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Review of The Secret of Sinbad’s Cave by Brydie Walker Bain


If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

Brydie Walker Bain is a playwright, poet, and children’s author. She studied History and Theatre & Film at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and furthered her studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Brydie’s plays have enjoyed readings in London and sell out audiences in Auckland, Hamilton, and Waitomo.

The story follows the life of Nat Sheppard and her family in New Zealand. At the beginning of the school holiday, Nat and her siblings Jack and Kathleen discover a hidden room in the family house. The room contains a letter and maps with the location of the fabled Sinbad’s treasure. In their search, the kids come across others that are professional treasure hunters. These people are willing to do whatever they have to do in order to get money from their loot. With both groups being aware of each other, the rush to get the treasure is on! Nat, Jack, and Kathleen were even more motivated to find the treasure to protect their farm being sold off. It’s a very endearing situation for the characters.

I loved the way the book was written. It wasn’t too heavy or difficult of a situation to comprehend. Many times, I was hoping that the kids would get everything and more they wanted. It felt like Bain took the time to really craft the imagery of these kids and the landscapes of their adventure. My least favorite aspect of the book was that there was more to the plot that could have been worked out. Then again, that may be the entire purpose of the series is to have the reader continue on to find out what completely happens. One thing that was a little frustrating about reading was some of the names used. I didn’t know what they meant, and would be left with context or not knowing at all. It wasn’t until I got to the end that I saw there was a short glossary of reference words. I appreciate the cultural reference to the Maori though. It’s insightful and gives greater depth to the entire story behind the treasure.

It’s exhilarating to be a part of a treasure hunt. When it’s woven into family history and future, the kids have no choice but to be drawn by the thrill and hope. This is a good travel adventure book. With so much of it occurring in a cave, it’s cool to see the action happen in a different space. This is great for the youth to be able to read and have really fun imaginative stories. Because of this, I’d be interested in seeing what the next book Brydie Bain writes. If you’re looking for your inner youth, while reading, give The Secret of Sinbad’s Cave a read.

More can be learned about Brydie Walker Bain at www.facebook.com/brydiewalkerbain

Review of Next Of Sin by Lisa J Gordon

If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

Reviewed by Carlton Rolle


Lisa Jacqueline Gordon is an author who loves to write with freedom and originality.  Entertainment and characters who are out of the ordinary excite her. Lisa loves sports, adores politics, thrives among people, practices astrology and is a big advocate of democracy and fair trials/justice. Lisa is from Johannesburg and attended St. Mary’s; then Sandown High. She studied BCom Law at Witwatersrand University before coming to do a BSc. Ind. Economics at Warwick University in England. Lisa studied Chartered Accounting with the ICAEW, but her passion is entertaining.  Lisa vlogs about astrology and Indie Publishing and she is also a firm believer in the power of diet in physical and mental health. Lisa studied astrology with the London Faculty of Astrological Studies.


Next of Sin is an intense psychological thriller. The story follows the main character Gaby Butler. Gaby is hunted by a reoccurring dream from her childhood. In an attempt to work out the situation, Gaby ends up working through much more then she intended to. Gaby realizes that there is a serial killer potentially very close to her. Being as careful as possible, Gaby conducted research to confirm what she suspected. Each clue or contact is another step toward justice and the killer.


Gaby decides to inform her sister Megan and together they hire a detective to do more searching for evidence. While Gaby and Megan search for clues, the killer catches onto them and attempts to stop the entire investigation. The two sisters are involved in a fatal accident leaving the family in peril. With recovery time, Gaby’s memories began to return to her. She had a short period of time to act before the killer struck again. Gaby and her new allies work tirelessly to bring justice to the families affected by the entire situation as it unravels.


I really enjoyed this book. It took a while for me to warm up to it and get a handle on what was happening. Once I did understand, it was intense. I connected with Gaby and her allies. Some points I felt incredibly protective over the entire team. Other times, I wondered what traps lay ahead for them. The story had a deep effect on me. I wanted the best for the characters in the story and hoped things would be smooth. Yet with almost every shade of life, the good things or luck don’t last too long.


