Rosie’s Book Review Team (RBRT) – Booklist

 

Fireflies And Chocolate by Ailish Sinclair (188 pages) arc now for April 1st publication

Fireflies and Chocolate by [Ailish Sinclair]

Elizabeth craves adventure… excitement… love…

For now though, she has to settle for a trip from her family’s castle, to the port in Aberdeen, where her father has promised she’ll be permitted to buy a horse… all of her own.

Little does she suspect this simple journey will change her life, forever. And as she dreams of riding her new mount through the forests and glens of the Manteith estate, she can have no idea that she might never see them again.

For what lies ahead is danger, unimagined… and the fearful realities of kidnap and slavery.

But even when everything seems lost, most especially the chance of ever getting home again, Elizabeth finds friendship, comfort… and that much prized love, just where she least expected it.

Set in the mid eighteenth century, Fireflies and Chocolate is a story of strength, courage and tolerance, in a time filled with far too many prejudices.

Genre: Historical romance

Format: Mobi / e-pub

This is Us: Black British Women and Girls (272 pages)

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This is Us is a collection of poetry and prose by Black British women and girls aged 4 to 86. With over 100 pieces, the book ties together the lives of women across generations to capture a lifetime of lived experience.

Collected by Kafayat Okanlawon from strangers, acquaintances, friends and family, the stories here are more than words on paper; they are a representation of resistance, freedom and sisterhood.

Genre: Poetry and Prose

Format: Mobi

The Cotillion Brigade: A Novel of the Civil War and the Most Famous Female Militia in American History by Glen Craney (590 pages)

The Cotillion Brigade: A Novel of the Civil War and the Most Famous Female Militia in American History by [Glen Craney]

Georgia burns.
Sherman’s Yankees are closing in.
Will the women of LaGrange run or fight?

Based on the true story of the celebrated Nancy Hart Rifles, The Cotillion Brigade is a sweeping epic of the Civil War’s ravages on family and love, the resilient bonds of sisterhood amid devastation, and the miracle of reconciliation between bitter enemies.

Genre: Histfic

Format: Mobi

Wild Shadow: A Sweet Paranormal Romance by Martha Dunlop  (288 pages)

Wild Shadow : A Sweet Paranormal Romance by [Martha Dunlop]

Only Dylan can see the tiger. Is it real? His muse? Or something else entirely? 

Dylan wants to launch a solo music career and move out of the flat he shares with his old school friends, but he feels trapped by his life in Wildley Forest Village. When a mysterious artist catches his eye and a white tiger starts appearing only to him, Dylan finally feels things changing. But is this apparition all in his imagination, or is something more magical happening?

Tabitha moved to Wildley Forest to paint the tigers at the zoo. A reclusive young artist with a big reputation, she protects her privacy fiercely. Nobody knows her biggest secret: When she paints, she astral projects and her awareness walks as a white tiger. People don’t usually see her tiger form, but then she encounters Dylan and her defences begin to crumble.

Dylan’s friends aren’t keen on the new girl and the tiger keeper at the zoo wants Tabitha’s attention for himself. But as the tiger walks, change becomes inevitable for everyone. Can Dylan and Tabitha find their way to love? And will the truth unite them or will it tear them apart?

Genre: Paranormal romance

Format: Mobi or epub

Survival (Part 1 of a trilogy) by Chris Wright (244 pages)

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It was just a normal week for Danny. At least it was, until Olivia disappeared. His friends have no memory of her, leaving Danny to start doubting his sanity. Did he imagine her? Was she ever real? One by one, his friends become hunted by something terrifying and Danny is helpless to stop it. What follows is a mind-bending chain of events that cast Danny’s view of the world into question, as he struggles to survive, all the while questioning what his reality really is.
What starts out as a Mystery/Horror soon flips into inventive Science-Fiction.

Genre: Horror scifi

Format: mobi / epub

When Murder Comes Home by Shana Frost (209 pages)

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A solitary inn in the Scottish Highlands welcomes ten new guests. But when one turns up murdered in his own bed and the other dangles over the windowsill, all hell breaks loose. Then a mysterious heirloom goes missing. Who is responsible?

Introverted yet brilliant (former) accountant Aileen Mackinnon needs to figure out whodunnit and save her grandmother’s inn from ruin. But when someone steals a family heirloom from the safe and her guests start to drop dead, her mission gets tougher by the minute.

One-man-show Detective Inspector Callan Cameron finally has a murder to solve, but these ten new guests are not who they seem to be. Can he join forces with the new innkeeper and stay sane?

Aileen and Callan venture into a world of bloody murders, deception, and heists. The tension is high, so is the heat. They might not always see eye to eye, but can they agree: whodunnit?

