Tag Archives: book review

Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike by Julie Gianelloni Connor Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author Julie Gianelloni Connor takes readers along her personal journey along an ancient pilgrimage and the road to discovery it brought her in the book “Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike”.


The Synopsis

“Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike” is the first book by author Julie Gianelloni Connor. The book focus on the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage trail that began around 820 AD. A resurrection of interest in the Camino since the 1970s has meant that more than 300,000 individuals are nowadays undertaking the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela each year. The author made the pilgrimage in 2016 via the French route from Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port in France to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, a journey of some 500 miles. Her book incorporates a blog and travel journal she kept during that pilgrimage. The book is also a memoir, with Ms. Connor explaining how and why she decided to make the pilgrimage.

Savoring the Camino is also a practical guide to the Camino for those interested in it. While the prevailing culture of the Camino is to walk the route, Ms. Connor believes that walking is not the only way to undertake the Camino. Taking buses, taxis, or even driving are also valid ways to experience the Camino, in her opinion. She advocates for pilgrims to slow down and savor the pilgrimage by stopping in churches, cathedrals, museums, and interesting towns and cities along the route. Not everyone experiences spiritual or personal growth through the act of walking; Ms. Connor urges pilgrims to take the trip in the manner that will most connect them with their spiritual, religious, and transcendent well springs.

After completing the pilgrimage, the author journeyed on to Madrid and Toledo, and there are chapters in the book covering those visits. Ms. Connor also recounts activities following the journey related to the Camino, such as writing an open letter to relevant governmental authorities in Spain and hosting a thank-you dinner in Houston for those who helped her plan and organize her pilgrimage.

The book also includes a useful chapter on resources as well as an index.

The Review

The heart and honesty with which the author writes was an immediate stand out to me as a reader. The reader quickly discovers that the author’s motivations for the journey this book is centered around are both painful and heartbreaking, and yet the author’s strength and courage to overcome the defining moments of her life were inspiring as she undertook this pilgrimage. The book as a whole felt like a great mixture of a history lecture meets a travel guide meets an honest and open conversation with the author herself.

The balance the author struck between the Travel, Memoir, and historical genres of nonfiction books was amazing to behold. The author’s ability to bring the emotional component of her own journey in one sentence and then effortlessly shift into the history of Camino de Santiago and the significance of the trail is spot on and does an incredible job of tapping into the imagery that illuminates this author’s writing style. 

The Verdict

Engaging, thoughtful, and inspiring, author Julie Gianelloni Connor’s “Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike” is a must-read nonfiction book. The history and culture that the author brings to the journey and the emotional impact of the author’s personal journey perfectly mirror one another and keep readers invested in the author’s story perfectly. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Julie Gianelloni Connor’s book, Savoring the Camino de Santiago: It’s the Pilgrimage, Not the Hike, won a silver medal in the 2020 national eLit competition, was a finalist in the annual Self-Publishing Review competition, earned a gold star for its cover, and topped its category in the annual awards given by the Texas Authors Institute of History. Her book also garnered No. 1 status on Amazon in two categories: new books on hiking and walking and new books on Spain and Portugal. It is both a memoir and a guide to traveling the Camino through Spain. Julie’s author website is JulieConnorAuthor.com. Julie also writes a blog (CaminoForBoomers.com) focusing on the Camino de Santiago; the blog complements her book. 

She is the owner and editor of Bayou City Press in Houston, Texas, which specializes in travel writing, Houston, and international affairs. The Bayou City Press website (BayouCityPress.com)carries columns on travel and on Houston. 

Julie founded Bayou City Press after spending 33 years as a diplomat in the U.S. Foreign Service, first with the U.S. Information Agency and later with the U.S. Department of State. She had nine overseas assignments in seven different countries: Israel (twice),Paraguay, Guatemala, Indonesia, Colombia (twice), Malaysia, and Chile. In Washington, DC, Julie worked on a variety of areas, ranging from nuclear non-proliferation to international women’s issues. 

Julie received a B.A. from Rice University (English and History), an M.A. from the University of Houston(Creative Writing), and an M.S. from the National War College (National Security Strategy). She also studied journalism at LSU. 

Before joining the Foreign Service, Julie worked overseas in Portugal, Spain, and England, teaching English as a second language. 

She has one son, James, and two cats, Halloween and Mimi.

Kwelengsen Dawn: Logan’s World Book Two by David M. Kelly Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

After losing his world, one man must fight his way off of Earth and venture forth into the unknown to save those left behind in author David M. Kelly’s “Kwelengsen Dawn”, the second book in the Logan’s World Series.


The Synopsis

When you lose everything you love, the whole world becomes the enemy.

After his planet was invaded by ruthless Corporate forces, engineer Logan Twofeathers is trapped on Earth by the authorities, who are more afraid of starting a war than helping their people. He may be safe, but many others are still missing.

When security tries to arrest him on trumped-up charges, he must find his own way to return to Kwelengsen. His only option is to seek out someone from his past–a borderline psychotic, who might just be crazy enough to help.

Now, he must draw on all his strength and resilience as he undertakes a precarious and violent journey into the unknown, with enemies lurking in every shadow. The outlook is bleak, and all he has is his grit and sense of honor. Will that be enough?

The battle is over. But the war is about to begin.

The Review

This was such a brilliant spectacle and action-packed sci-fi story. The gritty nature of the world the author has built and the brutality for which the action takes the cast of characters made this story so visceral and really highlighted the author’s use of imagery in his writing. With the shocking betrayal of Earth’s security and the settings that Earth’s streets take the reader felt alive on the page.

The development of the mythos and characters in this book were the heart of the narrative. The desperation and heartbreak that the protagonist exudes as he seeks to find his love and the fight he takes to make it a reality is something that speaks to the humanity of the protagonist, and is something readers will identify with immediately. Exploring Earth and the hierarchy of the security forces was also interesting, exploring how this world’s version of Earth has evolved over time.

