The Story That Had No Beginning by Daniel Kemp #BookReview @danielkemp6

Cover:
The Story That Had No Beginning
by Daniel Kemp

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)

Plot
(by Amazon)

Alicia Collinson and her partner, Sir Giles Milton QC have a dinner party to host in the Chelsea home they share, but they are unaware of an extra guest; the ghost of Alicia’s dead twin brother. Alicia poses a surprising question to Sir Giles and their guests:—“Do you think lying is endemic in society today?”

They all have different answers based on their experiences, but what was the purpose of her question and how did her brother die?

 

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Literature & Fiction > Literary Fiction > British & Irish
Books
> Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Literary
Series: n.a.
Length: 158 pages
Release date: 2018-05-04

 

Teaser


I discovered in life that it is useless to speculate on what might have been. To want something that has gone is a wasted sentiment, one where grudges wander and despair is only a partially filled glass away. I have, however, nothing else to do than wonder what might have been had I found my twin that day in Bishopsgate. Having said that, and although I was not poor, I could not have competed with Mary on a financial footing, nor, it must be said, with the amount of time she did manage to devote to my sister. More importantly than either of those was how she exhibited an extraordinary example of benevolence for Alice to follow, whereas all I could have shown my sister was how to fight…


My Opinion

This story is introduced by Tom Collins. He tells the readers about how he and his twin sister Alice were taken into two different foster homes when they were eight, as well as about the dinner party, hosted by Alicia Collinson – his sister.

With “The Story That Had No Beginning”, Daniel Kemp presents us with a pretty unusual combination of contemporary fiction and mystery. The story is told by Tom’s ghost sometimes in a quite philosophical way. The first chapters may seem a little complicated, due to a multitude of characters, as you learn more about them, the better you get a clear picture. The book comprises interesting turns and has a good flow. Daniel Kemp lets a ghost tell the stories of his sister and of himself, enriching the plotline with surprising insights and food for thought. I was drawn into the story after a few chapters – when I had a basic knowledge of the relevant characters. I could then easily envision the characters and locations. I had a good time reading “The Story That Hand No Beginning”. It is a quite enjoyable read.

This is for you if you like contemporary fiction combined with mystery, surprises, and food for thought.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (three stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Steady
POV First person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳  (scattered scenes, mentions)
Sexual content 😳  (mentions of acts, few details)

 

About the author

Daniel Kemp, ex-London police officer, mini-cab business owner, pub tenant and licensed London taxi driver never planned to be a writer, but after his first novel —The Desolate Garden — was under a paid option to become a $30 million film for five years until distribution became an insurmountable problem for the production company what else could he do?

In May 2018 his book What Happened In Vienna, Jack? became a number one bestseller on four separate Amazon sites: America, UK, Canada and Australia.

Nowadays he is a prolific storyteller and although it’s true to say that he mainly concentrates on what he knows most about; murders laced by the intrigue involving spies, his diverse experience of life shows in the short stories he writes; namely Why: A Complicated Love and the mysteriously titled– “The Story That Had No Beginning”.

He is the recipient of rave reviews from a prestigious Manhattan publication, been described as —the new Graham Greene — by a managerial employee of Waterstones Books, for whom he did a countrywide tour of signing events, and he has appeared on ‘live’ television.

Connect with the Author:

Website:  https://theauthordannykemp.com/
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17257200.Daniel_Kemp
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/danielkemp6
Amazon:  Daniel Kemp
Amazon:  books2read.com/u/3G9QL8


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 “The Story That Had No Beginning”?  Or – if you did not yet read “The Story That Had No Beginning” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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The Legend of Astridr: Birth by Mandy Jackson-Beverly #BookReview @MJacksonBeverly

Cover: Astridr: Birth
by Mandy Jackson-Beverly

 

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Amazon)

Before the Allegiance came Astridr, whose legend began long before her birth.

When the imprisoned seer Sonja is liberated by thirteen Viking warriors, a storm takes the lives of her rescuers and she’s left dying and alone. The fae prince Hakon hears her cries—as does Freyja, goddess of the underworld, who arrives to negotiate for Sonja’s soul.

In love and sacrifice, Sonja survives to bear a daughter, Astridr—while the bargain between the fae prince and the goddess lays the foundation for an immortal’s legend.

 

Genre(s): Viking Historical Romance
Mythology
Fairy Tale Fantasy
Series: A Creative Series Novella, The Creative Series
Length: 70 pages
Release date: 2018-08-31

 

Teaser


And then one day a few centuries before the year 1000, the Lady was drawn to a place far from her home where she observed a web of deceit and love unfold. She knew at that instant that her vision from long ago was about to unfurl. She closed her eyes and watched from afar as Hakon strode across the desolate tundra and suddenly froze. He looked around as if searching for something or someone. But the Lady and the Rose had also heard a young woman’s cries for help as a familiar image flashed before her.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Skuld and Gunwald. Fae king Gunwald saves the norn Skuld – later known as the Lady and the Rose; they fall in love, have a son, fae prince Hakon.

