#RRBC MEMBER BOOK REVIEWS

Welcome to RRBC Member Reviews!  We know you’ve probably shared it on Amazon (or, maybe Amazon took your review down and are refusing to put it back up for whatever reason), but we’d love to know what you thought of the RRBC books you’ve read.  Please leave the title of your book, the author of the book and your review down below in the comments section.  Before you leave, we’d also appreciate you clicking the share buttons on this page and sending it to all your social media platforms!  Members who have had reviews removed from Amazon, will get credit if they share their reviews here.

Happy Reviewing!

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23 responses

  1. I just reviewed three books and gave them all 2 stars or less. I wonder why people give such good reviews. Is it because authors want to support other authors? When the reviews of my book started coming in, by reaction was, “My god, it wasn’t THAT good!”
    George Graybill

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  2. I reviewed “Fractured Proverbs and Twisted Thoughts” by Elizabeth Cowan.
    Maybe this just was not in my vein of humor, but I didn’t find much to laugh at. The book is an endless stream of one-liners. Some are clever with some meaningful content. Most are inane puns or pointless in other ways. Some are sexist or otherwise inappropriate. “No man can serve two masters. The wife is enough.” “If God wanted world peace, why did he create women?” I think that maybe a book is the wrong medium for this material. I can see each joke appearing daily on the comic page under a clever one-panel cartoon.
    2 stars
    George Graybill

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  3. I reviewed “The Big Bang and Lines of Space” by Devinder jDhiman. This is my review:
    The conversational format is a useful approach to presenting the material. Unfortunately, much of what is presented is scientifically incorrect. In this age of attacks on science and alternative facts, people writing in this genre must get it right. The author should have done more research on the subject. A few examples:
    1. Atoms do not expand under high temperature (Location 414). This is a grade school misconception.
    2. Wavelength does not increase with distance from the source (Location 469).
    3. Dark energy is not 100 times greater than observable energy. (Location 726).
    At that point, I quit reading.
    1 star
    George Graybill

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  4. I reviewed “Here, Hold My Beer” by VJJ Dunn. Here is my review:
    The humor is well delivered. The author is from the Dave Barry school of writing, but not quite that good. Also the jokes are a bit over the top and too nonstop. What really extinguished some stars was portraying teenage drinking and driving as humorous. Inexcusable. I still cringe when I recall similar stupid drunken stunts from my past and think “My god; someone could have been killed!”
    2 stars
    George Graybill

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  5. I reviewed Davida: Model and Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gardens by Karen Ingalls. You’ll find my review at: https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R2YIVKWNXPWTVO/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B01DA963A8

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  6. I recently finished One Dead Wife by Belinda Bennett and have written a review, for your consideration.

    This novel starts out slowly but picks up as the pages turn. A well-plotted story with enough twists to keep the reader guessing, the story will entertain those who enjoy a mystery. The characters are believable and I enjoyed the details, such as the campground reviews and the investigative dialogue, which made the background and setting come to life. Overall, it’s an enjoyable read that is worth the price of admission.

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  7. Review of “Dog Bone Soup” by Bette A. Stevens.
    I liked the story line, but I wasn’t drawn in until fairly far into the book when the intensity began to mount. I found the main characters engaging and believable most of the time. It was never clear where this was taking place geographically. Some readers would have liked to know that. I was raised in a socioeconomic situation very similar to the main family at about the same time, and yet the descriptions of their life didn’t take me back. I think it may have been the dialog and first-person narration that didn’t ring quite true. The homey metaphors and similes seemed artificial. Kids don’t talk or think that way. The book could use a good proof read. The small errors scattered throughout will bother writers, but maybe not readers. I’m rounding up to four stars.

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  8. I bought an eBook copy of The Actress by Michael Hicks Thompson and posted a 4-Star review on Amazon.
    This is the review:
    This is a Christian murder mystery taking place (mainly) in Solo, Mississippi, a place where the land is “so level and wide you could see the sun rise on the horizon in the east and set in the west.”
    First let me say that I liked this novel. It is exceptionally well written, and held my interest from page one to the final page of the final chapter. It might look easy to write a mystery, but it is not an easy genre for the author. There must be clues, and “red herrings.” The mystery must not be too easy to solve, but neither should it be impossible for the reader to figure out what happened. There are many ways to slip up. Mr. Thompson avoided all these pitfalls and got it right.

