On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Book Review: Thorns of a Reformation Rose by Jeanne Messick Loidolt

Cover

About the Book:

Five years old, frightened, lonely and confused, Jeanne faces a bleak future. Childhood is abruptly snatched away and she is robbed of any sense of security. When exploring her new ‘home’ she discovers an appalling Great Hall full of implements of torture and torment. Desolate, the vulnerable little Princess is seized with a spirit of despair. Overwhelmed with loss and abandonment, she has awakened in a horrible place, cold, bare and immense; permeated with a dark, heavy, mood. How can she face the coming days in this abysmal castle?

A historical novel about the realities of The French Reformation on the lives of the people during the 16th Century, the story traces the political maneuverings, and intrigues surrounding a five-year-old innocent child snatched from the security of her parents. She is ordered to an abandoned castle to be isolated and hidden away for grooming and education in preparation to become a future queen for the use and benefit of political greed for the mighty King of France, Françoise I.

At such a tender age, Jeanne d’Albret is an uncommon child. God blesses her with an incredible intellect, a royal bloodline strong in wisdom, discernment and queenly qualities. Embedded in her deep subconscious is an imperial intuition gleaned during her short time at the castle of her regal parents. Jeanne is a strong-willed child, stubborn and consumed with discerning truth at the foundation of every decision she makes. Given opportunities to search broad educational horizons and to explore the pros and cons of her own experiences, her growing-up years result in molding a strong-willed, compassionate woman scarred by mistreatment from others; nevertheless, independent and unflinching in her concern for her family, her kingdom and her stand for truth and moral authority amid the chaos of one of the most singularly terrible times of history. She emerges as a leader and defender of the French Huguenots during a pivotal movement of the 1500’s toward true worship.

After Jeanne’s death, France collapses in a morass of evil acts, persecutions and appalling inhumanity. Wave after wave of French nobles and leading producers of all kinds of goods denied an opportunity to worship as they deem right are forced to leave their lush estates, abundant wealth, and lifetime friends to flee for their lives among sheltering countries of Europe and eventually to a new land of promise across the oceans to America.

THIS POWERFUL QUEEN SURVIVES A HORRIBLE CHILDHOOD TO BECOME ONE OF THE LEADING DEFENDERS STANDING AGAINST PERSECUTION AND EVIL SWEEPING ACROSS FRANCE WITH VICIOUS INTENT TO DESTORY PROTESTANT HUGUENOTS OF THE REFORMATION MOVEMENT. KINGS OF SPAIN AND FRANCE ARE IMPELLED BY THEIR HATRED AND GREED TO JOIN FORCES WITH THE POPE AND HIS HEIRACHY IN A PLOT TO SCHEME A PLAN FOR THE DEATH OF THE QUEEN OF NAVARRE. THEIR MOST EVIL INTENTIONS ARE THWARTED AGAIN AND AGAIN BY THE MIGHTY HAND OF GOD.

My Review:

Princess Jeanne of Navarre isn’t a Disney princess who rides off into the sunset with her prince to live happily ever after. Jeanne d’Albret was born and bred to rule, and she ruled well, but at great cost. History is not my favorite subject, but Thorns of a Reformation Rose kept me turning pages from beginning to end. The author took the two-dimensional history from her extensive research and used her imagination to create a colorful, enthralling world where her characters lived, loved, cried, laughed, fought, won, and died. I recommend this novel to anyone who loves an epic tale of the drama of 16th century royalty that reveals all the flaws behind the pageantry.

About the Author:

Jean Loidolt Head ShotJeanne Loidolt lives in East Texas on a quiet, peaceful farm with her husband, Dick.  She is retired from a career as a legal administrative assistant in Dallas. Jeanne is a mother of three sons and a daughter. She enjoys staying in touch with ten grandchildren. She keeps busy in her church and her artistic passion is water color and oil painting, although her attention has been dedicated to writing “THORNS OF A REFORMATION ROSE.”  Of course, Jeanne has other ideas for more historical fiction stories.

Find the author at her website.

Buy the Book on Amazon

Blessings,

Linda

I Have News! | by Linda Brendle

Anaiah Press will release Mom’s Long Good-Bye: A Caregiver’s Tale of Alzheimer’s, Grief, and Comfort, my second memoir, on March 12. Here’s a little bit about the book:

Mom’s good-bye began with a red photo album and ended fifteen years later in a hospital bed in the Alzheimer’s wing of Southridge Village. This is her story and mine.

