dinsdag 29 december 2020

Recensie: Het complot van Laken

Het complot van Laken

geschreven door Johan Op De Beeck

"Een bloedstollende, nazinderende historische thriller"


Hitler heeft België bezet. Koning Leopold III wil in het land blijven. De 
koning flirt met het nazisme. Dat zint de Belgische regering die in 
ballingschap in Londen zit niet. Zij wil de vorst naar Londen doen over-
lopen. De Belgische geheim agent Jef Van Hooff moet Leopold III in 
Laken een geheime boodschap bezorgen, hij is in het gezelschap van een
vrouwelijke spion. Tijdens zijn levensgevaarlijke missie zitten de
nazi's hem op de hielen ....

Mijn recensie

Zoals steeds met historische fictie wou ik eerst alles opzoeken nadat
ik het gelezen had. 

Toen ik dat losliet, zat ik steevast op het puntje van m'n stoel, zo spannend was het
boek. Het stond vol met onverwachte plotwendingen en ik wou absoluut het
einde weten. Dat einde was een beetje té abrupt. 

Daarom moet ik met spijt in het hart het boek een vier op 
vijf geven want het was absoluut een bloedstollende en nazinderende thriller.


Johan Op De Beeck is een bekende journalist en schrijver over geschiedenis.
Hij kende een lange loopbaan in de media, hij was onder meer journalist en
hoofdredacteur van diverse media. 

Hij schreef ook andere boeiende boeken onder andere over Napoleon, Het
Verlies van België (over het ontstaan in 1830) en  over de Zonnekoning. 

Ik hoop nog veel boeken van hem te kunnen lezen!


Het complot van Laken is verschenen op 10 september 2019 bij uitgeverij
Horizon. Het boek telt maar liefst 525 bladzijden. Ik kon het boek lezen via
mijn Kobo plus abonnement via bol.com. 

Bron foto: Titelpagina

maandag 28 december 2020

Bookreview: Treefrogs Can't Sing

I was very honoured when Lally Brown offered me huge breaking news!

The release of the cover of her newest book "Treefrogs Can't Sing" took place
in my Author in the picture blog of Lally Brown. Check this link.

The book "Treefrogs can't sing" is available on Amazon on this link.
Don't hesitate to buy this wonderful sunny memoir. 🌞 And on Amazon
it has a number 1 rating! 

Note to hubby: I really want to go to the Caribbean again as soon as it is
possible 😜


"Treefrogs Can't Sing" is a delightful light-hearted memoir of
Lally Brown's three years life in the British Virgin Islands with
a toddler and a baby. It is an exotic adventure full of fun, with a
special mix of characters. 

My Review

This is the third book I read from Lally Brown, so I had a "small" idea
of which I could expect and the book "Treefrogs Can't Sing" fulfilled my
expectations for 100%. Sometimes it even makes me laugh. 

I really enjoyed the characters - the interaction with the kids, the cat, 
other animals and the people of the island the most. 

It is written very visually, I easily could imagine the events and the
feel of the island. "Treefrogs Can't Sing" also is written fluently
in clear chapters. 

Although this book is the sequel of "High and Dry in the BVI" it is
easy to read as a stand alone. 

So if you love memoirs, just as I do, don't hesitate to buy this book. I
would recommend "Treefrogs Can't Sing" to friends, family and colleagues
and for all who would like to have some Caribbean sunshine in December.

I give with lots of pleasure a five star rating to this wonderful and sunny 

The Author

Lally Brown is an author/photographer addicted to small islands. She lived
in Montserrat, St. Helena, BVI, TCI (Turks and Caicos Islands) and the
Isle of Wight. She likes memoirs, true stories and red squirrels. 

Please Lally, write soon some other books! 

Lally allowed me to read and review this wonderful book. Thank you very much.

Source picture: Book Cover 

zaterdag 26 december 2020

Bookreview: I work for me

7 steps to successful Entrepreneurship

written by Snehal R. Singh

"Interesting guide for becoming and being your own boss." 


Are you a budding entrepreneur?
Do you own a start-up business or are you planning one?
Do you want to make sure that you achieve all your goals and more?
Working for yourself is fun, exciting and liberating. It is also scary,
demanding and exhausting. You want to succeed so badly, that you
will put in any number of hours to make your business work, but there
are ways to exceed your expectations without killing yourself in the process.

Now you can find the answers in I Work for Me: 7 Steps to Excel on
Your Entrepreneurial Journey, a book written by an entrepreneur just
like you, that provides advice like:

 The importance of having faith
 Turning ideas into plans
 Managing your time
 Building your brand
 Being accessible and approachable
 Facing your fears
 And much more…

Being your own boss means making the decisions and standing or falling
by them. There is nobody else to take the blame when things go wrong,
and you are the one who will reap the rewards when you get it right.

