Were We Awake by L. M. Brown #RBRT #BookReview @lornakvaternikb

Cover: Were We Awake
by L. M. Brown

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review (a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

In each story of this collection, events make the characters understand that their world is not as it seemed.

In Hidden, the discovery of an affair between her father and aunt is only the start of finding hidden secrets for Hazel.
What it Means to Be Empty-Handed is narrated by a fourteen–year-old daughter of an alcoholic. Her denial and elaborate imagination starts to disintegrate when she lies to the wrong person.
In Crashing, a middle-aged woman lives a life of servitude until she hits a teenage boy with her car.
A thirty-year-old murder takes its toll on the victim’s family in Walking A Country Road.
The stories are set in Boston and Ireland.

 

Genre(s): > Short Stories (Books)
> Single Authors Short Stories
> Literary Short Stories
Series: n.a.
File size: 236 pages
Release date: 2019-11-20

 

Teaser


Dermot was still in bed when she got back to the house. She dried the dog, and thought that she’d have to peel the whole bag of spuds because her son was a demon for potatoes. He liked the carrots too. He’d complain if he put a ladle into the saucepan and it didn’t come up full of vegetable and meat. He’d say he thought it was a stew and not soup.

Once, when Catherine had said that was exactly what it was before him he’d actually looked up the definition of stew and showed her that it was a dish of meat and vegetable cooked slowly in liquid.

“See,” he’d said, “Cooked in liquid, not swimming in it.”


My Opinion

This book offers you thirteen interwoven short stories.

With “Were We Awake”, L. M. Brown has created a collection of interwoven short stories with incredibly authentic characters. Each story kept me very close to the protagonists, taking me back to that time and region. L. M. Brown presents thirteen well-elaborated stories which are intriguing and offer food for thought at the same time; even if you do not know the Northwest of Ireland or Boston, Massachusetts, at that time you will get a good idea about it; the stories may be gloomy yet they provide hope. The protagonists are believable, complemented by the aptly written stories. There are some insights into the human behaviour that will make you wonder. It is a pretty absorbing read with authentic characters, interesting turns, and a good flow.

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

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (some mild swearwords spread sparsely)
Violence :mrgreen:  (harmless enough)
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 “Were We Awake”?  Or – if you did not yet read Were We Awake” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

Karen_RBRT

rosies-book-review-team-1

 

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Viral Blues (The Hat, #2) by C. S. Boyack #BookReview @Virgilante

Cover: Viral Blues
(The Hat, #2)
by C. S. Boyack

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Someone knows about the hat. The creature from another dimension that helps Lizzie fight against the creatures of darkness.

They are summoned to a cryptic meeting with a secret society, where they meet other people with enhanced skills. It turns out someone, or something, has been tampering with the world’s vaccine supply. The goal doesn’t appear to be political or financial, but biblical pestilence.

Can this group of loners come together in time to make a difference when even the proper authorities are obstacles?

Check out Viral Blues, for your dose of paranormal adventure, with a strong sample of dark humor. And in recent superhero style, don’t miss the secret last chapter after the back material.

Genre(s): > Paranormal & Urban Fantasy (Kindle Store)
> Superhero Science Fiction
> Superhero Fantasy eBooks
Series: The Hat, #2
Length: 194 pages
Release date: 2019-09-12

 

Teaser


“We can’t pose as no band,” the hat said.

Lizzie walked in behind them, making her way directly to the coffee pot. Her over-sized ZZ Top concert tee hung to her knees. The hat perched atop her head in a sleeping cap configuration. She poured herself a cup. “No, but we have a band.”

“We’d have to steal the gig somehow,” the hat said.


My Opinion

This book re-introduces you to the hat and to Lizzie St. Laurent, jamming with their band, at the end of a gig, Lizzie gets an invitation – the beginning of something unanticipated.

