Book Review: Clown William and the Wind of Vengeance

Clown William and the Wind of Vengeance

Blurb:

A reluctant 1870s gunslinger with Tourette’s and a quick draw . . .

While the battle for Lincoln, New Mexico, rages on, William is consumed by his own war against Jesse Evans, the man he blames for the loss of his friends and the start of his life as a gunfighter.

But when William finds Jesse at his most vulnerable—jailed with a gunshot wound—he can’t justify pulling the trigger. A gunfight must be fair.

William braves hostile military territory to orchestrate his archenemy’s release—only to discover he has become the prime target for an army of bounty-motivated gunslingers.

The hunter is now the hunted—and William must weigh whether revenge will give him the peace of mind he has been seeking.

Can William defeat his internal tornado before he becomes one of its victims?

Clown William, the first book in the series, is the winner of the Arizona Authors’ Association Literary Award, a Silver Winner in the Independent Publisher Book (IPPY) Awards, and a Finalist in the 2019 National Indie Excellence Awards and the 2019 Next Generation Book Awards. Clown William and the Lincoln County War is Winner of the National Indie Excellence Awards and books one and two are Bronze IPPY Winners for Best Series. Clown William and the Wind of Vengeance is the third book in the series.

Review:

The book, Clown William and the Wind of Vengeance, as the title suggests, illustrates William’s change of mind in seeking revenge. The best part about this book is how the author has chosen to explore the dilemma of a character, making the plot of the book more complex and interesting.

I read this as a standalone. However, I would like to read the first two as I strongly believe that it would ease readers in understanding the story. William seeks revenge after his friend was murdered. However, the murderer, Jesse, lands in jail injured and has no way of defending himself. William, on the other half, battles between his anger towards Jesse and his guilt in seeking revenge against a defenseless man.

This is not like a typical Western historical book where the protagonist seeks revenge and kills the antagonist. How the author chose to explore the character made the book interesting as I think that we all have dilemmas and struggles in our lives as well.

A 4 star for this book.

Book Review: The Water's Fine by Janice Coy

The Water’s Fine

Blurb:

Catalina Rodrigues believes she’s living her best life, traveling to exotic locations around the world as a scuba dive master, spending every moment possible in her beloved ocean. Bertie Clark is excited for a week-long scuba trip with her husband exploring the underwater wonders of an ocean teeming with life – the Sea of Cortez. But a tragedy on their dive boat sends both women into uncharted territory, questioning what they’ve always thought to be true and fostering an unlikely friendship. Will either trust the invitation to “come on in, the water’s fine” again?

Review:

What seemed to start off as a slow read started to build momentum bit by bit, and as the mystery unfolded, the slow start to the book felt like the strange sense of calmness in the ocean before a tsunami! The book drew my interest like quicksand.

The story started with Catalina, who is a scuba diving dive master, going on a trip with a group of divers. She quickly becomes friends with Bertie, Max’s wife who is accompanying Max for the trip. I find the story enjoyable with the two female characters having a strong bond of friendship despite having different interests. A fellow diver in the trip passes away, and the suspense builds up after Catalina arrived home from the horrifying trip.

An enjoyable, suspenseful read. I would give it a 4 star

Book Review: The Christmas Cats Flee The Bee

Now available on Amazon

Blurb:

The Christmas Cats Can’t Help When the Hive Elects a Bad Bee. The bees learn a valuable lesson about making important decisions without enough information. They also learn that everyone needs to work to earn the trust of others.

Review:

This book is the sixth in the Christmas Cats series (www.TheXmasCats.com) but it can be read as a standalone. Although it is written for kids between the age of 3 – 12 years old, it is more appropriate for kids above 6 years old as the book incorporated politics in a subtle manner. The book has about 68 pages, with a few last pages consisting of black and white images for colouring purpose.

This book is amusing, and fun to read. It fits not just for kids but also for adults as they would have a good time reading the book out to the kids. It teaches some important values behind being a good leader and how not to be ‘the bad guy’. If the book is read out to kids in the right manner, they will be able to understand the message in a very simple manner. I have never thought of a children’s book that can have politics in it.

A 4 star for this book. The illustrations are great.

Book Review: A Death in Vegas by Christopher Meeks

A Death in Vegas

Blurb:

In A Death in Vegas, the president of a company that specializes in beneficial bugs for organic gardeners discovers a young woman dead in his Las Vegas hotel suite. She had worked as a sexy lady bug at his convention booth — and he had nothing to do with her death. While that’s being investigated, the FBI raids his booth on a money-laundering scam that he knows nothing about. Soon, the coroner doesn’t have good news, either. Who has set him up? Why? With the police and FBI are against him, and his wife missing, he flees to find answers and his wife.