My first memoir, A Long and Winding Road, told of the chaos that happens when four people, two of whom have Alzheimer’s, spend fifty-three days in a forty-foot motor home. It also told of the years and the life experiences that brought these four people together. After finishing it, many readers asked what happened next. Mom’s Long Good-Bye is the rest of the story.

Based on blog posts written as the events happened, this memoir takes the reader through grieving a continuous loss, some of the initial changes Alzheimer’s causes, the transition from caregiving to assisted living, Dad’s death, Mom’s last year, and the grief and closure of her final good-bye.

This book is for the millions who have experienced the heartache of witnessing the physical and mental deterioration of a loved family member or a dear friend. Mom’s Long Good-Bye strips away the façade of being the perfect caregiver and gives the reader a look at the denial, the anger, and the fear that come as a loved one loses herself a piece at a time to an insidious disease. By sharing her own struggles, the author assures other caregivers that they are not alone, that perfection is not required, and that comfort is real.

The cover will be revealed soon. Watch for it!

Blessings,

Linda

Cover

Buy at Amazon

Facebook or Face to Face | by Linda Brendle

Published in the Rains County Leader on December 18, 2018:

FacebookI opened my Facebook account ten years ago when one of my friends sent me an invitation. I didn’t really know much about social networking, but my friend lured me in with the promise of pictures of her grandchildren. After looking at those sweet faces, I was hooked.

I was working on my first book at the time, and when I was told by those who know that it is imperative for the modern author to be active on social media, my future was set. A decade later, I am not only active on Facebook, but I also have a blog and accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and several other sites. (more…)

Book Review: Trouble in Tampa by Louise Titchener

Cover Trouble in Tampa

About the book:

 Currently a semifinalist for the Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Award for Best Historical Mystery of 2018, Trouble in Tampa is a thrilling look at the Wild South of Florida in 1885. An easy assignment for sharpshooter and ex-Pinkerton investigator, Oliver Redcastle, turns deadly. A wealthy Baltimore art collector sends an employee to Florida. When that man goes missing, the rich man hires Oliver to find him. Reluctantly, Oliver boards Henry Plant’s newly constructed train to Florida. At the end of the line he gets off in Tampa to find a swamp load of trouble. He’s betrayed by an old acquaintance, and by not one, but two passionate women. Oliver is railroaded into one of old Florida’s infamous turpentine camps. There he must use his sharpshooting skill to escape certain death. But that means a harrowing trek through miles of dangerous animals, dangerous people, and shocking intrigues. In Key West he meets female Pinkerton operative, Hannah Kinchman. She got him into trouble in Tampa. But Oliver has a soft spot for Hannah. Together they fight their way through kidnapping, treasure hunts, intrigue, and the beautiful but treacherous Florida Everglades. Will Oliver overcome the many hurdles blocking his way home? It won’t be easy!

Buy the book at Amazon 

 My review:

The title, Trouble in Tampa, is definitely an understatement in this historical novel about life – and death – in southern Florida during the late 1800s. Private detective Oliver Redcastle reluctantly leaves his ailing daughter with a trusted caregiver to undertake what he hopes will be a simple missing person inquiry. He eventually solves the case, but not before witnessing an assassination attempt, being falsely imprisoned in a hidden turpentine camp, barely escaping a shotgun wedding, being adopted by a parrot with an extremely broad vocabulary, undertaking a forced treasure hunt in the Everglades, and much more. In the beginning of the book, I was a little distracted by a style that seemed a little terse and colorless, but as Redcastle stepped off the train into the barely civilized south of Florida, the story burst into a colorful collage of unusual characters and intriguing plot twists that made it hard to put down. This was my first novel by Louise Tichener, but it won’t be my last.

About the author:

Louise Titchener Head ShotLouise Titchener is the author of over forty traditionally published novels in a variety of genres including romance, science-fiction-fantasy, and mystery. She has two published mystery series. The first is set in Baltimore and features Toni Credella, a dyslexic young woman determined to defend her sex against evildoers. The Oliver Redcastle historical series is set in the 1880’s and features a sharp shooter and ex-Pinkerton protagonist. The first two Redcastle mysteries take place in Baltimore where Louise spent many years. Trouble in Tampa is set in the area where Louise now lives with her philosophy professor husband. In addition to writing and reading she likes to kayak, admire the beautiful tropical birds in her neighborhood, and take long walks.

