Thanks for these first reviews for “The Sanctuary on Cayman Brac”

Thanks for these first reviews for “The Sanctuary on Cayman Brac”
5.0 out of 5 stars

November 4, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

The Sanctuary on Cayman Brac: Key To The Truth by Christoph Fischer is a refreshing return of Arpan, Anuj, Hilda and Erica from the precious novel, The Healer. Though I read the book after its release I just finished listening to the book on audio tape which I enjoyed immensely. The timing couldn’t be better for this new release as I have been sitting with great anticipation wondering where this story will lead us. And now that I have finished this story, I  am surprised by all the twists that had me shocked at each turn. Nothing is as it seems and the questions only kept adding up.

I am a fan of Mr. Fischer’s work and The Healer has been my favorite thus far. The book just grabbed me immediately and played into my curiosity.

Though the location has changed from Wales to Grand Cayman in the Caribbean, or more accurately, Cayman Brac, the smallest island of the group, the intensity has only increased.

Luv2read

November 3, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What starts out at a fast mysterious clip, with Erica spying Arpan through binoculars, acts as glue the story. Right away I want to know what she’s doing, having found him on the island of Cayman Brac. He’s got a security system in place and she’s got a questioning mind as to this man who she thinks is a charlatan, yet there was the mysterious past connection that made her body tingle. Was it just the human sixth sense, she ponders, and the story continues. Starting out with revenge in mind, she changes. Why? And what part does Arpan have in this change? Set in the beautiful Caribbean Island, spells are cast. But is it the Islands allure or Arpan’s wizardly ways? Where does all this take Erica? No spoilers here but suffice it to say, there is a perfect build up of story tension/conflict as pages are strewn with mysterious turns involving a pharmaceutical company, corrupt patient chart mix ups, greed, a healing school, looking for truth, a mysterious key, chakras, and many more metaphysical twists. How does it all end? Truth be told, I didn’t see it coming. It was an unexpected satisfying ending. A good read for an afternoon cozied up before the fireplace.
Amazon Customer

November 2, 2017

Format: Kindle Edition
I got hooked on this series with “The Healer.” An original, spiritual mystery filled with terrific, fleshed-out characters. Loved it.
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Mystery Monday Re-blog: New Release by #suspense author @JasonCMcintyre ~ UNWED

Thanks Eden Bayley https://edenbaylee.com for the original post: https://edenbaylee.com/2017/10/18/new-release-by-suspense-author-jasoncmcintyre-unwed/

New Release by #suspense author @JasonCMcintyre ~ UNWED 

UNWED, A Dovetail Cove Novel, 1976

It’s January, 1976 and Bexy McLeod gets roped in to helping Dovetail Cove’s retired doc as he deals with St. Dominic’s latest problem. Having tangled with the town’s church-going community for years, Bexy knows she shouldn’t get involved. Wheelchair-bound after an accident left her a paraplegic, she might be the least-sensible choice. Trouble tends to follow the widow and the last thing Bexy needs is confrontation. But now she’s finding herself enamoured with the young woman she’s helping. Bexy may just have to go toe-to-toe with one of the most prominent members of Dovetail Cove’s upper crust…and its head priest.

MATURE THEMES and SUBJECT MATTER.

“You are cordially invited to UNWED…”

by Jason McIntyre

“You called me charitable. You did. And I think that’s likely the best thing to help her. No. Wait. That’s exactly what I think she needs. And not just for Mary. For everyone.”

—from UNWED

You’ve seen these people before. But not like this. Bexy McLeod is the damaged sort of character that populates nearly the entire town of Dovetail Cove. As a writer, she draws me in because—no matter the damage and betrayal she suffers—she keeps going. And she will until she draws her last breath.

In the creepy character-driven suspense book ‘UNWED’, we catch up with Bexy who first appeared in the startling novella, BLED. She’s trying to re-enter the life she once knew in this small town—a place which, on the surface, might look like every other small town you’ve ever visited, or even the neighbourhood where you grew up. Bexy fell away from her friends, even her family. After suffering a terrible accident that left her wheelchair-bound, she tried to find reason and meaning in the work of the church. But turmoil followed her there too. After a fundraising scheme, Bexy’s lost most of her money. And, be damned is she didn’t play a role in losing the money of many neighbours and townspeople too.

Not officially guilty of any wrong-doing, Bexy was shunned nonetheless. But now she’s back. And the townspeople simply aren’t having it.

No matter to Doc. He needs Bexy’s help with a young woman in St. Dominic’s choir. Mary Smithson has miraculously inherited a mansion on the posh Avenue in Dovetail Cove. And though an adult, Mary possesses the mental acuity of a young girl. If that wasn’t enough, she’s also finding mystery gifts left under her pillow at night from what she believes is the ‘toofairy.’

While UNWED takes place in 1976, its themes and characters still resonate with us today. The tendency of groups to follow the crowd, our often blind faith in leaders and trusted organizations, such things appeal to me as a storyteller and are timely in today’s world. You HAVE seen these people before. They are Bexy’s neighbours, yours too I’d wager.

UNWED is part of the Dovetail Cove saga of mystery, suspense and horror stories—a series that’s not really a series. I joke about this because the titles don’t follow any real order. They can be read alone or in groups, or one right after the other. They are solo books that comprise what I call a ‘mosaic’ novel—completely independent of chronological order because I wrote them as they made sense to me. Each one expands the larger Dovetail Cove narrative across the entire decade of the 70s and layers new detail into the tension and drama—and yes, startling suspense at times. So, while UNWED takes place in 1976, it certainly doesn’t need to be read after the Dovetail books that take place in 1971 through 1975.

Certainly, every story in the saga that one chooses to read will expand and elaborate on the mysteries surrounding this small island town and its inhabitants. But, by all means, if Bexy, Mary and the Doc intrigue you, start with them. Remember, the island is waiting for you. And it doesn’t forget.