This brings me into my favorite aspects of the book. There were several issues that were influencing characters and the story. Trust, misunderstanding, identity, communication, and love were all highly fought factors. I appreciate the way Gordon introduced these topics causing characters and readers to reflect on their values. Some people were really open and willing to take an internal look at themselves. While others that had no desire to change or wouldn’t even properly acknowledge a situation. It was a very touching to see characters have internal strife, reflection, and growth.


Next of Sin is a compelling story that keeps readers in its bone chilling grip. If you’re in need of a dark adventure filled with death, secrets, and crime investigation, check it out!


More information about Lisa Gordon: https://lisalazuli.com



Review of A Jealous Heart by Ester Byrt

 If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

Reviewed by Carlton Rolle


Ester Byrt lives in Canada with her husband and two yappy but loveable sheltie dogs. She has worked as a bartender, bookkeeper, computer technician, graphic designer, and web designer.


‘A Jealous Heart’ follows the life of two main characters. Jackie is a widow of two years working a youth center. One of her charges, Danielle, is in need of a place to stay. Jackie contacts Danielle’s uncle, Mark in an attempt to have him care for her. Mark quickly learns Danielle’s situation and decides to have her move in with him.


Mark works on the town’s oil field. He is intrigued by Jackie when they first meet. After deciding to take Danielle, Mark reaches out to Jackie to get some tips on raising a teenager. While somewhat successful in taking the information, he became more enamored with Jackie. After a couple lite lunches and dates, Mark and Jackie gain feelings for one another. One night, while Jackie is alone, the room temperature suddenly drops and electronics turn on and off by themselves. One evening, after a romantic date, Mark and Jackie come back to her place. They both witness the strange occurrences.


Jackie believes that she is being haunted by her deceased husband Kevin. He was very jealous and aggressive when he was alive. The incidents become more and more apparent. Voicing her opinion to Mark, they decide on the next option to get rid of the hindering ghost. Together they go to a tarot reading and have a medium come to the house. The most useful information though came unexpectedly from Danielle. She helped guide Mark and Jackie into what she thought they could do to get rid of the ghost. With strong intentions and plenty of love, Mark and Jackie eventually exorcise Kevin’s ghost from their lives.


While Byrt does a nice job making sure the story sticks to the plot, I think there were several parts in the story that could have been fleshed out better. At some points, I felt the scene was rushed. There could have been greater detail in the situations. For instance, adding further to the hot and steamy emotions that were happening between Jackie and Mark. Or work could have expanded on the cold and dangerous feelings emanating from Kevin’s ghost. Overall though, I felt everything mentioned in the book was relevant and connected.


This book shows the length that some people are willing to take in the name of love. ‘A Jealous Heart’ is a decent read if you’re looking for romance and a dash of sci-fi.


Visit Esther Byrt at: http://estherbyrt.ca/


Review of Diamonds Fall by Rebecca M. Gibson

 If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.


Rebecca M. Gibson grew up in Cornwall, UK surrounded by plenty of inspiration. She has always had an interest in stories ever since writing ghost stories on her mom’s computer. Gibson studied at Aberystwyth University and obtained a psychology degree. When researching World War One, Gibson became fascinated by the poems and letters written during the time period. She wanted to understand the complexity and strength of human character. Armed with that intensity, Gibson channeled it in the hardship that her character’s encounter.

Diamonds Fall is a story revolving around a young woman named Annabel Hoddington. Annabel comes from a hierarchical family and wealthy lifestyle. On the day of her 18th birthday, she plans to announce her coming-of-age and marriage to another prestigious family. Shortly before the ceremony begun Annabel snuck off into the woods to have some time alone. After entering the seemingly majestic forest, Annabel is attacked and abducted by a group of men.

As Annabel is taken further away from her home, she is humiliated and abused. She eventually finds herself isolated inside a horse stable. Tending to her was the stable boy Billy and his sister Patsy. Annabel grasps that she is in a tiny village. As she realizes more about the situation, she learns more of her captors Tom and Trevor. With time, the three find comfort and companionship within each other. They grow to have the same common enemies.

