Monday, November 26, 2018

Speak of the Devil (Speaking in Tungs Book 2) by Karla M. Jay

Speak of the Devil (Speaking in Tungs Book 2) by Karla M. Jay
Marleigh Benning thinks she’s mastered being a home speech therapist in the most remote region of Pennsylvania… and that the steep learning curve is behind her. But in Speak of the Devil further surprises await around the next bend, as her six unpredictable clients throw her for another loop; her relationship with local fireman, Lawyer, heats up to alarm-level arson; and she discovers why her birth parents went underground. The biggest danger Marleigh faces as she traverses the rolling, verdant terrain, going house by house to improve speech and articulation, is her inadvertent entanglement in a clandestine heroin operation.
Speak of the Devil is the fabulous sequel to Karla M. Jay’s book, “Speaking in Tungs.” In it we have Marleigh Benning, a compassionate and caring speech pathologist. Readers follow Marleigh on her adventures in rural Pennsylvania where she has recently moved to from San Francisco, California. Out of her element, but determined to make it work, her new caseload gives her a run for her money as her, sometimes, ill-tempered patients occasionally try to thwart her. But, she always remains kind and gives them her best with her utmost dedication. Besides her quirky patients, she has a lot going on with her daily life. Her romance with the hot fireman, Lawyer, is heating up. She continues the search for her parents and finds out about a possible witness protection connection. She winds up right smack dab in the middle of another mystery that threatens her life. Her life is complicated, yet rewarding. But more than that, she is in serious danger.
Karla M. Jay has hit it out of the park with her latest book, Speak of the Devil. With lovable fun characters and great descriptive writing, what’s not to love about her books? With never a dull moment, I was completely caught up in the mystery and suspense, and Jay writes it so well. The characters are so real and endearing that I fully connected with them in a passionate way. I was drawn in with amusement by the sincerity and humor of the characters with their flaws and strengths.
The detailed writing held me captive and I fell in love with the rural setting in small town Pennsylvania, The townspeople and setting had my imaginary senses soaring. This really is a fabulous story with a sensational storyline and plot. With an unpredictable outcome, Karla M. Jayhas woven together a unique and original novel that readers will revel in. She writes with flawless capability that has a mix of mystery, comedy, excitement and emotion. The suspense is permeating and had me on the edge of my seat. What a truly amazing novel is Speak of the Devil. Chick Lit Cafe highly recommends this captivating book. Buy it and be glad you did.
Purchase Speak of the Devil by Karla M. Jay @Amazon Here

Sunday, November 25, 2018

When I Was a Child: I Was Always Afraid – Michael Cascio

When I Was a Child: I Was Always Afraid – Michael Cascio
Are you afraid when you go to bed? This book will put good thoughts in your head.
When I Was a Child: I Was Always Afraid by Michael Cascio is a wonderful children’s book about conquering fear. The book talks about many things that even adults have been afraid of. – unexplainable noises coming from other rooms, lurking spooky shadows, monsters under the bed, scary silhouettes and sounds of trees, and sometimes thunder, outside the window, Children’s minds can get carried away with imagining all kinds of horrifying things. Thankfully, Michael Cascio has thoughtfully addressed the problem by writing an excellent little book for children to learn how to overcome and face their fears.
In When I Was a Child: I Was Always Afraid, we have a little boy that is dealing with the issue of fear. His devoted father takes him by the hand and together they explore the house with the lights on and see that there is nothing scary there. They look under the bed, and surprise, they find lost toys – no monsters. They go outside and look at the beautiful tree and its branches. That is all it was, just a tree. The boy is relieved, and by examining the things he was afraid of, he faced his feelings of fear and conquered them.
The father’s wisdom and willingness to help his child is an important message to parents. Children need to be able to approach their parents and talk about their emotions and fears. By not brushing off his son’s fear by just saying, “there is nothing to be afraid of,” he actively and lovingly helped his son in a real tangible way by showing him that what the boy feared was just normal things around the house. He taught him how to put good thoughts in his head when he became afraid.
This book is written in poetry form with delightful rhyming verses that flow beautifully. The illustrations are vivid and irresistible, as they show the emotion behind them. They start out a bit darker in the beginning, but as the pages are turned they are lit up and cheerful. A perfect depiction of what fear looks like to a child, without being too frightening. The characters in the pictures are actually cute and winsome.
This is a timeless book that should be in libraries, and on every child’s bookshelf, to be read to at bedtime to diminish any fears. Praise for Michael Cascio’sWhen I Was a Child: I Was Always Afraid.Get a copy for every child in your life. They will be comforted, delighted and inspired.
Purchase When I Was a Child: I Was Always Afraid @Amazon Here
Reviewed by Artisan Book Reviews