The Dovetail Cove books so far:

1.   DEATHBED (1971)

2.   BLED (1972)

3.   FLED (1973)

4.   REDHEAD (1974)

5.   ZED (1975)

6.   UNWED (1976)

7.   SHED (1977)

8.   DREAD (1978)

9.   [ – coming soon – ] (1979)

10. [ – super mega finale – ] (1980)

Exclusive to Amazon for launch, pre-order UNWED until its release date on October 27:

Find Jason McIntyre

JASON MCINTYRE is the #1 Kindle Suspense author of THE NIGHT WALK MEN, bestsellers ON THE GATHERING STORM and SHED, plus the multi-layered literary suspense THALO BLUE. His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and won several awards.

His debut novel ON THE GATHERING STORM is cited by readers as an ‘uncomfortably thrilling’ read and earned McIntyre a spot in the Top 20 Debut Authors for the Goodreads Choice Awards.

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Saturday Historical Interview with Wayne Turmel

 

I recently enthusiastically reviewed Wayne’s novel “Acre’s Bastard”. I read so much historical fiction that I cheekily sneaked my review of the book in the mystery section of this blog, but I should not keep him from the historical Saturday readers, so here he is with an interview.

Welcome Wayne. Please tell us a little about yourself as writer and as person.

I was born in Canada, and moved to the US in 1991. I spent nearly 18 years as a working, touring professional comedian until the wife and child (The Duchess and Her Serene Highness) insisted on eating and I had to run away from the circus. Now I’m in the corporate training world. I’ve written my whole life, from jokes for my act, to screenplays, to professional business books for my grown-up job. At 50 I decided to check something off my bucket list and writing a novel (The Count of the Sahara) seemed less risky than sky diving. Now I’m hooked, and even though I continue to write for my day job, short stories and novels are my passion, and I’m indulging myself.

Why did you choose to write historical fiction?

I don’t know that I consciously chose it, but they are the stories that appeal to me. Growing up in small town Canada, the books I loved were always adventures happening in another time and place. One of my mottoes is “swords are cooler than guns.”  First it was Classic Illustrated comics, and then Dumas, Kipling, Stevenson all told wonderful stories I couldn’t get enough of. So when I think of stories, particularly adventure tales, they always take place somewhere (and somewhen?) else.

What makes you laugh? 

Oh good grief, everything, and most of it inappropriate. One of the most rewarding things for me is to find the humour in an otherwise life or death situation. I am a slave to an egregious pun, but the best laughs come from recognition that no matter the time period, people are people, and they will find the humour just as a survival mechanism if nothing else. I think people are surprised at the number of good chuckles in my books, even though the tale of a self-destructive archaeologist or a boy caught up in the horror of religious war don’t seem like laugh-a-minute romps.  Something is always funny.

Who would you like to invite for dinner? 

My wife and I play this game all the time, and it constantly changes. I have a really strange fascination with Victorian era explorers, and I think two of the most fascinating people to have would be Sir Richard Francis Burton and Lady Florence Baker (who would hate each other, which would make it great!) and then invite Byron de Prorok (the focus of Count of the Sahara) and let Burton and Byron just continue to out-BS each other. I think I’d have to invite Kate Warne (the first female Pinkerton detective) just so poor Florence would have someone to talk to and get a word in edgewise.

What are you working on now? 

With my usual impeccable business sense, I’m working on a sequel to Acre’s Bastard, because nothing enhances your writing career like writing a second book in a series that’s had disappointing sales. I’m just not done with Lucca yet. But I’m working on outlines for a bunch of other work and submitting short stories, which are a lot of fun.

Is there anything you would like us to know about yourself and your books? 

I think the most rewarding feedback I’ve gotten are from people who don’t normally read historical fiction because they think it’s slow or they won’t relate to the characters. In particular, I was concerned that I was writing for a bunch of old white men, but women seem to really identify with the characters in both books, which is both a pleasant surprise and a huge relief. (I generally care about women’s opinion more than men… it’s a deep character flaw)

 

Did anyone influence you / encourage you to become a writer?

When I was about 10 I was hospitalized for a minor ailment, and the hospital administrator, a wonderful man named Neville Cox, stopped by to chat. I told him then I wanted to be a writer and he gave me a paperback thesaurus, which I still have on my shelf.  I like to say that I’m the bastard child of Alexandre Dumas and Hunter S Thompson, which is just an insane thing to say but I think makes me sound very writer-ly, don’t you? I have always read widely across a number of genres and I always think, “yeah, but what if they did this or that?” and take the stories in my own direction. At some point you have to just do it for yourself.

How did you come up with your stories? 

Almost inevitably I start with uncovering some historical fact, and asking myself, “what the hell were they thinking?” With Acre’s Bastard, I remember standing at the site of the old Crusader Hospital in Jerusalem, looking at the ruins and (as I do constantly with middle eastern history) asked, “what the #%#@$%@ did they think they were doing?”  When I reread one of my favourite books, Kiplilng’s Kim, I imagined Kim set in the Crusades, and that’s when Lucca was born. 

With Count of the Sahara, I became obsessed with the character of Byron De Prorok, and he is one of a long line of characters I  admire, like Burton, who were brilliant, talented, and couldn’t stay the hell out of their own way, paving the seeds of their own destruction

Who would you cast to play the characters in a movie?

I think if you’re any kind of cinema fan (and I’m a huge movie fan) if you say you aren’t casting the movie in your head while you write it, you’re probably being a little coy. The whole time I wrote Count of the Sahara, I had Benedict Cumberbatch in mind to play Byron, although Tom Hiddleston would have been amazing as well.  I think a slightly younger Clive Owen would make a great Brother Marco. For some reason, north Americans always think of past characters as British. Ever notice everyone in the Roman empire spoke like Peter Ustinov? Wouldn’t they have Italian accents? Imagine how much grittier I Claudius would have been with Al Pacino, rather than Derek Jacobi).