Annabel was tested on every level to rise above her circumstance. Gibson gives the reader a clear understanding to the mindset that Annabel was in. She had to change most of her behaviors and thoughts in order to survive in the village. While intense and difficult at times, Annabel finds a way to overcome whatever obstacle is put in her way. From a mental perspective, it is interesting to look at the change that one would undergo is exposed to the situation. The story highlights the good, bad, and neutral parts of life. It also shows the interconnectedness of these variables and how strong relationships or bonds are formed.

There were a couple of things that didn’t quite make sense to me. At the beginning of the story, readers are introduced to Annabel’s way of life. It would have made for stronger character development if there was more detail in her life before the abduction. Readers are left most guessing at the lifestyle that Annabel and her family had. Another scene that was odd was the forested area that Annabel was taken, it seems sketchy or too convenient. The area was relatively close to her living quarters. Considering the importance of the day and the degree of attack, I expected someone to hear her or more information on those that were searching for Annabel.

Overall Gibson does an amazing job creating scenes that are beautifully detailed and captivating. There were instances where I felt as if I was locked in the stable with Annabel and others. The level of expression literally took my breath away. The story was laid out in a way that made it easy for the reader to follow along and fall into the dialogue. We find that Annabel ultimately learned to accept life with whatever the situation presents. It truly goes to show that nothing is guaranteed in life.

Learn more about Rebecca Gibson


Review of A Decent Bomber by Alexander McNabb

 If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

Reviewed by Carlton Rolle

Alexander McNabb has been travelling around and working in the Middle East for almost 30 years. Formerly a journalist and magazine publisher, he spends his time advising companies on communications strategies, focusing on digital media and online publishing. When he’s not writing books, he’s posting half-thoughts and snippets on his blog, Fake Plastic Souks. Alexander’s first published book was a comedy thriller in 2002. From there, he wrote books specific to his knowledge of the Middle East.

‘A Decent Bomber’ – is set in Ireland and the UK. Pat O’Carolan has worked for the last 20 years as a farmer on his family’s plot of land. One day, he is forced into his past profession as a bomb-maker. Pat is given instructions to pick up cache and make bombs for his past organization, known as IRA.

Once the process begun, Pat’s visiting niece Orla was kidnapped by the new group to ensure that he would cooperate with them. The leader seems to be a Somali terrorist turned extortionist known as The Accountant. This was a warning, among other subtle things to Pat showing that the group of people were not from his own organization. Taking matters into his own, he killed the men watching him and rescued his niece. Together the two sought to trace the men who had the bombs.

Pat left clues in the bombs and so that the police would be able to notice the situation and follow accordingly. With intentions of setting a bomb off every couple days, the new group made a ransom to the government. When the first bomb was discovered, it lead the police to follow the same clues as to who the terrorist cell was.

Pat realized that the terrorists were using information gathered from his old team to be able to secure weapons and materials for bombs. He attempted to connect with various buddies that were still alive to get information or protect them, but many times he was too late. Pat had to ensure that he was ahead of the police so that he wouldn’t be caught.

McNabb brings many nuances and messages to light within this book. He shows the brutally and psychological scars of terrorism. In many cases, the innocent ones are effected most. A lot of people involved in the story, had layers of pain and guilt that stemmed from the broad effects of terrorism. Those who survive violent attacks are left with memories and scars that can never be healed. This really hit home for me and allowed me to further connect with the characters and the story.

McNabb combined action and crime investigation skills into a suspenseful story. He delves into love, family-ties, karma, LGBT, and cultural issues without steering too far away from the main story line. I enjoyed reading this book. ‘A Decent Bomber’ is a fast-paced story that sure to keep many readers involved until the very last page.

You can find more about Alexander McNabb here


Review of The Guide To Creating Unique And Unusual Baby Names by Jeff Edis

 If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

Reviewed by Carlton Rolle

Jeff Edis was born and raised in Perth, Western Australia. He is currently a music producer having recently completed production of the lounge, chillout album “Galactic Lounge” by The Midnight Wookiee Combo. His first book, The Guide to Creating Unique and Unusual Baby Names, created a stir when released in 1990, and went on to sell thousands of copies worldwide.

