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Sheila Deeth has commented on (352) products.

Shadows Over Somerset by Bob Freeman

Sheila Deeth, August 4, 2015

Bringing gothic horror right up to date, Bob Freeman’s Shadows Over Somerset invites readers into a world where an ancient hero battles monsters and future terror with the aid of mythic Scottish dynasties, American mansion owners, British societies and more. Plus swords, witches, and even gods, perhaps. It’s a heady brew, offered with lashings of cool dialog, complex mystery, gory horror, dark humor, twisting plot, and well-timed revelations.

The story’s complete, with a pleasing Seattle anti-hero thrust into terrifying powers and finding his feet, while the girl he loves seeks to find her place in it all. But it’s also part of a much bigger tale, nicely hinted at, and promised in future volumes, making this the best sort of opening to a series. Would I read more? Definitely. It’s fast, furious, darkly intriguing, and fun.

Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy during a blog tour, and I offer my honest review.
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The Last Orphans (Lost Orphans) by N. W. Harris

Sheila Deeth, August 4, 2015

Published by Clean Teen Publishing, the Last Orphans is a teen horror novel with lots of violence and gore, minimal swearing, great characters, and enough fast action to outweigh any plot holes and keep the pages turning.

The story starts with Shane, a genuinely nice young man with a tough life that’s about to become much worse. When bees and wasps go on the attack, cattle charge their fences, and adults die in increasingly horrifying ways, Shane finds himself the reluctant leader of a band of youthful survivors. Inspired by a much-loved sports coach, he calls his team together while hints of Lord of the Flies draw near.

The plot eventually hinges on a fairly simplistic quest, but excitement rises as our band of heroes meets unexpected enemies and friends. The Last Orphans is a clean-enough, thoroughly scary tale of horror and post-apocalyptic survival, great for teens with strong stomachs, and a fast, good read.

Disclosure: I bought a free ecopy and I offer my honest review.
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Wind Over Marshdale by Tracy Krauss

Sheila Deeth, July 28, 2015

Marshdale is a small town, a place where everyone knows everyone else, and a pace where kindergarten teacher, Rachel, has moved to take stock of her life and heal. It’s also the place where Thomas Lone Wolf hopes to open a cultural center to celebrate earlier dwellers on the land. But will the community accept a stranger’s culture usurping theirs? And will a young woman seeking quiet contentment ever find it when her landlady barrages her with gossip and cups of tea?

Lyrical descriptions evoke the prairie landscape beautifully. Honest faith and doubts fuel the Christian characters. And a pleasing mix of very real and believable issues fills these pages. As Rachel’s heart seeks love in conflicting directions, embarrassment threatens to overwhelm, and kindness to overcome… “It was good to laugh about life’s mistakes," she muses. “Otherwise you would drown in your own tears" -- a sentiment readers will surely relate too.

This is a deeply Christian novel, with honest human Christians seeking to hear and follow God’s voice. Tt’s not a preachy novel, even though it includes convincing scenes of loved ones teaching and praying. Tt’s not a novel with simple pat answers either. The faith of these characters is tested and requires real thought. The voice of God can be hidden in the voice of temptation and desire. And the path God draws for a life will leaves room for further mistakes and free will.

I enjoyed the complexities of the characters, the genuineness of their faith, and the evocative richness of the background to this novel. It’s a convincing Christian romance, told with depth, doubt, thought, and love.

Disclosure: I won an ecopy and I offer my honest review
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Blue Flame by Michael Schmidt

Sheila Deeth, July 28, 2015

Author MC Schmidt writes great dialog, but better than that, he knows that “true conversation” is often “had in the faces,” and he writes great conversations in this warmly odd and supremely compelling book. Sixty-one year old Arthur works for a thirty-six year old boss. In a world of empty malls and failed bookstores, the “cockroaches of American industry” thrive, while the down and out struggle to survive. And Arthur, despite a good woman’s concern, is surely heading down and out.

Enter Arthur’s estranged son, strange friendships, a broken future, and fractured memories of an equally broken past. The pieces come together convincingly. A character’s sense of self and identity changes in a literary moment, sent off course by unexpected events, emotions, or even memory. Then space is left for the true self to be seen. Perhaps facing up to who we are truly does become the key to who might be.

Love and death, life and dreams, even what constitutes family, all are smoothly fluid in a novel that examines betrayal, neglect, and love with equal aplomb, through multiple, convincing viewpoints, and a wonderful touch of hope. I loved this book and could hardly put it down.

Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy and I offer my honest review.
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Measure Twice by J. J. Hensley
Measure Twice

Sheila Deeth, July 28, 2015

What’s the difference between a god addict and a believer? And who most needs the help of a 12 step program? The wounded characters of J.J. Hensley’s Measure Twice range from a woman concerned the color of her skin might adversely affect promotion, to a man so wounded that death seems the only way forward. The author pits two men against each other in a novel that’s part mystery, part police procedural, part psychological thriller, and wholly haunting, a vivid human drama.

Salvation comes in many different guises, and hope can be as simple as a question asked and answered. In this tale, the unready detective works through twelve steps of both healing and detection, while his antagonist, like a careful artist, always measures twice. A novel that measures the underworld of suffering and poses haunting questions of creation and destruction, this is a tale where injuries hurt, the wounded don’t make immediate recoveries, and relationships, even good ones, are complex, painful and entirely believable.

With great dialog, well-balanced human horror and genuine humor, powerful characters, and interesting touches of moral questioning and social commentary, plus a truly page-turning sense of urgency and mystery, this is the sort of book that keeps you reading and stays with you long after the story’s done.

Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy and I offer my honest review.
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