An expressive collection of honest, passionate flash prose. .. but it’s not poetry.
This is a fantastic read that keeps the reader wondering and guessing from start to finish.
It is often said that light drives out darkness and that loves drives away fear. Such proverbs may be mostly true most of the time, but not without exception.
‘Tainted Waters’ is a book full of such exceptions. It is a story of shadows and illusions, doubts and deceptions, and of clouded thoughts and emotions. In her youth, Alice desires security, truth and a sense of belonging, but enjoys none of these. Trusting nobody and belonging nowhere, her world is one where, time and time again, she has to choose the least terrible option and learn to make the best of it.
Stanhope has woven a tale in which conflict, distrust and obscured truths come into sharp contrast as the powers of light and darkness battle with one another for supremacy. As Alice discovers who and what she is, and how to make use of the resources available to her, the reader sees those same contrasts in her character: naïveté and inherited knowledge, vulnerability and power, weakness and strength.
This is a fantastic read that keeps the reader wondering and guessing from start to finish. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and found it hard to put down.
‘Tainted Waters’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn for excellence in storytelling.
This book is both a great story and a sensory pleasure for the reader.
A gifted writer takes the reader from whatever place and position they’re in and transports them to the setting of the author’s choice and creation.
In ‘Killer of a Mind’, Albermarle immerses the reader in the sights and sensations of various towns along the east coast of America before dunking them in the waters of the Mayan Riviera on the shores of Mexico, where the contrasts and conflicts of this story are heightened by those characteristic of Tulum, the Mexican town in which Ryan finds himself. Noise and quiet reflection, richness and poverty, sunshine and shade all reflect Ryan’s own mental and emotional condition.
Unlike Ryan, the reader understands that there is always more than one side to a story. Albermarle has woven the threads of this story together with craftsmanship and finesse, leaving nothing to either predictability or fate. The reader is not allowed to become complacent – as Ryan discovers, there is always a new challenge, a surprise or a revelation as a corner is turned or a hill is crested that shows the light shining on things differently with a change of perspective.
Albermarle’s writing is rich and vivid, developing magnificent scenery full of colour and sound, and complex characters that seem to have more shade than light to them.
Book Squirrel has awarded ‘Killer of a Mind’ one of his special Golden Acorns for excellence because this book is both a great story and a sensory pleasure for the reader.
Find your copy here.
Readers who enjoy a good mystery will be sure to enjoy ‘Mystery At The Fair’.
This book introduces Jean Hays, new to Greyson, Arizona, and the newest member of the organising committee for the annual local fair. There are complications aplenty, even before the fair gets under way, and Jean finds herself at front and centre of the story.
‘The Rose Thief’ is a book that I just wanted to keep reading.
Because it’s absolutely brilliant, I did wonder for a moment if there’s any higher award than a Gold Acorn— but there’s not. So a Gold Acorn it is!
Get your copy here.
An absolutely ripping read for NA and grownups.
Harry 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.
Book Squirrel has awarded it a Gold Acorn for brilliant storytelling and great writing.
Find your copy at Amazon.
A beautifully written fantasy tale.
It’s a short story that takes less than 30 minutes to read, but the style and beauty of the writing make the reading both satisfying and delightful. Vivid images of the scenes and characters played in my imagination as the story unfolded.