Yearly Archives: 2019

Review of “Waves of Murder: A Fiona Quinn Mystery: Fiona Quinn Mysteries, Book 3” – C.S. McDonald

School’s out for the summer!

Kindergarten teacher Fiona Quinn is looking forward to spending some quality time in her yard and with her boyfriend, Detective Nathan Landry. However, Fiona’s plans get squelched when her mother volunteers her to edit a manuscript for famous romance author Wyla Parkes.

What’s so bad about that? The author insists Fiona must work on the manuscript at her beach cottage on Presque Isle – three hours away from her yard and Nathan. Spending six weeks in an adorable cottage on a private beach doesn’t really seem all that bad until people start turning up dead – beginning with the author! Fiona’s summer of sun and sand is instantly transformed into a murder investigation. Can Fiona and Nathan crack the case or will the murderer getaway on a wave of deceit?

Join Fiona and the gang for a hot whodunit on the sandy beaches of Presque Isle, Pennsylvania!

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

You ever meet a character and just know they are shady and guilty of something? Well, that’s exactly what I experienced in Waves of Murder.

There were three murders and I was only surprised by one revelation. This revelation (keeping things vague on purpose) wrapped up all three murders into a nice little package.

I do love stories that have a complete ending!

Now even though this book dealt in death, C.S. McDonald added a fair amount of humor to keep the story light and flowing at a nice pace. What else did she add that fans might adore? Chocolate….. many, many, many mentions of chocolate. I can definitely tell C.S. has a sweet tooth.

 

Now onto the big questions….

Would I recommend this book to others? Yes!

Would I recommend having a stash of chocolate nearby incase C.S. McDonald’s mentioning of candy bars activates your own sweet tooth? ABSOLUTELY! Just be sure and not smear any chocolate on the pages because you won’t want to miss a single moment of Waves of Murder.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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For twenty-six years C.S. McDonald’s life whirled around a song and a dance. She was a professional dancer and choreographer. During that time she choreographed many musicals and an opera for the Pittsburgh Savoyards. In 2011 she retired from her dance career to write. Under her real name, Cindy McDonald, writes murder-suspense and romantic suspense novels. In 2014 she added the pen name, C.S. McDonald, to write children’s books for her grandchildren. Now she adds the Fiona Quinn Mysteries to that expansion. She decided to write the cozy mystery series for her young granddaughters.

Ms. McDonald resides on her Thoroughbred farm known as Fly by Night Stables near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her husband, Bill, and her Cocker Spaniel, Allister.

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Murder On Pointe, book one: Amazon Purchase Link

Merry Murder, book two: Amazon Purchase Link

Waves of Murder, book three: Amazon Purchase Link

Tastes Like Murder, book four: Amazon Purchase Link

Good Luck to Murder, book five: Amazon Purchase Link

Mambo and Murder, book six: Amazon Purchase Link

 

Short stories

Banking on a Murder: Amazon Purchase Link

Harriet’s Heist: Amazon Purchase Link

 

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Review of “Look for Me Under the Rainbow” – Bernard Jan

Sometimes all you need is a big heart and burning desire.

Danny, a curious harp seal pup, has soft white fur and black innocent eyes. Helen is an environmentalist and member of a young activist crew of the Rainbow Warriors. Their mission is to save animals.

As winter turns into spring, a new generation of seal pups comes to life. A few weeks later, the killing begins. Against a spectacular backdrop of ice and snow, Helen prepares to look horrific human cruelty in the face.

I do not doubt I have a big heart and burning desire, but is that enough for a person to become a Rainbow Warrior, or is there something better? Something only some of us manage to turn into what we have long missedhumanity.

In the race against time and clubs, will Helen save Danny before the hunt begins and the ice turns red?

Though written for younger readers, Look for Me Under the Rainbow will appeal to anyone who cherishes our beautiful planet and wishes to protect its treasures.

Buy this book by Bernard Jan, the author of A World Without Color, and experience another emotional journey.