Are you like any of the characters (and how so)? 

On my best and worst days, I think there are parts of me in everything I write. Lucca very much has my inquisitive, smart-ass nature, and the narrator in Count of the Sahara, Willy, is a lot like me: eager to get out of his surroundings and see the larger world, while being a bit naïve about his heroes.   

 

Who are your favourite independent writers? 

On my blog, www.WayneTurmel.com,  I interview historical fiction writers, and most of them are independent. There are too many, and of course I discover new favourites all the time but Peter Darmon and Annie Whitehead are terrific, as is J R Lindermuth.

 

What book are you currently reading and in what format (e-book/paperback/hardcover)?

Right now I’m reading  Beau Geste in kindle…. I’m going through a Foreign Legion phase right now.

 

Tell us about your other books? 

I’ve written 7 other books, mostly on business and leadership communication as part of putting bread on the table. Meet Like You Mean It, A Leader’s Guide to Painless and Productive Virtual Meetings, is actually very good if you’re stuck on conference calls all day. I’ve also published some short fiction, my latest is on the Irish journal Dodging the Rain.

https://dodgingtherain.wordpress.com/2017/07/31/wayne-turmel-bayamon-1978/

 

Amazon Author Page  https://www.amazon.com/Wayne-Turmel/e/B00J5PGNWU/

Twitter @Wturmel

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/wayne.turmel

Goodreads author page https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14980039.Wayne_Turmel

Acre’s Bastard https://www.amazon.com/Acres-Bastard-Historical-Fiction-Crusades-ebook/dp/B01MU71I1U/

The Count of the Sahara  https://www.amazon.com/COUNT-SAHARA-Historical-fiction-best-ebook/dp/B01407R2H2/

SHORT BIO

Wayne Turmel is a writer, speaker and corporate drone who writes historical fiction to save his sanity. Originally from the town of Mission, BC, he moves to the US in 1991 to become a professional standup comedian. Forced to get a real job, he’s written 7 non-fiction titles including “The Long-Distance Leader: Rules for Remarkable Remote Leadership” (co-written with Kevin Eikenberry) that comes out in May. His motto is “those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it. The rest of us are doomed too, but at least we get to stand there smugly and say ‘told you so.’”.

He’s written two novels, The Count of the Sahara, and Acre’s Bastard. He lives in the Chicago area  with his wife, the Duchess, his daughter, Her Serene Highness and Byron, the world’s crankiest cockatiel.

 

Star Review: “The Day I Saw the Hummingbird” by Paulette Mahurin

The Day I Saw the Hummingbird: A Novel by [Mahurin, Paulette]Today I have a superb book for you, written by a close friend of mine. So yes I’m biased, especially as all proceeds from her books goe to a no-kill animal shelter. But with the charitable thought comes quality, so you’re on a double winner.

“The Day I Saw the Hummingbird” by Paulette Mahurin marvellously continues her series of heart-breaking and heart-warming celebrations of the human spirit in times of adversity.
The point of view is that of a growing up slave boy, who is forced to witness the death of his father and other close friends at the hand of white men, just before the outbreak of the Civil War.
Told by the grown up man as he looks back at his life, this manages to bring into the novel also the reflection of the post-slavery man on the Civil War and the times before and after.
The horrors of slavery and the shocking mind-sets that went with it are well portrayed, yet, as the reader knows that we’re historically on the verge of a new era at the time of the story, there’s also hope from the outset. All the more tragic is it to witness casualties and victims, so close before the end of the tunnel. The narrative is intimate and engaging, it’s very hard not to get involved into the splendid characters and the powerful scenes.
Harrowing, moving and inspiring at the same time, Mahurin takes us through a personal and historical journey, paying tribute to historical figures that aided the cause. If you haven’t read any of her work, go and check out Mahurin’s work. It’s very good.

Blurb: On the eve of his tenth birthday, a young slave’s life is turned upside down. The unthinkable events that led up to the day Oscar Mercer saw a hummingbird test the limits of this young boy’s body, mind and soul. Gripped with fear and filled with anger, Oscar faces raw, crushing hatred aimed at him and everyone he loves. In a time when a nation was ripped apart geographically, economically, politically and morally, comes a story of a courageous boy who began life as a slave on a sugarcane plantation in Louisiana and escapes via The Underground Railroad. Through the efforts and good will of kind, brave people determined to free slaves, Oscar faces devastating obstacles and dangers. Struggling with his inner impulse to seek revenge for the injustices and violence levied on his family and friends, he discovers that in bondage you pray to God, but in freedom, you meet Him. From the award-winning, best-selling author of The Seven Year Dress comes a story that brings another cadre of memorable characters alive on pages that pulse with hatred and kindness, cruelty and compassion, despair and hope. Oscar’s journey on the Underground Railroad is a heart-pounding ride that the reader will remember long after this story ends.

Paulette Mahurin is a best selling literary fiction and historical fiction novelist. She lives with her husband Terry and two dogs, Max and Bella, in Ventura County, California. She grew up in West Los Angeles and attended UCLA, where she received a Master’s Degree in Science.

Her first novel, The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap, made it to Amazon bestseller lists and won awards, including best historical fiction 2012 in Turning the Pages Magazine. Her second novel, His Name Was Ben, originally written as an award winning short story while she was in college and later expanded into a novel, rose to bestseller lists its second week out. Her third novel, To Live Out Loud, won international critical acclaim and made it to multiple sites as favorite read book of 2015. Her fourth book, The Seven Year Dress, made it to the top ten bestseller lists on Amazon U.S., Amazon U.K. and Amazon Australia. Her fifth book, The Day I Saw The Hummingbird, is scheduled for release in 2017.

