It’s Book Season!

Yes! That’s right. Halloween not only kicks off the official Candi (It just looks better spelled like that. 🙂 ) season, but leads to other autumn and winter holidays on the way. But even bigger is the over-arching autumn and winter months that are perfect times to curl up with a collection of favorite books.

New releases are happening virtually every second and the harvest of entertaining books is never more abundant than right now. I hope you’ve decided to purchase an e-reader of your choice so you can take advantage of the convenience of digital reading. Yes, I know, an e-book is a departure from a traditional paper and ink book. Think of it this way: Are you still holding out for the telegram and the Morse code as a way to stay in touch with your social circles? Neither am I.Reading in Stacks

Oh no, I’m not an either-or person when it comes to preferring paper books vs digital books. I prefer both, and still have more paper and ink books than digital. I just love the convenience of the e-reader. Whatever your preference, settle in for the season and enjoy some great books.

Take time to browse the different categories and genres of books and look for new releases. Above all make it a point to discover new authors. Sample the “look inside” and preview features offered online at your favorite bookseller. Those sample pages will help you decide if that book and/or author is for you. By visiting the author’s online sites you can gather additional insight to the author and her/his work.Book Club

If you’re looking for some specific recommendations, click on the Five-Star Author tab at the top of the blog. You’ll find a list of authors and their genres that I’ve enjoyed. Visit their author page or website and sample their work. You’ll find writing worth checking out.

After you try, and enjoy a new author’s work, take a few minutes to write a thoughtful review. Reviews are greatly appreciated by authors, and your impressions can be helpful to other readers browsing for another read. Include in your review what you liked about the book. And remember the tone of your review is a reflection upon you, not the author. One can still be civil and respectful when expressing positive or negative impressions.

Whatever you do, grab those leftover bags of Halloween treats, and crack open a new book.Dog Reading

It’s book season! Enjoy!

Full of mystery, suspense, and thrills!

Author Michael W. Smart gives readers a fresh voice as he delivers a fully developed story with Dead Reckoning, his debut novel. Descriptions so graphic you’ll feel the sea breezes of the Caribbean, taste the flavors of the local foods, and feel the sensations of earth, ocean, and sky. Mother Nature at her best! But that’s just the beginning. Most of all you’ll meet real-life characters that will take you deep into the unfolding drama of Dead Reckoning.Michael Smart

Smart fills his writing with edge-of-seat mystery, and since he gives his characters a wide berth, their behavior creates conflict and tension page after page. But Smart allows tidbits of humor to add flavor and realism to his plot.

The author has developed a winning character in Nicholas Gage who takes the lead, and has a history that arouses the reader’s curiosity and imagination of who he really is. The author unravels enough details to lay a thread to Deadeye, the second novel in the Bequia mystery series. Nicholas Gage is in a peer group that includes Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer, Ian Fleming’s James Bond, John MacDonald’s Travis McGee, and Lee Child’s Jack Reacher.

I wouldn’t dare spoil your read of Dead Reckoning by telling secrets of Nicholas Gage, but I’ll pass this one along. Gage has two love interests that divide his attentions, except when he can intimately enjoy both together. However one is a part of his soul, calming him, and the other stirs his emotions as she is out to claim his soul. Should I mention heart-felt drama at this point?Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00044]

As if that isn’t enough drama, Smart lets the undercurrents of the underworld shatter the tranquility of the restful resort world of the Caribbean Islands, with deadly mischief, raising the threat level for everyone, and especially for Nicholas Gage and who and what he treasures the most.

If you love the tranquility, and also the excitement of sailing the seas, then you’ll enjoy that extra bonus and thrill when you settle down to read Dead Reckoning, and Deadeye. Both hit the target of Five-Star reading entertainment.

Keep your writing pen filled with more mystery, suspense, and thrills, Mr. Smart. Give us more Gage!

Michael W. Smart’s Author Page.

A challenging read from the mystical realm!

Author Elle Klass takes a bold step into the mystical and paranormal genre with her Eye of the Storm. The title itself is open-ended, as readers will discover, and Klass leaves readers with the notion that the storm is not over, its effects spreading widely into a world of shadows and unknowns.41wa5Q1bmbL._UY250_

Klass apparently has a streak of playful wit as she sets up her story for her readers. Be sure you read every word of her book carefully or you’ll miss it. I did, until a fellow reader explained. Klass plants her challenge, and buries deep other nuances for the reader to figure out. After all, you’ve now entered Elle Klass’s mystical world.

Fans of the paranormal genre will welcome Eye of the Storm to their reading shelf. It’s a fresh take on the off-center, the off-kilter, and the unexplainable world without the clear-cut boundaries of reality.

But Klass is not content to deliver a neat little cookie-cutter story for her readers. Instead the ending is the beginning of yet another mystery with an edge as sharp and penetrating as a precision scalpel, and yet as murky as the mystical twilight zone.

Writing about things or an “existence” that reeks with the unexplainable must be difficult and a challenge for a writer. I tip my eReader to Klass’s debut entry into the paranormal genre and give her Five Stars for Eye of the Storm.

Elle Klass’s Author Page.

