Clementine Lane by Eoghan Brunkard #BookReview #RBRT @BrunkardEoghan

ClementineLane

Cover: Clementine Lane by Eoghan Brunkard

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)

No man is an island…. but in Dublin an inner-city lane can be just that. Welcome to Clementine Lane, where everyone knows everyone’s business and respectfully keeps it to themselves and everyone else.

A drugs rehabilitation centre is set for development on the lane, prompting the locals and their snobbish neighbours from the next road over, to unite in protest. This fragile alliance is forced to take on the combined weight of the Political and Media realms, when an addict dies in suspicious circumstances.

Elsewhere, a dark past that has haunted the lane for a century intertwines the fates of a teenager and a homeless alcoholic. Is it supernatural? Or is reality that bit more frightening?

Finally, a man from a well-heeled part of the city blows into the lane, full of confidence and short on affection for his neighbours. When confronted with an impending loss, his friends fade into the digital world, leaving him to face this problem alone; but then, no man is an island….

Clementine Lane is a humorous and poignant panorama of contemporary Dublin.

Genre(s): > Contemporary Urban Fiction
> Fiction Urban Life
> General Humorous Fiction
Series: n.a.
Length: 310 pages
Release date: 2021-04-04

Teaser


“Should I call someone for you? Like you’d have to give me your phone, but I’ll make the call. I think I should make the call, I’m the adult, yeah I should, it’ll look bad otherwise. I lose my phone on a periodic basis, always seems to be ringing when I’m not there. Do you want me to ring someone?”

Sienna did not address the question but instead simply stared, still not sure what to make of the dishevelled heap that was now interrogating her.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to the residents of Clementine Lane. A planned drugs rehabilitation centre unites them and the snobbish residents of a neighbouring road.

With “Clementine Lane”, Eoghan Brunkard has created an intriguing story about the lives of those affected by the planned drugs rehabilitation centre in the heart of Dublin. Most characters are complex, all are realistic with all virtues and flaws. The story comprises a variety of craftily elaborated characters with sufficient depth and interesting interactions until the last page. Eoghan Brunkard introduces each character and place with care, the reader gets to know them pretty well. I had a great time reading “Clementine Lane” – it is an intriguing read that led me right back to the town I truly miss. I was immediately drawn into the story, soon keeping my fingers crossed for two very special characters. For me, “Clementine Lane” is memorable contemporary fiction with a high degree of authenticity. It is a story to read again.

This is for you if you like contemporary fiction with well-elaborated characters, a touch of history and politics, food for thought, and if you are interested in seeing more than visitors normally see on a city trip.

Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (three stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Mood Suspenseful, hopeful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough; some mild swearwords)
Violence :mrgreen: – 😳  (a little violence, not too detailed)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (decent enough)

About the author

Dublin native Eoghan Brunkard has worked on various inner city community development projects for the past 11 years. Qualified in social policy and research, Eoghan started his career providing enterprise and training advice to people in long term unemployment. From there he has supervised a labour activation scheme and several community led youth services. As a qualified social researcher, he has also worked on several policy papers and research projects for civil right advocacy bodies.

 

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

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


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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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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Running Haunted by Effrosyni Moschoudi #BookReview @FrostieMoss

Cover: Running Haunted
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)

Kelly ran a marathon… and wound up running a house. With a ghost in it.

Kelly Mellios is a stunning, athletic woman, who has learned—the hard way—to value herself. Having just finished her first marathon in the alluring Greek town of Nafplio, she bumps into Alex, a gorgeous widower with three underage children, who is desperately looking for a housekeeper.

The timing seems perfect, seeing that Kelly aches to start a new life, and Nafplio seems like the ideal place to settle down. She accepts the position on the spot, but little does she know that Alex’s house has an extra inhabitant that not even the family knows about…

The house is haunted by Alex’s late wife, who has unfinished business to tend to. By using the family pet, a quirky pug named Charlie, the ghost is able to communicate with Kelly and asks her for help. She claims she wants to ensure her loved ones are happy before she departs, but offers very little information about her plans.

Kelly freaks out at first but gradually finds herself itching to help. It is evident there’s room for improvement in this family… Plus, her growing attraction towards Alex is overpowering…

Will Kelly do the ghost’s bidding? How will it affect her? And just how strange is this pug?

Genre(s): > Paranormal Ghost Romance
> Women’s Humorous Fiction
> Greek & Roman Literature
Series: n.a.
Length: 373 pages
Release date: 2020-05-18

 

Teaser


She opened her door halfway, about to leave the room, when she noticed a scarf on the foot of her bed. What’s that doing here? Her mind went numb when she recalled Charlie’s short visit in the middle of the night. He jumped on the bed… Did he leave this here?

A split second later, she heard a door creak open down the hall. She guessed the noise had come from Tommy’s room because the pug materialized at her door a few moments later. In his mouth, he carried a string of pearls.

‘Oh no! No, you don’t -‘ she burst out as soon as the pug rushed past her to leave the necklace on the floor before her bed. He turned around, raising his head slowly, and looked deeply into her eyes. It was such an intelligent look as if he were human and about to speak.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Kelly who dreams of living in a quiet town like Nafplio and – quite coincidentally gets a job there as a housekeeper.