Genre: Crime fiction, Amateur Sleuth

Format: Mobi / e-pub

In The Shadow of Ruin by Tony Debajo

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Set in ancient Nigeria, Jide Adelani is the king of the most renowned tribe in the lands that claim to trace their lineage directly from the gods. His reign is threatened by his half-brother, Olise, whose mother is known to belong to a cult of witches.

Jide is forced to abandon his morality and seek support from men of the underworld, at the risk of provoking the wrath of the deities, to save his kingdom. Jide’s three sons, separated by their city in flames, are hunted by Olise, as he sweeps through the war-ravaged lands, purging it of the remnants of Jide’s fading alliances.

Each of Jide’s sons’ destinies is irrevocably altered by the events they bear witness to. Their journeys are beset with mystery, treachery and the unseen hands of the capricious gods, and take them across diverse and hostile landscapes, while their father fights to preserve what little of his legacy and dignity remain to him.

Genre: West African Mythology

Format: Mobi / e-pub

Kings, Conquerors, Psychopaths: From Alexander to Hitler to the Corporation by Joseph N. Abraham (336 pages)

Conquest is murder and theft.
Conquerors are vicious criminals.
Vicious criminals become kings.
Kings designed civilization.

We are the products of civilization.

Right wing populists increasingly draw attention around the globe, but the attention is misdirected. The real problem is not the authoritarian leader, but the blinkered supporters who unquestioningly follow him. Without them, the despot is irrelevant.

Why do we attach ourselves to demagogues and mountebanks? Why do we defend even their most obvious hypocrisies and lies?

The answer lies in the roots of civilization. Despite our romantic traditions, monarchs were never wise, just, nor generous. Even the briefest review of history shows that, without exception, kings were the most vicious psychopaths, narcissists, and sadists who ever lived.

And the only path for survival in the ancient world required unquestioningly obeying— and blindly believing— anything the king said.

Genre: Political history

Format: Mobi / e-pub

Star Eater by Kitty Shields (Arc now for April 6th publication) 324 pages

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Enter a different kind of L.A., where mobsters are daemons, high school students are possessed, and frozen yogurt is the first step to solving every problem.

Kai is possessed by his demon, Akuma, and has been for eleven years. And for eleven years he’s managed to keep that tidbit of information a secret. His parents think the strange side effects of having a pet demon are due to a physical disability, but boy and demon have reached a happy equilibrium, and leaving Kai’s parents in the dark is essential to that.

Life is, well, not grand but serviceable until a mobster recognizes Kai and Akuma for what they are, and he needs their power to break out a very dangerous criminal. As Kai gets sucked into the supernatural underground, he finds that the mob knows more about his demon than he does and what he doesn’t know is very, very dangerous.

As Kai and Akuma try and navigate through the sea of other monsters in the dark, they have to do it while pretending to be the most mysterious creature of all: a normal teenager.

Genre: Ya urban fantasy

Format: mobi / epub

Ever rest by Roz Morris (Arc now for June 21st publication)

In 1994, 19-year-old Elza Jones receives the devastating news that her fiancée has died while climbing Mount Everest. His body cannot be retrieved and twenty years later, she is still unwillingly bound to him – he was the front man of the iconic rock duo Ashbirds. Also tied to him is the musical genius Hugo, who formed the band and is now a recluse in Nepal. And Robert, a struggling session player who is both blessed and cursed by his brief time with Ashbirds, and yearns for recognition in his own right. While the music is eternally beloved and celebrated, Elza, Hugo and Robert remain as stranded as the man in the ice.
How will they come back to life?

Genre: Contemporary

Format: Mobi

The Bodies That Move by Bunye Ngene (139 pages)

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Stranded in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea on a dinghy, Nosa reflects on the events that brought him to his present predicament.Abandoned by his father as a child, he is forced to bear the responsibility of caring for his mother and siblings. Seeing no future in Nigeria, Nosa is persuaded by an old schoolmate to migrate to Europe. In order to achieve this, he employs the services of smugglers.His journey takes him through many transit cities, safe houses and detention camps in Nigeria, Niger and war-torn Libya, and sees him cross the Sahara Desert. On his journey, he meets other travellers, each with unique stories. They are all united, however, by the desire for a better life in Europe.

Genre: Contemporary fiction

Format: Mobi

Twilight’s Fall by J. Steven Lamperti (189 pages)

Twilight's Fall: A tale of Liamec (Tales of Liamec Book 4) by [J. Steven Lamperti]

On his way back to his capital to face down a rebellion, the young king Twilight is ambushed in the forest. Who wants to kill him, and why?

His companions, Aela, Blaine, and Corentin, all rise to the occasion in ways the king never expects. Is there more to them than he sees on the surface?

The journey back to the King’s Seat is fraught with danger, ghostly trials, and survival, but once there, they still must struggle to face down the rebellion.