 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

Look for Me Under the Rainbow allowed us to see seals as more than cute creatures that bark, eat fish and swim really fast. Yes, they are animals but so are humans. Bernard Jan pointed out seals and humans have much more in common than we realize.

We each fear for the safety of our children. We are their protectors. We also both play and hunt. We love. And, we both mourn our losses.

Seals, like every other living creature, should be treated with respect. We should NEVER hunt for sport or harm an animal for some ridiculous prize.

Bernard Jan pointed out that humans cause waste and destruction. I agree. He also said the seals in the story feared ‘man’ and I can see why. Animals are hunted, waters polluted, and their homes are taken away from them. This has to stop. I encourage everyone to read past the end of this book. READ the author’s note. Get involved. Become a RAINBOW WARRIOR. Protect all animals.

Why?

Because they have rights too.

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤❤

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My pen name is Bernard Jan. I am an author – a novelist and a poet – from Croatia and I have released two indie books in English. 

“A World Without Color” is the honest true story of the three last days I spent with my cat while “Look for Me Under the Rainbow” in unique and gentle way sheds light on the plight of harp seal pups in Canada and warms the hearts of young adult and other readers concerned about our planet and its treasures with the idea that change is needed, change is possible, and change will come. 

My first books have been written at the beginning of war in Croatia in 1991, amidst the air alerts and illusory attempts when I wanted to believe and think that life is normal, that everything is alright with the world.

In my lifespan I have written and published five novels, two novellas, one book of poems and an essay in Croatian. Four of my manuscripts, together with my book of poems, are translated into English.

My passion for entertainment resulted in my becoming a partner of Tom’s Music Place, which was established in 2009 by my friend Thomas Carley Jr. with the goal to respect the music.

My need to help others came to the fore during my volunteering years: first in advocating for environmental protection, and then my volunteering, activism, work and advocacy for animal rights to the present day. I did some volunteering for the refugees, too, because suffering does not know about the borders and when it comes within your reach, in your yard, you simply have to do something.

As part of my animal advocacy activities, it has been a great honor and pleasure to translate “Eternal Treblinka: Our Treatment of Animals and the Holocaust” by Charles Patterson into Croatian language. I guess that makes me a translator, too, huh?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please visit my website

Follow me on Twitter.

Follow me on Steemit.

Connect with me on Goodreads.

Connect with me on LinkedIn.

 

 

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Authors: Get Inspired with May’s Sensational Selections!

 

 

 

 

 

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Author Showcase – Jim Proctor (In Azure Dreams)

Delve into six stories from the paranormal realm…

Caveat Emptor (story one): Mark buys a house for half the market value. He’s thrilled with the deal, but he has no idea he’s about to discover the full cost. As they say, “Let the buyer beware.”

The Meaning of Life (story two):  Eric obsesses over discovering the meaning of life. Given how thick-headed and self-absorbed he is, it will take someone else to spell it out for him in big, bold letters.

In the Sand Beneath the Dawn (story three):  Carly has just about given up on life, but she’ll learn Fate isn’t finished with her, and is shuffling the cards to deal her new hand.

See You in My Dreams (story four):  Arthur teeters between two places at once. Reality has split his existence into two parallel realities, and he doesn’t even know it. Unfortunately, life will only offer one solution to his problem.

Planet 94 (story five): Senja and Petre make the scientific discovery of a lifetime—a planet teeming with life. Among the ruins of a lost civilization, a new discovery will make them rethink everything they know about their own history.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving (story six):  Samantha works hard and makes just enough money to get by with little to spare. When her company has a big celebration and she needs to buy a gift for her boss, she’ll get a taste of buyer’s remorse when she ignores her instincts and buys a gift from a strange little shop that hadn’t been there only yesterday.

What you can’t see can hurt you.

 

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~~ Excerpt from Caveat Emptor, story one ~~

 

The alarm clock blared. Sunlight filtering through the window shades cast a sickly grey hue about the room. Three open moving boxes sat on the floor near the closet, their contents sorted into piles waiting to be moved to their appropriate places. Mark had moved in just four days ago.

