Clarissa’s Warning by Isobel Blackthorn

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

A woman’s good fortunes turn dire when her dreams of owning and restoring old ruins leads to a dangerous situation in author Isobel Blackthorn’s “Clarissa’s Warning”. Here is the synopsis.

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The Synopsis

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A lottery jackpot changes Claire Bennett’s life.

She buys an ancient stone ruin on the island of her dreams. Her mystic aunt Clarissa warns her of danger, but Claire pays no heed.

Soon after moving to the idyllic island, Claire is confronted by a mystery. As the sinister story of her home slowly uncovers, Claire enters a world of inexplicable events and ordeals. Someone or something doesn’t want her there.

But is it really a curse, or is there something else behind the events?

The Review

This was the kind of classic slow burn horror story that defines the horror/thriller genre. What starts out as a mission to fulfill a dream turns into a nightmare when Claire must struggle with the distrust of the locals, tales of an ancient curse and mysterious happenings that defy logic. The story flourished under the hopeful eyes of protagonist Claire. Peeling back the layers of this well rounded character, readers will love seeing the complex relationships with her parents, her close knit bond with her aunt Clarissa, the strength of taking a leap of faith and going after her dreams, and the struggle to merge her logical, scientific mind with the supernatural/curse nature of her new home.

The setting really brought this story home however. The Canary Islands take the center stage in this tale, an inspiration from the author’s own travels and mission to bring ancient structures on these islands back to their former glory. Themes of conserving our past, pursuing our passions and bringing the truth to light all shine through in this truly incredible horror thriller. 

The Verdict

Overall I loved this tale. The novel soars as a classic story of love, passion and a promise to protect the places that hold our civilization’s history within it. With a heavy focus on character development with light doses of horror and thriller elements, this is a story readers will thoroughly enjoy. Be sure to preorder your copy of Isobel Blackthorn’s “Clarissa’s Warning” today.

Rating: 8/10

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About the Author

Isobel Blackthorn is a prolific Australian novelist of dark psychological thrillers, mysteries and contemporary fiction. On the dark side are Twerk, The Cabin Sessions and The Legacy of Old Gran Parks. On the lighter side are AsylumThe Drago Tree and A Perfect Square, and the short story collection All Because of You. Soon to be published are three more novels: A Matter of LatitudeClarissa’s Warning and The Unlikely Occultist: A biographical novel of Alice A. Bailey.

Isobel’s writing has appeared in journals and websites around the world, including Paranoia Magazine, Mused Literary Review, Backhand Stories, Fictive Dream and On Line Opinion.

Isobel’s interests are many and varied. A humanitarian and campaigner for social justice, in 1999 Isobel founded the internationally acclaimed Ghana Link, uniting two high schools, one a relatively privileged state school located in the heart of England, the other a materially impoverished school in a remote part of the Upper Volta region of Ghana, West Africa.

Isobel has a background in Western Esotericism and she’s a qualified Astrologer. She holds a PhD from the University of Western Sydney, for her research on the works of Theosophist Alice A. Bailey, the ‘Mother of the New Age.’ After working as a teacher, market trader, and PA to a literary agent, she arrived at writing in her forties, and her stories are as diverse and intriguing as her life has been.

Isobel performs her literary works at events in a range of settings, gives workshops in creative writing, and writes book reviews. Her reviews have appeared in Shiny New Books, Sisters in Crime, Australian Women Writers, Trip Fiction and Newtown Review of Books. She talks regularly about books and writing on radio, in Australia, and on occasion in the UK and USA and Canary Islands.

British by birth, Isobel entered this world in Farnborough, Kent, as Yvonne Margaret Grimble. She has since been Yvonne Rodgers, before changing her name completely in 1996 to Isobel Schofield. After a number of years as Isobel Wightman, she is now very happily and permanently Isobel Blackthorn. Isobel has lived in England, Australia, Spain and the Canary Islands. She now lives on Australia’s southern coast with her cat, Psyche.  You can find out more about her other achievements here.

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Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson Review

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

A man who thought his days of adventure were far behind him gets an unexpected visitor that changes everything in author David Myles Robinson’s Son of Saigon. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

Hank and Norm were living the good life: two friends with plenty of money, homes in a lovely California retirement town, and no problems–except for the boredom that felt almost fatal. Then Mai came into the picture, the love of Hank’s life during his CIA days in Saigon, desperately needing his help to save the son he’d never known he had. Boredom was over, as Hank and Norm hit the road, following the few clues Mai could give them in search of a man who desperately wants not to be found. What they find is a slew of lies and hidden truths, strange characters, improbable danger that has them fighting to survive, and the happy lesson that their lives are far from over.

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The Review

This was one of the more unique reads of 2018 for me personally. The author did a marvelous job of tackling so many important topics and themes in such a fast paced read. From racism, sexism and politics in modern day America, to the pain of becoming a widow, discovering a family you didn’t know you had and the lengths a parent will go to in order to protect their child, this novel had a bit of everything to drive these characters forward and give the reader something to think about on every page.

This novel had a healthy blend of modern political divides, U.S. History and action-fueled story plots that made this feel like a truly complex and layered story, and yet at it’s core it felt simple as well. In the end, between the random characters Hank meets in his journey with Norm, to the romantic entanglements of all these characters and the mysterious circumstances surrounding his son’s disappearance, the heart of this story revolves around a man who lost his guiding star, and instead found a new purpose in life that drove him to not only do the right thing, but seek out a family he never knew he needed. 

The Verdict

This is a must read novel for anyone who enjoys good espionage/action-fueled dramas, rich characters and a series of twists and turns that transform this story into something new and unique by book’s end. Full of love, loss and heart, this is the kind of story that readers from all walks of life will be able to identify with and fall in love with. Be sure to grab your copy of Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson today.

