Literary Flairs

Friday, August 31, 2012

Featured Ebook : The Bee Bully by Angela Muse


Genre : Children's Book 

Author : Angela Muse

Author Website :

Blog :

Goodreads Author Page :

Amazon Stores : 

Reviews :  Multiple 4 stars

Blurb : This is the story of a grumpy bee who learns that treating others with kindness is the best way to earn friends.  This little bee does not treat his neighbors well, but something happens to him that makes him change his wicked ways and turns his attitude around. 

Amazon Reviews (View all reviews) 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Featured Ebook : 'Sacerdos, The Sacerdos Mysteries I' by Elizabeth Amisu

Ebook : SACERDOS (The Sacerdos Mysteries #1)

Genre :  Young Adult/New Adult Fantasy-Science Fiction

Author : Elizabeth Amisu

Author Website :
Goodreads Author Page :

Facebook Author Page :

Author's Twitter handle :

 UK Amazon :

US Amazon: 

ISBN : 9781622090907 (Paperback) 

Reviews : Multiple 5stars -UK Amazon and 4stars-US Amazon 

Blurb :  Caelara, a fifteen year-old teenager from East London, doesn’t think there is anything special about her life. That is until a package arrives on her doorstep which threatens to blow her world apart. She and her father flee London and find themselves trapped in an alternate universe, in the ancient city of Sacerdos. Once there, she develops the supernatural ability to manipulate water and is quickly enlisted to the army. However, a bloodthirsty killer, Reficio, is on the loose and needs her to accomplish his plans...

 UK Amazon Reviews (Click to view all reviews)

US Amazon Reviews (Click to view all reviews) 

Editorial Review - The Mysteries tell the story of Caelara, a young girl whose difficult existence with her alcoholic father is turned upside down when she discovers she has the power to manipulate the elements. Before she knows it she is enrolled into the Sacerdos Institution, a school for gifted youths, where she meets pupils with different talents from a world that she never knew existed.

Caelara’s special skills place her in the order of Alatius, the order of sky and sea, and soon she and the other astute members of the Elite are drafted into republican war to defend the life of people that Caelara is growing to love.

Elizabeth has created a new language and painted the world of Terra Magna with vivid clarity, a world where workers are replaced with golems, elements are there to be manipulated and being gifted means you are in the heart of danger.


Thursday, August 23, 2012

Featured Ebook : Who I Am Yesterday by Victoria Adams

Ebook : WHO I AM YESTERDAY (A Path to Coping With a Loved One's Dementia)

Genre : Non-fiction, memoir, dementia and caregiving

Author : Victoria Adams

Author Website :

Amazon Store : Kindle Edition 

ISBN: 10-1475152183 - Print
ISBN-13: 978-1475152180 - Print

Amazon Store : Print Edition 

Reviews : Editorial Reviews

Blurb : "This book is my personal journey through the first year of learning to manage the day to day joys and tribulations of living with a loved one's dementia. It is a personal story which provides the foundation of the relationship that I have with my husband. It is also a journey of observation; a tale of learning and discovery, and a sharing of the coping mechanisms that worked for me. Join me as I follow the incredible workings of the human mind and learn how to find humor in the midst of heartbreak.

It is also a book of the practical day to day habits needed to keep some balance in a life that has left the realm of reality."

Editorial Reviews
An engaging and unique viewpoint on dementia care-giving. Victoria captures the reader with her capacity to communicate and relate with her loved one's changing needs. To say this is a "must read" for care-givers would be an understatement. ~ Connie Pierce, author of Letting go of the Rice

Who I Am Yesterday: A Path to Coping with a Loved One's Dementia by Victoria Adams is a touching account of her efforts to care for her husband through the advance of his confused mental state.  Victoria gives detailed information about the practicalities of living with someone who has vascular dementia and gives realistic advice without getting bogged down in complicated medical and legal details.  The book is written in a narrative form that is easy to read.  Whether you're a caregiver for someone suffering from dementia or simply curious about what this disease entails, Who I Am Yesterday will provide you with sincere insights and useful suggestions. ~Cindy Koepp, author and teacher


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Featured Ebook : The Second Choice by Lakshmi Menon