I Work for Me provides the insights needed to help you make the right
choices in your entrepreneurial journey and is a ‘must read’ book that
every entrepreneur should have in their library.

My review

Being your own boss is a dream of many people, but it also gives you
a great responsibility. 

"I work for me" is clearly and personally written. It offers lots of hints
to start up your own business. 

I would like to recommend this book to every manager and entrepreneur. 
So, I like to give this fantastic book a 5 star rating! 

The author

Snehal R. Singh is a Business &Writer's Coach, Publisher , Creator of
4 Book Series,
7XBest-Selling Author, Public Speaker. Check her website on this link.


I received an advance copy for free, via Booktasters and I'm leaving this review
voluntarily. Thank you very much for giving me this fantastic opportunity! 

Source picture: Book Cover

zaterdag 19 december 2020

Bookreview: Frank Cullotta's Greatest (Kitchen) Hits

 A gangster's Cookbook

written by Frank Cullotta and Dennis N. Griffin 

"Very interesting recepies"


“I have known Frank Cullotta since he served as a technical consultant
for the movie ‘Casino.’ Frank’s reputation is primarily that of a master
criminal and an enforcer for Chicago Outfit mobster Tony Spilotro.
While that is true, he also had a softer side that few people knew about.
He loved to cook. In ‘Frank Cullotta’s Greatest (Kitchen) Hits,’ Frank
swaps his gun and fedora for an apron and chef’s hat and shares the
recipes for some of his favorite dishes. If you like to prepare and eat
delicious meals, this is the book for you.”
Nick Pileggi, screenwriter and author of "Casino"

Frank Cullotta was best known for his exploits as an associate of the
Chicago Outfit and his role as Tony Spilotro’s enforcer and street lieutenant
in Las Vegas. However, he had another interest besides crime.
He loved to cook. In this book he shares some of his favorite recipes
for your eating pleasure. Although Frank died on August 20, 2020,
his memory will live on every time you prepare one of these lip-smacking dishes.

"I first met Frank in 2005. Over the years we became close friends and
co-authored a total of four books, including the bestseller 
Rise and Fall of a 'Casino' Mobster. As Frank's health failed,
I promised him that I'd see the cookbook through to publication even
if he couldn't be with me. I know that Frank is pleased that our final joint
project is now a reality."
 - Dennis N. Griffin

My Review

Reviewing a cookbook with Italian dishes looked great! And indeed
the recepies, the pictures were well described.They gave me inspiration
to try them out. I think the ingredients are easy to find. I missed some
structure at the end of the book for example no list of all the ingredients.

Nevertheless this cookbook is a must read for all lovers of the Italian
cuisine! I give it with lots of pleasure a 4 star rating on 5 and I want
to read more books of Dennis N. Griffin.

The Author

Dennis N. Griffin was born in Rome, New York in 1945. He joined the U. S.
Navy in 1962. After being honorably discharged in 1966, he returned to
central New York. He is married and has four adult children.

Mr. Griffin began his career in investigations and law enforcement in
1975, when Pinkerton, Inc. hired ...him as a private investigator.
His duties included insurance fraud, missing persons, financial
and background investigations, as well as undercover operations.

In 1979 the Madison County, New York Department of Social Services
hired him as a Senior Child Support Investigator. He was responsible
for locating and conducting financial investigations of persons failing
to provide legally mandated child support.

In 1981 he joined the Madison County Sheriff's Department, and attained
the rank of sergeant. He was a shift supervisor and public information officer.
During the same time-period, he moonlighted as a part time patrolman for
the Village of Chittenango Police Department.

In 1987 Mr. Griffin was hired by the New York State Department of
Health as Director of Investigations, Wadsworth Center. The primary
mission of his unit was to investigate violations of the Public Health Law
relating to clinical and environmental laboratories, and health care fraud.
He was responsible for hiring and training investigators, case assignments
and general supervision. In addition, he personally handled the more difficult
and complex investigations. Many of these cases received both local and national
media attention. He retired in 1995.

In 1996, Dennis was supposed to be retired, but decided to tell the story of
what he learned while investigating the operation of a medical examiner's office.
It was an eye-opening experience and he felt compelled to share it with others.
Dennis eventually authored a fictionalized account called, The Morgue.
However, readers didn't believe anything in the book could actually happen,
but they liked the story and his style; rough edges and all.
Six more mystery/thriller fictions followed.

The author is an active member of the Police Writers Association.
He attended Onondaga County Community College, Mohawk Valley
Community College and the Central New York Regional Academy for
Police Training. He has three other novels published through 1stBooks.
The first, The Morgue, was published 1999. Red Gold, followed in 2000.

