Tag Archives: Book Review

The Necromancer’s Daughter by Diana Wallace Peach – Blog Tour

It’s my great pleasure to welcome my friend, the author, poet, and artist, Diana Wallace Peach, to my blog. I had a delightful time meeting with Diana, Terri Webster Schrandt, and Marsha Ingrao in Portland, Oregon, in September. We chatted. We laughed. We shared about the latest in our lives. I was happy that Diana’s husband was recovering well from his surgery. We’re in the process of selling our house in Southern California. It may take a while since people may not want to move during the major holidays. It’ll be exciting to see her more often after our move to Portland.

It’s my privilege to host Diana’s blog tour to share her new release, The Necromancer’s Daughter.

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Blurb

A healer and dabbler in the dark arts of life and death, Barus is as gnarled as an ancient tree. Forgotten in the chaos of the dying queen’s chamber, he spirits away her stillborn infant, and in a hovel at the meadow’s edge, he breathes life into the wisp of a child. He names her Aster for the lea’s white flowers. Raised as his daughter, she learns to heal death.

Then the day arrives when the widowed king, his own life nearing its end, defies the Red Order’s warning. He summons the necromancer’s daughter, his only heir, and for his boldness, he falls to an assassin’s blade.

While Barus hides from the Order’s soldiers, Aster leads their masters beyond the wall into the Forest of Silvern Cats, a land of dragons and barbarian tribes. She seeks her mother’s people, the powerful rulers of Blackrock, uncertain whether she will find sanctuary or face a gallows’ noose.

Unprepared for a world rife with danger, a world divided by those who practice magic and those who hunt them, she must choose whether to trust the one man offering her aid, the one man most likely to betray her—her enemy’s son.

A healer with the talent to unravel death, a child reborn, a father lusting for vengeance, and a son torn between justice, faith, and love. Caught in a chase spanning kingdoms, each must decide the nature of good and evil, the lengths they will go to survive, and what they are willing to lose.

Purchase Links

Global Amazon Links: US, UK, CA, AU, IN

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Apple

My Review

I’m a huge fan of Diana Peach’s fantasy books. I admire her poetic writing. Her vivid description of the characters and well-developed world engages my imagination and takes me through an unforgettable journey from the beginning to the end.

The Necromancer’s Daughter is a heart-wrenching yet beautiful story of love, politics, power struggle, and prejudice. The story grabs the reader’s emotions from the beginning. King Aldring loves his wife, the Princess of Blackrock. He summons Barus, the necromancer, to resurrect the queen and the infant should they die. In her last breath, the queen pleas to save the child. When the king learns the queen is dead and the baby is a girl, he sends Barus home. Barus is in love with the infant and hides her under his garment to take her home.

Barus follows the recipe in her adopted mother, Olma’s book, to awaken Aster from the dead and raise her as his own. Aster grows up as a passionate and gentle soul with silvery flowing hair, practicing herbal medicine and resurrecting animals. She is natural to connect with a dragon emotionally. The king knows she is his daughter and visits her every year on her birthday. As the king’s health declines, he summons her on her nineteenth birthday to return to the palace as his successor.

The vicar Tamus Graeger denies Aster and condemns the resurrection as evil. He orders the soldiers to kill Barus and Aster. Once captured, he wants to hang Aster. Aster helps her crippled father flee when their home is burned to ashes. She ensures Barus’s safety at Rebeka’s home and continues to run to get help from her uncle, the Blackrock King. Tamus’s son, Joreh, accompanies Aster’s escape and believes she deserves a fair trial.

The journey of escape through the forest is full of danger from the wild creatures and the tribes’ attacks on each other. After being raised from the dead, the funny character Teko at Cattieut forest, with one green eye and one blue eye, joined in escorting Aster to Blackrock.

To ensure Aster’s claim as his niece, King Atrayal of Blackrock wants her to show her ability to connect with dragons, the trait her mother queen possesses. King Atrayal is pleased with the test. He wants Aster to claim the throne of Verdane and serves as an ambassador for the peace of all the tribes.