Saturday, November 17, 2018

The Lat Mermaid Princess by Lily Lewis

The Last Mermaid Princess by Lily Lewis
Lily Chaidee was never at home with herself, her family, or her geography, and as a hybrid-Asian growing up in the Texas Panhandle during the 1960’s, she was ill-equipped to face the challenges that would inevitably come. Amarillo, an inhospitable place for an ethnically diverse family, was only part of the problem. Mental illness, sexual predation, addiction, and hypocrisy lay formidable difficulties in her path. But Lily was smart, and smart people often find ways to triumph over horrific circumstances. Even if she could claim her joy, sometimes the worst enemy dwells within. Lily must seek her peace and her place in order to rise above the things that bind her.
The Last Mermaid Princess by Lily Lewis is described by the author as her pseudo-autobiography and tells the life story of Lily Chaidee. Born to a mentally unstable white mother and an emotionally unavailable Thai father, she was frequently subjected to racial abuse as well as emotional and physical abuse and struggled to find love anywhere she could, the latter leading her on a downward path of self-destruction. The toxic love from those closest to her resulted in her shutting down her feelings and closing her heart and her body to the appalling things that she was subjected to. Unable to resurrect emotions that over the years she had buried deep within her, Lily unwittingly finds herself becoming a duplicate of her mother. It takes a long period of self-evaluation, numerous mistakes, imprudent decisions, and heart-wrenching experiences before Lily is able to rise above her past and become what she perceives as a perfect mother to her children.
Unfortunately, without realizing until it was too late, Lily discovers that her actions destroy all that she has held dear, and she loses those she loves the most. It takes ill-health and the onset of her senior years for Lily to reflect on her life, to realize where she had put her own needs above those of her children, and to see how her past had dictated her future.
The Last Mermaid Princess by Lily Lewis is an incredible personal account of growing up in the 1960’s and 1970’s when racism in Texas was rife, and drug abuse an everyday occurrence. The author, Lily Lewis, writes beautifully, full of emotion even when she recounts the darkest times. She has a wonderful command of the written word, with descriptive phrases that resonate with the reader, such as ‘depression followed me like a shadow’ when struggling to find the positive side of every negative, and referring to herself as a ‘ghost hoarder’ when focusing on the many people and things that haunt her from the past. I found the whole book to be a compelling read, and I know it will be a story that will stay with me for a long time. Such was the skill of writing that I felt a personal attachment to Lily, even empathizing when she made blatant mistakes and acted inappropriately, or made decisions that would clearly end in disaster.
In the current social landscape with a growing awareness of sexual improprieties and misogyny and deep-seated racism and hypocrisy, the themes of the book demonstrate that these problems have always been there, hiding in plain sight. The marginalization that young Lily experiences along with other forms of exploitation only go to show that beneath the friendly Texas hospitality dwells a sinister side.
I have rarely felt such strong feelings for an author, and I commend Lily Lewis for conveying every conceivable emotion with exquisite prose in a gripping and heart-wrenching story.
Reviewed by Jane Finch for Chick Lit Cafe
Purchase The Last Mermaid Princess @Amazon Here