The divorce had been bitter. His ex-wife got the house, the kids, and half of everything else. He got to pay the mortgage, alimony, and child support. He never would have been able to afford this place if it hadn’t been for the circumstances. Three previous owners, all young men, had died in this very bedroom. All had died in their sleep of unknown causes within days of moving in. Mark had laughed at the idea that the house was to blame. The first time he walked in, it had felt so welcoming, drawing him in. When he made a ridiculously low offer for the place, he’d been shocked when the bank accepted it without counter. Now, he lay motionless on the bed, beads of sweat glistening on his ashen face. Mark was dead. Number four. He wasn’t laughing any longer.

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Jim Proctor has been an avid reader of science fiction and fantasy since high school, bitten by the Sci-Fi bug while reading Frank Herbert’s Dune. He has worked as an engineer and laboratory scientist for almost forty years, and uses his expertise to create believable frameworks for his science fiction stories. He is married with four kids, all adults now, who remind him he was born before dirt was invented. He enjoys sitting down with his laptop and his new writing partner, Bailey, a two-year-old yellow Labrador.

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Author Showcase / Interview / Review of “Spirit of Sasquatch” – Ernest Solar (CONTEST INCLUDED)

Howdy and welcome to Kam’s Place, Ernest Solar! 

For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?

(Ernest)  Hi Kameron and thank you so much for this opportunity! A little bit about myself? I’m not sure where to start. On a daily basis I am a Professor of Special Education and Literacy at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, Maryland. As far as how I got started in the writing business, I think I have always been a writer. Growing up I had a severe speech impediment, which made it difficult for me to talk. So I turned to writing. As a kid I read so many comic books and I would often take stories from the comics I read and re-write the story but with my own characters. I would then share the stories with my mom. From there I think my passion for writing and telling stories just grew.

As the years went by I submitted short stories and received many rejection letters. When I started my Master’s program and then my Ph.D. program in special education I put my creative writing on hold. For obvious reasons. During those programs I learned how to become a more efficient and confident writer. I also started to receive acceptance letters for my academic writing in professional journals. Once I completed my Ph.D. and had some free time on my hands I started submitting my creative pieces once again and started to find some success.

It wasn’t until recently did I discover that I tell a lot of stories. As an educator, I teach by sharing personal stories and experiences I had in the classroom when I was a special education teacher. I believe this helps my students connect the content of the classroom to real-world experiences.

(KAM) Before I became a writer, I too worked in the special education field. It was one of the best jobs I ever had. 

 

 

Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, please share how you handle it.

(Ernest)  I think all writers suffer from some form of writer’s block. However, the writing block manifests itself in different ways. For me my writer’s block is time. As a full-time professor, husband, father of five, and helping with the care of my elderly parents I’m surprised I find time to sleep; let alone write. Therefore, when I do sit down and write it is important for me to be efficient in order to get my thoughts and ideas down. I also think when I am away from the keyboard I am always thinking of my stories or manuscripts that I am writing so when I do sit down to write I already know what I want to say or have worked out the scene in my head and have just been impatiently waiting to get it down on paper. I also have journal notes, post-it notes, draft emails with thoughts and ideas that I want to add to my stories. Sometimes I often wonder how much writing I could get done if I actually had six hours of uninterrupted time to write? But honestly, how I write now works for me.

(KAM) Wow, you are a busy man! And, your creative process sounds like mine. I have notes everywhere.  😀 

 

 

Will you please share with the visitors what genre(s) you write? Also, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?

