The next instalment of my 2015 recommended reads from some very talented authors indeed. If you should see a book listed here and need any further information on it, do click on the picture to be taken directly to the amazon page for that title or please, shoot me a message and I’ll be more than happy to help. Take a look at these tasty morsels.
This anthology of short stories features some brilliant writers from around the world and was assembled by Eric Lahti.
One of my own short stories is featured here alongside some great writing talent from within the Indie Author Support and Discussion group of which I am a member.
I have not written a review for this compilation due to my involvement in it but I can assure you that if you give a bunch of creative minds a topic of ‘Holes’ to work with, you’re in for a very entertaining mixed bag of stories. That’s exactly what you get from this anthology. Well worth a read.
Newborn Nazi – Rhoda D’Ettore
This is my review of this book, a very memorable read!
When I first looked at this book I have to admit that I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it. Having studied the Nazi Party many years ago at school (many,many years ago, I might add) while I found the subject fascinating then, much has happened since. What I found when I began this novel was something akin to that same fascination I had back then, in so much as is felt like a step back in time to those dark days of our evolution.
Essentially, we have a story of rebellion against the notorious Nazi Party which, to a degree, had the entire world fooled as to its true nature at the beginning, so much so that at one point, Adolf Hitler was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize!! Rhoda manages to capture the suspense and small clues as the story progresses and our heroine, in the form of Frau Schultz (Hedwig) has passion and determination not only to strike at the very heart of a regime that she despises, but also to continue her rebellion by helping innocent people condemned through pure ignorance. I found myself rooting for Hedwig on many occasions as the story unfolded. I have to say, I really enjoyed the brief romantic interludes throughout the plots and twists of this rollercoaster ride into espionage and double agents on both sides of the Atlantic.
I have no doubt that families, brother and sisters in particular, would have been separated as younger boys were forcibly enlisted into the Hitler Youth, to be indoctrinated and brainwashed with the misguided hatred of all who did not conform. It was very easy to understand the conflict of Edmund towards his sister Hedwig when he finally found out about her double life.
There are some that may claim that this isn’t a factually correct novel, but then, it’s fiction – and as a reader, I found the scenes and characters very believable. The lengths the Nazi Party would go to in the pursuit of victory and world domination knew no bounds. This book merely touches the surface of the atrocities they had planned. In my humble opinion, the author creates enough imagery and detail for a reader to imagine the scenes of soldiers bursting through doors, guns raised and I particularly liked the portrayal of Lieutenant Reinhard who, when his fate came, was long overdue. While there are some minor editing errors, it is easy to overlook them in the pursuit of the story which kept me turning the pages effortlessly.
This book surprised me in a good way and I’m so glad that I read it to the conclusion, even then, I was praying that Gustav would have made it despite his marriage. It was good to learn of the fates of the other characters as sometimes authors have a tendency to fizzle out some of their creations which can leave a reader frustrated if there isn’t a sequel planned – in this instance we get to know what happens to them.
In closing then, I can recommend this novel as a really good read, it isn’t as heavy as you might think and although centres a lot around the misguided Nazi Party, it does allow a reader to see that there were some good elements of that party who did their best to help against insurmountable odds at times. It also shows us the courage and risks that a few took for the safety of the many – something we should all remember and pass on to future generations. Well done Rhoda, 5* easily earned.
Here’s my review of this enthralling read from Rebecca Bryn…
This is a story of the past. It is a story of ghosts from thirty years gone that numerous people have gone to great lengths to ensure never comes to the surface once more.
It begins with the painting of a picture, the picture of a girl, Alana, who has struggled through her own childhood, the bitterness towards the end of her parents marriage and the injustice and degradation of being raped.
The portrayal of Alana in fantastic and I, as the reader warmed to her immediately, to the point of genuine sorrow at the torment she feels towards her young daughter Saffy, the child born of that terrible incident at the hands of the despicable Mike, Tony’s brother. The tale depicted upon the inheritance of The Haggard, an old, crumbling cottage deep in the Pembrokeshire countryside left to Alana by a long forgotten aunt, creates remarkable scenes in the mind. Characters begin to be brought to life as the past comes back to haunt those still alive. An injustice born of personal selfishness, child abuse and self-preservation soon turns into a deadly game.
I loved the descriptions of the local scenery combined with the closed ranks towards the ‘outsider’ that arrives in the form firstly of Alana, closely followed by the seemingly rag-tag acquaintances in the forms of Greg and Maddy, intricately woven into the final plot – which I am not going to into detail in here. This story had me engrossed from the first pages and only gets better as it goes on. If I had JUST one gripe, it would be that occasionally I felt that a chapter should have been used instead of a new paragraph, likewise, an Epilogue could have been placed in the final pages just to separate it from the main story and bring it to a smoother ending. That is however, the ONLY fault I can find an in no way affects my decision on the final star rating.
This story has enough suspense, delicately subtle love scenes whereby implication is graciously allowed to flourish, and beautifully crafted lines that take you to the very Welsh countryside of the setting. It pulls you along deeper and deeper into not only the tangled web of plots and sub-plots but also into the myriad of personalities hidden deep within the tortured mind of Nerys – a character that will have you directing numerous thoughts, from revulsion to compassion, in the space of the pages. Rebecca Bryn has found another fan in this story, eager to read one of her other successful works, such is the quality of her style in writing. I have no qualms what-so-ever in recommending this title. A well-earned five stars.
There you have my next in the series of reads you really ought to read, or in fact, give to someone as a gift this Christmas. They WILL thank you for them, I promise you.
QP signing off… for now.