Behind The Mask by Juliet M Sampson

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I have come to Juliet’s books long after everyone else has experienced her stories. Behind the Mask was her debut novel, a story that deals with spousal abuse. The story is based on the authors own personal experience (as stated in the acknowledgments), it is by no means an easy read as no book is when it deals with such a sensitive issue. Although I believe that it is a story that anyone who has gone through what the author been through would find it beneficial, even though it deals with abuse the underlying message from the author is about finding yourself again. I also believe that even though the stories of abuse are not for everyone, the reader can learn and gain a deeper understanding of what people go through who live through these experiences.

Whilst the story is very simplistic in its style with all the tell tale signs of a first book, one thing is very clear, the author is writing from the heart and welcomes the reader to become a part of her life for a while to share her experience so that others may learn from what she herself went through.

I look forward to reading more books from this author.

Resurrection of an Empire (The Magic Within #2) by Sharon Gibbs

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The book was gifted by the author for review.

In the second book in the series, we return once again to the adventures of Christopher and his fellow wizards. This time they must face evil, an evil that wants to destroy their lives and the peace that they have once again found. With the fate of the Tree of Life at stake, the wizards must do everything in their power to stop their magic disappearing forever. The evil sorceress Athena has a plan to resurrect her love Zute so that with him she can destroy the wizards and their magic for good.

The author brings the reader back into her world of magic, friendship, and loyalty. What lies ahead for the reader is a story with many twists and turns with beautifully written characters that are set in a world that will have you totally engrossed from the first to the last page. As I stated in the review I wrote for the first book in this series, I am not a huge fan of the Fantasy genre, but as with the first book, this one also totally engrossed me with its interesting and entertaining storyline. If you are a fan of the Fantasy genre, then this book might just be what you have been missing.

Bound To Survive (Book One) is available in paperback and E-book.

Whimsy Girls Christmas Coloring Book by Hannah Lynn

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If you are a lover of gorgeous pictures to bring to life, then this is a colouring book that will have you sharpening your pencils and planning your colour palette. With 30 beautiful pictures to colour this book will bring Christmas to life all year round.

Available in paperback and PDF formats.

Ghoul Gone Wild by Austyn Faulkner

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Imagine if you had a way to bring a dead movie star that you love into your life.
Would you do it, or would you leave the dead alone? Kate had a chance to do just that, a friend threw a Halloween party and part of the entertainment is a seance. Kate jokingly summons James Wilde, an actor she has loved forever, but she thinks the psychic is a fake. The psychic was real and Kate found out how real when a very dead James Wilde appears in her apartment. Her excitement soon turns to dismay when she realises that James is stuck with her for better or worse. He might have been the man of her dreams, but all too soon she begins to realise that her dreams might be turning into a nightmare.

Her friends start to question her sanity when her behaviour becomes questionable. Her efforts to conceal James start to make her look like the bump on the head, she took gave her more than a concussion. Kate tries to get James to move on but even the psychic responsible for bringing him to Kate in the first place can not get him to budge, it looks to Kate like she is stuck with him forever. To make matters worse Kate finds that despite James’ antics she is beginning to have feelings for him and that is impossible. Will she live her life with a ghost, or will she finally be able to find a way to set him free?

Ghoul Gone Wild is the third book by author Austyn Faulkner that I have had the pleasure of reading. As with the other two books, this one is another roller coaster ride of the emotions, with a story that will have you laughing one minute, on the edge of your seat the next, then in tears. I was constantly torn between the characters and how I wanted it all to work out, the story did not go the way that I thought it would in the end. I have a feeling there might be a part two to this story. I am not sure if this is what the author intended with the ending and I might be completely wrong, but I hope we do see these characters return.

There are a couple of things that I would suggest to the author that would make this great read even better. The first, remove the blurb at the start of the book and replace it with a chapter or preface about the seance and what lead to all this happening in greater detail.

Secondly, I would change the cover of the book, although I think it is cute and fun, I think that it actually detracts from the wonderfully entertaining story. As always these are only my suggestions to the author.

If you enjoy an easy read that is a lot of fun with a bit of a serious side thrown in then this is a book definitely worth taking a look at.

Austyn Falkners other books are:

Payne Management
Between a Scot and a Hard Place

The Yard Sale by Patricia Preston

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What do you do when your husband runs away with the church pianist, you lose your job and face the prospect of living and working with your mother? You have a yard sale, of course. Jennifer Riley needs money to take a trip to New Orleans for job interviews. With the help of her friend Gail and her husband Buddy, her yard sale becomes the talk of the town. There are bargains to be found, singing and dancing to entertain the customers and surprises waiting to be discovered.

