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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Six Word Story

Here we are, another Christmas in the books (I hope yours was full of laughter, fun, and good food), and on the cusp of a New Year. I thought this little tale (pun intended) might be fitting for this festive season. It seems we humans aren’t the only ones who love our treats. 🙂

Twelve Memories of Fatherhood

As Christmas approaches and at the risk of being imitative, I’ve decided to plow ahead and post this derivative of a holiday classic. I couldn’t help myself, the idea just sat in my head for days and had to find screen time.

It’s a short-list of a few experiences from my years of Fatherhood. I know every parent has their own style, opinions, and experiences. This list is meant to entertain only.  I could include the time I ended up, in socked feet, and locked out of the house during a mid-February Canadian winter, while my three-year-old giggled inside, but that’s for another post.  😊

One free facial. Daddy never looked so pretty!

Two Ski Buddies.

Three rocks in the car’s radiator: I once had the cap of the radiator off (it had cooled) so that I could add some fluid. A little hand appeared with three rocks in it, “Rocks in there, Daddy?”

The trio were promptly dropped into the opening before Daddy had any say in the matter.

Four Timbits crammed into one and stuffed into a pocket: My fellow Canadians will get this one. Timbits are doughnut batter rolled into balls, filled with sugar, and baked. They are a product of Tim Horton’s. “For me? My what a big one! Oh wait, there’s actually four different kinds here, all mushed into one. We’ve got chocolate, jellied, apple fritter, and plain.”

Five Handfuls of Ground Coffee: I was once watching television when I heard my oldest, aged four at the time, repeating “Mmmmm!”

I’d just left her playing with her dolls in her room and had gone to do some laundry. I rushed into the kitchen to find out she’d broken the “toddler proof” locks and was cramming handfuls of coffee grounds into her mouth. We both needed a nap by the end of that day!

Six Muddy Handprints on the Grand Caravan: A lovely earth tone of puddle silt and pebbles to make the van “pretty.”

Seven miscellaneous “treasures” stuffed into the door handle of the Versa: A cavity of wonders, everything from chewed gum to that ‘had to have’ pebble that looks like ‘Dora the Explorer’s Head.’

Eight rolling tantrums in public spaces: Nothing like a good old-fashioned dusting of the jacket as you flail about the floor of Walmart like a possessed mop. That is, until Mommy or Daddy quickly scoop you up and either head outside or look for the shortest line up.

Nine Years of Living, the last before you each turned double digits: Time goes so fast.

Ten Fingers; five for each hand that holds onto mine, as the three of us walk through the park.

Eleven snow angels made before it’s time to go in for dinner. We never finished the last one.

Twelve (plus) years of joy. Love, and the privilege of being a parent of two smart, kind, and beautiful daughters! I love you both so much!

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

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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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