Showing posts with label Book Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Book Reviews. Show all posts

Monday, July 4, 2022

Reviewing Sugar Birds: A Novel by Cheryl Grey Bostrom

One way to describe Sugar Birds is to call it a coming of age story. Which it is. But it is also a look at parenting, families, relationships, survival, and faith. Each of these characters were unique. However, their common bond (for the most part) was having gone through some hard times then deciding how they would treat others. All of this while they are on a search and rescue mission to locate poor little Aggie. I was completely absorbed in this book from the beginning.




The story is told by Aggie and Celia in alternating chapters. 

Aggie

Agate Esther (Aggie) is a just-turned 10 year old girl who lives with her parents and her brother. She is consumed with bird-watching. She is familiar with the forest around her and just cannot follow her mother's directions to stop climbing the trees to observe the birds. Aggie documents the birds in her notebook and is encouraged by her father to do so. However, she defies her mother's directions to stay out of the trees. After they have conflict about the issue again, Aggie decides to try to get back into mom's good favor by making kindling as a gift. Unfortunately, she inadvertently causes a house fire.

"Her chest clenched, wringing her insides hard, like a dishcloth. Dad. Mama. She killed them with those sticks. With her fire. She beat her legs with clenched first, bit her cheeks, tasted blood." - Sugar Birds

Believing she has killed her parents and will be arrested, she panics and flees to the forest to hide. She has plenty of survival skills but will she survive the predators? 

Celia

"We're on track for the cabin by eight tonight, Daddy" I flipped down the visor mirror and twisted the stud in my infected earlobe, my teeth set against its sting." - Sugar Birds

Celia is a 16 year old young lady, who thinks she's going to the family lake cabin in Washington state with her dad. Her mother, not the most warm and attentive on any day, has left them. Celia is trying to move on from that betrayal when her father discloses that he's not taking them to the cabin. He's taking her to her grandmother's home while he goes on a remote work assignment for several months. Celia is furious that her father is also leaving her and she immediately starts to formulate a plan to runaway. She believes that she'll find a way to return to Texas on her own and will stay with her friend Meredith. The very same friend that her dad doesn't approve of. 

I hope that I'm not making Celia sound like a run-of-the-mill ungrateful adolescent character. She is not. Celia is a high school math nerd, cross country runner, compassionate young lady who helps her grandmother rescue and rehabilitate birds. However, with Meredith's tutoring, she has just begun to catch the attention of boys.

"Dancing flames didn't cause those astonished stares when I walked through that crowd in Meredith's hand-tooled cowboy boots with Luke hanging on me. I swear Meredith sensed that I was about to ditch him and run to the ladies room to scrub my face and calm my hair down a little. She trotted up beside us, looped her arm in mine and whispered that I was a Harrison County version of Sandy in Grease." - Sugar Birds
After her father drops angry/hurt Celia off with her grandmother, she quickly catches the attention of Cabot. 

Mender

Marta Burke a.k.a Mender a.k.a Gram is an aclaimed biologist who has retired but who is active rehabilitating birds. She gardens. She prays. And she cares deeply for others. Mender has taught Celia the skills needed to handle and rehabilitate birds; raptors being Celia's favorite. Will Mender be able to keep Celia from being the prey?

Burnaby

Burnaby. Aggie's older brother and Loomis' employee. Burnaby has difficulty with interactions, eye contact, and affection. But his is a good employee, following rules and routines. He too loves the natural world and is very specifically drawn to bird and animal bones. 

I absolutely loved Burnaby's character. 

"Mama says I give speeches when I should be conversing. Misplaced monologues are selfish, she says. Talking should be reciprocal. Unselfish. Like tossing an apple back and forth so each hearer can catch it. She says I should listen without having a speech ready. Consider. Respond. Listen again."  - Sugar Birds

Harris & Bree

Harris is Aggie and Burnaby's father. He moved them to the area, after he left the Alaska Forest Service, in order to be close to family. He nurtured the children's love of the outdoors and knowledge base; such as foraging for edible plants and water that is safe to drink. Bree also loved the outdoors. And once-upon-a-time, she collected Agates from a cliff. And this is how they chose Aggie's name. Bree struggled with mental illness and Aggie resented the change.

Loomis & Nora

This couple is Aggie's Aunt and Uncle and Mender's neighbors. They own a dairy farm. They employ Burnaby and Cabot.

