury of wind and waves, cleanses the brine of ships and men. But she spares a boy for his single act of kindness. Callum becomes the Ferryman, and until Brid Clarion pays its debt with royal blood, only his sails may cross the Deep.

Two warring nations, separated by the merrow’s trench, trade infant hostages in a commitment to peace. Now, the time has come for the heirs to return home. The Ferryman alone can undertake the exchange.

Yet, animosities are far from assuaged. While Brid Clarion’s islands bask in prosperity, Haf Killick, a floating city of derelict ships, rots and rusts and sinks into the reefs. Its ruler has other designs.

And the sea witch crafts dark bargains with all sides.

Callum is caught in the breach, with a long-held bargain of his own which, once discovered, will shatter this life.

My Turn:

There’s plenty of blade crossing, high seas drama, and juicy betrayal in this fantasy novel. I was quickly caught up in the ‘Gulf Stream’ plot, unsure of where I’d be deposited next.

What really sucked me into the maelstrom was Peach’s amazing world and word building. Her writing flows like a powerful river, deep, smooth, and uninterrupted. I felt the story! From the crushing depths of the Deep, where the merrow live, to the rusted hulks of the impoverished, Haf Killick, I left my couch without standing.

I found that none of the characters were entirely evil, nor good. They all had a personal story of trauma and some justification for their actions. I wouldn’t hesitate to read another work by this author. Well done!

FIVE STARS!  

Meet D. Wallace Peach and get your copy:

A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life after the kids were grown and a move left her with hours to fill. Years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books, and when she started writing, she was instantly hooked.

In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography.

Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

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Review of Brother’s Keeper, A Short Story, by Jan Sikes

Rain! We finally have rain up here in the Great Dry North. It’s been awhile and I’m getting a bit tired of watering the plants. I do, however, like the fact that I’ve hadn’t had to mow the lawn in a few weeks.

Anyways, I’m not here to bore you with our weather issues, nope, today is another book review. A short thirty-four pager, written by Jan Sikes.

What Amazon Says:

Quentin Marks’ mother can only love one son, and from the day Rowdy was born, she makes Quentin, his little brother’s keeper. She demands that Quentin fix every problem for Rowdy and that he also protect him. The truth is, after a deadly snakebite, Quentin owes his very life to his little brother, a debt that will never be paid in full. Only now a man is dead, and once again, their mother calls on Quentin to make the problem go away and save Rowdy from prison. When is enough enough, and how much of his own life will Quentin Marks have to sacrifice?

My Turn

A poignant tale of favoritism that left me feeling frustrated with, yet sympathetic for, the MC, Quentin Marks. The poor fellow is called upon to make unfathomable sacrifices for his delinquent brother and unloving mother.

There was a sense of Quentin being served up as the Biblical, ‘sacrificial lamb.’ I was incapable of avoiding emotional investment in the story.

More than once, I found myself asking, “Why Quentin?”

He could have simply walked away, but Quentin is a true man of his word and possesses an inner strength that most will never attain.

In my opinion, any story that conjures up such strong emotions, and a cheering on of the limping protagonist, is a tale worth reading. Brother’s Keeper, certainly fits the bill.

A compact story with a great punch!

FOUR STARS!

Meet Jan Sikes:

Jan Sikes is an award-winning Texas author who has been called a wordsmith by her peers. She openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author. But she had a story to tell. Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation. You simply can’t make this stuff up. It all happened. She chose to create fictitious characters to tell the story through, and they bring the intricately woven tale to life in an entertaining way. She released a series of music CDs to accompany the four biographical fiction books and then published a book of poetry and art to complete the story circle.

And now that the story is told, this author can’t find a way to put down the pen. She continues to write fiction and has published many short stories with a series of novels waiting in the wings. She is a member of the Authors Marketing Guild, The Writer’s League of Texas, Romance Writers of America, and the Paranormal Romance Guild.

Connect with Jan, and purchase your copy

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Amazon.com

 

 

 

In my opinion, any story that can conjure strong emotions and a cheering for the limping protagonist, is one that’s worth reading. Brother’s Keeper, certainly fits the bill.

 As I’ve mentioned, it’s a quick read with a great punch.

Four Stars!