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Smashwords book reviews by Quentin Stewart
- Flight of the Hawk
on Nov. 10, 2010
Flight of the Hawk caught my attention and interest from the very first chapter. I look forward to reading the previous volume in the intended series and any follow up volumes that G. R. Grove will add to the series. I find the time period of the novel very fascinating. It is a period of time that one has to fill in a lot of empty spaces since there is not much of a written history to fall back on.
The approach of using bards to tell the story is a very good way to look at different areas of the islands since they did travel from place to place more then the average person at the time. Grove's description of the land and towns seems to fit what one might imagine the environment would look like during this time of history.
The story that Grove weaves is interesting and captures the reader's interest from the very first. I believe that the book will deep anyone's attention and it does become hard to put down. As I stated previously I look forward to reading more "but that...is a story for another day".
- The Ash Spear
on Nov. 25, 2010
As I finished G. R. Grove's The Ash Spear I found myself wishing for more. I want to know what adventures come next for The Storyteller, Gwernin. I find Gwernin's telling of his adventures as an interesting way to look at the history of this period of the British Isles and particularly Wales. This being the time of traditions and history being handled by the bards of the time it is an interesting way to give us a look at what life was like at this time. I found this volume a very good continuation of Gwernin's story that I started in the second of the trilogy, Flight of the Hawk. Though it is the third in the series the books do stand alone well, though I will now have to get the first to see how Gwernin's career as a storyteller started.
I feel this gives us an good peek at what life at all levels was like during this period of history. It is a time hidden the mists because we have no real written record of what occurred at this time. We have only the stories and traditions that have been handed down to us. I believe Grove does and excellent job of weaving what is known with the traditions to give all a glimpse of what it would have been like to live at this time. From the position of the local kings down to what life would have been like for a slave of the time. I truly enjoyed reading this volume.
My only wish is that some how the story of Gwernin will be continued in the future. I believe he has a lot to tell us as he continues his life as a bard in the early days of Wales and the surrounding area. Gwernin please tell us more. Of course that "is truly a story for another day.
- The Second Fly Caster: Fatherhood, Recovery and an Unforgettable Tournament
on May 28, 2011
A short but interesting look at a son's coming of age and learning lessons that were hidden to him as he grew up. The perfect father has flaws and in later life the son learns those flaws must have come about from some hurt in the past as the flaws in his character are brought out by the life experiences that he is affected by. He learns that perfecting a cast was more then trying to win a competition or casting further then others. It turns out to be a way to concentrate and to try to overcome the flaws that affect our lives.
An excellent read. Well worth the few minutes it takes to read it.
- Campaign Promises
on Nov. 01, 2011
Very interesting story and a quick read. Ms. Osterkamp takes important events in her life and compares them to political events that occurred and that also affected her life in some way. Her stories tell of the political problems that arise from campaigns for high office. Whether it is a candidate that turns emotional during a press conference or candidate dying that causes a campaign promise to be broken they all affected her and she has been able to show how those incidents in campaigns can be translated into her life. The novella is well written and is done in such a way as not to be overbearing but it does get its point across. Very good job.
- Twenty-Five Years Ago Today
on Dec. 08, 2011
An excellent read for any mystery reader. A cold case that appears to have no new leads and a family that seems to be close-knit because of the death and then torn apart by the solution. Stacy Juba does a very good job of keeping the story moving and in keeping the twists and turns coming in the story.
A young lady suffering from the lost of a cousin and the part she believes she played in that death uncovers the unsolved case as an obit writer for a local paper. In trying to solve the murder from 25 years ago she is searching for her own absolution from her guilt in the murder of her cousin. She also has struggles within her family since she has not followed the path of her mother or sister. It is an intriguing look at how families keep secrets and the dangers of keeping those secrets locked away. She finds the clues that solves the case, finds some inner peace, and possible her niche in society. Even with all of the family turmoil that is brought up in the book, it ends on a note of hope that her life is finally coming together. Out of the tragedy comes hope.
