Since June, I’ve been focusing a lot of my free time on re-writing my fourth manuscript, which is the second Zoe Montgomery paranormal thriller. I’m about 382 pages through. Yep, this is a long one. It’s a multi-time jump adventure. Soon I’ll either seek an agent or go the small press publisher route, which I fully stand behind. If you know a publisher interested in time travel/paranormals please IM me at Netera@aol.com. I’ve put so much time and effort in this book and I really love it.
I want you all to know that I’m still reading review books everyday during my lunch break. I’ve recently finished, “Dark Blossom” by Neil Mullick, “Harry the Wonder Cat” by Denise Brixey, “Rosie Colored Glasses” by Brianna Wolfson and “Mumbo Gumbo Murder” by Laura Childs. Two of them I really loved. That would be “Rosie” and “Mumbo.” I have so many more books in my TBR pile. I’m looking forward to each fiction novel, mystery and thriller. I also have a number of e-books to read.
For now, I’m hoping to catch up on my reviews and start thinking about my third Zoe Montgomery novel. Here’s my opinion on the following:
By Neel Mullick
Rupa Publications, India
Neal Mullick’s “Dark Blossom” is a study in raw grief and how it turns your world upside down. There is a parallel of Sam’s sudden loss of his wife Marisa and son William in a car accident and the recent divorce of his new therapist Cynthia.
Sam is clearly distraught and confused. He is desperate to learn why they died and how he can get them back. We’re talking denial and emptiness and it’s visibly affecting his ability to care for himself.
While Cynthia is trying to help Sam accept his loss, grieve for his wife and son and move on, she’s caught in a difficult transition with her daughter who all of a sudden doesn’t want to open up and talk to her. Cynthia is leaning on her mentor to get her through this tough patch in life. He is guiding her toward a stronger relationship with her daughter.
Then comes the symbolic “crossing the line” when Sam says he’s unable to cope and asks to come over. When he meets her daughter, things change. But not the way you think.
Gosh, I’m caught on the wall with this one. In one way, I was curious to find out if Cynthia could be successful in her ability to transition Sam through his all-consuming grief over the loss of his son. He was so overwhelmed with emotions. Then there was something not quite right. Something mentioned about broken glass, flowers and a wound. He was suppose to be nowhere near the accident when it happened. Or was he? Not sure if that was fully explained. I simply think there’s more to this story then he told and maybe grief is guilt.
three and a half therapist appointments out of five
Oct. 19, 2019
Harry the Wonder Cat
The Legend of the Pink Diamond
By Denise Brixey
Lifestyles Entrepreneurs Press
Begins in 1815 and then jumps to 2018
With little warning, in 1815, a cat named Harry is swept away to a magical kingdom of cats to be knighted. Shortly after, he receives his assignment, along with magical powers to provide care and comfort to the Johnson family. He is informed that only the first born would know of his powers and he wasn’t to interfere with the deaths of the family.
Fast forward to 2018. His charge, Lynn, dies and during her transition, she informs Harry that she was poisoned. Though, she doesn’t state when and by whom. That is for him and her niece, Nikki, to learn. Nikki would be arriving shortly as she invited her home before Christmas.
Upon arriving at Lynn’s home, Nikki and her friend, Heather, are shocked to find Lynn’s body. Nikki is heartbroken, yet she notices two things: a mystery novel on the antique side table and the smell of garlic on Lynn’s breath. Even though they call 9-1-1, Sheriff Grady O’Neil considers Nikki the lead suspect in her aunt’s death.
Meanwhile, Henry gathers his cat gang and puts them to work to find out what is in the sheriff’s report.
Something smells rotten here and its the fact the sheriff has it out for Nikki and her family. He intentionally neglected to secure a crime scene and to properly search the house for evidence. Did he even question the aunt’s nurse who was conveniently not around when Lynn died? Or the greedy neighbor interested if Nikki was going to sell her late aunt’s home because she wanted to buy it. There’s also a motivator for murder and that’s the rumor of a pink diamond being in Lynn’s home.
What caught my interest in the beginning was the paranormal element of Harry having exceptional abilities. He might even be an immortal. The house had a mysterious nature to it, possibly because of the long history of the family residing there. There was the protective friendship of Nikki and her friend, Heather. What distracted me was the issue of Point of View. There wasn’t a smooth transition with Nikki and Heather. I also wanted to see a relationship between Nikki and Harry. There didn’t seem to be that close-knit bond. Though, the book did keep my interest. I had to know who would want such a special person like Lynn to die.
