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Review of Meet me at the Gates by Kelly Wyre

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

Kelly Wyre enjoys reading and writing in all manner of fiction, ranging from horror to romance. She used to work in advertising but is now happily chained to her writing desk and laptop.

Kelly relishes the soft and cuddly and the sharp and bloody with equal amounts of enthusiasm. She’s a coffee addict, a workaholic, a chronic night owl, and loves a good thunderstorm. Currently  Kelly resides in southeastern United States.

Meet me at the gate is a story about the power of love. It follows the main character Hyacinth and her two friends Lynne and Adir. For most of her life, Hydee has had dreams about past her past lives. In each one, she meets her soul mate and figures how to live with or without him. In the present life, Hydee owns a store in her small community called the Silver Fox. Her soul mate is a successful movie star named Theodore Monk.

Hydee tried several times to get close enough to Theo to introduce herself and meet him, but wasn’t successful. As time kept going, Hydee began to lose faith in herself and the dreams. She thought that she wouldn’t be able to reconnect with Theo and it was becoming too much of a strain on her. In a huge cosmic coincidence, Theo runs away from his celebrity life in California and walks into Hydee’s store. Hydee shifts gears to help Theo with his life issues and guide them to love.

The two quickly fall into a comfortable habit. They notice how at ease they make each other and how the situation could change. Lynne and Adir keep Hydee grounded as she works things out with Theo. As with nearly everything in life, the good times come to an end. Theo’s girlfriend and assistants find him and throw the entire process off track.

By the end of the book and their lifetime, Theo comes to understand the power of love and decision.  He states, “[Hydee] Saved my life by showing me that the path to happiness is through my own choices.” I love this statement. In many ways, I feel it was the dominating theme of the story. One thing that I would’ve like to see more of though is character development. Theo was the only person who was flawed and constantly making changes. Hydee seemed to be the one who was relatively perfect. When people in the story learn from their experiences, I grow more attached to them. While the lack of learning didn’t hinder the storyline, it would have made it more compelling for other characters.

All-in-all I think this was a great book. The concept of soul mates and reoccurring love was interesting. I connected with both Hydee and Theo on different accounts. While the situation was playing out, I felt a sense of depth and willingness to sacrifice. It’s as powerful idea that few people understand and even fewer experience. Maybe my time will come but until then, Meet Me At The Gate will have to suffice as the love that I strive to achieve.

More information about Kelly Wyre at: http://www.kellywyre.com

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Review of A Jealous Heart by Ester Byrt

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 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/

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Review of Diamonds Fall by Rebecca M. Gibson

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

REVIEW BY CARLTON ROLLE

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

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Review of A Decent Bomber by Alexander McNabb

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 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

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

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 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.

http://www.twitter.com/Jeff_Edis

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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

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Review of An Empire of Traitors by Serban Valentin Constantin Enache

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 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/