Review of The Eve’s End, by Stephanie M. Matthews

Brrr! It’s a cold one up here, in the Canadian North! Speaking of which, I have the privilege of reviewing the work of fellow Canadian author, Stephanie M. Matthews. Before I begin, I suggest that you read the first book of this series, The Gift, in order to better comprehend this one. There will be more purchase links listed at the end of this article.

A quick intro:

An Amazon Bestseller, “The Eve’s End” is the stunning sequel to the breakout thriller, “The Gift.” Re-immerse yourself in the vivid writing style, provoking storytelling, and addictive suspense that made you love the first novel! It’s been twenty-eight years since Fae Peeters came to a little Belgian village for Christmas. Twenty-eight years since she received the Gift and came face-to-face with Nefas. Fate would ensure that twenty-eight years would not become twenty-nine.

My turn:

As with The Gift, this story is choc full of nuances, allegories, and explores the nature of free will. Indeed, how much of what the characters assume are their own choices are actually the work of a master puppeteer? How much of what appears to be the right choice, is pure poison?

There’s a divine incarnation of good versus evil via a number of the characters, and the humans are left to sort out who they’re going to follow. At times, even Fae Peeters is left questioning the reality and the soundness of her path. There’s plenty of action, but it’s those layers that piqued my interest.

I’d recommend The Gift and The Eve’s End for readers who enjoy supernatural thrillers, that fuel contemplation of the deeper meanings of life.

Five Stars for The Eve’s End!

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 Stephanie:

Having been raised as an East Coast girl in Truro, Nova Scotia, Stephanie M. Matthews has spent time living in Newfoundland, Oklahoma, and Italy. She has currently settled in Ontario, Canada working for a non-profit organization and writing in her spare time.

Stephanie’s love of writing came at an early age, drafting her first “real story” in Grade 2. This love of writing has continued throughout her life, as a university professor once accused her of having made a history research paper too exciting. While this accusation inspired an opinionated debate between department professors- from which she gently excused herself, the moment solidified a decision to never take the excitement out of her writing- fiction or non.

From a young age, Stephanie was drawn to thriller stories, as they appealed to her adventurous side.

Still admitting to be too scared to read many supernatural thrillers herself, she knows exactly how to craft an exciting, thrilling supernatural story by drawing on everything that scares her!

When not writing or working, Stephanie enjoys fueling her passion for Ancient Rome and indulging her nerdiness in Middle-Earth. Stephanie also loves mountain biking and combatting her arch nemesis: her love of cookies. She can be found mourning the loss of the television show “Firefly”, pretending like she can play hockey, or planning her bucket list, for which she had to come to the harsh reality that time travel is not an option.

Connect and grab your copy:

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My Toast To You

There’s no shortage of talent here on the blogosphere, and that goes for some amazing poets, too. Heck, you’re all amazing! That’s why I’ve chosen this theme for my first ever attempt at Concrete Poetry.

I mean every word and I wish you all the best this season and onwards into the New Year!

A toast to all of you, my dearest friends

From near and far, to all four earth’s ends

Pinotage on the heights of the Drakensberg

Beck’s sipped near the Pegnitz in Nuremberg

Be it wine, water, whiskey; just raise your glass

I admire each one, because you are all first class  

May trouble nor fear lay you low, with nary a snare

All dreams and ambitions be realized without a care

Please toast towards Canada and I’ll hoist mine back

Life spare you lemons and misfortune cut you slack

I wish every blessing, joy, and great thing for you   

A very Merry Christmas, and all the best in ‘22

Cheers! Salud! Santé! Prost! Cin Cin!

Kanpai! Saúde! Skal!

Sláinte!

J

O

Y

P

E

A

C

E

LoveHope

Goodwilltoall

Noel!Noel!Noel!Noel!Noel!Noel!

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!

