SEBASTIAN – at 100 Reviews


“A chronicle of turbulent times and memorable characters”

Sebastian is a long novel that chronicles a complex period of Austrian history by following the life of a Jewish family living and working in Vienna. The difficulties of the family (poor Sebastian loses a leg at the very beginning of the book and this will change his whole life, his mother, grandmother and grandfather have health problems, his father disappears in the Great War…) reflect the turbulent historical period that Europe lives in the early XX Century.
One of the beauties of the book is how it manages to paint a very vivid portrait of the Viennese society of the period, cosmopolitan, complex and with its great variety of nationalities, religions and unwritten rules. The novel shows us the wider historical events and how these affect a particular family. Thanks to the characters who come into contact with the family we can gain a wider perspective, as we get to see how people from Galicia felt, the difficult situation of Orthodox Jews from that area, how somebody who is known as a patriot today, might end up in the wrong side tomorrow through circumstances not always of their making. The shop at the centre of the book offers a great opportunity to understand the ins and outs of the public relations between the diverse groups, both from the point of view of the clients and also the staff.
Sebastian is the centre of that world, and he grows from a weak and cowardly young boy to a mature, well-adjusted and highly moral individual. We follow his education, his taking responsibility for the family business and the whole family, his romantic education, his fatherhood…The Viennese society of peace and war times are vividly depicted from a very personal point of view, filtered through the conscience of the characters, some of whom we might feel closer to than others, but who are all multi-dimensional and credible. We have proud mothers, psychoanalysis buffs, paranoid anti-Jewish women, mediums, spies…
I congratulate the author for his ability and talent in interweaving the many complex threads to create a wonderful patchwork of characters, lives and historical events that kept me engaged at both an intellectual and an emotional level. I’m sure this won’t be the last one of his books I read. Although the book is part of a trilogy I understand from the description that each book can be read independently and Sebastian is a stand-alone novel.

Link to Sebastian on Amazon

Link to My feature on Olga’s latest book Family, Lust and Cameras


Pictures that capture the spirit of the book


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Sebastian (Three Nations Trilogy Book 2)

Sebastian is the story of a young man who has his leg amputated before World War I. When his father is drafted to the war it falls on to him to run the family grocery store in Vienna, to grow into his responsibilities, bear loss and uncertainty and hopefully find love.
Sebastian Schreiber, his extended family, their friends and the store employees experience the ‘golden days’ of pre-war Vienna and the timed of the war and the end of the Monarchy while trying to make a living and to preserve what they hold dear.
Fischer convincingly describes life in Vienna during the war, how it affected the people in an otherwise safe and prosperous location, the beginning of the end for the Monarchy, the arrival of modern thoughts and trends, the Viennese class system and the end of an era.
As in the first part of the trilogy, “The Luck of The Weissensteiners” we are confronted again with themes of identity, Nationality and borders. The step back in time made from Book 1 and the change of location from Slovakia to Austria enables the reader to see the parallels and the differences deliberately out of the sequential order. This helps to see one not as the consequence of the other, but to experience them as the momentary reality as it must have felt for the people at the time.

On Amazon:

On Goodreads:

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Sebastin5 vienna colour

Author Wednesday – James Moushon


Interview with author and indie supporter James Moushon – a real gentleman who knows how to write

Originally posted on Writing Whims:

typewriter.jpgIt’s another edition of Author Wednesday here at Writing Whims. Today I am pleased to feature James Moushon who is a stellar promoter of Indie Authors through various blogs (The eBook Author’s Corner, HBS Author’s Spotlight, and HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle). When he’s not promoting the rest of us, he’s busy writing his own mystery and thriller novels. He’s just released the second book in the Jonathon Stone Mystery Novels, Game of Fire. moushon1-gamefire

James, welcome to Author Wednesday. It’s a pleasure to return the favor by featuring you today as an author. Let’s talk a bit about your writing life. What’s an average day for you as writer, blogger, and promoter of Indie Authors?

