FEATURED AT BESTSELLERSWORLD.COM

Stainer

Stainer: A Novel of the ‘Me Decade’ by Iolanthe Woulff

To purchase this book click on the link below: Amazon.com Read Our Review More »

No Surrender: Faith, Family and Finding Your Way by Patrick Bisher with Jon Land

To purchase this book click on the link below: Amazon.com Read Our Review More »

Timeless Travels

Timeless Travels: Tales of Mystery, Intrigue, Humor, and Enchantment by Joseph Rotenberg

To purchase this book click on the link below: Author’s Website Read the Synopsis for Timeless Travels More »

Mock My Words

Mock My Words by Chandra Shekhar

To purchase this book click on the link below: Amazon.com Read Our Review More »

Opry: A Semi-Musical Tale of Honky Tonk Lifestyle by Simon Plaster

To purchase this book click on the link below: Amazon.com Read Our Review More »

Rogue Wolf

Rogue Wolf (The Oldenglen Chronicles) (Volume 3) by Robin Mason

To purchase this book click on the link below: Amazon.com Read Our Review More »

A Burning in the Darkness

A Burning in the Darkness by A P McGrath

To purchase this book click on the link below: Amazon.com Read Our Review More »

The Amarant

The Amarant by Tricia Barr

To purchase this book click on the link below: Amazon.com Read Our Review More »

Stainer: A Novel of the ‘Me Decade’ by Iolanthe Woulff

Reviewed by Chris Phillips

StainerHow many friends can a freshly 21-year old Jewish man make in a few days or at least in a few months? Benjamin Steiner is just such a person. He has just turned twenty-one, and he is a junior at Columbia. He lives in a Jewish hostel-type building with several others. The building, Rabbi Yitzhak Teller Memorial Residence Hall, is a converted abandoned building that houses Jewish scholars from Columbia. It is known as Beit Yitzhak or “B.” This is the focal point for much of the action here, but don’t believe for a minute that young Ben, embarking on his 21st birthday celebration, is going to be hampered by old traditions. Tonight is the time to get experience that has been denied him so far in life.

Click Here for More Information on Stainer

The story begins as Ben journeys to the “B” for the party that comes at the end of finals week. It is the highlight of the “B’s” season and one where Ben hopes to at least meet an attractive girl before the end of this birthday evening.
In a strangely prescient encounter, Ben meets a street evangelist with a sign, “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap, Galatians 6:7.” This night is going to be one of Ben’s most memorable.

So comes the party. Ben is an active participant and anxious to see what new people might show up. This fateful night, Ben meets two very particular people. Rebecca Glaser is the girl of his dreams that comes to the party and eventually moves into the “B.” P.T. Deighland is the friend of a younger brother of a resident at the “B.” This explains the major thrust of the story.
The tale starts slowly but actually builds through the slowness into an in-depth analysis of a young man messing up his life in celebrating his 21st birthday.

Things keep getting worse and worse. There are times when Ben looks like he is destined to become another statistic but always a redeeming factor brings him back.

No Surrender: Faith, Family and Finding Your Way by Patrick Bisher with Jon Land

Reviewed by Russell Ilg

No SurrenderAfter 40+ books, writing about heroes is nothing new for Jon Land. What is new for him is writing about an actual warrior, instead of a fictional one, which is exactly the point of No Surrender and then some. This wondrously written tale, chronicling the improbable route Navy SEAL Patrick Bisher followed in becoming a true American hero, rings true as an inspirational catharsis of rare depth and pathos.

No Surrender is subtitled Faith, Family and Finding Your Way for a reason: Because that’s exactly what Patrick discovered were the true keys to surmounting obstacles life kept throwing in his way. He was only nine when doctors told him he’d likely never walk again due to a congenital hip condition, but you wouldn’t know that from his performance through Navy SEAL BUD/S training. Nor would you know that his decorated service in Iraq was performed with an artificial hip made necessary when a parachuting accident threatened to waylay Patrick’s dream yet again.