Facebook 

 Twitter 

Blessings,

Linda

Tatia’s Tattoo: How to pronounce her name (Video) | by Linda Brendle

 

Final_Tatia's Tattoo Cover trim size

Buy at

BookPros

Amazon

Barnes and Nobles 

Blessings,

Linda

#MysteryExchange Treasure Hunters #Romance + #Suspense by @Kris_Bock

Kris Bock’s Southwest Treasure Hunters novels mix action and adventure with romance. The stories explore the Southwest, especially New Mexico. Each novel stands alone, with a new main couple, and is complete, with no cliffhangers.

The Mad Monk’s Treasure

“Smart romance with an ‘Indiana Jones’ feel.”Twitter-MadMonk (2)

A legendary treasure hunt in the dramatic – and deadly – New Mexico desert…. Reviewers give it a 4.6 star average. Get this romantic adventure for only 99 cents or FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

 The lost Victorio Peak treasure is the stuff of legends – a heretic Spanish priest’s gold mine, made richer by the spoils of bandits and an Apache raider. When Erin, a quiet history professor, uncovers a clue that may pinpoint the lost treasure cave, she prepares for adventure. But when a hit and run driver nearly kills her, she realizes she’s not the only one after the treasure. And is Drew, the handsome helicopter pilot who found her bleeding in a ditch, really a hero, or one of the enemy?

“The story has it all – action, romance, danger, intrigue, lost treasure, not to mention a sizzling relationship….”

Get The Mad Monk’s Treasure on Amazon.

 

The Dead Man’s Treasure

The Dead Man’s Treasure is fast-paced and a perfect read for the weekend. I highly Twitter-DeadMans-smallrecommend this one.”

Rebecca Westin is shocked to learn the grandfather she never knew has left her a bona fide buried treasure – but only if she can decipher a complex series of clues leading to it. The hunt would be challenging enough without interference from her half-siblings, who are determined to find the treasure first and keep it for themselves. Good thing Rebecca has recruited some help.

Sam is determined to show Rebecca that a desert adventure can be sexy and fun. But there’s a treacherous wildcard in the mix, a man willing to do anything to get that treasure – and revenge.

Action and romance combine in this lively Southwestern adventure, complete with riddles the reader is invited to solve to identify historical and cultural sites around New Mexico.

“I can’t say enough how much I loved this book! It has mystery, adventure, danger, romance, and above it all family remains a huge theme.”

Get The Dead Man’s Treasure on Amazon – free with KU.

 

The Skeleton Canyon Treasure

“A wonderfully suspenseful light romantic read filled with the old Southwest, treasure, Twitter-SkeletonCanyoncharacters you’ll love and an amazing cat.”

Camille Dagneau – beautiful, brilliant, and prickly – isn’t quick to trust, especially when a strange man has broken into her machine shop at night. But Ryan MacAllister insists he’s merely looking for his missing uncle, who has disappeared while hunting for a lost treasure. He believes Camie is the key to finding the treasure, and his uncle. Camie can ignore the attraction she feels, but she won’t pass up the chance for an adventure.

The pair set off with Camie’s feisty cat Tiger to track down the clues in the missing man’s journal. Graveyards, steep cliffs, and creepy caves don’t intimidate Camie, but she’ll need to trust Ryan to overcome all the challenges that stand in their way. A man’s life is on the line and time is running out, but her heart may be the one thing Camie is not willing to risk.

“If you like strong women and adventure, you’re going to love this.”

“The Skeleton Canyon Treasure is a light, breezy action/adventure/romance that’s perfect for summer reading.”

Get The Skeleton Canyon Treasure on Amazon – free with KU.

 

Excerpt from The Mad Monk’s Treasure:

Among all the legends, all the fact and fiction, one story stood out. The Victorio Peak legend had it all. A Franciscan priest and a swindler. Torture, murder, a government cover-up. Where was the truth, among all the stories? Erin wanted to find out. Over time, and with Camie’s encouragement, she’d started to take the treasure hunt more seriously. It wasn’t so much for the treasure itself—that would most likely belong to the government or the landowners. But it would make her reputation, open up new job opportunities—change her life in ways she hardly dared dream.

She touched the book gently. The pages were falling out; she didn’t want to risk carrying it around. Instead, Erin snapped a picture of the petroglyphs with her phone. That would be enough to show Camie for now.

The timing was perfect; she just had to turn in grades and field a few tearful last-minute requests for extensions, and she’d be done for the semester. What better way to spend the summer, than hunting for buried treasure?

Erin shook her head. Who would’ve thought that she, the quiet, studious girl who’d spent her entire adult life in academia in one way or another, would be planning such an adventure?