Cabot

Twenty-year-old Cabot likes Celia. As have the others, twenty-year-old Cabot has been through some rough times and he has chosen to hang on to his anger and lash out at others. He is the villain, and his behaviors are a perfect example of a budding abusive relationship. 

I LOVED Sugar Birds: A Novel by Cheryl Grey Bostrom


I am rarely able to read a book in a matter of 2-3 days. Not only did I read this in 2 days, I stayed up last night after 2:00 am trying to get to the end. I wanted to learn who survived and whether or not some of them didn't. Granted, I'm on vacation so it was an easier decision to stay up many hours past my bedtime. But I'm not so sure I would have put the book down even if I had to work the next morning. Not only were the characters interesting, but the descriptions of the setting painted the picture perfectly.

I do not feel that I've been able to review this book as it deserves. I hope you will take a peek at it on Amazon for not only the long list of awards this book has received, but the reviews from the other readers. 

If you read Where the Crawdads Sing and loved it, you'll enjoy this story. 




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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Killing Season by Faye Kellerman – Book Review

A really good book is one you cannot put down.  An excellent book is one you literally cannot stop reading! In my opinion, Killing Season by Faye Kellerman is such a book. 




Synopsis


Sunset in New Mexico - Pixabay
The setting is New Mexico – a small town close to Santa Fe.  Benjamin Vicksburg was barely 14 when his 16-year-old sister went missing. Her body wasn't found for a year. She had been kidnapped and strangled. 

Ben, his parents and younger sister had all suffered the anguish of not knowing what happened. Later, the family also becomes friends with another local couple whose teenage daughter Katie went missing and she has never been found.


As the story begins, Ben, now seventeen, has committed himself to finding the monster who abducted and strangled Ellen. The police continue to investigate, but there is nothing new. But Ben, who is a math genius, sees patterns that don't fit and conducts his own investigation. As he gathers data, he discovers clues to other similar unsolved murders. 


As Ben's senior high school year begins, he becomes friends with the new girl in school, Ro Majors. They bond over the fact that Ro lost a sister to cancer around the same time Ben lost Ellen.  Ro ends up helping him with his research, and together they discover 3 other unsolved cases of teenage girls whose murders were almost identical to Ben's sister. And then.... they go on a hike in an area Ben has figured out is a logical place to find where the killer might have buried Katie, and they find her grave.


The police are not happy that Ben is investigating on his own, even though the police detective who was lead investigator on Ellen's case likes Ben and is as anxious as the family to solve her case. 


As Ben gets closer to discovering who the killer is, his obsession marks him as a threat. The police want him to stop investigating, but Ben is worried about Ro and about his little sister Haley and her best friend Lilly. The little girls are now going on 15 and Ro is 17, all in the age-range the killer targets. 


Learning the truth may not be enough to keep Ben and those he loves from this relentless killer. 


Summary



I have never been as absorbed in a book to the point of ignoring everything else until I finished as I was with this one. Killing Season is so well written and captures your attention from the beginning. I enjoyed it very much. 

I have been reading books by Faye Kellerman since 1986 when she began the 26 books in her Peter Decker and Rina Lazarus series. I've always enjoyed those books, and now am enjoying her stand-alone thrillers. Killing Season is the first one I have read that wasn't in the series I have been following and, as much as I liked the series, I like this one even more. Kellerman has done an outstanding job capturing this mystery fan's attention. 


Note: Faye Kellerman is married to Jonathan Kellerman, also a writer, and together they are the parents of Jesse Kellerman, who has had several books published on his own and has co-authored several other books with his dad, Jonathan.  A real writing family.  


Links to other Kellerman books reviewed here on ReviewThisReviews:



*Killing Season Book Review written by Wednesday Elf






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Friday, June 24, 2022

4th of July Cookbooks - Free on KindleUnlimited

cookbooks
4th of July Cookbooks Reviewed -
Books Above Shown on My Kindle Fire

I was recently seeking inspiration for new 4th of July food to try for our upcoming celebration. 

Grilling burgers and hot dogs are our tradition, plus my mother makes her annual 4th of July cake, which is always colorful and pretty, but I wanted something new to add this year just for a new touch of fun.

I was thrilled and amazed to discover dozens of 4th of July cookbooks that are free with KindleUnlimited, however, I was greatly disappointed to find that most did not have photos. When searching for inspiration, photos are "essential".  