The Verdict

Thoughtful, exhilarating, and adrenaline-fueled, author David M. Kelly’s “Kwelengsen Dawn” is the upcoming must-read sci-fi novel of 2022 and the perfect next book in the Logan’s World Series. The brilliant storytelling the author utilizes here and engaging world-building will draw readers in, and the shocking twist on the final pages of this novel will have readers anxious to learn more about a must-have third book in this series. If you haven’t yet, be sure to preorder your copy today or grab your copy on June 7th, 2022!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

David M. Kelly writes fast-paced, near-future sci-fi thrillers with engaging characters, cynical humor, and (mostly!) plausible science. He is the author of the Joe Ballen series (Mathematics of Eternity, Perimeter, Transformation Protocol, and Intersection), the Logan’s World series, and the Hyperia Jones sci-fi humor series.
David’s interest in science and technology began early. At the age of six his parents allowed him to stay up late into the night to watch the television broadcast of Neil Armstrong stepping on to the surface of the moon. From that day he was hooked on everything related to science and space.

An avid reader, he worked his way through the contents of the mobile library that visited his street, progressing through YA titles (or ‘juveniles’ as they were known back then) on to the classics of Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and Harry Harrison.
David worked for many years in project management and software development. Along the way his interests have included IPSC combat (target) pistol shooting, crew chief on a drag racing team, and several years as bass player/vocalist in a heavy rock band. He also managed to fit in some real work in manual jobs from digging ditches and work on production lines to loading trucks in a haulage company.

Originally from the wild and woolly region of Yorkshire, England, David emigrated to Canada in 2005 and settled in Northern Ontario with his patient and supportive wife, Hilary. Foot surgery in 2014 temporarily curtailed many of his favourite activities – hiking, camping, piloting his own personal starfighter (otherwise known as a Corvette ZR-1). But on the plus side, it meant a transition from the world of IT into life as a full-time writer—an opportunity he grasped enthusiastically.

David is passionate about science, especially astronomy and physics, and is a rabid science news follower. Never short of an opinion, David writes about science and technology on his blog davidmkelly.net. He has supported various charity projects such as the Smithsonian’s Reboot The Suit and the Lowell Observatory Pluto Telescope Restoration. He also contributes to citizen science projects such as SETI@home.


Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A widower seeking a fresh start in life must confront loss, and discover the means of finding a community and career that is truly his in author Linda Stewart Henley’s “Waterbury Winter”.


The Synopsis

Barnaby Brown has had enough of freezing winters, insurmountable debt, a dead-end job, and his solitary life as a young widower with no one but his beloved parrot Popsicle. He yearns to move to California and reawaken his long-lost early life as an artist. But new troubles come in threes. His ancient car crashes into a snowbank. Popsicle escapes through a window carelessly left open. A New York gallery owner offers to represent Barnaby’s paintings—but is he on the up-and-up? All of it serves to shock Barnaby into confronting how low he has sunk, and he vows—again and again—to change. He has a few obstacles, starting with his heavy drinking and long-term neglect of his ancestral home. As he takes steps toward a better life, he re-discovers the value of old friendships and latent talents seen in new light, and finds the courage to consider a second chance at love. Rejoining the mainstream of life presents several startling mysteries he must unravel, with a few mortifying but enlightening stumbles. 

 A heart-warming novel about ordinary people reclaiming their dormant potential, Waterbury Winter celebrates the restorative value of art and the joy to be found in keeping promises.

The Review

This is such a powerful and moving story. The pain of loss can be truly debilitating and takes on so many different forms. From the loss of a dream or the loss of a loved one, people can find themselves lost and stuck in the past by the pain of that loss. The author’s ability to navigate these complex emotions and craft a narrative that felt realistic and alive on the page was truly incredible to read.

The balance of character growth and imagery throughout the author’s writing was so profound. The setting and imagery presented both through the author’s words and described in the protagonist’s artwork were creative in their approach, as even the local haunt O’Malley’s felt alive and captivating to behold. Barnaby’s evolution as a character was both heartbreaking and heartwarming, as the pain of his loss and how it kept him from his pursuits in life both professionally and personally is something so many people can identify with, and yet his hope stirred by one loss too many is so inspiring and the path he goes on is something readers will instantly connect with. 

The Verdict

Haunting, emotional, and engaging, author Linda Stewart Henley’s “Waterbury Winter” is a must-read novel. The perfect drama and a great way of studying the evolution of friendship and relationships as a whole, readers will be amazed at the authors’ creativity and entertaining way of bringing true heart and passion into a realistic and honest yet fictional world. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Linda Stewart Henley is the author of Estelle: A Novel. Among other honors, it won Silver in the Independent Publisher Book Awards for Historical Fiction and was a finalist for The Eric Hoffer Book Awards as well as for the 2021 Nancy Pearl Award. She lives in Anacortes, Washington, with her husband. Waterbury Winter is her second novel.

Find out more about Waterbury Winter by visiting GoodReads or the author’s website. You can also purchase it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Bookshop.org.


Blog Tour Calendar

May 2nd @ The Muffin

Join us as we celebrate the launch of Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley. We interview the author about her book and also give away a copy to one lucky reader.


May 3rd @ Lisa Haselton’s Reviews and Interviews Blog

Stop by Lisa’s blog today and read an interview with author Linda Stewart Henley.


May 3rd @ Fiona Ingram’s Blog

Visit Fiona’s blog and read Linda Stewart Henley’s guest post about writing historical fiction.


May 5th @ Amanda Diaries

Visit Amanda’s blog and read her interview with author Linda Stewart Henley.


May 7th @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion

Join Linda as she interviews Linda Stewart Henley about her book Waterbury Winter.


May 8th @ What is That Book About?

Michelle spotlights Linda Stewart Henley’s book Waterbury Winter.


May 9th @ Mindy McGinnis

Join Mindy as she features Linda Stewart Henley’s guest post about mixed genres in writing.


May 12th @ Knotty Needle

Visit Judy’s blog today and read her review of Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley.


