Archive for Book Reviews

14 Mar 2015

Praise for medical thriller “The Healer”

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A thousand thanks to these kind readers who took the time to leave these humbling reviews for my medical thriller THE HEALER. I can’t thank you enough.

marketing45.0 out of 5 stars Not your classic medical drama…, March 13, 2015
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This is the first book I’ve read by this author, but I can assure you it won’t be my last. As a healthcare professional myself, I was/am intrigued how writers portray the medical field and many of its mysteries. This book (cover is brilliant) caught my eye. The story inside did not disappoint!

At first, you think the story is the classic “girl is dying, girl searches for healer, girl finds healer, girl is healed.” But it’s so much more than that. Both healer and patient are at a crossroads, defining which way their lives will go. Fischer takes the reader on one hell of a journey.Prayer-can-Heal-2

Fischer makes you feel the enormity and depth of desperation Erica is feeling, believing this rather bizarre healer may be her one and only chance to survive terminal cancer. He deftly melds into the story the ever present and ongoing argument between alternative healing and Big Pharmaceuticals…*Note~Most of the latter comes from the former. At any rate, I found myself questioning what I would do, how far would I go to survive imminent death. The true beauty in this story is Fischer’s ability to humanize the relationship between healer and patient…flaws, idiosyncrasies and all, the healer is as human as the rest of us.

The story is emotional and captivating, beautifully written with some twists I didn’t expect. I would highly recommend this book to anyone! healer cover for kindle

Beautifully done! Bravo Mr. Fischer!

5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Mystery, March 8, 2015

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The Healer by Christoph Fischer is an expansive grab bag of issues found within the confines of the medical community. It attacks pharmaceutical companies, cancer, chemotherapy, traditional Western medicine, and New Age healing techniques. At the center of all the swirling concepts and philosophies stands Erica, who I immediately disliked. However, as her situation is slowly revealed by the author, her aloofness, selfishness, and determination coalesce into a woman desperate to live. bethesda-naval-medical-center-80380__180

Her willingness to go into the guru-style therapy with the once-famous and now reclusive Arpan shows plenty about her quest. She doesn’t really believe in anything beyond the scientific, so turning herself over to something that requires blind faith in the unseen and untouchable, gave her believability and eventually likability.

The frantic search for a cure-all for the evil cancer drives the plot of this novel through all its gyrations and mysteries. The mystique of Anuj, the disappearance of Hilda, and the vitriolic of Julia all add to the suspense. The magic healer Arpan keeps his own secrets as does Erika, or rather Maria, as she presents herself to Arpan. The unraveling of it takes up the second half of the novel, while the first half revolves around the sped up healing process for Erika.
I won’t give any spoilers, but I will say the final links in the mystery at the end took me by surprise. I thought several times I had the mystery of all the characters solved, and then the author throws another hairpin curve on the road to discovery. syringe-417786__180
Arpan’s specialty for healing is pancreatic cancer. I recently lost a friend to this devastating disease. I found Erika’s search for a cure and disgust with the effects of chemotherapy believable. My friend probably would have signed a pact with the devil to first, be done with the ravages of chemicals surging through her body to unsuccessfully kill the cancer, and second, to live without pain, and third, but certainly not least, to simply live. When the reader first meets Erika, she has arrived at that point.

The Healer is not a light read. The discussions between Arpan and Erika expose many of the problems with Western medicine’s practices. The desperation of pharmaceutical companies to find the magic elixir rings true in the author’s exploration within the tension-filled plot. The drawbacks to putting all one’s faith in another who claims to have special powers is also a central theme of the book. Who is the culprit? Who is the victim? The answers lie within the pages of The Healer. Boyd and Ejay doing Healer Method

I marvel yet again at Christoph Fischer’s ability to write about relevant issues that impact us all. His leap from historical fiction to writing works about contemporary dilemmas represents his measure and ability as an adept storyteller, no matter the genre.

5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB, March 4, 2015
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Erica is dying from pancreatic cancer, with no where else to turn to she finds herself with a Welsh healer – Arpan has how own potions and his own ways – the only problem is he has stopped practicing. What is an age old conflict and plot – that of modern medicine and alternative medicine – is turned into a compelling, interesting, and entirely different story by Mr. Fischer. Does the spirit have anything to do with healing? Are we all haunted by our past? The aspect of the novel I like best is the intimate relationship one develops with the characters. You can feel images (1)
their emotions as if they are your own. A great medical thriller, great story, great characters.
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking read, March 2, 2015
This review is from: The Healer (Kindle Edition)
Diagnosed with late stage pancreatic cancer, Erica Whittaker, high powered executive, is persuaded by her loyal personal assistant Hilda, to seek treatment from Arpan. Twenty years previously, he had cured hundreds of people of pancreatic cancer by holistic means. Erica’s reluctance to face him is governed by the past.

Fischer’s understanding of holistic healing practices allows Whittaker to be the Western sceptic and Arpan to explain what he does and why. This fast paced and intricately woven novel is a page turner and I enjoyed it very much. As Whittaker explores her own feelings about medicine, both conventional and holistic and the life she lives, both its pace and content, the reader is confronted with their own beliefs and life choices. Boyd and Ejay doing Healer Method

Thought provoking, interesting and a great read.