With “Astridr: Birth”, Mandy Jackson-Beverly presents us with a wonderful story of love, fate, myth, hope, and adventure. The story is skilfully elaborated and has a great flow. Mandy Jackson-Beverly introduces each relevant character almost tenderly, providing them with sufficient depth for their respective relevance. I was drawn into the story right away – very close to all of them. I could easily envision the characters and locations. I had a great time reading “Astridr: Birth”. It is a very pleasant read.

A great story by a skilful storyteller.

This is for you if you like fantasy, myth, action, very likeable characters, and excellent storytelling.

This is a book to read again. Recommended.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Hopeful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳  (scattered fight scenes)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (decent, some kisses)

 

About the author

Mandy Jackson-Beverly was born in the bustling town of Pyramid Hill, Victoria, Australia … Population: 419. This remote childhood kick-started Mandy’s imagination, as did the rugged coastline and rolling hills of Tasmania, where her family relocated when she was four years old.

In 1982, Mandy moved to London, where she discovered the importance of the creative collective: The 1980s fashion scene. A year later, in Los Angeles, she found her own creative freedom among the thriving, no-holds-barred visionaries of the music video world. As a costume designer and stylist Mandy worked for photographer Herb Ritts, and directors Joel and Ethan Coen, David Fincher, and Julien Temple, and music icons David Bowie, Madonna, and Tina Turner, to name a few.

Mandy has taught Advanced Placement Art, written and directed high school theater productions, is a contributor to The Huffington Post and a book reviewer for The New York Journal of Books. She resides in Ojai, California, with her husband, Brian Beverly, a crossed-eyed cat, Luna, a dog named Cash and, sometimes, her sons, Angus and Jack.

Connect with the Author:

Website:  http://mandyjacksonbeverly.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MJacksonBeverly
Amazon:  Mandy Jackson-Beverly
Buy links:  books2read.com/u/3J8MOX


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 “Astridr: Birth”?  Or – if you did not yet read “Astridr: Birth” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂


10 Statements – Mandy Jackson-Beverly


The trailer above is short and sweet, a perfect match for the story. Even if the book in question is already released – I just had to share it with you. Enjoy the music!

 

No One Can Hear You by Nikki Crutchley #RBRT #BookReview @NikkiCAuthor

Cover: No One Can Hear You
by Nikki Crutchley

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

‘He said that they’d let me go on purpose. That they could easily find me if they wanted to. He said that they didn’t want me. That I was too much trouble. He said if I went to the cops, he’d know. If I told Sonya, he’d know. If I talked to friends or teachers, he’d know. He told me to pretend it didn’t happen. He told me to consider it a compliment, that I was too strong. His last words to me were, ‘Just forget’.

Troubled teen Faith Marsden was one of several girls abducted from Crawton, a country town known for its picturesque lake and fertile farmland. Unlike the others, she escaped, though sixteen years on she still bears the emotional and physical scars.

Zoe Haywood returns to Crawton to bury her estranged mother Lillian, who has taken her own life. As she and Faith rekindle their high-school friendship, they discover notes left by Lillian that point to two more young women who recently disappeared from Crawton. But Lillian’s confused ramblings leave them with more questions than answers.

As Faith and Zoe delve deeper into the mystery, they become intent on saving the missing women, but in doing so are drawn into Auckland’s hidden world of drugs, abduction and murder. And then Faith decides to confront the mastermind – on her own.

 

Genre(s): > Crime Thrillers
> Women Sleuths
> Murder Thrillers
Series: n.a.
File size: 282 pages
Release date: 2018-09-24

 

Teaser


‘This has something to do with the same people who took Tania.’ She remembered everything she’d overheard over the last two months. Conversations between Tai and Garth, including how she was going to be next. She wanted him to know that she knew they had taken Tania. From the recesses ofher brain she said, ‘The secret garden.’ And watched for Tai’s reaction.

The look of shock on his face was gone in an instant, but she saw it. He rearranged his features and shrugged. ‘No idea what you’re talking about.’


My Opinion

This book’s prologue introduces you to Faith Marsden and what happened to her in February 2001; then – moving on to October 2017 in the first chapter – you get to know Zoe Haywood, a science teacher who has to return to Crawton where her mother has passed away.