Five-Star, Heart-throbbing romantic suspense!

Having read Keeper, and Keep Her, by author Robyn Roze, I feel suspended as if nearing the top or crest of a reckless roller coaster. And I’ve come to believe that’s exactly where Roze intends to take her readers, to the edge of anticipation.51qsQinmLRL._AA160_

Keep Her is the second novel in her Keeper Trilogy. Roze packs Keep Her with additional heat as the triangle of main characters, Olivia, Jake, and Nick clutch and claw, trying to guard their intensifying emotional agendas. The author is skillful in keeping the tension tight with conflicting deep-seated desires.

As if that isn’t enough, Roze allows the refreshing new adult and college phase of the characters to be shadowed and challenged by the past that refuses to yield to the present or future. Throw in Roze’s talented approach to unleashing sensuous intimacies, and Keep Her becomes a sizzling brew of hormone-filled entertaining reading.

And the reader is stretched between the blissful allure of romance, and the thrilling draw of risky suspense that seems to breed on its own page after page. It’s the perfect combination of romantic suspense, edgy and seductive.

Keep Her took me to the crest of Roze’s reading roller coaster, as I read the last sentence in the novel. A clincher! I knew then I was hooked on the magnetism of Roze’s writing style and the pulsing storyline, and my Kindle is happy that I downloaded Find Her Free Her, the final book of the Keeper Trilogy. I know I’m in for a daring and entertaining evening on a reading roller coaster that has no limits.

There is no doubt where author Robyn Roze fits on my reading shelf. I’ve decided to Keep Her as a top-shelf favorite, now that I’ve found her!

Keep Her is Five-Star entertainment! So keep your ink pen filled, Ms. Roze, your readers are hooked!

Robyn Roze’s Amazon Author Page.

Thrill Driven Untamed and Unleashed!

Thrill Driven reads at reckless speed!

What happens when a woman is thrill driven? Successful business woman, 36 year-old Marla knows from experience it’s that sudden sharp feeling of excitement. That lusty rush of desire, want, and need, and the craving to satisfy it. More than ever she seeks to do that in Thrill Driven, Candi Silk’s latest erotic escapade.Thrill Driven prplxx09222014

After ending her emotionally barren marriage, Marla has regularly explored sensuous thrills with her favorite bed buddies, Ben and Ray. Both twenty-something, well-equipped studs. Seeking another level of thrills, Marla has invited Sherrie, Ben, and Ray for a long-weekend of “play.” But plans change, as Marla and Sherrie meet a third woman during a night of dancing.

Long-hidden desires come together as the three aroused women drink, dance, and play together. Discovering their womanly libidos are in sync, their swirling desires crave another level of eroticism as Ray joins them. And the night is driven full-throttle as the foursome swap naughty thrill after thrill, panting for satisfaction.

You’ll have a front row seat as uninhibited thrills spill forth page after page, enough to drive your e-reader over the edge, and blazing heat for your reading entertainment!

Thrill Driven, now available from Amazon, Smashwords, and shortly on other distribution channels.

Evan Asher – Five-Star Author

A small town romance embraced with big time emotion!

I came upon The Profiteer by browsing through Amazon’s genres. After reading the preview sample, I knew I had to read this book by new author, Evan Asher.

But here’s the catch with a book like this, brand new author and contemporary romance. Hardly an earth-shaking event. Even the book description indicated the story might be soft around the edges. How original is that for romance? So what was the draw for me, a reader? The author’s refreshing writing style and crisp presentation. The preview pages sold me upfront that Asher would know what to do with a handful of words, and a town teeming with tension and temptation.

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And yet when an author takes on the age-old story of romance he/she assumes total responsibility for figuring out how to keep the reader turning page after page. And with a simple plot, pressure to please the reader is even greater. The author must surely be prepared to turn simplicity into swirling entertainment. Evan Asher delivers, big time!

Asher entertains with the simple setting of a small town about to undergo big change that churns around the hero and heroine. Using only the back drop of a picturesque small town and the emotional turmoil of his leading characters, Asher does his best work. He doesn’t rely upon dramatic effects, car crashes, or some spiffy black ops new technology to inflate his story. He doesn’t need it. He works with his characters, and takes time to fully develop them, penning a delicious romance with the emotions from the hearts of his characters. Simplicity, simmering into unstoppable feelings.

As the reader, I experienced the swing and sway of romance in-the-making, only to be jolted by the sinking feeling of losing that heartfelt romance. But then Asher allows for the recapturing of an even greater euphoria that is well-told in The Profiteer. Other aspects of his story are conveyed easily with his select word choice that flowed naturally, without a spot of artificiality. His writing gave me that down-home comfortable feeling that I wanted to hang on to and commit to memory. And the touch of his pen captured seamlessly female and male emotions as interactions bantered back and forth.

And there’s plenty of passion in The Profiteer, but Asher has a good sense of timing as he landscapes the storyline with ample sizzle to make you want more. The author handles sensual intimacies delicately, tastefully, and yet I felt the deep strong currents of passion coursing through the characters. I found myself pulling for those kinder, softer, gentler values of the human spirit. So, who should read The Profiteer? Well, grandma for starters, then grandpa, and mom and dad, and yes, aunts and uncles, cousins, and teenagers about to graduate. And it should be a favorite among the new adult generation. The Profiteer can grace my coffee table any day of the week.