Rating: 10/10

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2r0yNBn

Perfect for holiday gifting – Buy Online, Pick-up at your local Barnes & Noble store within an Hour!

About the Author:  

 David Myles Robinson grew up in Pasadena, CA. He holds degrees from San Francisco State University and the University of San Francisco School of Law. After practicing law for thirty-eight years in Honolulu, Hawaii, he retired with his wife, former Honolulu judge Marcia Waldorf, to Taos, NM. Robinson is the author of three previous novels: legal thrillers Tropical Lies and Tropical Judgments, and Unplayable Lie, a golf-related suspense novel.


Find David Online:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/38825244-the-pinochet-plot

David Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/DMRobinsonWrite

David Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DavidMylesRobinson/

David Website: www.davidmylesrobinson.com

Be sure to check out the rest of David Myles Robinson’s blog tour for Son of Saigon, as well as his previous stops at these incredible websites. Special thanks to Women on Writing Blog Tours for including me in this event, as well as the author himself.

Blog Tour Dates

Monday, November 12th @ The Muffin

Author Interview & Giveaway

http://muffin.wow-womenonwriting.com/

Tuesday, November 13th @ Cathy Stucker’s Selling Books

Cathy Stucker interviews retired lawyer and successful author David Myles Robinson about his latest novel  Son of Saigon

https://www.sellingbooks.com/

Wednesday, November 14th @ Bring on Lemons with Crystal Otto

Crystal Otto shares her thoughts on the latest novel by David Myles Robinson – is it a lemon or sweet lemonade? Readers can’t wait to find out!

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, November 20th @ Coffee with Lacey

Lacey reviews Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson and shares her thoughts with readers at Coffee with Lacey. Don’t miss an opportunity to learn more about this page turning novel!

https://coffeewithlacey.wordpress.com/

Wednesday, November 21st @ Bring on Lemons with Cathy Hansen

Wisconsin educator, mother, and business owner Cathy Hansen collaborates with her teenage daughter as they review and discuss the latest novel by David Myles Robinson. See what these ladies have to say about Son of Saigon.

http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

Thursday, November 22nd @ Lisa Haselton

Lisa Haselton interviews David Myles Robinson about his latest work – Son of Saigon.

http://lisahaseltonsreviewsandinterviews.blogspot.com/

Friday, November 23rd @ Author Anthony Avina

Fellow author Anthony Avina pens his fascinating review of David Myles Robinson’s latest novel Son of Saigon.

http://www.authoranthonyavinablog.com

Tuesday, November 27th @ Beverley A. Baird

Beverley A Baird reviews Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson. Readers won’t want to miss an opportunity to learn more about this interesting novel.

https://beverleyabaird.wordpress.com/

Tuesday, December 4th @ World of My Imagination

Nicole Pyles delights readers at World of My Imagination as she reviews the latest page turner by David Myles Robinson. You won’t want to miss Nicole’s thoughts about Son of Saigon

https://theworldofmyimagination.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 5th  @ Bella Donna’s Books with Dawn Thomas

Dawn Thomas reads and reviews the latest novel by David Myles Robinson – stop by Bella Donna’s Books to learn more about Son of Saigon.

http://belladonnasbooks.com/

Thursday, December 6th  @ Choices with Madeline Sharples

Fellow author Madeline Sharples reviews Son of Saigon by David Myles Robinson. Don’t miss her thoughts about this latest novel.

http://madelinesharples.com/

Friday, December 7th @ To Write or Not to Write

Sreevarsha Sreejith reviews Son of Saigon .Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from Sreevarsha and visit To Write or Not to Write. 

http://sreevarshasreejith.blogspot.co.at/

Murder in the Heart of It All by Michael Prelee Review

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

An aspiring journalist finds himself in a dangerous game of cat and mouse with a disturbing individual in author Michael Prelee’s Murder in the Heart of It All. Here’s the synopsis:

Someone is angry in Hogan, Ohio.

Residents of the small town are plagued by vicious, anonymous letters. The personalized notes land in mailboxes with devastating effect, revealing secrets and deeds better kept unknown. Whoever the sender is, they know the town and the people who live there.

Reporter Tim Abernathy is assigned to the story and tasked with finding out who is sending the letters and why. The letter writer doesn’t want to be found, however, and will kill to keep his secret.

A cat-and-mouse game ensues between reporter and letter writer as the violence escalates, shocking the residents of Hogan. Can Tim discover who is terrorizing the town before becoming the next victim?

I absolutely loved this book. To me it felt like a commentary on the anonymous nature of those who the world has deemed “online trolls”. In a sense, it showcased the overwhelming harshness these individuals faced that made them this way, while also showcasing the painful ramifications these hurtful comments or in this case, “letters”, have on those receiving it.

The story itself was well developed, and the characters themselves were incredibly engaging. It was refreshing to see a change in the typical “journalist” character. Normally in stories involving journalists they are eager to get the story by any means necessary, often hurting the people involved in that story. However Tim was a thoughtful, kind hearted individual who worked not for his own gain, but for the good of his community. The story also showed how easy it is for people to go to such violent extremes, and how fear of discovery can turn a harmless troll into a violent madman.

In the end this was a thought provoking and engaging read. This thriller allowed us to analyze the anonymous nature of the internet through the lens of a small town setting. Substituting emails or comments for letters, this story showed the power words have in our society, and how we can step above and beyond the pain we endure to become better people. Everyone experiences pain of one kind or another. It’s how you handle that pain and move forward that defines you. If you haven’t yet be sure to pick up your copy of Michael Prelee’s Murder in the Heart of It All today!

Rating: 10/10

 www.michaelprelee.com

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