In January 2002, his writing career was at a crossroads. Would he continue
the uphill struggle for recognition in a genre with a number of well-established
authors? Or was it time to find another hobby? The question was answered at
a writers' conference when a lady suggested Dennis try his hand at police-related
non-fiction. That was the turning point. He began writing Policing Las Vegas,
the history of law enforcement in Las Vegas and Clark County from 1905 thru 2004.
Policing was released in April 2005.

Writing that book opened his eyes to some interesting things about Las Vegas
and the mob that he wanted to explore; leading to his second non-fiction book,
The Battle for Las Vegas, the story of the Vegas reign of Chicago mob enforcer
Tony Spilotro. In the movie Casino, actor Joe Pesci played a character based
on Spilotro. The Battle for Las Vegas was released on July 1, 2006.

In writing that book, Dennis relied heavily on resources such as retired FBI
agents and police detectives from that era, and through his conversations with
career criminal and former Spilotro lieutenant Frank Cullotta. Those conversations
led to a third Vegas-based non-fiction, CULLOTTA - The Life of a Chicago
Criminal, Las Vegas Mobster, and Government Witness, released nationally
in July 2007.

Since that time, Dennis has written several books on the true stories of the
Las Vegas mob and the era in which they reigned.

In 2007 Denny began hosting his own Internet radio show on Blog Talk Radio.


I received an advance copy for free via BookSirens and I'm leaving 
this review voluntarily.

Source picture: Bookcover

vrijdag 18 december 2020

Bookreview: Manopoly!?


"A splendid mix of suspense and drama"

written by James Philip "Phil" Jones


Jackson Reynolds and Beau Benoit are two men with unknown pasts. Jackson
hires Brooke Benoit as his university assistant, Brooke is Beau's sister. Beau
is a Harvard MBA that begins in the private sector on Wall Street. He quickly
 moves up into the Federal Reserve. Jackson and Brooke work to develop
Jackson's dream, to alter the game of Monopoly into a real time predictor
of any micro or macro economy. Beau's position at the Fed creates the
opening to move the MANOPOLY Project into the mainstream federal government.

Bad actors within the university are nefariously connected with the Iranian
government. They plant a bug in the project. Once discovered, an
international trail of espionage ensues. As the story unfolds,
it is discovered that the events in the Middle East have become
very intertwined with the project. This event pits the NSA and the
CIA against the IRGC and the Quds Force fighting to control the
information. The top actors in this drama are President Trump and
The Supreme Leader of Iran who are directly involved. The actions
escalate until international assassination is sanctioned. The assassination
is answered by a retaliatory strike considered by the civilized world
to be a war crime.

Jackson and Beau both find love and happiness in a story of human
achievement and redemption. Follow them on their journeys of personal
discovery and growth. All while creating a world of very believable
business espionage, political suspense, and technological innovation
that will run long through future novels. This story is pulled right from
today's headlines and will keep you on the edge of your seat.

My Review

Can a board game change the world? I was immediately into the
novel and the characters were described very well! Sometimes I
even was thinking: is this history or is this fiction? It's full with 
suspense and drama. 

To conclude, it is a good book and very easy to read, and I wanted
to know the end. So I give the book a 5 star rating! 

The author

Phil has a Bachelor's degree in Computer Sciences and History
and an MBA.  He is a world-class sculptor and has pieces from coast
to coast across America.  He also teaches high school Art. 
You can view his work at www.philjonessculptures.com.  

This is Phil’s second book.  In 2009 he published Beneath the Meniscus,
a comprehensive history of keeping freshwater and saltwater aquaria.
Additionally, Phil authored two issued United States Patents in water
purification. He has been published numerous times in periodicals
including Tropical Fish Hobbyist, Taekwondo World, and
Sports Illustrated.  Phil is also a World Record Holder
and Black Belt in the ATA.

Phil grew up in Jefferson City, Missouri. He has two living children. 
His son Jeremy passed away in 2017.  Phil and his wife Donna
share twelve grandchildren whom they enjoy tremendously. 
Phil is active in the local arts scene and his work can be seen
all over his home town. Phil plays guitar and loves to draw, paint and write.
Political Thrillers


I received an advance copy for free via BookTasters and I'm leaving this
review voluntarily. Thank you BookTasters for giving me this great

Source picture: Book Cover

woensdag 16 december 2020

Author in the picture: Lally Brown

Since 2012, I have a Twitter account. Almost from the beginning I met some lovely authors such as Lally Brown. 

She always posts very interesting tweets. She also has written three fantastic books:

- The Countess, Napoleon and St. Helena,

- The Volcano, Montserrat and Me,

- High and Dry in the BVI.

Here books are a splendid mix of personal memoirs and history as well,
written in a style I like. 

When I started this book blog, I really wanted her to ask some interesting?
questions for my author page. 

So here is the Author in the picture interview of Lally Brown. 