The Healer

When advertising executive Erica Whittaker is diagnosed with terminal cancer, western medicine fails her. The only hope left for her to survive is controversial healer Arpan. She locates the man whose touch could heal her but finds he has retired from the limelight and refuses to treat her.  Erica, consumed by stage four pancreatic cancer, is desperate and desperate people are no longer logical nor are they willing to take no for an answer. Arpan has retired for good reasons, casting more than the shadow of a doubt over his abilities. So begins a journey that will challenge them both as the past threatens to catch up with him as much as with her.  Can he really heal her? Can she trust him with her life? And will they both achieve what they set out to do before running out of time?








Short Biography:

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small hamlet, not far from Bath.  He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.

Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013 and The Black Eagle Inn in October 2013. “Time To Let Go” , his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions” in October 2014. His medical thriller “The Healer” was released in January 2015.

He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.







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02 Mar 2015

“Echoes of Narcissus in the Gardens of Delight” by Jo Robinson

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B00RBRYMD6-original“Echoes of Narcissus in the Gardens of Delight” by Jo Robinson is a powerful story. It is the gripping account of a woman’s life and relationship as influenced by her husband’s behaviour. I didn’t know myself until I read this book that there is a condition, called ‘malignant narcissism” but caught up quickly with it through this fine and well-crafted novel.
With excellent attention for detail and great illustrations of the various signs, symptoms and effects of the disease on the sufferer and their environment, the book felt like a revelation.
We all probably know people who are controlling, manipulating and abusive to others. Donna is married to one of these people and over the years has taken on his negative view of hers.
By chance she meets a group of people who contrast this negative view and help her to find a different way of looking at herself.
Besides this great personal development and characterisation there is a great side-plot about Mario that adds a suspenseful dramatic curve.
A great read on many levels. P1040025 (2)

Find the book on Amazon US and Amazon UK

Link to my interview with Jo

Amazon Page:


Book Link for African Me:



African Me & Satellite TV

28 Feb 2015

Review: “Two dogs and a suitcase: Clueless in Charente (Sarah Jane’s Travel Memoir Series Book 2)” by Sarah Jane Butfield

2 Comments Book Reviews, News
final 2 dogs cover“Two dogs and a suitcase: Clueless in Charente (Sarah Jane’s Travel Memoir Series Book 2)” by Sarah Jane Butfield is a beautifully written book. Many of us have dreams to live abroad and the author not only did it, but she shared her memories and experiences in a very enjoyable way.
I haven’t read the first part of her travel memoir series but that isn’t essential. If you wonder what it is like to live and renovate a house in France then this is the book for you. Plenty of fascinating anecdotes and a very reflective and at times philosophical perspective made this so much more than just a re-telling of what has happened to her and her family.
Combining popular themes, such as house design and travelling, this book hit the right spot for me.
Very recommendable
I understand there is a 99c sale for this book which runs from 27th Feb to 8th March.
Link to my interview with Sarah Jane sarah
Glass Half Full Book links
26 Feb 2015

Review: “Malin and the Wolf Children” by Skadi Winter

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“Malin and the Wolf Children” by Skadi Winter is a heart-breaking and heart-warming story, both tragic and hopeful. It begins with Malin’s account of her rape and the terrors of the Russian take-over of her village in Nazi Germany during Winter 1945. The book then follows her escape into the forest and the subsequent journey to safety. Along the way she meets the Wolf Children, German orphans who live in the forest, and Lubina. I had heard about these children in some literature about the era but never read anything more in detail. I was delighted to find Skadi Winter’s book and found her account of the group and their survival against the odds one of the most rewarding parts of the book. Malin is a protagonist that is hard to dislike; innocent and sweet, she shows goodness in the face of adversity. The author also brings in some mythology that I found particularly fascinating. Some of this I remember from being a child in Germany but never with such wonderful explanations. There are some excellent thoughts about the world we live in. This is a gripping and powerful read, made particularly so by the narrative of a girl, which contrasts the harsh reality of those days. For me the book was a revelation; for anyone with interest in the history of those days this is a must read. Anyone who has a heart will love this.


Find the book on Amazon US and Amazon UK

Link to my interview with Skadi 

Find HEXE on your Amazon site:

24 Feb 2015

Interview with D.K. Amsden, author of “A Kidnapping Gone Wrong”

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“A Kidnapping Gone Wrong” by D.K. Amsden is a great mystery story with a interesting teenage investigator.
Strong, handsome, bright and with a Siberian Husky by his side, Danny Berry is a hero that will appeal to many readers. The story unravels the mystery behind the disappearance of another teenager, called Sarah McCoy.
The book uses great settings – woodlands in Minnesota, some excellent characters and has all the ingredients for a popular series. Looking forward to the next book.

Crow County Sheriff’s Department had their hands full trying to solve the quickly growing cold, missing person case of seventeen-year-old Sarah McCoy. Sarah’s parents, Doctor Larry and Caroline McCoy, were convinced that Sarah had been kidnapped, but there was no evidence to support their suspicion.