Genre : Literary Fiction, Women's Fiction, drama

Author : Lakshmi Menon

Author Website :   List of Books written by Lakshmi Menon on Amazon

Author Blog :

Goodreads Page :

Amazon Stores : Kindle  Edition 

 ISBNs : 9788190411943 (Print Edition) and 9781465792556 (Smashwords Digital Edition)

Buy this book in Print :

Smashwords Ebook Store : 

Reviews : 4 stars (Multiple at Smashwords, Amazon and Flipkart)

Blurb : This book is about a family story, where the couples were married for convenience. The young widow Pavithra, who is a mother of a 4 year old, marries Venu, a father of  a 7 year old daughter, after divorcing his bedridden wife on her request.  The whole idea of their entering into a second marriage was to raise their daughters in a normal family atmosphere and provide them a secured life, but the couple secretly decided to live as platonic companions as there was no spark of love between them. 

Pavithra was not prepared to accept another man in her life by forgetting her dead husband, and Venu was also not willing to accept another woman in place of his first wife, whom he still loved. Soon adjustment problems crop up from the children with the unnecessary interference of the neighbours.  In addition, problems also arise in between their platonic relationship. 

Because of all these, it makes difficult for them to continue their marriage. But Pavithra, who  was once a timid young woman, becomes stronger and intelligent now, and beautifully handles all the problems that came on her way,  with mere love and patience conquering everyone's heart and upholding her ideals and values. This unusual love story ends with a twist.  

Amazon Reviews (View all reviews) 

Flipkart Reviews(View all reviews) 

Smashwords Reviews (View all reviews) 

Reviews from Muse India 

Reviews at Indus Woman Writing 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Featured Ebook : Awake in the Mad World by Damon Ferrel Marbut


Genre : Literary Fiction, Coming of Age

Author : Damon Ferrel Marbut

Author Website :

Goodreads Author page :

Author Blog :

Twitter handle : @dfmnola

Amazon Stores : Kindle and Paperback 

ISBN : 978-0-9855452-0-8 (Paperback ) and 978-0-9855452-1-5 (Smashwords Ebook)

Reviews : Multiple  5stars

Blurb :  “I hadn’t thought of it, in real truth. I hadn’t thought about love because when I was at work, I didn’t think, I am at work. I hadn’t thought, when I was at the grocery store, I am at the store. We just are where we are. We’re in what we’re in.”

Pete Rattigan is a frustrated young newspaper journalist caught up in uncertainty of the post-graduate “real world”. One night, one seemingly minor encounter sparks a philosophical journey which leads him to discover that in the most beautiful or even cruel moments of life, the power of friendship explains the power of the universe. And that perhaps there is no such thing as chance. With force, humor and sensitivity Damon Ferrell Marbut presents his debut, Awake in the Mad World, which frees its audience to believe again in the wildness of the young American heart, how it beats just to prove that it will always survive and succeed on its own terms. 

Great read, pleasantly surprised! July 22, 2012
By Andre
star star star star star
A friend referred me to this book saying it was well worth the read. At first I was skeptical but turned out he was more than right. I was quickly immersed in to the characters story. It was nice to be able to really relate to a book. It seems like so long since I have read a good story like this, one that takes me back as if the memories were my own.I highly recommend this book, A great coming of age story.

Coming of Age at Its Best, June 26, 2012
By mrsadams1
star star star star star Format:Paperback
With Awake in the Mad World, Marbut has written a coming of age novel that showcases so many of the issues of twenty and thirty-somethings in America today. He shows the disillusionment with established norms that so many encounter. His novel portrays this, "I went to college, what now?", mindset that has become more prevalent. His characters bring this issue to life and grapple with decisions of entering the workforce in a job that is meaningless or going to graduate school until they figure out what to do with their lives. Marbut's novel is a beautiful, thoughtful read.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Featured Ebook : On Thin Ice by Johanna van Zanten

Ebook : ON THIN ICE- short stories of life and dating after 50

Genre : Short Stories, Literary Fiction, Romance

Author : Johanna van Zanten

Amazon Stores : Kindle Edition

ISBN: 9781620957691 (Digital Book)

Reviews : Multiple 4.7-5stars (Amazon and Goodreads)

Blurb : Adrienne is the quintessential daredevil and a leader of her generation. Why?  Adrienne would rather try anything once, so she won’t have to say: “I wished I had tried that, but was too afraid”. Her stories and those of her friends are in many ways quite typical for many baby boomers, but only Adrienne with her fortitude and independence would cross the Atlantic to join a younger man practically unknown to her and much younger. Only she could start her own matchmaking agency after her divorce, when on-line dating did bored her. At age sixty, what will Adrienne do next to find a purpose in her life when retirement looms with an empty nest and no partner?