Review of Open, Shut, by Nonnie Jules

Happy Friday! It’s the last weekday of Spring Break (changed from March by the government), due to COVID. As we deal with a third wave, staying home and writing has become more of a priority than ever.

Today I’m reviewing, Open, Shut, A Short Story, by Nonnie Jules. She is the President and Founder of Rave Reviews Book Club.

What Amazon says:

Darcy Lynn has a few problems: her sister, Lola, killed by a drunk driver, leaves her with an eerie message right before her death; her parents are atheists; her father drinks a little too much, and her brother, Bud, is just annoying. But, her most pressing issue is that things are mysteriously opening and closing around her and she hasn’t a clue as to why…or how.

My Turn:

This story is told from the POV of Darcy Lynn after her sister, Lola, was killed. Too young to remember the horrific details of her sister’s death, years later, Darcy seeks answers from Lola’s diary. What she finds is staggering. Her parents, sworn not to divulge a terrible secret to her younger siblings, by Lola herself, had never revealed the whole truth.

But has Lola really left? Soon after her sister’s death, Darcy Lynn experiences strange phenomena that cannot be explained by science, or her atheist parents. Darcy Lynn begins to question her own beliefs and comes to understand that the visible may not be all there is. Open, Shut is an invitation to consider this possibility.  

Nonnie does a great job in the creation of realistic and ordinary characters, who encounter the extraordinary. There is plenty of growth in all of them, a key ingredient for a great story.

The central message was that good things can come from tragedy. The story flows evenly and logically to towards that end. As a man of faith, I really enjoyed this book. I highly recommend it to anyone who has experienced great loss and for those who struggle with the ‘big picture.’ I’m giving this one, FOUR STARS!

Meet Nonnie Jules and connect with her:

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Review of Hanging Stars on Big Willow Creek, by Sarah Hill

Spring has sprung, the robins are hopping about our yard in search of food and nesting materials and the lawn is beginning to green and grow. That means I’ll soon have to pull the lawn mower from winter hibernation. I love this time of year, a time of new beginnings.

Speaking of which, as of late, I’ve been delving into the genre of romance, something I’ve never done before.

Today, I present my review of Hanging Stars on Big Willow Creek, by Sarah Hill.

Here’s what Amazon says:

Rylie Johnson is living her dream as a best-selling author in New York with her husband, Spencer and their imaginative little boy, Alex. As she prepares for the release of her newest book and upcoming book tour, her world is turned upside down when she receives a phone call from home. She must return to Idaho, the place she left twenty years ago and help care for the woman who raised her. Rylie comes face to face with the past she worked so hard to forget and learns things aren’t always as they seem.

My Turn:

The story speaks volumes about the human condition. How we perceive our world, based on childhood experiences.

Sarah does an excellent job of creating characters that are realistically human and are easy to become emotionally invested in. There are no true villains in this book, but that makes them all the more relatable.

Rylie grows up in a home that is both materially and emotionally impoverished. The object of ridicule and bullying, she understandably grows defensive and cynical of those she deems to be, ‘one of them.’

This story speaks to anyone who’s ever felt isolated, unworthy, and unloved. It reminds the reader that there are still good and caring souls out there and that everyone has potential, despite their circumstance.

A gently rolling plot, with a down home feeling, that will appeal to those who enjoy a good heart tugging read.

I give this, FOUR STARS!

Meet Sarah:

SARAH HILL, lives in Idaho with her husband, 3 dogs and cat. When she isn’t feeding, playing or doctoring one of her fur babies, you can find her watching a chick flick or favorite Hallmark movie, hanging with family and friends, reading or taking pictures (because photos are important!) Some of her favorite things include the world of Harry Potter, Mexican food, camping, playing pranks, laughing and kissing her husband.

Sarah is also the author of Call of the Blue Heron, her debut novel, which was published in November of 2019. She continues to listen to the characters who find her and whisper their stories in her ear and plans to get their stories out to the world.

Connect with her and purchase a copy:

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