With “No One Can Hear You”, Nikki Crutchley has created another gripping as well as chilling thriller with a plot that keeps its promises. It is a plot that kept me glued to my eReader, drawing me very close to Zoe. Nikki Crutchley created a well elaborated thriller with a complex and likeable heroine – as well as a colourful variety of further important characters. Zoe and the others are believable, complemented by the aptly written plot. There is a lot more to the story than simply good versus bad; there are some insights in the human behaviour that will make you wonder. It is a highly enjoyable read with authentic characters, interesting turns, and a great flow. A memorable book to read again, written by an author to watch out for! After completing this book I realised that Nikki Crutchley has made it into my top 15 list of thriller authors.

This is a book for you if you like intriguing suspense, feisty heroines, believable characters, and if you appreciate expertly elaborated stories.

Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Suspenseful
Pace Fast
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen: – 😳 (average swearwords spread sparsely)
Violence 😳  (some violence)
Sexual content 😳  (some mentions, scenes without too much detail)

 

About the author

After seven years of working as a librarian in New Zealand and overseas, Nikki now works as a freelance proofreader and copy editor. She lives in the small Waikato town of Cambridge in New Zealand with her husband and two girls.

Nikki has been writing on and off her whole life and recently has had success in flash fiction. She has been published in Flash Frontier, Flash Fiction Magazine and Mayhem Literary Journal. Crime/thriller/mystery novels are her passion. “Nothing Bad Happens Here” was her fist novel, set on the Coromanadel Coast of New Zealand.

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 “No One Can Hear You”?  Or – if you did not yet read No One Can Hear You” – 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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The Fireborn by Trent P. McDonald #BookReview @trentpmcd

Cover: The Fireborn
by Trent P. McDonald

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)

Plot
(by Amazon)

In the shadowy area where myth and history collide, an unlikely hero is forced to save the world from an ancient Celtic curse. Dr. Elliot Everett-Jones knows that shadowy area well, having spent most of his life exploring its dimensions as given by a host of unreliable sources and imaginative speculation. Some would say he daydreams over the improbable plots of second-rate Romantic era authors. These fantasies, however, come to life after the discovery of the Cauldron of the Dead.

When the Cauldron produces the evil fireborn, Elliot is forced to confront an army of these mythic undead with nothing but his obscure knowledge and the hope of finding the legendary Lady of the Lake to give him Arthur’s sword. Even more frightening is the idea that he might have to confront his ex-wife, Eleanor.

“The Fireborn” is part joyful romp through history, myth and legend, and part fast paced adventure set in modern England and New York. The entire book, though, revolves around Elliot’s relationships with a large variety of characters. These relationships form the key that may unlock the mystery or lead to utter defeat.

 

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks
> Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Paranormal & Urban
Books
> Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Paranormal & Urban
Series: n.a.
Length: 326 pages
Release date: 2017-08-21

 

Teaser


The video disturbed Elliot all the more because of the news he’d heard from Colonel Wright earlier in the evening about the escalation of the “war”. If there really were over a hundred, maybe a couple of hundred, victims, then he was just seeing a fraction of them on line. Elliot had found evidence of no more than twenty videos. He could have missed some, but not hundreds.

Elliot saved the link to the latest video even though he knew it would be removed within the next 24 hours. He had scoured the Internet every chance he got and grabbed everything he could find, but soon discovered that they were removed almost as fast as they were posted.


My Opinion

This book introduces you to Dr. Elliot Everett-Jones, called to the English countryside where his older brother, archaeologist William, has discovered a sensational artefact.

With “The Fireborn”, Trent P. McDonald presents us with a wonderful combination of myth, history, the present, and adventure. The story is skilfully elaborated, comprised interesting turns, and has a  great flow. Trent P. McDonald introduces each character with finesse, providing them with sufficient depth for their respective relevance. I was drawn into the story right away – very close to Elliot. I could easily envision the characters and locations. I had a great time reading “The Fireborn”. It is a very enjoyable read.

A great story by a skilful storyteller.

This is for you if you like urban fantasy, myth, action, very likeable characters to cheer on their thrilling trip, surprises, and excellent storytelling.

This is a book to read again. Highly recommended!

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (five stars)
Mood Hopeful
Pace Steady
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳 – 😡  (scattered fight scenes include some gore)
Sexual content :mrgreen:  (decent, some kisses)

 

About the author

I never decided what I wanted to do when I grew up. I compose and play music, draw and paint, take a lot of pictures, and yes, I write. I’ve written a couple of books that are sitting on my shelf waiting to go out and I write a new short story almost every week, which I often post on my blog, trentsworldblog.wordpress.com. I’ve collected some of the best short stories I’ve written and put them out as “Seasons of Imagination”.

I also like to eat, so I work as a computer nerd during the day while I figure out what it is I really want to do.

