The Boy on the Bridge by Effrosyni Moschoudi #BookReview @FrostieMoss

Cover: The Boy on the Bridge
by Effrosyni Moschoudi

The author sent me an ARC of this book (Mobi format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

A young man determined to protect his girl… A teenage boy offering prophecies… and a series of unexplained events.

Lefteris and his darling girl, Evgenia, live a quiet and happy life together in a mountain village in Zagori, Greece. One day, as Lefteris crosses an old stone bridge, he meets a teenage boy who warns him that Evgenia is in danger.

What follows is a series of astounding events as the boy’s prophecies of mortal danger continue, and Lefteris does his best to protect his girl. Now, he considers reverting to his old ways of solving all differences with his fists… Will he allow himself to resort to violence? Who is the mysterious boy on the bridge and why does he refuse to meet Evgenia?

Note: This is an extended version of the story of the same name published in “Facets of Love”. It has more scenes and a new ending!

Genre(s): > Greek & Roman Literature
> World Literature Short Stories
> Ghost Fiction
Series: n.a.
Length: 74 pages
Release date: 2020-12-14

 

Teaser


The work was tough, but I didn’t mind. I was used to heavy manual work. I was dismissed about five in the afternoon, and I took the road home, whistling a happy tune.

A special treat awaited me on the bridge – Alexandro’s wide grin. Like a permanent extension of his hand, he was holding his pipe, smoke rising from it like a tame grey snake that danced in the gentle breeze.

“Hey, Alexandros!” I said, rushing to him as I mirrored his expression.

I squeezed him by the shoulders and shook him excitedly, and he nodded knowingly, obviously guessing why I had greeted him like this.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Lefteris who meets a strange boy on a bridge.

With The Boy on the Bridge”, Effrosyni Moschoudi has created a highly enjoyable story of a man who is warm-hearted and a like-minded boy who also wants the best for Evgenia. It is a very captivating read, keeping you glued to Lefteris and Alexandros’ story. They are believable and of sufficient depth; this also applies to the other characters according to their respective roles. Effrosyni Moschoudi’s story develops at a steady pace, drawing you closer to Lefteris, Alexandros, Evgenia, and everything that happens. This heart-warming story is thought-provoking and has a great flow. I had a great time reading this memorable book, thoroughly enjoying it from beginning to end.

This is a book for you if you like excellent story-telling i.e. well-told and thoughtful stories with more than a little paranormal touch.

Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Thoughtful
Pace Steady
POV First person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence :mrgreen:  (a little fighting, harmless enough)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (some kissing)

 

About the author

Effrosyni Moschoudi was born and raised in Athens, Greece. As a child, she loved to sit alone in her garden scribbling rhymes about flowers, butterflies and ants. Today, she writes stories for the romantic at heart.

Her debut novel, The Necklace of Goddess Athena, has won a silver medal in the 2017 book awards of Readers’ Favorite. Her historical romance, The Ebb, is an ABNA Q-Finalist.
Effrosyni’s novels are Amazon bestsellers, having hit #1 several times.

She lives in a quaint seaside town near Athens with her husband Andy and a ridiculous amount of books and DVDs.

Connect with the author:

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about The Boy on the Bridge”?  Or – if you did not yet read The Boy on the Bridge” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

 

 

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Hinterland by L. M. Brown #BookReview @BrownLornab

Cover: Hinterland
by L. M. Brown

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Nicholas Giovanni’s life revolves around his five-year old daughter Kate. When he isn’t driving his taxi, he is taking care of her and her mother Kathleen, whose last involuntary admission to hospital was before Kate was born. When his childhood best friend, Ina, returns next door, tensions rise in the house. Already unstable, Kathleen suspicions of Ina and Nicholas grow until a day of violence ensues and Kathleen disappears.

Kate’s life is shattered by her mother’s disappearance. No-one will tell her where Kathleen is. Although Ina helps to take care of Kate, Nicholas keeps her at arm’s length. He cannot bring himself to tell the truth about Kathleen’s last day, until Kate runs away, and he realizes his silence has torn everyone apart. To find Kate and to keep Ina in his life, there are truths he must face, if it’s not too late.

 

Genre(s): > Family Life Fiction
> Literary Fiction
Series: n.a.
File size: 239 pages
Release date: 2020-10-13

 

Teaser


Ina came out of the house the moment Nicholas pulled up in the morning. A drizzle fell, and silver drops caught on her hair. The car door closed behind him and she stood with her arms crossed. He saw the anger in her eyes before she said, “Kathleen better not come near me again.” Nicholas felt as if she’d hit him in the stomach.

“I don’t care what you told her, or what the fuck is going on, but the next time she comes to my house, I’ll phone the cops.”

“What happened?” he asked.