I wasn't really looking for a new recipe as much as I was seeking a new presentation for our standard Independence Day fare. I don't need step by step photos, but I do want to see the actual food prepared.  In the end, I found only 2 cookbooks that met my criteria and included photos. 

Surprisingly, not only did I find presentation inspiration, I also found a few new recipes in these cookbooks that I want to try!

 

Fourth of July Cookbooks 

Patriotic Recipes: Full Color Version1. Patriotic Recipes: Full Color VersionCheck PriceWe think of outdoor, summertime food for the 4th of July celebrations.. Sides like corn on the cob, potato salad, skewered veggies or kabobs, french fries, etc are the norm and Popsicles are a wonderful cool-down treat.  Of course, the red, white & blue (strawberries, bananas, & blueberries) fruit salad is a necessity.

How about adding Fourth of July jello shots!¹  Simple layered gelatin and condensed milk make a lovely presentation.

Or, perhaps the Patriotic Ice Sandwiches¹ with a cheesecake center or Firecracker Milkshakes¹ would be fun and delicious to serve.

I was also reminded of my grandmother's ambrosia salad¹ . Why have I never considered serving it for the 4th of July? Just because I was raised seeing it served for Christmas doesn't mean it should be limited to December parties & meals.

4th оf Julу Recipes: Selected Mouthwatering meals to celebrate the Independence day in the United States and also enjoy all through the summer and holidays. A special occasion cookbook2. 4th оf Julу RecipesCheck PriceI laughed out loud at the idea of serving Fourth of July Toast!¹  Easy to make, yet would be a totally awesome way to start the day.

Cookies, oh, yeah! Red, white and blue cookies¹ or Strawberry Graham Cracker Bites² (with teddy bear mini graham crackers) for an all day, anytime snack. 

I'm also pretty jazzed about trying the Lemon Cupcake with Blackberry Buttercream² in the "4th of July Recipes" cookbook. 

Now I have so many new fun food ideas that I need a week's worth of 4th's in the month of July.  Plus, I am purchasing the two cookbooks instead of just borrowing them now that I have discovered them thanks to KindleUnlimited offering them for free.


¹ Patriotic Recipes by Laura Sommers
² 4th of July Recipes by Ilene Butts


Click Here to See More Cookbook Reviews





 4th of July Cookbooks - Free on KindleUnlimited Review by:
House of Sylvestermouse




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Saturday, June 11, 2022

Finding Chika by Mitch Albom – Book Review

 A little girl, an earthquake, and the making of a family.



Mitch Albom is the author of Tuesdays with Morrie, the best-selling memoir of all time.  Anyone who has read 'Morrie' or any of Albom's other books, will already know the wonderful way with words he has.


Synopsis



Finding Chika, a little girl, an earthquake and the making of a family is a true story about a young Haitian orphan and how her short life impacts the author and his wife. Mitch and Janine Albom are a childless couple in their 50s with a busy life. In addition to Mitch's writings and his work as a sports writer and radio program host, he & Janine also operate the Have Faith Haiti Orphanage in Port-au-Prince.


At age 3 when little Chika joins the 50 other children in the orphanage her self-assurance and happy outlook quickly charms all the other kids and teachers. Even despite having lived in extreme poverty and then having her mother die and her 2 older sisters and baby brother farmed out to other families, Chika is blessed with boundless optimism and a delightful humor. 


Mitch & Janine travel to Haiti and the orphanage every month and get to know Chika, along with the other children. Then, at age 5, Chika is diagnosed with a life-threatening illness and there is no one in Haiti who can help her. 


The Alboms bring Chika to Detroit, hoping that American medical care can soon grant her a healthy return to her homeland.  Sadly, little Chika is found to have a rare brain tumor for which there is no cure. The Alboms are told that Chika probably has 4 months to live.


Instead, Chika becomes a permanent part of the Alboms' lives and they embark on a two-year journey to find a cure.  Along the way Chika teaches them that a relationship built on love, no matter how short, can never be lost.


Summary


Available on Amazon

This is a beautifully written memoir that is simply told and becomes a celebration of children and how they change our lives and make us a family. 


“A Child is both an anchor and a set of wings. Your pace and space are forever altered.” 

~Mitch Albom in Finding Chika.



*Book Review of Finding Chika written by Wednesday Elf


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Sunday, May 29, 2022

Hard Word Search for Adults - 60 Various Word Find Topics


I'm happy to announce that I've completed my fourteenth activity book, Hard Word Search for Adults.

