Book Review: ‘The Blue Serpent’ by Claire Buss

This is a little gem of a book that is well worth reading.

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Claire Buss The Blue SerpentHaving recently read and loved ‘The Book Thief’, I was keen to read this brand new collection of flash stories by Claire Buss. They are very different than her excellent novel, but they are great stories nonetheless.

Each story is a brief vignette of a life, a mind, a heart, a soul. Some of them are lighthearted and entertaining, others are much more sobering. I found ‘Possibility’ to be very poignant, while ‘Once Upon a Time’ turned out to be a very powerful commentary on our society that was further developed in ‘Data Stream’.

I appreciated each of these stories for its own qualities, and for the way it made me think about things other than the demands and worries of a busy day. I enjoy reading short stories when life is hectic, and this book has filled bill perfectly.  Acorn Award II Silver

This is a little gem of a book that is well worth reading, and as such, it has been awarded a Silver Acorn.

Get your copy here.

Book Review: ‘The Unlikeliest Candidate’ by J. S. Frankel

An absolutely ripping read for NA and grownups.

Jesse Frankel The Unlikeliest CandidateHarry Cannell’s life is going to hell in a handcart – fast. He’s a regular guy with regular problems that start piling up until one extraordinary event changes everything for him.

It’s great to find a brilliant story that revolves around a character who is actually so ordinary and who struggles to make sense of exactly how he arrived at the point in life where he finds himself as the book opens. This makes him relatable to the reader, and positions them to feel sympathy for the misery he experiences.

This story is a unique blend of mystery, sci-fi, comedy, romance and adventure all in one. It’s a great escape into the realm of ‘What if?’ that tempts the reader to wonder and hope that there might actually be something more, some unrealised possibilities that we simply overlook as we pursue life as we know it.

There is some physical intimacy in this book, so it’s suitable for New Adult audiences and up, rather than YA.

‘The Unlikeliest Candidate’ is an absolutely ripping read from start to finish.
Acorn Award I Golden

Book Squirrel has awarded it a Gold Acorn for brilliant storytelling and great writing.

Find your copy at Amazon.

Book Review: ‘Bitter Loss’ by Aliya DalRae

A powerful portrayal of one woman’s personal hell.

Aliya DalRae Fallen Cross Pack 3 Bitter Loss

The third in the Fallen Cross Pack novella series, ‘Bitter Loss’ is the vivid and heartbreaking portrayal of one woman’s descent into her own personal hell when her life takes a tragic turn.

 

Maggie Danes is very realistically portrayed in her responses and emotions. As grief gives way to despair, and then to hopelessnes, the reader can’t help but feel that they might not respond so differently should they find themselves in her situation.

 

This is a beautifully written story that works well as a standalone, but also fits perfectly into both the Fallen Cross and Jessica Sweet series. This fact alone is testament to DalRae’s talent as a writer.

 

Acorn Award I Golden
Like the others in this series, ‘Bitter Loss’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.

 

Book Review: ‘100 Word Horrors’ Anthology

100 Word Horrors: A collection of brilliant short reads.

Anthology 100 Word Horrors

A drabble is a piece of writing that is about 100 words in length.

 

What people often do not realise is that writing something short and making it as effective as something longer is actually really hard to do. The same opportunities to develop plot, characters and ideas in a novel or longer story do not exist in flash, micro fiction, or drabbles.

 

This book is a collection of drabbles by different authors, all in the genre of horror. The majority of these pieces of short fiction are brilliant; some are less effective, but that is largely a matter of personal preference. The chills, crawling of skin and unexpected twists are delivered with all the skill and craft that these writers use in their other, longer works, but their talent is highlighted in the fact that they can achieve this in so few words.

 

This book is great for anyone who loves horror, especially for a quick snatched moment of escape during a break or quiet moment. It’s also ideal for anyone new to the genre who wants to “dip their toes in the water” for the first time without committing to a longer read.
Acorn Award I Golden

 

‘100 Word Horrors’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.

 

Get your copy at Amazon.

Book Review: ‘Bitter Challenge’ by Aliya DalRae

‘Bitter Challenge’ is another great short read that has further filled out the answers to mysteries raised in DalRae’s Jessica Sweet novels, yet can easily stand alone and be read without spoilers of the series for readers who haven’t got to those other books yet.

Aliya DalRae Fallen Cross Pack 2 Bitter Challenge

An ADR Short that follows ‘Bitter Beginnings‘, this book tells the story of the next stage in the life of Patrick Danes. Although now a wolf shifter and separated from his family, he has lost neither his principles nor his desire to make things better for the pack.