She shook her head as though she hadn’t heard him and said, “I feel so bad for Kate.”


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Nicholas Giovanni and his daughter Kate.

With “Hinterland”, L. M. Brown has created a story with incredibly authentic characters. Each chapter takes you closer to the protagonists, their agonies, and their actions. L. M. Brown presents an intense and well-elaborated story which is intriguing, occasionally disturbing, and that offers food for thought at the same time. The protagonists are believable, complex; their behaviour might not always be reasonable – yet quite understandable in their motives. There are some insights into the human behaviour that will make you wonder which different types of ‘doing the right thing’ exist. It is a pretty absorbing read with authentic characters, interesting turns, and a good flow. The ending left me wondering if there might be a continuation someday; the book lost one star from me there.

This is a book for you if you like intriguing contemporary fiction including mental illness, believable and torn characters, and food for thought.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (three stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language 😳  (some mild and medium swearwords spread throughout)
Violence :mrgreen:  (harmless enough, even with mentions)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳  (several mentions)

 

About the author

L. M Brown grew up in Ireland but now resides in Massachusetts with her husband and three daughters. She has a master’s in Creative Writing from Emerson College and is the author of the novel Debris. Her stories have been published in over a dozen literary magazines.

Connect with the author:

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about “Hinterland”?  Or – if you did not yet read Hinterland” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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Familiar by T. J. Blake #BookReview @tjblake93

Cover: Familiar
by T. J. Blake

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review.

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

For as long as she can remember, Arabella has communicated with those who exist only in memory.

Being the centre of attention growing up was uncomfortable, and now, as a renowned psychic medium, it is becoming more of a struggle. Arabella’s ability and reputation always made it impossible to hold onto lasting relationships, but with those who no longer walk this earth, that’s not the case.

Arabella returns to where it all began fifteen-years before – on the very same stage. After an evening reconnecting loved ones and exposing untold stories, Arabella can’t help but wonder about the one unclaimed ‘friend’, and their cryptic message.

In an unexpected turn of events, Arabella finds herself the subject of morning headlines and at the centre of Detective Barnes’ investigation.

Can Arabella use her ability to prove her innocence and uncover the truth about the past?

Genre(s): > Contemporary British & Irish Literature
> Horror Fiction Classics
> Horror Suspense
Series: n.a.
Length: 502 pages
Release date: 2020-08-17

Teaser


Arabella focused back on the laptop, ready to conduct her social media duties, replying to fans, liking posts, retweeting and posting inspirational quotes.

The friend was not satisfied. Arabella’s skin pimpled, her hair charged with static, then a tingling sensation on her lower back, as though something touched her. Arabella’s upper body straightened as a shudder ran down from the crown of her head to the backs of her legs. She guessed a fingertip had traced a chilling path down her spine.

Stay calm. This is your space, not theirs. Don’t show your emotion.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Arabella who communicates with ghosts.

With Familiar”, T. J. Blake has created a page-turner, the story of a woman who is rarely lonely – yet pretty alone. A friend‘s cryptic message triggers her curiosity and she finds herself at Detective Barnes’ centre of attention. It is a very captivating read, keeping you glued to Arabella’s story. Arabella is believable, complex, and mysterious; the other characters are of sufficient depth for their respective impact. T. J. Blake’s story develops at a steady pace – in the present and in the past, drawing you closer to Arabella, her friends, and everything that happens. This suspenseful and sometimes creepy story is thought-provoking and has a great flow. I had a great time reading this memorable book, thoroughly enjoying it from beginning to end.

This is a book for you if you like well-elaborated stories, horror suspense, supernatural stories with more than a little creepy touch, and a stubborn and highly likeable heroine.

Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳  (some violence)
Sexual content 😳  (some mentions)

About the author

Living in Surrey, UK, T. J. Blake by day is a Content Marketer. By night, he could be any one of his uniquely disturbing characters…

Blake is also the author of the 2016 five-star psychological thriller, ‘DECEPTION – A Love of Lies’.

Blake on his writing process – “When I go over my plot, I critique as a harsh reader. I don’t want a reader to guess what is going to happen before it happens, that just ruins the fun, right?”

Connect with the author:

Amazon:  T. J. Blake

Please take a look at my statement on reading in My train of thoughts on …reading.  Now I am asking you.  🙂

My questions for you bibliophiles:
What about you?  What did you think about Familiar”?  Or – if you did not yet read Familiar” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

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10 Statements – James Schofield

I have worked in Europe and Asia for various organisations and now live in Munich, Germany. As well as writing material for magazines, educational publishers, websites and myself, I’m a qualified business coach, trainer and moderator.

I write short stories for various magazines including Business Spotlight, Spotlight (Germany) and Speak Up! (Italy). Some of these stories you can also listen to on my podcast ‘Behind the Bottom Line’ in which I read my magazine stories and explain something about their real life background:

I’m working on a thriller set in Munich, Zagreb, Venice and London.

