March 22, 2018

Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic by Iain Reading

Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic is the fourth book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency created by Iain Reading.

From the land of Vikings, volcanoes and ice, Kitty Hawk now finds herself in the emerald hills of Ireland. After a presentation to promote the grand opening of Wasabi Willy’s Family Sushi Restaurant in Dublin, the company financing her flight around the world, Kitty is approached by a handsome stranger.

Andrew presents Kitty with an ancient envelope containing two equally ancient items: a newspaper article with an unfinished crossword puzzle and a postcard with a black and white photo of the doomed luxury steamship, the RMS Titanic.  

Just like the previous three books, this is a treasure trove of fascinating, albeit some of them tragic and some even horrible, information. I particularly enjoyed the retelling of the ill-fated maiden voyage of one of the most famous ships in history. Moreover, I appreciate the lessons on the ancient Egyptian writing, the Hieroglyphics, as well as the stories about the scariest and most notorious serial killer of all time, Jack the Ripper.

I find the pacing of this fourth installment faster and the plot more suspenseful than the first three and I absolutely love it for that. Kitty, bolder and more daring, is appropriately described as ‘the incredible and remarkable young female pilot.’ I couldn’t pick a favorite from any of the new characters not because they aren’t likable. Quite the contrary, they are all endearing in their own ways. I love Andrew, Professor Flynn, Katherine and Richard for their passion: Andrew for his passion for the truth about his ancestor, the professor for the Titanic, Kate for history and Richard for Jack the Ripper. I like Ellie for her truthfulness and helpfulness and even Thomas for his tenacity. Finally, though the solution to the puzzle was as much as I expected, I still felt good that the book ended the way it did.   

Needless to say, I love this book and I enjoyed it a lot.

However, I was a little disappointed that Kitty’s plane played a very minimal role in her adventures this time, though it was apparently understandable. Moreover, other readers may have misgivings about Kitty’s non-conforming behavior. Though I personally take as a trigger to the suspense, others may consider it inappropriate that might send a negative message to people Kitty’s age.

Congratulations to Iain Reading (@IainReading) on yet another awesome novel! For more books in this series, click HERE.  

March 19, 2018

Interview with Author David Ahern

Hello, everyone! Today, I am so happy to share with you a piece of good news about the amazing author of the hilarious mystery and paranormal book series Madam TulipMr. David Ahern. I had the honor of reviewing the first two books in the series and I love both of them: Madam Tulip: An Irish Cozy Mystery and Madam Tulip and the Knave ofHearts. The good news is that David is releasing the third book on April 12, 2018 and the book, Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance is now on presale in Amazon.  Once again, I am fortunate to be given a chance to read this third installment.  

In line with that, David has been so kind to have granted me a Q&A and agreed to answer a few questions. Read on and learn more about this awesome book author.

David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland but ran away to Scotland to become a research psychologist and sensible person. He earned his doctorate but soon absconded to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series and winning numerous awards, none of which got him free into nightclubs.

Madame Tulip wasn’t David Ahern's first novel, but writing it was the most fun he’s ever had with a computer. He is now writing the fourth Madam Tulip adventure and enjoys pretending this is actual work.

David Ahern lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, two cats and a vegetable garden of which he is inordinately proud.

You can learn more about David Ahern and Madam Tulip on his website

Connect with David Ahern on Facebook:
-from David Ahern’s Amazon Author Page)

Q: How do you set yourself from normal mode to writing mode? Do you have any rituals or patterns that you follow?
A: I sit at my desk first thing, check my emails and start. No excuses allowed.

Q: Who has the greatest influence on your writing?
A:  Probably the late, lamented Patrick O’Brien, the great writer of sea stories and one of the finest storytellers ever.

Q: Do you have a favorite writing spot? Where is that?
A: My desk in my office. I can’t write anywhere else.

Q: How long do you develop a character for a story?
A: I don’t.  they just walk onto the page, and I go hi.

Q: Do you name your characters after people you personally know?
A: Never! I’d get sued. 

Q: Do you prepare outlines and follow them?
A: A little bit as I go.

Q: Do you have any celebratory ritual every time you finish a book?
A: I’ve still to get that part organised.