The sheriff’s department was out of ideas except one –getting the best tracker in the area to search the isolated woods in northern Minnesota. That tracker was none other than sixteen-year-old Danny Berry and his Siberian Husky Teddy Mae.

Interview with DK Amsden:

How did you come to writing?

When my family moved to northern Dan's Profile TXMinnesota in 1957 I got lost in the woods. I said if I ever found my way out, I would write about being scared.

How did you come up with your stories?  

Growing up in northern Minnesota was all it took.

Who would you cast to play the characters in a movie?  

My granddaughter Kena would play Mary Beth – Amber Marshall from “Heartland” would play Pam – Lou Diamond Phillips would play Sheriff Billy Ray -Ashton Kutcher would play Danny Berry 

Are you like any of the characters (and how so)?  

Danny Berry is based on a lot of the things that I did growing up.

Were the plot and subplots completely planned from the start or did they change during the process, and if so, how?  

The idea just comes to me, and then I write the first chapter and let it sit. Then one day I will write the last chapter. The rest just comes to me as I write.

What is your main reason for writing?  

I’m a story teller, I like sharing my stories, so what better way.

I‘ve only read one of the books so far. What is the idea behind your series?

A young boy wanting to punish anyone who violated the state he loved so much or the people in it.  

I grew up seeing my friends bullied, to this day; I stand up for human or animal alike. I use to watched vacationers come to Minnesota, and they thought it was funny to skin the bark off of a Birch tree. If my father caught you, he would skin your tires off of your car.

What are the best and the worst aspects of writing?  

Giving people enjoyment   —   I don’t see anything as being bad.

How do you balance marketing one book and writing the next?  

Writing is the easy part for me, mostly because I had already written twelve full length novels before publishing, so the marketing gets about 75% of my time.

What do you do when you don’t write?  

My head never stops thinking. But I love my grandchildren, so I try to spend time with them.

Tell us one odd thing about you and one really mundane thing.  

I like to help people, but I don’t want others knowing that I did.  

I eat oatmeal every morning.

What else would you like us to know about yourself and your books?  

I’m a very private person   —   My books come from my heart, every book has a little about me.

Who are your editors and how do you quality control your books?  

Elizabeth Hunt, Arlene O’Neil, Debra Shiveley Welch and Kim Mutch Emerson.  —  Kim Mutch Emerson is a stickler on quality control. I have to give her all the credit.

What do you like best about writing?  

I’m in my own little world.

What is your advice to new writers?  

Never give up.

What is your favourite book?  

The Gold Coast by Nelson DeMille.

What would your friends say are your best and your oddest quality?  

Loyalty   —   Don’t cross me, you only get one chance. 

Tell us about your other books?  

My new series coming out this spring is based in Minnesota starting in 2014. The story is about a hit woman that falls in love with a younger man.

What song would you pick to go with your book?  

That’s a tough one. I guess I would have to go with Forever Young by Rod Stewart

How do you handle criticism of your work?  

I don’t even think about it.

Connect with D.K Amsden

Web site:



Twitter:     @dkamsden


23 Feb 2015

“At Odds with Destiny” Box set: Feature on “Double Forté” by Aaron Paul Lazar

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cover3As I’ve mentioned a few times by now, my book “The Luck of the Weissensteiners” is part of this boxed set,  At Odds with Destiny, released March 3 and including ten full-length novels. 

I have had review posts about and interviews with P.C. Zick, Uvi Poznansky, Amalie Jahn, Brandt Legg and Janet Morris. Today I want to introduce  another author / book in the Box Set: 

Double Forté by Aaron Paul Lazar
In the deep cold of winter, threats erupt from the dark woods, spinning events out of hand—and Gus, tormented by the unexplained death of his wife, braces for the fight of his life.

Here is a 5 star review from Amazon:
“A very musical piece of literature”
1 Aug. 2006
Published on 13640882
Double Forté, the first of the Gus LeGarde series of mysteries written by Aaron Paul Lazar, is a chilling thriller. But this book is such a far cry from the cliché thrillers of today that it is almost the start of a new genre. This book is thriller, mystery, romance, and literature all at once. I could be done by saying it is just plain good writing, but that doesn’t seem fair for a review. I cannot possibly do it justice, but I will attempt to convey some of the unique majesty of this book. However, I will not be able to mention many specifics of the plot for fear of giving it all away.

This book is set neatly in its own world, a beautiful valley in upstate New York. The world is that of Professor LeGarde, a classical musical instructor. Music informs every part of this novel, from his worldview to the other characters, the scenes and escalation of action, right down to the prose itself. This is a very musical piece of literature with a varied tempo depending upon the scene, its intensity, such as its romance or fear. A very lyrical read.

But, please do not misunderstand me. This is not a fantasy or whimsical bit of fluff. This is a very serious, very intense novel about real characters. Lazar does a fantastic job getting inside the minds and exploring the emotions that drive all the characters. The world is very solid and presented in such a complete way that you become a part of it. We understand these people and why everything in this book occurs. That is a very nice and rare trick for an author to pull.
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Double Forté is a refreshing work of handcrafted beauty, even given its nail biting nature. Lazar has crafted an original character in LeGarde, one which I am very glad to learn has an entire series dedicated to him. I strongly recommend this book to all fans of James Patterson, Iris Johanson, and Mary Higgins Clark. You will not be disappointed.