Some of you already know about this fun self-publishing adventure I've been traveling on since 2019. Yep, the trip continues.

I have a crazy goal of self-publishing 100 activity books, and I have to say, I might be 120 years old when I accomplish that milestone! Honestly, I'm not sure if I can do it! But I'll keep moving forward.

Why It Takes Me Longer To Complete a Book

To date, I've written 7 riddle books, 4 word search books, 1 poetry book, and 2 books on what to write on a card. I started writing activity books in 2019, and as I mentioned above, I plan to continue until I reach 100 books published .... if it can be done?

There are ways to create and publish word search books quicker than the several months it's taking me. However, I prefer to carefully research and choose the words for each puzzle, which takes more time. Also, I personally handle all aspects of the publishing process, not just the writing.

All of the word search books are theme-based, and the words you'll be looking for are related to each of the puzzle topics.


What Does "Hard Word Search for Adults" Include:

  • There are 60 unique word search puzzles.
  • Each puzzle is a challenging topic.
  • You find not only single words but also multiple words.
  • Multiple words are strung together (think Hashtag), offering an additional challenge.
  • Each puzzle has a place where you can put your name and the time it took you to complete the puzzle. You can compete with yourself, or friends and family.
  • The Book is the size of a standard piece of paper, 8.5 inches by 11 inches.
  • The puzzles are easy to read.
Examples of Puzzle Topics:
  • Lost in Space
  • Math is Hard
  • Positively Big Words
  • Weird Animal Names
  • Climb these Mountains
and 55 more.



The Answers Are Included

If you find yourself stuck, you can peek at the answers at the back of the Book.



The Book is the Size of a Standard Piece of Paper, Making it Easy to Read.


You can find the Book via StumpedRiddles.com or Amazon.



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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Mistress of the Ritz-Book Review

 


This book was introduced to me by a friend who read it for her book club.  She said it was a book all the club enjoyed.  After reading it, I can see why.  It has everything I like in a story: history, romance, secrets and true to life characters.  The story is inspired by the true life story of Claude and Blanchette Auzello.  Claude was the French director of the Ritz and Blanche was his American wife.


The Story Line

This compelling novel takes us to the glamor of the Ritz and introduces us to all the wonderful characters who enter its doors.  We see bits with Ernest Hemingway, Coco Chanel, F. Scott Fitzgerald and many more memorable characters from the 1940's.

The story begins in the 1920's when Claude Auzello meets Blanche, an American who has come to Paris in the hopes of becoming an actress.  Claude sweeps Blanche off her feet and they settle into life at the Ritz, where Claude becomes the director.  Life at the Ritz is glamorous and the guests are pampered by Claude and his staff.  Blanche enjoys meeting all of the memorable characters in the Ritz bar.

Life goes along at the Ritz with the glamor of the place and the work of Claude putting a tamper on their marriage.  Blanche and Claude get along but sometimes their differences also draw them apart with each of them living their own lives and keeping secrets.  Everything changes in June 1940 when the Nazi's invade Paris and take over the Ritz as their headquarters.  The Ritz staff is kept but moved to the back of the building and now must cater to the Nazi's every wish, all the while being afraid of every move they make.  

I don't want to spoil more of the plot but the French Resistance plays a big part in the rest of the book and secrets are kept, even from those they are closest to.

The Book on Amazon



My Thoughts on the Book

I really enjoyed the book.  It is the first book I had read by Melanie Benjamin, and I will certainly check out more of her books.  I highly recommend this compelling book.



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Monday, May 16, 2022

Book Review - The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

The Four Winds is a fictional novel based on the events that occurred during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. More specifically, how one woman from Texas - Elsinore (Elsa) Wolcott - made exceedingly difficult decisions to try to keep her children alive during the 1930s. 



Elsa Wolcott lived her childhood in solitude. Defined as medically fragile and as "not nearly pretty as her sisters" the story opens as she is turning 25 and facing a future as a spinster. 

"There was a pain that came with constant disapproval; a sense of having lost something unnamed, unknown. Else had survived it by being quiet, by not demanding or seeking attention, by accepting that she was loved, but unliked" -excerpt from The Four Winds 

Elsa had learned to entertain herself by reading and survived the cruel comments by making herself as invisible as possible while her family carried on in an otherwise tight-knit group. Things started to fall apart when she informed her family that she wanted to attend college in Chicago. Her family was relatively affluent and cultured but the answer from her parents was a resounding no. They continued to define her as ill. She quietly returned to her room upstairs to her reading.