Watch the Book Trailer for The Last Mermaid Princess by Lily Lewis

Friday, November 9, 2018

Fresh off the Starship by Ann Crawford

Fresh off the Starship by Ann Crawford
Wrong place, right time? A starbeing was supposed to travel light-years across the universe to help humanity by working in Washington, D.C.–but she accidentally lands in a small Kansas town in the body of Missy. Join her on this whimsical journey as she discovers the beauty of life and love on Earth.
Author Ann Crawford’s trademark optimism brings us a witty and wise book filled with memorable characters and insights into what makes us all so very human.
Fresh off the Starship is a wonderful and fun chick lit style book with a spin on science fiction.
Missy, a young woman is not human, but instead she is a glorious being from a distant galaxy light years away. From Andromeda, she is headed to earth-to be precise-to aid humans and the people of earth in whatever way she can. However, her ship takes a turn and she winds up in Kansas instead. As she is waking up, she can hear the voices of the humans talking to her. But, the voices sound so strange to her and not like the English she had learned in her studies. She is in Kansas now and they definitely speak with an accent. Instead of reaching humans on a grander degree, Missy is now stuck in Kansas living life like a human. She is determined to complete her assignment even though she is in small-town Kansas. Readers follow Missy on her adventure to help humanity discover the beauty of nature and the world around us.
Fresh off the Starship by Ann Crawford is a light, warm-hearted book that readers will revel in and certainly appreciate. It is highly entertaining and full of wit and charm. It is intelligent and fun at the same time. It is written with a clear concise voice with a message that we humans need to hear. I was fully engaged from the very first chapter, as this book grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.
This honestly is a beautiful story from an extremely gifted writer. With fluently penned prose and a captivating romantic storyline and plot, Ann Crawford gives readers a one of a kind tale. We have a strong, rather bewildered heroine to be inspired by and a cast full of colorful characters. They are well developed and fleshed out with strengths and weaknesses we all can relate to. I loved Missy-she is a genuine character who had me thinking, making this a very thought-provoking book. Readers are reminded that life is beautiful and much more brilliant than we perceive.
I thoroughly enjoyed Fresh off the Starship and savored every word. Ann Crawford aptly has a flair for writing descriptive words that put the reader right on the scene, watching on as the story unfolds. I could visualize the entire setting and Missy’s unique take on things. This is a book that I would highly recommend to lovers of chick lit, science fiction, adventure and even fantasy lovers. The compelling ending is wonderful and completely satisfying.
Praise for Fresh off the Starship, a page turner and one of the best books I have read in a long time. Pick up your copy and be delighted and inspired.
Reviewed by Artisan Book Reviews
Purchase Fresh off the Starship by Ann Crawford @Amazon Here

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Immortals’ Requiem - Vincent Bobbe - Book Review

Immortals’ Requiem Vincent Bobbe
Grimdark Fantasy: Speculative fiction
There are beings that live a shadow’s breadth from our reality…
They are the dreams and nightmares of humanity, the ancient seeds of fairy-tale and superstition. These are the Immortals, creatures of magic that should live forever… and they are fading.
When a horror two thousand years dead returns to contemporary England, creatures long thought lost to myth and legend collide in a scramble for survival that could tumble civilization back into the dark ages of blood and death.
Immortals’ Requiem is a Tolkienesque grimdark fantasy based in both a modern day city and vast supernatural worlds. If you like the idea of a drunken elf with a shotgun, an ancient warrior with a chainsaw and a whole host of violent supernatural beings you’ll love this gritty Amazon Number 1 Bestseller.
Buy Immortals’ Requiem to lose yourself in this epic award winning dark fantasy adventure today!
Immortals’ Requiem by Vincent Bobbe is a wild fantastical ride in a horrific setting filled with creatures made of nightmares. This is a story that is so terrifying that I could barely read it, and definitely couldn’t put it down. The characters in this book range from mortals to monsters of every kind. They are immortals waging war against one another and it is one scary battle. Characters are being killed off and blood is everywhere.
There are several plot lines that come together like an intricate puzzle. It flows nicely, is easy to follow along and keep up with the pace – which is extremely fast. Told in the third person of the different creatures, I found it to be extraordinary that the author could pull it off the way he did. This book is not for the faint of heart. It is perfect for those that love great storytelling coupled with dark minded, frightening creatures that are relentless and blood thirsty.
The world building in this otherworldly book is nothing less than brilliant. Vincent Bobbe has created vivid scenes, situations and locations full of supernatural beings, vampires, elves, shapeshifters, fairies, zombies, giants, etc. He has taken the fae world and put it all into one outstanding book. I felt like I was there watching on as the story unfolded. His descriptive writing had me on the scene, and Immortals’ Requiem is unlike anything I have ever read.
With a hand full of major characters, we follow along as the story unfolds in modern day England. The characters are complex and well developed. For a dark fantasy, they are extremely believable and realistic. Because of the masterful way this book is written, the entire story is believable and realistic. The characters are not without emotion, and the book brought up feelings that were relatable to me. It is a violent and graphic novel with an original premise and idea. Vincent Bobbe has won this reader over and Artisan Book Reviews highly recommends Immortals’ Requiem by Vincent Bobbe to all lovers of grimdark fantasy and horror.
Purchase Immortals’ Requiem @Amazon Here