- The Cemetery Vote
on Jan. 16, 2012
Growing up I had always heard of the practice of one political party keeping the recently dead on the voting rolls so that they could have someone come in and vote for them in the next few elections. That is what drew me to this book. Silkin's description of the "cemetery vote" being bused to the polls is a variation of the practice that I grew up in.
Silkin does an excellent job of weaving his characters into his story. At first you may wonder what do all of these diverse people and situations have to do with each other, but as you read he brings all of them together and makes you realize that in real life how disparate people and events are tied together. So that a computer hacker can become the leader of new political movement. The reader will find that it is difficult to put the book down because of the interest in seeing how the various stories turns out and how the characters are changed by the common thread that runs through their lives.
A very interesting and entertaining book that is more then just a political mystery. I highly recommend the book to anyone looking for an interesting read.
- I Am Diving
on Jan. 16, 2012
I found this to be an interesting read. The main character, Jack, is struggling with his past in the Navy and goes into a fugue state and disappears and his wife is left to run the bar that they own. He returns with no apparent memory of where he has been or what he was doing. The stage is set for some interesting twists.
The submarine Thresher is lost and former sailor is trying to figure out why it happened. A bar patron plants the idea that the problem with the Thresher can be traced back to the person who was the Secretary of the Navy at the time the authorization came through to build the Thresher. So as Jack enters another fugue state he blames this Secretary of the Navy for the loss of life that occurred when the Thresher disappeared. He goes to Dallas to kill that ex-Secretary of Navy, but another assassin pulls his trigger first and in Jack's mind the wrong man was assassinated.
It is an interesting book. The author leaves it up to the reader to tie a lot of the events and characters together but I enjoy that type of story.
- Tyler Palewhite:Soft-Boiled Detective
on Jan. 16, 2012
Tyler is truly a "soft boiled detective". I hate to compare him to Barney Fife but he comes mighty close. As a struggling writer Tyler decides that he needs to improve his biographical sketch that appears in his book. So he becomes a detective. It seems easy enough and it does add to his aura as an author.
At a book signing he is approached by a lady who needs his services. He accepts the case of returning her daughter who has not been returned from a visit with her father. Tyler and the friends he enlists to help him come up with an elaborate plan to kidnap the child back only to find out that the client has been lying to Tyler and he must work to undo what he has done.
It is an interesting read and gives one the idea that one needs to be careful with what he claims to be. A little detective work into the background of the client would have sufficed to save everyone a lot of trouble. Very good.
- Naming The Moon
on Jan. 16, 2012
An interesting novella that could easily be expanded into a novel. The story revolves around Paul who has a new love move in with him. He is the happiest he has ever been but she disappears with all of his stuff. The search for her leads to Paul finding his stuff but not her. After the police have given up he continues to search for his true love. One day during the search he finds a skull. But the skull turns out to be of a much older woman and leads to a second mystery in Paul's life. He is determined to protect the skull from all other claimants.
It is too bad that the author leaves these two mysteries open. I hope that he expands on both stories some time in the future and possibly continue Paul's search for his two women.
- Red Wheels Turning
on June 18, 2012
This is my introduction to Mr. Ashton's work. It is a fascinating story of war machines for World War I, differences in social classes in Britain and Russia at the time, and the onset of Lenin's grab for power. The Russians are building huge war machines to combat the Germans and the revolution that the aristocracy feel will be coming soon. The British send a young officer to investigate the war machines and their feasibility. Lenin is also interested in the war machines and sends and operative to investigate for him. Of course the paths of the investigators cross and the story comes to comes to a climax. It is how the protagonists get to their show down that is interesting and keeps the reader
involved in the book.
I found the book to be interesting and a joy to read. It is an adventure story from the past and one that can hold your interests. Also there is also the possibility that the hero will show up again in future books about this era in history. A very good read.