On Thin Ice is a collection of twelve interrelated short stories about Adrienne and her friends, from her divorce, to her first dating experiences on line at age fifty, and so much more, until a reconciliation with the past and her future life ends the collection on a positive and hopeful note.

This book is a complete novel as well, a fictional journey in about 60,000 words about a life, lovers, and daring moves--walking on thin ice--and may inspire baby boomers in their quest for meaning in their lives where marriage Till Death Do Us Part is not so common anymore. Readers of Adrienne’s generation, with higher expectations for longevity and hedonistic pleasures than any generation before, will be entertained and moved by Adrienne‘s adventures in Europe and in western Canada and be uplifted by its optimistic message.
Adrienne's journey takes the reader from the discovery of passion and ecstasy in her early twenties in Amsterdam to her first broken heart during the sexual revolution in the late sixties in the first story, Finding Ecstasy. Fort Good Hope is a story about a rather exotic kayak trip to the northern territories of Canada told in the first person that wakes a desire to immigrate in Adrienne. 

The Redemption  story is the emotional recounting of Adrienne bringing her mother to the end of her life and is really an analysis of an incomplete, distant relationship between mother and daughter. In Love or Marriage the start of a marriage via immigration to the dismantling of it over almost 2 decades is a story that is very recognizable to many who were once married. 

The story Matched! about Adrienne’s experiences with match making as the operator is a light hearted view of the elderly dating. Escaped: Adrienne and her friends are dating on line, and this is a story about one particularly strange date. New Love? recounts the start and failure of a relationship over four years with a British immigrant when emotional and other limitations surface gradually. 

Carpe Diem is a moving and poignant story of the death of a friend at 50 (from breast cancer), who knew how to live,  and about her controversial choice of a mate from a Caribbean island. In Karma: a friend’s new lover turns into a stalker, which leads to the end of the affair. An Untimely Death - another early death, this time of a talented and successful designer. 

In the story Roots and Blues the barriers to forming a relationship after 60 become clear, the short-lived beginnings while at a three-day music festival and its quick end before anybody gets really hurt; the advancing of the years of the players play a role. In Blueprint -- an important one in the collection –the resolution of a mother - daughter conflict is narrated, Adrienne now in the role as mother.

Andrew Lawston (author of the short story collection Something Nice)  
July 10, 2012 on Goodreads:

On Thin Ice follows a single baby boomer character Adrienne through from her early dating experiences around Europe through to middle age across a dozen masterfully written short stories. Johanna van Zanten takes her character around the world and on to the web from youthful passion to dabbling in online dating. The stories are crafted, gentle but rewarding reads with a strong central character. Although Johanna van Zanten was a new name to me in terms of her writing, I will certainly keep a close eye out for her next book.

One strength of Adrienne's adventures is not so much the way in which the dating world has changed in the last 45 years, but really the ways in which it remains the same. Many of the challenges, temptations and anxieties Adrienne experiences as a younger woman in the late 1960s will be instantly familiar to much younger readers today!

Sam Bellotto JR (author of the novel Yellow Glad Days) 
July 12, 2012 on Goodreads and Amazon:

At first glance, "On Thin Ice" is not the sort of genre that I would be immediately attracted to. One gets the impression that it is a "woman's book," whatever that means. It is, indeed, the story of a woman from the Netherlands, growing up there, emigrating to Canada in later life. It's subtitled "Short Stories of Life and Dating After 50." But there is a lot more to it than that.

It appears to me to be largely autobiographical; the realization that these events actually happened in some form or another makes the stories a lot more interesting than if they were pure fiction. What I found particularly intriguing is the insight into Dutch culture, which makes the tales even more absorbing.