The Guide to Creating Unique and Unusual Baby Names is a short book with ideas for creating baby names. Edis presents a list of names using methods that are mentioned. He then gives a brief description of how to create or find names yourself. Some cases, I thought were an interesting way to create new names.

Name crossing is the act of taking two people’s names and blending them together. This method has the most potential to me. It literally is a merger of people, why not merge their names as well! Three part syllable connection composes names using base syllables and allows a person to be able to specify sounds they would like in a name. This method could create some really unique sounding names due to spelling based on syllables. Change of spelling is a technique that rearranges the letters in a name to create a different name.

There are several chapters that use different means to be able to have a name. Flipping through magazines, atlas, and other printed publications are areas that people can utilize. While it is something to note, I think there are too many cases of this in the book. It’s common for people to do that, thus I feel it isn’t necessary to mention this media often. These are all essentially the same method.

One thing that stuck out to me is that the book is tailored to future parents. While understandably so, it is fairly limiting to its audience. Parents will utilize this book only during the naming process and discard it afterwards. Whereas if geared towards others like writers, there’s more potential for the book to be used.

All-in-all this is a decent book to check out if you’re in the market for names.



Review of Nine-Tenths of the Law by Glenn Mitchell

 If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

Reviewed by Carlton Rolle 

Glenn H. Mitchell studied journalism and scriptwriting before producing and writing programs for the ABC, Foxtel, and SBS. In addition to his first novel, ‘Nowhere’, Mitchell has written science fiction, horror, and literary fiction for magazines. Most recently this was seen in The J.J. Outré Review and Crack the Spine Literary Magazine. 

Nine-tenths of the Law takes place out in the suburbs of Australia. It is a story revolving around the criminal case of police officer, Ben. When called in to his first homicide, Ben and his partner T.J. come across a gruesome scene. A person has been murdered with blood and entails all over the place. Ben and T.J. are left to find out what happened and who did it.  

While exploring the house, T.J. becomes ill and increasingly gets worse. The two contact the rest of the Lecanto family. They keep to themselves in the neighborhood. But occasionally work with people performing a service. This was the case for the Lecantos. 

The following day, T.J. calls out of work and ends up taking a medical leave. Ben is assigned a new partner for the case called Megan or Megs. The new duo start interviewing members of the family and suspects in the case. The case and details are centered on Anthony Perugino and his family. Anthony is the CEO of a company that many people in the town are connected to. 

Ben and Megs interview Anthony, his wife Melissa, the house handyman Mitch, and Anthony’s business partner Claire Haskell. While some of their stories fit together, much of it doesn’t. Most of them are not being forthright with information. After a while, readers find that there is a complex story behind the Perugino family. Anthony believes that he is being haunted by the ghost of his childhood girlfriend. The girl Alice, has made appearances throughout the last 30 years of Anthony’s life. Through the various interviews, small details begins to add up and take form. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Mitchell did a great job creating a story with a strong plot and kept it interesting. You didn’t know what was going to happen nor how anything was connected. I really connected with Ben’s character. Mitchell showed the good/bad side of being a cop and how it affected his relationships. It also played a huge role in Ben’s outlook on life. Mitchell also displayed emotion that came through Ben’s character. While the story was solid all the way through, I wasn’t expecting the ending to be so sudden and open-ended. 

‘Nine-tenths of the Law’ is a great crime/mystery story with a paranormal twist. The book had my spine tingling until the last page.  

More information on Glenn Mitchell can be found at: www.glennhmitchell.com


Review of An Empire of Traitors by Serban Valentin Constantin Enache

 If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

Review by Carlton Rolle

  Serban Valentin Constantin Enache was born on March 25, 1989 in Bucharest, Romania. He is licensed in journalism and is the creator of the Of Hate And Laughter series. His interests are: MMT (modern monetary theory), politics, history, literature, television, movies, games, and music (from epic soundtracks to gothic metal).

