Book Review: ‘A Little Favor’ by Erich Schubach

An enjoyable short read set in 1930s Germany.

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Erik Schubach A Little Favor
When Jillian agrees to do a little favour for a friend, things take a turn for the worst. Thus we see her drawn into a world that she never expected to be part of.

 

This is an enjoyable short story, easily read in less than an hour. Some of the 1930s slang – which would have been quite at home in an old black & white detective noir film – was a little mystifying, but the story was generally quite well told.

 

I liked the personal qualities that made Jillian stand out amongst pre-war stereotypes, and which she drew on in order to complete far greater errands than that initially entrusted to her.

Acorn Award II Silver

As an enjoyable short read, ‘A Little Favor’ has been awarded a Silver Acorn.

 

Readers can buy a copy of the book 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 Review: ‘Reaper’s Folly’ by Nikki Landis

A fascinating exposition of a truly evil mind.

Nikki Landis Reapers Folly
Not since C.S. Lewis’ brilliant book ‘The Screwtape Letters’ have I read such a fascinating exploration of a truly evil, devilish mind, where even his demon followers are the victims of Darkness.

 

‘Reaper’s Folly’ delivers a powerful and emotionally charged story that brings the reader face to face with evil in its darkest forms. Landis’ writing  and story craft is magnificent, with some profound moments of macabre terror. The greatest horror, however, is the realisation that it may, in fact, be true.

 

Acorn Award I GoldenThis terrific book has been awarded a Gold Acorn for excellence.

 

Find it on Amazon.

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.

Book Review: ‘Hope’s Well’ by India Emerald

A mysterious and interesting short story.

‘Hope’s Well’ tells the tale of Verity Buckthorne and her fascination with a mysterious well near her home.

The reader develops quite an insight into the working of Verity’s mind by reading her diary entries, which makes the story interesting on a psychological level as well as a fictional one.

The tale is crafted cleverly, with a slow build toward the climax and suggestions of other mysteries along the way. It has a lovely reminiscent sense of times gone by and old-fashioned charm, achieved by the author’s development of both characters and setting.

‘Hope’s Well’ is a short but substantial read that will please lovers of mystery and speculative fiction.

Acorn Award I GoldenBook Squirrel has awarded Hope’s Well a Golden Acorn.

Find this book on Amazon.

Book Review: ‘Bitter Beginnings’ by Aliya DalRae.

Bitter Beginnings is a great read that has left me wanting the next book in the series. 

The first of Aliya DalRae’s Fallen Cross Pack Series, this compelling story delves into the history of one of the minor characters in the Jessica Sweet mysteries and places him firmly in the spotlight. While ‘Sweet Vengeance’ and ‘Sweet Discovery’ focus on interactions between the human and vampire worlds, ‘Bitter Beginnings’ explores the world of the shifters in the wolf pack that lives near Jessica’s home town of Fallen Cross.
Aliya DalRae Fallen Cross Pack 1 Bitter Beginnings

Bitter Beginnings is exactly what the title suggests: there is no romantic “padding” in this story. Patrick’s story is straightforward and, at times, brutal. It’s easy to see how his experiences contributed to the Alpha of the Pack that we meet in DalRae’s earlier novels and stories.

DalRae’s writing is intuitive and fluent, giving her narrative an easy-to-read feel and infusing her characters with qualities that the reader can easily identify with, without dumbing anything down. She is an accomplished storyteller who never fails to transport the reader into the world she has created and into the lives, challenges and aspirations of her characters.

Bitter Beginnings is a great read that has left me wanting the next book in the series.

Golden Acorns
For all of these reasons, this book has earned a delicious Gold Acorn.

Find ‘Bitter Beginnings’ on Amazon.

Book Review: ‘The Gift’ by Rhonda Hopkins

This Christmas story challenges the reader to assess their values and priorities, and to remember what is most important in life. 

What do we sacrifice for success without realising? Rhonda Hopkins The Gift
When his life is thrown into turmoil with no notice two weeks before Christmas, Robert faces a number of challenges he had never anticipated. The choices he makes will be the difference between success or failure as a father and family man.
The story itself is well-written and nicely developed. I wasn’t expecting the ending to happen as it did, but the ability to surprise a  reader thus is one mark of a good writer.  ‘The Gift’ is an enjoyable and rewarding short read.
This Christmas story challenges the reader to assess their values and priorities, and to remember what is most important in life.
Silver Acorns
Book Squirrel gives this book a Silver Acorn.
Find ‘The Gift’ on Amazon.