I usually spend the first two hours working on a book I’m writing or a short story. Then I switch gears and start working on my three blogs. I try to…

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“Blind Servitude” by David Chattaway


“Blind Servitude” by David Chattaway is a both, grim and inspiring story about people living in slave like conditions in a mine under the surface of the earth.
Our story introduces a young boy named Eli and his daily routine as a worker in the mine with its network of tunnels. Almost daily a loud siren announces death, adding to the miserable and lifeless living conditions.
Eli and a friend make some fascinating discoveries and suddenly Eli begins to question the set-up and develops a sudden sense of trust, hope and bravery against the oppressors.
Told with the beautiful voice of a young and innocent boy the story has an immediate charm. The prose perfectly portrays the claustrophobic conditions of living in tunnels and under the strict rule of the threatening creatures in the darkness.
The novel is full of symbolism and metaphors about personal freedom, darkness and the power of the mind and beliefs. As we learn the parameters of this new and mysterious world we also get to understand about what it means to come into one’s own and watch Eli and his family make new and important choices.
Although the choice of character implies a young adult market the story will no doubt appeal to wider audiences with its inspiring and well integrated messages.
This may a short (-ish) read but I credit the smooth and captivating writing style for making me devour this in one sitting.
Also, the book has an excellent and exquisite cover.

The book is scheduled for a free promotion on Amazon today – July 22nd and 23rd – please download if it is free in your territory :-)

Link to a previous feature on David 


“Lone Wolf Rising” by Jamie Brumfield


“Lone Wolf Rising” is a wonderful supernatural read. It follows 17 years old Rebecca and her transformation and integration into a werewolf pack. I am admittedly not overly keen on the genre and was reluctant to follow the recommendation by a friend but am glad I did. 
Blood thirst comes in many forms: Rebecca’s desire to avenge her parents, and the past history between Vampires and Werewolves. But one can’t always give in to one’s desires, or can one?

Having a heroine that is strong and sometimes weak is what made this story interesting for me. I really felt for Rebecca as she learns to hit the ground running in her new life, her role in the pack and her responsibilities and challenges.
What strikes me most about Lone Wolf Rising is that it offers a lot of detail about the supernatural world, showing that the author has a deep love for the genre and is not just following a current trend. The characters and side plots are all thought through and detailed; the conflict between Vampires and Werewolves has a long history and is not just an fancy façade to fill in the gaps. The story was clearly written with care and came out a true labour of love. There is something very genuine and likeable about it that made reading it very enjoyable and special. 
If you love the genre, you must read this.



Jami M Brumfield has a passion for the paranormal, supernatural, and mythological worlds for most of her life. She believes there is a kernel of truth in every story and loves playing detective to discover what that hidden truth is. She has written most of her life. She started with poems and short stories, then graduated to journalism working for online websites like It was only a natural progression that her love of writing and her passion for the unknown would combine. Lone Wolf Rising the first book of the Winters series is the product of that union.

Find her on Amazon

and her book 

Book 1 in the Winters Saga Series begins with Lone Wolf Rising

Revenge has deadly consequences. Seventeen year old Rebecca Winters’ main goal for ten years has been to graduate high school and take down the people who killed her parents. When she stumbled upon a werewolf pack in the middle of Phoenix, she knew she’d found a way to make her dream come true. Instead of getting vengeance, an act of war has put her into a position of power and forces her to put her thirst for family justice on a temporary hold.

He is duty bound to protect her. Lucian (Lucky) Lamont is a member of the Protectors, an elite supernatural police force who works for the Authority. Their main goal is to keep humans in the dark about the creatures who live among them. Lucky is assigned to protect and manage Rebecca, despite her refusal of help. His cover is simple; he poses as the dutiful ‘pretend’ boyfriend in order to keep an eye on the new alpha wolf.

She is his mate.

Gabriel Black though taking his pack back from the witch who was chosen as the new alpha would be simple. He thought wrong. His entire world was turned upside down the moment he met Rebecca at the Authority Council meeting…and he was hooked the moment he kissed her to prove she wasn’t dating his best friend, Lucky.

It’s like being torn between two lovers.

Rebecca is pulled in hundreds of different directions while she attempts to find a way to survive the supernatural world, protect her family, and discover who massacred her entire pack days before her first transformation. She doesn’t have time for romance.

But the heart wants what the heart wants.