Those BUD/S chapters are among the finest I’ve ever encountered as a backdrop to military training, but this is no standard military tome, despite a sequence set amid Patrick’s deployment to Iraq. It’s a memoir rooted in Patrick finding his faith when he’d lost everything else and how that faith, along with God, carried him from the darkness of despair to the light of hope.

Mock My Words by Chandra Shekhar

Reviewed by Dianne Woodman

Mock My WordsMock My Words is comprised of three storylines. Each one of them is interconnected with a plot that involves a renowned author by the name of David Tan, who left China to live in the United States. The main storyline not only revolves around David’s struggles and challenges as a new teacher at John Steinbeck University in Northern California, but also portrays the stress and anxiety that David experiences while trying to survive a rough patch in his marriage. The secondary storylines involve David’s wife, Laura, and Melissa, a student at the university.

Click Here for More Information on Mock My Words

David is worried and nervous about whether or not the students in his writing course will accept and respect him. This dilemma is due to the disconnect between his writing and his speaking. Although David writes beautiful prose, he speaks English very poorly, which makes it difficult to communicate with people. Even though he wants to share his love of classical literature with his students, they are ill-mannered and rude towards him. It does not get any easier for him when some of his colleagues rebuff him. In addition to work issues, whenever David is at home, he always feels that he has to tread carefully around his wife’s feelings in order not to upset her and possibly ruin any chances at intimacy.

Timeless Travels: Tales of Mystery, Intrigue, Humor, and Enchantment by Joseph Rotenberg


Timeless TravelsWho is today’s American Jew? Joseph Rotenberg styles himself as a modern-day maggid (traditional Jewish storyteller), weaving tales from the everyday to the fantastic, each one bringing the reader a slice of the American Jewish experience. Just as Sholem Aleichem did more than a hundred years ago in his famous stories describing Russian Jewish life, these tales inform and entertain by uncovering little-known events and personalities that have impacted the American Jewish world. In the 1950s, the late Harry Golden, in his popular collections Only in America and For Two Cents Plain, introduced Jewish culture to many non-Jewish Americans. Joseph Rotenberg’s work updates that vision to depict the contemporary, modern American Jew who is today increasingly as much at home in the halls of the Ivy League, the corridors of power in Washington, the corporate boardroom, and the theater as he is in the beit midrash and the synagogue. You’ll laugh, cry, and wonder as you travel through Joseph Rotenberg’s incisive and at times laugh-outloud funny collection of tales.

Timeless Travels is a fascinating and thought-provoking account of the experiences and travels of Jewish people throughout history, by the talented author, Joseph Rotenberg. Timeless Travels will appeal to readers of all ages. I highly recommend this page-turning collection of short stories.”

Douglas R. Cobb – Reviewer for Bestsellersworld.com

Opry: A Semi-Musical Tale of Honky Tonk Lifestyle by Simon Plaster

Reviewed by Ray Palen

OpryA raucous Oklahoma City Honky Tonk; a relentless bulldog reporter; a City Councilperson on a mission; a couple on the outs competing against each other in a winner take all Karaoke Contest.

Click Here for More Information on Opry

These are just some of a handful of characters in the wild, over-the-top, country music fueled novel OPRY. Did I forget to mention there are also a string of missing women including a prospective competitor in the Karaoke Contest?

Author Simon Plaster prides himself on his satirical novels featuring characters that resemble — or closely resemble — real life characters. OPRY is a big undertaking in which Plaster, from a literary standpoint, has many balls in the air to juggle all at the same time.

V.D. “Moon” Mullins is the sleazy owner of Honky Tonk, a self-proclaimed Texas style beer joint in the heart of Oklahoma City. His place is about to host their nearly famous KaraOkie Opry singing contest. Many have entered this extremely competitive competition and a handful of these ‘talents’ are featured in the narrative of OPRY.

A Burning in the Darkness by A P McGrath

Reviewed by Timea Barabas

A Burning in the DarknessA P McGrath successfully unites the most important elements of civilization between the covers of A Burning in the Darkness. The pages of the book offer a tasteful blend of crime and romance under the seal of Catholic faith.