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Side Job by Don Lubov - Book Review

The Side Job by Don Lubov
This is the story of Maggie Gomez — an unwed, unskilled mother of a sickly daughter. She lives a hardscrabble life on the underside of Las Vegas. As her daughter’s health deteriorates, Maggie’s need for money for an operation skyrockets. Maggie was vulnerable and defeated early in life. Her long-suppressed strength blossoms and Maggie becomes “La Femme Nikita”. As Maggie gets more involved with her loan shark boss and his crew, her world begins to spiral out of control. Her simultaneous involvement with a gangster and the detective investigating him turns her life into a soap opera of emotions. She must figure out how to escape her underworld life, protect her daughter, and live happily ever after.
Gritty, rich and captivating!
The Side Job by Don Lubov follows Maggie Gomez, a young mother who is trying to save the life of her daughter. She is powerless, weak, impoverished and desperate for money. She ends up becoming involved with a loan shark, who becomes her boss. Things quickly get out of control and Maggie is in over her head. She is personally involved with the detective that is investigating the gangster who she is also involved with. Things are complicated and Maggie’s life is an emotional rollercoaster. Will she rise above her complex problems and figure out a way to free herself and keep her relationship while saving her young daughter’s life? You must buy this extraordinary book to find out.
The Side Job is an interesting, captivating, quick read that had me fully engaged from the very first chapter. It is an especially remarkable page-turner that readers won’t be able to put down.  As readers dive into the bottom and barren side of Las Vegas, they are thrust into a story that they will soon not forget. Maggie Gomez is poor and powerless and lives an unproductive, desolate life. She turns to crime to gain money and save her young daughter’s life. Over time, readers watch as she evolves and becomes a strong unbeatable woman. This is a fantastic story written with grit, rich with emotion and filled with passion. Readers will feel the desperation in this young mother’s life. Her love for her child is so strong and her despair so deep it caused me to totally relate to the things she did to save her six year old’s life.
I totally connected with the unimaginable characters in The Side Job. They are unusual and well developed and completely relatable to and real. The main character starts out as a weak, poor young mother, but eventually, she transforms into a strong and powerful woman. This story is written well, with the characters being fully fleshed out – they are real and human.
The descriptive writing really captured me and had me on the scene watching on with intensity as the story progressed. The Side Job takes readers on a trip to the dark side of life and keeps them there for the entire read. The smart dialogue between the characters is extremely impressive. Don Lubov is an intelligent, creative writer and his book, The Side Job, is a unique, original piece of fiction. Chick Lit Cafe fully recommends this book to all readers, and especially to those that like gritty smart reads.
Purchase The Side Job by Don Lubov @Amazon Here