Semi-retired, she continues to work part-time as a Nurse Practitioner in Ventura County. When she’s not writing, she does pro-bono consultation work with women with cancer, works in the Westminster Free Clinic as a volunteer provider, volunteers as a mediator in the Ventura County Courthouse for small claims cases, and involves herself, along with her husband, in dog rescue. Profits from her books go to help rescue dogs from kill shelters.

Reblog: “Disease: When Life taken an Unexpected Turn” by Hans M Hirschi

Originally posted on http://www.authortranslatorolga.com – thanks for this great review of another excellent sounding book by the talented Hans M Hirschi

Source: http://www.authortranslatorolga.com/2017/10/25/tuesdaybookblog-bookreview-disease-when-life-takes-an-unexpected-turn-by-hans-m-hirschi-hans_hirschi-an-emotional-journey-into-a-disintegrating-mind-and-its-effects-dementia/

Disease: When Life takes an Unexpected Turn by Hans M Hirschi  An emotional journey into a disintegrating mind and its effects

When journalist Hunter MacIntyre is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, he

Disease: When Life takes an Unexpected Turn by Hans M Hirschi An emotional journey into a disintegrating mind and its effects When journalist Hunter MacIntyre is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, he realizes that his life is about to change, not to mention that he’s been handed a certain death sentence. Alzheimer’s is a disease affecting the patient’s loved ones as much, if not more, than the patient themselves. In Hunter’s case, that’s his partner Ethan and their five-year-old daughter Amy. How will they react to, and deal with, Hunter’s changing behavior, his memory lapses, and the consequences for their everyday lives? Disease is a story of Alzheimer’s, seen through the eyes of one affected family. https://www.amazon.com/Disease-When-Life-takes-Unexpected-ebook/dp/B074G3XH93/ https://www.amazon.co.uk/Disease-When-Life-takes-Unexpected-ebook/dp/B074G3XH93/ https://www.amazon.com/Disease-When-Life-takes-Unexpected/dp/1786451611/ About the author: Hans Martin Hirschi (b. 1967) has been writing stories ever since he was a child. Adulthood and the demands of corporate life efficiently put an end to his fictional writing for over twenty years. A global executive in training and channel development, Hans has traveled the world and published a couple of non-fictional titles. The birth of his son and the subsequent parental leave provided him with a much needed breathing hole and the opportunity to once again unleash his creative writing. Having little influence over his brain's creative workings, he simply indulges it and goes with the flow. However, the deep passion for a better world, for love and tolerance are a red thread throughout both his creative and non-fictional work. Hans lives with his husband, son and pets on a small island off the west coast of Sweden. Contact Hans through Twitter (@Hans_Hirschi) or Facebook or through his website at www.hirschi.se My review: I have read quite a few books by Hans Hirschi (not all, but I might get there given time) and have enjoyed them, no matter what the genre. The author is not somebody who writes thinking about the market or the latest trend. He writes stories he cares about, and beyond interesting plots and fully-fledged characters, he always pushes us to think about some of the big questions: prejudice, ecology, poverty, child abuse, families, laws, gender, identity… If all of his stories are personal, however fictional, this novel is perhaps even more personal than the rest. As a psychiatrist, I’ve diagnosed patients with dementia (Alzheimer’s disease or other types), I’ve assessed and looked after patients with dementia in hospital, and I have seen, second-hand, what the illness does to the relatives and friends, and also to the patients, but as an observer, from outside. I’ve known some people who have suffered from the condition but not close enough to be able to give a personal account. The novel tries to do something quite difficult: to give us the insight into what somebody suffering from Alzheimer’s feels, what they think, and how they experience the process of losing their own memories and themselves. The book is written in a diary format, in the first person, by Hunter, a man in his forties who, after some episodes of forgetfulness, goes to the doctors and is diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s. He writes articles for a living, is married to Ethan, who is a high-school teacher, and they have a five-year-old daughter, Amy (born of a surrogate mother, and Ethan’s biological daughter). They live in Michigan, where they moved to from California, and therefore they are not legally married, as that was not an option at the time. To the worry of his illness and how this will affect him (Hunter’s mother also died of the condition, so he is fully aware of its effects on its sufferers), are added the worries about practicalities, about Amy’s care, about financial stability, about his own care, as they are not a couple with equal rights in the eyes of the law. Hunter’s diary is framed by Ethan’s narration. Ethan finds the file of the diary a couple of years after Hunter’s passing and decides to publish it, mostly letting Hunter’s words speak for themselves, but at times he clarifies if something Hunter narrates truly happened or not, or gives us his own version of events (for instance, when Hunter gets lost). Although the story is mostly written by Hunter and told from the point of view of the sufferer, Ethan’s brief contributions are poignant and heart-wrenching, precisely because we do get the sense that he is trying so hard to be strong, fair, and to focus on his daughter. He accepts things as they are and is not bitter, but the heavy toll the illness has taken is clear. The novel ends with a letter written by Amy. Although brief, we get another perspective on how the illness affects families, and through her eyes we get to know more about how Ethan is truly feeling. A deeply moving letter that rings true. The characters are well drawn, and even when the progression of the illness means that some of the episodes Hunter describes might not be true, they still give us a good insight into his thoughts, his illusions, and his worries. He writes compellingly and beautifully (although there are is evidence of paranoia, ramblings, and some disconnected writing towards the end), and the fact that his writing remains articulate (although the gaps between entries increase as the book progresses and he even stops writing when he misplaces the file) fit in with research about preservation of those skills we have used the most and are more ingrained. Hunter pours into his diary his thoughts and experiences, some that he has never shared in detail with anybody (like being trapped at a hotel in Mumbai during a terrorist attack), and others that seem to be flights of fancy or wishful thinking. He shares his own opinions (his dislike of nursing homes, his horror at the thought of being looked after by somebody he doesn’t know, his worries about the future, his memories of the past…) and is at times humorous, at times nasty, at others indignant and righteous. He is not a cardboard cut-out, and neither are any of the other characters. Apart from the personal story of the characters, we have intrusions of the real world, including news, court decisions, that ground the events in the here and now, however universal they might be, but wherever you live and whoever you are, it is impossible not to put yourself in the place of the characters and wonder what you would do, and how much more difficult things are for them because they are not a “normal” family. This is an extraordinary book, a book that made me think about patients I had known with similar diagnosis, about the difficulties they and their families face (there are not that many nursing homes that accommodate early dementia, and most of those for elderly patients are not suited to the needs of younger patients), about end of life care, and about what I would do faced with a similar situation. The book does not shy away from asking the difficult questions, and although it is impossible to read it and not feel emotional, it tells the story with the same dignity it affords its main character. Although there is a certain degree of intrigue from the beginning (we do not find the exact circumstances of Hunter’s death until very close to the end) that will, perhaps, contribute to reading it even faster, this book is for readers who are interested in dementia and Alzheimer’s (although it is not an easy read), who love well-drawn characters, deep psychological portrayals, and stories about families and their ties. A great and important book I thoroughly recommend and another first-rate addition to Mr. Hirschi’s oeuvre. I received an ARC copy of this book and I freely decided to review it. Thanks to the author and the publisher for this opportunity.