Click Here for More Information on A Burning in the Darkness

At a large international airport, a small confessional room is filled with secrets. Father Michael Kieh, who is responsible with hearing these burdens and offering forgiveness when it is due, finds himself lured into an intricate web of conspiracy. The spiders forming the web are important men of the society and their victims are whoever endangers their status or brilliant future. Ruthless predators, they hunt under the cover of law and bureaucracy, using the system to their own advantage.

Basically, two institutions – the church and the justice system – test their influence over one another and people. Each offers a certain set of tools which can serve the purpose given by the one who wealds these. Father Kieh becomes the keeper of some critical information, but due to the fact that it was obtained via confession, he is forced to test the limits of church regulation and his own morality.

Rogue Wolf (The Oldenglen Chronicles) (Volume 3) by Robin Mason

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Rogue WolfTeenagers who enjoy nature rather than social media or video games might seem unusual. Jax and Sarah have a rare relationship with their environment. They understand the relationships with people and nature are immensely important for the future of our planet.

Click Here for More Information on Rogue Wolf

Oldenglen is a special place near Jax’s home in southern Oregon. Having his life uprooted from life in England was difficult for him. However, school wasn’t his salvation, but the magical relationship he discovered with this unique forest and the creatures who live within as well as the trust and friendship with each other.

Keeping the area protected is always a constant challenge. With the ever-expanding new housing developments for humans threatening the natural habitats of the wild creatures while keeping the balance of nature between the expanding population of people and nature.

Balances within Oldenglen are also difficult to maintain. Providing food for all creatures requires just the correct proportion between predators and prey. Too many prey demands massive amounts of plants and small creatures, while predators must depend on an abundance of prey, otherwise they starve.

The Amarant by Tricia Barr

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

The AmarantTricia Barr’s The Amarant, beckons readers into a fantastical vampire-filled world, where a young woman’s crush on a fictional character leads her into an incredible reality where romance, the paranormal and an untapped legacy of fantastic supernatural power merge to change her world, forever.

Click Here for More Information on The Amarant

The heroine of the story, Crimson Wilkinson, portrays a complex and strong-willed young woman, who refuses to let the darkness of a hurt-filled past take over her life. Being only seventeen, she lives with her mother in Tuscon, Arizona, a locale which is wanting when it comes to excitement. As with any high schooler, Crimson undergoes some common experiences; an angry teacher, a bullying nemesis, ditching classes, an attraction to a hunky football player, and boredom. Her only real escape from the doldrums of her life concerns either hanging with her best friends Robert, Reina and Amber or getting lost in her favorite series of paranormal fiction novels which centers on a reclusive, handsome vampire named Nicholae Albaric who she crushes on and obsesses over.

The Girl on the Bridge: A McCabe and Savage Thriller (McCabe and Savage Thrillers) by James Hayman

Reviewed by Vickie Daley

The Girl on the BridgeThe Girl on the Bridge is the 5th offering in the McCabe and Savage thriller series. It is certainly a stand-alone and you can feel confident that you didn’t miss anything with the other four. I would certainly give them a try.

There is a prologue that gives you background on both The Girl on The Bridge and her boyfriend who attended a frat rush party where the girl is gang raped. Hannah is talked out of pursuing prosecution of the perpetrators as she only knew two and had waited too long to come forward. Sixteen years later she commits suicide by jumping off a bridge. The main rapist and a buddy, who shows up dead, are soon the victims of the current investigation as McCabe & Savage try to find out who killed the buddy and who kidnapped Josh Thorne.

She Rides Shotgun: A Novel by Jordan Harper (Review #2)

Reviewed by Lisa Brown-Gilbert

She Rides ShotgunFrom the first sentence in Jordan Harper’s thrilling fiction debut, She Rides Shotgun, you find yourself a willing captive held fast by his audaciously gritty narrative which centers on the corrupted coming of age of young Polly McClusky, an innocent, thrust into the seamy side of life where criminal elements heartily dwell.

The day estranged dad and convict, Nate McClusky reappeared in eleven-year-old daughter Polly’s life, and it was effectively forever changed. Fresh out of jail, Nate didn’t bring candy and gifts like other fathers might do to make up for lost time; instead, he brought trouble, danger and visceral violence hot on his heels.