Six Months - Mona Sedrak - Book Review

Six Months by Mona Sedrak
For twenty years, Mikala Jacobson had it all: loyal friends, a precious little girl, and a man who adores her. Then double tragedy strikes and her perfect world shatters.
Good friends, Rena and Jake are instantly by her side, protecting her from her husband David’s sordid secret life and his final drunken confession.
With their help, Mikala finds strength to rebuild and redefine her life. As her spirit and heart heal, she not only finds closure, but the beauty of a new love built upon an old friendship.
Mikala Jacobson is a wife and mother that has a beautiful fulfilling life, having everything she has ever desired. But then, tragedy strikes when her daughter is killed in a car crash. Mikala is devastated and stricken with grief. She must find the strength to rise above, carry on and survive. Mikala had everything, a loving husband, a beautiful daughter and close loyal friends.  What was once the perfect life, now seems to be left in ruins. Forever gone.
Six Months by Mona Sedrak is a passionate story of a woman who has lost everything and must endure grief, sorrow and loss and somehow find the strength to rise above the tragedy and its intense negative effects that it has had on her life. After her daughter’s death, she begins to learn some painful truths regarding her husband, and realizes that the life she had was not what she thought it was.
The death, betrayals and lies have torn down her life and now she is left with the daunting task of rebuilding her life. With a couple of great loyal and helpful friends, she does begin the healing process. When Jake comes to her rescue and helps her begin to live again, will Mikala open her heart at a chance at love again? Readers are taken on a journey of what it would be like to live through the horrifying devastation of loss that a person could experience in life.
Mona Sedrak has crafted a captivating, beautiful and poignant story that pulls at the heart strings and gives readers a rollercoaster ride of emotion and incredible passion. In this dramatic piece of fiction, the premise is original and extraordinary. While the main character, Mikala, struggles to heal and regain her life, I was moved to tears on many occasions. It felt so real to me that I cried, smiled and felt the struggle and pain myself. This is due to the exemplary descriptive writing style of author Mona Sedrak. I was impressed by how she wrote the dialogue between the characters. The characters are well developed and fleshed out with personalities that readers will love and relate to.
For readers looking for a journey filled with beauty, drama and emotion, Six Months is the book for you. You will smile, cry, and root for Mikala as she suffers and goes through more losses and grief than any person should ever have to endure. Then we see her inspiring recovery. Woven within the storyline is romance, friendship, love, hope, the importance of family, and dealing with guilt. There is something for everyone in this novel, especially those who can relate to the trauma of loss.
From the very first chapter of Six Months, I was hooked, fully engaged and didn’t want to put the book down. Towards the end, I was strongly desiring to see that Mikala would get the gratifying happy ending she so deserved. Life can be difficult and many people go through these very things. Six Months is rich in detail and filled with emotion, hope and inspiration. This book does not let the reader down. It is a worthy read written by an insightful writer with a unique lyrical voice. This is the best book that I have read in a long time. Highly recommended by Chick Lit Café.
Purchase Six Months @Amazon here