realizes that his life is about to change, not to mention that he’s been handed a certain death sentence. Alzheimer’s is a disease affecting the patient’s loved ones as much, if not more, than the patient themselves. In Hunter’s case, that’s his partner Ethan and their five-year-old daughter Amy. How will they react to, and deal with, Hunter’s changing behavior, his memory lapses, and the consequences for their everyday lives? Disease is a story of Alzheimer’s, seen through the eyes of one affected family.

https://www.amazon.com/Disease-When-Life-takes-Unexpected-ebook/dp/B074G3XH93/

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Disease-When-Life-takes-Unexpected-ebook/dp/B074G3XH93/

https://www.amazon.com/Disease-When-Life-takes-Unexpected/dp/1786451611/

Author Hans M. Hirschi
Author Hans M. Hirschi

About the author:

Hans Martin Hirschi (b. 1967) has been writing stories ever since he was a child. Adulthood and the demands of corporate life efficiently put an end to his fictional writing for over twenty years. A global executive in training and channel development, Hans has traveled the world and published a couple of non-fictional titles. The birth of his son and the subsequent parental leave provided him with a much needed breathing hole and the opportunity to once again unleash his creative writing.

Having little influence over his brain’s creative workings, he simply indulges it and goes with the flow. However, the deep passion for a better world, for love and tolerance are a red thread throughout both his creative and non-fictional work.

Hans lives with his husband, son and pets on a small island off the west coast of Sweden.

Contact Hans through Twitter (@Hans_Hirschi) or Facebook or through his website at www.hirschi.se

My review:

I have read quite a few books by Hans Hirschi (not all, but I might get there given time) and have enjoyed them, no matter what the genre. The author is not somebody who writes thinking about the market or the latest trend. He writes stories he cares about, and beyond interesting plots and fully-fledged characters, he always pushes us to think about some of the big questions: prejudice, ecology, poverty, child abuse, families, laws, gender, identity… If all of his stories are personal, however fictional, this novel is perhaps even more personal than the rest.

As a psychiatrist, I’ve diagnosed patients with dementia (Alzheimer’s disease or other types), I’ve assessed and looked after patients with dementia in hospital, and I have seen, second-hand, what the illness does to the relatives and friends, and also to the patients, but as an observer, from outside. I’ve known some people who have suffered from the condition but not close enough to be able to give a personal account.

The novel tries to do something quite difficult: to give us the insight into what somebody suffering from Alzheimer’s feels, what they think, and how they experience the process of losing their own memories and themselves. The book is written in a diary format, in the first person, by Hunter, a man in his forties who, after some episodes of forgetfulness, goes to the doctors and is diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s. He writes articles for a living, is married to Ethan, who is a high-school teacher, and they have a five-year-old daughter, Amy (born of a surrogate mother, and Ethan’s biological daughter). They live in Michigan, where they moved to from California, and therefore they are not legally married, as that was not an option at the time. To the worry of his illness and how this will affect him (Hunter’s mother also died of the condition, so he is fully aware of its effects on its sufferers), are added the worries about practicalities, about Amy’s care, about financial stability, about his own care, as they are not a couple with equal rights in the eyes of the law.

Hunter’s diary is framed by Ethan’s narration. Ethan finds the file of the diary a couple of years after Hunter’s passing and decides to publish it, mostly letting Hunter’s words speak for themselves, but at times he clarifies if something Hunter narrates truly happened or not, or gives us his own version of events (for instance, when Hunter gets lost). Although the story is mostly written by Hunter and told from the point of view of the sufferer, Ethan’s brief contributions are poignant and heart-wrenching, precisely because we do get the sense that he is trying so hard to be strong, fair, and to focus on his daughter. He accepts things as they are and is not bitter, but the heavy toll the illness has taken is clear.

The novel ends with a letter written by Amy. Although brief, we get another perspective on how the illness affects families, and through her eyes, we get to know more about how Ethan is truly feeling. A deeply moving letter that rings true.

The characters are well drawn, and even when the progression of the illness means that some of the episodes Hunter describes might not be true, they still give us a good insight into his thoughts, his illusions, and his worries. He writes compellingly and beautifully (although there is evidence of paranoia, ramblings, and some disconnected writing towards the end), and the fact that his writing remains articulate (although the gaps between entries increase as the book progresses and he even stops writing when he misplaces the file) fit in with research about preservation of those skills we have used the most and are more ingrained. Hunter pours into his diary his thoughts and experiences, some that he has never shared in detail with anybody (like being trapped at a hotel in Mumbai during a terrorist attack), and others that seem to be flights of fancy or wishful thinking. He shares his own opinions (his dislike of nursing homes, his horror at the thought of being looked after by somebody he doesn’t know, his worries about the future, his memories of the past…) and is at times humorous, at times nasty, at others indignant and righteous. He is not a cardboard cut-out, and neither are any of the other characters.