In the final battle for his kingdom, Twilight faces his end, his doom. Will he and his allies be able to save his kingdom, or will this be Twilight’s Fall?

Genre: Fantasy

Format: Mobi /epub

Kimura: A Tale of a Japanese Murderess by R.G. Honda (324 pages)

Kimura: A Tale of a Japanese Murderess by [R.G HONDA]

A Japanese tale of murder, hold ups and car chases. Naoko Kimura, a woman with a history of spontaneous violence, unintentionally murders her husband on the same night she learns of the whereabouts of her long lost half-sister. Believing her sister to be the victim of a mass kidnap scheme, Naoko and her closest friend, Akari Sato, resolve to travel across the length of Japan with no transportation and a pittance to their name in order to find her. All the while, they are subjected to a manhunt by the national police force.

Genre: Thriller

Format: Mobi

Five Times Lucky by P. David Temple (304 pages)

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In Five Times Lucky an intrepid traveler gets more than her share of tabloid celebrity. In this fast-moving comedy by P. David Temple, the quest for fame has no boundaries…but celebrity has its downside.
Genre: Comedy

Format: Mobi

Something Wicked by Tom Williams (ARC now for April 19th publication) 127 pages.

Something Wicked by [Tom Williams]

* A peer of the realm dead in his study, his body drained of blood *

* A tango club where the Undead and the living dance together *

* A 500 year old policeman *

Are some crimes best left unsolved? A mix of supernatural and regular life in London with dark humour. This is about vampires and the London tango scene. When a vampire goes rogue and kills a peer of the realm, the vampires can’t cover up the problem before the Metropolitan police are involved. The result is the most unusual police procedural you’ll read this year.

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Format: Mobi

If She Dies by Erik Therme (325 pages)

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Nine months ago, Tess’s five-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident. The driver, Brady Becker, was sentenced to two years in prison. It didn’t make Tess’s pain go away.

Brady also has a daughter: A twelve-year-old named Eve who walks to Chandler Middle School every day. Tess knows this because she’s been watching Eve for the last three weeks. It isn’t fair that Brady’s daughter gets to live, while Tess’s daughter does not.

When Eve goes missing, all eyes turn to Tess, who doesn’t have an alibi. But Tess isn’t guilty.

Or so she believes.

Genre: Thriller

Format: Mobi

Strait Sets by Mark Cunnington (320 pages)

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Many love stories are tender and heart-warming, others are predictable or mundane. A few veer towards the outer edges of normality… and some stand scandalously alone.

Set in a Covid-free contemporary England, Strait Sets is dark, comic and wordly-wise.

Partnering his wife in a mixed doubles final at his local tennis club, college lecturer, Paul, misses an easy smash on set point, one that subsequently marks the end of his marriage. Now single, he blows the divorce settlement on an expensive beach hut located on the Suffolk coast, an area where he spent many happy summer holidays as a child. Hoping to use his new acquisition as a base camp retreat to heal his ravaged life, a blisteringly hot Easter bank holiday turns out to be far more than the beach-hut-revamp trip he first envisages.

Genre: Romcom

Format: Mobi

Black Irish Blues: A Caesar Stiles Mystery by Andrew Cotto (153 pages)

Black Irish Blues: A Caesar Stiles Mystery by [Andrew Cotto]

Black Irish Blues is the return-to-origin story of Caesar Stiles, an erstwhile runaway who returns to his hometown with plans to buy the town’s only tavern and end his family’s Sicilian curse.

Caesar’s attempt for redemption is complicated by the spectral presence of his estranged father, reparation seekers related to his corrupt older brother, a charming crime boss and his enigmatic crew, and – most significantly – a stranger named Dinny Tuite whose disappearance under dubious circumstances immerses Caesar in a mystery that leads into the criminal underbelly of industrial New Jersey, the flawed myth of the American Dream, and his hometown’s shameful secrets.

Black Irish Blues is a poetic, gritty noir full of dynamic characters, a page-turning plot, and the further development of a unique American character.

Genre: Noir mystery

Format: Mobi

The Drowning Land by David M. Donachie (272 pages)

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The Drowning Land is set in Doggerland, the landscape that now lies at the bottom of the North Sea, during the mesolithic, eight thousand years ago. It is a story of tribes, traditions, monsters, madmen, and love, set against the inevitable destruction of climate change.

Follow the story of Edan the Fisher, and Tara seer of the Troll People, as they search for a way to save the Summer Lands from the inexorable rising of the sea. Can they find a way to undo the doom that Tara has foreseen, or does their salvation lie with Phelan, master of the wolf clan taboo-breakers?

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Format: Mobi

Doubt The Stars by Emily Shelleck (312 pages)

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A hologram cries murder. A hidden lie. Can she expose her father’s killer?

