Tag Archives: western

Vendetta (The Mimosa Tales Book Four) by Linda Thackeray Review

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

A local lawman hoping to put his past behind him finds that past coming back with a vicious campaign of terror in author Linda Thackeray’s “Vendetta”, the fourth book in the Mimosa Tales series.

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The Synopsis

Decades ago, Marshal Kris Jensen brought a man to justice.

Now his past is threatening everyone he holds dear…

Determined to put the tragedies of his life behind him, Kris Jensen tentatively courts community leader Holly Davis in the hopes of settling down. For Kris, Holly is the promise of a settled, peaceful life – something he now very much wants.

But when a hail of bullets unleashed in the night begins a campaign of terror that threatens Kris’s hopes for the future and the lives of everyone around him. As his friends reel from a reputation-damning scandal to a near-fatal shooting and vicious assault, Kris desperately tries to find his secret enemy before everything he loves is taken away.

Can Kris protect his loved ones and lay the tortured ghosts of his past to rest?

The Review

This was definitely the author’s most personal journey yet for the cast of characters. The rich environment and setting the author builds up in this novel and the imagery the writing deploys really bring the town of Mimosa and the surrounding area to life in a wonderful way. The captivating mystery surrounding Kris as a character and what his past truly was has been something hinted at throughout the series, but this book pays off all of the reader’s waiting as twists and turns of his story finally start to reveal themselves.

It was the characters that really drove this narrative home. The genius way in which the author not only delved into Kris’s past but his present, from the loss of his family and the enemies he made during one mission, to the love he found in this new home he helped build made the story shine so brightly. Alex was a welcome addition to the team, as the themes of feminism and social identities were explored with her arrival into town, and she added strength made for some great new character developments for others in the cast.

The Verdict

Gripping, awe-inspiring, and engaging on a very personal level for the characters, author Linda Thackeray’s “Vendetta” is a must-read book and the perfect addition to the Mimosa Tales saga. The twists in this novel will have readers hooked, and the pacing was fast-paced enough to keep readers invested until the final page plays out. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Born in a village in Malaysia and delivered by underpaid midwife, and Ann, an irritable new mother (who wouldn’t be after 48 hours in labour?), X was named by a deranged grandmother with too much creativity for her own good. Once out of her pain-induced stupor, Ann decided to give her new daughter a proper middle name to avoid the risk of being put into a home later in life.

And so, she was called Linda.

Linda was an unremarkable child, save a few notable incidents, the discovery that a pot lid is not a substitute for Wonder Woman’s tiara (five stitches), four-year old don’t need to shave (no stitches but lots of toilet paper) and utility truck drivers are not necessarily qualified operators of their vehicles (seventy stitches).

At eight, Linda received religious enlightenment when she saw Star Wars at the Odeon Theatre and hence began her writing career.

For many years, the cages of various pets in the Thackeray household were littered with pages from Linda’s scribblings. Subjects usually ranged from whatever science fiction show was on television or at the movies. There was lots of Star Wars.

At 17, Linda moved to Sydney, Australia and was disappointed it was not occupied by Paul Hogan types with big knives and croc skin jackets but pot-bellied blokes with zinc cream and terry towel hats. Linda’s father (also known as that bloke who buys me stuff to piss mum off when she’s mad at him) settled in the town of Young, a community of 6000 people with no movie theatre.

Linda survived this period in the wilderness by raising kangaroos and writing original works but eventually got saddled down with the necessities of life and though she continued to write, work came first. Work, HBO, comic books and rent. It’s a kaleidoscope.

Even the kangaroos left out of boredom.

In 2014, Linda decided to start writing seriously again. Mostly because Australia’s strict gun laws make it very difficult to ‘go postal’ in the workplace. Moving to Woy Woy, which is Aboriginal for ‘Big Water’, she’s dipped her toes into the Indie pool and found she needs a pedicure. Her books are labours of love and championed by her friends on Facebook.

Eventually Creativia Publishers, appalled by Linda’s inability to conduct any marketing, offered to publish her books out of sheer exasperation.