Apart from the personal story of the characters, we have intrusions of the real world, including news, court decisions, that ground the events in the here and now, however universal they might be, but wherever you live and whoever you are, it is impossible not to put yourself in the place of the characters and wonder what you would do, and how much more difficult things are for them because they are not a “normal” family.

This is an extraordinary book, a book that made me think about patients I had known with similar diagnosis, about the difficulties they and their families face (there are not that many nursing homes that accommodate early dementia, and most of those for elderly patients are not suited to the needs of younger patients), about end of life care, and about what I would do faced with a similar situation. The book does not shy away from asking the difficult questions, and although it is impossible to read it and not feel emotional, it tells the story with the same dignity it affords its main character.

Although there is a certain degree of intrigue from the beginning (we do not find the exact circumstances of Hunter’s death until very close to the end) that will, perhaps, contribute to reading it even faster, this book is for readers who are interested in dementia and Alzheimer’s (although it is not an easy read), who love well-drawn characters, deep psychological portrayals, and stories about families and their ties. A great and important book I thoroughly recommend and another first-rate addition to Mr. Hirschi’s oeuvre.

I received an ARC copy of this book and I freely decided to review it. Thanks to the author and the publisher for this opportunity.

Thanks to the author and the publisher for the book, thanks to all of you for reading and remember to like, share, comment, click and REVIEW!

What’s behind “The Fraud or Miracle Trilogy”

Today I’m releasing “The Sanctuary on Cayman Brac” – the sequel to “The Healer” and “The Gamblers
and all three books together in one #bargain #boxset “The Fraud or Miracle Trilogy

The Trilogy started with a draft for “The Healer” that was very serious and explored the conflict between Western, scientific Medicine practice and alternatives, from Accupuncture to spiritual healing. Even rational people experience odd sensations when they go to alternative healers but does that mean they are being healed? 

Being one of those rational people myself I took courses in Reiki to get to the bottom of this, and today, a Reiki Master, I have not yet lost my critical and doubting mind.
I’m not religious and don’t believe in miracles per se but in the possibility of the unexplainable. So my own doubt swings both ways.

The first draft of “The Healer”, however, was getting too dry for my liking and needed to come out of the lecturing territory. With the arrival of one of the side characters the novel suddenly cried out to me to become a thriller, with the themes of doubt and trust becoming less rigid and more playful.

I took this theme of doubt versus trust to “The Gamblers”, where sudden wealth changes Ben Andrew’s life and opens doors he never thought possible opening. But are the new opportunities in his life real? Can he trust his new friends?

“The Sanctuary on Cayman Brac” ties up the lose ends from both novels in a plot full of twists and revelations. I thought it a good idea to release all three together, now that the novels are linked.

In “The Healer” advertising executive Erica Whittaker, diagnosed with terminal cancer, seeks help from retired, controversial healer Arpan. He has retired for good reasons, casting more than the shadow of a doubt over his abilities. So begins a journey that will challenge them both as the past threatens to catch up with him as much as with her. On one level this is just the story of a young woman trying to survive, on the other it’s about power, greed and selfish agendas, even when life or death is at stake. Can Arpan really heal her? Can she trust him with her life? And will they both achieve what they set out to do before running out of time?

In “The Gamblers” Ben, an insecure accountant obsessed with statistics, gambling and beating the odds, wins sixty-four million in the lottery and finds himself challenged by the possibilities that his new wealth brings.
He soon falls under the influence of charismatic Russian gambler Mirco, whom he meets on a holiday in New York. He also falls in love with a stewardess, Wendy, but now that Ben’s rich he finds it hard to trust anyone. As both relationships become more dubious, Ben needs to make some difficult decisions and figure out who’s really his friend and who’s just in it for the money.

In “The Sanctuary on Cayman Brac” the loose ends from both novels come to a head in a sizzling finale on the Carribbean Island when the truths about all frauds and/or miracles will be released.

http://smarturl.it/SanctuaryCaymanBrac
http://bookShow.me/B076JJPTCS

Praise for “The Healer”:

Lots of twists and a brilliant ending

I like a book that has me second guessing all the way through. It grabs hold and takes you on a wonderful journey. This book is exactly like that. I changed my mind as to who is wrong and who is right, who could be trusted and who couldn’t, from the start through to the finish.

Praise for “The Gamblers”

This story is thrilling, fascinating, fast-paced, and it presents interesting physiological questions on human natural in general and Ben Andrews in particular. A wonderful story I highly recommend!

Halloween Review: “Tegen Punishment” by Inge-Lise Goss

This is the third in this series and although I’m neither keen on horror, nor on spiders, this series has got me hooked. Tegen’s are creatures with a mixture of human and spider DNA and they are immortal. Yet, they try to stay under the radar and have their own circles.
In book three, our heroine is being punished by means of being forced to work a dangerous case – see blurb below.

The author has created am original species and a unique world with its own rules and parameters. The heroine is vulnerable as well as tough, suspense and tension run steady throughout the book and I simply couldn’t stop reading, despite my dislike of spiders and horror. A very spell-binding read, just right for Halloween.

Who will be the next spider victim?

For over two years a treacherous Tegen has evaded capture by enforcers, executing anyone who crosses his path.

Newly requisitioned to assist a Tegen enforcer, Sara Jones is on a desperate hunt to stop the renegade who has no regard for human, or spider, life. To penetrate the religious compound he uses as his hideout, she must conceal her true identity. But finding the elusive Tegen is more difficult than she may have imagined, and the compound is far more dangerous than anyone could have known.