(Ernest)  What genre I write? That is a really good question. In many ways I am still trying to figure that out myself. I like to tell people I write realistic fiction. Then I get a funny look and they ask me, “You mean you believe in Bigfoot?” Yes, of course I do, that’s why I wrote Spirit of Sasquatch. Maybe a lot of authors don’t admit this (or maybe they do), but we often pull from our own experiences. Most of my stories have some element that happened to me or someone close to me. With that definition I could probably argue my writing is creative nonfiction. However, because my stories contain elements related to the paranormal or cryptid animals most people would have a hard time accepting my stories as creative nonfiction. If you want a technical boring answer, I suppose I write science fiction and paranormal fiction.

When I am not writing, how do I spend my time? I spend a lot of time with my family. My wife and I love to go hiking and camping. We spend a lot of time in the woods. My time in the woods also includes searching for Bigfoot or any other cryptid creature or mystery. I also study mindfulness meditation. Through mindfulness my connection to nature and the world around me has grown deeper over the years. Lastly, I love to read. I’ll read anything. And I love to research ideas and thoughts and learn new things.

 

 

I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?

(Ernest)  Oh I’m an open book! Everyone I know, knows I write. Knows I search for Bigfoot. Knows that I am believe in aliens and that a ghost, named Julie, lives in our house, and that I meditate daily. Even my students know that I write, meditate, and search for the unknown. It’s just who I am. I have nothing to hide.

Granted it took me a few years to get to this point. When I first got into the paranormal and searching for Bigfoot only my close friends and family knew. I never really shared my writing with anyone, except for my wife, Christine. And then one day it all switched. This is who I am. Why hide it? In many ways I think my mindfulness (and Christine) helped me with this switch. To be authentic. To be genuine. To be open. It is honestly a liberating feeling.

(KAM) That’s fantastic news. A good support team is always appreciated in whatever path we choose for ourselves. 

 

Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.

(Ernest)  Great question! And it is honestly, an unfair question. However, my list, in no particular order:

Ray Bradbury

Robert Heinlein

Neil Gaiman

Robert Kirkman

Gary Paulsen

Phillip Pullman

Diana Gabaldon

Troy Denning

Brian Vaughan

Erin Morgenstern

 

 

If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love see casted in the parts?

(Ernest)  I believe it is every author’s dream to have their book or books optioned to be a movie. As much as I would love to pick one of my own books I am actually going to pick an obscure book. The book is titled, Voices in the Wilderness by Ron Morehead. This is the true story of how Ron Morehead and some of his friends “captured” the sound of Bigfoot in the Sierra Nevada mountain range back in the 1970’s. The story is captivating and the evidence is intriguing. However, I would want the movie made with a serious intention. Not a half-hearted, half-joke mentality. As far as an actor goes, not sure. I’m not up to speed on current actors and Hollywood stars. It’s been a few years since I watched TV or the movies.

 

 

Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top-secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.

(Ernest)  Nothing is top secret. However, I won’t tell you the story because I would then lose the motivation behind writing the story. I am working on a novel that takes place in the world of Spirit of Sasquatch. I always liked how Robert Heinlein and Stephen King have their novels set in the same world and sometimes characters and places bleed over to other stories. In Spirit of Sasquatch there were a couple characters I wanted to develop further. In truth, they were knocking around in my head and wanted me to expand their stories further after I finished Spirit of Sasquatch. So with this new writing project I am doing just that. They will be stand-alone stories, but could be read in sequence.  

 

 

Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?

(Ernest)  There is no particular reading order for any of the stories I currently have out on the market. Spirit of Sasquatch is available as an ebook for Kindle and print. The ebook can be found on Amazon.com and the print book can be located with any of the booksellers. Readers can also contact me through my Spirit of Sasquatch Facebook page if they want to purchase a signed copy.

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The Well House is a different kind of ghost story and is currently only available as an ebook for Kindle. A print version will be released later this year at the annual Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant, West Virginia.

Lucy is a young girl who loves her Pa, their cow, and the little farmhouse she calls home. She also loves the red bicycle that Harvey gave her as a present. But not all is idyllic, and she struggles to steer clear of the local transient, Joe-Michael. 

