Category Archives: Reviews for others

These are reviews I’ve made for other authors

“The Beltane Choice” by Nancy Jardine

Here is my review for Nancy Jardine‘s book “The Beltane Choice”. (Short version – WOW!!)

Nara finds herself kicked out of her only world, a small tribe among the Celts. Lorcan finds his own tribe threatened by Roman domination. Not just his tribe, either, but the entire Celtic way of life. His talents as ambassador and his prowess as a warrior are put to the test, especially when he rescues the mysterious, nameless woman from a wild boar.

Distrust runs deep between Lorcan and Nara’s tribes, as deeply as it runs between them. But common enemies and an overwhelming attraction throw them together to try and find their footing in the current political quagmire.

Nancy Jardine has done an outstanding job seamlessly weaving their story into the history of that time. She captures the fear of having one’s home overtaken by foreigners, and the heat of falling into a love forbidden by all. Her use of language is exquisite and her writing style a joy to read.

If you like historical fiction, I can’t recommend this book enough. I haven’t been this taken with a story or an author in years.

When I Was A Child by T.L. Needham

It wasn’t until later in his life that author T.L. Needham began hearing stories about a lost aunt who had become a nun.  Intrigued by that, and wondering at the secrecy for all those years, Needham began digging into his family’s past, beginning in the 1920s and onward, in this nonfiction book.

The main character and Needham’s uncle, Louis Pfeiffer, finds himself as the last parachutist out of his plane on D-Day just before his plane is shot down, killing all on board.  The rest of his unit are captured by the Germans and interred in a POW camp.  The family’s story weaves in and out of that time as Louis recalls different events and different relatives.

Needham holds no punches in describing both the good and the bad in his family tree.  His grandfather was a bootleg bully.  His mother, “Jerry”, and Uncle Louis were sent to an orphanage for a time.  The family lost their farm during the 30s dustbowl and stock market crash.  Yet, through it all, Needham finds the silver lining, the soft touch, the kind heart that gives his family depth, character and grace.

This book is like a biography of an entire family, not just one person.  If you like human interest stories and accounts of how people survived almost impossible odds, I highly recommend this book.

“Loyalty Divided” by Francine Howarth

England is divided by civil war (1642 –1649), the Parliamentarians against the king.  The nobility living at Axebury Hall are also divided, Lord William Gantry against his son Morton.  Against this backdrop, Anna Maitcliffe, orphan of rank, and ward of Lord Gantry, in 1642, is all of 15 years old.  She is, at that age, typically spoiled, naive, self-centered and unable to know the truth when she hears it.  She would prefer to storm off in a pet of wounded pride than stay and work out problems.

Anna sets her eyes on Morton, but is convinced he loves another, Catherine Thornton.  When he joins the Parliamentarians after being banished from his home, Anna hears nothing from him in two years.  Lord William Gantry is determined to marry her to another man and, in her rejection of that person, throws herself at Lord Gantry, in spite of loving his son. Lord Gantry is more than happy to oblige her advances, since he has been widowed for two years, even though she is only 17 and he 41.

Through subterfuge, miscommunication, jealousy and war, these characters’ lives weave around each other, trying to find lasting love, both familial and romantic.

Francine Howarth is an intelligent author who writes with rich vocabulary and an appreciable understanding of that period in history.  I highly recommend this book if you like escaping to another place, another time for great adventure and steamy romance.

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“A Pirate’s Honor” by J.M. Aucoin

Justin brings his characters to life with just a few words.  They and their surroundings are easy to visualize.  He knows and loves his genre and it shows.  In this short story, pirate captain Jake Hawking moors his ship in the port town of Kingston and is immediately confronted by strange stares and whispers behind hands.  He’s familiar with Kingston; its residents are familiar with him.  So why this odd, standoffish reception?

When he discovers the reason, the murder of an old friend for which he is accused, he is faced with how to handle a situation that is meant to bring his death.  There is a lot of action in this well written story. as well as a twist at the end.  I highly recommend it for those who love tales of the sea.

“Welcome to Plainfield” by Shawn Weaver

I just finished reading “Welcome to Plainfield” by Shawn Weaver.  I give it 4 stars.  Below is my review.  You can pick up a copy on Amazon or B&N.

Shawn Weaver has a gift for the macabre, for ghost stories around the campfire that keep his listeners wide awake well past their bedtime.  He’s done it again with “Welcome to Plainfield.”  My only criticism is this book’s need for editing.  But that is more than made up for by the story itself, griping and well-paced.

Two friends, Kay and Anita, are amateur ghost hunters with their camcorders, digital voice recorders and EMF meter.  Interested in an old murder investigation, they stumble into a horror that repeats itself every twenty-five years.  People go missing, people get cannibalized.  Not just any people, either.  The SAME people—by the same deranged killer.  Fifty years later, he’s on the loose again, coming for them.  To say more would give it away.  But, if you’re not afraid of things that go ‘bump’ in the night, read this.  Go ahead.  I dare you.