When a notorious crime boss shows up in town, Sara enlists his help, but he has his own agenda – one that may advance his criminal enterprise.

As mayhem erupts, she must outwit unsavory zealots and find the killer before her cover is blown. The clock is ticking. Can she bring the fugitive to justice before it’s too late?

This action-packed fantasy-thriller constantly leaves you on the edge of your seat.

Tegen Punishment is the third book in the Tegen series. After reading the Tegen definition at the beginning of the novel, it can easily be read as a standalone story.

Inge-Lise Goss

Biography

Inge-Lise Goss was born in Denmark, raised in Utah and graduated from the University of Utah, magna cum laude. She is a certified public accountant and worked in that field for over twenty years. Goss lives in the foothills of Red Rock Canyon with her husband and their dog, Bran. She spends most of her time in her den writing stories. There, with her muse by her side, her imagination has no boundaries, and her dreams come alive. When she’s not pounding away on the keyboard, she can be found reading, rowing, or trying to perfect her golf game, which she fears is a lost cause.

Mystery Mondays Review: “Place Of Skulls (Ambrose Lincoln Book 4)” by Caleb Pirtle III

A man with no known past and no name has been dispatched to the deserts, ghost towns, and underbelly of drug-infested Mexico to uncover a secret that could forever change the scope and teachings of Christianity.

A DEA agent has written that he possesses the unmistakable and undeniable proof that Christ did indeed return to earth again and walk the land of the Aztecs almost fifteen hundred years after his crucifixion on the cross. But has the agent found a relic? An artifact? A long lost manuscript of the written Word? No one knows, and the agent dies before he can smuggle the secret out of an empty grave.

Ambrose Lincoln can’t dig past the charred fragments of his memory, but he must unravel the legend of Quetzalcoatl, the white-skinned, blue-eyed, god figure whose sixteenth century ministry, death, resurrection, and mystical promise to return someday to gather up his people closely parallels the Biblical story of the man called Christ. Is Quetzalcoatl merely a myth, or was he Christ himself?

Lincoln’s quest to find the answers, he becomes involved in a rogue CIA plot to invade Mexico and wage an unholy war on drugs, financed by operatives working for Hitler’s Germany. He finds himself pursued by the same mysterious assassin who struck down the DEA agent.

Does the artifact actually exist? Who possesses it now? Lincoln battles an unseen and unknown enemy in an effort to survive long enough to discover the truth. If he doesn’t, he knows that death awaits him on the desert sands of a land held sacred for centuries by the mysterious and holy ones.

My review:

This was a rather excellent surprise find for me. I had it on my kindle but couldn’t remember how it got there. Intrigued by the stylish cover and mysterious title I started to read and soon got myself dragged into the narrative. The writing is atmospheric and dry, to the point and very accomplished. I read the author has received several awards for it and I’m not surprised. Most compelling and well-done is the rivalry between some of the characters. With a hint of conspiracy lurking in the story behind the artefact the main suspense for me came from the personal. I could almost feel the anger and hate against the nemesis, enjoyed the action scenes and the suspense surrounding the mystery until the last page. Well maintained tension throughout make this a very readable and compelling read.
A great find.

Biography

Caleb Pirtle III began his career writing about history and travel. He learned quickly, however, that what happens is never as important as those who make it happen. Many of those people have made their way into his novels.Caleb Pirtle III
Pirtle is the author of more than 65 published books, including the new noir suspense thrillers, “Golgotha Connection,” “Secrets of the Dead,” “Conspiracy of Lies,” and “Night Side of Dark. His other novels, include “Deadline,” and “Little Lies.” He has written such award winners as “XIT: The American Cowboy,” “Callaway Gardens: the Unending Season,” “The Grandest Day,” “Echoes from Forgotten Streets,” and “Spirit of a Winner.” His nonfiction works include Gamble in the Devil’s Chalk and No Experience Required.
He earned a journalism degree from The University of Texas and became the first student at the university to win the national William Randolph Hearst Award for feature writing. As a reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Pirtle received both the Texas Headliner’s and Associated Press Awards.He served as travel editor for Southern Living Magazine, and his travel writing was given the National Discover America Award three times. For more than two decades, Pirtle was editorial director for a custom publishing company in Dallas.
He has written three teleplays for network television, including “Gambler 5: Playing for Keeps,” a mini-series for CBS and “The Texas Rangers” for John Milius and TNT. Because of the success of the CBS mini-series, Pirtle was asked to write two novels, “Jokers Are Wild” and “Dead Man’s Hand” for Berkeley. His blogs appear regularly on http://venturegalleries.com.

New Release: “The Burgas Affair” by Ellis Shuman

Ellis Shuman is no stranger to my blog. You may recall my enthusiastic blog posts about his first work: “Valley of Thracians“. Today I’m delighted to announce his latest release:

“The Burgas Affair” 

Publication date: Tomorrow – October 30, 2017

Purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/Burgas-Affair-Ellis-Shuman-ebook/dp/B0767KHQPW

Amazon Universal short-link: http://getBook.at/BurgasAffair

Please scroll down for my review and also some very interesting paragraphs by Ellis about the attack at Burgas Airport in July 2012 and about the release of the book in Bulgarian.

Book Description

The Burgas Affair

She’s an Israeli data analyst. He’s a headstrong Bulgarian detective. Together they must track down those responsible for a horrific bombing.

In the wake of a deadly terrorist attack at Burgas Airport in Bulgaria, Israeli and Bulgarian intelligence agencies launch a joint investigation. Detective Boyko Stanchev on the police task force teams up with Ayala Navon, a young Israeli intelligence analyst on her first overseas assignment.

The two must establish whether the terrorists were assisted by a Bulgarian crime organization in laying the groundwork for the attack.

It should be a routine investigation, but shadows of the past keep interfering.