I compliment Asher for the bonus of a well-edited book to enhance the ease of reading. With the length of the book and quality of content, I would easily shoulder it against another popular novel, The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller. Both provided equal entertainment for me. And both carry the power of simplicity embraced by romance.

After finishing The Profiteer, I wished I could get a one-way ticket on a slow-moving Greyhound bus to Cedar Grove and enjoy those characters for real.

Evan Asher, thanks for a Five-Star evening of reading entertainment from The Profiteer. I’ll look for your continued good works of contemporary romance.

Here is Evan Asher’s Amazon Author Page.

 

Taylor Evan Fulks – Five-Star Author

“A Captivating, Controversial, and Compelling Read!” ~ Candi Silk

The author, Taylor Evan Fulks, is direct and honest about My Prison Without Bars. In the front matter of her book she clearly tells the reader what her story is about and the style and manner in which she wrote it. She clearly states her story-telling intentions, and gives warning to potential readers that her story is about child sexual abuse, and she would pull no punches in delivering her message of what happened to the protagonist, Taylor Smith a little three year-old girl.

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After I’d read the preview pages offered by Amazon, I knew Fulks had more than ample ability to pull my interest from page to page, and she continued to do so for the next 434 pages. The content is not pleasant, but the author, with her flowing writing style, glides the reader page by page, like a river guide taking you on a wild rafting ride, as she navigates through deadly events. You’ll arrive safely, but your inner person will be rattled in a memorable way.

But you must read this riveting dark story, before you can appreciate the light at the end. If you never experienced what it was like being on a cheerleading team, now’s your chance. When you read My Prison Without Bars, you’ll find yourself cheering for little 3-year-old Taylor Smith. And before the book ends, you’ll discover something very powerful about the human spirit.

While most typical 3-year-old girls were surrounded by the comforts of cookies and cuddly things, Taylor’s fragile body and spirit was cornered, coerced, conspired against, and cramped into a crucible containing a chaotic blend of mental, physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Family dysfunction at its worst. Yes, a very real “prison without bars.” And no one offered her a key or a “get out of jail FREE card.” People around her looked right through her; Taylor was a non-person to them, good only for using and abusing.
What makes My Prison Without Bars such an outstanding story is the mismatch between the selfish greed and bullying thrust upon Taylor, and that innocent spark of self-worth hiding within her tiny human spirit. Evil and bad stuff are never a match. Resilience prevails.

If I were an administrator or teaching today at a college or university, My Prison Without Bars would be required reading, campus-wide. Remember, there are worthy books in addition to just the classics of old. Throughout Fulk’s book, she raises critical questions of who, what, where, how, when, and why that would stir enriching debate within every academic discipline or venue.

Why would I require MPWB for all disciplines? Because abuse, and bullying are systemic; it occurs in every setting: the privacy of homes, the neighborhood, the school, the workplace, the recreation place, and yes, even “houses of religion.” Denying it doesn’t make it go away. If we deny it, we are aiding and abetting the abuse.

Even during the darkest pages, as I continued to follow the traumatic journey of more than nine years of living Hell, Taylor Smith offered tidbits of humor to offset her pain and misery. As Taylor entered her school years, individuals and institutions continued to fail her. Each time she thought she’d found a friendship that would welcome her into normalcy, deception claimed the moment, and her struggle continued.

As a reader your emotions are going to be put through the wringer until you discover, along with Taylor, the power of self-worth. There’s no way to capture that in a summary sentence. You’ll have to experience it along with Taylor. Self-worth is always present but the challenge is to claim it, and that can be difficult when facing gigantic odds. But once claimed, there was no stopping Taylor Smith or Taylor Fulks.

So where are they today? I’m not exactly sure geographically, but I just know they are well above any “glass ceiling” in the area. Taylor Smith, the heroine, and Taylor Fulks, the author are real break-through women to be highly regarded and appreciated for claiming what was theirs all along, their self-worth. Oh, yes, they’ve got the bruises and dents to prove it, but those beautiful bashes and scrapes make them priceless, a real treasure of winning resilience.

Congratulations, Taylor Evan Fulks, for a riveting, inspiring, and enlightening book. I never imagined a little 3-year-old would become one of my super heroines, but then again, Jesus of long ago did indicate the value of little children. It’s sad that some modern-day humans haven’t caught up to that valuable truth.

Not many would open themselves to vulnerability by publishing such a sensitive topic as child sexual abuse. Only a seasoned, confident, break-through woman who is intimately familiar with the true meaning of vulnerable would do such a daring, heroic thing. More admiration for you and your Five-Star novel, Ms. Fulks.

You’re a Five-Star Author! My Prison Without Bars is a well-written captivating, memorable read, and an example of someone willing to reach out to the helpless, hopeless, and vulnerable. There’s always space on my reading shelf for your books, Ms. Fulks!

Five Stars and more for you telling little Taylor’s story of trauma and triumph!

(Taylor Fulks’s Author Page.)