- Naked Mommy
on Aug. 22, 2012
I found this book to be difficult to read and follow. It is difficult to understand if the author is putting down the Irish or if an Irish setting just seemed to be the best place to start. The three main characters are well defined and most of the story is told through their minds' ramblings. The thing that drew all of the characters outside characters to this place and time is the real star of the book and that is the lake and maybe more time should have been spent telling the reader about the lake.
Though difficult to read and follow at times it was an interesting read. In the end about everyone gets naked. But also I think everyone, main characters, gets what they want out of life. They all appear in this small Irish town and after the events there, all of them find what they were seeking, happiness. Interesting book.
- Bait For The Tiger
on Sep. 22, 2012
An excellent little story of a group of "Masters" who want to take over and who are kept from doing so by the little people they are trying to enslave. An interesting cast of characters who work together to thwart the take over of the world. A very interesting and good read.
- The Bad, The Good and Two Fly Fishing Women, and a Life-Changing Day on a River
on March 03, 2013
A story of two women and how a day on the river helped them to come to grips with what life had thrown at them and in their own ways they learned how to go on and face the rest of their lives. There is a spirituality in a river that if one slows down and lets it overcome all of their daily cares, it will soothe and comfort a person. That is what the grandmother knew and was on the river alone to achieve, and her granddaughter in her search for her found that comfort and was able to overcome any doubts that had been bothering her and she learned that becoming “famous” (in the eyes of the world) was not all that it was cracked up to be. With fly fishing you must become observant and alert to what is going on around you and on the river. That is the lesson that the young girl learns. Sometimes we must pass up those holes that we want to fish to achieve our goals.
A very interesting a good read.
- Undefeated (Complete Series books 1-4)
on March 17, 2013
The four stories in Undefeated take place around a fight club and the men that are part of that club. It is not the fighting that the story is about but the women that the four men fall in love with and marry. Some of the love is newly found and some is the return of old loves to the present. The characters are believable and the four stories are interesting and well tied together around the fight club or gym.
The adventures of the four couples and their coming together makes for interesting reading and each story as with each couple is different and interesting. There is some suspense, some fighting and violence (not much) and a fast car. It is interesting to watch each individual handle their emotions and feelings as they fall in love with their partner. They are romance stories and Ms. Parkerson tells each couple’s story extremely well.
I am not a fan of romance stories, but I found the reading Undefeated to being interesting and fun. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a little bit of spicy reading in four very good stories.
- Let Slip the Dogs of War: A Bard's Bed & Breakfast Mystery #1
on June 10, 2013
A very entertaining book that keeps the reader turning pages to see what is going to happen next. A retired CIA agent and his wife, Bea, operate a bed and breakfast that is not for ordinary tourist. It is a getaway for agents who need a break from their jobs. It appears to work well until Bea is getting a room ready for a guest when she finds a body under the bed. Now begins the hunt for the killer and the reason why the body was left where it was.
Bea becomes an ex officio agent as she is drawn deeper in to the activities of her husband and other agents. It all boils down trying to protect two young Syrian girls from the bad guys who are hunting for them.
A very interesting and fun read and I recommend the following up book for those who want to see a continuation of this book. Hopefully we will see more adventures out of the Bard’s Bed and Breakfast.
- A Plague O' Both Your Houses: A Bard's Bed & Breakfast Mystery #2
on June 10, 2013
The Bard’s Bed and Breakfast is a quaint place in Vermont that is operated by a retired CIA agent and his wife. The place is actually sort of a rest home for CIA agents who are dying or who just need to get out of the spy business for a while and relax in a comforting environment.
One guest in this the second in the series, is a chemist who has come to the Bard’s to die, but she is involved in some double agent work and the owners and other guests at the B&B become involved with trying to stop her and the folks she is working for. Of course they are able to call in active agents into the fray and their struggle for right.
I found the book to be interesting and easy to get into and try to figure out what was actually going on. Bea, the big hearted owner, is willing to take in all who have problems and shows a willingness to help them if they are willing to help themselves. She pulls the strings to get everyone on the same page and aimed at the right target. I look forward to reading the first book in the series and also any follow up ones. A very good read.