Crown Princess Henley is reeling after the sudden death of the king. But when her mother quickly marries her father’s brother, Henley’s shock gives way to anger. And after a ghostly hologram cries betrayal, she takes on a galactic quest for revenge.

While Henley scours the space station for evidence, she alienates her girlfriend with an obsession for justice. But after her plot to draw out a confession ends in bloodshed, Henley’s search could end in banishment…

With vengeance in her grasp, how far will one daughter go to avenge her father?

Doubt The Stars is the first book in the Shakespeare in Space series of captivating LGBT sci-fi novels. If you like brooding suspense, strong female characters, and fascinating retellings, then you’ll love Emily Selleck’s engrossing tale.

Genre: Ya scifi LGBT

Format: Mobi / epub

Her Mad Song by C. J. Halbard (111 pages)

Her Mad Song (Project Tempest) by [C J Halbard, Dominik Zdenković, Kearin Armstrong]

The strange and haunting tale of rediscovering yourself in a time of madness.

A man and his adopted daughter come to Tempest Bay seeking a mystery. The world outside is aflame with anger and turmoil, but here in this tiny coastal town the old ways still hold. They take shelter with an obsessive meteorologist, in the shadow of a dark tower on the clifftops. From here they must navigate the labyrinth of small-town secrets and their own fears as a long-awaited storm approaches…

Her Mad Song imagines a world on the cusp of emotional climate change: a profound shift in how our inner lives connect to the places around us. The warring forces of this world are kindness and cruelty, creativity and death, history and memory and possibility and the deep primordial terror that echoes from the ocean to the stars.

Welcome to Tempest Bay.

Genre: Speculative fiction / horror

Format: Mobi / epub

Not Having It All by Jennie Ensor (325 pages) Relaunched for Feb 18th, new book cover soon.

Not Having It All: a brazen comedy about the perils of midlife by [Jennie Ensor]

This is the story of four middle-aged people who are definitely NOT having it all… Meet Bea, Kurt, Maddie and Colin.

Senior lecturer Bea Hudson is barely managing to combine her job at the ‘Psycho Lab’ with looking after a demanding five-year-old daughter, badly-behaved dog and next-to-useless ex-au pair. When her chief exec husband is sent overseas and she’s left without childcare, Bea resorts to scribbling in a tatty W.H. Smith exercise book to save her sanity. Stranded Scientist, Weary Wife and Make-do Mum is fast approaching the end of her tether.

Kurt, downing whiskies in his hotel room as he imagines what his wife could be up to, is convinced that Bea is becoming a little too friendly with her best friend, Maddie. With characteristic obsession he enlists a neighbour’s help in his remote, top-secret surveillance operation, the details of which are recorded in his seven-levels-deep iPad document ‘What To Do About Madeleine?’.

Try-anything-once artist Maddie meets divorced, risk-averse Colin in a lift after arriving late for a job interview.

Colin, a manager at ‘the nation’s number one pussy insurer’ is smitten and resolves to displace Maddie’s feline companions on her sofa. But he starts to fear that Maddie sees him only as a handy stud with a fat wallet…

Can Bea and Kurt make a fresh start and find happiness again, before it’s too late? Can Maddie and Colin overcome their fears of being hurt, and risk falling in love?

Not Having it All is a sparkling, feel-good comedy about the perils of relationships in middle age. If you enjoy wry British humour and laugh-out-loud reads, you’ll love this razor-sharp romantic comedy with a difference.

Genre: Comedy

Format: Mobi

Songwriter Night: A Musical Romance by D.G. Driver (93 pages or request an audio copy with 12 extra songs)

Songwriter Night: A Musical Romance by [D. G. Driver]

Lyle and Trish are two aspiring Country music songwriters that meet at a Nashville coffee house. With Trish being new in town, Lyle invites her to his monthly gathering of songwriters to get to know her better. The evening of quirky characters and light-hearted singing is interrupted by the arrival Aiden Bronson. He’s got a hit song on the radio, and he’s back to show off, stirring up some rivalry while he’s at it. How will Lyle compete against Aiden’s charisma and talent in order to win Trish’s heart?

Genre: Romance novella

Format: Mobi or code for an audio download

House of Rougeaux by Jenny Jaeckel (310 pages – re-released for March)

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For Abeje and her brother Adunbi, home is the slave quarters of a Caribbean sugar plantation on the Antilles Island of Martinique. Under the watchful eye of their African mother, the children thrive despite what threatens to break them. After a night of brutality changes their lives forever, it is their strength and extraordinary bond that carries them through.