And the wolf gets what the wolf wants – or so her alpha believes. While Rebecca manages to keep her head above water as she unlocks political and family secrets which could destroy her, she loses sight of the most important people in her life and one of them pays the ultimate price.


“Rare Bits” by Chris Westlake



“Rare Bits” by Chris Westlake is an accomplished and well composed selection of twenty wonderful short stories. It starts out on a thoughtful note with Welsh Lessons, a story set in South Wales about a childhood friendship and family – themes which resonate in several of the other stories. Great sentiment, moral values and beautiful writing make you nostalgic and sentimental, while other stories show the author’s talent at romance and erotica.
Although the adult content is mild it is a prominent feature, so be warned or excited about this.
The stories are easy to read and hugely enjoyable. Some serious, some less so. They have the same quality of writing as the author’s previous work and show a consistency in depth and talent.
I regard Westlake as my own ‘discovery’ since I stumbled upon his writing via twitter and found out later that his work has won awards. If you are familiar with his work you will be pleased to hear that he delivers the same quality as before. If you don’t, then you will find this a great introduction to this creative work.

Rare Bits is a collection of twenty short stories from the imagination of award-winning author, Chris Westlake. 
David is bored of his mundane life in a sleepy valleys village. The internet offers infinite possibilities of escape. But is he more trapped than ever by his spiralling addiction? 
Simon is an ominous small-time thief. But a text message on a phone he has stolen leaves him embroiled in a case of murder. Who sent him the message and how do they know who he is? 
Rare Bits is beautifully-crafted collection of stories. The characters and plots are a wonderfully assorted blend, but the writing is always sharp and observational. 
The collection includes Welsh Lessons, which took first place in The Global Short Story Award 2010, and Heatwave of 76, which came first in the Stringbybark Erotic Fiction Award. 
If you enjoyed Just a Bit of Banter, Like, then you will love Rare Bits.
Find the book on Amazon 

Link to previous post on Chris Westlake 


Chris Westlake was awarded 1st place in the Global Short Stories Award 2010, 1st place in the Stringybark Erotic Fiction Award 2011, 2nd place in the HASSRA 2010 Literary Award, short-listed for the Stringybark Short Story Award 2011 and short-listed for the Stringybark Young Adult Award 2013.

Chris is strongly influenced by his upbringing in Vale of Glamorgan, South Wales, and his writing always has a welsh link or welsh setting, and Chris is committed to continuing this trend. His next novel explore the modern history of towns such as Porthcawl and Merthyr Tydfil.

Chris devoted 2012 to his first novel, Just a Bit of Banter, Like, which is a dark comedy.

“Shaman – The Awakening” by VR McCoy


Shaman, The Awakening” by VR Mc Coy is an inspired blend of crime investigation with Native Indian Shamanism. I was stunned by the vast knowledge on Native Indian culture that has been skillfully woven into what is a modern day detective story about abducted women.
Our hero Chris has a unique ability around premonitions and dreams, which makes him a prefect tool for the FBI. Many a detective work with their intuition, so the Shaman powers fit in naturally into this field.
Chris is inexperienced in many ways and has to come into his own, at the same time he has been institutionalised because of his ‘gift’, so he really is already a great and interesting character before the crime story begins.
I have been an eager fan of several supernatural TV detective series but this book/ series is different from many such one-trick-ponies. The tribal roots and culture, the character depth and the well laid out plot – this is a very profound and captivating book.
Highly recommended.

Find the book on Amazon

VR McCoy is a native of Washington, D.C., who currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia. He attended Archbishop Carroll Highschool (H.S. of the famed Alex Cross/ James Patterson novels) and Howard University in Washington, D.C.

Writing genres are Action & Adventure, Crime & Mystery, Espionage, Thrillers and Fantasy.

Inspired by James Patterson, Walter Mosely, Steven King and Tom Clancy.

I’ve always had an inner voice that has encouraged me to write; poetry, songs and short stories. I’ve dreamed about writing novels since I was a child and when television became too unbearable; I turned it off and picked up my pen to satisfy my needs. My passion and love for the written word.