With “Viral Blues”, C. S. Boyack presents us with a hilarious paranormal suspense story – the second in the series. The story is skillfully elaborated and has a great flow. Ernest Hemingway once stated “When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.” C. S. Boyack shows this masterly with this story – he created living people instead of mere characters; even if the hat is not human – it has personality. I was drawn into the story right away, very close to Lizzie, the hat, and – Lisa Burton. Lisa Burton has once again proven to be my ‘favourite character in a book of the year’. I could easily envision the characters – they are an amazing bunch, and locations. I had a wonderful and thrilling time reading “Viral Blues”. It is a highly enjoyable read – hopefully, not the last in the series.

This is for you if you like stories in novella length, paranormal events, hilarious moments, superheroes, and very likeable characters to cheer on.

This is a book to read again. Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful, fun
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen: – 😳
Violence 😳 – 😡
Sexual content :mrgreen:

 

About the author

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Craig

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 “Viral Blues”? Or – if you did not yet read “Viral Blues” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 


10 Statements – C. S. Boyack

Review:  Wild Concept

Review:  Arson

Review:  Will O’ the Wisp

Review:  Panama

Review:  The Cock of the South

Review:  The Experimental Notebook of C.S. Boyack

3 Quotes – C.S. Boyack

Review:  The Playground

Review: The Experimental Notebook of C.S. Boyack II

Review: The Hat

 

 

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Murder at the Columbarium by Emily Gallo #BookReview #RBRT @TheEmilyGallo

Cover: Murder at the Columbarium
by Emily Gallo

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review (a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Jed’s quiet life as caretaker of the San Francisco Columbarium is turned upside down when he comes upon a dead woman’s body and a crying baby just inside the gate. His search for answers thrusts him into a world of corruption, bigotry and drug trafficking and he becomes one of the principal suspects.

Genre(s): > Mysteries (Kindle Store)
> Literature & Fiction (Kindle Store)
> Mysteries (Books)
Series: n.a.
Length: 387 pages
Release date: 2018-09-23

Teaser


…Jed watched as the two men climbed the stairs. He took a rag and went upstairs as well. He started wiping down the front of the niches as he tracked the pair. They stopped in front of Francesca Balducci’s apartment and the better-dressed man crossed himself while the larger man stood to the side. Jed decided to move away at that point. He didn’t know much about Francesca Balducci. Her niche was one of the more traditional ones: a picture of an old woman, a brass urn, a crucifix, and a vase with some withered flowers He would look her up to see when she had been put in her apartment. He doubted it had been more than a year ago. She hadn’t had any visitors that Jed remembered. He was pretty sure that  this man had not been here before…


My Opinion

This book focuses on the Columbarium’s caretaker Jed and how his life changes when finding a murdered young woman on the premises.

With “Murder at the Columbarium”, Emily Gallo has created a well-elaborated and intriguing story about Jed and his friends. The story comprises a variety of characters with sufficient depth, interesting turns, food for thought, and a great flow. I was drawn into the story right away, close to Jed, his wife, their friends; captivated by what this story had to offer. I had a great time reading “Murder at the Columbarium”. It is a memorable story; I enjoyed reading about Jed who is warm-hearted and determined.

This is for you if you like steady-paced mysteries, stories that let you follow along and inspire your own train of thoughts, as well as books you would like to read again because their stories are unforgettable.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (5 stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (few mild swearwords)
Violence :mrgreen: – 😳  (some violence without too many details)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳  (some mentions without details)

 

About the author

“I View My Life In 3 Stages”

Emily Kaufman was the girl growing up in Manhattan in the fifties and sixties. In the sixties and seventies, I attended Clark University and lived in San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Los Angeles and Seattle doing the hippie/peace/love/protest thing.

In the eighties and nineties, Emily Saur lived in Northampton, MA and Davis, CA and was the more conventional wife, mother of two, and elementary school teacher.

In 2006, I retired from teaching and became Emily Gallo when I married David, a professor of economics, and moved to Chico, CA to continue our journey. I started writing screenplays and television and moved into novels. David, Gracie (our Schillerhound), Savali (our cat) and I now divide our time between two and a half acres of gardens, orchards in Chico and a 750 square foot condo on the beach in Carpinteria, CA.