Johanna van Zanten's writing is crisp and polished. The events speak for themselves without slathering on heaps of purple prose resulting in a forced narrative which so many indie published authors, and too many traditionally published authors, fall prey to. The purpose of the book is to tell the life story of Adrienne (Johanna?) without trying to dazzle with literary acrobatics. "On Thin Ice" succeeds very nicely.

The characters are well fleshed out; they are real; you care for them. The dialog rings true. As I said, not a genre I would normally be drawn to, but the glimpses into Dutch culture were, for me, mesmerizing. That alone kept me reading. Imagine the impact this book would have on those who actively seek out these kinds of stories? Four strong stars. I hope Johanna does well with this book. 

Lisa, reader on Goodreads, 
July 7, 2012 on Goodreads:
In my informal but honest review I must share that I was excited to get this book downloaded as I had been anticipating reading it. I read it in about one day, which speaks volumes because if I am not captivated by a book I will easily get distracted and find other things to read. I loved it. I know the author as a friend and colleague, and it was interesting to read and hear her voice in my head. 

She categorized this book as fiction, although, I could pick out scenarios that sounded awfully familiar! I really think that there needs to be a continuation or part two of On Thin Ice. I love the author’s description and insight into Adrienne’s experiences. I laughed reading this book. I cried as well. I rejoiced for Adrienne. I believe that the purpose of reading, at least for me, is to draw out feelings, to escape, to walk in another’s shoes albeit a brief moment. Books allow us to share knowledge, experience and perspectives in life. I applaud

Johanna van Zanten in creating such a well written book. ( clap clap clap...standing ovation!) What is next for Adrienne????!!!

By BevB   star star star star star    
Format:Kindle Edition|Amazon Verified Purchase

I have to admit it was an entertaining book to read. The way the author describes Adrienna's home land had me right there with her; it was as if I could see every street and building and could visualize her romps with her lovers. I enjoyed watching Adrienna go from an almost prudish girl to a much stronger vibrant women where she found she had her own mind and was beginning to allow herself to be her own boss. Being a single women in my 50's, I could relate to the online dating and it was nice to see someone actually describing their experiences. I loved the little bits of humour but would of like to see more of that! All in all I enjoyed this was refreshing and almost didn't want it to end!

Featured Ebook : Destinies by Karleene Morrow


Genre : Historical Fiction

Author : Karleene Morrow

Author Websites : 3 websites 



Autographed Paperback from Author’s Website:  $12.99 
Amazon  Stores : Kindle Edition

Amazon  Stores : Paperback Edition $22.50

ISBN: 978-0-9837711-1-1 (.mobi ) and 978-0-9837711-0-4 (.epub)

Barnes and Noble Stores : $4.99 Nook Edition

Kobo Stores :  $4.99 EPUB Edition

Reviews : Multiple 5 stars (16 on Amazon, 2 on Barnes and Noble) 

Blurb : Destinies is a semi-finalist in the Kindle Book Review’s BEST INDIE BOOKS OF 2012.  It is an epic tale of royalty and rural family. Catherine II seizes the crown of Russia and a thousand miles away a Rhineland boy’s life changes forever.

Uprooted from his home near the Rhine River and taken to a hostile land on the Russian steppes, Christian comes up against adversity and setbacks as he attempts to make a new life for himself and his family. His efforts at enlisting a blacksmith and Gypsies to help a Russian girl sold into servitude put all their lives in deadly peril.

Meanwhile, Catherine, in her new role as empress, is surrounded by court intrigue and secret plots to overthrow her; rumors of her lover’s infidelity; an army of wild Cossacks and escaped serfs thundering down on Saratov intent on burning the city, sacking Moscow and locking the empress in a convent. Now Catherine must find a solution to the challenges she faces at court – as Christian must find his own solutions in the colonies.

Destinies is a compelling, multi-layered story of power, love, deceit and betrayal, and the extraordinary strength and determination of the human spirit in common people thrown into uncommon situations. 

Barnes and Noble Reviews (Click on the link) 

Amazon Reviews (Click to view all reviews) 

Treacherous Journey, February 28, 2012
By The Kindle Book Review TOP 500 REVIEWER
star star star star star
This historical novel is written with such grace, compassion and attention to detail that it is like no other I have read before. The story is expressed from two viewpoints, Katherine II, Empress of Russia and Christian Kehler a young boy who departs Germany with his family for a better life in Russia.