At the dawn of emancipation, Adunbi’s daughter Hetty finds her way to Quebec City as maid to the slave owner’s daughters. There she discovers a talent for piano and meets a bold saddler’s apprentice named Dax Rougeaux. After buying her freedom, Dax and Hetty join a growing community of Afro-Canadians living free.

Genre: Historical fiction (does contain magical realism)

Format: Mobi

Stalking Gideon Cain by Kerry Alan Denney (ARC now for May 21st Publication)

Bestselling author Gideon Cain is losing his mind. Everywhere he turns lately, the femme fatales from his psychological thrillers show up—live and in person. Are they actresses playing a cruel joke on him, figments of his increasingly terrifying delusions, or fantastical vigilantes sprung to life from the pages of his books? All he knows for certain is if he doesn’t find answers soon, he’s bound for the psych ward.

When one of his fictional antagonists poisons him on a flight home from a book-signing tour, he realizes that someone isn’t just messing with his mind—they’re trying to kill him.

Now he’s running for his life from an enemy with a weapon so deadly it can kill with the touch of a button. Only an enigmatic woman from his tragic past can help him discover the truth behind his adversary’s vendetta. And time is running out to stop the madman who is stalking Gideon Cain.

Genre: Thriller

Format: Mobi / epub

Living the Dream – in the Algarve, Portugal by Alysson Sheldrake (275 pages)

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Could you leave everything behind and start a new life in the sun?
Have you ever been on holiday abroad and wondered what it would be like to live there?
Alyson and Dave Sheldrake did. They fell in love with a little fishing village in the Algarve, Portugal, and were determined to realise their dream of living abroad. They bought a house there, ended their jobs, packed up everything they owned and moved to the Algarve to start a new life.
Follow them as they battle with Portuguese bureaucracy, set up their own businesses, adopt a rescue dog and learn to adapt to a slower pace of life. Laugh with them as Alyson propositions a builder, they try to master the Portuguese language, and successfully navigate the ‘expat’ world.
Part guidebook, mostly memoir; this is a refreshingly honest and often hilarious account of life abroad.

Genre: Memoir/ travelogue

Format: Mobi

Layers by Zuzanne Belec (136 pages)

Layers: A Collection of Short Stories by [Zuzanne Belec]

A debut collection of imaginative short stories celebrating life and the human spirit despite the ever-present spectre of melancholy in our lives today. With their distinctive blend of wit and humour, they light up any underlying darkness.

From the Americas to India, from Africa to Europe, and through a range of genres, voices and styles, layers are unraveled, revealing the textures and contrasts of old and new in the environments and cultures of today’s fast-paced world. With vivid descriptions, we are drawn into enchanting worlds with characters that leap off the page, leaving the reader lingering long after the pages have been read.

Genre: Short stories

Format: Book funnel download code

NEANDER: Exploitation by Harald Johnson (Book #2 of the series) 299 pages

NEANDER: Exploitation (The Neanderthal Series – Book 2) by [Harald Johnson]

Time traveler Tom Cook is living a long-sought-after “normal” life with his
Neanderthal family 40,000 years ago.
When Tom carries his hybrid daughter who’s facing a life-threatening crisis
to the future for medical help, he’s entangled in the modern world and discovers that she is in even more danger.
Now, caught up in a biomedical plot to exploit his daughter’s unique Neanderthal DNA, Tom must find a way to save both his daughter and his prehistoric family.

Genre: Timetravel Histfic

Format: Mobi / e-pub

 

This Is Lockdown – MJ Mallon And Others (169 pages)

This anthology and compilation is for everyone, wherever you live in the world. We are all experiencing the impact of COVID19 and lockdown. As writers, bloggers and creatives we express our thoughts and opinions in writing: in heartfelt poetry, pieces on isolation and the impact of COVID19 and the ‘new normal.’
There are twenty eight talented contributors, including the creative NHS Mask Making Fundraising Team of Jane Horwood and Melissa Santiago Val. The contributors come from as far afield as Australia, Canada, USA and Zimbabwe, or closer to my current home in England – in Ireland, Scotland and Italy.

It is as Willow Willers, a contributor said, ‘A piece of living history.’
This extraordinary and unexpected time period will be shared with future generations one day. Compiling and editing this anthology has given me a purpose over the period of Lockdown and for that I am grateful. The book showcases several authors and their thoughts on what it is like to experience ‘isolation’ as a writer. In the final part of the book I include my latest short story idea: a YA romance and various short pieces of poetry, and flash fiction inspired by the pandemic.

