A Wonderfully Written Book by Paddy Bostock

The Hanging
By Paddy Bostock

This is a crime suspense novel that will have you sitting at the edge of your seat until you have read the last page. But what is more, the story is well-structured and a joy to read. The story is also filled with magic and suspense page after page.

The entire story revolves around the magical onyx stone. There are three main characters – the troll Vilius Vilutis and two elves Mordecai and Hazchem. Then there’s Zingy who’s the business foe of Villius. Do they manage to find the onyx stone and protect the world? That is a question that I will have to leave the reader with.

Posing as a papal nuncio, the troll Vilius “The Vile” Vilutis haunts the Cumbrian hills. He is in search of the magical onyx with the potential to revolutionalize smartphones worldwide. He is aiming to put his enemy, Silicon Valley gazillionaire Zingy Splitz out of business forever. Can he do it?

Suspicious, Zingy contacts Pope Benny in Rome, where rumour has it Vilius once worked, thus discovering the troll’s current whereabouts. Meanwhile two ghastly hangings disrupt the peace. The Vatican is implicated in the crimes, its motives darker than Vilius’s vindictiveness. The troll doesn’t seem to be as vile as it first appeared.

This is the fourteenth book for Paddy Bostock. I can’t imagine what she will come up with for another storyline. Some books are such gems that it made me think that an encore would be hard to pull off. But Paddy Bostock can, and will, pull it off I am sure. I will certainly look out for her other books and read them too.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

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A GREAT Fictional Story that Will Have you Reading for Hours Nonstop

Chinese Pearl
By Patrick Aaron

There are some books that one cannot put down. They transfix you and make you forget the rest of the world. This is the magic of a good story, and I found that Chinese Pearl did that very thing to me. It was so wonderful to loose myself in the world of fiction for a while, a world that is hopeful and also has many lessons the most important of which is unconditional love.

The story is about a midwife Xiulan whose dream of raising her own child seems to be dashed until she is called to help a mother give birth to a baby boy. When the mother gives birth, she delivers a boy followed by an albino girl with white hair. The girl’s grandmother doesn’t want to keep the second baby and asks Xiulan to dispose of her in the sea. But Xiulan cannot bring herself to do that and realizes that maybe she will be able to raise a child of her own after all.

As time goes on, Xiulan realizes that there is a lot that is very different and wonderful about the girl. One of these things is her psychic ability. As she grows, she draws people to come visit the family’s apothecary. But can these powers attract the wrong attention over time? It soon does involving many different agencies and China’s National Aviation Corporation pilots.

This book will make you laugh and cry. It is a book that is deep and yet light at the same time. I don’t think I have ever read a book that has just that perfect combination. What a gem of a book!

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

A Courageous Book about Liberating Oneself from Physical Abuse

Bracing Faith: Empowerment from a Domestic Violence Survivor and a Recovering Addict-By Patricia Cardenas

This is an honest, brave and gripping book about a woman who has survived domestic violence, addiction, and homelessness. It is a book of hope and redemption which will help all women who are struggling with domestic violence.

Patricia Cardenas’s story is very raw and honest. It is a book about her struggle in the hands of men who breathtakingly abused Patricia mercilessly. All she had was her faith in God and his redeeming qualities to survive. Patricia believed that God was always with her, even when she was abused, homeless and in the hands of the Justice system in California.

Domestic abuse is pandemic in our society today. Few people talk about it in such an honest and open way. There are so much shame and denial surrounding the topic of domestic violence. And many men keep getting away with such heinous acts against the women they are supposed to care for and love.

This is a book of hope for all women. The last segment of the book contains useful information about abuse and all the legal terminology that surrounds the issue of domestic abuse from a legal perspective. After reading this book, women will understand the legalities of abuse and what the process is to become liberated.

This book will be an extremely valuable resource for women who have experienced abuse. It will give women hope, knowledge, and courage to leave their abusive situations and seek the mental, physical, spiritual, and psychological help that they need. It can be a complicated process, but it is worth it because no one deserves to live in conditions where they are abused. We all deserve comfort, peace, and safety.

Rating: 5++ stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

A Wonderful Book about Loss and Liberation

Those of us who have experienced the pain and heartbreak of losing a parent knows it feels like our world is never going to be the same. We suddenly realize that something intangible is forever lost. But there are ways of coping and coming out on the other side of this despair and sadness. This is the journey that Tim Shields takes the reader on in this wonderful story of emancipation. It’s a story that is as deep as it tragic, beautiful, and inspiring.

The story is about Thomas Furey, who finds himself at a crossroads in this life. He is in his mid-thirties and without a job to fall back on. He’s feeling desperately isolated and alone as he mourns the death of his mother. With many other things that are simultaneously going wrong in his life, Thomas feels himself sinking into a deep well of misery and sadness. How can he possibly get himself out of this dark abyss that was created by the unfortunate events in his life?

Suddenly, Thomas thinks of something liberating and he is convinced that this will help him to overcome these obstacles. He buys himself a one-way ticket to India. After he buys it, he becomes fearful yet filled with hope and ready to be guided by his intuition. The journey takes him all over Southeast Asia for a year.

I loved this book. This is a story that takes the reader on a journey like no other, to become emancipated and cleansed by the end of the story and to think for him/herself about what it means to live an authentic life. The story is laced with philosophy and the deep intuition of a person who is trying to recreate his life. A lot occurs between sunrise and sunset.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

The King of Bones and Ashes – Book Review

The King of Bones and Ashes
By J. D. Horn

This is a wonderful mystery novel that has many different corners and avenues. I absolutely loved the story line and the characters kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.

I don’t usually like stories about magic and witches. But this story was surprising in how it captured my attention and swept me right into the plot line of the story.

In the story, magic is seeping out of the world. The witches seem increasingly hopeless. While some of the witches see an inevitable end of their era, others are becoming close to mad. They are willing to sacrifice former allies, friends and family to retain the power they covet. This is not unlike the situation that we face politically and culturally in North America.

While the other witches watch their reality unravel, Alice Marin is using magic’s waning days to delve into the mystery of numerous disappearances in the occult circles of New Orleans. Once Alice disappeared too. She was caged in an asylum by her blood relatives. Recently, she was freed. However, she is afraid that her family may be more involved with the growing crisis than she every dared to imagine.

However, the more she seeks to find out about her family’s history, the more she realizes her already-fragile psyche may be at risk. Will discovering the cause of the vanishing’s be the only wo escape her mother’s reach while determining the future of all witches?

Rating: 4 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

A Must-Read Book about Elder Abuse

The Family Guide to Preventing Elder Abuse
By Thomas Lee Wright

Elder abuse is becoming a real problem everywhere. And it is something that we must definitely try to deal with as best as we can and as soon as we can.

Given the rapid aging population, we must find a way to eradicate this problem. It seems that retirement homes have become notorious hubs for abuse of the elderly. This is sad given that people are paying many tens of thousands of dollars to live in such places and to think that their last days will be like this is beyond mind-boggling!

In this book, Wright discusses how we can all learn to protect our elders from abuse. The book offers practical tools that everyone can use to ensure that their parents are safe from the abuses of people in retirement homes.

This abuse seems to be occurring at all levels of expertise, from nurse aids to nurse practitioners. This is a troublesome trend. However, after reading Wright’s book, I have become much more positive that we can conquer this problem once and for all. This is really a case of knowledge is power. The more we know about the abuse and how to protect our loved ones and ourselves, the better.

In each chapter, a nationally recognized expert provides specific advice regarding effective actions that can be taken in order to protect loved ones in every area of their lives. They offer practical advice that we can all follow to many questions such as what qualities to look for in a caretaker, the pros and cons of trusts and guardianship, how to report abuse and who to go to and much more.

All in all, this book is a treasure-trove of great tips and advice. I recommend the book to anyone who has aging parents who are about to go into a retirement facility. It may save you and your parents time and misery.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

Habit of Mindfulness 1: Eliminate Distractions

It’s easy to become distracted when you start your writing career. Anything can distract you, if you allow it to. It is can take a long time to learn how to focus on your writing in such a way that distractions will be minimized, if not avoided altogether.

Distractions can take many different forms. We could be distracted by our children, spouses, family members or phone and email. Limiting these distractions can be easy, if you take a few steps and follow-through on them. Here are a few to consider.

1. Set an egg-timer

I find that setting a timer helps a lot. I set it for, say, one or two hours, and during that time, I don’t do anything but think about what I am doing. The timer gives me the structure I need to keep my eyes and mind on the manuscript that I am working on.

2. Do nothing but write during your allotted time

Nothing, except an emergency, should move you to do anything else than write during my allotted time. If you are serious about writing, make sure that you actually write during your devoted time.

3. Shut-off all outside distractions before sitting down to write

It is important for writers to shut off the ringer on the phone and don’t answer the door if the doorbell rings during your allotted writing session. Do nothing but write.

4. Tell Family about your Writing Time

It is important for you to tell your family ahead of time what your writing schedule will be for the week. Then when you’re writing time comes, honour it so that your family can honor it too. Don’t be persuaded to do anything but write during those times.

5. Work on one project at a time

Seasoned writers usually finish up all their writing projects. They work diligently through discouragement and rejection. They also find a way to work consistently on a project until it is complete.

Writers will usually hit a lot of distractions when they set out to write. This is to be expected and is very much a part of writing practise. Amateur writers, on the other hand, tend to quit when the going gets tough. Many amateur writers may end up with having one or two filing cabinets of incomplete manuscripts if they are not careful.

And many of them don’t have any inclination to work on them again. Try taking one of these manuscripts out and work on it until it is completed. Then take out the next one and do the same. This practise could be a confidence booster. But more than that, it will definitely help you be much more successful.

So, try and take some time and practice this habit today!

Irene S. Roth