If you really need details, I was born and raised in Ohio by the shore of beautiful Lake Erie and now split my time between mountainous New Hampshire and the coast of Massachusetts.

One thing to know about me is that I hate to write bio-blurbs in the third person.

Connect with the Author:

Website:  https://trentsworldblog.wordpress.com/
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/trentpmcd
Google+:  https://plus.google.com/+trentpmcd
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Trent-P-Mcdonald-691454874219113/
Amazon:  Trent P. McDonald
Amazon:  books2read.com/u/4XKd9e


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

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

Somewhere in San Diego (Somewhere, #2) by Dennis Macaraeg #BookReview @DennisMac2015

Cover: Somewhere in San Diego
(Somewhere, #2)
by Dennis Macaraeg

 

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

My rating:  ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (4 stars)

Plot
(by Goodreads)

A thriller about best friends, scientific data, hired guns and a harrowing race with a past lover to stay alive.

Marine biologist Danny Maglaya must meet with his best friend and fellow scientist Blake Mason to upload the data demanded as ransom by the kidnappers of Blake’s fiancée. The task might have been simple, but every time the two scientists try to rendezvous, two contract assassins show up. With Danny and Blake’s phones hacked and each move they make monitored, the only way to survive is to outwit the men wanting to eliminate them. With an ingenious but risky solution, Danny teams up with his ex-lover to piece together secrets that only she, Danny and Blake know. A series of perilous events follows as Danny and his old flame, Valerie, race through San Diego County, solving clues about Blake’s whereabouts and about their possible future together. Will their love for each other be the catalyst for success or will the bitter pain of their breakup be a recipe for disaster?

.

Genre(s): Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction
> Action & Adventure > Travel
> Action & Adventure > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thriller
Books > Literature & Fiction
> Action & Adventure > Mystery, Thriller & Suspense > Thriller & Suspense
Series: Somewhere, #2
Length: 227 pages
Release date: 2017-04-21

 

Teaser


“Where are you?” Danny asked, worried for his friend’s safety.

“I left downtown and am hiding somewhere I hope is safe. I can’t tell you where for now. I don’t trust our phones.”

“Who are these men trying to kill us?”

“I really don’t know. It seems they won’t stop until they’ve got the thumb drive and the laptop,” Blake declared in a rapid voice.


My Opinion

This book re-introduces you to Danny and Blake. This time, they are trying to rescue Blake’s kidnapped fiancée Elizabeth.

With “Somewhere in San Diego”, Dennis Macaraeg has created a light fast-paced thriller with a touch of romance. The story has the characters criss-crossing San Diego and its outskirts, trying to avoid being killed before they can upload data requested as ransom and get Elizabeth back unharmed. It is a quite entertaining read with thrilling moments. Dennis Macaraeg lets the reader in on what Danny, Valerie, and Blake have to go through – even from a distance I just had to cheer them on. Danny has become a complex character; Blake and Valerie are also quite likeable and of sufficient depth.

This is a book for you if you like light and fast-paced thrillers with touches of romance.

In brief:

Cover ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (three stars)
Writing ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (three stars)
Plot ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Characters ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐  (four stars)
Mood Hopeful
Pace Fast
POV Third person – past tense
Language :mrgreen:  (decent enough)
Violence 😳  (some violence)
Sexual content 😳  (mostly decent, a little steamy on occasions)

 

About the author

I attended San Diego State University and earned a degree in teaching. I thought I’d be spending my working career in a classroom but life had different plans for me.

When I turned 40—not a spring chicken at that time—I remember asking myself what else is out there in my life. The answer came in the stories I’ve been reading.

I was listening to a thriller on an audio book or maybe it was a love story while driving to the beach. I liked both of them—the hero gets the girl, the money and lives to tell the tale—and right then, I had a serendipitous moment. Naively, I told myself, I could write a novel.

Storytelling is easy. All that’s needed is a beginning, a middle and an end, and about 53,000 words. Not true. There is nothing more difficult than inventing a story. With nothing but bits and pieces of inspiration here and there, I began writing stories in my spare time. I joined writing groups and enrolled in a creative writing class at a local college.

Not really knowing what to write, I thought of my trip to the Philippines in 1993. I went backpacking throughout the country just a few years after graduating from college, visiting the country’s three main islands of Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. The seed for writing this novel was born.

Since I love reading thrillers, love stories, history and travel books, I decided to combine all categories and turn them into a novel. Words became sentences, then paragraphs. Finally, the compiled chapters turned into a book!

I hope you enjoy reading my novel just as I enjoyed writing it.

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 Somewhere in San Diego”? Or – if you did not yet read Somewhere in San Diego” – are you now interested in reading it yourself?

I am looking forward to reading your comments.  🙂

 

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