I listened to the book with the text-to-speech feature on my iPad. The story was engaging with vivid descriptions of the characters’ interactions and scenes. Each chapter ending hooked me on to the next. I was emotionally connected to the characters and wished for the safety of Aster and Barus. The genuine friendship between Aster and Joreh warmed my heart. Diana Peach created believable characters. Aster and Barus were humans practicing healing. They didn’t possess magic or superpower to defeat their enemies. They went through struggles and suffered ill-treatment from their attackers. All they could do was use their wisdom to survive the adversaries understanding that “every time you choose one path, you must live with the possibilities of the other.”

This is a masterpiece and a wonderful creation. I had my secret wishes for the ending, but it came as a surprise. The book ended, but my emotions linger. I highly recommend you pick up a copy of this beauty.  

Diana’s bio

A long-time reader, best-selling author D. Wallace Peach started writing later in life when years of working in business surrendered to a full-time indulgence in the imaginative world of books. She was instantly hooked.

In addition to fantasy books, Peach’s publishing career includes participation in various anthologies featuring short stories, flash fiction, and poetry. She’s an avid supporter of the arts in her local community, organizing and publishing annual anthologies of Oregon prose, poetry, and photography.

Peach lives in a log cabin amongst the tall evergreens and emerald moss of Oregon’s rainforest with her husband, two owls, a horde of bats, and the occasional family of coyotes.

Contact D. Wallace Peach

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/D.-Wallace-Peach/e/B00CLKLXP8

Website/Blog: http://mythsofthemirror.com

Website/Books: http://dwallacepeachbooks.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Dwallacepeach

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The Winding Road Book Tour with Miriam Hurdle

I’m over at Pete Springer’s blog for my Day 3 of The Winding Road launch tour. Pete and I followed each other several years ago. He tells you why we became good friends. I love his book They Call Me Mom. Every new or experienced teacher will benefit from this book.

During this book launch tour, I talk about memoir writing. Today’s topic is How to Write an Experience Memoir. Please head over to join me for the discussion.

Pete Springer

I am pleased to give a shout-out to my friend, Miriam Hurdle, with the release of her latest book, The Winding Road. Miriam was one of the first people I met when I started blogging almost three and a half years ago. She is considerate and supportive, often taking the time to leave kind comments on others’ blogs. We first bonded because we’re both retired educators. Miriam not only taught but also became an administrator for several years near the end of her career. A second area we have in common is we both sang in church choirs. I know this is one of the things Miriam missed most during the pandemic. Finally, in retirement, we’ve both become writers. Having read her book of poetry, Songs of Heartstrings, and her children’s book, Tina Lost in a Crowd, I was excited to learn she had another story to tell. Her memoir…

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Smorgasbord Bookshelf – New Book on the Shelves – #Cancer – The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival by Miriam Hurdle

Sally at the Smorgasbord Magazine invited me over to share my latest book, The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival with her readers. I’m honored by her generous offer. Please head over to visit her and browse around the entertaining features on her blog.

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

It is my pleasure to share the news of the latest release by Miriam Hurdle… a memoir The Winding Road: A Journey of Survival. On preorder for August 26th.

About the book

In the summer of 2008, Miriam Hurdle was diagnosed with melanoma-an aggressive and invasive cancer in her internal organs. The survival rate before 2008 was low. Besides risking harsh treatments for a slim chance of survival, Miriam had hoops to jump through. By the time she received treatment at the beginning of 2009, her cancer had progressed from stage II to stage IV. It was a rough and uphill winding road. But alongside her was support and encouragement. Accompanied by the love of her family and community, this is Miriam’s journey of faith and miracle. It is a heartwarming story of resilience, courage, and the will to live.

Head over to preorder the book for August…

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New Release – Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance by Elizabeth Gauffreau

Hot Press! Hot Press!

It’s an exciting day today to share the good news with you about my friend, Elizabeth Gauffreau’s new release Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance.