    What I liked:
    The thing I liked best were the characters. They were believable human beings. Even the most wicked of them had a back-story which gave us insight into why they acted as they did. The pacing and plotting were excellent. Thompson moved the story along, with just enough narrative and explanation, but not too much. I found the main character, Martha McRae, sympathetic and sincere, and I cared about her and wanted her to succeed. She showed great leadership and deductive skills without losing her femininity, and without the need to brandish a weapon or shoot anyone. Kinda unusual for heroines, these days.
    I liked the use of Scriptural references to set off major parts in the book. I also liked the use of colophons to mark breaks in the sequence of events. They were helpful in finding my way.
    The courtroom procedure and dialogue in court sounded completely convincing.
    There were some editorial issues, but the novel showed evidence of good editing. I did not notice egregious grammar mistakes. I did notice some problems with editing, and I will mention them below, but they were really not significant in my enjoyment of the story.
    What I did not like:
    Since I mentioned editing problems, let me cover these first. I saw one instance of a line of dialogue in quotation marks after a colophon that should have been before the colophon. I saw two instances where the dialogue of two characters were merged in one paragraph, which should never be done. One spelling mistake, “stared” for “starred.”
    There were some odd inconsistencies or non sequiturs. In one, Tully says “au revoir” and Martha regarded it as “excellent French.” That does not make sense. Many people can say a few words in French with a passable accent, and since Tully is an actress, this should not be surprising. But to call it “excellent French” seems to be a huge stretch.

    The district attorney, Mike Wood, makes a big point that he was reluctant to cooperate with Martha at first because “he was not sure she was guilty.” But a few pages later, he twice lectures Martha, essentially saying that his personal views on guilt or innocence are not significant. This seems inconsistent, and cries out for an explanation.

    Another time, Tully Ivey insists that she be called “Miss Ivey” and not “Mrs. Ivey.” Martha was “stunned by her arrogance.” I don’t see why that would stun Martha or anyone else. Tully seems to me to be making a reasonable request, and should not have caused a huge emotional response.
    The major difficulty is (SPOILER ALERT) when one of the characters is tried for the murder of another character. But they had been previously tried, three years earlier, in the same court, and acquitted. Sorry, even California is not going to allow a person to be twice tried for the same offense. That is called “double jeopardy.” And this is a major hole in the plot.

    Conclusion:
    This is a well-written book that I certainly enjoyed. The reader will have to turn a blind eye to some inconsistencies, but will be rewarded by diverting entertainment.

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  9. Now that life is returning to normal at my house– somewhat — I was able to post the following reviews to Amazon. It is gratifying that there are so many good reads here on RRBC.

    Guy Worthey
    Ace Carroway and the Great War (The Adventures of Ace Carroway
    Book 1)

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book and couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. The idea of a teenager with Ace’s capabilities is rather unusual, but I was willing to believe in her and her band of prisoners. The rapport of the men and their joking conversations rings true as does their admiration of Ace. I don’t know whether the technical information is correct, but I really didn’t care. I suspect male young adults will, so I trust that it is. Guy Worthey is a splendid writer who combines comedy with just enough real menace and heroic exploits with just enough real emotion to have created an engaging story with heart. I look forward to reading more of Ace’s adventures.

    Gwen Plano and John Howell
    The Contract between heaven and earth

    What an unusual and intriguing book The Contract is. The forces of good are joined to stop the world from destruction. But instead of substituting a beneficial (in our eyes) governmental power for an evil power, our heroes must rebalance the emotional thrust of the earth and restore “love as life’s ultimate purpose.” Plano and Howell succeed in a collaboration that had to have been made in heaven. They use their respective strengths as writers to weave a complex tale of emotional and physical challenges that propels the reader through this fast-paced thriller. It is in keeping with their intention that the final climax of the book is not the exciting earthly duel that averts catastrophe, but is the soul-warming celestial conclusion . I highly recommend it to people who enjoy intelligent thrillers with heart.

    Joy Nwosu Lo-Bomijoko
    Legend of the Walking Dead

    I enjoyed the masterful way this book was written. The story simply flowed in keeping with what would have been an oral tradition. I didn’t feel as if I were “reading” a book, but more as if I were “hearing” the voice of an accomplished storyteller who was passing on the legends of a people. The story of Gloria and her son and the way they overcame the predicament they were in was fascinating. It is interesting that in Gloria’s culture, as in many others, death is portrayed as a portal into a spirit world of great beauty where more is gained than lost and is not to be feared as an ending but embraced as a beginning. The last section of the story was not as interesting to me as the rest was, but it did not detract from my enjoyment of this wonderful book. I would love to visit the world the author created another time and hope she will give us more stories about Gloria and her assignments.