May 13th @ CK Sorens’ Blog

Visit Carrie’s blog and read Linda Stewart Henley’s guest post about the importance of setting.


May 15th @ Choices

Visit Madeline’s blog and read Linda Stewart Henley’s guest post about what a difference an editor makes.


May 18th @ Beverley A. Baird

Visit Beverley’s blog and her review of Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley.


May 19th @ Reading Is My Remedy

Join Chelsie over at her Instagram page today where she shares her review of Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley.


May 21st @ Bring on Lemons

Crystal shares her thoughts about the charming Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley. 


May 24th @ Author Anthony Avina’s Blog

Make sure to visit Anthony’s blog and read his review of Linda Stewart Henley’s book Waterbury Winter.


May 25th @ Beverley A. Baird

Join Beverley again as she features Linda Stewart Henley’s post about inspiration in art.


May 26th @ The Frugalista Mom

Visit Roselyn’s blog as she reviews Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley. 


May 27th @ A Storybook World

Deirdra’s blog features Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley.


May 30th @ Liberate and Lather

Stop by Angela’s blog today and read her thoughts about Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley. 


May 31st @ The Faerie Review

Lily spotlights Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley. 


June 2nd @ Pages & Paws

Join Pages and Paws for their review of Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley. 


June 4th @ World of My Imagination

Nicole reviews Waterbury Winter by Linda Stewart Henley. 


June 5th @ Jill Sheets Blog

Visit Jill as she interviews author Linda Stewart Henley.


Guest Post: Rose Symbolism in Literature by Author Audry Fryer

I am so honored to be sharing author Audry Fryer’s latest guest post on Rose Symbolism in Literature for Women on Writing Blog Tours. I hope you will all enjoy this wonderfully written post.

Rose Symbolism in Literature

Known for their beauty, fragrance, and as a symbol of love, roses are one of the most popular flowers. So, of course, they’re often featured in literature. 

The mention of a rose in literature often adds a symbolic element of love, romance, and femininity. The word “rose” often appears in titles.  And many books’ covers feature roses or rose gardens. 

The cover of my book, Until Next Sunday, features a single red rose. Besides adding a pop of color, the red rose offers a clue to the reader that my book contains a love story. It’s also a nod to the many moments a rose or roses are mentioned, including in the main character’s name, Rosina.


A Brief History of Roses

Scientific evidence reveals roses were among the first flowers to bloom on this Earth. Fossil records indicate that roses are estimated to be 35 million years old.

The cultivation of roses dates back over 5,000 years in Asia. Chinese philosopher Confucius wrote about roses in the Imperial Gardens around 500 B.C.

In Greek mythology, when Aphrodite found her lover, Adonis, wounded by a wild boar, her tears mixing with his red blood are said to have created the first roses. 

When Egyptian queen Cleopatra endeavored to romance Roman general Mark Antony, she had all her fountains filled with rose water and her chamber carpeted with rose petals. 

Later, Emperors in the Roman Empire would lavish their guests with rose petals. They hung roses from the ceilings in banquet halls, known as the term “sub-rosa” or under the rose. In this case, roses symbolized secrecy and confidentiality.

In 15th Century England, roses played a role in the civil war between the House of Lancaster, symbolized by the red rose, and the House of York, represented by the white rose. Playwright William Shakespeare penned, “That which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet,” in the play Romeo and Juliet. And King Henry VII declared the rose England’s national flower in 1485.

In the United States, in 1986, then-President Ronald Reagan held a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden to sign a proclamation certifying the rose as the national flower. 

What do roses symbolize?

Rose symbolism in literature directly relates to rose symbolism in everyday life. However, it may vary on an individual book’s historical or cultural setting. 

To learn what roses symbolize, consider their botanical features, color, and the number of roses in a bouquet. 

There are over 150 species of roses, with most varieties containing thorny stems. Persevering past the thorns to the beautiful, fragrant blossom relates to the symbolism of overcoming difficulty to find reward and happiness.

The vast majority of rose symbolism relies on color

  • Red Rose – deep passionate love, romance, and desire. It’s best suited to couples.
  • White Rose – purity,  youthful innocence, and spiritual ceremonies, including weddings, baptisms, and funerals.
  • Yellow Rose – friendship, warmth, and new beginnings. However, in the Victorian era, the yellow rose represented infidelity and jealousy. 
  • Pink Rose – gratitude, joy, friendship, or young love. Light pink can express either admiration or sympathy. 
  • Orange Rose – energy, sensuality, enthusiasm, and celebrations, including birthdays, anniversaries, and achievements
  • Lavender Rose – appreciation, adoration, enchantment, and love.
  • Green Rose – hope, fertility, rejuvenation. Ideal for a new baby. However, green roses can be associated with envy.
  • Blue Rose – achieving the impossible, mystery, or something desired but attained. Blue roses are either a result of placing cut roses in dye or genetic engineering. 
  • Black Rose – death, sorrow, mourning, tradegy, or sophistication. Also, a symbol of power and strength in Ancient Greece and Rome. Black roses tend to be deep red, deep purple, or enhanced by a florist with dye. 

The number of roses holds considerable significance:

  • One Rose – love at first sight
  • Two Roses – deep love
  • Three Roses – for the three words, “I love you.”
  • Six Roses – for six words, “I love you. I miss you.” 
  • Seven Roses – infatuation or new love
  • Nine Roses – eternal love
  • Twelve Roses – a perfect love

12 Rose Literary Quotes

While hundreds of literary quotes mention a rose (too many to list in this post), selecting a dozen rose literary quotes seemed appropriate. Enjoy these notable quotes from well-known authors, poets, and writers. 

“Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose. Loveliness extreme. Extra gaiters, Loveliness extreme. Sweetest ice-cream. Pages ages page ages page ages.” – Gertrude Stein

“Wild roses are fairest, and nature a better gardener than art.” – Louisa May Alcott

“But he that dares not grasp the thorn should never crave the rose.” – Anne Bronte

“That afternoon my mother had brought me the roses. ‘Save them for my funeral,’ I’d said.”         – Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

“It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.”

― Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden

“Love is like the wild rose-briar; Friendship like the holly-tree. The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms, but which will bloom most constantly?” – Emily Brontë, The Complete Poems

“Of all the flowers, me thinks a rose is best.” – William Shakespeare.

“True love is like little roses, sweet, fragrant in small doses.” – Ana Claudia Antunes, Pierrot & Columbine

“The more you love roses the more you must bear with thorns.” – Matshona Dhliwayo

“The pink roses are love hopeful and expectant. White roses are love dead or forsaken–but the red roses–ah, Leslie, what are the red roses? Love triumphant.” – Lucy Maud Montgomery.

“A rose dreams of enjoying the company of bees, but none appears. The sun asks: Aren’t you tired of waiting? Yes, but if I close my petals, I will wither and die.” – Paulo Coelho.

Final Thoughts: Rose Symbolism in Literature

Throughout history and across cultures, the rose has held many different meanings, from playing a role in love affairs to civil wars and national symbols. In literature, roses have powerful symbolism representing love, desire, romance, passion, friendship, infidelity, and envy. A rose is so much more than what meets the eye, from its thorny stems to its fragrant petals.

Author Bio

Audry Fryer is an author and professional freelance writer from Pennsylvania. Formerly a teacher, Audry wrote her first novel while her toddler son and twin babies napped. As her children have grown into teenagers, she has expanded her writing career. Audry lives with her family and two pugs in a quiet corner of Southeastern PA. To learn more about Audry, please visit her website at www.audryfryer.com.



I’m excited to announce the WOW! Women on Writing book blog tour with author and Audry Fryer and her book Until Next Sunday. 

This book is written with so much heart – you can’t help but fall in love with the characters from this historical romance! 

Here’s a bit about the book:

 After bravely leaving the life she knew to come to America, 
illness threatens Rosina’s happily ever after. 
When separated, will letters keep their love alive? 

Rosina leaves Italy to build a better life, but the reality in America is nothing like the dream. She is far from the Italian countryside and the beautiful olive groves where she grew up. Here the work is endless, and the winters are cold and desolate. She never expects to find love in such a place. 

Then she met him. Gianni, the shoemaker’s apprentice, is gentle, handsome, and everything she never knew she needed in her life. 

But when Rosina falls ill and is quarantined, their future is at stake. All she can do is cling to the beautiful letters Gianni writes. Each week she tries to survive the long, lonely days until next Sunday for his brief visit. 

Will fate bring Rosina and Gianni together once more? Or are they destined to remain star-crossed forever? 

Until Next Sunday is a sweet Historical Romance inspired by a true story. It is based on actual Italian love letters which were discovered a century after they were written (some of which are contained in this book.) It is a portrait of the times, and a true immigrant experience. Feel the force with which these two lives find love, against all odds.

Purchase your own copy on: Smashwords, Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, or Kobo!

About the Author

Audry Fryer is an author and professional freelance writer from Pennsylvania. Formerly a teacher, Audry wrote her first novel while her toddler son and twin babies napped. As her children have grown into teenagers, she has expanded her writing career. Audry lives with her family and two pugs in a quiet corner of Southeastern PA. To learn more about Audry, please visit her website at www.audryfryer.com

Social Media Links:


– Blog Tour Calendar

May 9th @ The Muffin
Join us as we celebrate the launch of Until Next Sunday by Audry Fryer. We interview the author about her book and also give away a copy to one lucky reader.

May 10th @ Create Write Now 
Today’s guest post at Create Write Now comes from Audry Fryer as she pens an article titled: “The Importance of a Talented Editor”. Hear from Audry on this important topic and find out more about her latest work: Until Next Sunday.

May 11th @ Pages & Paws 
Kristine from Pages and Paws reviews Until Next Sunday by Audry Fryer. This historical romance is delighting readers – find out what Kristine thinks!

May 13th @ Rebecca J. Whitman
Audry Fryer pens today’s travel inspired guest post on Rebecca J. Whitman’s blog. Find out more about Fryer’s book Until Next Sunday and the region of Italy featured in the book.

May 16th @ What is that Book About
Today’s book spotlight at What is that Book About is none other than Audry Fryer’s latest Until Next Sunday. Readers will want to add this gem to their TBR pile right away!

May 16th @ Rebecca J. Whitman
Don’t miss today’s podcast with Rebecca J. Whitman as she features Audry Fryer and Audry’s latest book Until Next Sunday.

May 17th @ Beverley A. Baird
Beverley A. Baird welcomes Audry Fryer to her blog today. Stop by and learn more about Fryer’s latest book Until Next Sunday and find out the inside story about “How 100 Love Letters Became a Novel”

May 18th @ Linda Appleman Shapiro
Behavioral Psychotherapist, Linda Appleman Shapiro, reviews and shares her thoughts after reading Until Next Sunday by Audry Fryer. Don’t miss Shapiro’s insight on this beautiful historical romance.

May 19th @ A Storybook World
A StoryBook World welcomes Audry Fryer and Until Next Sunday to the spotlight today! Stop by and find out more about the historical romance everyone is talking about!

May 20th @ Rebecca J. Whitman
Rebecca J. Whitman reviews Audry Fryer’s Until Next Sunday and shares her thoughts with readers on her blog; don’t miss a chance to learn more about this historical romance that is delighting readers young and old!

May 20th @ Word Magic
Readers at Fiona Ingram’s blog will hear from Audry Fryer today as she writes about the difference between historical romance and historical fiction. Is there a difference? Find out today and learn more about Fryer’s latest work Until Next Sunday.

May 24th @ Mindy McGinnis
Readers at Mindy McGinnis’ blog will hear from Audry Fryer today as she writes about how to create a book club kit for your readers. Sop by and learn more about Fryer’s latest work Until Next Sunday.

May 24th @ Author Anthony Avina
Readers at Anthony Avina’s blog will hear from Audry Fryer today as she writes about Roses and what they symbolize in books. Stop by today and learn more about Fryer’s latest work Until Next Sunday.

