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Sunday, November 20, 2016

The Healing Properties of Love: A Review of "Flawed Perfection"

TODAY we think about romance once again, and the healing properties of love in the face of adversity or error. I gave my review 4 stars.

FLAWED PERFECTION: 

A COLLECTION OF WINTER WISHES


An interesting anthology of romance novellas just perfect for curling up with a cup of hot chocolate in front of a fireplace, and losing oneself in a universe where good things happen at the end to flawed women. There are six stories, and my favorite was saved till the last, "The Chase" by Marnie Cate, which ends with a romantic winter evening and snow falling on a bench, my favorite quote from Shakespeare, and emotional healing with love.
As someone who was brought up with innuendos in romance rather than graphic detail, some of the descriptions of sex seemed superfluous to me in a couple of the stories, which detracted rather than added to romance for this reader. This could be a selling feature for some readers, though, and I understand that romance novels are a distraction from the mundane, a "feel good" experience for those seeking escapism, and in this case, a vindication of hope in the form of romantic love. These tales sprang from a desire on the part of the authors to celebrate a woman's strength in the face of adversity or error, and the healing properties of love. I think the placement of the stories in "Flawed Perfection" was well thought out. 
Flawed Perfection: A Collection of Winter Wishes by [Ouvrard, Jude, Beaudelaire, Simone, Northup, Julie, Morgan, Savannah, Dawn, Taylor, Cate, Marnie]
Sunday, November 13, 2016

A Warm and Fuzzy Christmas Story -- A Review


A Millionaire's Christmas by Brian Porter

My 5 star review


Christmas being less than two months away, and the unfortunate results of an unprecedentedly vicious US election behind us, I yearned for a cozy, warm and fuzzy story that would personify the meaning of love and charity at this holy season, and leave me with a feeling of peace on Earth.
I was not disappointed. This very short book by Brian Porter is Biblical in some of its references and a miracle that took place between a dying man and a dying small boy, and what might be called synchronicity rather than coincidence. There is no coincidence in miracles nor in Porter's mind, I'm sure. 
A great hunger exists in the world today for beauty, love, charity, truth, and peace. Who can be blamed for wanting to stop the world and get off the merry-go-round, at times? This book is just the right length for reading in ten minutes or less. Porter has presented a Dickens-like heart for the suffering in the world and the futility of a life devoted exclusively to commerce. I loved the Greek names!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

LEST WE FORGET - A REVIEW

I just reviewed a book of war poetry by Brian Porter, British author. It's a gritty and realistic portrayal of war from a British viewpoint. Porter doesn't sugarcoat war nor does he glorify it. 

5 STARS. 

LEST WE FORGET: AN ANTHOLOGY OF REMEMBRANCE





War poetry for the history afficionado told from a British point of view -- my favorite poems in this collection are Postcard from Stalingrad and Letter to a Loved One, both of which bring into the pale light of afteryears a woman's perspective. I know there were many brave women who joined each conflict, and were conscripted during WWII as WRNs and WAAF and so on in England, but they are not included in this gritty collection of war stories. I especially noted the inclusion of German young soldiers and airmen, who, like the Allieds, had no choice but to fight and perhaps die for their country's call. As someone whose father served in WW II and returned to Canada with PTSD or "shell shock" as it was called back then, I can appreciate the realism of the bloody mess that war is, and Porter has not tried to sugarcoat nor glorify war. It's a unique collection of snapshots of war that presents the reality and comradeship, necessity and ultimate futility of the battle. For American readers, the Vietnam War was a uniquely American conflict and not represented in this collection. The Royal Navy and RAF are heavily represented and bomb demolition experts, as well as, interestingly, one poem written from a Japanese point of view, a Kamikaze pilot who survived with lifelong guilt for surviving. The letters home are particularly well done, I thought. Something to remember on this evening of November 11, when some of us wear poppies and many still mourn for loved ones or comrades lost in yet another senseless war, as Porter points out, fought by young men and women and orchestrated like chess pieces by old generals. Some real gems in this collection -- which rhymes!
Lest We Forget: An Anthology Of Remembrance by [Porter, Brian L.]
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

QUIRKY NEW MYSTERY, BLOOD SISTER, ON SALE THIS SATURDAY!

Let's follow Annie Hansen -- "I do like a strong female lead"...schizophrenic young woman private eye. 


On Sale for 99 cents

This coming Saturday

July 23 - 29, 2016


Four **** Review from top Amazon reviewer Gisela Hausmann! 

"When two well known residents of Serendipity, a doctor known to drug addicts and the mayor get killed Annie is being put on the case. Both murders are grisly, actually in a way disgusting. Was the killer a whacko drug addict or did the killer try to blame a whacko drug addict? Even more complicated… Were both victims killed by the same killer? (Sorry, I do not post spoilers.) And, is it a coincidence that all of this happens, right before the elections (for mayor)?

Annie will make a transformation when she meets handsome detective Mark. Will they solve the murder (oh, wait… Is Annie a suspect too?)