About the Book

Blurb

“Poetry readers willing to walk the road of grief and family connections will find Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance a psychological treasure trove. It’s a very accessible poetic tribute that brings with it something to hold onto–the memories and foundations of past family joys, large and small.”
~Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

“Grief Songs: Poems of Love & Remembrance is a passionate ode to loved ones lost and an intimate portrayal of one family’s shared grief. It holds the key to solace in home photographs and illustrates just how special our singular moments can be. ~Toni Woodruff, Independent Book Review

“A beautiful, personal collection of family photos and poems that express the author’s most inner feelings. Nostalgic and heartfelt, Gauffreau’s poems are written in the Japanese style of tanka, simple, thoughtful, and full of love. Filled with wonderful memories of the past.” ~Kristi Elizabeth, Manhattan Book Review

My Review

Grief Songs: Poems of Love and Remembrance is a poetry collection written in Tanka form. After her mother passed away, Elizabeth Gauffreau cleaned up the “forbidden rooms” and found the “hidden photographs.” These are the photographs of the author and her father, mother, and brother George.

Grieving is a personal process that can last for any length of time. The memories of the loved ones could be fleeting or lingering moments, and the emotion of grieving could be of the surface or intensely deep.

In Grief Songs, the photos brought back the intensity of the precious memories to the author. Elizabeth expressed her grief in poetry. She paired the poems with each photo included in this collection.

One poem was about the author’s mother took her and George to the vaccination. Their mother gave the kids a treat of root beer floats for being good for the occasion. By the way, root beer is a soda, not a beer with alcohol! Another fun poem was about a youth group picnic when the author and her brother waited for their dad in the car after the picnic. Apparently, their dad didn’t come right away. They pressed the honk for so long that when their dad finally came back; the battery was dead. I loved the poem and the photo with Elizabeth and George sitting on their father’s lap for reading time as a nightly ritual. The lines were, “Waiting until your father gets home, not a threat but a promise.”

There were poems about Elizabeth as a kid for the first sacrament, confirmation, and baptism. What precious memories as she could see the history from the beginning of her life when father and mother holding her in their arms that led to her present life.

Family time such as clam bake at the beach and the family reunion always flashed back fond memories that ache the heart yet bring smiles on the face. The dying takes away a part of the ones left behind yet leaves them something sweet and long-lasting.

The poetry is a short read, yet the emotion of joy and sorrow lingers long after I put down the book. Highly recommended

Ratings: Amazon Goodreads

Purchase Link:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B098TQBM1R

Trailer:

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Elizabeth Gauffreau

About Elizabeth Gauffreau

Elizabeth Gauffreau writes fiction and poetry with a strong connection to family and place. She holds a B.A. in English from Old Dominion University and an M.A. in English/Fiction Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She is currently the Assistant Dean of Curriculum & Assessment for Champlain College Online, where she is an Associate Professor. Her fiction and poetry have been published in literary magazines and several themed anthologies. Her debut novel, Telling Sonny, was published by Adelaide Books in 2018. Liz lives in Nottingham, New Hampshire with her husband.

Website/Blog: https://lizgauffreau.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Elizabeth-Gauffreau/e/B07NTZFVSF?ref_=dbs_p_ebk_r00_abau_000000

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LGauffreau

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/liz.gauffreau

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Book Review – A Ghost and His Gold by Reberta Eaton Cheadle

Blurb

After Tom and Michelle Cleveland move into their recently built, modern townhouse, their housewarming party is disrupted when a drunken game with an Ouija board goes wrong and summons a sinister poltergeist, Estelle, who died in 1904. Estelle makes her presence known in a series of terrifying events, culminating in her attacking Tom in his sleep with a knife. But, Estelle isn’t alone. Who are the shadows lurking in the background – one in an old-fashioned slouch hat and the other, a soldier, carrying a rifle? After discovering their house has been built on the site of one of the original farms in Irene, Michelle becomes convinced that the answer to her horrifying visions lie in the past. She must unravel the stories of the three phantoms’ lives, and the circumstances surrounding their untimely deaths during the Second Anglo Boer War, in order to understand how they are tied together and why they are trapped in the world of ghosts between life and death. As the reasons behind Estelle’s malevolent behavior towards Tom unfold, Michelle’s marriage comes under severe pressure and both their lives are threatened.