With Running Haunted”, Effrosyni Moschoudi has created a highly enjoyable story of a woman who is warm-hearted and caring and currently facing some challenges. It is a very captivating read, keeping you glued to Kelly’s story. Kelly is believable and complex; the other characters are of sufficient depth for their respective impact. Effrosyni Moschoudi’s story develops at a steady pace, drawing you closer to Kelly, Alex, his sons, Charlie the dog, and everything that happens. This heart-warming and fun 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 Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence :mrgreen:  (n.a.)
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 Running Haunted”?  Or – if you did not yet read Running Haunted” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

 

 

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Dead Man Dreaming by Uday Mukerji #BookReview @udaymukerji

Cover: Dead Man Dreaming
by Uday Mukerji

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

Plot
(by Goodreads)

Set in Calgary, Canada, the US, and in Central Europe, Dead Man Dreaming is a literary fiction about one man’s fight against hereditary genetic diseases—from losing his girlfriend to finding love again—and how he overcomes his fear and frustrations and comes to terms with his own Huntington’s disease.

David, a senior resident physician, suddenly finds his coveted heart surgeon’s job in jeopardy as he could be a victim of Huntington’s chorea. After much deliberation, as he takes the pre-symptomatic test, his life turns upside down. He tests HD positive. And the result takes a toll on his love life too as his girlfriend leaves him for he decides not to have kids in that condition.

Although he secures the job at the hospital, he declines the offer. Emotionally charged, David dedicates his life to finding a solution to prevent all hereditary genetic diseases. He believes if medical science could prevent fatal diseases like cholera, malaria, and tuberculosis, it must have a solution to genetic diseases as well. Months go by, but David finds nothing new to help his research. The confirmation of HD also disrupts his private life, and he hallucinates at night. He becomes frustrated and accepts a job in the R&D division of the same hospital.

One day, he accidentally meets his old classmate, Jessie. She is recovering from a bad marriage and her son is suffering from a genetic disease called hemophilia. Although he had never liked her before and they had nothing in common, he couldn’t help admiring her after hearing what she had gone through in life. Jessie points out that the solution to David’s research is already half-way there. A simple carrier screening test can easily identify parents with genetic disorders. The affected ones can then look for viable alternatives like sperm or egg donation, surrogacy, gene editing, or adoptions. But the research shows only one in six OBs and gynecologists are offering carrier screening tests in the preconception period. So, all they need is to fill the void with an awareness campaign.

David likes the idea, and together, they start a website to get others’ feedback on introducing a parental fitness test before having a child. If other jobs can ask for a fitness test, why the toughest job in the world can’t have one? They get an overwhelming response from all over the world, people rallying for a Carrier Screening Test, but not without condemnations. The number of signatories reaches millions.

Meanwhile, their common miseries and hardships in life also bring them closer. David falls in love with Jessie. However, his impending sickness prevents him from expressing his love and he suffers silently. But his interactions with million other victims open his eyes. He realizes while he may not have any control over how long he lives, but he can always choose how he lives the remaining days. And he decides to propose to Jessie.

Dead Man Dreaming is a story of a desperate and dying young man spiraling downward with anger and frustrations and how he bounces back with new love as he comes to terms with his life-threatening disease.

Genre(s): Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction
Series: n.a.
Length: 252 pages
Release date: 2019-09-25 (expected publication)

 

Teaser


But what surprised me the most was how almost every paper was talking about early detection and a possible cure in the near futures – or about managing the disease well – but none said why the parents weren’t getting tested before having kids. A simple genetic test before pregnancy could easily check their odds of having a baby with a genetic disorder, yet only less than twenty percent of family physicians or OB/GYN providers offered a carrier screening test in the preconception period. I wondered why the maternity and parentood websites weren’t advising any genetic tests, either. Wouldn’t that awareness help reduce the number of children born with fatal genetic diseases?


My Opinion

This book introduces you to David who turns down his dreamjob – heart surgeon – in his hometown when it is confirmed that he has Huntington’s. After a phase of utter desperation, he meets further ‘victims’ of genetic diseases and tries to get his grip on life back.

With Dead Man Dreaming”, Uday Mukerji has created a remarkable story of a man who needs to find a new purpose in life. It is a very captivating read, keeping you glued to David’s story. David is believable and complex; his perception of his looming fate, as well as his research for possible cures make him a highly interesting character – someone you would like to meet and discuss with in reality. Uday Mukerji’s story develops at a steady pace, drawing you closer to David and his mindset, as well as to Jessie – mother of a son with hemophilia – who joins his cause. David and Jessie are authentic, their story is thought-provoking and has a great flow.

This is a book for you if you like well-told and thoughtful stories. If you like ruminating on important or even controversial matters, you will find food for thought.

Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Mood Thoughtful
Pace Steady
POV First person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:
Violence :mrgreen:
Sexual content :mrgreen:

 

About the author

Uday Mukerji left his creative director’s job in advertising to pursue a writing career in 2009. After writing, re-writing, and deleting a few versions, and secretly burying two laptops, six years later, he is now ready to share his first literary fiction with you.

He was born in India, and had worked in Singapore for nearly twenty years. He loves to travel, and interact with people, not so much on FB or Twitter, though, but face to face, maybe with a cup of coffee. He is a nature lover and his concern for environmental protection also made him the editor of Singapore Environmental Technology Yearbook for ten consecutive years.

Connect with the author:

LinkedIn:  Uday Mukerji
Goodreads:  Uday Mukerji

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 Dead Man Dreaming”?  Or – if you did not yet read Dead Man Dreaming” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

 

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