Connect with the author:

Website:  https://www.emilygallo.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/TheEmilyGallo
Amazon:  Emily Gallo
Buy links:  https://books2read.com/u/4NQBj8


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 “Murder at the Columbarium”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Murder at the Columbarium” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


 

 

 

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Christmas Cupcakes & a Caper (Death by Cupcake, #4) by D.E. Haggerty #BookReview #RBRT @dehaggerty

Christmas Cupcakes & a Caper
(Death by Cupcake, #4)
by D.E. Haggerty

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (mobi format) in exchange for an honest review (a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

It’s all candy cane cupcakes and peppermint coffee until you find a dead elf on your doorstep.

Only the elf wasn’t a real elf, because elves don’t actually exist – not even at Christmas time. A college student dressed like an elf decided taking a nap on the stoop of Callie’s Cakes in sub-zero winter temps was a good idea. It wasn’t. Anna, the pink-haired baker extraordinaire, is convinced the student’s death was not an accident. She drags Callie and Kristie along with her as she attempts to discover who killed the elf … um… student.

Will the gals of Callie’s Cakes find the killer before Christmas is ruined?

Cupcakes not included, although you’ll find recipes for all the delicious Christmas cupcakes Anna bakes.

Genre(s): > Amateur Sleuth Mysteries (Kindle Store)
> Cozy Culinary Mystery
> Holiday Romance (Kindle Store)
Series: Death by Cupcake, #4
Length: 113 pages
Release date: 2019-11-01

Teaser


“Why are you going? What are you planning?”

“Murderers like to go to the funerals of their victims.” Anna and her love of pop psychology strike again. “Besides, it worked before.”

To my frustration, I can’t contradict her. It did work before. It being finding a murderer at a memorial service. “Totally different situation. I was accused of murdering Dolly. We had no choice but to investigate when it turned out the detectives on the case were incompetent.”


My Opinion

This book focuses on the ‘Callie’s Cakes’ gang trying to find out who murdered the dead student on their doorstep.

With “Christmas Cupcakes & a Caper”, D. E. Haggerty has created an expertly worded and funny suspense story with a romantic touch. The story comprises a broad variety of believable characters with sufficient depth, hilarious moments, and interesting interactions to solve the case of the murdered college student. I had a great time reading “Christmas Cupcakes & a Caper” – it is a very fun read. I was drawn into the story right away, chuckling about the stubborn protagonists, shaking my head – a lot because of Anna; for me, Callie and Kristie are a great counterpoint for Anna.

This is for you if you like female amateur sleuths, stubborn and determined women, hilarious situations as well as a great combination of cosy suspense, humour, and romance.

A funny and suspenseful book to read again.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV First person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (appropriate)
Violence :mrgreen:  (some mentions)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (decent enough)

 

About the author

I grew-up reading everything I could get my grubby hands on from my mom’s Harlequin romances to Nancy Drew to “Little Women”. When I wasn’t flipping pages in a library book, I was penning horrendous poems, writing songs no one should ever sing, or drafting stories which have thankfully been destroyed. College and a stint in the U.S. Army came along, robbing me of free time to write and read, although on the odd occasion I did manage to sneak a book into my rucksack between rolled up socks, MRIs, t-shirts, and cold weather gear. After surviving the army experience, I went back to school and got my law degree. I jumped ship and joined the hubby in the Netherlands before the graduation ceremony could even begin. A few years into my legal career, I was exhausted, fed up, and just plain done. I quit my job and sat down to write a manuscript, which I promptly hid in the attic after returning to the law. But being a lawyer really wasn’t my thing, so I quit (again!) and went off to Germany to start a B&B. Turns out being a B&B owner wasn’t my thing either. I polished off that manuscript languishing in the attic before following the husband to Istanbul where I decided to give the whole writer-thing a go. But ten years was too many to stay away from adopted home. I packed up again and moved to The Hague where I’m currently working on my next book. I hope I’ll always be working on my next book.

