Book Review: ‘Dear Moviegoer: Tales from Behind the Velvet Curtains” by Margena Adams Holmes

If you’re ever frustrated by things people do at the movies, this book is for you.

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Margena Adams Holmes Dear Moviegoer
‘Dear Moviegoer’ is a collection of short pieces addressed to folks to go to the cinemas, from the point of view of a theatre employee. Some of the entries are lighthearted, some are informative and provide some great practical tips for improving one’s moviegoing experience. Others are slightly snarky – and with good reason! Personally, I would have liked to see more snark, but that might just be me. I love snark.

It’s fair to say that until I read this book, I had no idea of the extent of the bad behaviour that movie theatre employees have to put up with. On a “decent human being” level, I’m appalled at what some people think is acceptable. That the author managed to communicate her responses and explain the finer points of cinema etiquette in a polite and straightforward manner, often with a touch of good humour, is a mark of her good character.Acorn Award II Silver

An enjoyable read, ‘Dear Moviegoer’ has been awardeda Silver Acorn.

Get your copy here.

Book Review: ‘Holiday Gone Wrong’ by Jennifer S. Alderson

A well balanced mystery novella.

Jennifer S Alderson Holiday Gone Wrong‘Holiday Gone Wrong is a short read with elements of mystery and intrigue, but also some lovely comic moments, all of which make the reader want to know more of Zelda and her story. The author does a great job of balancing all of those elements without giving away the storylines of the other books in which Zelda features.

This short read is enriched by vivid, detailed descriptions of the exotic locations which really transported me to those places and brought the story to life. The author has cleverly conveyed both the beauty of the places and the joy of experiencing them, which definitely enhances the reader’s enjoyment of the story.

Acorn Award II Silver‘Holiday Gone Wrong’ works perfectly well as a stand-alone, but also serves as a great introduction and/or companion to Alderson’s mystery novels which also feature Zelda Richardson.
This very enjoyable short read has been awarded a Silver Acorn.

Get your copy here.

Book Review: ‘Lineage: The Memory Of The Sphinx’ by C H Clepitt

If you enjoy subversive dark humour, don’t overlook this series of short reads.

CH Clepitt Lineage The Memory of the SphinxThe third of C.H. Clepitt’s paranormal short stories in the Lineage series, this is another entertaining short read.

Clepitt continues to develop the quirky characters introduced in the first two stories, and adds another level of complexity by both providing a new development in the story and intertwining it with both John’s and Charlotte’s separate backstories.

This story is told with the author’s trademark cynical humour, which adds a delightful layer of snark to an otherwise dark story.

If you enjoy subversive dark humour, don’t overlook this series of short reads.Acorn Award II Silver

I did want it to be longer, and I wanted more resolution to the minor parts of this story, so I have awarded ‘Lineage: The Memory Of The Sphinx’ a Silver Acorn.

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘The Recruit’ by M.M. Cox

The Recruit is an interesting and refreshing change from witches and vampires.

M.M. Cox The Recruit‘The Recruit’ introduces the reader to Cassie, a teen who thinks her biggest problems are not getting along with her mother and not wanting a boyfriend when everyone else seems to. When Cassie is confronted by bigger problems that she hasn’t even realised existed in her life, she is launched on a journey of discovery that the reader follows with avid interest.

This story is really well written. The characters and dialogue are believable, and the story is packed with action, complications and heart-in-your-throat moments that make it hard to put down. Teen and YA readers will relate quite easily to Cassie, Kristen and Landon, and there’s certainly enough complexity and depth in the story to keep older readers engaged, too.

‘The Recruit’ tells a great story, but it also raises some really interesting and thought-provoking questions about the nature of evil, and the balance of good and evil in the world we live in. Readers are challenged to think beyond what they can see and reminded that appearances can be very deceiving.

As a reader who enjoys a variety of paranormal stories, I found this book to be an interesting and refreshing change from witches and vampires.Acorn Award I Golden

‘The Recruit’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn for excellence.
Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘Journey of a Lost Manuscript’ by Lorraine Smith

A fascinating true story of the discovery of a Tudor document in 21st century Australia.

Lorraine Smith Journey of a Lost ManuscriptThis is a fascinating true story of a vellum manuscript from Tudor times, its discovery in a bookshop in Warrnambool in 2013, and the journey of discovery undertaken by Lorraine Smith to learn of the manuscript’s history.

It’s really well-written with an easy-going, conversational tone that makes the reader feel as though they’re just listening to the author tell her story, so it’s very relaxing and enjoyable to read. The reader gets a good feel for the character of the author as well as the different personalities she has encountered in the course of her investigations.
The story is complemented by very clear and interesting photographs and maps.

Because it is such an interesting read, ‘Journey of a Lost Manuscript’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.Acorn Award I Golden

Find your copy on Amazon or contact Spectrum Books in Warrnambool, Australia.

Book Review: ‘Prince of Sorrows’ by D.K. Marley

A tragic story, very well told.

D.K. Marley Prince of SorrowsWhen one sets out to retell an old, world famous story, it is essential that both the plot and the characters are crafted well enough to keep the reader engaged when they already know what’s going to go wrong and how things are going to work out. This first first title in a ‘Fractured Shakespeare’ series by D.K. Marley does not disappoint in its new delivery of the ages-old story of Hamlet.

‘Prince of Sorrows’ is a novelised retelling of the story of Hamlet with a much less ‘Anglicised’ feeling about it than Shakespeare’s play. In fact, this story feels so authentic and well-developed, it actually seems as though it’s more like the original story from which Shakespeare might have drawn his plot and characters. The characters are complex and intricately drawn, and bear names that are definitely more Scandinavian than those used by Shakespeare, yet many are not entirely dissimilar. The story is just as dramatic as the play itself, capturing the intrigue of politics within the castle of Elsinore and the rollercoaster of Amleth’s thoughts and feelings as the tension increases and the story reaches its climax.

Even as a reader who knows Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’ extremely well, I enjoyed this adaptation of the play to prose. It’s a tragic story, very well told.Acorn Award I Golden

‘Prince of Sorrows’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.
Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘The Witch’s Touch’ by Rosie Wylor-Owen

A deliciously dark short story read.

Rosie Wylor-Owen The Witchs TouchThe Witch’s Touch is a delightfully dark story about justice being delivered in the most satisfying way.

The narration of the story is fluent and masterful, giving the reader rich insights into the characters and their actions. The characters are developed with considerable detail given the length of the story, and the reader is captivated by the story that unfolds. The story itself is quite unique and has some brilliant twists in it to keep the reader guessing.

Acorn Award I Golden
It’s a short read that took me a little under half an hour, so it’s perfect as a quick escape from a busy day. ‘The Witch’s Touch’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn for excellence.

Find your copy here.