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Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

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

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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

Latest Review of Tatia’s Tattoo

kris morgan

March 12, 2019

Tatia’s Tattoo is one of the best books I have read this year. Ms. Brendle handles the horrors of human trafficking with honesty without being too graphic. Because of the subject matter I cannot say i enjoyed Tatia’s Tattoo, but I could not put it down, in fact at times I was moved to tears. If I had my way I would have all junior high students read this book to be aware of what dangers are out there. So grab a glass of mango iced tea, a box of tissues and settle in for an impressive read.
Blessings,
Linda
Final_Tatia's Tattoo Cover trim size
Available at Amazon

New Review of Tatia’s Tattoo

Final_Tatia's Tattoo Cover trim size

Latest review of Tatia’s Tattoo. Many thanks to Candace Hodges:

Take a look into the life and horrible series of events of Tatia, a 12 year old lost in the life of human trafficking. She was a survivor from birth, but her strength saw her through.

Emory is not far from the horrors of this life, as it is happening in Tyler and Dallas and probably many places in between.

This book, written by a beautiful woman in our church, will take you inside the horrors, make you cry, (I definitely cried many tears), have a few laughs and really make you take a look into yourself and your walk in faith. John and I couldn’t wait to read another chapter each day when we got home from work, and then had to fight hard to put it down when we knew we had to sleep. Excellent realistic fiction but educational to those who don’t realize just how bad the problem is.

For the Silent is an organization that helps get these young victims out of their situation. Consider donating to the cause.

Can’t wait for her next book in this series. Looks like it will be just as captivating.

BookPros https://www.bookpros.com/books/15

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Tatias-Tattoo-Linda-Brendle/dp/1945455829

Barnes and Nobles https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tatias-tattoo-linda-brendle/1128875122?ean=9781945455827

Blessings,

Linda

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.

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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

Book Review: The Chocolate Labradoodle Caper (Damien Dickens Mysteries Book 3) by Phyllis Entis

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Genre: Cozy Mystery

About the book:

A dodgy travel business
A journalist in danger
Tainted chocolates
Hotel/casino magnate Derek Turpin is flexing his muscles in Atlantic City. Even the cops are not immune to his influence. Can Damien and Millie thwart his unsavory plans?

My review:

The ChocolateLabradoodle Caper was my first venture into the world of Damien and Millie Dickens, but it won’t be my last. I very much enjoyed meeting the wide variety of characters created by Phyllis Entis and following their adventures. Dick and Millie, partners both in marriage and a detective agency, attempt to find out who tried to murder their journalist friend. In the process, they endanger their lives and their marriage and take the reader on a wild ride from the U.S. to Canada and back again. I want to go back and read the first two Damien Dickens Mysteries, and I look forward to future offerings from Entis.

About the author:

Phyllis EntisPhyllis Entis is the author of the Damien Dickens Mysteries series, which includes The Green Pearl Caper, The White Russian Caper and The Chocolate Labradoodle Caper. Her debut novel, The Green Pearl Caper, was a Library Journal SELF-e Selection. Phyllis is a free-lance writer and retired food safety microbiologist with degrees from McGill University and the University of Toronto. In 2007, ASM Press published her non-fiction book, Food Safety: Old Habits, New Perspectives.

Phyllis lives in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California with her husband and their Australian Cobberdog, Shalom. When she’s not writing, Phyllis usually can be found walking around town, browsing in the local library, or enjoying her garden.

Buy the book on AMAZON 

Where to find the author:

Amazon author’s page 

Facebook 

Twitter 

Website 

Blessings,

Linda

Book Review: Divine Intervention by Ica Iova

Cover Divine Intervention

About the book:

LUKE MARSHAL, a brilliant doctor and whole-hearted atheist, clings to the last dredges of a life shattered by grief when he meets EMMA COOPER, a gorgeous novelist, proud mother of 13-year-old SKYLER, and a true believer that no man – besides God – deserves her trust.

My review – 4 out of 5 stars:

Divine Intervention was a compelling book that was sometimes difficult to put down – at least in the beginning. Later on it began to slow a bit, but it ended well. The characters were well developed, evoking the proper emotional response for their situations, but the who’s who became a little confusing toward the end. The story was well-told, although it contained more romance and less mystery than I expected, and some of the New Age-ish theological was a little disconcerting to my conservative background. Still, I enjoyed Ms. Iova’s work and would not hesitate to recommend it to anyone looking for an entertaining read.

About the author:

Ica Iova Head ShotIca Iova is the author of several books–two of which are award winners. She Never Got To Say Goodbye, was one of the three winners at World’s Best Story, 2015, and Boundaries, was a finalist at WBS, 2014.

Member of Federation of B.C. Writers, Ica writes what she enjoys reading. In her novels, she brings to life powerful, gripping relationships and fascinating characters to whom readers can relate. Every one of Ica’s books reminds readers that life is precious, and that no one should waste it on insignificant things.

When Ica is not writing, editing, or marketing, she’s a proud wife, mother, and grandmother, with a substantial sense of humor. She loves spending time with her family and pets, shopping for shoes, or just lazing around with a good book.

Buy the book HERE

Where the find Ica Iova:
Website
Amazon Author Page
Facebook 

Blessings,

Linda

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