The Interview

Since when did you start writing stories and books?

I think I must have been born with the urge to write and tell stories Kathleen! Apparently I wrote my first ‘poem’ (about three naughty bears) when I was six and I’ve been writing all sorts of stuff ever since. My sister was an invalid and I would sit beside her bed and make up stories as I went along, something I now enjoy doing with my four grandsons. I was a journalist for a while and this enabled me to play with words - great experience for a wannabe writer!

Do you keep a diary?

Not anymore, but when I first lived abroad my parents demanded to know every little detail of my exciting new life. They insisted on long weekly letters, which they carefully saved. These became known in the family as ‘Lally’s Journals’ and later formed the foundation of my memoirs.

You’ve lived in lots of places around the world. Where was/is your favourite place?

Oh my goodness that’s a hard one to answer. I’ve loved every home I’ve ever had, from a pretty little house in an English village (one church, one shop, three pubs, primary school and village green) to the remote and isolated island of St Helena in the middle of the South Atlantic. Exiled Napoleon may have hated the island but I loved the peace, scenery, and the fabulously friendly people.

On reflection I can see that I am obviously devoted to islands, Caribbean islands in particular. Even the smallest island has a fascinating history when you begin to dig. Add sunshine, beautiful deserted beaches, shimmering sapphire sea, spectacular scenery, and you have a winning combination. Of course nature can and does throw in a wobbly now and again, an erupting volcano or a hurricane for instance.

Truth be told though I adore where I live now. The Isle of Wight is tucked into a dimple off the south coast of England. We have everything. Slow pace of life, history coming out of our ears, wonderful sandy beaches, nice climate, lovely walking and cycling. No volcanoes and no hurricanes and I can see my grandsons whenever I like. I feel well blessed to be living here. Our island motto sums it up perfectly … “All this beauty is of God.”

Have you inherited certain habits from places you’ve lived?

Definitely …for instance I am amazingly careful with water, a precious commodity when you have to collect the rain from your roof into a cistern built under the house and that’s all you’ve got to last you through the dry season. I’ve also collected some terrific recipes which I use often. For instance Jamaican banana bread and St Helena fishcakes, tomato paste sandwiches and the traditional island ‘Plo’ are regulars in my kitchen. When I lived in St Helena I edited and published a book of island recipes for my neighbour who was a great cook, and now I use this myself all the time.

Do you listen to music while writing?

No I don’t, which is odd considering I’m a huge fan of classical music (especially Mozart) but when I write I’m in  my own little world, totally cut off from whatever is happening around me. Music would just be a distraction.

Do you have other interests? I know you have a great knowledge about roses. But what else do you like or are you interested by? Inspired by?

Ha ha … roses are my husband’s pride and joy and I’ve absorbed knowledge of them through a sort of osmosis. But I thoroughly enjoy cooking, making my own cakes, bakes and jams. And when the elderflower blooms I can be found early morning gathering bunches of blossom to make elderflower cordial.

Also I thoroughly enjoy walking, especially up on the cliffs and down by the beach, the sound of the sea is so soothing and the breeze blows away any cobwebs in my head.

In a later e-mail Lally added:

 I realised afterwards I'd forgotten to mention my love of photography ... can't imagine how i could have omitted that since I've been developing and printing my own images since I was 12 ..... digital camera's are just so easy these days!

 I liked the way you stayed calm and busy during the volcano eruption. Are you always so cool and calm?

 Oh if only I could say ‘yes’ to this question Kathleen! I’d describe myself as a worrier, but it does seem that when my back is to the wall something deep inside just takes over and helps me cope and I can appear cool, calm and collected in a crisis.

Which other authors do you like and do you recommend?

Far too many to mention, unless you can give me a couple of blank pages and I’ll happily list them for you. Way back during my adolescence, author Dervla Murphy was an inspiration to me, what a woman, ‘Full Tilt – Ireland to India with a bicycle’ made me dream of being a free-spirit wandering the globe, I blame her for my lifelong love of travel.

But my current absolute favourite authors include two lovely ladies, Valerie Poore and Beth Haslam. Both have given me so much pleasure through their writing, I am forever grateful.

Do you have new writing plans?

Well I’m supposed to be finalising my new memoir ready for launch very soon. It’s called ‘Treefrogs Can’t Sing’ and chronicles a return to the British Virgin Islands with a baby and a toddler. It is the sequel to my first BVI memoir ‘High and Dry in the BVI’ but stands alone.

Breaking news! 

There is more.... Lally has allowed me to reveal ....

the first cover of her newest book! What a beauty! 


To conclude

I only read two of the three books of Lally Brown. I really liked them both so I hope to read the
two books about the BVI. 