The next morning, while walking through town to the library, Elsa stopped at the mercantile where she was told about a piece of red silk. The store owner wanted Elsa to inform her beautiful sisters of this dress material. Instead, Elsa bought it for herself. 

The resulting red dress, glittery silver headband and an secret attempt to enter a speakeasy during the days of prohibition changed everything. 

Elsa responded to the first attention she received. And Raffaello entered her life. Very quickly, Elsa went from being the daughter of the in-town-living, Christian, daughter of a successful business man who sells tractors to the farmers to the wife of a young, Italian, Catholic son of struggling farmers.

 Elsa became a farmer's wife. A mother. And she became a part of a family.

The years pass. In 1934, the Great Depression had been in full swing. And it was an extraordinarily hot August. Unknown to Elsa and her family, the Dust Bowl is coming.

As the heat and dust settled in for months, and then years, Elsa had to decide whether to remain on the "farm" (now a pile of dust) with her family or escape to California for work. 


How the Story Impacted Me

I had some vague awareness of both the Great Depression and of the Dust Bowl. I knew that both were disasters. And I knew that my grandparents were frugal - saving every little thing in case it would be needed as a result of their experience (or their parent's experiences) during this era. My grandparents have been gone for a long time now. And I wish I knew their stories. But I don't. 

Now I realize how very little I know of that era and what people went through trying to survive the times. I was aware that the Dust Bowl occurred. For some reason, I imagined that nearly the entire US was in drought for a single growing season. I did not realize that it spanned the middle US states, hitting Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, New Mexico the hardest. And that it lasted for years.  I knew that crops were killed. I did not realize the enormous toll it took on all livestock and wildlife. And I did not realize the extent of human lives lost. Of course, the death toll was not accurately recorded during these crises but it is thought that hundreds to thousands died of Dust Pneumonia alone. And several hundred thousands fled the plains area to try to survive. 

This story impacts me now as I consider the current happenings in the US. Wild fires, droughts, and torrential spring rains during planting season is impacting agriculture. As is the current economic situation. Many farmers and ranchers are in a tough situation as I type this. Reading this book now reminds me of the time I read the book Jaws on my first trip to Florida and visit to Cocoa Beach. I was afraid to enter the ocean for fear of what might be lurking. I am currently concerned about food supplies, our farmers and ranchers, and what disaster may be lurking next. 

Do I wish I hadn't read this book. My answer is a resounding NO. I am glad to have read this book and recommend it to others. It is a story of a woman who had not received unconditional love as a child and who not only gave unconditional love to her children but who would die for them to save them. It is the story of navigating parent-child relationships. It is a story of proud, hard-working people who just wanted to be able to take care of themselves. Their tenacity and willingness to work hard despite the odds inspires me. Despite the very tough topic and times, this book was filled with love stories. 


Bits from Author Kristin Hannah

Ms. Hannah wrote her Author's Note in May 2020. In the three years that she was writing this book the pandemic arrived in the US. Imagine that. Writing about the death, famine, and destruction of the dust bowl during the death, near-famine, and destruction of the pandemic. 

The Author notes that the timeline is not completely accurate in her fiction. She includes a suggested reading list on her website for more historically accurate information. Ms. Hannah also mentions having taken a tour of "Weedpatch" camp in Arvin, California. And a novel by Sanora Babb titled Whose Names Are Unknown. I find it interesting that Babb's manuscript was submitted in 1939 and was not published until 2004. Read more about that here. I will be reading Ms. Babb's book.


Other Books of Interest

Reading about the dust bowl reminded me of another famine. The potato famine. Like the Dust Bowl, I had known that a potato famine in Ireland occurred. But I had no idea of the extent of it until I had read Galway Bay by Mary Pat Kelly.  You can read my review of that historical fiction here. I highly recommend it and have read it more than once.

Apparently, the Review This Reviews! contributors are Kristin Hannah fans. Our previous reviews are listed below:




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Thursday, May 12, 2022

Wish You Were Here-Book Review

 


Jodi Picoult's books are known for being thought provoking about current and past events and this book does not disappoint.  I was hooked from the very beginning when the novel starts in a March 2020 time frame.