Boyko’s interactions with a crime boss pursuing a vendetta against him threaten to throw him off track. Ayala’s pursuit of the terrorists and their accomplices brings up painful memories of a family tragedy.

Boyko and Ayala form a shaky alliance, one that evolves into growing cooperation and affection as they desperately race against time to uncover who was behind the Burgas bombing.

The Burgas Affair is a fictional account of the aftermath of a very real terrorist attack. On July 18, 2012, a deadly explosive rocked a tourist bus at Burgas Airport, killing five Israelis and their Bulgarian bus driver. The terrorists responsible for this murderous attack have never been brought to justice.

My review:

I received an advance review copy of this book by the author and gratefully accepted, having tremendously enjoyed his previous work.

This book captures you from the first quick chapter where a woman realises she’ll blow up with a bomb – a harrowing close-up of a victim and a powerful way to introduce the issue of terror attacks and suicide bombers.
Shuman then introduces another layer of the terror attack by showing us two other victims as they prepare for the fatal journey.
Only after having introduced these human elements to the Burgas tragedy does the author switch to the police investigation and the two detectives. But here, also, we’re given two non-stereotypical characters, one from Bulgaria with a complex professional history, and one from Israel, with a more personal history.
In a parallel narrative to that of the investigation we find out more about one detective’s past and begin to suspect that this will have a connection to the terror attack, while the other detective has personal issues to deal with that may interfer with the investigation.

Shuman has put a lot into this novel, there’s plenty of attention to detail and rich layering. The bombing is after all a sensitive subject and the author has handled it with delicacy and care. While the incident is fictionalised, the novel is based on police reports and therefore stays close to what we know.
Shuman stays away from outrageous or sensationalist speculation and keeps a realistic and plausible tone. This level and thoughtful approach, combined with well-chosen characters and backstories really resonated with me. There’s plenty of suspense, tension and action to please thriller fans, but it doesn’t go over the top as so many others do. The detectives aren’t super human and because of this, far more interesting and spell binding.
Most importantly, the real life Burgas bombing is a to-date unsolved case and I’m grateful that it wasn’t hijacked for an exploitative treatment in the novel, but instead used respectfully as a setting that allows the author to portray the many dimensions of terror attacks.

Having once lived in Bulgaria, Shuman adds a lot of fascinating facts about the country with descriptive detail. This is a very engaging and thought-provoking read, a gripping thriller and a multi-layered read that I would highly recommend.

Author Bio

Ellis Shuman was born in Sioux City, Iowa, and immigrated to Israel as a teenager. He completed high school in Jerusalem and served for three years in the Israeli army. Along with his wife, Jodie, he was a founding member of Kibbutz Yahel. After working for several years in the hotel industry, he today writes and edits online marketing content. In the years 2009 – 2010, his job was relocated to Sofia, Bulgaria. His writing has appeared in The Times of Israel, The Huffington Post, The Jerusalem Post, Israel Insider, and on a wide range of Internet websites. His collection of short stories, The Virtual Kibbutz, was originally published in 2003. His novel Valley of Thracians was published in 2013. Ellis lives with his wife, children, and grandchildren on Moshav Neve Ilan, outside Jerusalem.

Ellis writes about Bulgaria, Israel, books, travel, and the craft of writing on his blog:

Ellis Shuman Writes

http://ellisshuman.blogspot.com

Ellis Shuman on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ellisshumanauthor

Ellis Shuman on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ellisshuman

Ellis Shuman on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1529444.Ellis_Shuman

The Burgas Affair was originally published in Bulgarian!

The Burgas Affair was traditionally published in May 2016 by Ciela, the leading publisher in Bulgaria. The book was presented at a book signing event in Sofia in June 2016.

How did this come about? After living in Bulgaria for two years, I had established connections with Bulgarian authors and publishers. In addition, an article I wrote for the Huffington Post entitled “10 Amazing Things You Didn’t Know about Bulgaria” in August 2014 generated huge interest, especially in Bulgaria, gaining over 27,000 Facebook likes. The article was translated into Bulgarian three times!

A year after selling the Bulgarian language rights to The Burgas Affair, I decided to self-publish the novel in its original English version. The book will be published in a digital edition on October 30, 2017. A paperback edition will follow.

My feelings about the attack at Burgas Airport in July 2012

My wife and I lived in Sofia for two years (2009–2010) when my job was relocated to Bulgaria. I had never previously visited Bulgaria and quite honestly, it was not on my bucket list of travel destinations. Alongside working full-time, we utilized our weekends to explore the country. We were fascinated by Bulgaria’s history and culture, and fell in love with its nature and picturesque villages.

The terrorist bombing at Burgas Airport in July 2012 took me by surprise because I never expected that such an attack could occur on Bulgarian soil. Having grown up in Israel, I was unfortunately quite familiar with the horror of suicide bombings and explosions on buses. Israelis are very security-conscious, but Bulgaria, I believed, was supposed to be safe territory. And also, I had been to Burgas Airport so I could clearly picture where the bombing took place.

I couldn’t stop thinking about the attack. The Bulgarian government issued contradictory announcements regarding Hezbollah’s involvement. Although the terrorists were later identified by name and nationality, no one was ever brought to justice. It was reported that the Hezbollah mastermind who orchestrated the bombing may have been killed in Lebanon.

The more the events raced through my head, the more my creative mind kept coming up with plot lines and characters, a process that led to my writing The Burgas Affair.

In the novel, many of the details of the bombing as well as the names of the suspects are based on information released to the media. However, the joint Bulgarian-Israeli investigation, the leads investigated, the suspected collaboration between Hezbollah and a Bulgarian crime organization, and the characters are all figments of my imagination.

The Burgas bombing was a very real, deadly terrorist attack. Six people were murdered—five Israelis and one Bulgarian—and many others were injured. I hope that my fictitious description of the victims is not considered disrespectful by their families. With that in mind, I dedicate The Burgas Affair to them.