A Ghost and His Gold by [Robert Eaton Cheadle]

Purchase Links

Amazon  

Lulu

My Review

This is the first historical fiction by Roberta Eaton Cheadle I’ve read. It’s presented in a double timeline of one which is in 2019 with Tom and Michelle just moved into a new townhome in Irene, South Africa; and the other is between 1895 to 1902, where the three ghosts Pieter, his daughter Estella, and a British soldier Robert came from during the Second Anglo Boers War in South Africa. The chapters are intertwined with Michelle’s telling the current story, and the three ghosts tell their separate stories.

Cheadle has done extensive research of the history in this period and covers many details by dates. The stories are character-based events through their lives, interactions, and dialogue.

At the onset of the story, Michelle described her experience in the new house as seeing shadows of people who were not there. On the night of the housewarming party, Michelle entertained several friends with her gourmet cooking and tasteful home decoration. Because of playing the Ouija Board game, a ghost appeared as a spirit who moved the hands of the players to spell his name as Pieter and said that he was from that house. In the following weeks, Michelle saw and heard of two other Ghosts, Robert and Estelle. These three ghosts were lingering for over one hundred years.

Michelle wanted to write a book about the Second Anglo Boers War. She went to the library to do some research and asked about Pieter. The librarian, who was a historian, told her that Pieter knew Khakis was approaching, and he needed to leave town. Paul Kruger gave him 30,000 gold Kruger coins for his safekeeping, and he buried the gold somewhere on his farm at the location of Michelle’s home. The librarian recommended some books for her reading.

All three ghosts wanted Michelle’s attention. Pieter wanted his story told for a century, but nobody could hear him except Michelle. He told his story about the war, his injury, his given the gold Kruger coins to rehabilitate the citizens when the war was over. Robert left his diary written a century ago on her pillow, with the entries about how the British propaganda deceived the young soldiers to fight the war and that he admired the Afrikaans’ courage. Estelle intruded into her dream, screamed at her, but revealed that she was raped by a soldier and her stepmother was ashamed of her. Somehow Estelle was mad at her husband Tom and assaulted him. In the meantime, Michelle must deal with Tom’s alcoholism, which turned into something he used to mask his guilt in the past.

I thought all these three ghosts have something to do with the gold. The surprising ending reveals how the past of the three ghosts crossed and the reasons they lingered or were trapped on earth without being able to move on to the afterlife. This is an enjoyable reading.

Ratings: Amazon Goodreads

About Roberta Eaton Cheadle

I am a South African writer specializing in historical, paranormal and horror novels and short stories. I am an avid reader in these genres and my writing has been influenced by famous authors including Bram Stoker, the Bronte sisters, Amor Towles, Stephen Crane, Enrich Maria Remarque, George Orwell, Stephen King, and Colleen McCullough. 

I was educated at the University of South Africa where I achieved a Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1996 and a Honors Bachelor of Accounting Science in 1997. I was admitted as a member of The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants in 2000. 

I have worked in corporate finance from 2001 until the present date and have written seven publications relating to investing in Africa. I have won several awards over my twenty-year career in the category of Transactional Support Services.

I have been published a number of anthologies and have two published YA books, While the Bombs Fell and Through the Nethergate. I have recently published my first adult novel called A Ghost and His Gold which is partly set in South Africa during the Second Anglo Boer War.

Find Roberta Eaton Cheadle

Blog: https://wordpress.com/view/robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Roberta-Eaton-Cheadle/e/B08RSNJQZ5

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15584446.Robbie_Cheadle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RobertaEaton17

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/robertawrites

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Thank you for your visit. Roberta and I welcome your generous comment.

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