May 25th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Fellow author Madeline Sharples has Audry Fryer and Until Next Sunday in the spotlight at her blog today! Stop by and see what all the fuss is about!

May 30th @ Bring on Lemons with High School Student, Carmen Otto
Teenager Carmen Otto offers her 5 star review of Audry Fryer’s Until Next Sunday. Otto can’t wait for her school library to add this gem to their collection! Read more from Carmen about this historical romance today!

May 31st @ Reading is My Remedy
Chelsie Stanford of Reading is My Remedy offers her review of Audry Fryer’s Until Next Sunday – find out what Chelsie has to say about this historical romance and it’s talented author!

June 1st @ Lisa’s Reading
Lisa from Lisa’s Reading has Audry Fryer’s Until Next Sunday in the spotlight today! Stop by and see the historical romance everyone is talking about!

June 2nd @ KnottyNeedle Creative
Judy from the Knotty Needle offers her review of Audry Fryer’s Until Next Sunday for readers of her blog. This is a delightful historical romance and readers will want to hear what Judy has to say!

June 2nd @ Beverley A. Baird
Beverley A. Baird reviews Until Next Sunday by Audry Fryer. This historical romance is getting lots of attention – find out what Beverley thinks!

June 3rd @ Author Anthony Avina
Author Anthony Avina reviews fellow author Audry Fryer’s latest historical romance, Until Next Sunday. Find out from one author to another what Anthony thinks of this book!

June 4th @ Boots, Shoes and Fashion
Linda of Boots Shoes & Fashion interviews Audry Fryer about her latest historical fiction, Until Next Sunday; don’t miss this insightful interview!

June 5th @ Choices with Madeline Sharples
Madeline Sharples welcomes a guest author to her blog – today, readers will hear from Audry Fryer about Until Next Sunday as well as learning what Audry has to say about Top Strong Female Characters in Literature.

June 9th @ The Frugalista Mom
The Fruglista Mom, Rozelyn, shares her review of Until Next Sunday by Audry Fryer! This is a book and review you won’t want to miss!

June 10th @ World of My Imagination
WOW! Blog Tour Manager Nicole Pyles shares her review of Until Next Sunday by Audry Fryer. Nicole’s review wraps up the book blog tour for this historical romance – find out what Nicole has to say about this beautiful story!

Dragon Sect: Highcliff Guardians Epic Fantasy Series (Soul Forge Universe Book 2) by Richard H. Stephens Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

As the Queen of the Elves fights to protect her daughter, the growing threat of a powerful and ancient enemy forces a princess to find an ancient dragon in an attempt to thwart a dangerous plot in author Richard H. Stephens’s “Dragon Sect: Highcliff Guardians Epic Fantasy Series”, the latest book in the Soul Forge Universe series.


The Synopsis 

The Dragon Witch Wraith has returned.

With the Grim Duke in his place, and a tentative pact with the wizard’s guild, the Queen of the Elves’ only real concern is for her rebellious daughter. Or so she is led to believe.

Buoyed by the news of unrest in the land’s largest city of Urdanya, Duke Orlythe’s new wizard attempts to convince him that a path to the coveted Willow Throne lies within reach of someone bold enough to seize the opportunity.

The return of the Dragon Witch Wraith prompts the ailing high wizard to find a way to thwart his arch nemesis before everything South March has fought for is lost.

Oblivious to the dangers of the world, Princess Ouderling sets out on a quest to locate an ancient dragon, in a desperate attempt to save her mother from an inevitable fate.

Should she fail, the Grim Duke will ascend the throne.

The Review

The author did a fantastic job of continuing the amazing world-building that he established in the first book of this epic fantasy series. The almost artistic approach to the writing and imagery the author conjures through this storytelling does a great job of playing to the reader’s imagination. The action felt very balanced with the storytelling itself and made for a well-rounded read.

The thing that really was great to see in this book was the author’s ability to capture the magic and epic fantasy elements of the story, (elves, dwarves, dragons, etc), with the more gritty and heartfelt emotional character development that was found in George R.R. Martin’s “Game of Thrones” series. The mythos and gravitas of the dangers faced in this novel were so captivating because of the creativity of the fantasy genre elements and the emotional pull the characters had on the readers.

The Verdict

Engaging, heart-pounding, and brilliant in its approach, author Richard H. Stephens’s “Dragon Sect: Highcliff Guardians Epic Fantasy Series” is a must-read epic fantasy novel and the perfect next chapter in the Soul Forge Universe series. The entertaining story and mythos of this world and the emotional pull of the characters will have readers invested, as will the shocking final pages that will have readers hanging off of the author’s every word. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Born in Simcoe, Ontario, in 1965, I began writing circa 1974; a bored child looking for something to while away the long, summertime days. My penchant for reading The Hardy Boys led to an inspiration one sweltering summer afternoon when my best friend and I thought, “Hey, we could write one of those.” And so, I did.

As my reading horizons broadened, so did my writing. Star Wars inspired me to write a 600-page novel about outer space that caught the attention of a special teacher, Mr. Woodley, who encouraged me to keep writing.

A trip to a local book store saw the proprietor introduce me to Stephen R. Donaldson and Terry Brooks. My writing life was forever changed.

At 17, I left high school to join the working world to support my first son. For the next twenty-two years I worked as a shipper at a local bakery. At the age of 36, I went back to high school to complete my education. After graduating with honours at the age of thirty-nine, I became a member of our local Police Service, and worked for 12 years in the provincial court system.

In early 2017, I resigned from the Police Service to pursue my love of writing full-time. With the help and support of my lovely wife Caroline and our 5 children, I have now realized my boyhood dream.


Twisted Reveries III: More Tales of the Macabre by Meg Hafdahl Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author Meg Hafdahl takes readers through a terrifying journey into the past in “Twisted Reveries III: More Tales of the Macabre”.