Genre: Anthology

Format: Mobi

Visitor’s Blood by Sahreth Baphy Bowden (556 pages)

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When an alien craft lands on planet Earth, Maj. John and Dr. Connie Shinn are eager to learn about its all-too-human passengers. However, when the peaceful aliens are forced into further compliance, the Earthlings are thrown into an unimaginable battle against one of the passengers…a vampire. Unwittingly, the couple find themselves aboard the spaceship with its captain, Malook, and his vampiric companion, Sulru, as they head for Galdelier where they find the beautiful foreign world on the brink of civil war between the ruling humans and the malcontent vampires, strained under decades of subjugation. But amidst struggle, the lines between friend and foe can be easily turned askew. When you begin to question everything you once thought was noble or evil, where will you find your loyalties lie?

Genre: Scifi

Format: Mobi/ epub

Pariah’s Lament by Richie Billing (ARC now due out March 17th) 480 pages.

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When an attempt is made on the life of Ashara, Keeper of Yurr, his young, hapless advisor Edvar must uncover and stop those behind it. With enemies in the capital city and the belligerent Tesh, Keeper of neighboring kingdom Karrabar stirring trouble in the Borderlands, can Edvar hold together Ashara’s brittle reign?

The troubles ripple throughout Yurr, affecting an ancient race of people known as the Amast, who in their time of utmost need, turn to pariah Isy for salvation. Rejected by society, kith and kin, can Isy guide the Amast to safety during the greatest turmoil Yurr has known since the War of the Damned?

Genre: High Fantasy

Format: Mobi /epub

Spiral by Khaled Talib (275 pages)

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Laurence Turner, a pharmacist from Sydney, is wracked with guilt after his fiancé dies on a sailing trip. The tragedy is followed by yet another fatal incident when he dispenses the wrong medication to a customer.
Laurence moves to the Clare Valley in South Australia for a fresh start, but when he stumbles across the dead body of a visiting American reporter, things take a turn for the worst.
The case explodes into far more than Laurence could ever expect with the arrival of a beautiful American woman, Skyler Hawthorne. Her troubles put Laurence in the path of both domestic and foreign agents, including a dangerous Russian spy who believes Laurence is hiding a secret.

Genre: Thriller

Format: Mobi / epub

The Dead Boxes Archive by John Leonard (381 pages)

The Dead Boxes Archive: Dark Tales of Horror and the Diabolical by [John F Leonard]

The Dead Boxes Archive is a chilling collection of short horror stories and horror novellas. Together for the first time in one volume, seven tales from the critically acclaimed Dead Boxes series.

Dead Boxes are scary things. Wonderful and dreadful secrets hiding themselves in plain view.
On the surface, they often appear to be ordinary, everyday objects. Items which are easily overlooked at first glance. Perhaps that’s just as well because the Dead Boxes are as far from ordinary and everyday as you can get. They hold miracle and mystery, horror and salvation, answers to questions best not asked and directions to places better left unfound.

This collection offers an insight into some of these delightfully eerie articles. A stunning omnibus of old school inspired horror, the brooding and ominous variety. Includes: Linger, The Screaming Mike Hawkins, Call Drops, Doggem, A Plague Of Pages, The Burntbridge Boys and Night Service.

Genre: Horror

Format: Mobi

A Rainbow Like You by Andréa Fehsenfeld (322 pages)

A Rainbow Like You by [Andréa Fehsenfeld]

An iconic rock star with everything to prove. A teen runaway with nothing left to lose. Are you ready for the most unexpected journey?

Adrian ‘Jazzer’ Johnson’s gilded rock and roll career is the stuff of legend. From out of the dive bars of Long Beach, this high school dropout rocketed his band to the pinnacle of success. But after a whirlwind decade ended with him broken and questioning, Adrian disappeared.

Now back on tour after a year in exile, Adrian’s still struggling and under pressure to deliver his next hit. The last thing he needs is to find a teen runaway hiding in his tour bus. As it turns out, Hastings Sinclair is a synesthete who can see music in color. But her offer to help color-blind Adrian unpack his creative block upends their lives in ways they never imagined.

Because Adrian’s troubles run deep—beyond what any song can fix—and Hastings hasn’t been upfront about hers. When calamity strikes, a perfect storm of fates unleashes and caught in the crossfire are Adrian’s band mates, a fame-shy beauty he falls hard for, and a scheming journalist with a vendetta. With everything he values suddenly on the line, can Adrian reconcile his own brash history? Or will he be forced to face the music in a way he never has before?

Genre: Contemporary

Format: Mobi

 

Cyberblade: The City of Five Skies by William Z. Stone (408 pages)

Dive into the dystopian world of Neo Mars!
Lex, a part-time roboticist from a family of Empyrean refugees, is the lone hope of her family to overcome Graexian oppression and earn them a place above the steel skies, where the air is clean, and the people rich.
Yet when every door is shut, and every opportunity closed, Lex decides to forge her own path of blood and bone. With a talking battle-droid at her side, insane cyborgs in her way, and strange power awakening-Lex will either force the Graexian elite to treat her people with the compassion they deserve or drag the highborn deep down into the enginecity where they can burn together.