Katherine II, Empress of Russia, offers free land and homes to those who come to Russia. She is a strong, complex woman who wishes to populate Russia's Eastern frontier. Her personal love exploits provide a glimpse into her frailties and insecurities.

Christian Kehler is the main character in this story as he comes of age throughout the course of the book. Christian travels from Germany across the Rhine River with his family and neighboring families full of hope and determination. His journey is long and arduous as he encounters obstacles beyond his imagination. He is a strong, insightful and intelligent boy whose contribution to the journey and the eventual settlement of the people is invaluable.

The additional characters are rich in description and extremely well defined. They play an integral part is this story and add to its complexity. Each one experiences their own personal tragedies and triumphs. Each character has a personal story of their own which is portrayed with clarity, compassion and resolve.

The descriptive writing of the journey itself and the landscapes that are encountered are vividly drawn in such a way that you will make the journey as well. This story is very fast paced and surprises you at every turn of the page. I felt a great sense of compassion and trepidation for the characters in this story which is a direct result of the tremendous writing in this book.

I highly recommend this book to all readers. It is not merely a book of historical fiction but a book of families, hardships, love and determination. It portrays the best and worst of human nature and their struggle for survival.

Destinies by Karleene Morrow is truly a MUST READ.
Marilou George – The Kindle Book Review

Katherine the Great, June 10, 2012
By Mary Crocco – book reviewer / writer
This review is from: Destinies (Kindle Edition)
star star star star star  
Becoming the Empress and Ruler of All the Russians, Sophie Auguste Friedrike, was only fourteen when her mother made sure she became princess of Russia. The tsarina of Russia, Elizabeth Petrovna, was searching for a wife for her nephew who would inherit the crown.

Leaving her small town of Stettin, Poland, she met the tsarina and her heir in Russia. In 1762 Sophie became Katherine II. Known as Katherine the Great, the Empress was literate, cultured, and loved the arts. Throughout Destinies, Karleene Marrow proves how she painstakingly researched every event during Katherine's 34 year reign.

To not only enlighten her readers with facts and knowledge, but to entertain at the same time, Karleene Morrow writes her historical novel, Destinies, using Katherine the Great's point of view plus a young boy, Christian, who emigrated from Germany to Russia with his family and friends searching for a better life. The way Morrow skillfully does this is what makes this book extraordinary.

Katherine II is known for her sex scandals and her desire for power. Morrow includes her political decisions and many of her lovers. During the day Katherine II was a powerhouse of a political leader, and at night she could not go without a man.

We see Christian grow up from a boy into manhood in Destinies. We meet and love his family and friends. He has strong family values and morals that he struggles with on his journey. His relationship with the Gypsy's is my favorite. His life, along with his family and friends, is not an easy one. Emigrating from Germany and putting down roots in Russia was an unbelievable feat.

Going back and forth between Katherine the Great and Christian's life was easily done. There is never a time where I got lost or confused. This is a longer book than most, but it never felt like it. I could not put it down. The story is terrific!

I recommend this book for readers of all ages. In my opinion, reading a historical novel that is well researched and written, is the best way to learn. I'm hoping Destinies will have a sequel. I would love to read another historical novel by Karleene Morrow.

You will savour every page., January 3, 2012
By Masquerade Crew
This review is from: Destinies (Kindle Edition)
BEC'S REVIEW star star star star star
Historical novels are a tricky subject to get right. Unlike most novels they require a lot of research in order to ensure that events and characters stay as close to their real life counterparts as possible, and that those who have researched or know of the characters won't get upset by them acting in strange ways. 

As such it's a genre not every author can pull off but one that Morrow does with such ease. I found myself eagerly turning the pages of this book and finishing it in a short time despite its large size. Do not let the size put you off either, this is a real page turner.

Dealing with the story of Katherine the Great and the European settlers she invited to immigrate to Russia, this story is told from two perspectives, that of Katherine but mostly that of a fictional immigrant teenager, Christian, who grows up over the years that this book is set in. Each of the characters has trials they must face, successes and failures, and life changing decisions. Each of the characters is a refreshing read, with individual voices that combine the story telling in an enchanting read.