Find the book on Amazon

Review: “Go Away Home” by Carol Bodensteiner



“Go Away Home” by Carol Bodensteiner is a beautiful book about a family in Iowa in 1913. Despite drama and tragedy they remain strong and supportive of each other. Young Liddie, the main character wants to move to the nearby town to train as a seamstress. Her character is like one of Jane Austin’s best (Liddie in one scene of the book actually does read Austin): naïve, innocent but also ambitious and good hearted. Her sister Amelia falls pregnant out of wedlock and her father gets seriously injured in an accident and suffers from concussion, leaving the family with a few problems to resolve.
Her brother Vern initially has issues with Joe, a German boy the family take in but the rivalry settles. The members of the family then seem to be going their own ways, particularly Liddie who starts to train as seamstress and starts to make a name for herself in town.
Bodensteiner has created excellent characters, likeable, detailed and full of life. They serve well to illustrate the spirit of the times, whether that be the morals of unwanted pregnancies, ideas about the vote for women or courting manners. 
The descriptive details and historical accuracy of the writing is impeccable, in particularly the portrayal of farm life and of the boarding house that Liddie 
stays in is very impressive and with a talent like this Bodensteiner makes it easy for her readers to feel as if they are in the place themselves. 
There is a very authentic feel of the writing, it reminded me of the world of possibilities that America was in those days, not just for immigrants. Some characters move around the castness of the country to seek new opportunities. Liddie is young and she too has to make some decisions about her life and take chances. 
The book is full of interesting side characters, be that an excitable friend at the boarding house or Liddie’s employer.
War threatens to bring the world upside down, the German sensitivities, the draft and evens ome opportunities force more decisions on the cast. 
And then there is the matter of Liddie’s love life, her opportunities, her choices and her coming of age.
This is a wonderful family saga that with its love and attention to historical detail is nothing short of a magical step back in time. It shows us the happy and the sad aspects of life, many themes of the times and it does so with hope and a strong and positive message of optimism. A real feel good book.
Read the first chapters now

Go Away Home is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook formats.

The book has just been shortlisted as a 2014 finalist for the readers favourite

Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl is available on Amazon in paperback and ebook formats.

 My previous blog post on Carol


Carol Bodensteiner – Bio

Carol Bodensteiner is a writer who finds inspiration in the places, people, culture and history of the Midwest. After a successful career in public relations consulting, she turned to creative writing. She blogs about writing, her prairie, gardening, and whatever in life interests her at the moment. She published her memoir GROWING UP COUNTRY in 2008. GO AWAY HOME is her debut novel.


Tweet @CABodensteiner






MJ Magazine

The Magazin was founded by the saintly and relentless supporter of authors, Fran Lewis in honour of her late sister. 

Find it on AMAZON

The Magazine contains a wide range of information, for example:

Writer’s Workshop, including an article by me on writing historical fiction,

Writing Tips

Recommendations for Books on Writing

Features on Authors Clint Morey and Allan Topol

Book Reviews, including
“Aming the Shrouded” by Amalie Jahn,
“Cider Brook” by Carla Neggers,

Reviews & Interviews, including
“Four Days with Hemingway’s Ghost” by Tom Winton
“Leap the Wild Water” by Jenny Lloyd


“Madiva: A-Z: The Many Faces of Nelson Mandela” by Danny Schechter

Recommended Reading

Fran’s Top 5 New Authors

Christian Fiction Reviewed by Lee Harmon

Issues —Focuses: Alzheimer’s, Spouse Abuse and Gun Control

Issues —Medical Concerns

Teen Issues

Helpful Hints

Find it on AMAZON

Review: “Angel in Flight” by Gerry McCullough

Angel_front_cover 2


“Angel in Flight” by Gerry McCullough is an excellent and fast paced thriller set in beautiful Greece. Angela Murphy, or Angel, is stunned when she spots her ex-husband Mickey in Athens of all places. She has more reasons than one to avoid him and so her holiday instantly becomes a tense affair. 
The sense of tense urgency and danger is immediate in the writing, establishing a great dramatic curve; the setting is atmospheric and we know that there is more drama and complication to come, especially once she meets an old acquaintance, Frank, and then Josh Smith.
Angel is a great and surprisingly tough character who can hold her own against criminals, drunks and men. I liked her as the deep and thoughtful heroine that shows vulnerability and strength and one whose aim is not to find a man and live happily ever after.
The action is based around a vaccine for Malaria but the story is more evolved than that. It is a very entertaining and enjoyable thriller that showcases a very gifted writer.

