Review: My Heart Belongs to Only You

Review of My Heart Belongs to Only You (Cupid’s Bow – The First Generation – Book 2) by Melissa Storm.

Rated 4 out of 5 stars by Iris Chacon.

The reviewer received a complimentary download of the ebook in exchange514t2eaz1zl for an honest, objective review.



In this charming, wholesome romance, Deborah’s fiancé, James, is missing in action during the Korean War. Rip is a wounded soldier on recuperative leave from the same war, and he is fighting his own personal battle against what will someday be called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.


Rip moves into a short-term rental house in Deborah’s neighborhood, and their early social interactions are stunted and unpleasant. Still, he reminds her of the lost James, and she can’t deny she finds him handsome despite what seems to be his constant rudeness. Even so, they might never become friends if they didn’t both go swimming in the same lake on the same night, each trying to escape their own mental demons.


After the serendipitous late night meeting at the lake, a relationship between Deborah and Rips begins to form, in fits and starts, as they work out their past hurts while learning to trust themselves and others once again.


The fifties, that relatively pleasant era between the end of World War II and the beginning of Vietnam, is the right setting for this steady, sweet story. You’ll find it entertaining, relaxing and soothing to join these likable characters as they find their way from a troubled past toward a hopeful future.



The book is free of offensive content and suitable for any age level, but younger tweens and teens may find this romance too quiet and staid for their video-game attention spans. Adults will like it just fine.


Visit Melissa Storm‘s author page on Amazon.



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Review: Between a Ghost and a Spooky Place, by Nic Saint


Review of Between a Ghost and a Spooky Place (Ghosts of London – Book 1) by Nic Saint.

Rated 4 out of 5 stars by Iris Chacon.

The reviewer obtained this ebook for free on Amazon61dhiukr2bll


Nic Saint is the pen name of a husband-and-wife team that writes humorous ghost mysteries . Expect laughs, some wordplay, clever plotting, plenty of surprises, and a generally entertaining reading experience.


This is the first in a series of books set in London, featuring Henrietta (“Harry”) McCabre, her eccentric and wealthy best friend, Jarrett Zephyr-Thornton III, an inspector from Scotland Yard, and a group of ghost hunters known as the Wraith Wranglers.


719vk5onu7l-_ux250_The book is suitable for all ages, from 12 to 112. Since there is no offensive material here, this would be a fun book for tweens and teens to read during summer vacation. If you have a reluctant reader in your household, this is just the kind of entertaining book that could get them hooked and hungering for more.


Visit NIC SAINT‘s author page on Amazon.


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Thinkin' Things Over

Farrell USMC

It was a beautiful crisp morning at Arlington Nation Cemetery about six years ago when we were visiting my father’s grave. Our youngest son, who was in the military, and his wife were with us. As we were walking toward another area we crossed paths with a young mother carrying her young daughter.

We overheard her whisper to her daughter, who we found out later had never met her father, “Let’s go see Daddy.” We were speechless by such a simple comment. We talked with the young mother walking with her to her husband’s grave. We hugged her. We cried with her. There wasn’t a dry eye among us. – Unforgettable.

On our next visit, she wasn’t there, but there were paper cut-out hearts and a toddler’s toys beneath his niche. The young mother will not let her daughter forget the father she never knew. – He is unforgettable.

Two years ago…

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Hard RoadReview: HARD ROAD by Bob Spearman

Rated 5 out of 5 stars by Iris Chacon.

The reviewer received a complimentary download of the novel in exchange for an objective and honest review.


bobspearmanAuthor Bob Spearman transports the reader to modern day Charleston, with its natural beauty, historical significance, and rich Low-country cultural aura, in his novel, Hard Road.


The road of life has indeed been hard, even tragic, for truck driver and war veteran Hank. It has been even more brutal and horrific for Laurel, who is trying to kill herself when the story begins. Unfortunately for Hank, Laurel throws herself in front of his truck, causing him to run over her. He leaps from the truck to try and help the seriously injured (and highly ungrateful) woman, and his life is linked to hers from that moment onward.


But do not be misled; this is no standard boy-meets-girl story. No romance, nor even friendship, suddenly blooms from Hank and Laurel’s bizarre, macabre encounter.


These two people could not be more different — one from poverty and one from the elite families of Charleston — but they will begin to discover many ways in which they are the same. Their relationship and their experiences include addiction, depression, alcoholism, and loss. Author Spearman reveals the present and past in alternating scenes that will wrench your heart and mesmerize your mind. I dare you to shed no tears.


As the story progresses, and both Hank and Laurel go into separate spirals of desperation, their disparate dilemmas become woven together into a narrative, the climax of which you’ll never see coming. Oh, you may make a few lucky guesses, but prepare to be surprised, as well.


This work of fiction is a treasure for many reasons, not least of which is that Spearman educates the characters, as he does the readers, with regard to mental illness, bipolar disorder, depression, and PTSD. For the many people (and their loved ones) who suffer in secret, there are positive, encouraging, helpful lessons here.


Spearman’s fluid prose delights the intellect and the emotions simultaneously. For example, Hank justifies his questions about Laurel’s past with, “I think the story is important, otherwise I’m not gonna know how to think about the ending. I think you need to know the journey to appreciate the destination.” Of Charleston high society, Laurel comments, “Destroying a person’s self-esteem was a sport for them,” and at another time, “Words are a southern lady’s most potent weapon.”


There are other gems scattered throughout the story. I noted, “…she once used a phrase that still haunts me, and has built my fear since I first heard it; she said that people unsuspectingly fall prey to the silent, swooping taloned grip of mental illness.” And there was also, “I’ve heard about other couples that die weeks or months apart. Maybe their lives beat with the same heart.” I also enjoyed this short burst of truth, “The struggle adds value to success.”


I recommend Hard Road to readers who enjoyed The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger) or A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving). The writing is top notch and the story inventive and original. Note that, although the novel contains a minimum of questionable language or other offensive matter, the plot and subject matter may be too intense for tweens or teens. There is incidental violence.


Get Hard Road or Bob Spearman’s latest mystery, Shrimpin’ Gold,

Shrimpin Gold

and be sure to visit Bob’s Author Page on Amazon.


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Review: DEVIL’S PORRIDGE by Chris Longmuir

Review of Devil’s Porridge (The Kirsty Campbell Mysteries Book 2) by Chris Longmuir.

Rated 5 out of 5 stars by Iris Chacon.DevilsPorridgeCvr



If you have not read book 1 of The Kirsty Campbell Mysteries, don’t let that keep you from enjoying Book 2, Devil’s Porridge. The second book stands on its own, but you’ll want to read another mystery by this author as soon as you finish this one, and Book 1 would be as fine a choice as any.


The “devil’s porridge” of the title refers to a colloquial name given to the highly explosive gruel-like substance made in munitions factories during World War I in Great Britain. Young women were drafted into service to operate explosives factories on the home front while the young men were away at war. The women lived in closely supervised dormitories and worked shifts day and night, usually mixing nitroglycerin compounds with their hands, in large barrels.


Kirsty Campbell is one of first policewomen in Britain at a time when women had yet to get the vote and were prohibited from holding jobs in many fields. Although many of the male police executives either ignore or insult Kirsty, she is a clever and resourceful detective and an excellent law enforcement officer.


Devil’s PorAuthorChrisLongmuirridge is deeply researched, and the author weaves a stunning three-dimensional picture of life, work, and crime in Britain during the Great War. You will be drawn completely into the scene as Policewoman Campbell pursues a murderer/saboteur while carrying out her assignment to guard the munitions factory and the female “munitionettes.”


History buffs, WWI aficionados, mystery lovers, and Anglophiles will delight in the story and in the author’s skills. You won’t want to put it down.


Recommended for all ages, from teens to senior citizens. Contains no offensive material.


Buy the book on AMAZON.



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Review: The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor


Review: THE GHPeppernellManorCVROSTS OF PEPPERNELL MANOR by Amy M. Reade.

~o~~o~ Rated 5 out of 5 stars by Iris Chacon.

~o~~o~ The reviewer received a complimentary download of the novel in exchange for an objective and honest review.


When Carleigh and her 3-year-old daughter, Lucy, take up residence temporarily in Peppernell Manor near Charleston, South Carolina, Carleigh thinks of it as an exciting new restoration project and a break from her jerk of an ex-husband and his stripper girlfriend back in Chicago. Carleigh never imagines that the ensuing months on the grounds of the antebellum plantation will entail not only the satisfaction of bringing the manor house and out buildings back to their historic grandeur, but also the terror of unexplained deaths, familial intrigue, and a supernatural Presence.


Author Amy M. Reade recreates the quaint, historic city of Charleston and its envAmyReadeAuthorirons with such exquisite detail, the reader feels like a long-time resident of the area. The foods, climate, history, and even the weather become real in Ms. Reade’s precise, flowing prose. The characters — both human and ghostly — display charm, personality, depth, and numerous surprises as one mystery after another unfolds at Peppernell Manor until all is connected and explained in the end.


Be prepared to read the entire novel in one sitting. It is a page turner that will keep you engulfed in Low-country atmosphere, romance, and suspense from the first chapter to the last.


I recommend this novel to readers from early teens to golden years as it has no offensive content and provides people and details that will interest any and every age group. If you haven’t picked up a good old gothic-type mystery in a while, The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor is an excellent way to break your literary fast.


Get The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor or Amy M. Reade’s latest mystery, The House on Candlewick Lane, A Malice Novel,


and be sure to visit Amy’s Author Page on Amazon.


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