Gus LeGarde’s life essentially ended four years ago, when his beloved wife, Elsbeth, leapt from the Letchworth Gorge cliffs. These days, the music professor plays endless Chopin etudes on his antique piano and lavishes love on his family and dog–but nothing buries the pain or answers his burning questions. What made her jump? Why didn’t she say goodbye? And how will he be able to live without her? Trouble comes to Gus and his daughter, Freddie, when her arrogant husband, Harold, is caught in several love affairs, and begins to verbally abuse her. To protect his daughter and two-year-old grandson, Gus threatens to throw Harold out himself the next time he messes up. But when Harold’s law partner goes missing, a police search in the woods on Gus’s property reveals a shocking find. The mystery deepens as Gus’s innocent friend is set up to take the fall. In the deep cold of winter, threats erupt from the dark woods, spinning events out of hand–and Gus braces for the fight of his life.  41p1PBSEDNL

Aaron Paul Lazar writes to soothe his soul. A bestselling Kindle author of 23 books, including three addictive mystery series, writing books, and a new love story, Aaron enjoys the Genesee Valley countryside in upstate New York, where his characters embrace life, play with their dogs and grandkids, grow sumptuous gardens, and chase bad guys. Visit his website at and watch for his upcoming releases, UNDER THE ICE and DEVIL’S CREEK. Aaron has won over 18 book awards for his novels and finds writing to be his form of “cheap therapy.” Feel free to connect with him on Facebook or his website; he loves to connect with readers!

Visit his website at


Each one of the novels in this boxed set is outside the box. Open it at your own risk!

Bestselling, critically acclaimed, and notoriously creative authors from across the book continuum join forces to bring you At Odds with Destiny, everything you’ve wanted in a boxed set but thought you’d never find: full-length novels brimming with myth, fantasy, mystery, history, romance, drama, originality, heroism, and suspense. Finding themselves at odds with destiny, the characters in these stories fight to shape their future and define who they are. Come follow them in their amazing journeys.
Let in the dog and let out the cat, for this box holds dangers of the most rarefied kind!

22 Feb 2015

Author Interview with Lorraine Carey

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Beloved Sacrifice CoverI’ve been noticing Lorraine Carey and her wonderful books on Twitter and Facebook for some time. I finally caught up with her and some of her books. Yesterday I reviewed “Jonathan’s Locket”  on my other blog. Here is the plot for her latest release: “Beloved Sacrifice”:

Faith Bennett is expecting her first child. What she wasn’t expecting was to travel to a medieval village in Italy to perform a sacred ritual to save her unborn child from an old family curse.
A dark family secret is about to unleash itself. An old gypsy curse that was made long ago is about to rear its ugly head when Faith, a descendant from the D’Amici family, learns she is due to give birth to the seventh daughter in the family. The seventh child is said to be born with a heightened sixth sense and be regarded as the ‘enlightened’ one. A special tribe of the Romani Cult has been waiting hundreds of years for this event. Their plans include a kidnapping that will enable them to harness the spiritual gifts the child will possess. Danger lies at every turn as this young mother to be finds herself holding the key to a hidden power she never knew lay deep within her. Unseen forces take root as she embarks on her quest where an unknown enemy emerges while trying to save her marriage, her life and that of her child. This mysterious tale will take you from the quaint village of Pacentro, Italy in the early 1900s to modern day Orange County, California where evil knows no boundaries.


Here is an interview with the lovely person that is Lorraine:
Tell us a little about yourself as writer and as person. close up 1 copy

I have to say I have always loved ghost stories since I was a child, not the blood and gore stuff, just a real honest to goodness haunted tale. I love to read haunted history and odd and unusual urban legends. What better fun than to take a real legend and twist it into something even more mysterious. Most of the tales I write stem from true historical facts or real urban legends. I also love to read this kind of genre too. A real passion of mine is to listen to Paranormal Internet shows. What better place than to get ideas!

Tell us about your writing history. When was the first time you decided to write and when was the first time you did?

I always wanted to write when I retired. I was always writing stories for children with my job as a Children’s Reading Specialist and Teacher. I always loved Spooky Tales and would tell them and write them with the class. The children loved them and I also loved reading them. A fellow teacher had labeled me, ‘Mrs. Scary’.

Shortly after the loss of my parents, I was grieving and jumped right into writing as a type of therapy for me. This evolved into a short memoir, called ‘Losing Ground’, which I published back in 2010.

After that I found myself writing for junior readers with the next few novels, which featured a boy hero. I wanted to motivate those middle school boys who would rather be at the dentist than reading.

Did anyone influence you / encourage you to become a writer?

My husband has always encouraged me to write as he saw most of the stories I had written over the years when I was teaching. He believed in me more so than I did. I have to say I love the work by Amanda Hocking and was inspired by her fantasy work for Young Adults with her ‘Trylle Series’.