If you want to know more about Lally Brown check these links:

Goodreads on this link
Twitter on this link 

Of course her books (with the exception of the latest one) are available on Amazon. 

maandag 14 december 2020

Recensie: De tijdreiziger

De tijdreiziger

geschreven door Hans Bourlon 

"Een leuke, eigenzinnige en kritische blik op de toekomst!" 


Wat als je een neanderthaler ontmoet in een zoo vol uitgestorven diersoorten?

Wat als je koeien, varkens en kippen niet meer mag doden om op te eten?

Wat als mensen die lang geleden zijn ingevroren weer tot leven komen?

Wat als je verliefd bent op iemand die er dertig uitziet maar eigenlijk negentig is?

Wat als robots kunst maken die iedereen ontroert?

Wat als een ruimtereiziger afscheid neemt van vrouw en kind omdat hij
eeuwenlang ingevroren onderweg is naar een andere planeet?

Mijn recensie

Na een korte vakantie zag ik dit boekje op de keukentafel liggen. Het
gegeven van in de toekomst te reizen fascineert me enorm. Het is de
tegenhanger van de geschiedenis. 

Het boek "De tijdreiziger" is geschreven in korte stukjes van telkens
een aantal pagina's, waardoor het heel vlot leest.  Het is ook mijn 
favoriete manier van schrijven.

Toch moet ik eerlijk bekennen dat ik bij sommige stukjes een beetje op
m'n honger bleef zitten. Ik hoop dat Hans Bourlon daarmee nog verder

Ik hoop in de toekomst nog meer boeken van hem te lezen. Daarom
geef ik graag een 4 sterren op 5! 


Hans Bourlon is gefascineerd door de toekomst. Als een volleerd tijdreiziger
pendelt hij van 2028 naar 2089 en terug naar 2040. Met veel fantasie maar
tegelijkertijd gebaseerd op de huidige wetenschappelijke en technologische
ontwikkelingen beschrijft hij hoe dat leven er in de toekomst kan uitzien.
Of juist niet.

In 1996 richtte Hans Bourlon samen met Gert Verhulst het productiehuis 
Studio 100 op. 


We kregen De tijdreiziger via het magazine Knack waar mijn echtgenoot
een abonnement op heeft (maar ook door mij met veel plezier meegelezen

Foto: titelpagina van boek

zondag 13 december 2020

Bookreview: Lamlash Street

Lamlash Street: A Portrait of 1960's Post-War
London through One Family's story

written by J.M. Phillips

"A very nice trip to memory lane" 


Explore a world that can't be visited anymore-South East London, 1963.
On Lamlash Street, Cockney families have more life and character than money,
living among the bombed out and condemned buildings. Post WWII London
will evolve swiftly into the era of The Beatles, Twiggy, and modern, swinging London.

Experience the lively true story of a girl on her way to being a young woman,
coming-of-age at a moment in London's history unlike any other.
Jill Phillips tries to capture her first kiss while navigating a world turning
upside down and the trauma that her parents and uncle experienced during the war.

It's a time when a local factory shutting down could mean more than just job loss.
As families are torn apart, they rely on questionable yet quirky neighbors and find
inventive ways to survive-like pay cigarette machines in the house and Christmas
presents "special ordered" for a fraction of the cost.

Seen-but-not-heard by the adults in her life, Jill looks for young love and
how to define herself. Stories of Nazi aircraft on the walk home from school,
watching Doodle bugs (flying bombs) drop on London from rooftop perches,
and her uncle's many unsettling stories of war as young merchant mariner give
her a unique lens of the world and what a better future could look like for her family.

Lamlash Street: A Portrait of 1960's Post-War London Through One Family's Story
is a heartfelt and funny historical memoir. If you like non-stereotypical women
characters, working-class endurance, and a biography about rallying from abundant
loss, then you'll adore Jill Phillips' moving recollection.

Buy Lamlash Street to take an emotional and touching trip down memory lane today!

My Review

Readers of my blog(s) already know that I do like (royal) history. However London
also attracks me very much. 

It was a nice trip to the author's memory lane and the book was written very clearly.
However I missed some structure in the story. 

Nevertheless, it is a wonderful story. That's why I want to give a 4 star on 5 rating. 

The Author

J.M. Phillips is an author and retired Occupational Therapist. Motivated
by the retelling of family stories, she wrote Lamlash Street, which is about
navigating family life in London after World War II. She is a storyteller with
a passion to inspire families to connect through the telling of their past.

Growing up in the UK, J.M. emigrated to Canada after working in a London
solicitor’s office for a few years. She spent 30 years working as an
Occupational Therapist and Hospital manager before retiring.

Rather than slowing down the pace of life as she neared retirement,
J.M. refocused her efforts enjoying each day with a zest for life.
 A technology and sci-fi fan with a thrill-seeking streak, she’s been
cave swimming in Mexico and hopes to swim with dolphins.