The Synopsis

In Twisted Reveries 3, Bram Stoker Award nominated horror author Meg Hafdahl continues her twisted tradition of female-driven tales with a razor sharp bite. This third collection is steeped in the gothic and antique terrors of years past. Among an intriguing cast of characters, we meet a suffragette who has a sudden brush with telepathy; a deaf widow haunted by her own, devious past; and a young girl fixated on vanquishing the monster who killed her.

Travel into bygone eras and experience thirteen chilling stories that will undoubtedly make you question the shadowed, terrifying memories of the past.

The Review

Immediately upon reading this book, I found myself transported to the era of gothic horror that jump-started my love of all things horror. The haunting atmosphere and the author’s natural ability to build tension in the evolving narratives made this collection of horror stories shine brightly. The author’s ability to conjure up strong imagery that brought out the contrast of beautiful settings set against the dark and cruel nature of the darkness each story held was incredible to behold. 

One of the strongest aspects of this narrative and the overall collection was the use of strong female protagonists throughout the book. The exploration of themes such as feminism, LGBTQ romance, and more was greatly portrayed through these protagonists, especially set against the backdrop of the old stories of the past. One story, in particular, jumped out to me, with the narrative highlighting mankind’s ability to accept truly abhorrent and violent behavior and yet scoff and be disgusted by LGBTQ romance at its best, baffling the mind. The author’s ability to traverse these prominent themes while also entertaining and scaring the reader is truly amazing.

The Verdict

Haunting, shocking, and entertaining, author Meg Hafdahl’s “Twisted Reveries III: More Tales Of The Macabre” is a must-read horror collection. The stunning gothic imagery and setting played so well with the strong female-driven narratives and twisted horror elements that have made this author one of horror’s best voices in recent years. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Bram Stoker Award nominated Meg Hafdahl is the creator of numerous stories and books. Her fiction has appeared in anthologies such as Eve’s Requiem: Tales of Women, Mystery and Horror and Eclectically Criminal. Her work has been produced for audio by The Wicked Library and The Lift, and she is the author of three popular short story collections including Twisted Reveries: Thirteen Tales of the Macabre. Meg is also the author of the three novels; The Darkest Hunger, Daughters of Darkness, and Her Dark Inheritance called “an intricate tale of betrayal, murder, and small town intrigue” by Horror Addicts and “every bit as page turning as any King novel” by RW Magazine. Meg, also the co-host of the podcast Horror Rewind and co-author of The Science of Monsters, The Science of Women in Horror, The Science of Stephen King, The Science of Serial Killers, and the upcoming The Science of Witchcraft lives in the snowy bluffs of Minnesota. 


Bad Deal For America by David D. Schein Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Author David D. Schein shows readers how members of Congress are currently utilizing taxpayers’ dollars in the book “Bad Deal for America”.


The Synopsis

Bad Deal for America explores the high-stakes game U. S. politicians are playing with the taxpayers’ money. The major players, themselves like a deck of cards, have shown us in their own words that the political system is broken. Readers can follow the money to see how some have lived high on the hog while masquerading as public servants. Told in an entertaining and unique way, this book is a call to arms to fulfill the ideals of the founding fathers by holding the political class responsible.

The Review

The author did a great job of delving deep into the murky waters of the American political system. Namely the members of congress, this book did a great job of maintaining a neutral point of view as far as party lines are concerned, showing the corruption and greed that exists on both sides of the aisle.

The thing that stood out to me as a reader was the balance of research and study that went into the campaign finance system and the money earned and spent by the political machine, and the quotes and viewpoints of various politicians mentioned throughout this book. The author was able to present clear and concise facts about these politicians without getting bogged down in specific political preferences and presented clear and well-researched arguments based on the words and actions of the individual politicians mentioned in this book. 

The Verdict

Thoughtful, engaging, and captivating, author Dr. David D. Schein’s “Bad Dead for America” is a must-read political book of 2022. The evenly paced tempo of the book and the amount of research that could be found on each page of this book made it a thought-provoking read that will open up reader’s minds to the facts surrounding each politician’s promises, lies, and financial gains through their work in Washington, as well as its impact on the average American citizen. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today! 

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Dr. David D. Schein is an author, professor, consultant and public speaker. He is a tenured Professor, the Director of Graduate Programs and the Endowed Chair of Management and Marketing at the University of St. Thomas’ Cameron School of Business. He is also the President and General Counsel of Claremont Management Group, a Human Resources consulting firm in Houston, TX. He often speaks on employment and consumer matters.

Salad on the Side (Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat Book 1) by Karenna Croft Review 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A mutual attraction between two neighbors turns into a life-altering stroke of fate as a lifelong vegan finds himself part of a pack of werewolves in author Karenna Croft’s “Salad on the Side”, the first book in the Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat” series. 


The Synopsis

Since moving to Boston, Kyle Slidell has met only a few of his neighbors, including Tobias Rogan. Kyle is very interested in Tobias and is ecstatic to learn that Tobias wants him to. But his neighbors have a secret: They’re werewolves, and Tobias is the pack Alpha. When one of the wolves attacks Kyle in the neighborhood garden one night, Kyle learns the truth in a hurry. Now he’s a werewolf too-and since he’s vegan, he refuses to eat meat. With Tobias’s help and love, Kyle must adjust to his new life and protect himself and his friends from a neighboring pack.

The Review

This was such a fun and compelling LGBTQ-driven supernatural romance. The fast pace of the narrative immediately thrusts readers into the action of this supernatural world. The classic werewolf lore comes into play quickly, taking great care to honor the legacy of the mythos while also delving deeper into the pack mentality that is often associated with werewolves. From the Alpha mythos and how they assert themselves as the head of the pack to the connection, wolves make with their “mates”, made this story is so fascinating to behold.

