I was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, but moved to America when I was five a half. My parents owned two Irish restaurants - one in Albany, New York the other in Dennisport, Cape Cod. I host an Irish radio program with my mom in upstate New York called Proud to be Irish. I'm an avid reader, love history (mainly Irish history), writing, listening to music arts crafts. I also love to laugh and meet new people. I m cheerfully owned by three adorable eight year old rescue cats named Ruby, Leila and Lollipop.
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Smashwords book reviews by Mareena McGirr
on May 04, 2011
This is a collection of flash fiction short stories dealing with the humor, romance and relationships of real life. I have to say that I have never read flash fiction - which are really short stories that usually stand alone. I was very interested in this book and give it an A!
Stilettos & Scoundrels
on May 19, 2011
Presley Thurman has recently been fired from her job - which has left her free to follow her dream of writing. Her friend offers her a job writing for his magazine. Her first assignment is to interview a well-known senator from her own hometown and when that senator is murdered, Presley sets out to find a killer first out of a need to keep her job and then out of curiousity.
Presley is determined to solve the mystery until she meets Cooper Sands, head of the senator's security. Cooper was a one-time fling and his good looks are extremely distracting and he knows it. He's trying to relive old memories with Presley. The suspects are mounting up but can Presley keep on the task at hand?
I enjoyed this story; I found the characters likeable and well-drawn. I didn't really follow all the shopping metaphors, but the storyline moved along quickly and I give the story an A!
Bedtime Stories for Cats
on June 10, 2013
This book features 17 short stories and fables written specifically for cat lovers of all ages. The topics range from mythology to magic and horror stories (for cats) combined with a couple of essays written by a cat in order to help the rest of us understand feline logic and reasoning. Many of the stories are sweet, amusing, poignant and informative, and I found myself instantly recognizing certain feline personalities and traits displayed in the book, and equating them to each of the four lovely rescue kitties who I have had (and still have) the pleasure of sharing my life with.
I really enjoyed reading this book very much. I give Bedtime Stories For Cats by Amy Neftzger an A! and am a little upset with myself that I waited so long to read this book. I am definitely eager to start reading the companion book to this one, Bedtime Stories For Dogs very soon. I honestly can't tell you why I waited so long to read and review this book, there are just so many good books out there, and so little time to read them all! :)
Bedtime Stories for Dogs
on June 10, 2013
This book features 21 short stories and fables written specific for dog lovers of all ages. The topics range from mythology to magic and horror stories (for dogs) combined with canine poetry and a couple of essays written by a dog in order to help the rest of us understand canine logic and reasoning. The majority of the stories are actually the same stories that are found in the companion book, Bedtime Stories For Cats, only each story is written from the dog's perspective.
Many of the stories are sweet, amusing, poignant and informative, and even though I have never actually owned a dog (I prefer owning cats...I know, I know, I can hear the growls of outrage already from every canine in the vicinity! :)), I definitely have had the pleasure of meeting several dogs during my lifetime. I found myself recognizing certain canine traits and personalities as I read, that I could remember some of the dogs in my acquaintance displaying in the past.
I enjoyed reading this book very much. I honestly can't explain why I waited so long to read it, although in my defense, there are just so many great books out there that I want to read that there may be one or two that languish on my TBR pile for some time before I get to them. I give Bedtime Stories For Dogs by Amy Neftzger an A!
on Oct. 24, 2013
In a tavern one Friday night, astrophysicist Gabriel Diaz meets a mysterious young woman. Captivated by her ethereal beauty as well as her views on good and evil, he spends the next several days with her. Soon, however, he begins to notice a strangeness in her, especially the perverse way she seems to take pleasure in toying with his conscience.
The young woman, Kamilah, invites him to Rize, Turkey, where she claims her family owns a cottage in the woods. Despite a heavy workload, and the disturbing nightmares and visions he's having about his sister's baby that's due to be born soon, Gabriel agrees to go with her.
But nothing, not even the stunning splendor of the Black Sea, can disguise the horror of Kamilah's true nature. In a place where death dwells and reality and illusion seem entwined, Gabriel must come to terms with his own demons in order to save his sister's unborn child, and ultimately, his own soul...
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. The story was very intriguing and I found myself wondering about Kamilah's true motives. I give this book an A+! and look forward to reading more from Mayra Calvani in the future.
25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back
on March 27, 2014
'What were you doing 25 years ago?' That was the question posed to 52 of her author colleagues by novelist and award-winning journalist Stacy Juba. In this collection of poignant and uplifting essays, you will read personal stories dealing with early school days; quirky first jobs; finding and keeping romance; the joys and difficulties of raising a family; going through various hard times; the pride and pitfalls associated with the writing journey; and discover what makes the characters these authors have created truly tick. Each story will alternately warm your heart, raise your spirits and ultimately compel you to examine your own life.
'25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back' by Stacy Juba will help readers discover a entire crop of new authors whose names they can add to their to-read lists. Publishing credits for each of the contributing writers include New York Times bestselling, USA Today bestselling and Amazon bestselling. They also include recipients of the Romantic Times Lifetime Achievement Award, Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award, Mississippi Author Award, Benjamin Franklin Award and Eppie Award, as well as nominees of the Pushcart Prize, Agatha and Shamus Awards, to name a few of the many honors.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this particular book. Alright, so it only took me two years to actually read, but I guess good things come to those who wait. :) I give '25 Years in the Rearview Mirror: 52 Authors Look Back' by Stacy Juba a definite A+!