Gannon and Farrah move to Lucy’s family farm many years after Joe-Michael became Lucy’s father’s farmhand. Together, Gannon and Farrah hear Lucy’s voice for the first time on an audio recorder hidden in the woods near the old family homestead. Even though their lives are separated by decades, they intersect at the pond where the secrets have been submerged by Joe-Michael. 

Blurring the lines between time and space, Lucy shares her tale with Gannon and Farrah in an unconventional turn of events. 

Inspired by true events. 

Some voices are never silenced. 

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And sadly, Two Moons Rising is currently out of print. However, I do have limited copies. I’m hoping to bring Two Moons Rising back on the market by September of 2019.  

 

 

Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?

(Ernest)  Ha ha! Fans. That makes me smile. I’m just thrilled when someone reads my stuff. Honestly, I love chatting with my fans about writing and books in general. To talk about my own work is still unbelievable to me. I can be reached through my Spirit of Sasquatch Facebook page or on Goodreads.com. But let’s be honest, my name is pretty unique and a Google search will probably lead them to my teaching position at the Mount. Either way works for me.

Amazon Author Page Link / Twitter Link  / Facebook Link

Goodreads Author Page Link / Instagram Link

 

 

Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.

(Ernest)  Thank you Kameron for taking the time to ask these wonderful questions and giving me a stage to share a small part of my story. I am truly grateful for your love of books and wanting to help authors gain a wider audience.  

 

(KAM) Now that you’ve read Ernest Solar’s interview, we ask that you stick around to read my review of Spirit of Sasquatch and to learn details on how you can WIN A SIGNED PAPERBACK. 

 

~~ PRIZE ~~

Trevor Blackwood lost his wife to the mythical creature known as Bigfoot and never came to terms with her disappearance. It’s been over a decade since she vanished, but time hasn’t stopped Trevor and his sons Darius and Brock from searching for her and the creatures responsible for her disappearance. In fact, their adamant hunting has given the Blackwood trio a reputation – one that’s caught the attention of government forces with ulterior motives.

After the youngest Blackwood goes missing, like his mother, the line between myth and reality is quickly blurred. Brock soon discovers the secrets that shroud the feared beast. Hunted by the government and sought by his father, the young boy discovers the truth behind his mother’s disappearance at the hands of a menacing Sasquatch. The true nature of the Blackwood family legacy is revealed when the threads of Brock’s life crashes together in a devastating confrontation with the government and the legendary creature known as Bigfoot.

 

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

 

There are a multitude of individuals who believe Sasquatch is real. Teams hunt for the elusive creature. People share captured images of the mysterious beast. However, there’s no solid proof it exists……yet.

Whether you believe in the legend of Bigfoot or not, I think you’ll enjoy reading Spirit of Sasquatch.

There were some interesting theories regarding their classification and abilities. We also learned how the “hairy giants” were feared and respected by all Native American tribes.

Despite the fact I found the story drab at times, one thing I did appreciate regarding Spirit of Sasquatch was some of the humans were the real beasts of the story and the Sasquatch were the loving protectors of the forest.

 

Now, time for a few of my favorite moments.

  • Sookum (Bigfoot) skipping rocks with Brock (human). Sookum tossed a boulder though.  😀 
  • Numyc versus the bear.
  • “Next time be a damn tree!”

You’ll understand #3 once you’ve read the book.

With that said… Don’t be a tree, leave and go get this book.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤

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Ernest will be gifting ONE SIGNED COPY to a lucky person who comments on his interview. Say HI, tell us if you believe in Bigfoot or not, or tell us if you have every encountered the mysterious creature. 

One entry per person.

Due to shipping costs, this contest is only available to those living in the continental United States.

Contest ends: May 23rd, midnight (central time)

Winner selected: May 24th via a comment from me on this the comment thread. 

If you are not comfortable giving out your mailing address, you can always choose a kindle copy instead. 

Now, whatcha waiting for…. LEAVE US A COMMENT. Tell your family and friends to enter. And, GOOD LUCK to you all! 

 

 

 

 

 

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