During one of her many trips to visit her family in Bexleyheath,
she was inspired to capture their memories of a way of life that is
cherished by many. Pulling from her uncle’s World War II stories and
her memories of her young life in the 1960’s, she aims to carry on his
legacy with her books.

She spent many years working in health care. She is currently splitting
her time between the UK and Canada, maintaining close contacts with
family, and at the same time discovering more fascinating family stories.
Learn more at her website on this link


I received an advance copy for free via BookSirens. I'm leaving this review
voluntarily. Thank you very much for giving me the chance for reading this

Lamlash Street is published by 'Red Damask Publishing' in 2020. It is 
available on Amazon.com in Kindle version and in paperback. 

Source picture: Book cover

zaterdag 12 december 2020

The Wraith's Memory - Between Gods and Mortals Book 2

The Wraith's Memory 

Between Gods and Mortals Book 2

written by Whitney Rines 


    The massacre of a village by a mysterious group of conspirators spreads
division and war across Liansea and chases survivors to the last
strongholds standing, Terimah and Nismyth.

When Terimah’s strict entry rules cost more refugee lives-Mortal and
Amaranthine alike, refugees turn to Nismyth and their open-gate policy.
Unaware of the corruption being cultivated in the ruling family, infecting
everyone from the upper echelon down to the lowest villagers.

When a mysterious illness brings tragedy to the village of Aritehn, wounding
both the population and trust in their rulers, many villagers including a
 young man named Chiron, seek ways to save Aritehn themselves.
An interview with Nismyth’s military recruiter sets his course when he
is sponsored for education instead, and exposed to more of the corruption
than before. Choosing to defy his sponsor costs him more than he could
ever fathom and sets a dark path ahead of him.

The Wraith’s Memory follows Chiron’s beginnings and walks the path
leading him to his future, and the one who might hold the path to his redemption.

My Review

When I started reading, I first was a bit sceptic about the fantasy world
however I soon wanted to know the end of the story. So, it's really a
page turner!

I look forward to read the next book! I would like to give this wonderful
book a 5 star rating! 

The Author

Whitney Rines lives in Minnesota, is married to a wonderful man, and has one son.
Their family has broad interests from computer science and biking, to cooking,
crafts movies, video, board, and card games, travel, and the arts.
They have two pets: a ball python named Archie, and a cat named Nami.
Whitney enjoys telling a good story and bringing enjoyment and adventure
to readers of all genres, preferring a mixed style in her writing.

She has a wide range of interests in Fantasy, Horror, Mythology, Occult,
and folklore from around the world, and it inspires her stories, character building,
and setting. She enjoys reading a multitude of genres including classical literature, 
horror, fantasy, and a non-fiction genres.

Whitney also enjoys other forms of the arts, and traveling to different places
 around the world. She believes that every place has something to offer in
tapping inspiration, even if it's just beauty or how plain a place can be.

Theres's always something interesting to learn and explore, whever you go,
whether in a book or in travel.


I received an advance copy for free by BookTasters and I'm leaving this
review voluntarily. I'm happy I could read this wonderful dark fantasy

Source picture: Book Cover

woensdag 9 december 2020

Author in the picture: Millie Thom

Recently, I read and reviewed three books of the series Son of Kings written by
Millie Thom. I gave them all a 5 star on 5 rating, because I liked them so much.
That's why I wanted to know more about this lovely author and lady! I asked 
if she wanted to do a small interview for the author page of this blog. Luckily
she said yes! I hope you'll enjoy the interview! The link of this blogpost will 
be posted on the author page of Mycrazylifefullwithbooks blog with the
links of Millie Thom's social media & Amazon.

The Interview

First of all, I would like to say a big Thank You to Katheen for inviting me
to do this interview. I really appreciate it and it’s good to be here.


Why did you want to write a series?

Even before I started writing my novels about Alfred the Great, I knew it would
take more   than a single book to tell the story of his entire life.
It wasn’t that I particularly wanted to write a series as much as the fact that
necessity called for it. At first, I hoped that two books would be enough,
but then I added my second protagonist, Eadwulf, and the story massively
expanded. I ended up with a four-book series which tells the stories of two
members of Anglo-Saxon royal families but from different kingdoms:
Alfred of Wessex and Eadwulf of Mercia.


How do you create the different characters in your books?

When writing historical fiction many of the characters’ names are already
there, and there is no way an author can change those names, even if they
are difficult for readers to pronounce, as with the Anglo-Saxon names.
When naming my fictional characters, I have to make sure they are also
Anglo-Saxon or Danish (Viking) names that were in use during the time
period of my series. For example, it would be idiotic to name an Anglo-Saxon
male as Charlie, Alex or Callum because they weren’t in use then.
There are several online sites which have lists of names from a number of
cultures and time periods, so are useful for all authors

There are a lot of characters in my books because of the different stories
of the two protagonists that run concurrently. I try to create characters of
different appearances, temperaments, abilities and ambitions to add variety
to the story. I have also tried to ensure my books are not male dominated,
 as many Viking themed books tend to be. I wanted to give a look at the period
from the POV of both men and women.