An Empire of Traitors is the first book in a series titled Of Hate and Laughter. It’s a story about a far off land and its inhabitants. The land is split into five different realms, each of which is governed by noble families of the area. All together the empire is ruled over by royal blood known as the Sun Born. All families seek to gain honor and fortunes. Some are loyal and honorable to the throne and oaths that they have taken. Other members are willing to do whatever it takes to gain more power.

The story takes place eight years after a severely bloody civil war between the Empire’s Inquisition and a worshipper of blood gods known as Zygar Ferus. The Sun Born emperor, Hagyai Rovines Mero, is worried about the progression of his blood line through his son. The emperor sends a named Sycarus to a far off land to re-ignite an ancient custom of marrying with Desertland people known as Aharo. As people in the empire discover the emperor’s plans, dissention begins to spread wide. Being pre-occupied with his own thoughts, he fails to notice and act on the treachery that is spreading in his realm. From another distant land his exiled brother, Amarius Soronius decides to conquer the throne and take back his seat as the emperor of the land.

With the aid of several nobles, Amarius returns to the empire. He locks his brother in a prison cell and takes the crown for himself. He begins to settle debts and honor those that assisted him. While things seem to work out in the aftermath, the tidal wave of dissent is fully in motion.

In another part of the empire, a woman of the holy faith named Drakanes witnesses the lies and deceit of people in power. She witnesses a falsehood of a public trail and decides to defend the man. After a grueling argument and trail by battle, Drakanes wins. She is honored by moving up in the ranks of the holy faith. In her new seat of power, she learns of even more treachery as her life is placed on the line again.

The story also takes points of interest in the Northlands. This area is ruled by Kalafar Sodomis. While him and his brother act accordingly for their family, they notice the change of the lands in the South with the emperor. Weighing on the side of caution, the family decides to wait further to see the outcome of the war. In the midst of handling affairs, past deeds of other lords come to the forefront and the Warden of Northlands must take action or justice.

One quote that stood out to me that encompasses the storyline (and much of “real life” as well) is “All the world’s a stage; a stage of actors, jugglers dancers, singers, storytellers. And the puppeteers are neither gods, nor kings, nor priests but simple men, wicked men, insidious and cruel, liar and sweet talkers. The stage is made through the toil of sheep. The sheep are kept in place, in part by shepherds, in part by wolves – and all of them are dogs. Golden fleeces adorn the outside of the stage, while the slaughter happens at the back, behind the curtains, under the loudness of music and cheer, whispers and shouts.”

As the plot unfolds for the various characters, my emotional balance and thoughts towards characters shifted. The book is in the same category of Game of Thrones. In some cases, maybe a little too similar. Nonetheless, it is an interesting book. If you are in need of a good read with a lot of twists, politics, and battle, I recommend reading An Empire Of Traitors and find out the depths in which people are willing to travel in the name of honor and power.

Check out more from the author at his site: http://serbanvcenache.blogspot.ro/


Review of Growing Pains: Kendra’s Diaries by KP Smith

 If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

Reviewed by Carlton Rolle

K.P. Smith loves to read. It was the love for reading that ignited her passion to write. When not reading and writing Smith occupies her time with hobbies. She loves football, basketball, tennis, golf yeah basically all sports. Smith also enjoys watching TV, specifically soap operas. These are enjoyable and a perk also helps her creative thinking/writing process. The only thing better than watching her favorite shows is watching it with millions of others via Twitter!! Smith is a professed social media junkie but it can’t replace some good old conversation.

“Growing Pains; Kendra’s Dairies” is a story following the life of a girl named Kendra Foster. Kendra lives with her parents and little sister in New Orleans, Louisiana. The family has their share of struggles and attempts to keep going. Finances are the biggest stressor for the family. Relationships and change are the main focus of Kendra’s life.

The author weaved different relationships in the novel. Much like life, everyone had their own issues. These relationships influenced Kendra differently. Kendra’s relationship with her mom was important. While a burden at some points, other times it created a sense of understanding. Interacting with her father was awkward or at times extremely difficult. The aggression and frustration between the parents was impactful as well. Kendra’s relationships with her grandparents is also a significant part in family dynamics.