My mother had read 'Sink or Swim' by the same author in March of 2011 and enjoyed it very much. I'm delighted to say that I have Twenty-Five Years Ago Today - the mystery that was the basis for the question asked in '25 Years in the Rearview Mirror' - already on my TBR pile. I can assure you that reading 'Twenty-Five Years Ago Today' won't take me another two years! :)
Life in the Palace (Book 1 - The Palace Saga)
on May 24, 2014
Chloe Diaz's perfect older sister, Stacy had done the unthinkable when she hopped on the back of her boyfriend's motorcycle and rode off into the sunset. Her parents were furious, and so Chloe became the repository of all her parents' displaced hopes and dreams. It is becoming truly exhausting, so as soon as she's able, Chloe leaves for college several months early.
Once she's enrolled in summer school, Chloe's life begins to change in ways she never expected. She's more than happy to leave the super heroic, save the world missions to her new study partner, Tal - who claims that as one of 'The People', she was sent from 'The Palace' to maintain the cosmic balance between good and evil. Chloe assumes that this is code for "I'm a pamphlet distributing, incense burning, religious weirdo."
Chloe was certain of three things in her life: first of all, boys who looked as gorgeously suave as Seth Wilks never even looked at her twice; second, they sure as heck never claimed she was their soul mate (as appealing as that particular thought might be); and third, there would never come a time in Chloe's life when she would have to choose between following her heart towards her own happiness, and following a much different path towards her destiny. Chloe was wrong; the time for her decision has come...
Now the future of the world is in her hands, but what if the price is too great to pay? Chloe learns that, in the Palace, destiny is not enough...
I must say that I enjoyed reading this book very much. This was a very intriguing and unusual premise; slightly darker and grittier than most readers might expect when they think of religious-themed fantasy, but I found the characters sympathetic and well-developed, the story was well-written and kept my attention engaged through to the end. I certainly want to read the next book in this series - 'To Call Your Name'. I give 'Life in the Palace' by Catherine Green an A!
The Tempest Murders
on May 24, 2014
In Lumberton, North Carolina, Detective Ryan O'Clery is working a series of homicides when he comes into possession of a journal kept by his great-uncle, five generations earlier. In his writings, Constable Rian Kelly details an eerily similar set of murders that he is investigating in Dublin, Ireland, during 1839. The number of victims steadily increases - until the night of January 6, 1839, when the 'Night of the Big Wind' swept the Atlantic Ocean across Ireland - completely devastating the country.
As Hurricane Irene barrels towards the North Carolina coastline, Ryan O'Clery discovers that even the killer's description that Rian Kelly mentions, matches exactly Ryan's prime suspect for the homicides in North Carolina. And as he falls in love with television reporter Cathleen Reilly, he wonders if she is, in fact, the reincarnation of Caitlyn O'Conor - Rian Kelly's fiancee, and the suspected final victim of the killer - lost as the storm raged across Ireland.
Ryan is in a desperate race against time. For, if reincarnation is possible, then Ryan suspects that he may just be the reincarnation of Rian Kelly. Now, he must rescue Cathleen before the killer finds her. Or risk losing her forever, as history appears destined to repeat itself.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. As I've said before, I do like stories that have paranormal overtones to them, and mysteries of any kind woven throughout storylines certainly intrigue me. I also like reading stories that are in any way connected to Ireland. I was originally born in Belfast, although until I was about four years old, my family and I lived in Dublin. Anyway, I give 'The Tempest Murders' by P. M. Terrell a definite A+! and look forward to reading more from this author in the future.
I just wanted to mention something that happened that surprised me: I had just finished reading this book, and was telling my mom about it. I was explaining how part of the story took place during the 'Night of the Big Wind', when I noticed that my mom was looking at me sort of curiously. I stopped speaking, and she picked up a magazine off a stack of Irish magazines that had just arrived in the mail the day before. The magazine was an issue commemorating 175 years since the 'Night of the Big Wind'!
Christmas Magic 1959 short story
on Jan. 30, 2017
The Meyer family had gone through its fair share of difficulties - yet even as it struggled to make ends meet - the Meyer children always felt surrounded by the love and admiration of their parents, their grandparents, and their siblings. Although money was tight, the Meyers had never experienced any sort of deprivation or neediness during their childhood. Now Kathryn Meyer Griffith, a prolific author for over forty years, reminisces about one of her most cherished childhood memories.
Christmas had always been a special time for the whole Meyer household. However, it would be the Christmas Season of 1959 that would perhaps provide many of the sweetest memories for the Meyer children. Perhaps no family member felt the Christmas spirit more than nine-year-old Katie Meyer. She loved absolutely everything about the holiday, but that Christmas Season of 1959 seemed even more magical to her because Katie had recently survived a life-threatening medical emergency.
This story is about one of Ms. Griffith's most cherished childhood Christmases; a very special Christmas Eve spent with her brother Jimmy, their other siblings, their mother, father and grandparents. It is a story of family, tradition, and everlasting love. With the recent passing of Ms. Griffith's brother Jim in 2015, she felt compelled to write this short story as a tribute to his memory as well as in honor of her family. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this little vignette, and give it a solid A!