As a criminal for most of his life, Nate was no stranger to difficult predicaments, especially when he finds himself just before his release out of jail, faced with an irrefusable demand to work for a violent and widely powerful white supremacist organization, Aryan Steel. But, when Nate refuses with a shiv to the neck of the brother of the leader of Aryan Steel, he consequently finds himself, his ex and young daughter on a hit list. Compelled into an intense race against time and the treacherous, as well as forced to use any means necessary to ensure his and daughter Polly’s survival, he instructs his daughter in life lessons that no young girl should ever have to experience. Additionally, to further complicate matters, father and daughter are basically strangers and polar opposites causing personality clashes and breathtaking moments as the two have to learn to accept each other for the sake of their own survival.

Night Watch: A Novel (Kendra Michaels) by Iris Johansen and Roy Johansen

Reviewed by Allen Hott

Night WatchI have to believe this was written mostly by Roy Johansen, the son of Iris Johansen because of all of her books that I have read she has never gone into sex as part of the story.

Click Here for More Information on Night Watch

This one begins to at one point but then, thankfully, backs off of it and goes ahead telling the story without that element. Good job!

Like some of her other books though it does border a bit on the occult or at least on things that are not truly in our element yet. This one gets into the possibility of regenerating parts of the human body. Kendra Michaels was blind from birth but had her sight restored in a special maneuver by Doctor Charles Waldridge. In growing up without sight she with the help of her mother really built her other senses to where she has remarkable talents such as memory. She also has the uncanny ability to connect things about people and their habits, abilities, and their thinking potential. She can also place where people have been by seeing things on their shoes or clothes that they may have come into contact with such as sand or pieces of grass. Her use of all her mental facilities far exceeds anyone else in the world.

In the Time of Bobby Cox: The Atlanta Braves, Their Manager, My Couch, Two Decades, and Me by Lang Whitaker

Reviewed by Allen Hott

In the Time of Bobby CoxThis is a pretty interesting book especially if you happen to be a baseball fan and precisely an Atlanta Braves fan. Basically Whitaker has told the story of Bobby Cox and his journey as manager of the Braves through the most exciting period of baseball in Atlanta history. Whether or not you are a baseball fan I am pretty sure everyone knows of the tremendous run the Braves had from 1991 forward. They won 14 division titles in a row which is something that had never been done and has not been done since by any major league ball club.

Click Here for More Information on In the Time of Bobby Cox

Many believe that Bobby Cox was the catalyst for that impressive showing and it is probably pretty much true as is explained by Whitaker. However it was done it was quite a feat. Cox appeared to handle the players in such a way as to get
the most out of each of them as is described in the book. He treated each individually as best suited them and the team.

And that was quite an array of top flight players as it turned out. The author describes how Gregg Maddox came to the Braves and for the next ten years was one of the best pitchers in baseball. The incident when Maddox first joined the
Braves and how he and David Justice “collided” (actually in a nice way) is a neat piece by itself. He also gives interesting anecdotes about Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, and others. Each of his pieces go together to make this an interesting read.
`
Each of the top players basically gets a chapter or more and then he briefly discusses the entire listing of all the players who played under Cox during his reign. All of these pieces make up, for a real baseball fan, a very enlightening read.

The author does quite a bit of discussing his own life and how he has always been a huge sports fan. And using that as a starter is how he eventually became a journalist and then honed in on sports from that beginning. He played sports all of his young life and has followed all sports throughout his career. He also talks in detail about his living in New York City while working and yet he still constantly did and does follow the Braves.

He has woven an interesting book that zeroes in on Bobby Cox but expands in a fashion to do a great job of keeping the reader’s interest in other players and also shows a good look at life as a sports journalist. Excellent job!

The Himalayan Codex: An R. J. MacCready Novel by Bill Schutt and J.R. Finch

Reviewed by Caryn St. Clair

The himlayan CodexDo you believe in Big Foot? Even if you don’t, do you wish he existed? The search for the Yeti is the focus of The Himalayan Codex and might just be the Summer book for you.