Cyberblade: The City of Five Skies, is a world inspired by Cyberpunk 2077, the Hunger Games series, and the author’s long period of isolation during the Covid-shutdown and Australian wildfires. William Z Stone aimed to turn the feeling of being indoors and days of ash-clogged skies into its own dystopian world, where the people live in city-sized engines, and the citizens treated as mere cogs to be used and replaced by those in power.

If a dystopian story, with deep-dive questions about self-identity and a cybernetics-fueled revolution interests you, then read Cyberblade now!

Genre: Ya Scifi / Dystopia

Format: Mobi

 

The Shard by Jane Shand (274 pages)

The Shard by [Jane Shand]

Darkness is falling…

Something is happening to the children of the land. Slowly they are being turned, their magic twisted by the dark energy spreading its tentacles across the country, until what’s left is only a Darkling abomination. Only those in possession of a special Gift are immune and can drain away the energy to heal the children – but only as and when the Gift chooses.

Nalani has this Gift but considers it to be something of a curse. Believing it drove away her beloved father literally and her mother emotionally, she lives a lonely life doing what she can to help others. When the Gift suddenly demands that she journey to the mainland, the chance for escape, for a new life and purpose, beckons. And with both hands, she grabs for it.

Except as she settles into her new life in the city of Karas, she soon discovers more questions than answers when she stumbles across a series of magical experiments on creatures rumoured to have created the energy unique to the city. When she learns that this could be responsible for the dark forces sweeping the land, she decides this time she will take her life into her own hands. With the help of those she encounters including a Darkling boy and Luca, a young man whose research seems to hold the key, Nalani sets out on a path that will forever change her life. But will she figure out all of the answers, including ones shadowed inside herself, before the darkness overpowers them all.

With its young adult protagonist and themes of self-discovery, coming of age, and setting out on one’s own, this novel should appeal to adults and YA alike.

Genre: Fantasy

Format: Mobi

Unnatural, Erica Rosen MD Trilogy, Book 1 by Deven Greene (ARC now for Jan 7th 2021 publication)

Dr. Erica Rosen, a San Francisco, California pediatrician, is perplexed when she sees a young Chinese girl with blue eyes in her clinic. The girl’s mother, Ting, is secretive, and Erica suspects she has entered the United States illegally. Later, Erica encounters Ting’s son and discovers he has an unusual mutation. Erica learns that Ting’s children underwent embryonic stem cell gene editing as part of a secret Chinese government-run program.
The Chinese government wants to murder Ting’s son to prevent others from learning about his unusual mutation and the secret gene-editing program. At Ting’s urging, Erica heads to China to expose the program and rescue the infant Ting was forced to leave behind, all while attempting to evade the watchful eye of the Chinese government.

Genre: Medical thriller

Format: Mobi or epub

Everything That Came Before Grace by Bill See (ARC now, for publication early December)

A music obsessed, wannabe writer and single-father comes of age as he discovers whether it’s love or fatherhood that could save him. Haunted by his mother’s death and a series of serendipitous events from his past, Benjamin Bradford desperately tries to keep his mental illness under control while raising his daughter Sophia. Set against the iconic streets of Los Angeles, there’s music always playing, heavy therapy sessions and private emails to discern, shattered friendships and betrayal, and the specter of a true love that got away. Think: Silver Linings Playbook meets High Fidelity with a dash of Eighth Grade. Can Benjamin find redemption? Can he escape his demons and find love again? Come along for the ride and find out.

Genre: Coming of age

Format: Mobi or epub

Psychopath’s Diary Vol.I: Inner world of a serial killer through his own bloodthirsty entity by Kirill Khrestinin (268 pages)

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It was a cold, rainy night when I came home and found a package on my front porch. The sender’s name and address were missing from the label. I opened the package and discovered inside of it a manuscript titled “Psychopath’s Diary Vol. I” I was instantly pulled into the mind of a serial killer and introduced to a reality that far surpassed any definition of normal in today’s society. “Psychopath’s Diary Vol. I” is the essence of taboo. It can only be described as a poetry of violence. A symphony of torture. A tale of sexual deviance with a drop of incest and necrophilia. You want to stop reading, but you simply cannot. It is like taking a bite out of a forbidden fruit even if the taste of it spoils the sensitive stomach of our morality.
One question ran through my mind over and over, why me? Why did the killer send his confession of the crimes he had committed to me? I searched for an answer within the pages of the manuscript, but could not find one, not even a hint. There is something that has to link him and I, but what?