How was your passion for (royal) history and writing started?

I have loved history since I was a child, and in the UK at that time most
history in secondary schools tended to focus on events involving royalty.
I learned a lot about many famous British kings and queens like Henry VIII,
Elizabeth I and Queen Victoria. Only in relatively recent years has history
broadened its approach to include more about the everyday people of those
times in both British and other cultures.

As for writing, I have been a keen story writer most of my life.
I was fortunate enough to have teachers who encouraged creativity in writing
and steered me in the right direction. However, with six children to bring up
and a teaching career, I didn’t start writing novels until I’d retired.


Do you have any other interests?

I have always loved creating things, from making clothes
(dressmaking/sewing) to embroidery, knitting and baking. Having had six children
to feed and clothe, these are all things I’ve done a lot of over the years. Besides
writing novels, I also love writing flash fiction pieces, which are very short stories
ranging from six to a thousand words. I have one book of such stories on Amazon,
titled A Dash of Flash.


Which other authors or things inspire you?

I mostly read historical novels, so authors like Wilbur Smith, Bernard Cornwell
and Susannah Gregory, as well as several others, have inspired me to write my
own books. My interest in history has also meant that I have loved many of the
Classics, written by so many well-known authors, from Charles Dickens, the
Bronte sisters, Jane Austen and Lucy Maud Montgomery to Daniel Defoe and
Harper Lee and Mark Twain. The list could go on for ever, so I’ll stop here.

Visiting historic sites can also be inspirational. We visited many sites in
England and Wales, as well as Denmark, France and Andalucia before and while
I was writing the Sons of Kings series. It helps a great deal when describing events
set in those places. Such places can also give ideas for books not yet written.  


You work together with BookTasters. Are reviews important to you?

Reviews are immensely important to all authors, and it’s a shame
that so many readers don’t think of leaving them. Reviews help authors
to know what readers like about their books as well as pointing out what
they didn’t like, or what didn’t work for them. In other words, 
can help authors in the development of their writing. A review can be as
little as a sentence, which wouldn’t take long to write and would mean
so much to the author concerned.

BookTasters is an excellent site and offers free books to readers in
exchange for honest reviews. As such, it does not break Amazon’s rule
regarding authors paying for reviews. Authors simply pay for the
service provided by BookTasters, which helps to get books ‘seen’
by potential reviewers.


Do you have other writing plans?

I am currently writing an historical fiction novel (a one-off this time)
set in the early 17th century. It is set in another village we once lived in,
so is another story I’ve known about for some time – and is quite different
to my King Alfred and the Vikings novels. Once I’ve finished that,
I would like to try my hand at writing a ‘whodunnit’ or murder mystery.
Of course, it would have to have an historical setting. There are several
time periods I’m interested in, but I would not choose anything later than
the 1950s or further back than the Roman period. I will probably also put
together another book of flash fiction pieces at some stage.
I already have almost fifty pieces written but I’m aiming
for eighty-five in order to match A Dash of Flash.

Thank you very much for this interview Millie Thom!!!

Millie Thom's Social Media links:

Amazon Com: link

Goodreads: link

Blog/Website: link

Twitter: link

Instagram: link

My Bookreviews:

Here are my bookreviews of Millie Thom's books:

Shadow Of The Raven on this link

Pit of Vipers on this link

Wyvern of Wessex on this link

maandag 7 december 2020

Bookreview: From Wheels To Wellness


From Wheels To Wellness

Tips and Tricks for a healthy Van Lifestyle 

Written by Kristine Hudson 

"Useful information!"


First, you commit to van life.

Then, you pick out your vehicle and start the process of creating
your ultimate home on wheels. You put the key in the ignition, wave good-bye
to stationary life, and head on down the road.

You may not be sure what to pack for your new lifestyle. After all, who knows
 what lies ahead in destinations unknown?

Author Kristine Hudson is a voice of reason from the unknown.
As a "been there, done that" van dweller, she has some notes to share
with those who are drawn to the nomadic lifestyle. 

Before you hit the road, think about the following:

✓ Have you considered what you'll do if you get sick on the road?

✓ Do you know what to pack in case of emergencies?

✓ What thought have you given towards meals?

✓ Are you ready to face the barrage of new insects, pollens, wildlife,
 and scenarios that await you?

If you're worried there's something you haven't thought of when preparing for
life on the road... If you're not sure what to do about doctor's appointments,
dental care, and prescriptions while you're away from home... 