 

The narrative flows easily, bringing scenes and characters to life for the reader. Patrick’s strength and moral character gives the reader a sense of safety and hope in even the most dire of situations.

 

‘Bitter Challenge’ is another great short read that has further filled out the answers to mysteries raised in DalRae’s Jessica Sweet novels, yet can easily stand alone and be read without spoilers of the series for readers who haven’t got to those other books yet.

Acorn Award I Golden

For all of these reasons, I’m giving this book a lovely Gold Acorn.

 

Find ‘Bitter Challenge’ on Amazon.

Book Launch & Blog Tour: Webley and the World Machine by Zachary Paul Chopchinski

Today, Book Squirrel welcomes Zachary Paul Chopchinski and his new release steampunk novel, Webley and the World Machine! 

Today, Book Squirrel welcomes Zachary Paul Chopchinski and his new release steampunk novel, Webley and the World Machine! 

Title: Webley and the World Machine
Author: Zachary Paul Chopchinski
Genre: Steampunk
Cover Designer: Deranged Doctor Designs
Publisher: Books & Bow Ties Publishing
Editor: plot2published
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb: A world beneath our world.
An army of mechanical monsters.
A war to end all wars.
When Adalwolf Stein and Arija Rapp discover a mechanical world hidden deep within the earth, the result is life changing. Webley and the creators of The World Machine work to keep the Earth turning. But when Arija and Adalwolf discover a growing conflict that will destroy the Earth, they find themselves forced to fight.
Will they be able to stop the war in time or will they regret ever having set foot in The World Machine?
Zachary is a bow tie wearing, formal vest rocking, pocket watch using, sarcastic monster of a writer. Currently residing in Orlando, Florida, he spends his days working, writing and procrastinating.
Zach has multiple college degrees, in the fields of criminal justice and criminology…because he wanted to catch ALL the bad guys. Now, coupled with being an author of young adult fiction he spends his days yelling at people for breaking regulatory laws.
Zach is the author of the Gabrielle series, a young adult fantasy with a paranormal-historical-time traveling twist (try saying that five times fast)
Author Links:
Buy Links:
“We aren’t going anywhere with your creepy smiling ass. Thanks for the offer, but we have better things to do. Like fight these crazy mantis things. So, if you don’t mind, step off, or I’ll throw you another beating,” Adal offered as he took a half step ahead of Arija who yanked at his sleeve.
            “What the hell are you doing? If I couldn’t take him, you sure as hell can’t! Not in your condition anyway.” Arija slid her hand down Adal’s side to where his empty holster sat on his hip. “Where’s your gun?” she mumbled out of the side of her mouth.
            “I don’t know. It went flying when I did. I’m going to make my move. You make yours!” Adal mumbled back, keeping his eyes trained on his opponent. With his little finger, Adal motioned to the two knives on the platform.
            “So, what’s the plan, shiny? We gonna do this, or are you going to just stand there and look at me? I mean, I know I’m pretty, but damn,” Adal said, the humor gone from his voice. The Dweller’s grin faded and his mouth thinned. He closed his robotic hands into fists and lowered his head to his shoulders.
            “If you think it’s in your best interest, Topsider, please feel free to try your odds. I will greatly enjoy peeling back your skin and seeing what your wet insides look like. When I’m done with you, your mate is next!” he said, flicking his gaze toward Arija.
Arija flinched at the word “mate.” She wasn’t even Adal’s girlfriend, for reasons she didn’t exactly understand, and the word brought a sudden embarrassment to her cheeks.
Adal’s upper lip twitched as he watched him eye Arija like she was a prize at the fair. His face burned, and his palms got sweaty at the thought of this man with Arija, torturing her or . . . whatever else he had in mind. Adal was ready to put his fist down this asshole’s throat.

 

Book Review: ‘Christmas Miracle on Memorial Day’ by R.M.Gauthier

Enjoyable and easy to read, this novella—and the series to which it belongs— is sure to appeal to lovers of lighthearted and heartwarming romance. 

Renee Gauthier Christmas Miracle on Memorial DayThe fourth Christmas Miracle novella delivers the next chapter in the relationship of Jack and Charlotte in Christmas Town. As with the other books in this series, Gauthier tells the story in a familiar and comfortable manner that leaves the reader wanting more when the story comes to an end. While this book is set entirely on the one day, we see that there has been quite some development in the characters’ lives since the previous instalment of their story.
Enjoyable and easy to read, this novella—and the series to which it belongs— is sure to appeal to lovers of lighthearted and heartwarming romance.

Acorn Award I Golden

This book has been awarded one of Book Squirrel’s Gold Acorn awards.
Find it on Amazon.