I’m married and we have seven children, three dogs and a sinister black fish that lives in a small tank in our bathroom. It scares the shit out of me.

Find me…

Short story podcast:  https://anchor.fm/dashboard
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/jrtschofield
Author pages
Amazon:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B0034OVZOE

My personal motto:

“If you want to make God laugh, tell him about your plans.” (Woody Allen)

10 statements
  1. A typical (work) day begins with… letting the dogs out into the garden while I make myself some tea.
  2. I lose track of time when I have a story idea that works as I get it onto paper.
  3. I have always… wanted to be a champion ballroom dancer.
  4. I have never… visited the US. I feel like I’m one of the few people left who hasn’t.
  5. Home means to me… good tea.
  6. I am inspired by… deadlines.
  7. I would like to meet… Jane Austen.
  8. My worst character trait… I care too much what people think of me.
  9. My best character trait… I try very hard to keep my promises.
  10. The best advice I was given… “You don’t have to be someone. It’s enough to just be.”

Book Blitz: Nargis by Hermit Pen @HermitPen @BookishBookie

About The Book

The book is a collection of 8 short stories, each unique and different from others, covering various facets of life, inspired by real-life characters and incidents.

The stories address contemporary social issues like loneliness, binge dating, domestic abuse, social media addiction, celebrity worship, and also contemporary environmental issues like pollution, dwindling water resources, declining fertility rate, chemical warfare, etc. 

The stories also attempt to illustrate the pain and wounds of contemporary political issues like lynching, conflicts, refugees, etc

All the characters seem very familiar and we can easily relate to them.


Book Purchase Links

Amazon
India
 | Amazon
USA



Book Excerpt


Nargis

It is 2030 and most of the water on earth is polluted.


In the beginning, it was industrial pollution that rendered most of the water beyond human usage, and then the water wars that followed resulted in the extensive use of chemical and biological weapons, which further left the remaining water sources toxic.


In less than 10 years, water had become the currency, and owners of non-toxic water source the new age kings, with their own militias, protecting their wells and supply chain.


Water trading was the most lucrative business now.


Namita


Namita had stopped thinking about resistance or confrontation long back. Domestic abuse and sometimes physical abuse had become part of life for her. She had accepted it. It was no secret either. Most people around her knew. It’s difficult to hide the scars, especially the physical ones. 


Lybched


Since that fateful day, he had wished for only two things. To meet the family of the boy he had killed and the people who had killed his brother. 


He couldn’t make up his mind as to what will give him the closure he needed. 


The atonement of his sin or revenge. Guilt and vengeance had been consuming him.


Neha


All she could manage was “Why are you good to me Shoeb? Why do you still stick around when everyone else has given up on me, and now you brought my child to me”.


Neha could not control anymore, tears started rolling down her cheeks. 


Shoeb softly spoke almost in a whisper to Neha “We have taken him out of the shelter and legally adopted him. We will raise him as our own now”


Banaras


He had plans of getting married next year. An arranged marriage. His parents in Hyderabad had already selected the bride for him. He knew nothing about the girl and was not interested to know either. He believed that arranged marriage will ensure that his parents will be taken care of in their old age, which was his prime responsibility, being the only son, as has been repeatedly hammered into his head, by the society, since childhood.


Lipsticks


The night was beautiful, a bit cold though to be sitting in the balcony in only a t-shirt, this had been her ritual, night after night. 


The silence at this time of the night is addictive. It calms the volatile souls and tames the inner demons. 


TikTok


Finally, she read out Waheed’s post aloud “I respectfully decline The Smith Award, which is considered no less than Noble prize, awarded to me for my thesis “Impact of Social Media on the Psyche of Celebrities”, due to the sad and unfortunate demise of a subject during the course of an experiment.”


Oh Syria!


Qasim, on the other hand, was sad, very sad. He had this foreboding that his days on his homeland were numbered and he won’t be able to return, ever. 


This was the home of his ancestors. Their graves were here. His father used to tell him that for centuries his family had lived in this town. 



About The Author



The author Mr. Hermit Pen is a regular contributor to short stories and articles for various anthologies, magazines, and own blog. 


Mr. Hermit Pen is a Business Consultant by profession with a degree in Engineering and an MBA. He is well-traveled, having spent half of his life outside India; he is presently based in Gurgaon, India.


He is a movie buff, music connoisseur, and a cricket fanatic.  He also closely follows politics and current affairs. He is a vocal advocate of education, human rights, and equality, and he occasionally dabble in social activism.


At the cusp of reinventing himself once again, Mr. Hermit Pen with all humility showcases his debut book, Nargis.


Catch up with Hermit Pen On


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