Connect with the author:

Website:  http://dehaggerty.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/dehaggerty
Amazon:  D. E. Haggerty
Buy links:  https://books2read.com/u/mgGJLv


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 “Christmas Cupcakes & a Caper”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Christmas Cupcakes & a Caper” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


 

 

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Behind the Fire Wall (Programagic Cycle, #01) by Anton Eine #BookReview #RBRT @AntonEine

Cover: Behind the Fire Wall
(Programagic Cycle, #01)
by Anton Eine

 

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review (a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team).

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

When the Pentagonal Citadel’s Fire Wall is breached as a result of a robbery, giving the perpetrators access to the most dangerous artifacts stored in the Vault, Magister Sajar Randhar finds himself in hot water.

His security clearance is pulled and he’s placed under house arrest for the entire duration of the investigation. But who could have hacked the most impregnable security system in the entire Murican Empire? How did they manage it in the first place? And why remove Sajar from the investigation instead of having him cooperate with the authorities?

The veteran mage is left with no other choice but to take the investigation into his own hands. The case is incredibly complex, but with his great experience and top-notch skills as a magic security specialist, there’s no better man for the job.

Genre(s): > 90-Minute Literature & Fiction Short Reads
> 90-Minute Science Fiction & Fantasy Short Reads
> Hard Science Fiction (Kindle Store)
Series: Programagic Cycle, #01
Length: 49 pages
Release date: 2019-09-23
Translator: Mark Berelekhis

 

Teaser


“OK, I’m sick of your fossilized wisecracks by now,” Spirit interrupted me, donning a businesslike dress suit this time, with tactically disheveled short black hair and toned-down makeup. “Give me a second. I just don’t get it. Why would you suspect yourself in the first place? How could you have gotten into a place that no one can reach – just Pat with his Code Zero?”

I squirmed a little. Could I entrust her with a secret of this sort? Would she betray me? On the other hand, if I couldn’t trust Spirit, I couldn’t trust anyone at all. 


My Opinion

This book focuses on mage Sajar Randhar, magic security specialist, who is suddenly suspected of a – major security breach!

With “Behind the Fire Wall”, Anton Eine has created a thrilling short story that kept me glued to my E-reader. This short story comprises two believable characters with sufficient depth and dialogues that sometimes made me grin. I had a great time reading “Behind the Fire Wall” – it is a very thrilling read. I was drawn into the story right away, getting closer to Sahar and Spirit, page by page. I am looking forward to reading more!

This is for you if you like computing, science fiction, savvy protagonists, entertaining dialogue, as well as mysteries and thrillers.

A suspenseful and entertaining short story to read again; it is the very promising first in a new series.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)
Mood Mysterious
Pace Steady
POV First person – past tense
Language 😳  (medium swearwords)
Violence :mrgreen: – 😳  (mentions of measures)
Sexual content :mrgreen: – 😳  (some hints)

 

About the author

Anton Eine is sci-fi and techno-fantasy author from Kyiv, Ukraine.

After building his successful carrier in marketing, he decided to let his creativity writing fantastic fiction books to actualize numerous ideas he had in his mind for years.

Anton is passionate about food (and some drinks of course!), photography, animals (especially wild cats) and rock music. He likes embedding his hobbies into the fantastic canvas of his writings and to share that passion with readers.

Anton Eine officially can’t stand any limits and boundaries, so his books usually step out of the box of traditional genres, crossing the edges of conventional storytelling and blurring the borders of common thinking.

Author of superhero series “Maze City” and technomancy series “Programagic,” also known for short sci-fi stories “The Cleansing”, “Sincerely Yours, Lucifer”, “Plus Ten”, “Post-molecular Comfort Food”, “The Pyramids of an Alien World” and others.

Connect with the author:

Website:  https://www.antoneine.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/AntonEine
Amazon:  Anton Eine
Buy links:  https://books2read.com/u/3RaZ1D


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 “Behind the Fire Wall”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Behind the Fire Wall” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


 

 


Review: My New Superjob by Anton Eine

 

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