However, the character growth and LGBTQ themes were the driving force of the narrative. The headed, passionate, and adult romance scenes played out heavily, and fans of M/M romance will absolutely love the development of these two protagonists as they grow together and develop in their own ways. Tobias’s struggle to publicly accept his sexuality paired with Kyle’s struggle with accepting love itself really balanced out their journey together and the narrow line that werewolf culture brings to the question of LGBTQ romance as a whole was unique to see play out, being accepted by their human sides and yet viewed as some sort of “weakness” in the werewolf power/hierarchy. The author’s handling of that storyline was robust and really mirrored our own society’s struggles to normalize and accept love in all its forms.

The Verdict

Heated, engaging, and thrilling, author Karenna Croft’s “Salad on the Side” is the perfect first novel in the Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat series and a brilliant LGBTQ-driven supernatural romance novel. The wit and humor the dialogue brings the two protagonists in their relationship and the balance of action and politics within the werewolf power system made this story so engaging. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

Salad on the Side - Karenna Colcroft

Karenna Colcroft has a new MM paranormal romance out, Real Werewolves Don’t Eat Meat book 1: Salad on the Side. And there’s a giveaway!

Since moving to Boston, Kyle Slidell has met only a few of his neighbors, including Tobias Rogan. Kyle is very interested in Tobias, and is ecstatic to learn that Tobias wants him, too.

But his neighbors have a secret: They’re a werewolf pack, and Tobias is their Alpha. When one of the wolves attacks Kyle, he learns the truth in a hurry–and in the most painful way. Now he’s a werewolf too, and as a vegan is at war with his wolf aspect, who craves meat.

With Tobias’s help and love, Kyle must adjust to his new life. But can he protect the pack and his lover from a werewolf seeking revenge against Tobias?

Warnings: References to sexual assault.

This is a rerelease.

Get it On Amazon


Karenna is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour:

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No! Oh, God, anything but this!

That was the first conscious thought I’d had since the wolf had bitten down. I didn’t know what it meant at first.

Then I opened my eyes. Nothing looked right. Everything around me appeared flat and muted. I definitely wasn’t in the garden anymore, but since I couldn’t see things properly, I couldn’t tell where I was. Inside, somewhere. Not my apartment. I was lying on a floor; that much I could tell.

When I tried to stand, my legs didn’t want to cooperate. Then I caught a glimpse of my foot.

It was covered in fur.

Shit. Wolf bite. Wolves didn’t live in Boston.

Maybe werewolves did. Even though as far as I knew those didn’t exist.

I tried to see my body. Fur, check. Pretty off-white color, or at least I would have thought it was pretty if it didn’t cover me. Snout protruding out far enough to see, check. Four paws with claws sticking out from the end of each… finger? Toe? Didn’t know what to call them. Check, anyway.


At least my head moved the way I wanted it to. I glanced around, trying to gain some sense of place. This time, I spotted two humans crouching nearby. One of them was Tobias. Even as a wolf, I recognized the regret and sadness in his expression.

Tobias was there, and that meant he knew what had happened to me. My brain refused to go any farther than that.

The other human… After a second, I recognized her too. The hair color gave it away, perfectly matching the color of the fur on the wolf that bit me.

Fucking Melia. She eyed me with a contemptuous smirk which vanished quickly when Tobias glanced at her over his shoulder. He turned back to me, and Melia glowered. “He should be dead.”

“Fortunately for you, he isn’t,” Tobias snapped. “I thought you’d learned better control than this, Melia. Clearly I overestimated you.”

Melia bowed her head. “I’ll do better in the future. He could have died.”

As a wolf, tone of voice wasn’t quite as obvious to me as it was when I was human. But something in the way Melia spoke caught my attention. She meant what she’d said. I should have been dead, because that had been her intention. Maybe I was wrong, but the fury and contempt in her eyes confirmed it.

I snarled and tried to stand, but I couldn’t quite figure out how to get those four legs under me. Tobias raised his hands and took a couple steps toward me. “Kyle, easy,” he said softly. “We aren’t going to hurt you.”

“I didn’t mean for this to happen,” Melia said. “Tobias, I didn’t mean—”

“Shut up, Melia,” Tobias ordered without taking his eyes off me. “You’re here to see the results of your poor control, not to make apologies. I don’t think Kyle will accept your apology easily.”

I managed to move my head in something resembling a nod. Fuck if I’d ever forgive the bitch! It hadn’t been my fault I’d wandered into the path of a frigging werewolf. Like I’d even known there would be a wolf in the garden. It wasn’t the sort of thing people usually considered when going out to pick strawberries. “Oh, I’d better be careful; there might be a werewolf out there.” Right. Not outside horror movies.

Hopefully they’d figure out soon how to change me back so I could get things ready for my dinner with Tobias the next night. I’d be sorely pissed if that had to be put on hold.

The next night. Except I didn’t think it was “next” anymore. I had no clue how long I’d been unconscious. The sunlight streaming through the window beside me pretty clearly told me that it wasn’t night any longer. But if it wasn’t night, why was I still a wolf? Didn’t werewolves only shift when it was dark?

I blinked at Tobias and he caught the question. “It’s your first shift, Kyle. You changed while you were out cold and it’s going to take your body and mind a little while to coordinate so you’ll go back to human. That’s how it works for all of us our first time. And we can shift whenever we want.”

All of us. Now I couldn’t prevent myself from grasping the truth. The truth Tobias and Mrs. Frelich had been so damned determined to keep from me. Tobias was one of the wolves. And he’d probably made sure none of the other neighbors would ever see anything he didn’t want them to. Tobias, the man I lusted after, was a fucking werewolf. I didn’t even know what to think about that.

“You have to eat something, Kyle,” Tobias said. He crouched low to look me in the eye. “You’ve been unconscious for three days, since Melia attacked you. You don’t know how sorry I am about this. I wanted to protect you from it.”

Even in my current form, my heart and a couple other things responded to his words. He did care about me. Maybe at our dinner he would have admitted all this to me. Though I certainly understood why he’d been reluctant. Without seeing it for myself, I probably wouldn’t have believed him.

He might have told me the truth, though, and if I’d believed him, if I hadn’t thrown him out, who knew where things might have ended up? I knew where I would have wanted them to end, whether Tobias was a werewolf or not.