Review:

You will be surprised to find a murder mystery book that is funny, has a main character that can come across as a fool at times and yet be equally entertaining, has a sexy young model in it.

Readers may find it to be filled with ethical and moral issues, as well as some parts that may not seem logical, but if you are reading it for the pure pleasure of it, you will be entertained by this book, which is a page-turner.

Patton basically hires a sexy model to work for him as a sexy lady bug at a booth. Patton has a business in the beneficial bug industry. The next day, he finds her naked and dead in his room. He was charged for the murder, although he is clueless about the whole mystery. On the other hand, the FBI raided his booth and his wife accuses him of having an affair with the model.

Patton actually surprises us with the way he uses his intellectual ability, and this is when we get hooked to his character. You will have to read the book to find out about it.

A 4 star for this book.

Get the book on Amazon

Book Review: The Christmas Eve Secret

The Christmas Eve Secret

Check out the interview with Elyse Douglas here https://internationalbookpromotion.com/2019/10/24/an-author-interview-with-elyse-douglas/

Blurb:

A mysterious man from the past steals the time travel lantern.
When Eve and Patrick find it, they destroy it.
Eve’s life is shattered.
She must return to the past, where secrets await.

In the third novel of THE CHRISTMAS EVE series, Eve and Patrick Gantly are living a normal life in 2019 New York, preparing to celebrate the Christmas season. Patrick is taking courses in forensic psychology and Eve continues to work as a nurse practitioner. To their delight, she is three months pregnant. ​

Despite their happiness, Eve is having premonitions that something dreadful is about to occur. Concerned about the future and the safety of their child, she insists that they destroy the time travel lantern. Patrick is more cautious.

One afternoon when Patrick is out, a sinister man breaks into the apartment and forces Eve to give him the lantern. In many ways, Eve is relieved the lantern is gone. She hopes they can now live a more normal life.

A day later, Patrick shadows a woman who has been staking out the Gantly’s brownstone apartment, and he confronts her. To his and Eve’s utter shock, they learn that Lucy Rose is from 1924 and that she time-traveled with the man who took the lantern. He returned to 1924, but she chose to stay behind. She offers to sell the lantern back to Eve and Patrick, and they reluctantly agree, hoping to keep it out of unscrupulous hands.​

Convinced that the lantern is a threat to their future happiness, Eve and Patrick decide to destroy it.​

But the lantern has more power than they could have ever imagined. Once the lantern is destroyed, Eve’s life is completely changed. She must set off on an adventure, in a struggle that will return her to the past, where she will learn the secret of the lantern’s origin and delve into the farthest reaches of her heart.

Review:

This is book 3 of ‘The Christmas Eve’ series and it can be read as part of the series or on it’s own but I believe when all three is read, you get the idea of how one character is connected to the other in detail.

Time travel is perhaps a genre that everybody enjoys reading and I am no exception in this case. Being a fan of chicklit books and those that highlight the lives of women, I have to say that I enjoyed the part where Eve and Partrick were brought back to 1884, where oppression against women was greater than it is now.

I love how Eve puts in effort to make sure that she doesn’t lose Patrick and although she finds it uncomfortable to be transported back in time, she eventually gets used to it. I love the way the authors weave the story, in a simple, yet enjoyable manner.

I would rate this book an easy read as you get hooked on to the story rather quickly.

A 5 star for this book.

Book Review: The Sultan of Monte Cristo

The Sultan of Monte Cristo
The Sultan of Monte Cristo

Blurb:

This vivid novel offers much entertainment and excitement throughout its telling of various adventures.  Although the main character’s motives are presented, only small portions of the story involve his attempted redemption, leaving room for resolution in a subsequent sequel.  Creating a more obvious through line that better connects all of the characters and their actions will improve the overall narrative while the multitude of subplots offer the creative material necessary to build a compelling series.

Having no former knowledge of The Count of Monte Cristo hinders the reader’s understanding of the protagonist’s current situation, but additional sequels provide a format that allows room for necessary background information to be provided.  Dantes’ character is undoubtedly flawed, a huge asset in terms of presenting a relatable protagonist.  Offering further insight into his past will allow audiences to better understand his former behaviors and appreciate the lengths to which he will go to try to remedy his wrongdoings.