There were some parts of this story that amused me, and some parts that had me worried for the characters but no matter what was happening I couldn't put it down. At times it did get frustrating when it would switch to the other character, especially when something good was happening with the first one, but this only added to the suspense. 

I believe Destinies can stand it's ground against other historical novels that have graced book store shelves, and would highly recommend it. Don't let the fact that it's a rather long book put you off, as you will savour every page.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Featured Ebook : The Green Stone Tower by Brian Rush


Genre :  Epic Fantasy 

Author : Brian Rush

Author Website :

Amazon  Stores : Kindle Edition 

ISBN: 9781476271620 (Digital Edition)

Smashwords Stores :

Barnes and Noble Stores :

Reviews : 4.5-5 stars

Blurb : Long ago in the legendary time, at the very dawn of civilized days, the Old Gods sang the Green Stone Towers into being as bridges between two worlds. By means of the Towers the workers of magic, descended of the gods, escaped the wrath of the rest of mankind. Into the world of Faerie the mages fled, the gods followed, and the doors of the Towers were sealed behind them. In the ages after, the makers of magic evolved into the immortal faerie-folk. Now once in a while a faerie will brave the Green Stone Towers and visit the world they left behind, sometimes out of curiosity, often for love’s sake, if a mortal takes their fancy.

Johnny Silverbell’s merchant father wants to buy him a commission in the Royal Army and, eventually, a “Sir” before his name, but Johnny, secretly the son of a dalliance by his mother with a man of the faerie, and blessed with gifts of music and magic, has different ideas entirely. He would find the hidden door in the Green Stone Tower and leave this world for the land of the faerie. There he hopes to find his true father, and also the beautiful faerie-girl who awakened his magic. 

But as long as anything – love, fortune, even life itself – binds him to this world, he can’t even see the door in the Tower, let alone climb its hidden stair. He will only be able to do it when he has lost everything and flees from certain death. Meanwhile, in the land of the faerie-folk, Illowan, the faerie girl who won Johnny’s heart, herself lives under a dreadful doom: to become the unwilling bride of the dark god Malatant, Lord of Shadow, and bring him victory in his ages-long struggle with the gods of light. “You will bow to Malatant, until Malatant bows to you,” the god Drithur, Lord of Riddles, had told her in a mountain pass when she failed to answer his riddle. 

Feeling like a fly in a spider’s web, she lives in fear of the dark god’s call, at the same time as she is tempted by his offer of power and the status of a goddess. In The Green Stone Tower we follow Johnny’s struggle to find the hidden door, and the harder transformation that awaits him once he finds the world of the faerie-folk. We see Illowan strain against her doom, and learn the machinations of the gods and the secrets behind the prophecies. 

Amazon Reviews (View all reviews) 

Smashwords Reviews (View all reviews) 

Review by: Christi Killien on June 24, 2012 : star star star star star
This is a fairy tale like none I've ever read before. Johnny the Singer and Illowan the Faerie Girl live in two separate worlds, yet they are destined to love each other and transform both of their worlds. Illowan is a Persephone-esque character with tremendous spunk sorting through the themes of enlightenment, destiny and mortality. Johnny plays his ambertone and has a friend named Stephen Seedcorn. There's also a lawyer named Houndhide and a pantheon of 8 gods that are a hoot. The language is lyrical, the writing elegant and charming. Great fun.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Featured Ebook : Essentially Raw by Marie Sarantakis


Genre : Non-Fiction, Health & Nuitrition 

Author : Marie Sarantakis

Author Website :

Goodreads Author Page:


Amazon  Stores : Kindle and Paperback 

ISBN: 0615615945 (Print)

Barnes & Noble Stores :

Other Bookstores : Both Digital and Print Editions 

Reviews : Multiple 4.9-5 stars
Blurb : The Standard American Diet is defined by it's acronym, SAD. In a world where sea-salt covered pretzels and a diet soda are considered healthy alternatives, Marie Sarantakis provides an accessible introductory guide to pure and healthy eating. Marie's approach is simple and realistic. We need to integrate more raw fresh fruits and vegetables into our diets on a daily basis. This no nonsense guide will answer your basic questions, teach you the fundamental benefits of pure food, and provide you with ten days worth of raw vegan recipes. Life is too short not to eat raw and it's even shorter if you don't. 

Amazon Reviews (Click to view all reviews)