Link to my author interview with Gerry


“The Cat Wore Electric Goggles” – a new release by Ian Hutson


“The Cat Wore Electric Goggles” by Ian Hutson is an inspired, absurd, hilarious and witty selection of highly amusing short stories. Whether set in space or in the English Countryside, expect the unexpected and enjoy as the nonsensical makes oddly sense.
It would be hard to pick a favourite story. I loved Captain Faraday and his cat in space, Mister Stringer and the consequences of choosing the proper water for his tea and the British attempt at travelling to the moon. All of them sparkle with ideas and originality, some louder than others, but all very entertaining.

Hutson’s humour is great fun but it has a profound basis in English culture and human nature. It is light-hearted but behind the silliness there lies a mind capable of sharp and true observations. His ability with the English language is superb; his style is elegant, confident and magical.
A truly excellent selection, highly recommended.

According to sources close to the author’s cat walker the aim was to write old-fashioned science-fiction with lots of rocket ships and chaps doing splendid stuff but buried amongst it is the usual humour with an attempt at some serious commentary on the meaning of life too… Age range of the book is from “just weaned” to “pensioner in nappies”.

Amazon link –

iTune link – [just the addition of an "i" so it looks similar]

Smashwords link –

My previous feature on Ian

The official blurb goes like this:

Twelve mildly amusing fictions in vague science from an old-fashioned English gentleman who believes wholeheartedly in the cast iron foundation of rocket ships, good manners and always firing a warning shot over the heads of any belligerent mob before sending in the memsahib to duff ’em up.

If variety is the spice of life then this collection is a damnably splendid curry of improbable human conditions and improbable human beings. The ingredients include a spot of gentle medieval scifi, proper rocket ships, alien invasion of England, secret government satellites crashing and releasing stockpiled dinosaur DNA, insane Cold War time travel, groovy Victorian orang-utans in space, the televising of England’s first Moon landing, a very rude first contact, young Mr Darwin’s explanation of evolution placed in startling juxtaposition to flora and fauna on a distant planet, one or two maritime ghosts, a terrifying new virus and a detective with a serious career problem. I refrain for obvious reasons from mentioning here the elderly ladies in fur bikinis, and the least said about the Austin-Morris Motor Car Company’s robotic labour relations the better. Suffice it to say that the man from the past isn’t happy, and all’s well that ends well, provided that you’re a whale.

You won’t be a better person for having read this collection, but you will have a very respectable frown and a ruddy good permanently raised eyebrow under which to secure your monocle. Life is such utter nonsense.


Short author bio:
Born during tiffin at half-past nineteen-sixty. Grew up initially in Hong Kong speaking only Cantonese, then bounced around living some really boring places (Air Force bases) and some brilliant places, such as the Isle of Lewis in Scotland’s Outer Hebrides. Lived in seventeen different homes as a child, attending twelve different schools and missed one complete year at age nine years, while living in Banham Zoo in Norfolk. Home there was between the monkeys and the bears, looking out over the penguins and the wolves (these latter two were in separate habitats of course).

During the eighties was recruited into the British Civil Service, studied for a B.A. in Operational Research Systems Analysis, then an M.A. in Industrial Relations. Thrown out of the Civil Service, worked for a few multi-nationals such as ITSA, EDS, AVIVA. Thrown out of the multi-nationals, started own businesses. Went splendidly bankrupt, ended up in County Court in front of a seriously lovely Judge and lost house, car and valuables but not liberty, to the banks and to Her Majesty’s Official Receivers.

Now lives in uber-serious penury in a corner of a field in Lincolnshire, England, as a peacenik, vegan, non-theist hippie and when not writing spends his time wandering the lanes ranting at sparrows and the occasional passing tractor. Is a very lucky, and a very happy chappy indeed.

Next book(s) will be ‘The Dog With The Bakelite Nose’ (scifi collection) and some updated, mangled legends and fairy-tales – ‘The Glass Boot’.

Amazon link –

iTune link – [just the addition of an "i" so it looks similar]

Smashwords link –




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