When did you decide to write in your chosen genre(s)

It was shortly after I wrote my memoir, that I began to write Paranormal for teens.  I believe it was in 2011.

Tell us about the concept behind your books. How did you get the idea? 

What are you most proud of in your books?

My books are a product of an unusual or odd historical occurrence or urban legend. I knew as a teacher I always told my students to write something they have experience or know about. Building a work around ‘the known’ gives not only pride to writing but you have a solid knowledge base in which to work with.

My first book for junior readers was Mysteries of the Red Coyote Inn. Living close to the Superstition Mountains and actually knowing most of the legends and history to come out of the area, gave my inspiration for the story. This story is very dear to my heart.

What is your life like outside of writing?

Since I live on a very small island in the Caribbean, (Grand Cayman) I spend my time visiting many of the beautiful beaches, snorkeling or going for boat rides around the island with my hubby.

What makes you laugh?

I really love to watch the old television shows from the seventies and eighties. Some of my favorite shows that had me it stitches were: The Bob Newhart Show, The Golden Girls, The Nanny and Seinfeld.

Who would you like to invite for dinner?

Now this is a tough question, as I have to so many to pick from. If I had to choose just one, it would most likely be music composer Adrian von Ziegler. His music has been on my playlist for most of my novels. And I would make him my homemade spaghetti and meatballs.

What song would you pick to go with your book?

I have already chosen what I believe to be the perfect song for ‘The Last Vestal Virgin’. Of course it is from Adrian von Ziegler. His ‘Nevermore is the theme song. It just seems so fitting for this haunting novel.

What are you working on now?

At the present time I am working on a very different type of genre, but not an area I am unfamiliar with. Since I am a Children’s Reading Specialist I have wanted to write a book for parents of young children, ages three to five. This book will be a tool and resource for getting their child ready to read and prepared for kindergarten with the prereading skills needed to make their child a superstar reader. ‘Ready to Read’ is in the early stages.

Is there anything you would like us to know about yourself and your books?

Again, I’d like to say that my books are a reflection of me and what I love, have a solid knowledge base in the story or was written about a place or occurrence I have experienced first hand. I hope readers will see my stories as a journey into a world of enchantment.

~ Enjoy the Journey



 My website  Blog is also on my site.




 Amazon Page


 Buy Links for Books.

Mysteries of the Red Coyote Inn: Amazon   Smashwords    Barnes & Noble

 Out of the Ashes, A Dean Banks Adventure: Amazon

 Jonathan’s Locket:   Amazon     Smashwords              Barnes & Noble

 The Last Vestal Virgin:    Amazon          Smashwords       Barnes & Noble

 Losing Ground:

Amazon   Barnes & Noble

 Beloved Sacrifice:  Amazon    iTunes

20 Feb 2015

Interview with Wendy Steele, author of “The Lilith Trilogy” and “The Standing Stone”

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13638993On New Moon this week Wendy hosted me on her blog in a wonderful blog swap, so today it is my turn to introduce this wonderful writer, woman and friend to you. I met Wendy years ago on Facebook and we’ve been helping each other out ever since. It was easy, since Wendy writes marvellous stories.
Her first book, “Destiny of Angels”, was recommended to me by a mutual friend and this is how it all started.

The book concerns an emotionally damaged woman who years later – rich and powerful – finally overcomes her past. Together with her partner, a childhood friend and some other characters she uses magic and spiritual rituals and teachings (Qabalah) to find peace.
In parts a paranormal romance and in others a moral tale what strikes me most about the book is the authors familiarity and sound knowledge of the mythology and spiritual teachings. 

“Wrath of Angels (The Lilith Trilogy Book 2)” is also a marvel in the paranormal / fantasy / spiritual genre.
At its core is a unique character, Angel Parsons, a strong and multifacetted woman with pagan leanings, able to enter the astral level, yet very down to earth and capable to run a business.
Right from the beginning we witness her meeting a circle of mythological creatures, excellently portrayed in a wonderful paranormal scene that works with a range of mysticism and mythologies. Those parts of the book are payful, powerful and very well done. Wales April2 2014 480
Yet, much of the story line and sub plots centre around earthly matters, friendships, family, relationships, sex and business.
Steele writes very life like characters and puts them in the beautiful (if somewhat rainy) setting of Wales.
Having read the first book I enjoyed how a woman who had come into her own has established herself. A great sequel in a creative and enjoyable series.

Tell us a little about yourself as a writer and as a person

I was born Wendy Steele in Essex, UK. At the age of ten years, returning from the Tutankhamen Exhibition in London, I wrote my first poem. I’ve three grown up children who still live in Essex while my partner, cats and I moved to Wales in August 2013. One day, we’ll build a straw bale writing room for me on our land from which I will be able to see the mountains.

Did anyone influence you/encourage you to become a writer?

In my early school years I was encouraged to write and produced fantasy stories and descriptive pieces but once I reached senior school, this encouragement ceased. I picked up my writing again in my early twenties, penning a number of children’s stories. A chance advert in a local educational prospectus sent me on a two day characterization workshop and the homework on that course inspired me to write my first novel.