                                       

The Story

In this book Jodi Picoult says she is exploring "the resilience of the human spirit in a moment of crisis".

In the first pages we are introduced to Diana O'Toole and her boyfriend Dr. Finn Colson.  They are a young couple very much in love and planning on taking the trip of their dreams to the Galapagos Islands.  They are all packed and set to take their trip when Finn comes home and announces that he cannot get away to take the trip.  He is a surgical resident in New York City, and it is the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Finn convinces Diana that she should take the trip without him since they have already paid their nonrefundable down payments.  Dianna reluctantly agrees to go.

When Diana reaches the Galapagos, she takes the ferry over to the island where they are staying only to discover that due to the pandemic it is the last ferry to the island and the island is now shut down due to the pandemic.  When she arrives, there is no transportation available, so she decides to walk to their hotel only to discover that it has been shut down.  Diana is beginning to panic when a worker from the hotel is leaving and stops to talk to Diana.  She offers a place for Diana to stay in a cottage she owns.  She is very kind to Diana and offers her food and advice.

The next chapters find Diana exploring the island, meeting people along the way, and dealing with communication problems.  She tries to contact Finn, but communication is very limited, and she finally is able to get someone to let her into the hotel to use their server.  

In the meantime, Finn, is working day and night at the hospital to deal with the spreading pandemic.  When he gets a moment to send Diana an email, he never knows if she is getting them.  In one email, he lets Diana know that her mother who is in a nursing home is gravely ill and the nursing home is quarantined by the pandemic.

There is so much more to the story, but I don't want to spoil it for you by telling you about all the twists and turns.  I will tell you it is a very compelling story made even more interesting by the fact that we are currently living in the pandemic.  I highly recommend this book.

More Books I Have Enjoyed by Jodi Picoult

I have read many of Jodi Picoult's books.  Here are some that I particularly enjoyed.

The Book of Two Ways explores Egyptology and I found very intriguing. Here is a review that Diana wrote on this book. Book of Two Ways

                                     
Leaving Time is a book that explores the relationships between humans and animals.  The elephants in this story were delightful and I would recommend this book.

                                   
My Sister's Keeper is the heart wrenching story of a young girl who was conceived in order to provide bone marrow for her dying sister.  It is considered by many as their favorite Picoult novel.

                                     
Enjoy your Reading!  Books are a wonderful escape from daily life.



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Saturday, May 7, 2022

The Bone Island Trilogy – Book Reviews

 A Trilogy by Heather Graham, the author of the Krewe of Hunters series and the Harrison Investigations series.



This trilogy takes place primarily in Key West. The name Bone Island comes from the first explorers who visited the island around the beginning of 1600. They found the bones of deceased native tribes and called it the 'Island of Bones' or Cayo Hueso.  


Bone Island Trilogy



Ghost Shadow


The Bone Island Trilogy begins with Katie O'Hara who is drawn into a years-old murder when David Beckett returns to Key West. David, a photographer and film maker, had been gone from his island home for many years, working in his craft around the world. His fiancé had been murdered and some suspected that David was guilty of the crime. He returns home to deal with the paperwork involved following the death of his grandfather and perhaps to find a way to clear his name. Katie becomes involved in the mystery surrounding the decade-old murder, despite warnings from her spectral friend Bartholomew, an 18th century ghost. 


Ghost Night


While filming a slasher movie, two actors are murdered on Haunt Island, a remote island in South Bimini. Two years later, survivor Vanessa Loren meets up with Sean O'Hara in Key West where plans are underway to film a documentary about the storied region, including the unsolved crime that haunts Vanessa. As they begin filming along the coral reef, the discovery of authentic pirate treasures deepen the mystery. Spectral help is needed once again before more murders occur.


Ghost Moon


Officer Liam Beckett of the Key West police force finds an old man has died in his home. His granddaughter, Kelsey Donavan, returns to her former Key West home to catalog her grandfather's collections of artifacts and antiquities. But the old family home ~ Merlin House ~ gives Kelsey the feeling she is being watched. Is the house haunted; are the ghost stories true? Liam vows to protect Kelsey and discover the truth. 


Characters in the Bone Island Trilogy


Photo Credit: Pedro Lastra on Unsplash


This trilogy has continuing characters that are either related or have been good friends since childhood. They are all 'conches' – the name given to those who were born and raised in Key West. There is Katie and Sean O'Hara ~ brother & sister, David and Liam Beckett ~ cousins, Jamie O'Hara ~ Katie & Sean's uncle who runs a popular bar and restaurant where Katie does 'Katie-okie' 4 nights a week and where most of the friends congregate regularly, and several couples who make regular appearances throughout the trilogy. 