R.J. MacCready is a zoologist and an adventurer who specializes in studying the oddities of nature, so it was a natural fit for him to be sent to Tibet to investigate the discovery of some Mammoth bones. But that wasn’t the true reason for his trip. There was an ancient document that led some to believe that there was a race of humans who were in reality the Yeti of lore.

MacCready’s job was to search for these people or at least evidence that they had in fact existed. This race supposedly held the secret to highly sought after information on human evolution. What he found was alarming.

Deadly Occupation (A Michael Stoddard American Revolution Mystery) (Volume 1) by Suzanne Adair

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Deadly OccupationImagine living in the year 1781 in North Carolina. Our country is just beginning but is still fighting for its independence. For many settlers, they are choosing whether their allegiances are with the British as Loyalists, the colonists as the rebels, or being neutral with no preferences. At the time, no country had ever successfully broken away from a mother country to be independent as a new nation.

Click Here for More Information on Deadly Occupation

A British officer, Lieutenant Michael Stoddard is part of the Eighty-Second Regiment, currently occupying the small town of Wilmington, North Carolina.
Many of those loyal to the colonists are associated with the Regulators who were protesting The Stamp Act. With the British Invasion of this area, they flee the area along with the horses, carts, and ammunition.

For those who remain must surrender to British officer, Major Craig after their articles of surrender had been rejected. Now all the residents are prisoners of war.

One of their scouts is a free Negro named Teal. He is questioning the safety of the homes in the area, especially the possibility of traps as the troops inspect and move into the town. He reports of a nearby home owned by a loyalist merchant whose home is being attacked by about twenty men on horseback who are setting the out buildings on fire.

Michael is given ten men to assist in saving the Farrell home. Fortunately, their training gives them the advantage even while being outnumbered.
As Major Craig takes over command of the area, he assigns Michael as his lead criminal investigator answering only to him. With this unstable occupation, the Major needs someone he can trust.

Michael is allowed to hire an assistant to help investigate his many new duties. Among the rebel leaders leaving the area, their families still remain. Will their spouses return? Where do the family loyalties lie?

His assignment also includes the creation of a church which does not seem Anglican. Women are allowed positions in this church going against the teachings of the Anglican Church. The Major needs to know what Vicar Spivey if really doing which he expects is taking advantage of the local residents.
Added to that is the disappearance of a gunsmith’s wife, Julia Garrett.
The Major expects these tasks to be completed within the next day or two.

How can an outsider possible accomplish all this within such a short length of time?

Gertrude and Toby Save the Gingerbread Man (Gertrude and Toby Fairy-Tale Adventure Series Book 2) and Gertrude and Toby Meet the Wolf (Gertrude and Toby Fairy-Tale Adventure Series Book 3) by Shari Tharp

Reviewed by Teri Davis

Gertrude is a goat and Toby is a turtle who are best friends and live at McFarland Farms.

They are in the farmyard observing Farmer Sam and his son, Ryan trying to load their prize pig into a trailer to show at the county fair.
Anxious for adventure, Gertrude and Toby decided to follow Farmer Sam, his son, and the pig.

As they were walking, they noticed a flying carpet that seemed to be following them. Almost immediately a girl and boy leaped onto the carpet while being chased by a witch.

Curious, Gertrude tossed Toby onto her back in pursuit of the children.
Surprisingly this how Gertrude and Toby meet Hansel, Gretel, and the Magic Carpet including additional visits from The Gingerbread and The Giant from Jack and the Beanstalk.

In Gertrude and Toby Meet the Wolf, the two friends sneak off the farm every Friday while the farmer is shopping. This time the two decide to go fishing.

As they near Trout Lake, a boy rushes by screaming, “Wolf.” Quickly they hide in the nearby bushes for safety. As they continue, the boy runs by again screaming. After he passes, the twosome walk to the lake, enjoying their fishing. Again they are interrupted when the boy shouts again only, this time Gertrude and Toby see the wolf dragging the boy. That is when they decide to help. They followed the wolf to his cave which is very brave for a goat and a turtle.

In Gertrude and Toby Meet the Wolf, the story intermixes The Boy Who Cried Wolf along with The Three Little Pigs.