Supported by two cats named Newt and Humphrey, she spends her days trying to write novels while having unclean thoughts about Michael Fassbender and Jason Statham, sometimes together.

https://lindathackeray.wixsite.com/authorsite?fbclid=IwAR0nXB5-qWWI2JRHUM7FxleTQGctra5DXOxDIN7qKCc7szzlSteutgTCKbY

Owl Canyon (The Mimosa Tales Book Three) by Linda Thackeray Review

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

A ragtag group of heroes finds themselves facing a terror that no one could have seen coming as something awakens deep inside of a series of caverns, with an insatiable hunger, in author Linda Thackeray’s “Owl Canyon”, the third book in The Mimosa Tales.

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The Synopsis

A lone survivor with a monstrous story to tell.

An enemy too monstrous to imagine.

Kris Jensen is sure he has seen it all as a lawman and now as the Marshal of Mimosa. Outlaws, shootouts, stagecoach robberies, and a renegade army, none of it surprises him anymore. Until word reaches him about a convoy of missing homesteaders lost in the Organ Mountains.

Kris and his men are led to Owl Canyon, a place even the fearless Apache avoid. They find six-year-old Heather with a story capable of sending chills through them all. Something is lurking within the catacombs deep beneath the canyon, and it’s hungry.

Joining them to remind him of his grifter past is Adrian’s old friend Calvin Chance who may have an answer to the mystery.

The newest chapter of The Mimosa Tales takes Kris and his friends on their scariest adventure so far. Will they survive, or will they be devoured by the evil secret hidden within Owl Canyon?

The Review

This was a truly captivating and chilling entry into the Mimosa Tales saga. The author did a great job of maintaining the gritty nature of the old west genre while also delving deeper into more horror elements in this narrative. As a fan of mythology and horror, I know that the old west was and still is filled with untold legends and myths that both the Native Americans who once populated the area and settlers alike discovered centuries ago and the author really did an incredible job of capturing the essence of that atmosphere and tone.

I loved the author’s ability to craft memorable characters and highlight the culture and reality of life in the west in this era while also providing an entertaining narrative. The exploration of Kris and Flynn’s friendship in the wake of book 2’s events was engaging to read, and the exploration of cultural identity and how the consequences of a people’s actions could impact another group of people so painfully was richly explored in this narrative.

The Verdict

Haunting, captivating, and entertaining, author Linda Thackeray’s “Owl Canyon” is a must-read western and slightly horror novel in the Mimosa Tales series. The shocking twists and turns the narrative takes and the harsh realities of the Old West made this a truly memorable reading experience. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Born in a village in Malaysia and delivered by underpaid midwife, and Ann, an irritable new mother (who wouldn’t be after 48 hours in labour?), X was named by a deranged grandmother with too much creativity for her own good. Once out of her pain-induced stupor, Ann decided to give her new daughter a proper middle name to avoid the risk of being put into a home later in life.

And so, she was called Linda.

Linda was an unremarkable child, save a few notable incidents, the discovery that a pot lid is not a substitute for Wonder Woman’s tiara (five stitches), four-year old don’t need to shave (no stitches but lots of toilet paper) and utility truck drivers are not necessarily qualified operators of their vehicles (seventy stitches).

At eight, Linda received religious enlightenment when she saw Star Wars at the Odeon Theatre and hence began her writing career.

For many years, the cages of various pets in the Thackeray household were littered with pages from Linda’s scribblings. Subjects usually ranged from whatever science fiction show was on television or at the movies. There was lots of Star Wars.

At 17, Linda moved to Sydney, Australia and was disappointed it was not occupied by Paul Hogan types with big knives and croc skin jackets but pot-bellied blokes with zinc cream and terry towel hats. Linda’s father (also known as that bloke who buys me stuff to piss mum off when she’s mad at him) settled in the town of Young, a community of 6000 people with no movie theatre.

Linda survived this period in the wilderness by raising kangaroos and writing original works but eventually got saddled down with the necessities of life and though she continued to write, work came first. Work, HBO, comic books and rent. It’s a kaleidoscope.

Even the kangaroos left out of boredom.

In 2014, Linda decided to start writing seriously again. Mostly because Australia’s strict gun laws make it very difficult to ‘go postal’ in the workplace. Moving to Woy Woy, which is Aboriginal for ‘Big Water’, she’s dipped her toes into the Indie pool and found she needs a pedicure. Her books are labours of love and championed by her friends on Facebook.

Eventually Creativia Publishers, appalled by Linda’s inability to conduct any marketing, offered to publish her books out of sheer exasperation.

Supported by two cats named Newt and Humphrey, she spends her days trying to write novels while having unclean thoughts about Michael Fassbender and Jason Statham, sometimes together.

https://lindathackeray.wixsite.com/authorsite?fbclid=IwAR0nXB5-qWWI2JRHUM7FxleTQGctra5DXOxDIN7qKCc7szzlSteutgTCKbY

The Execution (The Mimosa Tales Book Two) by Linda Thackeray Review

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

A ruthless baron seeking vengeance for his nephew’s execution goes after an innocent woman, and the law bringers who brought his nephew to justice must fight to protect her in author Linda Thackeray’s “The Execution”, the second book in The Mimosa Tales series!

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The Synopsis

An innocent woman fearing for her life

A marshal trying to prevent her murder.

No one is safe when cattle baron William Cahill, enraged at the execution of his nephew Carlton, vows to take revenge on those responsible, especially Judge Evan Davis who delivered Carlton’s sentence. Judge Davis is going to suffer, and so is his widowed daughter-in-law, Holly.

Already foiled by Marshal Kris Jensen once before, this time Cahill finds sets into motion a wicked plan for vengeance..

Cahill wants his pound of flesh, and he wants anyone who stands in his way dead.

Can Kris and his men save Holly from her fate?

The Review

This was a brilliant follow-up to the author’s first book in the series. The author’s ability to capture the raw tension and gritty nature of the old west is without equal as this book shows. The author does a great job of following up on the world she crafted in her first book, taking readers into the town of Mimosa as it now begins to adjust to having some law and order thanks to Kris and his band of heroes. The harrowing journey the narrative takes the cast of characters on is so much more personal this time around, bringing new threats both on the outside and from within into the group.

The character growth highlighted this personal danger in the novel. The threat to Holly helped elevate the personal growth of Kris and Holly as characters, showing their chemistry and strength both on their own and together. The personal journey of Flynn was also deeply emotional, as he found love in his life and discovered a threat that threatened to undo him. The tension that built as a result of this threat amongst the group really did a great job of adding tension to the overall narrative.

The Verdict

Heartfelt, shocking, and heart-pounding, author Linda Thackeray’s “The Execution” is a brilliant action western and the perfect addition to The Mimosa Tales series. The brilliant storytelling and fast pace of action kept readers on the edge of their seats, and the personalization of the threat and the motivations of the villains of this tale made readers more emotionally connected to this novel and the characters. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Born in a village in Malaysia and delivered by underpaid midwife, and Ann, an irritable new mother (who wouldn’t be after 48 hours in labour?), X was named by a deranged grandmother with too much creativity for her own good. Once out of her pain-induced stupor, Ann decided to give her new daughter a proper middle name to avoid the risk of being put into a home later in life.

And so, she was called Linda.

Linda was an unremarkable child, save a few notable incidents, the discovery that a pot lid is not a substitute for Wonder Woman’s tiara (five stitches), four-year old don’t need to shave (no stitches but lots of toilet paper) and utility truck drivers are not necessarily qualified operators of their vehicles (seventy stitches).

At eight, Linda received religious enlightenment when she saw Star Wars at the Odeon Theatre and hence began her writing career.

For many years, the cages of various pets in the Thackeray household were littered with pages from Linda’s scribblings. Subjects usually ranged from whatever science fiction show was on television or at the movies. There was lots of Star Wars.

At 17, Linda moved to Sydney, Australia and was disappointed it was not occupied by Paul Hogan types with big knives and croc skin jackets but pot-bellied blokes with zinc cream and terry towel hats. Linda’s father (also known as that bloke who buys me stuff to piss mum off when she’s mad at him) settled in the town of Young, a community of 6000 people with no movie theatre.

Linda survived this period in the wilderness by raising kangaroos and writing original works but eventually got saddled down with the necessities of life and though she continued to write, work came first. Work, HBO, comic books and rent. It’s a kaleidoscope.

Even the kangaroos left out of boredom.

In 2014, Linda decided to start writing seriously again. Mostly because Australia’s strict gun laws make it very difficult to ‘go postal’ in the workplace. Moving to Woy Woy, which is Aboriginal for ‘Big Water’, she’s dipped her toes into the Indie pool and found she needs a pedicure. Her books are labours of love and championed by her friends on Facebook.

Eventually Creativia Publishers, appalled by Linda’s inability to conduct any marketing, offered to publish her books out of sheer exasperation.

Supported by two cats named Newt and Humphrey, she spends her days trying to write novels while having unclean thoughts about Michael Fassbender and Jason Statham, sometimes together.

https://lindathackeray.wixsite.com/authorsite?fbclid=IwAR0nXB5-qWWI2JRHUM7FxleTQGctra5DXOxDIN7qKCc7szzlSteutgTCKbY

The Siege (The Mimosa Tales Book One) by Linda Thackeray Review

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

A Marshall looking for a night of rest and relaxation finds himself forced to save a town from a band of roving renegades by rallying a ragtag group of fighters in author Linda Thackeray’s “The Siege”, the first book in the Mimosa Tales series.

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The Synopsis

The desert winds brought the marshal to town.

He rode out of the wilderness, his duster flapping like black wings, his hat concealing his face except for the scraggly growth across his chin. A pearl-handled Colt rested in the holster at his hip, and he seemed more shadow than man in his black clothes. Like all great things signaling a shift in the world, he arrived unnoticed by anyone, barely visible through the dust storm.

Kris Jensen only wanted a drink and a night with an accomodating saloon girl, but fate has much more in store for him when a renegade army set its sights on the town of Mimosa. Their purpose? To drive out the settlers and townsfolk from land coveted by a secret enemy.

With the help of wanted fugitive Flynn Brenner, old friend Jack Fenwick and a suicidal conman, Adrian Sharpe, Kris must rally the people of Mimosa to fight for their very existence before it’s too late.


Can Kris and his friends save Mimosa from the forces rallying against it? Find out in the first installment of this thrilling new series, The Mimosa Tales!

The Review

I loved the author’s atmosphere and setting to life in this story. The gritty world of Mimosa was so visceral and the use of imagery in the author’s writing really made this town feel alive on the page. The story itself was action-packed and did an incredible job of making the characters and the setting feels alive and realistic, allowing readers to connect to the story more closely. 

The rich tapestry of characters that made up this novel was just outstanding to behold on the page. In such a quick and fast-paced read, the author did an amazing job of crafting some brutal and at times emotional backstories for these characters, while also showing the common ground and camaraderie that builds between them when faced with a common threat. Mix in some history and atmosphere that highlights the era of the story, and these characters simply jump off the page. 

The Verdict

Captivating, exhilarating, and entertaining, author Linda Thackeray’s “The Siege” is a must-read Action-Western and somewhat romantic novel of 2022. A brilliant way to start off the Mimosa Tales saga, the characters were so complex yet relatable, and the setting made the story feel like an emotional ride through history that the reader just couldn’t put down. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Born in a village in Malaysia and delivered by underpaid midwife, and Ann, an irritable new mother (who wouldn’t be after 48 hours in labour?), X was named by a deranged grandmother with too much creativity for her own good. Once out of her pain-induced stupor, Ann decided to give her new daughter a proper middle name to avoid the risk of being put into a home later in life.

And so, she was called Linda.

Linda was an unremarkable child, save a few notable incidents, the discovery that a pot lid is not a substitute for Wonder Woman’s tiara (five stitches), four-year old don’t need to shave (no stitches but lots of toilet paper) and utility truck drivers are not necessarily qualified operators of their vehicles (seventy stitches).

At eight, Linda received religious enlightenment when she saw Star Wars at the Odeon Theatre and hence began her writing career.

For many years, the cages of various pets in the Thackeray household were littered with pages from Linda’s scribblings. Subjects usually ranged from whatever science fiction show was on television or at the movies. There was lots of Star Wars.

At 17, Linda moved to Sydney, Australia and was disappointed it was not occupied by Paul Hogan types with big knives and croc skin jackets but pot-bellied blokes with zinc cream and terry towel hats. Linda’s father (also known as that bloke who buys me stuff to piss mum off when she’s mad at him) settled in the town of Young, a community of 6000 people with no movie theatre.

Linda survived this period in the wilderness by raising kangaroos and writing original works but eventually got saddled down with the necessities of life and though she continued to write, work came first. Work, HBO, comic books and rent. It’s a kaleidoscope.

Even the kangaroos left out of boredom.

In 2014, Linda decided to start writing seriously again. Mostly because Australia’s strict gun laws make it very difficult to ‘go postal’ in the workplace. Moving to Woy Woy, which is Aboriginal for ‘Big Water’, she’s dipped her toes into the Indie pool and found she needs a pedicure. Her books are labours of love and championed by her friends on Facebook.

Eventually Creativia Publishers, appalled by Linda’s inability to conduct any marketing, offered to publish her books out of sheer exasperation.

Supported by two cats named Newt and Humphrey, she spends her days trying to write novels while having unclean thoughts about Michael Fassbender and Jason Statham, sometimes together.

https://lindathackeray.wixsite.com/authorsite?fbclid=IwAR0nXB5-qWWI2JRHUM7FxleTQGctra5DXOxDIN7qKCc7szzlSteutgTCKbY

Jefferson’s Chance by Jim Christina Review

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

A young man who lost his leg as a chid gets a second chance at his dream of becoming a Texas Ranger when he receives a new artificial leg. However after taking an assignment to track down two killers, the Ranger finds himself facing a band of marauding Comanche Warriors in author Jim Christina’s epic western, “Jefferson’s Chance”. 

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The Synopsis

Severely limited by the loss of a leg at ten years old, Jefferson Greely’s dream is to become Texas Ranger yet is stopped because of his missing leg. Enlisting the assistance of Thomas Griffith, Jefferson gets another chance after Griffith designs a new leg, one capable of acting like a normal leg. After proving his worth, Jefferson is sworn into the rangers and assigned to track down two killers. Accompanied by a legendary ex-ranger, Caleb Stringfeld, Jefferson and Caleb find the two outlaws but find much more waiting around the corner in the guise of a marauding band of Comanche warriors led by a war chief named Mukwooru. Staying the Ranger’s code, Jefferson and Caleb track the Comanches to an epic stand of bravery, perseverance and a willingness to die for what they believe. 

The Review

Atmosphere plays a heavy role in this narrative early on. Immediately readers are taken into the old west era, living wild on the Texas frontier. The characters’ interactions with one another and the author’s writing really brought the setting to life beautifully, capturing the essence and tone of the era for which the entire genre and this novel hinders. 

The author really captured the raw and dangerous nature of the times in that era perfectly, as well as the grueling nature of life on the frontier. However what really stood out was the classic show of heroism from protagonist Jefferson and ex-Ranger Caleb, both of whom made their stand against unbelievable odds to save innocent children from a dangerous situation. The action and dialogue felt like watching a classic spaghetti western, making the entire novel feel very visual in its delivery.

The Verdict

An action-packed, entertaining, and heartfelt story of heroism and survival, author Jim Christina’s “Jefferson’s Chance” is a must-read western. Not only did the author perfectly bring this era of time to life, but the theme of overcoming great odds to realize one’s dreams and putting our lives on the line for the innocent really made this a remarkable western to read. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jim Christina was born into an Air Force Family in 1949. Living all over the world before finally landing in Del Mar, California.

A musician, historian, writer, poet, playwright…all things describing Jim Christina. A graduate of San Dieguito High School in Encinitas, Ca, and Old Reliable University in Washington State, Jim spent almost ten years in the US Army before joining his father in the family’s paint business.

While managing a territory in Washington and Oregon, Jim began composing music and writing the lyrics. Forming a band in Tacoma, Washington, “Sundown”, Jim’s music and the melody of Sundown played up and down the state before Jim moved to California.

For years a character had been rolling around in his mind and in 2008,, the character became the Hunter and the series was born. They are stories of an aging man hunter and his protege’ in Arizona in the last half of the nineteenth century.

The stories are gritty, raw and accurate in their depiction of the lives and times of the main characters. “If you are looking for Louis Lamour, you won’t find him here.” If you are looking for a walloping good story, turn the pages and start reading. 

And, listen in every Thursday evening at 6 PM pacific time for “The Writer’s Block” on www.latalkradio.com/content/writers-block for fun and conversation with writers on live radio!  We are so much more than a podcast…we go out to over 600,000 listeners every week.

http://www.jimchristina.net/

https://www.facebook.com/Jim-Christina-1836001096440223/

Can’t Ride Around It (Deadwood Undertaker Series Book 3) by Ann Charles and Sam Lucky

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

The Santa Fe Sidewinders come back together again to face a powerful new threat to the town of Deadwood after a series of grave robberies and missing bodies lead to a startling discovery in authors Ann Charles and Samy Lucky’s “Can’t Ride Around It”, the third book in the Deadwood Undertaker Series.

The Synopsis

Some things you just can’t ride around …

Jack “Rabbit” Fields knew a good thing when he saw it, whether it was a sound horse, a sure bet, or a pretty sage hen. When it came to locking horns with any curly wolves he ran into along the trail, he tended to shoot first—a notion that had saved his hide more times than he could count. But that was before he came to Deadwood.

Now, someone is stealing freshly dead bodies right out of their graves, and Rabbit and his amigos are on the hunt to figure out who. And more important, why?

Unfortunately, finding the answers to those questions will take plenty of Rabbit’s bullets, and maybe his blood, too. When the shooting stops and the smoke clears, he reckons there will be a whole lot more cold corpses in the Black Hills. With any luck, he won’t be one of them.

Hold onto your hats and saddle up for another action-filled adventure with the Santa Fe Sidewinders, Clementine, Hank, and the rest of the goldurn Deadwood devils!

The Review

A truly fantastic blend of supernatural horror and old school Western/action & adventure storytelling! Authors Ann Charles and Sam Lucky have crafted a masterpiece western tale like no other, as longtime fans of the series get to see the characters grow and adapt to even greater threats, and even have some romance thrown into the mix for good measure.

Although I had not read the first two books in the series, I found it quite easy as a new reader to get sucked into the story and to find myself invested in these characters and their stories. Character development plays a huge role in this series, and I found myself drawn to the adventures shown with Clementine and Boone, who’s relationship is as interesting as the story itself. The deep cut into supernatural mythology was great as well, introducing a monstrous threat to the area that is not quite as well known as saying vampires or werewolves, but the authors still manage this paranormal aspect with ease as the novel still embodies that classic action/western feel and tone, crafting incredible imagery throughout the novel.

The Verdict

A heart-pounding, engaging, and evenly-paced read, authors Ann Charles and Sam Lucky’s “Can’t Ride Around It” is a fantastic entry into the western series the authors have crafted together. With non-stop action and amazing character development throughout the novel, then the humorous and adventurous novel is a must-read this holiday season. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

About the Authors

Ann Charles is an award-winning author whowrites mysteries that are splashed with humor, romance, and whatever else shefeels like throwing into the mix. When she is not dabbling in fiction, arm-wrestlingwith her children, attempting to seduce her husband, or arguing with her sassycat, she is daydreaming of lounging poolside at a fancy resort with a blendedmargarita in one hand and a great book in the other.

http://anncharles.com/

https://www.facebook.com/AnnCharlesAuthorPage/

https://www.instagram.com/Ann_Charles/

https://twitter.com/AnnWCharles

Sam Lucky likes to build things—from Jeep engines to Old West buildings to fun stories. When he is not writing, feeding his kids, attempting to seduce his wife, or tending the goldurn cats, he is planning food-based booksigning/road trips with his wife and working on one of his many home-improvement projects.

He writes the Deadwood Undertaker Series with Ann Charles. The first book is called LIFE AT THE COFFIN JOINT, available now.

The second book, A LONG WAY FROM ORDINARY, will be available this summer.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08K5XJYCT?ref_=dbs_m_mng_rwt_calw_tkin_2&storeType=ebooks

Interview with Author Vali Benson

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I grew up in the Midwest, an imaginative but rather solitary child and from the time I could write, I did. Much of it was nonsense but I didn’t care. Later I wrote stories and articles. After college, life happened (as it tends to do). It was years, after early retirement, that I picked it up again. I do it because I love it and because it seems a shame to keep all the crazy characters running around my head to myself.    

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2) What inspired you to write your book?

My new book, “Blood and Silver”, was inspired by my many visits to Tombstone, AZ. We live less than an hour away and I became increasingly curious about what was now a town of thirteen hundred people. In 1884, Tombstone was a roaring metropolis and was the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco.  

3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

I hope my readers realize that you often have to ask for help to receive it. Also, that many issues which affect society presently are not new ones. Racism, for example, was a problem in the 1880s as it has been for thousands of years and continues to this day. 

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

I am fascinated with history; from fiction, to non-fiction, to textbooks, to mythology. History is the world’s greatest teacher and it creates a perfect launch point for a writer’s imagination.  

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5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

If I could sit down with any character in my book, “Blood and Silver”, it would be China Mary. I would love to hear about her life in her own words. But China Mary was an actual person so as far as a fictional character, I would like to talk to Mai and find out what she thinks of her new friends and their crazy western ways. 

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

I would say that Facebook has been the most helpful in developing my readership because it allows me to reach a specific demographic. It also allows me to cast a wide net to people who are strictly interested in the written word. 

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

My advice to anyone who wants to write a book is to ask yourself if you have a passion for writing. If you do, sit down and write, write, write! There is no magic formula. You have to just have to do it. You have to determine where you want to take your reader and put words on the page until you arrive at your destination. 

8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I have two more books in pre production right now, but first I am planning a sequel to “Blood and Silver” for my many fans who love the book.  

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About the Author

Vali grew up in the Midwest. She now lives in Tucson with her husband, two sons and grandchildren.After graduating from the University of Illinois, Vali started and sold two successful businesses before she decided to pursue her real passion of writing. She published several articles in a variety of periodicals, including History Magazine before she decided to try her hand at fiction.
In April of 2020, Vali published her first novel, “Blood and Silver”. That same month, she was also made a member of the Western Writers of America.

Links:
Website:http://valibenson.com/
Amazon:https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Silver-Vali-Benson-ebook/dp/B086R4RBF3

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/RealValiBenson/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Twitter:https://twitter.com/BensonVali
@BensonVali

Blood and Silver by Vali Benson Review

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

A young girl must find a way to save her mother from a nefarious Madame in the town of Tombstone in author Vali Benson’s “Blood and Silver”. 

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The Synopsis

What is a twelve year old girl to do when she finds herself in the silver boom town of Tombstone, Arizona, in 1880, and her only home is a brothel and her only parent is a drug-addicted mother? If she is Carissa Beaumont, she outsmarts the evil madam and figures a way out.

After tricking the madam, Miss Lucille, into summoning a doctor for her mother, Lisette, she discovers that Miss Lucille has been drugging her. She and the kind doctor make a plan to try to save Lisette by dosing her down on the drug.

Doctor Henderson tells Carissa that the only source for the drug is a Chinese immigrant named China Mary, who lives in Hoptown, at the other end of Tombstone. Carissa has no choice but to go to the powerful woman for help. Many say that China Mary is the one who really controls Tombstone.

China Mary admires Carissa’s brave spirit, and uses her influence to get her a job at the new Grand Hotel, which will free Carissa from her many duties at Miss Lucille’s. She will work along with Mary’s twelve year old niece, Mai-Lin. The two girls become fast friends.

Then, disaster strikes, and the two girls must work together to stay alive.

With a host of colorful characters and meticulous attention to period detail, Blood and Silver is a story of the best and worst of human nature, the passion for survival and the beauty of true friendship.

The Review

This was a fast-paced, intricate character study and intense YA historical read. The author does a great job of focusing on character development within the narrative, and the historical nature of the novel was very well researched and integrated naturally into the book as well. 

The story takes off immediately from the very first pages, with a murder leading to Carissa’s discovery of her mother’s condition and the lengths Miss Lucille will go to secure her business. The young woman risks it all to save those closest to her, and historical fiction and YA fans will love the intricate way the setting plays into the character’s arc and the narrative overall. 

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The Verdict

A must-read novel, author Vali Benson’s “Blood and Silver” is a truly one-of-a-kind read. The historical fiction YA adventure is filled with a gritty Western theme and does a great job of giving a voice to people who are usually relegated to background characters in the typical Western novel, making this a wonderful read. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Vali grew up in the Midwest. She now lives in Tucson with her husband, two sons and grandchildren.

After graduating from the University of Illinois, Vali started and sold two successful businesses before she decided to pursue her real passion of writing. She published several articles in a variety of periodicals, including History Magazine before she decided to try her hand at fiction.

In April of 2020, Vali published her first novel, “Blood and Silver”. That same month, she was also made a member of the Western Writers of America.

Website:

Amazon:

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/53167218-blood-and-silver

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/RealValiBenson/?modal=admin_todo_tour

The Faithful (#2) – A Mimosa Tales Adventure by Linda Thackeray Review

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

The folks of Mimosa must endure a harrowing journey as they face a shocking enemy in an attempt to save lives in author Linda Thackeray’s “The Faithful”, the second novel in the Mimosa Tales Adventure series. 

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The Synopsis 

“Well, she’s the greatest pig alive. About a month ago, she saved my wife and kids and me from our burning house by waking us up in the middle of the night just in time to escape without any harm! She’s like one of the family. A couple of weeks ago, our youngest fell into the river, and the pig dang fished him out just in time to save him from drowning! She’s one of a kind.”

“Okay,” the travelling salesman accepted the accomplishment of this particular porcine but hadn’t had his question answered. “But that don’t explain what happened to her legs?”

“Well now,” the farmer declared. “When you got a pig that great, you don’t eat her all at once.”

These are the words ringing in Marshal Kris Jensens’s mind when he and the lawmen of Mimosa, led by Winn Tuner follow the trail of missing homesteaders, thought to be lost deep in Apache Country. Driven to the ominous Owl Valley where not even the Apache dare walk, they discover the homesteaders may have met a fate worse than death by a monstrous evil festering within its deepest reaches.

Now it’s up to Kris and his men to reach civilisation and warn everyone, that what lies in Owl Canyon has been there for almost 300 years and is hungry…

The Review

A grittier tale that ups the ante of the first novel, author Linda Thackeray has crafted a shocking tale that blends history, horror, and the old west into unique narrative readers will instantly fall in love with. The story puts sheriff Kris Jensen and his allies in the clutches of a dangerous threat, one that defies human morality in ways none of the characters thought possible. 

The author does an outstanding job of using the narrative and story to highlight the cultural differences between so many different civilizations, and how savagery exists on all sides, as well as empathy. The conquests made by Europeans is felt deeply as the results of their conquest is felt in what befell a specific group of people fleeing their bloody invasion, and what those events drove them to become. 

The novel’s greatest strength comes in the character development, especially between Kris and Winn, who have endured a rift in their friendship since the events of the first novel. The chemistry and pain between them are put to the test when faced with the unspeakable horrors waiting for them on this rescue mission. 

The Verdict

A must-read novel, this is a fantastic sequel to an addicting Old West-style novel series. A fast-paced, engaging and one of a kind read, author Linda Thackeray’s “The Faithful” is a powerful follow-up narrative and heightens the character’s growth overall moving forward. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Born in a village in Malaysia and delivered by underpaid midwife, and Ann, an irritable new mother (who wouldn’t be after 48 hours in labour?), X was named by a deranged grandmother with too much creativity for her own good. Once out of her pain-induced stupor, Ann decided to give her new daughter a proper middle name to avoid the risk of being put into a home later in life.

And so, she was called Linda.

Linda was an unremarkable child, save a few notable incidents, the discovery that a pot lid is not a substitute for Wonder Woman’s tiara (five stitches), four-year old don’t need to shave (no stitches but lots of toilet paper) and utility truck drivers are not necessarily qualified operators of their vehicles (seventy stitches).

At eight, Linda received religious enlightenment when she saw Star Wars at the Odeon Theatre and hence began her writing career.

For many years, the cages of various pets in the Thackeray household were littered with pages from Linda’s scribblings. Subjects usually ranged from whatever science fiction show was on television or at the movies. There was lots of Star Wars.

At 17, Linda moved to Sydney, Australia and was disappointed it was not occupied by Paul Hogan types with big knives and croc skin jackets but pot-bellied blokes with zinc cream and terry towel hats. Linda’s father (also known as that bloke who buys me stuff to piss mum off when she’s mad at him) settled in the town of Young, a community of 6000 people with no movie theatre.

Linda survived this period in the wilderness by raising kangaroos and writing original works but eventually got saddled down with the necessities of life and though she continued to write, work came first. Work, HBO, comic books and rent. It’s a kaleidoscope.

Even the kangaroos left out of boredom.

In 2014, Linda decided to start writing seriously again. Mostly because Australia’s strict gun laws make it very difficult to ‘go postal’ in the workplace. Moving to Woy Woy, which is Aboriginal for ‘Big Water’, she’s dipped her toes into the Indie pool and found she needs a pedicure. Her books are labours of love and championed by her friends on Facebook.

Eventually Creativia Publishers, appalled by Linda’s inability to conduct any marketing, offered to publish her books out of sheer exasperation.

Supported by two cats named Newt and Humphrey, she spends her days trying to write novels while having unclean thoughts about Michael Fassbender and Jason Statham, sometimes together.

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0867RKWG5/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0
Author Site: https://lindathackeray.wixsite.com/authorsite