Then there is Bartholomew Miller, the most interesting of all the characters. You see, Bartholomew was a 'privateer' during the time pirates and privateers wreaked havoc in the Caribbean. He plied the seas for England for years and finally found a home on Bone Island. His home at the time is the house Katie now lives in, so Bartholomew shares the house with her. Katie has been able to see ghosts most of her life. Later, the ghost attaches himself to her brother Sean, and eventually to Liam. Bartholomew plays a part in helping solve the crimes and strange goings-on that occur throughout the Bone Island Trilogy.


Summary



I just recently discovered that there is a prequel  to the Trilogy – Ghost Memories - and it's all about Bartholomew!


I enjoyed this trilogy very much and recommend it to readers who enjoy mystery stories that are also 'ghost stories'. 


More Series by Heather Graham





*The Bone Island Trilogy book reviews written by Wednesday Elf.


+Intro Photo by Lynn Danielson on Unsplash 






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Saturday, April 23, 2022

Review of Harrison Investigations

 Book Series by Heather Graham




“Harrison Investigations specializes in the bizarre ~ the unexplained ~ the things that go bump in the night.:

There are those who walk among us who are no longer alive, but not yet crossed over.  They stay to seek retribution or to help or watch over and protect those they love.

Among the living, few sense their presence ~ but some can!


The Harrison Investigations Series


Adam Harrison began Harrison Investigations after his son, Josh, died. Adam started putting together a team of people to look into cases with a paranormal angle because, although he didn't have the ability, Josh did, and Adam is able to recognizes it in others who can see and talk to ghosts. 


Available on Amazon

Throughout this series of ten books, we meet many people, all trained as Private Investigators, who are able to see what exists in a slightly different dimension.


This series fits into several genres – mystery & thriller, suspense, fantasy, paranormal, Historical Romance and romantic suspense. Each story takes place in a different place and, quite often, we are given a history lesson from earlier times. You learn a bit about the history of the place going back to Civil War times and other events that occurred in the 1700s and 1800s. The current story is taking place in modern times, but the ghost(s) will be from the past. The ghost has stayed around to help or have a wrong righted.


Books in the Series 


Haunted - Book 1


The series begins with Haunted, which takes place in an historic Virginia estate that dates back to the Revolutionary War. Suspecting that the house is haunted, owner Matt Stone finally allows Harrison Investigations in the form of paranormal investigator Darcy Tremayne to try and discover the truth about some strange happenings at the house.


Book #3 (Ghost Walk) finds us in New Orleans where Nikki DuMonde manages a successful haunted-tour company. Nikki doesn't scare easily until she wakes up at 4 a.m. to see her newest employee standing at the end of her bed begging for help. The next day she discovers that the employee had been killed. Nikki doesn't believe in ghosts, and no one believes her until Brent Blackhawk, a paranormal investigator able to communicate with the dead, arrives to help. 


Unhallowed Ground (Harrison Investigations Book #7) takes place in Florida where Sarah McKinley has bought an historic mansion that she has always loved.  While the house is being renovated, remains of dozens of bodies – some dating back over a century – are discovered in a wall.


Meanwhile Caleb Anderson, a P.I. With Harrison Investigations, is in town investigating several missing-person cases. He soon comes to believe that his cases are linked to Sarah's house and its dark past. Sarah and Caleb are compelled to research the history of the house to discover the truth.


For all ten books in the Harrison Investigation series, click here.


Summary



The characters in each book are always interesting and the ghosts are delightful.  There is usually a romantic interest between the main male & female characters, of course. And the historic background of each area and place is fascinating.


An interesting fact is that the Harrison Investigation Series pre-dates the Krewe of Hunters series reviewed earlier here on ReviewThisReviews. From being private investigators for Adam Harrison, the group's crime solve-rate is so good that eventually the FBI becomes interested and the Krewe of Hunters become a group of unusual FBI agents who are called upon when something complex (and usually paranormal) is going on.


I have now read my way through both series and really enjoyed them. Therefore, I recommend them to anyone interested in this type of genre. Classic paranormal romantic suspense by Heather Graham.



*Harrison Investigations Book Series reviewed by Wednesday Elf






Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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