Author Shari Tharp won a silver medal from IPPY, Independent Publishers Book Award for the first book in this series as an illustrated e-book with Gertrude and Toby’s Friday Adventure.

Illustrator Jim Heath is a graphic artist and California resident.

The Gertrude and Toby books are for children from preschool to age eight who have a little background with the traditional fairy tales. The books are fun with vocabulary appropriate for the age level and the illustrations perfectly matching the text.

These are great books for expanding imaginations with young children and a creative step-off point into having the readers write and illustrate their own Gertrude and Toby fairy-tale adventure.

If You Were Me and Lived on Mars…If You Were Me and Lived in German…If You Were Me and Lived in the American West by Carole P. Roman

Reviewed by Teri Davis

If You Were Me and Lived on Mars allows you to think into the future, maybe the year 2054 when you might be able to walk on the planet, Mars.

To be travel to and from Mars would have to be only when Earth and Mars were lined up for a quick trip which would take about two years. Children could also go there with their parents.

How can anyone possibly consider living on the red planet of Mars? The air pressure is too thin with too little oxygen and too much carbon monoxide and little atmospheric protection allowing too much radiation for humans to survive.

Also on the planet are no natural resources to provide housing as will as water, food, extreme temperatures, air and all of the everyday necessities. Outside the living area would uninhabitable without a special suit to compensate for the differences between Mars and Earth.

For this imagined book to be possible, all of us on this planet now need to aware of the facts of what we now know about Mars to make this dream a reality.

If You Were Me and Lived in Germany allows every reader to experience life in the country that is the most populated in the European Union.

What I adore about this book is the influence of the German people into the English language with words like league, cuckoo, folk, marinated, observatory, Oktoberfest, sauerbraten, throne, vinegar, and wurst.

If You Were Me and Lived in the American West has a setting in the Willamette Valley in Oregon which was a possible destination of the Oregon Trail in 1835.

Life was frequently difficult for many Americans settled along the east coast of the United States. Living off the land, made people depend on luck with the weather whether dealing with droughts or floods.

The dream of the Oregon Trail gave people hope for a new better life. With the possibility of finding gold, many settlers left their old lives for the east coast of the United States.

It is hard today to imagine putting everything you own into a covered wagon and slowly walk the distance across the country on trails, but not paved roads. You also needed to carry all the food and supplies needed along the route as well as to begin this new life while traveling with a group of people similar to you.

Would you want to be part of this experience?

Near the end of this book, a list of the well-known people associated with this time.

The illustrations perfectly match the text of theses educational and informational books. All three books include an appendix with the vocabulary and pronunciation guide unique for each.

With these three books of living in another place in the future, present, and past, Carole Roman transports readers of all ages into a realistic time machine of their imagination with her as their travel guide.

The Shattered Tree: A Bess Crawford Mystery by Charles Todd (Review #2)

Reviewed by Jud Hanson

The Shattered TreeIn the heart of the battle, an exhausted, severely injured British soldier ends up at the same aid station where Bess Crawford is serving. He is treated and sent on to the rear battle line. When she reports the soldier to her superior, mentioning that the soldier was actually French but seemed to speak fluent German. She is told that most likely, the man is simply from an area that has gone back and forth between France and Germany throughout history. Bess considers that, until his sudden disappearance in Paris makes her question where his loyalties lie. After being injured by a sniper’s bullet, Bess herself ends up in Paris and is and begins to search for the missing soldier. She quickly discovers that there is more to this mystery than meets the eye and it may require paying the ultimate price in order to solve it.

The Shattered Tree by mother and son writing team Charles Todd, is the 8th entry in the well-received Bess Crawford series. Set in the early part of the 20th Century, Bess Crawford is an English, mystery-solving nurse. In contrast to Todd’s Ian Rutledge series or other British sleuths, the Crawford novels tend to be less graphic, more of a “cozy” variety. Don’t let that drive you away, though. Crawford is a determined character and certainly holds her own among the distinguished family tree that makes up British sleuths. If you are somewhat burned out on the more hard-core authors, I would encourage you to give Bess Crawford a try. This novel gets 4/5 stars.