Q: What is your ultimate goal for your books?
A: Readers.

Q: If ‘Madam Tulip’ is turned into a movie, who would you like to play Derry O’Donnel?
A: Jennifer Laurence!  She’s got a great sense of humour.

Q: If you are given a chance to write a book with another book author, who would he/she be and why?
A: No way! I’m a control freak. Pistols at dawn.

Thank you very much, David! Good luck on MadamTulip and the Bones of Chance!

March 13, 2018

Eyes Don't Lie by Crystal Dawn Mason

Eyes Don’t Lie is an exciting thriller by Crystal Dawn Mason.

Unloved and abused as a child, Keith craves for the love he didn’t receive. Desperately hoping to find that love, he pursues curly haired brunettes with blue eyes but if he doesn’t get it, there will be hell to pay.   

Then along comes McKenzie, a grocery store cashier who has the ability to see evil through a person’s eye.

This is a fast paced, suspenseful and exciting thriller that will keep the readers at the edge of their seats. The plot, though not very original, is quite intense. The author is able to create the perfect antagonist: cold, brutal, ruthless, and trying so hard to fight a seemingly losing battle. The interrelationship between various characters is apparently well thought and heightens the suspense. Finally, though I usually go for a different type of ending, I appreciate how the author concludes this book. I find it ingenious and appropriate.

The most important part of the book, for me, is the subtle emphasis on the importance of parental love on children as well as the lasting effects of the lack of love and affection on children's character.  

However, I find the backstories, somehow, insufficient. It seems like there are too many questions left unanswered. Moreover, I find the characters, except for the antagonist, to be underdeveloped which makes it difficult to connect with them. Lenny, for instance, who plays an important role in the story, is not given enough backstories that it was hard to decide whether to like him, dislike him or to pity him. The same goes with Kate and Casey among others. Furthermore, I find McKenzie’s gift somehow downplayed. I was actually expecting more scenes displaying her gift if only to match the ruthlessness and cunning of the antagonist. In addition, I feel that the climax of the story came too soon or probably just sooner than I’m used to. Finally, there are several noticeable errors within the entire book including incorrect use of words and misplaced apostrophes.

Despite my issues, I enjoyed the book immensely. It is suspenseful and intense with an extremely creepy character that will make female readers more wary of people they just meet. It is easy to read and understand and I recommend it to readers who enjoy suspense and thriller novels.

Congratulations to Crystal Dawn Mason (@crystaldawn79_) on such an enjoyable book!    

Eyes Don’t Lie was an Book of the Day on March 10th, 2018. You may check it out at Online Book Club.

March 5, 2018

Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance by David Ahern

Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance is the third book in the Madam Tulip Book Series created by David Ahern.

Irish-American actress Derry O’Donnel and her friends Bruce and Bella, once again find themselves out of work. So, after careful consideration of a surprise role in a movie, Derry and Bruce are packed and off to a romantic castle in the Scottish Highlands.

An attentive banker, a cheerful film producer, a seemingly indifferent wife, an ambitious PA and a charming estate manager are only among those whom Madam Tulip, celebrity fortune teller, gets a chance to meet. As unexpected events happen, as they do in movie sets, Derry is yet to know what her cards, her crystal ball and the bag of bones, have to say about the whole affair.

This is another hilarious and suspenseful Madam Tulip book. Told in easy to read, casual-conversational tone, this third book is a page turner just like the previous two. Unlike the two, however, I find this installment highly and remarkably unpredictable that it seems like all my deductions are way off the mark and they, indeed, are. Moreover, the romance is assimilated very smoothly and seamlessly. But I learned my lesson in Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts (Book 2) and read with extra care and reservation.

Needless to say, I like this book a lot. Though I think the paranormal stuff tends to be minimal compared with the first two books, the suspense and mystery make the reading an enjoyable experience. As I already mentioned in my review of Madam Tulip, AnIrish Cozy Mystery (Book 1), Jacko was my favorite character (he still is) flaws and all, but he comes neck and neck with the ever dependable and reliable Bruce.    

Congratulations to David Ahern (@DaveAhernWriter ) on another enjoyable book! For more books by the author, click HERE.