Three pink diamonds out of five
Oct. 19, 2019
Rosie Colored Glasses
By Brianna Wolfson
306 pages, includes a readers guide
Central topics/issues: divorce and mental health
Like Rex, you immediately want to fall in love with free-spirited Rosie. These true opposites meet at the floral shop where Rosie worked. Rosie didn’t like Rex’s impersonal message to his girlfriend and changed it on the card she tucked in with the flowers. Rex returned to the floral shop to lay it into Rosie for doing such a thing without his approval. Instead of this ending right there and then, it led to Rex and Rosie dating and Rex probably experiencing love for the first time in his life. Though he loved Rosie, he knew it wasn’t a forever type of love. Where he was strong and in control, she was spontaneous, immature, colorful, always cheerful and wanting to have fun. Yes, Rex loved the joy being in love brought for awhile.
Real life happens. Their special times together were replaced with every day responsibilities of being married and expecting a child. Eventually leading to the need to move out of their first home where Rosie was really happy into a bigger home in a better neighborhood.
When Willow is born, Rosie showers her in love, music and activities. Willow is terribly bullied in school which makes her miserable. Even the special things Rosie does to make her smile can’t take away her frustration. And it’s at this point where I don’t understand why Rex and Rosie didn’t do something to lessen the negative experiences at school.
When their son is born, Rosie experiences postpartum depression and can hardly function and life gets more difficult for everyone even after the divorce.
The book presents Rex, Rosie and Willow’s point of view consistently throughout their story. I didn’t find it distracting, I welcomed it as it showed what they were all going through. It also goes back in time to earlier experiences that help the reader understand why Rosie acts as she does. It makes you realize that what you see on the outside isn’t what is going on in the heart and mind of those you love.
Rex might have been all structure and perfection, but he was being a parent the best way he knew how. He envied the closeness Rosie had with the kids and had to move beyond his comfort zone to reach that level of love. I do think he should have encouraged Rosie and Willow to go to therapy.
You’re going to cry and you’re going to feel. You’re going to want to give Rosie and Willow a big hug and say “It’s going to be okay.” This one is a heartbreaker – an emotional whirlpool.
Four and three quarters Pixy Stix out of five
Oct. 19, 2019
Mumbo Gumbo Murder
By Laura Childs with Terrie Farley Moran
A Scrapbooking Mystery
Oct. 1, 2019
Berkley Prime Crime
Carmela Bertrand and her friend, Ava, were minding their own business (it’s possible), enjoying the kick-off for the Jazz Fest. They just happen to be strolling down Royal Street when they heard a storefront window broken. To their surprise, it just happened to be at their friend Devin Dowling’s antique shop. They weren’t alone. Others had gathered on the sidewalk to see what all the commotion was about. Carmela enters the store and is stricken with grief in witnessing Devon dead on a lovely antique carpet. The police pull back the crowd and Detective Babcock arrives to secure the crime scene and remove poor Devon.
Shortly after, her former boyfriend’s manager quits and Quigg Brevard literally pushes Carmela into working the craft end of a Paint ‘n Sip business. So life gets rather complicated for Carmela. Of course, she and her adorable buddy, Ava, are determined to hunt down Devon’s killer. Carmela not only has her business to maintain, but now Quigg’s, as well, and if that isn’t a lot to juggle she has to seriously start planning for her wedding. Babcock is impatiently waiting to see some progress. And don’t forget Devon’s adorable dog, Mimi, who witnessed the murder and just might know who the killer is.
Possible suspects are: Devon’s assistant, TJ, who is totally depressed and often drowning his sorrow with more than a few drinks. Richard Drake, the mysterious vampire society representative (think Anne Rice’s characters). Devon’s landlord who immediately informs the public that the property is going to be redeveloped into condos. Don’t forget Sonny Boy Holmes, a local thief and then there’s a rich collector.
Hands down, Laura Childs is my favorite cozy mystery author. Her books are the first I reach for when Penguin sends me a monthly batch. Why? Character personality and friendships, New Orleans is a great setting, the trouble Carmela and Ava get into, scrapbooking, stamping, craft tips and recipes. What I’m not thrilled about is Carmela solves the crimes and Babcock gets the credit. She puts her life, and those of her friends, in danger every single time, but that’s Carmela. She’s a smart cookie, determined and brave and there isn’t anything she wouldn’t do to see a killer behind bars. Side note: Ava cracks me up.
Four and three quarters bizarre puppets out of five
Oct. 20, 2019
Next up to read and review: