Book Review: Abney Kelly & the Yuletide Shenanigans by SamiJo McQuiston @SJMcQuiston @YABoundToursPR

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Title: Abney Kelly & the Yuletide Shenanigans
Series: Abney Kelly Series, Book 1
Author: SamiJo McQuiston
Publication Date: October 9, 2020
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Young Adult

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Purchase Links:
Barnes & Noble // Kobo // Amazon

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Abney Kelly & the Yuletide Shenanigans
Abney Kelly, Book 1
SamiJo McQuiston
SamiJo McQuiston. October 2020
ISBN 978-0578678283
Trade Paperback

From the author—

Abney Kelly seems like your typical thirteen-year-old trying to find her place in the world. She’s shy, awkward, has no friends, and is bullied constantly. However things are not always as they appear, after being pushed into a clover patch, a creature who says he’s her assigned guardian whisks her off to a school in Tìr na nÓg, called Yule.

Turns out she’s a Changeling, and it’s time she learns what that means. Between making new friends, discovering that all the monsters in her nightmares are real, and starting at a new school, Abney didn’t think life could get any harder as she splits her time between the human and Fae realms.

That is until her house matron warns them about Nicholas Kringle. He is stalking his prey throughout realms and collecting the hearts of those on his so-called nice list. At a New Year’s Eve party, Abney and her new gang use an Ouija board and discover that one of their friends is on Kringle’s list.

Determined to stop their friend’s death, Abney and company set off on a chilly adventure, to try to change fate, but only one thing is for certain… This year they’ll end up on the naughty list or die trying.

I’m not usually in the mood for Christmasy books in October but snarky humor always floats my boat and I got that vibe from the description. Also, everything else in this world of ours is kind of topsy-turvy these days so why not read a Christmas story before we even get to Thanksgiving, right?

As it turns out, there isn’t much humor here, snarky or otherwise, but I wasn’t really too far off of “proper” timing because this has a distinct feeling of Halloween. Abney is a girl who doesn’t always have an easy time of it—much worse, in fact, than most teens—but she plugs along until life suddenly takes a dramatic turn, thrusting her into a world of magic and wondrous beings, and she learns that she’s actually a Changeling with a whole ‘nother future ahead. First, though, she and her new friends hear the real legend of Santa aka Nicholas Kringle and it’s a very different tale indeed, full of dark mischief and destruction. Unfortunately for them, it’s more than just a fable and they’re going to have to do something about the evil Kringle.

Abney Kelly & the Yuletide Shenanigans is a complex story with much interweaving of mythology and fairy tales mixed with a good deal of horror and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Fair warning, though—this is not the charming Good Saint Nick story you’ll want to share with the little kids in your life 😱 😈

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An Excerpt from
Abney Kelly & the Yuletide Shenanigans

Chapter 6
The Story of Nicholas Kringle

A thick, stew-like fog encircled Oberon House. Th e Pucas were supposed to be taking them to see the enormous Christmas tree in the square, but there was no way to go out safely. If you stuck your hand into the mist, it disappeared before your eyes, and in general, had a strange-uneasy feel to it. Everyone was very content to stay in and help decorate the house Christmas tree in the Ocean Room.

The decorations were colorful and random; Agatha didn’t do themes for her tree like Abney’s family did, but it was still fun, and everyone chipped in. Blythe taught them to string popcorn, and Wilbur and Snozbert were taking colored glass beads and morphing them into
different shapes and figures by request. It was like watching master glassblowers at work, but they never heated the marbles. They were able to manipulate them with their bare hands.

“I love Christmas trees,” Abney said as she looked transfixed at the glowing masterpiece.

“It’s a Yule tree,” Feo said as she came in with a tray of sweet orange tea and began pouring cups.

“Is there a difference?” Abney asked curiously.

“Oh, most definitely. Christmas trees are a pagan tradition you know, taught to Fleetlings by the Fae,” Feo said carefully. “Anyway, the most important difference is that a Yule tree is always a live tree. Fleetlings use fake trees and all sorts of nonsense these days. They’ve forgotten the traditions of old, but a Yule tree must be alive.”

“I think it’s time for a story,” Agatha said from her armchair by the fire. She took a deep drag from her hookah pipe through the black hole in her neck. “Come closer, sugars, closer,” she bid them, and they all sat on the floor near her feet. “You are all aware of the legend of The Santa Claus?”