Monday, November 5, 2018

Wobbles by Leah Venegas

Wobbles by Leah Venegas
Wobbles is a young leapfrog who has trouble learning to leap. He gets teased in school and feels alone. One day, a new student befriends Wobbles and tells him that her father, who is a champion leaper, had the same problem. With the help of his new friend and her father, Wobbles takes his first successful leap.
As the end of the school year arrives, Wobbles must conquer his fear and succeed in the leaping competition. Will he be able to show the students who bullied him that he is no longer afraid of them?
This book is about perseverance, endurance, and success from working hard and facing your fears.
Wobbles by Leah Venegas is an adorable children’s book about a little humble leapfrog that is trying to learn to leap. On his first day back to school, he tells his father he doesn’t want to go because he can’t leap yet. He is afraid. His father gently encourages him and he goes on to leaping school.
On his first attempt to leap, he fails and the other little frogs laugh at him. Then, a little girl frog makes friends with him and encourages him. She tells Wobbles that her father was a slow learner too. But, he overcame his fear and went on to be a champion leaper. Her father agrees to help little Wobbles learn to leap. He tells him that he needs to overcome his fear and leap with his whole heart. After much practice, Wobbles learns to leap from one lily pad to another. He wins the contest at school and is inspired to help other little frogs learn to leap too.
Wobbles by Leah Venegas is an exciting adventure that young children will be delighted in. It teaches children several important lessons about learning new things. Little Wobbles had a lot of fear of failing and being laughed at. But, he overcame his fear and learned to do things with his whole heart. He practiced and practiced.
This book will be a favorite among children everywhere. It relates to young children that the feeling of embarrassment is normal and so is being fearful. However, by practicing with determination, they can do the very things that they are unsure of. Although a child may have a weakness in an area, he/she can still succeed. Bullying and self-esteem are important lessons in this book.
This book is delightful and captivating. The illustrations are enchanting and will surely bring the child much joy. The storyline and plot are easy to understand and written in a way that young children will be able to follow along and comprehend. I read it to my little grandchildren and they loved it. They have had me read it to them over and over again. It packs a nice important message inside while visually engaging the reader. It is a cute story filled with excitement and emotion. Leah Venegasis an excellent children’s author. I highly recommend Wobbles for all young children.
Reviewed by Chick Lit Café
Purchase Wobbles @Amazon Here

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Santa's Dog by Joann Sky - Book Review

Santa’s Dog by Joann Sky
Sometimes the best gifts choose YOU!
Follow the adventures of Santa’s best dog, Lance, when he falls from the sleigh one Christmas Eve. He’s taken in by the animal shelter then brought home by a military family who needs some help as Dad is called to serve his country. When Christmas Eve comes ’round the next year, Lance must decide whether to return to the North Pole with his friend Santa or stay with his new family.
If you love dogs, if you have family in the military, or if you believe in Santa, you will be touched by this heartwarming tale for youngsters and the young-at-heart!
Santa’s Dog by Joann Sky is a charming one of a kind Christmas story. At the North Pole, Santa has a secret that no one knows about, he has one hundred dogs, and he loves each one of them the same. However, one special dog named Lance, gets to sleep on Santa’s bed every night. Lance and Santa have been friends forever and they are never far apart from one another. But then something terrible happens and Lance falls out of Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve. He gets lost but is quickly picked up by a local animal shelter (thank goodness for animal shelters.) A very nice family adopts him and he soon becomes a part of the family and is dearly loved and appreciated. He misses Santa and Santa misses Lance. For the whole next year Lance is busy making his new family happy and he loves each one of them. What will happen when Santa returns to see him next Christmas Eve? Will Lance stay with his new family that needs him desperately, or will he return to the North Pole with his dear old friend Santa Claus?
Santa’s Dog by Joann Sky is an entertaining story for young children to love and cherish. It has a unique storyline and premise. It is fast paced and has easy to understand words for the young child. Parents will love this splendid tale as well.
It’s an amusing rhyming story that children will delight in and enjoy. It pulls you in and yanks at your heartstrings and won’t let go. It has a fabulous moral and nice subtle messages throughout. It is about love and finding one’s life purpose. The illustrations are lovely and playful, perfect for children to love and appreciate.
I thought it was a great idea to include the importance of adopting shelter dogs. And how many times, a shelter dog is the perfect addition to any family that wants a loyal companion to love and care for. Also, the little family that adopts Lance is a military family with their father gone from home in active duty. It shows how the perfect shelter dog can fill a void in the hearts of the entire family.
I read Santa’s Dog to my little grandchildren and they totally adored it. They became emotional several times during the story. They’ve had me read it to them over and over again and were excited every time. I highly recommend this original Christmas story to all families with young children and early readers. Buy it now in time for the holidays. Your children will love Santa’s Dog by Joann Sky.
Chick Lit Cafe recommends Santa’s Dog to all children everywhere
Purchase Santa’s Dog @Amazon Here