    Verwayne Greenhoe
    Things my Father Taught Me

    The stories in this book reminded me of “yesteryear” when we listened to “The Lone Ranger” on the radio while doing the dinner dishes. It was a time of aunts and uncles and grandparents who, if we were lucky, told us stories about people they had known and things they had done and allowed us younger ones to take from them what we wanted. I learned a lot about the way good people live their lives. Verwayne Greehoe has honored his father by his honesty and has given us a lovely book that keeps us asking the question, “And then what?”

    Eileen Thornton
    Death on Tyneside (Agnes Lockwood Mysteries Book 2)

    Agnes returns to Tyneside only to stumble across another dead body. This time, not only is she in some danger when she thrusts herself into the investigation, but she is also threatened by a person who unsettles her memory of her father. As with many cozy mysteries, the characters and the setting are what hold the reader. Ms. Thornton’s characters have an appealing quality from DCI Johnson’s concern about the growth and safety of his officers and Agnes’s stubbornness about being part of the investigation. At the same time, they are charmingly hesitant about revealing their feelings about each other.
    If you enjoy light-hearted mysteries, you will enjoy the Tyneside series. This book would have benefited from a more thorough editing, but it is still an enjoyable read. Here’s to more Tyneside mysteries!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. My review of “Sugarcoatin’ is for Candy. . .” by Nonnie Jules is live on Amazon. The text of the review and the link are below.
    I absolutely loved “Sugarcoatin’ is for Candy. . .!” It is a refreshingly positive book that is quite entertaining, and filled with not only some great quotes, but also the author’s common sense suggestions, and advice. For example: when in doubt, it helps to pray; teach your children basic courtesy; lift people up, if you have the ability; stand up for yourself and tell the truth. It’s written with a sense of humor and would be a quick read, if you didn’t stop to ponder some of the author’s opinions, ideas and interpretations. Ms. Jules apparently practices what she preaches, as well. She is an author who supports other authors to the extent that she has created a book club, RRBC, to do just that.
    After reading “Sugarcoatin,” I suspect there are quite a few who will join me in always remembering “A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.” You’ll need to read the book to understand.
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R392K579M9AVO2/ref=cm_cr_dp_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00IRIA0I4

    Liked by 1 person

  11. My review of Tears of Fire, by Gordon Bickerstaff is now live on Amazon.
    https://www.amazon.com/review/R11V411CUWZO6T/ref=cm_cr_srp_d_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B07DPSWZ3J

    The text of the review is as follows: 18 Tears of Fire is the third of a series but is also a great stand-alone read. I am a fan of mysteries and thrillers, and this author is on my repeat list. The characters are nicely developed individuals who will be remembered after the book is put back on the shelf. This well-written novel is a fast paced, action packed story. Once you start it, you won’t want to put it down. Well done, Mr. Bickerstaff!

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    1. Thank you Karen. I’m so glad you liked the story.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. My review for The Dionysus Connection by Liz Cowan has been posted on Amazon. A link to the review:https://amzn.to/2MzNp6Q

    The text of the review : “With a dramatic start, this novel will grab the reader and keep him/her engrossed. The story line is a good one and not predictable, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The characters are realistic as is the dialogue, and the romance added a dimension that worked beautifully. I recommend this novel without hesitation. 5 stars.” https://amzn.to/2MzNp6Q

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  13. I just read and reviewed The Watchmage of New York by C.A. Sanders.

    As I said in my Amazon review, I kept meaning to put the book down but was never able to. Read it to the end. A great mixture of Magic, Fantastical Creatures and Humans all in a mystery type story. Worth every minute of reading.

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  14. D.L Finn, Author | Reply

    Here are my recent books I’ve read and the reviews:
    I’ve Always Loved Women

    by Rhani D’Chae

    This was a fascinating read! Although it stated clearly in the beginning there was going to be a murder I was still surprised when it happened. Once I started reading I couldn’t put it down. I had to know why. It was chilling to see through the killer’s point of view. The characters were real, the subject matter of abuse important, and the rationale almost makes sense—almost. I loved this story and highly recommend it, especially if you enjoy a story told through the “serial killer’s” prospective!