“Everyone knows that one,” Zoey replied.

“Ya, ya,” Domino agreed. “The dude who knows if you’re naughty or nice. We all know how it goes.” Abney wasn’t sure why but she suddenly
felt edgy, and goosebumps rose on her arms.

“That’s the one, honey,” Agatha agreed. “I suppose you know him as a fat, jolly, man who passes out gifts?”

“Every December the 25th,” Domino smiled.

“That’s the version known to most Fleetlings,” Agatha continued.

“But I’m going to tell you the real story. Heed my words. They are much more paramount now than they have been in many years.” The teenagers and Pucas moved closer to the fire, unconsciously wanting to chase away the dark and its accompanying shadows.

“This story starts out as all good tales do. Once upon a time, in a faraway land, there lived a lonely king. Not just any king though, The Winter King, Jack Frost, himself. Blythe, a little help please?” Agatha breathed out. Blythe whispered a few words and blew them into Agatha’s smoke. A sad man appeared in the escaping vapor, and the story took to life as Agatha started to speak again, “He longed for a child to love and fill his days with joy, but no maid could carry the child of the frozen monarch. Frustrated and grief-stricken, he sought out the great witch, Baba Yaga.

“‘Grandmother,’ he begged. ‘I am alone and childless. Is there anything you can do to help me? Is there a way for me to have a child?’ Baba Yaga thought for a moment, looked deep into his heart, and knew he was sincere. She decided to help The Winter King, but he must bring her three things: Snow, from the coldest peak, coal from the deepest mine, and a feather from the brightest Phoenix.

“So The Winter King scoured the Earth until he had everything the witch had asked for. First, Baba Yaga took the snow and patted it into the shape of a girl, then she picked up the coal and wrapped the phoenix feather around it, the coal ignited melting the feather into it. Finally, she
forced the coal into the snow girl where her heart would have been. The winds picked up and whirled violently around them, but The Winter King and Baba Yaga stood fast, and when the snow settled again, a small pale girl stood before them. Her skin was blue, like a frozen glacier, and her hair white as snow, with a hint of the Northern Lights about it. The King loved her instantly, but as he reached for her, Baba Yaga stepped between them.

“‘Nothing is free, Winter King,’ she said. ‘A time will come when I will ask you for a favor, and you must agree to do as I ask.’ The King, being so close to his heart’s desire could do nothing but agree. Baba Yaga released the girl to him with a warning.

“‘She is snow and ice, but her heart is fire. She must never lose control of her emotions. You must teach her to remain calm in even the worst of storms. If she loses control, your daughter will melt and return to the water from whence she came.’

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About the Author

SamiJo is a first-class shenanigator, decorated coddiwompler, narrator, and author of, The Abney Kelly series. She lives in Wyoming with her dog, two cats, and four chickens. She participates in tomfoolery frequently and plans to get into waggishness in the future. Vive La Pete!

Website: https://www.vivelapete.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/SJMcQuiston

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ViveLaPete/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/s.j.mcquiston/?hl=en

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Book Review: Camp Lenape by Timothy R. Baldwin @timothyrbaldwin @IndiesUnitedPub @AnAudiobookworm

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Author: Timothy R. Baldwin

Narrators: Brittany Goodwin, James David West

Length: 3 hours and 3 minutes

Series: A Kahale and Claude Mystery Series, Book 1

Publisher: Indies United Publishing House, LLC

Released: May 28, 2020

Genre: Mystery; YA

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It’s supposed to be a fun summer…then a girl goes missing.

When a girl goes missing, and none of the adults can give a straight answer, a childhood game suddenly turns into a real, secret mission.

Phone lines are down. Strange men roam the campgrounds. Financial documents indicate something’s amiss. And hidden security cameras point to a mysterious cottage in the woods.

With heightened suspicions, junior camp counselors Marcus and Alissa recruit their friends to help find the missing girl. In their search, the teens will learn to rely on each other, especially when they encounter a terrible and dangerous secret.

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Buy Links

Buy on Audible

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Tim grew up in Syracuse, New York. He currently resides in Maryland where he teaches English, Creative Writing, Film, and Theatre on the middle school level. At the insistence of his own students, he began writing seriously in 2014. He credits his love for story to his mother, who spent countless hours reading to him and his siblings when they were growing up. Growing up, he devoured the literary works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, Piers Anthony, and many others. Mysteries, thrillers, and fantasies are among the genres he most frequently reads. When he’s not writing, he’s reading, teaching, camping, or at a live music concert.

WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagram

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Narrator Bio

Brittany Goodwin is a Nashville-based director, screenwriter and actor know for her faith-based films “Secrets in the Snow”, “Secrets in the Fall”, “Be Still & Know” and “If You’re Gone”, a feature film based on Goodwin’s best-selling novel of the same name. Acting credits include the 2019 theatrical release “The Perfect Race”, as well as her ongoing work as a motion capture actor for Epic Games, and dozens of voiceover and narration credits.

Website

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Narrator Bio

James David West is an actor and producer, known for “Teraphobia” (2020), “The Reflections Project: Subsequent Rumination” (2018) and “God Country”.

Website

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Ahh, summer camp, days and nights full of sun, fun, learning new stuff, making new friends and catching up with old pals, arts & crafts, lots of water activities, squabbling over the top bunks, fighting off a gazillion bugs, sitting around the campfire singing songs and telling stories, coping with homesickness, getting a great tan, hiking through the woods, taking on chores…all in all, a terrific experience except for the obligatory moments of angst. One thing that generally is not part of summer camp is missing campers.

When junior counselor Alissa learns that one of her charges, Bri, has disappeared in the night, she and her co-counselor Marcus (Bri’s older brother) start looking for her and soon discover that the adults don’t seem to be taking this seriously. In fact, the teens believe that lies are being told and they draft a couple of friends, Nate and Janice, to help figure out what’s really going on. Before long, they’re faced with an ugly situation and some really bad guys but, most painful of all, betrayal of their trust.

These teens are dedicated to finding the missing child and, along the way, they learn much about themselves and their hidden strengths. Bringing their stories to life are narrators Brittany Goodwin and James David West whose characterizations are spot on. They also have a good sense of pacing and ramp up the tension when the tale calls for it. They and author Timothy R. Baldwin have crafted a reading/listening experience to be savored by middle graders on up.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, August 2020.

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Timothy R. Baldwin. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.

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Book Review: Smailholm by C.L. Williams @smailholmbook @matadorbooks @YABoundToursPR

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Title: Smailholm
Author: C.L. Williams
Publisher: Matador/Troubador
Publication Date: January 28, 2020
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

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Purchase Links:
Barnes & Noble // Amazon // Indiebound
Bookstagrammer //  Audible

“You see for many years a secret has been kept beneath
my family home—Smailholm Tower, the wild brambles hiding
a big secret of the smallest kind. It is a secret which only
I seem to have discovered—that of the miniature folk of
Smailholm. They say they were once the same size as I,
but they were shrunk by some other-worldly curse.”

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Smailholm
C.L. Williams
Matador/Troubador, January 2020
ISBN 978-1-83859-166-3
Trade Paperback

From the author—

Shh! Can you keep a secret? In wild medieval Britain thirteen-year-old Wynn Hoppringle has a big secret of the smallest kind. She has discovered a miniature village hidden close to her family home of Smailholm Tower. When tales of merciless border raiders reach the small folk, they realise they are in danger and must seek a cure to their strange predicament. Can Wynn help her tiny friends or will the scheming King quog have other ideas? Heroes it seems come in all sizes.

What a charming little tale this is! As is fitting with a fantasy set in old Britain, Scotland to be exact, we don’t ever entirely understand what’s going on in this land of wee folk but it’s an adventure, an immersion into the wild country that will eventually become polished and almost mundane.

Wynn is a curious, lively girl whose future is preordained by her position and her life changes when she encounters these tiny people who have been living under an old curse. They’re not the faeries we might expect but actually miniaturized people and they, and their village near Smailholm Tower, become an essential part of Wynn as she grows up. Other than her dog, Vargo, no one else knows about them and Wynn fears for their future and so sets out to find a cure for the curse..

One note—this is billed as medieval but the year that Wynn meets Jimmy is 1563, a hundred or so years after the commonly accepted end of the Medieval Era. This takes place during the Renaissance but it has a decidedly Middle Age feel and I chalk that up to the atmosphere of old Scotland. Regardless of this discrepancy and some inconsistencies in the author’s writing style, I recommend this to readers of any age who appreciate both history and whimsy.

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, January 2020.

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About the Author

Claire Williams lives in Cheshire with her husband and children Ava and Henry. She probably needs to consider Botox in the near future. She is proud to be called a ‘Clayhead’ – a person born in the Potteries (Stoke on Trent) and will always turn over a china cup to see where it is made. She is a tech geek and fantasy fan and will often be found snuggled in front of the TV watching a sci-fi or fantasy movie.

Author Links:
Website // Twitter // Facebook // Instagram

BOOK IS PUBLISHED BY TROUBADOR under its imprint MATADOR:
https://www.instagram.com/troubador_publishing/

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Book Reviews: Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater and War Spies by Daniel Polansky @mstiefvater @DanielPolansky @Scholastic

Call Down the Hawk
The Dreamer Trilogy, Book 1
Maggie Stiefvater
Scholastic Press, November 2019
ISBN 978-1338188325
Hardcover

There’s an inexplicable way that Ms. Stiefvater wields her words so that the reader is comforted by the cadence and speeds along the stripped-down, short statements that say so very much. If this book were a car, it’d be the 2020 Lotus. Call Down the Hawk doesn’t warm up, it’s already impatiently revving, mirroring the barely-held-back growl that vibrates inside of Ronan Lynch.

Yes, my fellow Raven Cycle fans, Ronan Lynch is back! And, we are in his world now. Beyond the barns.

Ms. Stiefvater, of course makes no time for traipsing down memory lane, but there’s no need. New readers won’t need the background of The Raven Cycle to thoroughly enjoy this story centered around the Lynch brothers. I will not be surprised however, if readers of this first tantalizing tale in the Dreamer Trilogy seek out Raven Cycle series while waiting for the second, simply Stiefvater, Dreamer Book.

Ronan Lynch is a Dreamer. But that isn’t what makes him so surly and somewhat terrifying. Those traits are mainly because he is always thinking. Working out complicated puzzles in his head means that any interruption, even as innocuous as a casual greeting, is enough to have him snarling.

Declan, the eldest Lynch sibling, exists in a severely serious state of being. His dogged determination to be boring infuriates Ronan, while Ronan’s recklessness gives Declan heartburn. But both brothers adore their younger brother Matthew. The elder siblings are viciously protective of the blissfully unaware boy, in his constant state of content.

Despite their differences, the brothers Lynch are going to have to find a way to work together. The recent loss of both parents has made the trio a target. Turns out, Dreamers aren’t quite as secret or unique as the boys had been led to believe. In fact, there is a group of people banded together for the sole purpose of finding and eliminating all of the Dreamers.

If the brothers Lynch are to survive the assault, they will have to finally be completely honest with each other. Facing the folks set out to obliterate Dreamers could be exponentially easier than unleashing the secrets each sibling has been desperately trying to keep.

Reviewed by jv poore, November 2019.

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War Spies: One Mission, Six Bios
Daniel Polansky
Scholastic Paperbacks, November 2013
ISBN 978-0-545-57655-0
Trade Paperback

Spies seem to have always been significant in warfare, serving not only to steal and share information, but often sabotaging plans as well. This non-fiction collection contains six scintillating, snap-shot bios of some of the most effective double-agents throughout history.

While this may have been written with Middle-Grade and Young Adult readers in mind, this Not-So-Young reader found it to be incredibly interesting and enlightening. I know many of “my” students will definitely dig it.

From the ‘original spymaster’ to the ‘limping lady’, fascinating facts fill the pages. I even re-read the section on the British spy agency’s first female operative. Although I knew a good bit about Belle Boyd, I was delighted to discover the first crime she committed: as a child, she taught a young slave to read.

War Spies is the 7th book in the Profiles series and I learned so much, so quickly that I’m going back for more.

Reviewed by jv poore, January 2019.

Book Review: Anything Could Happen by Will Walton

Anything Could Happen
Will Walton
Scholastic Press, June 2015
ISBN 978-0-545-70954-5
Hardcover

It’s not every book that can convincingly cast a character with such seemingly unrelated skills. A closet dance fiend who can also (albeit a bit dubiously) aid in delivering a calf. Tretch keeps these truths hidden, right along with another fact he hasn’t figured out how to share.

He appreciates the perks of life in a tiny town while acknowledging the total lack of privacy. Also absent, is the population to properly support a funky, refurbished theatre. So, no matter how cool the 1976 King Kong movie is, Matt and his dads will probably be moving to a city soon. The time to come clean is now. Or never.

And it’s here that I could tell you Anything Could Happen is about absolutely true friendship, the strength and support of family and crushing on the wrong kid. Accurate, yet incomplete. To me, it simply shows how sensitivity is a strength, not a weakness.

Tretch is wise beyond his years, in a unique—not unrealistic—way. His uncanny ability to set his own feelings aside to focus on a friend isn’t instinctive, making it all the more admirable. He is incredibly aware of others’ feelings and hasn’t shared particular pieces of himself solely for the purpose of protecting his friends and family.

“…the insults that somehow fly right past me, but I fear would peg each of them smack in the gut.”

Secrets don’t stay hidden forever and often, they are spilled at once. How they come out matters as much as addressing the information, once it’s laid bare. A lot of pressure for an adolescent and while Tretch may not initially handle it smoothly, once he allows himself to be honest, his sincerity is unquestionable.

This was fun, without being frivolous and is appropriate for the Middle-Grade reader, but (I think) appealing to all.

Oh, and now I know who Ellie Goulding is.

Reviewed by jv poore, May 2018.

Book Reviews: Sparrow by Sarah Moon and Young Man with Camera by Emil Sher

Sparrow
Sarah Moon
Arthur A. Levine Books, October 2017
ISBN 978-1-338-03258-1
Hardcover

I never imagined that anyone could capture, then convey the desperate isolation of an outsider-always-looking-in. Ms. Moon makes it so real that one evening while reading, my eyes were all leaky and my nose wouldn’t stop sniffling. My husband asked if it was the pollen or a really sad book. It was not the pollen.

Which is not to say that Sparrow is dreary or depressing. We just meet Sparrow at a tough time.

Accepting that she will never fit in with other students, staying under the radar of teachers and staff; Sparrow has developed her very own coping mechanism. It is a soul-soothing, secret escape. Private, because there’s no way anyone would ever understand. Or even believe.

So, when Sparrow was discovered on the roof of the school and all assumptions were grossly inaccurate, the wrong question being asked, it was no surprise. But it didn’t matter, she couldn’t answer anyway.

Sparrow’s mom is fiercely strong, capable and confident. And surprisingly willing to set aside her initial reservations about therapy. Even after meeting the not-as-pictured Dr. Katz and her interesting attire. In spite of the funky shoes, Sparrow could be cold and aloof towards Dr. Katz. It was much harder pretending to ignore the music that punctured the silence. Songs articulated her thoughts. Rough voices relayed her pain.

Sparrow felt her problems were solved, finding and embracing artists that understood. But listening to music was just the tip of the iceberg. With the enthusiastic support of her therapist, the determined, albeit a bit dubious, backing of her mother; Sparrow sets off for the Gertrude Nix Rock Camp for Girls.

Tackling a topic so commonly experienced, yet rarely addressed; Ms. Moon elicits empathy in an eloquent, engaging way.

Reviewed by jv poore, April 2018.

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Young Man With Camera
A Novel with Photographs
Emil Sher
Arthur A. Levine Books, October 2015
ISBN 978-0-545-54131-2
Hardcover

I want to say that Young Man With Camera packs a powerful punch because my heart is heavily bruised; but that cliché is actually inaccurate. Instead, it is like a snake bite. A shocking, searing-hot flash of pain first, followed by a false sense of ease, into the stinging sensation of venom in your veins.  And I mean this as an unequivocally enthusiastic endorsement.

T— is clearly strong, resilient and courageous…yet I immediately experience an inexplicable urge to protect him.  Deftly dealing with diverse people, in completely different ways, displays his early-onset maturity and a kindness that cannot be contained.  His sincere interest in Ruby, the quiet little girl with the chalk drawings, is as genuine and open as his affection towards the homeless woman with the witty signs.

When repugnant Ryan and his herd of hooligans antagonize T—, he tends to tolerate it; but the minute they set their sights on someone else, T— is quick to defend.  Already “damaged”, his scars speak of suffering, while simultaneously showing survival. He has a best bud, Sean, who comes with a faithful and friendly pooch; but it was photography that saved T—.  The very pictures he shares are worth way more than a thousand of the wisest words.

Although it is absolutely appropriate for the Middle Grade reader, I will be passing this copy on to “my” High School seniors, where I believe it will appeal to both ends of the reading spectrum. Reluctant readers will appreciate the photography as well as the short-not-so-sweet writing style and avid readers will dig the “something different”.  T—’s tale takes you where you definitely do not want to go, and you can’t even cover your eyes along the way.  Creating conflict by making you fully understand the why, even when it is so clearly wrong, in a real, raw and absolutely riveting way.

Reviewed by jv poore, September 2017.

Book Reviews: Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker and The Eyes of Pharaoh by Chris Eboch

Emma in the Night
Wendy Walker
St. Martin’s Press, August 2017
ISBN 978-1-250-14143-9
Hardcover

From the publisher—

One night three years ago, the Tanner sisters disappeared: fifteen-year-old Cass and seventeen-year-old Emma. Three years later, Cass returns, without her sister Emma. Her story is one of kidnapping and betrayal, of a mysterious island where the two were held. But to forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winter, something doesn’t add up. Looking deep within this dysfunctional family Dr. Winter uncovers a life where boundaries were violated and a narcissistic parent held sway. And where one sister’s return might just be the beginning of the crime.

When two sisters vanish one night, Cass watches the aftermath on TV, the interviews with her mother who, somehow, makes it all about herself. It has always been about Judy Martin and her need to be the center of attention is at the core of the emotional distance between the sisters. Given that distance, why were they both gone?

FBI forensic psychiatrist Dr. Abby Winters and Special Agent Leo Strauss worked the case when the girls disappeared three years ago and they’re drawn back in now that Cass has returned out of the blue. She has a strange tale to tell and there are inconsistencies but, of course, the big question is where is Emma? Were the two girls together all those years or not? The answers that begin to trickle in are increasingly disturbing and you can’t help wondering what has really brought Cass back to her family.

Creepy, that’s the paramount feeling I had while reading this and the author’s evocation of the Narcissistic Personality Disorder brought to mind such infamous people as Susan Smith, the South Carolina woman who drowned her kids in the car so she’d be unencumbered in her pursuit of a man. This disorder doesn’t get a lot of serious attention but perhaps it should. Nicely done, Ms. Walker!

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, August 2017.

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The Eyes of Pharaoh
Chris Eboch
Spellbound River Press, February 2017
ISBN 978-1-945017-27-8
Hardcover
Also available in trade paperback

From the publisher—

The Eyes of Pharaoh, 1177 BC: During the reign of Pharaoh Ramses the Third, Seshta, a 13-year-old dancer in the Temple of Hathor, dreams of becoming a famous entertainer. Horus, the brother of her heart, is content as a toymaker’s apprentice. Reya, at 16, has joined Egypt’s army with hopes of becoming a hero. Despite their different paths, nothing can break the bonds of their friendship. Yet when Reya hints that Egypt is in danger from foreign nomads, Seshta and Horus don’t take him seriously. How could anyone challenge Egypt?

Then Reya disappears. Seshta and Horus set out to find him–and discover a darker plot than they ever imagined. To save their friend, Seshta and Horus spy on merchants, soldiers, and royalty, and start to suspect even The Eyes of Pharaoh, the powerful head of the secret police. Will Seshta and Horus escape the traps set for them, rescue Reya, and stop the plot against Egypt in time?

I’ve had a love affair with ancient Egypt for so long I can’t remember how or when it started. When I had a chance to spend a week there in 1989, I found the modern country just as fascinating and wonderful and I’m sorry I’ll probably never get back there, also sorry for the political troubles that plague those wonderful people. Anyway, I’m always delighted to read any fiction or nonfiction about Egypt, especially set in ancient times and The Eyes of Pharaoh hit just the right spot with me.

Most of the mysteries I’ve seen set in this civilization are adult, which is great, but it usually means the characters are officials or slaves or high society, not so much the general population. These teens are a good cross-section, if you will, with a temple dancer, a soldier and a servant’s son, and I think that really added to my enjoyment because they’re not yet mature enough to be leery of risk and adventure and they’re comfortable with day-to-day life among the common people. One of the trio has gone missing and the other two are determined to find him. ‘Nuff said.

Because I love Egypt and its history so much, I wholeheartedly approve of anything that might entice young readers to fall under its spell and this book would be an excellent introduction. And, for those of you who aren’t so young anymore, you should give this a shot for rousing exploits and a darned good mystery 😉

Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, August 2017.