Book Review: The Accidental Gatekeeper by Carla Rehse

The Story:

Everly Poppa is a 45 year old woman with a sassy teen daughter and a husband in jail. With no one else to turn to, she heads home to her Mom, despite having left her home town, years before, vowing never to return. Home is a small town in America that happens to be one of the Gates to Hell. Angels and demons govern the town which is in a state of flux. The old Gatekeeper has died and their successor has disappeared. A hellhound bites Everly. The town is locked down. Everly must find her daughter and the new Gatekeeper, battle the demons, support the angels and find a snarky witch. Oh – and deal with her old high school boyfriend just for good measure. Then perhaps she can deal with her real world issues: the FBI wanting her to testify against her husband and his drug-dealing friends who don’t.

This is a delight of a book. Everly Poppa is the the new premenopausal heroine of women everywhere. Anyone who is a daughter or a mother will love it.

Review

The Accidental Gatekeeper by Carla Rehse

The Accidental Gatekeeper is a joy of a story that keeps you reading right to the end. Everly is very relatable and the relationship with her daughter and her mother very real. The fact is that we never grow up and humans can keep making the same mistakes over and over again. The paranormal element is well-drawn: the demons are annoying until things get messy and the angels are grand and judgemental until the chips are down. There are also shapeshifters, werewolves, ghosts and poltergeists and witches. Carla Rehse has painted an enjoyable world.  I would recommend this story for people who enjoy paranormal stories. There will be two more books about Everly coming in the future and I am looking forward to reading more about her adventures.

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Book Review: Dark Horses by Susan Mihalic

Dark Horses by Susan Mihalic

Dark Horses by Susan Mihalic

Thanks to Netgalley for proof copy

The book cover has been changed since publication.

This book is a rollercoaster of dark emotions, young romance, abuse and fierce ambition which makes for a gripping read.

Horse Book

I was drawn to this book because I loved horse books as a child but this is not a book for young children. The central character, Roan Montgomery, is a grown-up 15 year old who is strong and fierce and who does not back down. Roan is training for the Olympics as a three day eventer in the disciplines of eventing, dressage and show jumping. She has to balance this tough life with the pressures of school and a less than harmonious home life. Added to the mix: her coach is her father, a former Olympic competitor and strong disciplinarian with the stirrings of first love and you have an amazing concoction of a book that keeps you engrossed from start to finish.

Strong Female Character

Roan, herself, is a strong female character: she has to be in order to keep winning but there is more to her life than outsiders see and the way she is able to deal with it is impressive in one so young.

There are some strong scenes in this book which might be triggering for some. Characters are well-drawn and believable. Will and Roan’s romance is tender and provides some counterbalance to the strong forces that rule her life. The novel is very dark in places and there are points where it is very tense. The reader definitely understands what pressure there might be for people who wish to succeed in their chosen sport.

I would recommend Dark Horses with the caveat that if you have had some trauma in your life that you might want to approach with care.

Sarah Charmley.

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Book Review: Self-Publish and Succeed

Self-Publish and Succeed: The ‘No boring books’ way to write a non-fiction book that sells by Julie Broad

Thanks to Netgalley for my preview copy of this book

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Self-Publish and Succeed

When reading a self-help book, it is always gratifying to see that the author has taken their own advice in the production of their book. Julie Broad is that author.

Whether it’s making the chapter titles interesting (tick), knowing your hook (tick) or even the important subject of choosing the right title and subtitle (tick, tick) Julie Broad has an opinion on all of these matters, and more importantly, she uses her own self-help book to prove why they are important.

Follows her own advice

Every chapter has something of value to the reader. Every chapter contains interesting nuggets of information and every chapter helps to build a full picture relating to the subject of the book. Julie shares stories of her first self-publishing venture and her second. By the third, she has learned a great deal and is able to share her wisdom to the benefit of non-fiction authors everywhere.

Not only did I find this book readable, helpful and interesting, but I found that what it had to say about self-publishing would also apply to fiction books in a lot of ways. Fiction books also need a good hook to keep the reader reading, an intriguing title and a ‘try me’ front cover. Any aspiring author will learn a great deal from picking up this book and reading it from cover to cover. The book also links with Julie’s website and business, so it helps to plug her business while demonstrating her knowledge of the subject matter.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, yes, I would. More importantly I would actually consider buying my own copy, I found it that helpful. Highly commended. Thank you, Julie.

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