Author Bio

Karenna Colcroft lives just north of Boston, Massachusetts, and has been in love with the city since childhood, though she has yet to encounter any werewolves, vampires, or other paranormal beings in her travels. At least none that she knows of. Though since in her non-writing life, under another name, she offers services as a channel and energy healing practitioner, it could be said that she herself is a paranormal being. The jury’s still out on that.

Karenna is a polyamorous, nonbinary human who splits time between the home she shares with her husband and the one she shares with her committed partner. She also has two adult children and a bonus son, three grandchildren, and two and a half cats. (Half in terms of time the cat lives with her, not in terms of the cat itself…)

Author Website: http://www.karennacolcroft.com

Author Facebook (Personal): http://www.facebook.com/riverlightbearer

Author Facebook (Author Page): http://www.facebook.com/KarennaColcroft

Author Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Karenna-Colcroft/e/B0031HAOUK

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Plug the Holes, Fill the Barrel: A Beginner’s Guide to Building Wealth with Real Estate by Jason M. Kogok Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Author and real estate expert Jason M. Kogok takes readers on a journey into the heart of the real estate business, helping newcomers and experts alike to know the ins and outs of the industry and how to properly manage their investments in the book “Plug the Holes, Fill the Barrel: A Beginner’s Guide to Building Wealth with Real Estate”.


The Synopsis

Intended to be the go-to real estate textbook for novice and beginner investors, this quick-start guide teaches the ABCs of building wealth and financial freedom with real estate investing, while offering practical explanations, tips and real world examples that you won’t find elsewhere. Beyond simply providing a top-level guide of creating wealth and passive cash flow, this step-by-step playbook offers an in-depth look at every aspect of the investment process.

‘Plug the Holes, Fill the Barrel’ is the antidote to the drudgery of saving for 40 years only to wonder if those savings will last through retirement. The author, Jason Kogok, breaks down complex topics that may seem daunting to the beginner investor, from principle/interest payment strategies, to financing options, to effectively selecting the best investment properties in various markets. He answers common questions with practical guidance, like how to build a network when you’re just starting out, accurately forecast cash flow, leverage properties you already own to maximize future earning potential, and much more. He also delves into the less commonly discussed challenges specific to investing in rental properties, like effective property management techniques, red flags and must-haves of leases, and qualifying and managing your tenants in a way that creates efficiencies, reduces vacancy and increases cash flow.

Dripping with real world examples, this book demystifies ubiquitous investor “rules” and addresses common concerns like understanding market analysis, BRRRR strategy, real estate vocabulary terms and financing options and investing calculations. The text examines all styles of residential real estate investing, including single family and attached homes, and includes detailed explanations of . There is also quite a bit of explanation for various investment strategies, leverage, profit measurements and creative ideas that can teach you the way of the pros. The author also includes those often overlooked, but critical, often missed topics such as taxes, capital gains, depreciation, depreciation recapture and 1031 exchanges. The book discusses property management, leases, how to qualify and manage tenants in a way that creates efficiencies, reduces vacancy and increases cash flow. After finishing, readers should feel very comfortable on starting their own path to financial freedom, creating wealth with real estate investing and early retirement.

  • This is a real estate finance textbook for beginner to intermediate level investors.
  • One of the most comprehensive real estate books in 2022.
  • A real estate quick study guide for all.
  • Understand basics of real estate wealth hacking.
  • The perfect key for mastering your real estate career.
  • Create passive income from real estate wealth system.
  • Setting short & long term realistic real estate investment financial goals
  • Examining real estate properties for their investment viability
  • Running true complete cash flows with an easy to use formula for real estate rental properties
  • Portfolio analysis in its entirety and per asset
  • Examining depreciation, recapture & real estate taxes
  • Methods to reduce cash needed to invest
  • Leverage strategies
  • Real estate exit strategies
  • Examine supply & demand, inflation and interest rate
  • Financial terms, ratios and calculations such as Net Operating Income, Debt to Income ratios & Cap rates
  • Managing your tenants and creating efficiencies
  • Time management to create portfolios that run with limited time involved

A dense toolkit in an easy to read package that prepares you to immediately start building a portfolio of passive income with limitless potential.

The Review

This was a truly thoughtful and dynamic introduction to the world of real estate investment. The detailed and invigorating way the author speaks about the business and wealth side of real estate is so fascinating to read, as it gives a unique perspective that is not discussed often in a public forum. The author did a great job of covering a wide range of topics within this field, from the different ways in which to manage one’s investments to the types of properties to invest in and so much more.

What drew me into this book immediately was the author’s honesty and candor. The author’s own words make it clear that he is not a writer with a working knowledge of real estate, but instead a real estate expert who took a stab at writing to help others understand the field better. This honest approach to the writing style made the book come alive in the reader’s hands and felt like having an honest and open discussion with the author himself as the book carried on. Their experience as a teacher was felt as well, often coming through in the tone of the book as the lessons in real estate came to life on the page. 

The Verdict

Thought-provoking, enlightening, and passionate, author Jason M. Kogok’s “Plug the Holes, Fill the Barrel: A Beginner’s Guide to Building Wealth with Real Estate” is a must-read nonfiction book on business and real estate in particular. The precision and detail in which the author went into the business of real estate investment, and the author’s ability to transform these lessons in a way that the average reader and newcomer to the business could understand made the book an instant hit in my book. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10


About the Author

Jason started his real estate career over two decades ago as a real estate sales broker and since then has grown his real estate team to the top ranks in North Carolina. He also manages his own real estate portfolio and has had tremendous success with building his rental portfolio, along with ‘fix and flip’ properties along the way.

In addition to real estate, Jason has a passion for teaching, so he combined his extensive real estate and investing knowledge to pursue another chapter in his career. Jason teaches and coaches real estate brokers, novice & intermediate investors, as well as works alongside large individual investors to help scale their portfolios.

Jason lives with his family in Raleigh, NC.