Arriving at the school to pick up the children half an hour early each day, I sat in the car and wrote. Three years and 120,000 words later, I had a novel. It was wordy but the characters were good and this inspired me to keep writing. My first piece of paid published work was an article for the Dancing Times after returning from my first belly dance workshops at Fantasia, London. Seven years later, I published my first novel, Destiny of Angels.

When did you decide to write in your chosen genre(s)? 1525489_727027867367588_3609825835882938065_n

The genre chose me! My novels are magical realism, greatly influenced by my love of Dion Fortune. When I started belly dance at the age of forty, not only did a world of dance open up for me, but a world of people, some of whom thought about the world as I did. The paths these new friends opened up for me, inspired me to write about real magic.

Tell us about the concept behind your books. How did you get the idea?

Having talked to the moon ever since I was a little girl, as a new life path opened up for me, I began studying magic, shamanism and the Kabbalah. This research, along with my own personal practical workings, is the basis for my books.

What is your life like outside of writing?

Physically exhausting! Our move to Wales was motivated by location but also cost so, we’ve ended up in a beautiful spot in Cribyn near Lampeter in a dilapidated stone cottage. Such a large renovation project had not been part of the plan but I love our house and our land is blessed with river frontage which is wonderful.

Visits to Essex are frequent to catch up on the family and it’s bliss to spend quality time with those we love.

After teaching Egyptian belly dance for a number of years, I became a tribal babe four years ago and my teacher asked if I would like to teach as Tribal Unity in Wales teaching American Tribal Style® Belly Dance. I started two beginners classes in March 2014. My dancers are inspiring and we’ve been into the community performing, showing others what we do in class. Starting a new project is always scary and hard work but I love what I do and after teaching and my own dance practise, it’s bliss to sit down and write.

What are you working on now? Standing Stone Home For Christmas Cover drop shadow

The third part of the Lilith Trilogy, Angels and Demons is under way, as is the second Standing Stone book, Silence is Broken which I hope to publish in the Spring.

I was invited to join a writing group in the next village and am enjoying writing short stories again and exploring new genres.

Is there anything you would like us to know about yourself and your books?

When I started using social media, I decided to adopt an honest approach, being myself so that if a reader met me in the street, I would be the person they had interacted with. I also decided that if I wanted the Indie community to help me, I would need to do the same and ran the Amazing Karmic Sharefest and the BOB each month on my Facebook page, sharing events before sharing events were done. I also decided to read and review, giving an honest opinion of the books I read to encourage readers to give Indie writers a chance.

I have written one non-fiction book, Wendy Woo’s Year, A Pocketful of Smiles, a book to help bring a smile to every day, which gives ideas, recipes, meditations and more, used by me in my endeavour to live with depression.

As writers, we have stories to tell and ideas to share. Feed back from readers where a book has resonated with them is the best reward.

Wendy Steele

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19 Feb 2015

REVIEW: “FORTUNE BRAWLING” by Hunter S. Jones and Jennifer Theriot

4 Comments Book Reviews, News

10969482_4954821686401_627914209_o“Fortune Brawling” by Hunter S. Jones and Jennifer Theriot is a very well written and entertaining short novel. The Fortune-series is about musician Dallas Fortune. In this book she gets into trouble (again) when a wild night with friends and groupies gets a little out of hand.

As you’d expect, drink and partying are involved, since this is the the music scene of Nashville Tennessee and features a few more southern states characters. You can’t help but laugh at the ‘misfortunes’, the banter, the complications and the honky tonk. The book takes a humorous approach and it’s difficult not to get involved in the story and the characters as the events unfold. A great story told with love for music and musicians, lighthearted and fun and some excellent characterisations make this a very enjoyable experience to treasure. If you’re wondering where all the fun has gone – in books or in your life – then read this. Well done to the authors for such a refreshing and entertaining delight.





The Fortune Series, Story 2 The Story of Dallas Fortune.

Hunter S. Jones & Jennifer Theriot


Two guitars. Two wild women. One crazy honky tonking night in Georgia. The Ace is high and the Joker is always wild.

When Texas meets Tennessee the end result spells T.R.O.U.B.L.E


In story two of The Fortune Series, we find country musician Dallas Fortune in a tight spot. Guitar God, Billie Joe McAllister, has betrayed her once again. As if by magic, her BFF from Ft. Worth Texas, guitarist Jodie Marie Jennings, drives all night to come to her aid in a time of need.  What happens at Bud’s honky tonk in Trenton, Georgia should stay at Bud’s, but it doesn’t. What went wrong? Who gets in trouble and who gets revenge? Who are JD Fowler and Tom Vanderfleet? What does the best fairy godmother in Country Music history do to save the day this time around? These questions and more secrets are revealed in this adventurous, light hearted and fun contemporary novelette.

Guitars. Hillbilly Music. Nashville, Tennessee. Fortune Brawling is the second story in The Fortune Series. Set in contemporary Nashville and the surrounding rural areas. The series chronicles the life and loves of Dallas Fortune.