Saturday, June 18, 2016

Laura Secord's famous trek through history, retold

A little story for my Canadian readers. You all know the story of Laura Secord, who drove her cow through 20 miles of forest to warn the British of an American invasion during the 1812 war with the US. You also know of our famous Laura Secord chocolates based in Ontario, named after the heroine. This is a little tongue in cheek story of Laura's walk to fame, based on the real story but of course, embellished.

You Won a Milk Chocolate Gold Cigar
by Kenna Mary McKinnon

The white house at the bottom of the green hill was more than twenty miles from the British forces at Beaver Hills. There in the white house,  a young woman, Laura Secord, and her wounded soldier husband, James, billeted American troops. It was June 21, 1813, the British forces unaware of a fiendish attack planned by the chocolate eating Americans in Laura Secord's home. James lay helpless with bullet wounds in his leg and shoulder, hardly able to lift a hand to pop a miniature mint into his mouth.
"Good men," Laura said to their slobbering guests, "I must go out and find Bossy Cow to have milk for the liqueur tomorrow. Otherwise no Bossy no Candy."
"You nefarious Loyalist," a captain said, "we won't need your box of miniatures tomorrow, nor a bag of your perfect sized bars…"
"… all made from premium chocolate." She concluded his sentence with pride. "Why not, may I ask, good Captain, do you not require my premium chocolate, or perhaps a box of premium teas?"
"Tea!" the Americans roared. "Remember the Boston Tea Party!"
"Oops," Laura said. "Sorry, fellows."
"This is Canada," James said gently, raising himself onto his good arm and reaching for a mug of French & Frosted Mint hot chocolate.
The American soldiers began to murmur amongst themselves. Laura could hear "surprise attack" and "June 23" and "Beaver Dams". She knew the British commander, Lieutenant James FitzGibbon, would be caught unaware if the Americans attacked his post, as her husband had informed her that their encampment, reached only through a trail of barbed wire, land mines, and cow dung, was not prepared for an invasion. James had recently come back from Queenston Heights himself, where he had been sorely wounded and now could scarcely lift a Milk Chocolate Crispy Chip to his mouth.
So it was that the next morning, brave Laura beat Bossy Cow with a stick ahead of her on the treacherous twenty mile journey alone to Beaver Dams, to warn the British Lieutenant FitzGibbon and his Loyalist troops of their danger.

She was successful. The Americans were beaten back, and upper Canada held. No acknowledgment was given to the slender, brown-eyed woman who so courageously trod the slippery path of loyalty to the Crown and warned the British and their Mohawk allies of an impending invasion. James later succumbed to an acute case of diarrhea, and Laura died impoverished and unrecognized at the age of ninety-three, other than having a number of schools, statues, a granite monument, a circulation stamp, a chocolate factory, a deluge of articles, entries, and plays, and a coin named after her.
            Of course, that was after her death. Small help it was to her then.


Brought to you by Blood Sister, a quirky and courageous mystery starring a schizophrenic young woman private eye and her two friends, formerly published under the title Red Herrings. 
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Friday, June 10, 2016

SHORT CIRCUIT sale over and BLOOD SISTER coming up next!

Thank you to all who helped bring Short Circuit and Other Geek Stories down to within 20,000 on Amazon, which is better than a million where it had sat for several months. I have my new publisher, Creativia, to praise and also my own efforts. 

Also the very good stories in the book, which may appeal to those younger people who love SF and fantasy, robots, and all good things my son liked so much growing up.

It's still 99 cents (pence) on Kindle but the sale will be gone soon.

If any of my readers remembers Red Herrings, it will be in it second printing with Creativia soon under the new name, "Blood Sister". 

We're working on a new book cover. Will keep you appraised of Creativia's decision. Their book covers rock! Can hardly wait to see what they come up with. I've given them some input and some graphics for the creative process.

Do you have any suggestions for a new book cover for a macabre double murder solved by a young schizophrenic female private eye?

It takes place on an island off the coast of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada.

 Look for more on this later.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

SALE 99 CENTS ON AMAZON AND BARNES & NOBLE WORLDWIDE

JUNE 3 - 9 NINETY-NINE CENTS
UK READERS GET IT HERE!

A collection of twenty-nine literary, fantasy, and science fiction short stories written by Canadian author Kenna Mary McKinnon in memory and honor of her son, Steven Wild, who died in September 2012 of cancer at the age of forty-four. Steve loved 'hard' science fiction such as that written by William Gibson and Greg Bear, as well as the classic authors including Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov. We cannot hope to compare, but present these little stories with love and remembrance, and a nod to Steve's heroes.
The stories range from The Sea and His Guitar to Music of the Spheres and are a poignant reminder of the ephemeral nature of life and death. Sandwiched between these two works are twenty-seven vignettes culled from Kenna's imagination and life.
Predominant in this collection are the themes of music and love, both reminders of the legacy left by a remarkable man.

Presented with love and remembrance in memory of Steve Wild.
99 cents until Thursday
SALE
SALE
SALE