Kendra was protective and comforting to her sister. The reverse was also true. The sisters helped each other get through turmoil in the house. When it came to life outside the house, Kendra relied on Katrina to be a support system. They bonded through school, cheerleading, boys, and family strife. All of these relationships created more stress and eventual growth on Kendra.

The book also touched on prejudice within the Black community. While not necessarily a prime factor in their family, it was an issue that came out through several characters. I appreciated the various topics that were mentioned in the story. Smith introduced topics like: emotions, finances, love, self-worth, gender norms, race, death, divorce, and confidence. In some ways, I wish Smith would have elaborated greater detail in the situations. Yet in other ways I understand giving room for thought for the readers.

“Growing Pains” gives people a chance to be empathic to others. It was mentioned a couple times how Kendra came to see people in her life from a different perspective. While it is clear that this book is geared at the youth, I believe it to be important for adults as well. This is a way of showing how the actions of older generations affect the younger generations; including the seemingly small things and life-changing events.

Strong messages are present throughout the story. You get a sense that “hard work pays off” and “If at first you don’t succeed, try again.” The story ultimately left me feeling conscious of my actions and appreciative. All that glitters isn’t gold. You must find a way to navigate and appreciate your life.

Follow K.P. Smith on Twitter


Review of Micro Stories for a Hectic World by Edward Meiman

 If interested in discovering a new book to read? Check out my review and more at Ingrid Hall.

Review by Carlton Rolle 

Edward Meiman was born in Louisville, Kentucky in 1964. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Dayton in 1987 and received a Master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from George Mason University. He has lived in Louisville, KY; Dayton & Chillicothe, OH; Detroit, MI; Madison, WI; and Metro Washington, DC. Mr. Meiman has worked in Horse Racing, Paper Production, Industrial Chemical Production, Industrial Equipment Manufacturing, Landscape Architecture, Behavioral Research, Government Consulting, and IT Development. His jobs have let him travel throughout most of the United States and to over 10 countries. His writings have included both creative and technical.

Micro Stories for a Hectic World, brings together many of the wide-ranging experiences and ideas he has gathered throughout his life. The novel is presented as short stories. The stories are made up of seven genres: Humor, Slice of Life, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Horror, Action and Adventure, and Different Perspective. All of the genres had interesting pieces that stood out to me.

“Always Archive What is Important To YOU” sheds light on a man named Martin Queiroz and his behavior of keeping a digital copy of all of his professional life. It opens the door to the legacy that people leave.

“Heavenly Strings” captures the story of a violist looking for a place to fit into the world. He travels through several areas to eventually finding a new home.

“The Dragon’s Tooth” puts you right in the middle of the action. A team of skilled fighters are battling a dragon.

“Night World” is a story about how people adapted to life on a rouge planet with no home sun. A narrative was from a tourist perspective of two major cities on the planet, Daybreak (known for its artificial Sun and paranoia culture) and Dreamscape (people who have gained heighted senses from their loss of sight).

“Their Time” was a story of the last moments of several people’s lives. A major earthquake struck off of the coast of San Diego, California and caused one of the largest and deadliest tsunami in history.

“Broaching the subject” delved into the guns-blazing version of Mr. and Mrs. Smith. A criminal team cased their next place to rob. When they arrived, the team fell into a battle with a mysteriously strong female.

“The Dark Pool of Desire” is a letter sent from a man to his sister. In the letter, the man gives his farewell as he decides to kill himself after fulfilling his life’s destiny.

What’s even more interesting about most of these stories, is that they can be used as a mental or writing prompt. Some off the stories provide fresh insight into a different territory. I appreciated this book. Like many other people, Meiman seeks to make sense of everyday living, or just get away, either way it is “Cool” to me. This book is great for someone that doesn’t want to spend too much time searching for an interesting read. All of the stories are short and meaningful.

For more information on the book and the author, visit: http://www.meiman-ed.com/microstories