Writer. Author of the international best sellers, SEPTEMBER ENDS and FORTUNE CALLING. She has lived in Tennessee and Georgia her entire life, except for one ‘Lost Summer’ spent in Los Angeles. Currently, she lives with her husband and books in Midtown Atlanta, GA. She has a B.A. in History and English Lit, and an advanced degree from the University of Notre Dame. 2015 will find her writing Historical Fiction as Hunter Cookston. Her favorite color is red, and her favorite foods are hot peppers, apples and sushi.

Link to my interview with Hunter on my other blog


Jennifer Theriot hails from the Great State of Texas. She is a career woman, working as CFO of a Texas based real estate investment firm by day and does her writing at nights and on weekends. In her limited spare time, Jennifer enjoys being outdoors; preferably somewhere on a beach curled up with a good book. Spending time with family and friends, listening to music, watching a baseball game and enjoying a good bottle of wine are usually on her to-do lists. She’s mom to three grown children and ‘MiMi’ to three grandkids – all of whom she adores! Her best-selling Out of the Box Series, OUT OF THE BOX AWAKENING, OUT OF THE BOX REGIFTED and TOCCATA OBBLIGATO~SERENADING KYRA are currently available on . The final in the Out of the Box series, OUT OF THE BOX EVERLASTING will be released in 2015.

Two guitars. Two wild women. One crazy honky tonking night in Georgia. The Ace is high and the Joker is always wild.

When Texas meets Tennessee the end result spells T.R.O.U.B.L.E


14 Feb 2015

AT ODDS WITH DESTINY feature: Janet Morris

2 Comments Book Reviews, News

Tempus 5-1

Today I want to introduce you to Janet Morris, a multi-talented writer who features alongside myself in the “AT ODDS WITH DESTINY” Box Set.  Janet and I connected via Uvi Poznansky, who also contributed to the Box Set. Here is Uvi’s review of Janet’s book “A Man and His God (Sacred Band of Stepsons: Sacred Band Tales Book 1)”, which I find the perfect introduction to the artist that is Janet. 

The Man and His God is a novella based on Plato’s Sacred Squadron, which consisted of pairs of male lovers that formed the elite force of the Theban army in the 4th century BC. It is more than a sword-and-sorcery tale. Before us is a story where mythology is reinvented in the most delicious, vivid detail, in a fantasy world that is larger than life, and perhaps more true to our dreams and our yearning for a heroic journey. In this world, reality is but a distant, pale shadow of what is possible, and what the author, Janet morris is fleshing out before us.

I find it truly amazing that she found a lyrical way to describe the exploits of this elite cavalry unit. The Sacred Band of Stepsons is loyal to its members and its commander. It begins when Abarsis, the Slaughter Priest from the North, brings his Sacred Band to Tempus, a warrior who cannot die, nor can he enjoy his immortality. At the beginning of the story this lone mercenary is perceived by others as ‘Death Himself’.

By the end of the story, the wounded Abrasis takes his last breath in Tempus’ arms. The scene features one of the most delicate descriptions of helping a dying man find a measure of comfort amidst the pain. As he breathes out his soul, Tempus seals his last moment with a symbolic signature of a kiss. Indeed, the kiss of Death… This scene, and indeed the entire concept of the Sacred Band, bring to mind customs such as homosexuality in the militaries of ancient Greece.

Five stars.

Interview with Janet: Janet bio pic cropped 12 05 13 Janet B&W Portrait 2
Tell us a little about yourself as writer and as person.

As a writer, I have been writing for as long as I can remember, first on the wallpaper of my room and then branching out. I made my living for as a novelist (I sold my first book when I was 25), and then as a think-tank “policy wonk” and talking head, often ghost-writing for Congressmen, Senators, and the like.

Tell us about your writing history. When was the first time you decided to write and when was the first time you did?

I decided to write when I was three and got my first box of crayons and finger-paints.  I did write that year, on the walls of my room, but nothing publishable.  I won my first writing prize for a poem I wrote in first grade.

Did anyone influence you / encourage you to become a writer?

Every teacher I had, but for one, encouraged my writing.  That one told my parents, on the third day of school when I was in in Grade 9, that I wrote like William Fa
ulkner, whom she detested; therefore she would fail me if I stayed in her College English course.  Her name was Mrs. Hurst and I am always grateful to her; because of her, I spent a year in General English, learning about punctuation, spelling, and the diagramming of sentences because anyone in General English hoped for a career in secretarial work. 

When did you decide to write in your chosen genre(s)

My father and mother were well educated;  they read me classics and mythology and bible stories, not contemporary children’s books, and my father let me read his science fiction magazines, so I grew up enjoying mythopoeic and metaphysical works such as Macbeth, Midsummer’s Night Dream, Faerie Queen, the Iliad.  I didn’t ‘decide to write in a chosen genre’  because I never have and never will, write in any ‘genre’. I write fiction about the human condition with a metaphysical and philosophical edge, about dramatic explorations into eschatology. The novel is my preferred form, because it contains everything now sold as ‘genre’ but is overtaken by none.

Tell us about the concept behind your books. How did you get the idea?