Erin wheeled the bike around the front of her house and mounted. At the corner, she paused and looked both ways. The long frontage road was dangerously narrow, with a cement wall on one side and a ditch on the other. Fortunately, traffic was normally light, and at this time of day the road lay empty. Erin pushed off, still grinning from her find. She rode on the right side, by the ditch, instead of facing traffic, because it was just too frightening to ride alongside the wall when a car passed.

She’d gone a block when she heard the hum of a car engine as it pulled out from a side street behind her. She rode along the very edge of the pavement, even though the car would have plenty of room to pass her without oncoming traffic.

Erin glanced over her shoulder. The black SUV 20 feet behind her hadn’t bothered to pull out into the road at all. Jerk. When would drivers learn to share the road with bicyclists? Erin pulled onto the two-foot wide gravel strip between the pavement and the ditch. She couldn’t stop without risking a skid, but she slowed so the SUV could pass.

The engine roared. Erin glanced back again.

Black metal bore down on her. Her heart lurched and the bike wobbled. This guy was crazy! She whipped her gaze forward, rose up in the seat, and pumped the pedals with all her power, skimming along inches from the ditch. He was just trying to scare her. She’d get his license plate and—

She felt the bumper hit her back tire. The bike seemed to leap into the air, and she went flying. The dried mud and weeds of the ditch seemed to rise up to meet her.

She didn’t even have time to scream.

 

Kris Bock writes novels of suspense and romance with outdoor adventures and Kris Bock hikingSouthwestern landscapes. Whispers in the Dark features archaeology and intrigue among ancient Southwest ruins. What We Found is a mystery with strong romantic elements about a young woman who finds a murder victim in the woods. In Counterfeits, stolen Rembrandt paintings bring danger to a small New Mexico town.

Fans of Mary Stewart and Barbara Michaels will want to check out Kris Bock’s romantic adventures. “Counterfeits is the kind of romantic suspense novel I have enjoyed since I first read Mary Stewart’s Moonspinners.” 5 Stars – Roberta at Sensuous Reviews blog

Read excerpts at www.krisbock.com or visit her Amazon page. Sign up for the Kris Bock newsletter for announcements of new books, sales, and more.

Kris Bock Blog

Kris Bock on GoodReads

Kris Bock on Facebook

Kris Bock on Twitter

Kris Bock on Pinterest

Kris, thank you for a quick tour through your Southwest Treasure Hunters novels. I know many of my readers have added them to their to-be-read lists. Best of luck with them, and thanks again for stopping by.

Blessings,

Linda

 

Book Review: Mildred in Disguise: With Diamonds (Mildred Unchained Book 1) by Toni Kief

Mildred Cover

About the book:

Toni Kief, author of Old Baggage, is excited to introduce a new work of fiction – and another feisty older woman, Mildred Petrie.

Mildred Petrie expected a comfortable retirement.

Except her husband died and his secrets changed everything.

Desperate, she takes the only job available at the local gambling palace – undercover cop. Drug deals, armed robbery and a mole catapult her into excitement, danger and disguise.

Only Mildred can find the truth!

A breathless, page turner, in sensible shoes.

My review:

I love Mildred. Instead of a young, sexy main character, Toni Kief writes about a spirited septuagenarian who loves life, rock and roll, and desserts and is curious enough to get herself into all sorts of trouble. Walmart greeter? Not this lady! She gets a job as an undercover detective at a Las Vegas casino. She adopts several disguises to protect her identity, and her alter-egos are so believable that she finds herself in some very interesting situations and a few dangerous ones. Her life gets really complicated, and the story gets very entertaining. Toward the end, in order to tie up all the loose ends, the author does a bit too much telling instead of showing; however, I still look forward to reading another Mildred story in the near future.

About the author:

Toni Kief Head ShotToni Kief, a child of the 60s, Midwestern by birth, Northwestern by choice, Toni challenges the boundaries for women of a certain age. After a long career as an insurance adjuster, she fell into writing through a challenge from a friend. She has released her first book, Old Baggage, and recently followed with Mildred in Disguise: With Diamonds. There are three more in the grinder. Toni never dated Mick Jagger, but marched for civil rights, shared bread with icons of politics and art. She is spending her retirement, gathering stories prime for embellishment. Writing has taught her inspiration without perspiration is just a good idea.

Find the author at:

Amazon Author Page

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Buy it at Amazon

Blessings,

Linda

%d bloggers like this: