Friday, January 20, 2023

Book tour and review: Dead Reckoning by Lea O'Harra

Dead Reckoning by Lea O'Harra


Dead Reckoning by Lea O'Harra 
Publisher: Sharpe Books-UK (Sept 29, 2022) 
Category: Crime Fiction, Family Life, Kidnapping 
Tour dates: January 5-31, 2023 
ISBN: Coming Soon 
Available in Print and ebook, 289 pages 

Dead Reckoning

Description Dead Reckoning by Lea O'Harra

Indiana, January 2010. It’s a hot summer’s day in 1984 when twelve-year-old Gilly and her friend Sally find a dead new-born in a shoebox in the cemetery of their tiny town. Deciding to keep their discovery a secret, they bury the body in Gilly’s yard. The results are disastrous. Flowers are mysteriously left on strollers. Two local children disappear and end up dead. A suspect is arrested and confesses, blaming the deaths on the girls’ having taken the dead baby. Gilly grows up but is haunted by what’s happened. As a young woman, she flees the town and its memories, going all the way to Japan. Returning with her Japanese husband Toshi to attend her mother’s funeral, Gilly finds the past is not past. She’s threatened, and someone is putting flowers on strollers again. When another child is abducted, Gilly knows she must discover the truth about what happened all those years ago before more lives are lost.

Lynelle's Review

“A terrible thing to happen,” Toshi says, returning the photo to the TV. “To your mother!” He blows a smoke ring and looks up at the ceiling reflectively. I know what he’s thinking. He couldn’t bear anything like that happening to his own mother. To Okaasan.”

Dead reckoning has an interesting plotline, filled with some nasty characters and downright obnoxious ones. Toshi falls in the last category. A hateful character with all the trimmings of an arrogant and self-absorbed man. The day he made his final choice I was happy.

When Gilly returns to her hometown after three years of absences, for her mother’s funeral the undercurrents immediately turned. Leaving murky and very deceptive waters.

Her mother’s neglected house laid the foundation for the dramatic plot and Toshi as antagonistic as they come. The only time he had something positive to say or think was when money came into the picture. How they ever got married is beyond me.

Her two brothers were quite a pair and the typical sibling rivalry can be seen as each carries his own weight. Losing their mother left them in uncertain waters and the father is non-existent. Even though they mentioned him quite a bid, he never became part of the plot. Which just showed how big the gap really was between the children and their father.

The relationship between Gilly and Sally were a thin thread with so many nuances within that I wondered what on earth kept it together. But at the end, this relationship proved to be a solid investment to both Sally and Gilly. Both of them had to come to grips with the events in 1984, both had to make do with the choices handed to them.

“Sally leaps up. “God, now it all comes back to me,” she says. Her face is white, and I notice she’s trembling. “That day! I called you, Gilly, angry because we’d arranged to meet at Mabel’s and you never turned up.” I feel myself going pale as I remember, too. The awful coincidence. Mom had her accident the day after we’d found Cassie.”

The story is divided into two parts, the present, and what happened twenty-six years ago. Each chapter gives you a deeper look the inner workings of Gillian while she battle to stay afloat in the present. The impact of that one innocent event cause the snowball effect and Gilly and Sally was right in the middle of it.

When Sally’s daughter was kidnapped, the stage was set, and the nasty characters came out to play.

Again, Gilly had to put the mouse persona away to really grow as a woman. All her life, she was ridiculed because of this. Even though the events back in 1984 should have added to her character, it became a place of hiding. Not being true to who she was left its mark on her and her present life. This was clear to see through Toshi’s attitude. But when everything came together, it was beautiful to watch how the strong version of Gillian stepped to the forefront and she kept it upright till the end of the book.

What I didn’t like about the book:

I found the plotline dragged out, the point of the story only coming together around halfway in the book. From there, all the puzzle pieces began to interlock and suspense showed its head in quick succession.

There was too much dialogue with no real purpose that slowed the story.

The sexual scenes were flat and not believable.

Otherwise, a good dramatic story I can recommend. 

Praise Dead Reckoning by Lea O'Harra

"Both a drama and a thriller, full of twists and human insight."-Thomas Waugh “The immediate declaration of past events,  the discovery and concealment of the dead baby, provides a gripping start to this book. The story is simple yet powerful, immediately drawing the reader into a world that identifies the challenges of growing up in a small town in Indiana. The book tackles the casual racism that is often overlooked, with great clarity. Although this is a crime novel it is also a powerful story about how a single childhood event can influence the future. It compels you to share the history and become part of the small-town network. Through a nexus of characters, we see how relationships that are made in our formative years, affect our lives. The story is more than a crime novel. It also serves to gives a fascinating insight into life in a small town in the USA, through the eyes of somebody who never really wanted to return."-ReallyPoshScouser, Amazon

Praise Lea O'Harra

“Lea O'Harra offers us a whodunnit set in a Japan labouring under the weight of cultural imperialism, a country where the characters find that their friends and lovers are really strangers  and imperfect ones at that...-Nick Sweet, author of the Inspector Velázquez series ’With her deep knowledge of Japanese culture, superb writing, and sensitivity to human foibles. O’Harra has crafted a cross-cultural whodunnit sure to please Japanophiles and mystery lovers alike.”-Suzanne Kamata, author of Losing Kei

Awards Lea O'Harra

Autumn 2017 “Lady First” was awarded ‘finalist’ status in the crime fiction section of the Beverly Hill Book Awards. ‘Lady First’ was also a finalist in the National Indie Excellence Awards in 2018.

Dead Reckoning by Lea O'HarraAbout Lea O'Harra

Lea O’Harra has published three crime fiction novels set in rural modern-day Japan: Imperfect Strangers (2015); Progeny (2016); and Lady First (2017). These comprise the so-called ‘Inspector Inoue Murder Mystery’ series originally published by Endeavour Press (UK). She has also had a story included in Best Asian Crime Fiction published by Kitaab Press (Singapore) in 2020. In the spring of 2022 Sharpe Books reissued the Inoue mystery series and, in September 2022, published Lea O’Harra’s fourth novel, Dead Reckoning, a stand-alone set in her tiny hometown in the American Midwest. 


From Chapter One: 804 words

It was a bright, hot day. Sally wanted to play in the town cemetery. She had run ahead, her dog Fluffy at her heels, and left me to pull the little red wagon she trailed everywhere to fill with any treasure she might find. I walked slowly through the long grass, peering down, feeling sweat trickling down my back. I didn’t want to step on a grave. I hated thinking what was in one of those mounds.

Sally was far ahead because she didn’t care about stepping on graves and wasn’t towing a wagon. She turned and jeered at me.

“Fraidy cat!” she shouted, the late afternoon sun lighting up her fiery red hair. “No, not a cat! You’re a mouse! Squeak, squeak, little mouse!”

She laughed and ran on, zigzagging between the graves, her hair cascading down her back, the little brown spaniel just behind her.

I scowled and stomped my next step without even looking, startling an enormous grasshopper that flew directly into my face. I squealed and hopped backward, windmilling my arms as I tried to keep my balance.

“Squeak squeak!” Sally yelled.

“I did not squeak!” I yelled back, but then I felt a little tickle on my arm.

I looked down and saw a daddy long legs the size of a fist crawling toward the sleeve of my T-shirt.

I flailed my arms and drew in a breath to shriek. Then I fell flat on my butt in the tall grass, just next to the red wagon. My scream came out as a quiet oof.

I looked and saw the grasshopper had ended up on top of a pink gravestone and the daddy long legs was god knew where.

That’s when I realized my left hand was touching something. I parted the grass and saw a small box wrapped in brown paper and tied with a green ribbon.

Sally was still laughing. “Little Mouse. Scared of a bug!” she shouted. As I reached down to open the lid of the box, she took off one of her flip flops and threw it at me. The flipflop landed beside me.

I picked up the box. It was heavier than I’d expected. Something weighty shifted inside.

I looked up to see Sally’s wide-eyed stare. her mouth dropping open. “Wha—wha—what’s that?” she shouted. She took off her other flipflop and carried it as she ran toward me.

I tightened my grip. “It’s a present,” I said. “For me!” But Sally knelt beside me and grabbed the box. She untied the ribbon and took off the paper, saying, “What is it?” “It’s mine,” I muttered. “Finders keepers.”

I leaned forward for a better look when the paper and ribbon lay on the grass. It was a black cardboard shoebox with the name Calhoun’s picked out in gilt lettering on the lid. Sally opened the lid, looked inside, and just froze. Time stood still. Her face turned a ghostly white. She shoved the lid back on and pushed the box toward me. I was surprised at her reaction. I’d been thinking the box must hold something like pretty pebbles or maybe a pack of Uno cards or even some cheap jewelry. Someone’s cast offs or rubbish but potential treasure for Sally and me. I gasped when I lifted the lid and saw a tiny pale form inside, wrapped in a white cloth.

It had a pretty face and a soft fuzz of blonde hair that reminded me of Cassandra. “A doll!” I beamed at Sally. She shook her head slowly, still in shock. I looked inside again. “Shit!” I threw the lid and scooted away on my butt, my hands grabbing at the long grass to help me along. It wasn’t a doll. It was a baby. Perfectly still. It could have been sleeping, but it wasn’t. Its glassy unblinking eyes had stared out at me. And it looked cold. I hadn’t touched it, but I could just sense there was no warmth of life in that delicate form.

“Jesus, girl,” Sally said. “When you find something, you find something!”

I shook my head. “Crazy,” I said. It was a hot day, but I began shivering.

I was shocked. I was scared. But I was also curious. Sally stared as I got on my hands and knees and crawled back towards the box. I stretched in a tentative hand and lifted the top fold of cloth. I saw the baby was naked and pink. And that it was a girl. I sniffed. She gave off a faint soapy smell, like she’d been just washed.

I had a sudden longing to touch her. It was instinctive. I wanted to comfort her, to tell her not to be frightened, to say that there must be some mistake and that it would be all right.

Buy Dead Reckoning by Lea O'Harra

Giveaway Dead Reckoning by Lea O'Harra

This giveaway is for 3 print copies and is open worldwide. This giveaway ends on February 1, 2023 midnight, pacific time. Entries accepted via Rafflecopter only. a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow Dead Reckoning by Lea O'Harra

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Jan 4 
Kickoff & Interview Lu Ann Rockin' Book Reviews Jan 5 
Review & Guest Post Bookgirl Amazon & Goodreads Jan 6 
Review Mark Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus Jan 9 
Guest Review Becky Life as Rog Jan 11 
Review Kari From the TBR Pile Jan 12 
Review & Excerpt Jody Amazon & Goodreads Jan 16 
Review Sal Bound 4 Escape Jan 17 
Guest Review Denise Amazon & Goodreads Jan 18 
Review Lisa's Writopia Jan 19 
Guest Post Lynelle Inspire to Read Jan 20 & 
Excerpt Leslie Storeybook Reviews Jan 23 
Review Ruth Media From the Heart Jan 24 
Review & Excerpt DTChantel Amazon & Goodreads Jan 25 
Review Laura Lee Celticlady’s Reviews Jan 26 
Guest Review & Guest Post Lisa's Writopia Jan 27 
Review Amy Locks, Hooks and Books Jan 30 
Review & Excerpt Bee Book Pleasures Jan 31 Review

  Dead Reckoning by Lea O'Harra

Monday, December 26, 2022

Book Review: Storms, the way of the Mariner by Tom Schofield



Storms: the way of the mariner is an engaging story telling of life at sea. Especially when facing the storms that have captured our minds and set our hearts thumping with fear.

I have never been on the sea, but after listening to the author Tom Schofield and Ruth Finnegan, I cannot help but newly appreciate the seven oceans, its stormy rage and strength.

Its formidable power is relentless once it finds its way to land. Causing havoc on land and leaving us defenseless to its power. Something I have learned while listening to the audible book was that it is safer at sea than on land during a storm. Your chances for survival are much better than closer to land. Where the reefs and rocks cause more devastation to ship and the lives on board.

What I liked about the narrative was that it felt as if the author was here with me, telling me a story in a calm and relaxed manner. Informing me of the dangers and life at sea in a casual and friendly manner that brings it home.

Definitely a splendid book to listen to. Especially if you are thinking of a life at sea. The valuable information is given in confidence and much authority. 

Here's how a friend (Ruth) described her experience of a hurricane. She was a passenger, not used to sea faring, in the Cenpac Rounder, a small ship that circulated round the central south Pacific, carrying trade goods from island to island. It took just seven or eight passengers each time.

As Ruth explains:

We were out to sea and that was beautiful, a little rough, but blue skies, high clouds, just a bit of wind. We were making for Tuvalu, an atoll island.

As with many of these atoll islands, you had to go into the lagoon through a very very narrow, jagged, danger-filled reef entrance. It takes a lot of skill to get through, so that ships are constantly getting wrecked on the reefs (in fact a few years after we were on the Cenpac Rounder, she was wrecked and lost on the reef off Fiji, her home port - whether her crew was saved I do not know - perhaps).

Buy Link



Why was I at Sea?

Well, why ...?

My background is actually different, maybe surprising. My father was in the military, not the sea at all. And I wanted to follow his footsteps into the army. That's all I ever wanted to do until I was about 16 years old.

But then on the rugby field, my fate changed. I got tackled and broke a ligament in my knee. So an army accountant then wrote to me and told me I was far too much of an insurance liability to join the military. They were worried of course that after a career in the military, I'd sue them and tell them that it was all their fault that I had got a problem on my knees.

So then a grandfather in the Navy asked why don’t I join the merchant navy?

I started looking at it. There was not a lot of information to be honest, you have to really hunt down information about seafaring. I started looking at cargo ships and tankers and things and ships full of maybe just fourteen chaps going from coast to coast.

It appealed but not quite as much as when I saw a big poster of a cruise ship, the beautiful P & O Oriana and I thought, oh, that looks wonderful.

It was poster of the Oriana so yeah, back in the day Oriana was the ship and so interesting.

Luckily there was a girl two years above me whose father knew the careers master in our school. So he was invited in and came and spoke to me and that was it. Yeah, he pointed me in the right direction. And I joined P&O on leaving school at 17.

So - straight away to sea.

To be taken on I had to have done the two big subjects you needed, maths or physics i.e A level in maths or physics, and then a spattering of other academic qualifications, but as well, of course, you know, a keen interest in being at sea.

And then there was always one more thing. You have to go away and be put through training because they sponsored you on your cadet ship and then you leave them.

So that was their unavoidable - good - way: you start off on a cadet ship and then they watch to see if after you’ve been going away for long periods of time, you give up and leave. They just want to make sure it’s the right career for you.

And was it? Absolutely.

No disappointments at all as far as I was concerned, no, absolutely not.

Reedsy / LibraryThing / Goodreads


Thursday, December 15, 2022

Book review: Playing Dirty: Operation Trouser Snake by AR Williams.


Honey Pursamon has a brief - and the file of names is huge!

Set the honey trap! Lure the opposition into bed, get lurid photos and destroy them, one by one!

The Slash and Byrne Progressive Party want to take over the House of Commons, starting with a sleazy sex scandal code-named Operation Trouser Snake. One of the members also takes matters into his own hands; using his initiative, he sets the ball rolling for a terrorist attack - using deadly gas. Who will survive?

Using Ambronootrop to make their members more intelligent and to move along the evolution of the human race, S&B will stoop to new depths.

Michael Ventiquatro is the charismatic leader of the S & B Progressive Party and has ambitions to win a massive majority in the UK Parliament and gain total power.

As Ventiquatro is wealthy and funded by his multinational company, Slash & Byrne Enterprises, money is no object.

The power-hungry Ventiquatro is distributing Ambronootrop, a Superdrug banned in the USA, because of the side effects it caused. Undeterred, Ventiquatro convinces his followers they will reach Fulfilment  if they take Ambronootrop and tow the S & B Progressive Party line.

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Book review: Your Safe Retirement Roadmap: A Powerful Guide to Planning and Living A Deeply-Fulfilled and Prosperous Retirement.

Amazon & Goodreads


 “To be able to enjoy a successful retirement, you must have a well-thought-out game plan. But, do you really understand how your cash flow needs and investment strategy are related and intertwined?”

The author, Frank Gutta asks valuable questions throughout the book, and then answers it. Being on the steps of retirement myself, I found the information highly valuable. Living with two retirees, I see first-hand the money troubles they have. The shortages and expenses, especially medical bills, are an eye opener. This petrifies me as I know that my old age is not far away, and I am not halfway ready to even think of retiring. I will confess there are times my mind refuses to be still and sleep a vivid memory. 

“Retirement isn’t something to fear or dread—it’s the start of a whole new chapter of your life with levels of freedom that you’ve probably never experienced before. Hopefully, this book has provided you with insights on effective retirement planning that you can use to enjoy a more financially secure retirement. My goal is to help my clients safely maximize their income in retirement and keep their taxes as low as possible. To live a happy, successful, and fulfilled retirement, you must prepare in many ways: physically, mentally, emotionally and financially.”

This quick read is very informative, and though I live in South Africa, he has given me a few pointers to look at. I found the helpful advice soothing, knowing with God’s help I will enter my old age with the knowledge I have done all to cope and that with God’s help I will not have to dread the golden years. 

Each chapter is a valued edition as he describes what the roadblocks are, how to plan your retirement and what to look for to grow your investment portfolio to minimize any lack. The Four-Bucket system is definitely an eye-opener and one I endeavour to follow.


WHAT IS THE SOLUTION? Financial planning for a prosperous retirement is a very complex undertaking. Most people will not have the time, training, or expertise to do this on their own. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We hire others for a wide variety of tasks, ranging from changing the oil in our cars to mowing the lawn to cutting our hair. Almost none of us would ever think of performing our dental work or representing ourselves in court. We hire professionals to do those tasks because they have the training and expertise to perform those services with a high skill level. Due to the importance of financial planning in helping us to live and enjoy a long and prosperous retirement, most people should hire a financial professional to help them do this properly. The great news is that it is now possible to hire some financial professionals at little to no cost. For example, in some cases, the financial professional is paid by the company employing them rather than being paid directly by you. REACHING OUR RETIREMENT INCOME AND LIFESTYLE GOALS To reach your lifestyle goals in retirement, you MUST make sure that you reach your retirement income goals. If you are like most people and lack a sizeable pension or 401(k), how will you reach your retirement income goals? The difference between “almost” reaching your retirement income goals and actually reaching them could mean the difference between living in a small rented apartment during retirement vs. living in your dream house in your dream location. It could mean the difference between being on a low-quality health insurance plan or having access to the best medical doctors and best hospitals in America. As you can see, the pay-off from high-quality retirement income planning is tremendous.

Reaching your retirement income goals has three key components: You must have the right tools, the right education to know how to use those tools and you MUST avoid large losses from the stock market or real estate along the way to retirement. Retirement today comes with tremendous opportunities, as well as staggering challenges. These opportunities and challenges stem from the fact that we are living longer and stronger than any generation before us. This should be something we celebrate. A longer and stronger retirement means that we can dream bigger dreams, travel to farther places, spend more time with our loved ones and live the lifestyle we truly want to live. The challenge that comes with living a long and strong life is: how do we make sure our money lasts as long as we do?

It constantly amazes me that people will spend more time planning a one- or two-week vacation than they will to plan for their retirement, which could last thirty years or more. Today, a sixty-year-old couple has a 40% chance that one of them will live to be ninety-five. So, if you started working at age twenty-five, retired at age sixty, and lived to the age of ninety-five, you could spend as much time in retirement as you did working.

Monday, November 21, 2022

Book review: Out of the Shadows by Tim Smith

Buy links

Amazon / Extasy Books / Goodreads



What does a former spy have to do to get some peace and quiet in his personal corner of paradise? In the laidback ease of the Florida Keys, Nick Seven has carved out a life far removed from the intrigue that once defined his life in the CIA. He runs his trendy club on the Gulf, keeps a low profile, and enjoys the tropical setting with Felicia, his Barbadian lover and former co-worker. After he sees a woman being killed at a resort, Nick finds himself thrust into an investigation where there is no corpse and no evidence of a crime. The police are busy with a string of high-profile home burglaries and don’t have time to look for his imaginary victim, so it’s up to Nick to investigate. Then French con artist Marco St. Julian unexpectedly surfaces from Nick’s past. Are the incidents related? And what part does the wealthy young trophy wife of a convicted financial scammer play in all of this? Throw in a career-hungry FBI agent, a mysterious Cuban crook and an ex-patriate Irish gunrunner, and it’s more than just another day at the beach.     


About the Author

Tim Smith is an award-winning, bestselling author of romantic mystery/thrillers and contemporary erotic romance. His novels featuring former CIA agent Nick Seven have garnered several awards and international critical praise. He is also a freelance writer, blogger, editor and photographer. When he isn’t pursuing those interests, he can be found in the Florida Keys, doing research in between parasailing and seeking out the perfect Mojito.



Nick Seven and Felicia’s story becomes interesting with each new book in the series, Nick Seven. When I first met Nick Seven, he was an FBI agent. He and Felicia have met during one case years before, and the attraction was palpable. After a few years, the two were reunited, and love surfaced. Both had called it quits and were looking for a more relaxed time on the Florida Keys.

With each new book, we learn that it was not that easy to do. Especially when you have a keen eye and great observation skills.

In this book, Nick and Felicia were out for the day, enjoying the sun and each other, when he saw a woman getting murdered in a hotel suite. At first, he thought life was playing tricks on him, but soon a few other clues surfaced that something was happening in this quiet town.

When her body was later found, they learned she was connected to other crimes within the area. Homes were invaded, and the loot stashed. Which brings us to our next person of interest. A sleazy international crook who just showed up while all of this was going on.

“Hon, I think you have no way of knowin’ if the two are related. Maybe it was a mugging gone bad, or someone Jack pissed off. Let the cops do their job and investigate, then you can beat yourself up.” He glanced over at her. “That’s pretty deep. You know, when you want to be, you’re very profound.”

“I’m not just another pretty face.”

Other supportive characters were introduced as the story developed. Each with their own unique quirks, personalities and having a big part to play in the ongoing plotline. How was it all connected, and could Nick, Felicia, and the Sherriff of this perfect destination find the real crook in time?  

A fast-paced story from the get-go, with some romantic moments between Nick and Felicia, to relieve the suspense. Plus, a few interesting twists to keep you guessing till the end.



Sunrise over the Keys usually came in one of two flavors—a gradual filtering in of natural light through clouds forecasting potential rain, or a full-on bright assault to the eyes and senses. Today was the latter, which brought the promise of higher than usual heat with a healthy dose of humidity on the side. Nick tore his gaze from the bright sunrise and turned to the dull glow of his computer. After a quick scan of the headlines, giving him enough bad news from overnight, he began his real purpose for getting out of bed so early. His mind had been actively deciphering what he had learned the previous couple of days, and had now boiled it down to a few basic questions. One went to the top of the list—why did Marco St. Julian target Lauren Scott when there are so many other potential high-net-worth pigeons in southern Florida? He typed in a search for the newspapers in Saratoga Springs, New York. Lauren said she’s active in the social circles up there, and it’s her permanent home. Let’s see how she spends her ex-husband’s money. Numerous entries popped up, including several connected to the horse racing circuit. Nick looked at photo spreads of Lauren Scott posing with jockeys in the winner’s circle, and standing alongside well-heeled arts patrons. One of her charitable causes appeared to be underprivileged children, and she also found time to serve on the board for the local ASPCA chapter. No wonder she comes to Florida several months a year. It’s probably the only time people leave her and her trust fund alone. He was about to execute another search when something in one of the photos caught his eye. It was a group shot, taken at what the caption said was opening night at the Saratoga Springs National Museum of Dance six months earlier. Lauren stood with their newest prodigy, a young Serbian woman being sponsored by the Museum, surrounded by the Artistic Director and several board members. Nick clicked on the photo and zoomed in on the rubbernecking crowd in the background, all vying to be seen with the right people. He sat back and stared at what he’d found. Marco St. Julian stood among the onlookers, dressed in a stylish black tuxedo, a smile adorning his tanned face, and a glass of champagne in his hand. The son of a bitch knew her from before. Why am I just now finding out about this?

Felicia padded into the room, wearing an unbuttoned box-cut shirt and nothing else. She leaned against the doorsill with her hand resting on her hip and her leg cocked in front of her, the knee slightly bent in a provocative pose. “What’re you doin’ up so early?” she asked. “After yesterday, you shoulda slept ‘til noon.” Nick rocked back in his chair, giving her an appreciative, lusty look. “Too much on my mind. Why are you up?” “Same reason.” She dropped into an easy chair. “You think Lauren was tellin’ the truth last night?” Nick took a few moments before answering. He had been asking himself the same question since getting up, but hadn’t come up with a good response yet. He wasn’t necessarily looking for a great answer and would gladly settle for one that was just good enough for now. “Some parts of it, yes. Other parts, I’m not so sure.” “Which other parts?” He crossed his legs at the ankles. “The way she told the story, she agreed to take them to Cuba awfully fast.” “We weren’t there so we don’t know how much pressure Marco and that other guy put on her to cooperate.”



Friday, November 11, 2022

Book review: The Shepherd's Song: A Story of Second Chances

Shortly before suffering a tragic car accident, Kate McConnell wrote the simple but powerful words of Psalm 23 on a piece of paper to give to her wayward and confused son. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. ... As she loses consciousness from her injuries, she wonders if she’s done enough with her life.

When a lonely dry-cleaning employee finds Kate’s humble, handwritten copy of the psalm, it begins an incredible journey around the world, forever changing the lives of twelve very different people. From a soldier wounded in Iraq, to a young Kurdish girl fleeing with her family to Turkey, to a Kenyan runner about to begin the Rome Invitational Marathon, the power of the ancient words begins to take shape in various ways, drawing us into these stories inexplicably linked by the passing of the psalm from one recipient to the next.

Eventually, Kate’s paper makes it back to its starting place, and she discovers the unexpected ways that God moves and changes lives through even our smallest actions. 

Goodreads  / Amazon


This is such an anointing book. The Christ-like truths so delicately woven into the very fabric of the plotline that I couldn’t stop reading.
The book begins with Kate McDonnell, that wonders if her life has meaning. To her, the minor acts of kindness she sowed in her community were not enough to catch the Father’s heart. Her husband was always busy and her son want nothing to do with her or her convictions. When she ends up in hospital, fighting for her life, we are swept away again.

The forgotten paper lands in the hands of a young man longing for direction. From America, to England, to Italy, then China back to America, we are swept away as each person comes to wonderous truths. The small, almost insignificant actions touched each person by divine intervention.

Each chapter is a short story, with a beginning when they receive the paper with the written psalm. To the middle, where decision must be made, right to the end: when peace takes over. Each line within this scripture touching them uniquely and you are pulled into the very centre of this psalm. The Lord is my Shepherd.

The book’s ending was something I didn’t expect but so fitting in its conclusion.

The thoughts, the prayers, the planning—everything becomes a tangible feeling of satisfaction. That our cups over flows and our heads are anointed with oil.

This story is uniquely written with a definite message for every person.

Thank you for this gift and anointed message. May the words from your pen continue to flow and God's grace be with you. 

About the authors

About Betsy Duffey

Betsy Duffey grew up with a love of reading and writing. Her earliest experience with writing came from reading manuscripts by her mother author and Newbery winner, Betsy Byars.

Betsy began writing in 1990 and has published over twenty children’s books, including a number of popular series. Her books have been Junior Library Guild selections, Crown Award nominees, and have been nominated for state awards in over twenty states including the California Young Reader Medal, the Texas Bluebonnet Award and the Florida Sunshine State Young Reader Award. Betsy’s books have been translated into Japanese, Korean, Dutch and Danish, and included in numerous book clubs.

Her latest books are devotional books for adults. She began writing short meditations for friends who were challenged in different ways. More Peace started for a friend undergoing chemotherapy. More Hope for a young friend dealing with infertility. The series continues to grow.

Betsy and her husband Bill split their time between Atlanta and the Georgia mountains. When she is not writing you can probably find her outside hiking in the woods, enjoying time with grandkids or on the porch in a rocking chair with a good book.

About Laurie Myers

Laurie Myers is the award-winning author of chapter books for children, including Surviving Brick Johnson, an ALA Notable book, and Lewis and Clark and Me, winner of the Pennsylvania Children's book award and Honor book for Michigan. Her books have been on the International Reading Association's Children's Choice, Teachers' Choice and Parents' Choice lists, as well as Junior Library Guild selection and many state master lists and nominations for the Crown Award.

She has collaborated with her sister, Betsy Duffey and her mother Betsy Byars on several popular books, which have been nominated for many state awards and won the Oregon, Louisiana, and South Carolina children's book awards.

She lives in Augusta, Georgia with her husband, their dog, Samson and their cat, Venus.


Monday, October 24, 2022

Book Review: Solar Warden Book Three - Genesis by Peter Fuller

Genre: Christian Fiction, Military Science Fiction

Brief bio:

Award-winning author Peter Fuller worked in the Military History Department of the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, Alberta, Canada for eight years. He has studied military history for decades. Over the years, he’s written numerous articles and lectured at major museums and universities on the subject of military history. He has also been a regular panelist at NORWESCON since 2017.

Mr. Fuller has studied the UFO phenomenon since grade school. He is a member of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) and has had a few “close encounters” of his own. He recently interviewed the son of a US military officer about his late father’s work on several special access projects for the secret space program.  

Book tour and review: Dead Reckoning by Lea O'Harra

  Dead Reckoning by Lea O'Harra  Publisher: Sharpe Books-UK (Sept 29, 2022)  Category: Crime Fiction, Family Life, Kidnapping  Tour dat...