You say “books,” and if we were face to face I could ask you to clarify:   I didn’t have ‘an’ idea for my ‘books.’  I have varied ideas that I’ve used at the core of various books, ranging from nonfiction, through rigorous a biographical novel of the Hittite king in the middle second millennium BCE to heroic fantasy, to science fiction, and even science fantasy: I write the story that my passion ignites. The novel in this book box is “Tempus,” which is also the name of the main character who began with these stories. I wrote the first Tempus story under contract to the million-copy bestselling Thieves’ World (R) share universe editor, and he asked for a story set in “the armpit of fantasy, the worst and most corrupt place possible). I had long wanted to write something featuring a Sacred Band (a group of hand-picked age-weighted pairs of homosexual warriors) and magic that worked because the gods were real to their worshipers, and Greek hero-cults.  These came together in my Tempus stories, which spawned the Sacred Band of Stepsons novels.

What is your life like outside of writing?   Editing.  And I assist my husband with his music; we live with dogs and cats and horses. We show the hoses competitively: this year a horse we bred became Morgan World Champion Western Pleasure stallion.  Together, my husband and I help each other reach our goals.

What makes you laugh?

A happy, healthy animal; a well-turned phrase; a brilliant musician playing a great piece of music.

Who would you like to invite for dinner?

Homer, Sappho, Heraclitus of Ephesus, Albert Einstein, Kikkuli, Suppiluliumas I, Richmond Lattimore, Marguerite Yourcenar, John Milton, Mary Shelley, Enlil.

What song would you pick to go with your book?

My husband has already written the song for Tempus and the rest of the Sacred Band of Stepsons series. Here is the link to the YouTube video “Tempus with his right-side Companion Niko,” where you can hear the song “Good Times” and watch the Tempus video:

What are you working on now?

I’m working on a novel about Rhesos of Thrace, editing my husband’s narration of the soon-to-be released “I, the Sun” audio book, and completing several short stories, including one for “Doctors in Hell” and one for “HEROIKA 1: Dragon Eaters.

Is there anything you would like us to know about yourself and your books?

When I want to be engaged by a novel, I write one. My books, and those co-written with others, are meant to move you out of your comfort zone, into new, often heroic territory. These books are Homeric, and not for the faint of heart.  Such work is meant to  take the reader into another mind, another time, so that where much is unfamiliar, what is common to all humans stands out sharp and clear. My books always venture into eschatology, questioning the limits of life and death and what comes after.

Buy links for Tempus (a/k/a Tempus with his Right-side Companion Niko) by Janet Morris

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cover-make it our story

Ten full length novels, including THE LUCK OF THE WEISSENSTEINERS. Bestselling, critically acclaimed, and notoriously creative authors from across the book continuum join forces to bring you At Odds with Destiny, everything you’ve wanted in a boxed set but thought you’d never find: full-length novels brimming with myth, fantasy, mystery, history, romance, drama, originality, heroism, and suspense. Finding themselves at odds with destiny, the characters in these stories fight to shape their future and define who they are. Come follow them in their amazing journeys.

Release Date March 3rd.

Available for PRE-ORDER NOW on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords and Kobo

cover of boxed set


Rise to Power by Uvi Poznansky Notorious for his contradictions, David is seen by others as a gifted court entertainer or a traitor leading a gang of felons. How does he see himself? Can he control his destiny and strike a balance between ambition and longing for purity?

Double Forté by Aaron Paul Lazar In the deep cold of winter, threats erupt from the dark woods, spinning events out of hand – and Gus, tormented by the unexplained death of his wife, braces for the fight of his life.

The Luck of the Weissensteiners by Christoph Fischer In WW2 Eastern Europe, two families – one Jewish, one Catholic — fight for survival amidst deception, fear, distrust and betrayal. In the entangled web of political, religious and familial loyalties, can love endure?

Outview by Brandt Legg Nate embarks on a breathless quest to save his brother and unravel the mystery of their father’s death. His desperate flight takes a stunning turn when mystics reveal an extraordinary destiny to him.

Among the Shrouded by Amalie Jahn Mia, Thomas, and Kate have psychic abilities and a common destiny. They just don’t know it yet.

Pam of Babylon by Suzanne Jenkins After Jack dies, his wife Pam discovers secrets and lies. Is she destined to succumb to vengefulness against his two lovers, or will she fine a different way forward?

Broken Angel by S.W. Vaughn To rescue his kidnapped sister, Gabriel is forced to join a crime syndicate, where he discovers a dark underside to the city that few have ever seen. Yet the game can’t be won by their rules. He’ll have to make his own.

Tempus by Janet Morris Woe betide the soul who dares too much! Ride with Tempus and his Sacred Band of Stepsons cavalry into myth, legend, and adventure like no other.

Native Lands by P.C. Zick When their environment is torn apart by a battle for power and control of the last of the Florida frontier, a tribe of native Floridians thought to be extinct rise up to halt the destruction of the natural world they treasure.

Dream Student by James DiBenedetto Everything was going according to plan, until the night when college junior Sara Barnes started seeing other people’s dreams. Is she the only one witnessing the secrets of a serial killer? Let in the dog and let out the cat, for this box holds dangers of the most rarefied kind!


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