Raymee is introduced rather abruptly, but is a strong and gripping character nonetheless.  One is instantly impressed by her intelligence and confidence and appreciates the desperation of her situation.  Raymee’s motives are a bit muddled, as her desire seems to change from one of avoiding her betrothal in favor of true love to that of acceptance of her fate in exchange for power.  The disclosure of Dantes’ influence on her behavior is a brilliant addition, as it strongly connects the two characters and allows for vivid representation of the monstrosity of revenge.  The castrations are unexpected and graphic, characteristics highly indicative of current popular television programs.  Parallels between Raymee and Daenerys Targaryen from the program Game of Thrones can certainly be drawn, as each beautiful female develops from youth to a place of authority, cunningly demonstrating her power to influence her subjects.  Raymee’s continued rise, especially following the implied birth of the Arabian prince, and potential fall is certainly deserving of further exploration, particularly if she continues to gain inspiration from Dantes’ past.

Review:

I have not read the original version, The Count of Monte Cristo. However, this short read turned out to be a pleasurable read for Dantes and Mercedes, who are lovers. I like how the story is written in a simple and easy-to-read read manner. Dantes later learns about his anscesty, which is traced all the way back to Mary Magdalene. I think the continuation of the story from one chapter to another is a little abrupt and leaves the readers feel that the story is hanging. As a reader, it takes a while to follow the shift in the settings of the story.

I like the fact that Mercedes is being protrayed as an independent woman who goes on to venture into a business although she agreed to become Dantes’ second wife. She also asked Dantes to marry her, and I see this as a form of a strength of woman.

Overall, I would give this book a 3-star for the characterization of Mercedes and Dantes.

Stories of Women of Substance

Non-Fiction Book Reviews

I read a lot of non-fiction books: memoirs, biographies and autobiographies from my school days, and the women featured in these books and their stories have truly inspired my life to date and turned me into a fan of non-fiction books, especially stories from the Middle East.

I will try to post the video reviews for the books I have read in the past once I have cleared the books in my TBR list. Or probably do them concurrently. For those of you who are new to my blog, you can check out my video reviews or #booktube here on YouTube.

M book video reviews

Shame by Jasvinder Sanghera (Memoir)

Shame

Jasvinder Sanghera, CBE, is a campaigner who fights against forced marriages and honour-based crimes in the UK. Shame is her memoir that walks us through her life as a victim of forced marriage at the age of 14. Jasvinder was born into a Sikh family living in the UK. Her parents emigrated to the UK from India before she was born, and the family still has a very close connection with their roots in India.

Jasvinder ran away from home to escape her marriage and had since been outcasted by her family. Jasvinder’s pain of being rejected by her own mother and family because of her choice to not get married was saddening and it tells the reader the importance of being accepted and loved by family members in order to have a fulfilling life as one grows up.

Jasvinder had a failed a marriage and after that found the love of her life. She went on to study at a university after having kids and founded Karma Nirvana to speak for the victims of forced marriages, both men and women, in the UK. A highly recommended book for anyone looking turn adversity into strength.

Mayada, Daughter of Iraq: One Woman’s Survival Under Saddam Hussein by Jean Sasson (Biography)

Mayada

One of the most disturbing books I have ever read. The details of how women suffer behind the bar during the time Saddam Hussein was in power, as described in this book, were too harrowing and sickening. I had to just pause a few times while reading as I was baffled with the fact that women can be treated so lowly just because they were put behind the bar.

Mayada is the granddaughter of one of the most prominent leaders of Iraq, and she was arrested for a crime she did not commit, which is printing leaflets against Saddam at her shop. The rest of the story is about what happened to her and the rest of the ‘Shadow Women’ in the jail. She got out the jail quickly and was not tortured like the rest of her inmates.

While the incident is based on true events, I did not find any potential conflict of interest over the story of this book, yet. It is highly recommended to anyone who loves being teleported to a different world, especially Iraq and the Middle East.

Burned Alive: A Survivor of an “Honor Killing” Speaks Out by Souad (Biography)

Burned Alive

Burned Alive is a story of a woman surviving honour killing after being tried to be murdered by her family members for getting pregnant with her man she loved. This story will open your eyes to how women were tortured in past by denying the rights to express their thoughts freely. This event took place in the seventies, during the time when women’s rights movement had not gained prevalence in many parts of the world.

Souad lived in a society that considered a seventeen-year-old girl to be an old maid, and she lost hope in getting married to a man of her family’s choice because her elder sisters were still not married, and she was left with no choice but to wait for her sisters’ turn to come because older girls were married off first. She fell in love with a man and got pregnant with him. The pregnancy was kept a secret but soon the family got to know about it and attempted to murder her and her child.

Souad recalled the story after some twenty years this incident happened to her from a place somewhere in Europe, where she lived after escaping her home country. Although Souad later got married, found an employment opportunity and learned a second language, she preferred to keep her whereabouts a secret due to the fear of her family tracing her back and killing her.

Highly recommended for those who like to read about the lives of women in the seventies in of the Middle Eastern countries.