Book Review: ‘The Artist’ by Lyra Shanti

The Artist: A magnificently rich historical romance.

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Lyra Shanti The ArtistThis novel tells the story of a gifted artist and musician from youthful desperation to the dizzying heights and desperate lows that are the successes and failures of Apollo Vidali’s life. The reader is immersed in the decadence of the gifted artist and musicians’s life and mind as he searches for meaning, fulfilment and redemption. Vidali immediately appeals to the reader’s sympathy in his resistance to his father’s oppression and restraint, which contrasts with his own salacious and self-indulgent nature.

Magnificently and richly written, the narrative is enhanced by layers of poetry and vivid imagery that embellish the characters and settings with intricate detail and splashes of colour. The characters are complex and varied, and more than once I found them bringing the story to life on the movie screen of my mind.
Not only is this a most enjoyable read, it’s a wonderful sensory experience. There is mature content, so it’s not intended for a young audience.
Acorn Award I Golden
‘The Artist’ has been awarded a Gold Acorn.

Find your copy here.

Book Review: ‘The Blue Serpent’ by Claire Buss

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

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 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: ‘Team Holly’ by Jane Jago

The mutual love and respect between two young men and their stepmother is the beacon of hope for the dysfunctional family at the centre of this story.

 

 

Jane Jago Team Holly
The mutual love and respect between two young men and their stepmother is the beacon of hope for the dysfunctional family at the centre of this story.  Jago has masterfully created a lovable and realistic pair of heroes and very effectively positions the reader as a member of ‘Team Holly’ as the story begins to unfold.

This book serves to remind us that neither families nor individuals are perfect, and that those fractures that are often easier to overlook at other times of the year often come into acute focus at Christmas.

Its dark themes add depth and gravity to this powerful story, beautifully crafted with wonderful writing that draws the reader into the family home and holds them there, a silent witness of awkward, painful and tender moments alike.
Golden Acorns

‘Team Holly’ is fully deserving of a shiny Gold Acorn.
Find this great book at Amazon.

Book Review: ‘Father Winter’ by Eric Tanafon

This Yule story is fantastic in both senses of the word. In ‘Father Winter’, Eric Tanafon takes the reader on a magical journey to the Great White North in which ancient mysteries and secrets of life are revealed.

This Yule story is fantastic in both senses of the word. In ‘Father Winter’, Eric Tanafon takes the reader on a magical journey to the Great White North in which ancient mysteries and secrets of life are revealed.

Eric Tanafon Father Winter

I chose this book because I enjoyed Tanafon’s ‘Robin Hood: Wolf’s Head’ so much. I was delighted to discover another gem that I could treasure. Once again, I found the author’s writing is so expressive and evocative that the story played like a film in my mind as I was reading, especially the northern night scenes.

The characters are beautifully crafted and seem to spring to life off the page. Connor is a troubled teen and Holly his younger sister who just wants Connor to be on Father Winter’s “good” list. Through their respective journeys, they encounter a variety of people and creatures who help them to discover and achieve what they need to, each in their own different way.

Golden Acorns

I can’t recommend this book highly enough for any day of the year, but especially for December reading.
I’ve given it a delicious Gold Acorn.

‘Father Winter’ is available on Amazon.

Dec 10 ~ Featured Book: ‘The 12 Terrors of Christmas’ by Claudette Melanson.

Like many of the books featured in this event, this is a new release – out today! It offers an alternative Christmas-themed read for those who like their  books to be as dark as their winter nights. 

Book Squirrel’s Bookish Advent Event featured book for December 10 is ‘The 12 Terrors of Christmas’ by Claudette Melanson.

Like many of the books featured in this event, this is a new release – out today! It offers an alternative Christmas-themed read for those who like their  books to be as dark as their winter nights.

Claudette Melanson Twelve Horrors of Christmas

Award-winning author Claudette Melanson offers eleven new and original stories to make your skin crawl at any time of the year. This horror anthology also includes an original short by Amazon International Best-Selling Author, Lynn Lamb, titled “Bring Me Flesh and Bring Me Wine.” A special bonus story is also included by Melanson, “Mislead,” previously published only on the Halloweenpalooza blog. Grab a cup of cocoa and make sure the windows and doors are locked tight as you settle in by the fire to enjoy these tales of terror, but be warned…locks have never succeeded at keeping Santa from gaining entry. If you enjoy a slice of horror with your holiday cheer, this collection of Christmas horror shorts will satisfy all your dark cravings during the holidays…and beyond.

Vampires, ghosts, demons, elves, werewolves, serial killers and a rampaging Krampus are just a few of the monsters creeping amongst the pages of The 12 Terrors of Christmas. Are you brave enough to venture inside to experience the flip side of the typical Hallmark-themed Christmas?

Find ‘The 12 Terrors of Christmas’ at Amazon.

December 7 ~ Featured Book: ‘The Rose Thief’ by Claire Buss

This rollicking, humorous fantasy story looks like great holiday reading. 

Book Squirrel’s Advent Event featured book for December 7 is ‘The Rose Thief’ by Claire Buss.

This rollicking, humorous fantasy story looks like great holiday reading.

Claire Buss The Rose Thief


Ned Spinks, Chief Thief-Catcher has a problem. Someone is stealing the Emperor’s roses. But that’s not the worst of it. In his infinite wisdom and grace, the Emperor magically imbued his red rose with love so if it was ever removed from the Imperial Rose Gardens then love will be lost, to everyone, forever. It’s up to Ned and his band of motley catchers to apprehend the thief and save the day. But the thief isn’t exactly who they seem to be, neither is the Emperor. Ned and his team will have to go on a quest defeating vampire mermaids, illusionists, estranged family members and an evil sorcerer in order to win the day. What could possibly go wrong?

‘The Rose Thief’ is available at Amazon.