Patricia Preston delivers yet another enjoyable, funny and easy read in the Humor and Happy Endings Series. As with the previous book I read in this series, the characters are incredibly well written. You can tell from the interaction between the three main characters that they are very close and have known each other for a long time. But it is not just the main characters that make this a great read, a cast of secondary characters help to add to the depth. Like the first book I read, this one drew me, keeping me entertained and wanting to know what happens at the most popular yard sale that the residence of Clayburn, Mississippi have ever seen.

I would love to know if Jennifer ended up with “Prince Charming” and if the treasures she finds really were as valuable as he claimed. Maybe there will be another book about Jennifer, I will keep my fingers crossed. But that is the magic of short stories when the story ends your imagination can take over.

If you enjoy your books short and sweet with a bit of a twist at the end, then this book might be just what you have been looking for.

Laid To Rest by Patricia Preston

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Laid To Rest is the story of Darlene Higginbottom and how one night of misadventure can change your life. When the Mayor arrived at Darlene’s house for a bit of “fun,” things do not go as planned for either the Mayor or Darlene. Will Darlene make it to Hollywood and follow her dreams of becoming a famous actress, or will her dream turn into a nightmare?

This is the first book I have read by Patricia Preston, it is a short story that took around an hour to read, and what an enjoyable hour that was. I am always in awe of writers who are able to condense a story into the short story format but still retain the feel and detail of a full-length novel.

The story flowed and kept pace from the first to the last page. All the characters are extremely well written and believable, an author who has the ability with one word, in this case, “girdle,” to describe a character and their personality in great detail is a very talented author indeed. Another great thing about the way the story is written is how you want to find out what will happen to Darlene next, the author can pull the reader into the story in just a page or two and keep them there.

A totally delightful feel good read with a twist at the end that even Darlene did not see coming.

Together They Overcame (Together #1) by Juliet C.B. Aharoni

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The book was gifted by the author for review

Together They Overcame is the story of Rosalind and Eyal and their struggle to make a marriage work in spite of all the obstacles placed before them. Rosalind and her boyfriend Foxy moved to Israel to study nursing with plans on helping the wounded soldiers from the Sinai Campaign which took place in 1956. After Foxy gets into yet another fight over his jealousy of other men wanting Rosalind, she decides to leave him and concentrate on her studies. On her first day in a hospital where she is gaining hands-on experience as part of her training, she meets a wounded soldier named Eyal. Their first meeting is not a very pleasant one for Rosalind as Eyal makes fun of her as she a foreigner, but for Eyal it is a different story, for him, it is love at first sight. Compared to his ex-girlfriend, Rosalind is like an angel. Eyal tries to get Rosalind to agree to a date with him, at first she refuses because she still has feelings for Foxy, but when he keeps persisting she gives in and agrees. After a couple of dates he is convinced that they should be together, so he asks his father to invite Rosalind to live with the family on their farm. Rosalind hesitates, but against her better judgment, she agrees to live with them. Little did she realise what this would mean for her and her happiness. Her life changes, she goes from knowing only a life of luxury and of being surrounded by people who love and care for her, to a life of uncertainty and hardship.

When the author sent me this book for review I was looking forward to reading the story of Rosalind and Eyal’s life but I was disappointed. The story didn’t flow and I found it extremely difficult to relate to any of the characters. Rosalind was very frustrating and confusing. She comes across as weak, she is treated terribly by both Eyal and his mother. Instead of standing up to them, she just accepts the abuse that is dealt out to her. The writing was very disjointed, jumping from one situation to the next with very little explanation as to why it was happening. One example, I was reading about Rosalind and then in the next chapter, it was all about Eyal’s mother and how she was beautiful as a young girl and admired by everyone. That did not make sense to me and seemed to be totally out of synch with the previous chapter.

For me personally, the majority of the sex scenes made little to no sense in the context of the story, an example, the couple is in the shower, he was fondling her, all of a sudden he attacks her for using too much water by showering constantly. The way the sex scenes were written reminded me of two teenagers fumbling around, instead of two people who were getting to know each other on a personal level. Rosalind was inexperienced and a virgin when she met Eyal but to me, some scenes were not needed.

The idea of the story is a great one, but for me, it just fell short on so many levels. I was looking forward to reading about the history of the time period that the book was set in and how a couple from completely different backgrounds learned to overcome their differences, but sadly that just did not happen.

Feature: Glossary of terms.