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Smashwords book reviews by LindaMc
- Passion Of The Different
on Jan. 30, 2011
I enjoyed Passion of the Different, it is a very unique story. The character development was good as well as the world building. The discoveries, adventures and dilemmas in this world really drew me in. I loved the way you started the book and Ryan was very lucky that Myra found him first. And the ending, what can I say except I am interested in how things turn out!
- Iditarod a novel of The Greatest Race on Earth
on Feb. 29, 2012
I would give this book 10 Shiny Gold Stars if I could.
I picked up this book because I had read an interview with Andre’ Jute at Cookie’s Book Club and he sounded fascinating. Although, this is not the genre of book that I normally read, the Iditarod sounded interesting.
The research and facts in this book are outstanding. You can tell the author took great pride in getting all of his facts right. The history and side stories about some of the Iditarod heroes are fascinating.
I never realized reading a book could be so emotionally exhausting, this story will never let you go! The elements that the participants endure, the foreshadowing of things to come literally scared me to death.
The relationship that grows as we learn about the two main human characters is realistic, fascinating and encompassing and a far cry from what this book is really about.
This book is truly worth more than 5 stars. This is an adventure of a lifetime that I will highly recommend no matter what genre you read, you will not be disappointed. The editing and formatting are pristine.
BRAVO, Andre’! You would be welcome at my dinner table anytime. You will have to excuse me now; I need to go read something light and fluffy. :)
- Seized: Book One of the Pipe Woman Chronicles
on March 10, 2013
Seized (The Pipe Woman Chronicles) by Lynne Cantwell
Native American and old world mythos intertwine in a captivating story surrounding the winter of solstice 2012. Naomi has a pretty sweet life as a skilled mediator at a large legal firm in Colorado and she has just become engaged. When events from her past come to light, her whole world is turned upside down. It will never be the same again.
I have a soft spot for Native American stories, I am not sure why, as far as I know I have no Native American blood. I also enjoy stories about old world gods and myths. This story combines the two in a unique way. This contemporary fantasy is told through Naomi’s eyes. She is an intelligent, well-balanced character that you can’t help but like. The story is well thought out, draws you in quickly and has a steady building plot that adds some interesting twists.
Each character in the story is well developed and plays an important part in the development of the plot. I loved the way this story challenges all belief systems, this author has taken this on in a grand scale. The dialogue is realistic, entertaining, and humorous at times. I found it very easy to suspend my disbelief and become immersed in the story. I am excited to see where she takes us as this story continues to build in its ever-widening scope. Well done, Ms. Cantwell, well done. I think I have found a new favorite fantasy author.
This book contains adult language and situations that may be offensive to some, but I don’t feel they were added for shock value. I found no significant errors or issues.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. ** February 8, 2013
on April 21, 2013
Brimstone by Leonard Little
“A short story that pits a lone gunfighter against the ghosts of the men he's killed. Will Garth McCants give the Devil his due or will Chance deal him a new hand. Find out in Brimstone--a dusty southwestern town that teeters on the edge this world and the next.”
This is an imaginative short story that I would love to see expanded, it is very short. The plot was clever and well thought out. I felt like I was on the dusty trail with Garth as he ponders the strange challenge he received by telegram as he travels to the town of Brimstone. If it hadn’t been addressed to Shorty McCants he might have let it go.
This little story put me in mind of a Twilight Zone episode; it is easy to see it play out in your mind with the author’s descriptive prose. I would recommend this to readers who like ghost stories, westerns and soul redemption tales. Mr. Little is definitely a gifted wordsmith and I look forward to more of his stories. I think he will be an Indie author to watch. I found no significant editing issues.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. ** April 15, 2013
Rating: **** Four stars
- Entangled Thorns
on July 22, 2013
Entangled Thorns by Melinda Clayton
Told through multiple points of view, Ms Clayton does an excellent job devoting each chapter to a single character in this heart-wrenching story. She takes us on an emotional journey into the past of a dysfunctional, but proud family, to discover how abuse affects all members of a family and the dynamics of the abuse that surrounds them. By singling out and developing each character individually she explores how these cycles tend to continue, how the courageous ones try to break the cycle, and how things are not always the way they seem. Not many authors have the expertise to accomplish this without making judgments the way Ms Clayton does.
I love the style in which this story is written, through inner dialogue, we are allowed to feel what each character is feeling and gain an understanding of why things are the way they are and how each character perceives them. We are also given insight through the eyes of Kay Langley, the owner of the local café that serves as the town's hub. Through her eyes we see a caring outsider's view of how the town views this family and its individual members. One of my favorite elements of this story is the fact that Beth took her seventeen year-old daughter, Marissa, along with her on this difficult trip to face her ghosts. With Marissa along we are given three generations of view points.
This character driven story flows well considering we are getting the story from five different characters. It is incredibly well told and I enjoyed my trip back to Cedar Hollows. There is a definite feeling of hope as this story draws to an end and I found it inspiring. I will share this book with my daughters and grand daughters. One of the things I appreciate about reading a hard story like this one is it makes me reevaluate my life and I realize my life is not so bad after all; things could be a whole lot worse. Melinda Clayton has won herself a spot on my `must buy' list for future books.
Although this is the third book about Cedar Hollow Ms Clayton has written, I believe it can be read as a standalone story. You may miss some of the richness of the minor characters or of the area in general in doing so though.
At the end of this story Ms Clayton has included questions for book clubs to consider after reading her book. This would be a great book for discussion because everyone has their own story and view point and I am sure everyone can identify with one of more of the characters in this book. I know I did.
**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. ** October 29, 2012
***** Five stars
- Return to Crutcher Mountain
on July 22, 2013
Return to Crutcher Mountain by Melinda Clayton
While Appalachian Justice was contemporary fiction, Return to Crutcher Mountain is more mystery and suspense. The main character is Jessie who has grown up and managed to have a very successful career producing films. She has been able, with some success, to push her abused past into the back of her mind but it still influences her relationships on a personal level.
For Billie May and Jessie Crutcher Mountain was a ‘healing place’ and as such Jessie has founded a camp for developmentally disabled children allowing the mountain to continue it's magic. When odd things start happening Jessie is determined to find out what is actually going on. Someone wants her back there, the mystery is who and why. Although it is not necessary to read Appalachian Justice, I think it does enrich this story to know the back ground.
Melinda Clayton has woven a remarkable suspense with fully developed characters that jump off the page. Michael and Robbie were wonderful additions to this story. I loved the fact that Crutcher Mountain is still working its magic and Jessie is still benefiting from it. She is able to learn some things about her past that she was unaware of and this starts her journey to true healing. I really didn't think I would like this story as well as Appalachian Justice, but it is just so different from the first I couldn't help but love it also.
- Appalachian Justice
on July 22, 2013
Appalachian Justice by Melinda Clayton
Wow! What a beautifully written story. Once I got used to the Appalachian prose I was totally there on Crutcher Mountain beside Billy May. Melinda grabs you by your heart and leads you through the life and times of Billy May Platte and doesn't let you go.
This is a poignant and totally engrossing story with well developed characters that will break your heart and then heal it, leaving memories that are not truly your own. Billy May's story and strength of character will stay with me forever. I highly recommend this book.
I also recommend you read BigAl’s review for this book at Books and Pals. http://booksandpals.blogspot.com/2011/05/appalachian-justice-melinda-clayton.html