If you think you'll just "take care of it" whenever an emergency pops up...

This book will help you gain a firm grasp of all the good intentions
that are left behind when we head out for a rugged and glorious van lifestyle.
From figuring out how to receive basic preventive care on the road, to food prep
and storage, and everything in between, Kristine Hudson provides a comprehensive
look at all of the things about health and wellness that are quickly forgotten in the
quest for true freedom. Whether you're just starting to question how you'll maintain
your physique on the road, or starting to fret about maintaining a chronic condition
while you're on the roam, this book provides hints and tips hand-selected from the
author and legions of other van lifers.

Filled with true stories and supportive tricks from wanderers with decades of
combined experience, this book won't replace your first-aid kit...but it will help you
remember to pack one in the first place.

My Review

I must admit, I love to read travel stories and memoirs as well. 
Traveling with a Van sounds so exiting. However Kristine Hudson's
books show that one long Van travel took lots of preparation work!

She gave many helpful hints for the life on board of a Van. However
it is USA oriented, so for me personally less interesting. But it is 
still very nice to read!

This is a must read for permanent USA travelers and people who 
want to live on the road. For the helpful guide and her writing style,
I would like to give a 4 star rating on 5!

The author

For Kristine Hudson and her husband Brad, the adventure never ends!
If you enjoyed reading Ms. Hudson's insights on preparing for a life
on the road in "How to Live the Dream: Things Every Van Lifer Needs
to Know," you'll love catching up with her on her new Facebook page.

For ladies who are curious about the daily ins and outs of being a Boss
Lady after reading "How to Choose the Ultimate Side-Hustle: Making
Money and Being Your Own Boss," Ms. Hudson shares her regular
experiences with keeping herself organized while maintaining her
writing and editing career.

It may seem that waking up every day in a new place and having a
successful,  satisfying career may be mutually exclusive. "Like"
and "Follow"


I received an advance copy for free by BookSirens and I'm leaving
this review voluntarily. Thank you very much for giving me this chance!

Picture: Book Cover 

zondag 6 december 2020

Bookreview: Wyvern of Wessex


Wyvern of Wessex

written by Millie Thom

"Brings back the history to life!"


Eadwulf is back  on the Sea Eagle with Bjorn and his crew on a quest to discover 
if Eadwulf’s father, King Beorhtwulf of Mercia, is still alive after twenty years as 
a slave. Bjorn’s great dragonship carries them down to the searing 
June temperatures and strict laws in the Moorish lands of al-Andalus. 
But searching for Beorhtwulf proves more difficult than they’d expected, 
causing them more trouble than they'd bargained for…

In Wessex, King Aethelred is now dead, leaving his twenty-one-year-old brother, 
Alfred, to succeed to the throne. Though his succession was agreed by the witan, 
Alfred must now prove himself worthy of the kingship, or lose it. But Wessex is in 
turmoil, besieged by Viking Danes intent on subjugating the kingdom – and knowing 
that the new king is young and inexperienced. Alfred must use all his wiles if he is to 
outthink and outmanoeuvre Guthrum, the Dane who nearly becomes his nemesis.

Alfred’s victories and defeats take him on a journey of learning, during which he
gains experience and strength. We share his highs and his lows, and how he 
rises from the depths of despair to save his beloved kingdom from total conquest.

And at his side in his greatest time of need is his new ally and friend, 
Eadwulf of Mercia.

My Review

Wyvern of Wessex is the third book of the series Sons of Kings, written
by Millie Thom. I'm very happy I've started with the first book of the 
series and I'm more happier that there is a fourth book too 😃.

The book cover is as always very well chosen and  really cool!
It's clear it's about a King! 

Although the third book is about King Alfred of Wessex, it's great to
see how the characters are developed. 

I like the writing style, the story telling and the good amount of
dialogues too. It's very nice to read how Millie Thom brings back the
history of the old English kingdoms to live. 

The Wyvern of Wessex, just as all the books of the series the 
Sons of Kings are a must-read for royal history lovers and historical

To conclude, I give this with lots of pleasure a 5 star rating on 5 and
even more!  And I certainly want to read the fourth book of the
series too because I'm so curious to know the end of the stories! 

The author

Millie Thom is a former geography and history teacher with a degree in geology 
and a particular passion for the Anglo-Saxon and Viking period. Originally from 
Lancashire she is a mother of six grown up children and now lives with her husband 
in a small village in Nottinghamshire, midway between the town of Newark and the lovely 
old city of Lincoln. When not writing, Millie enjoys long walks and is a serious fossil hunter. 
She is also an avid traveller, swimmer and baker of cakes!


I received a free copy via Booktasters and Millie Thom. Thank you so much for
this great chance to read this fantastic history book!!

Source picture: Book Cover