    Short Stories of Fantasy: Sarpati, The Slot Machine, Broken Toys in the Attic, The Fair Lady

    By Patricia A. Guthrie

    This is a collection of four short stories that held my attention. The tales ranged from seeing Adam and Eve from the snakes’ prospective, what a slot machine is thinking, not to enter an attic if you are a spoiled child, and books that should never be read. Each had its own flavor that I fully enjoyed. This was a fun read for me. If you enjoy the paranormal with a bit of horror mixed in, you’ll enjoy this collection.

    Two Shorts and a Snort

    By Jan Sikes

    There are two short stories and a poem in this collection. My favorite short story was “Obsession”. It takes the reader to a place of greed and lust, and what a dark path they can drag you down. I could sympathize with the characters and at the same time cringe at the things they did. The other short story “Maggie” was a sweet tale when a rancher finds a gift in a snow bank. I left this story wanting to know more, but very glad the couple got what they desired. The poem rang true about relationships that shouldn’t go ‘there’. “Two Shorts and a Snort” is an ideal read before bedtime–or even your lunch break.

    Tequila Rose Virginity Blues: Contemporary Romance Short Story

    by Wendy Jayne

    Ms. Jayne takes us on a chance meeting and a forgetful morning after. Tequila wakes up with a major hangover and tries to figure out what happened between her and Jack. Was this a person she might want to have a relationship or forget she met him? I enjoyed the storyline and humor. The characters were well-written, and I was curious to see what happened between them. It wasn’t a rushed short-story ending–even with “speed-dating”.

     Saving The Evergreens: Garden Secrets 

    by Maretha Botha

    This is a charming short-story of a little Evergreen from the Tree Quarters named Smallun. Smallun meets up with a butterfly he names Flutter and he quickly shares his story of his home being attacked by the Zondies and escaping to safety. It reminded me of a similar issue we have in our area with tree beetles killing the pine trees. This story makes you want to look twice at what grows in our gardens or forests.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks D. L. – wow you’ve been a busy reader!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Here is my Five-star review of Suzanne Burke’s outstanding collection of Short stories titled The Alternative.

    Suzanne Burke has a masterful way of telling a story. She is very direct in laying out the plot in such a way as to convince the reader that the ending will naturally follow the sequence that has been presented. The beauty of the way Ms. Burke crafts her tale is when the finish comes, it packs the wallop of a couple of horse’s hooves.
    The collection of stories in The Alternative is no exception to this phenomenon. One cannot even be assured that any one of the stories will follow a prescribed path to a conclusion. That is the beauty of Ms. Burke’s work. The reader is delighted and surprised every step of the way.
    There is delightful darkness to Ms. Burke’s storytelling. Having read other work by her, I have to believe she finds the dark infinitely more interesting than the light. I can say one thing. Once you read a Suzanne Burke novel or short story, you’ll become a fan.
    This collection of stories is well told and have a sophistication not generally found in the short story style. Anyone of these stories carries the depth of plot and complexity that would be typically be found in a full-length novel. I would recommend this collection of short stories to anyone who likes a well-developed plot and the demonstration of an exceptional level of writing craft.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. 🌹I’ll treasure this review, John. I value all my reviews, but when I receive one from an author I admire it’s the icing on that party cake. Thank you, my friend. Thanks again to Nonnie for giving us an avenue to share our reviews.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, Thanks to Nonnie. Thank you for the nice comment, Soooz.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. I just posted a review of Mary Adler’s “In the Shadow of Lies.” It was awesome! Outstanding style and technique. I could really relate to it since it took place in the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area where I lived years ago. An abridged version of my review is on Amazon an the full-length one is on my blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Marcha, I loved your review and will treasure it not only because of what you said, but because I admire so much your own talent and writings. Thank you again.

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  17. 🌹Your wonderful review of “The Alternative” moved me to happy tears, Gwen. I admit to being utterly shattered when Amazon removed it. Thank you for going that extra mile and sharing it here. Nonnie once again the support you offer all of us is amazing. I know many reviewers and fellow authors that will avail themselves of this opportunity to share. Thank you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Thank you, thank you, Nonnie!
    I purchased, read and reviewed The Alternative by Suzanne Burke. This is my review:

    Author Suzanne Burke digs into the painful wounds we all carry because of senseless violence. She forces us to confront our fears, our anger, our indignation and has us examine The Alternative. This soul-disturbing collection of short stories powerfully guides us into our desires for effective justice. Through too-familiar characters, we face our darkness, our unspoken sense of “an eye for an eye.” This book is a 5-star read. It will leave you gasping.

    Liked by 2 people

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