Genre: Psychological/crime/horror fiction

Format: Mobi

His Castilian Hawk by Anna Belfrage (355 pages)

His Castilian Hawk (The Castilian Saga Book 1) by [Anna Belfrage]

For bastard-born Robert FitzStephan, being given Eleanor d’Outremer in marriage is an honour. For Eleanor, this forced wedding is anything but a fairy tale…
Robert FitzStephan has served Edward Longshanks loyally since the age of twelve. Now he is riding with his king to once and for all bring Wales under English control.
Eleanor d’Outremer—Noor to family—lost her Castilian mother as a child and is left entirely alone when her father and brother are killed. When ordered to wed the unknown Robert FitzStephan, she has no choice but to comply.
Two strangers in a marriage bed is not easy. Things are further complicated by Noor’s blood-ties to the Welsh princes and by covetous Edith who has warmed Robert’s bed for years.
Robert’s new wife may be young and innocent, but he is soon to discover that not only is she spirited and proud, she is also brave. Because when Wales lies gasping and Edward I exacts terrible justice on the last prince and his children, Noor is determined to save at least one member of the House of Aberffraw from the English king.
Will years of ingrained service have Robert standing with his king or will he follow his heart and protect his wife, his beautiful and fierce Castilian hawk?

Genre: Historical Fiction / Historical Romance

Format: Mobi or e-pub

Historical Stories Of Betrayal Anthology

Book Cover

Betrayal, treachery, treason, deceit, perfidy—all names for the calculated violation of trust. And it’s been rife since humans trod the earth.

A promise broken
A mission betrayed
A lover’s desertion
A parent’s deception
An unwitting act of treason
Betrayal by comrades
Betrayal by friends

Could you resist the forces of misplaced loyalty, power hunger, emotional blackmail, or plain greed? Is there ever redemption, or will the destruction visit future generations and even alter history? These questions are still with us today.

Read twelve tales by twelve accomplished writers who explore these historical yet timeless challenges from post Roman Britain to the present day.

Genre: HistFic

Format: Download from Bookfunnel

Ascension of the Phoenix by Jessica Piro (371 pages)

Ascension of the Phoenix (The Phoenix Trilogy Book 1) by [Jessica Piro]

To rise from ashes, one must be a phoenix.
Detective Leila Wells has apprehended every criminal to cross her path, except for one. And when Bryan Foster returns, he devastates her world. To cope, she finds release in street fighting. Successes with her fighting partner grant them an invitation to participate in the Rulers of the Realms Fighting Tag Tournament. But as she fights, a power begins to rise within her—a dark and angry blaze urging her toward revenge.

Genre: Suspense Thriller

Format: Mobi

The Lumbermill by Laya V. Smith (333 pages)

Los Angeles, 1954.
Sending a pair of mass murderers to the chair got his name in the papers, but veteran fighter pilot turned detective, Augy Small, couldn’t celebrate. The culprits confessed, but the cops only ever found one body. Who had the killers died to protect?
Katya Tyler, a Russian enigma with a wad of cash in one hand and a hit list in the other, claims to have the answers. First, she wants Augy’s help to bring down a massive underground network of human traffickers.
As the case unfolds, every clue is an echo of his past. The horrors he experienced in the Pacific, shadows of scars he still carries, and rumors of a place long since destroyed. The Lumbermill is back in operation. Every day more innocents are harvested, their screams muffled in darkness. And the only way Augy can stop it is to go back into the nightmare he thought he’d escaped forever.

Genre: Dark neo-noir thriller

Format: Mobi / epub

Of Magpies And Men by Ode Ray (312 pages) ARC now for Feb 2021 release)

Of Magpies and Men: A gripping, witty and emotional page turner, with a twist you won't see coming by [Ode Ray]

Can any good come of longings that a person can never satisfy? If so, good for whom?

At the heart Of Magpies and Men are impossible yearnings and an illicit confession that will transform the existence of many in its path…
Two corpses wash ashore in a picturesque Italian village, the violence that put them there is bound to a long held secret and two strangers living worlds apart with seemingly nothing in common.
Benedict Grant a high achiever, wealthy Londoner, leading a lonely life.
Marie Boulanger a nurse and single mum, struggling to make ends meet in Marseille.
However, a mother’s revelation will set in motion a chain of events that will reshape their identities, stir poignant family affairs and delve into the by-products of lawless decisions.

Discover a captivating and moving story weaving mystery, drama and romance peppered with humour. A tale that will stay with you long after its final page and a twist you won’t see coming.

Genre: Mystery / family saga

Format: Mobi

31 thoughts on “Rosie’s Book Review Team (RBRT) – Booklist

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  11. Hi Rosie,
    I have spotted 2 books that I could review within a week, if you want me to join your team. I filled in a form to apply, an hour ago.
    Titles in mobi or pdf I would be interested in.
    The Last Deception by DV Berkom
    Savage Isle by Beverley Scherberger

    Liked by 1 person

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