Hello and welcome to My TOP 5 Fiction Reads of 2017.
It was a difficult task selecting My Favorite Reads of 2017. I have read and reviewed many books in this rapidly disappearing year. I select my reads from diverse places. Yet it doesn’t surprise me at all that those I rank in my top ten Indie-books of the year are all to be found at Rave Reviews Book Club. Why? Because the standard of excellence of each book is outstanding. That is what I’ve come to expect with each book I purchase. The reviews are always honest and constructive.
What is the X Factor for me? Ah! For me it’s that shining place outside of myself, a wonderous reality that some authors take you to as willing captives. A place where the story has me so utterly committed to it that putting it down would be followed by a rebellion against my need for sleep.
It’s when an authors words linger in your memory in a voice you could clearly hear as their characters voices.
It’s those pristine moments when you find yourself invested in the outcome of the journey.
It’s when ALL of your senses become heightened, it’s when the pleasure of reading it comes to an end … and you feel richer for having read it … yet bereaved by its absence.
That’s MY X-Factor.
I will be listing my TOP-FIVE-READS separated into Fiction and Non-Fiction. (Non Fiction FAVORITES Will be listed here TOMORROW.)
TODAY I SHARE MY TOP FIVE SELECTION FOR WORKS OF FICTION
Counting down from
“OUR JUSTICE” Book 3 of the JOHN CANNON TRILOGY. BY JOHN W.HOWELL @howellwave.
BLURB …The terrorist leader and financier Matt Jacobs figured out a plan to eliminate the President. He is relying on John Cannon’s stature as a hero to help him carry it off. John finds himself walking the fine line of pretending to help Matt while trying to figure out a countermeasure to the plan.
The third book in the John J. Cannon Trilogy brings together two strong wills for a showdown. The question to be answered is who will feel the satisfaction that the achievement of justice delivers? John, Matt or neither?
MY REVIEW HEADLINE 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 A Riveting Action-Packed Thriller.
A Brief excerpt from my review …
“Author John W. Howell doesn’t disappoint on any level.
His characterizations are cleverly subtle, allowing the reader to visualize the potent scenes without overwhelming them with too much description. This author commands the attention with a clear gift at plot structure, and superb pacing that will leave you immensely satisfied as Our Justice reaches its unpredictable and shattering climax.
I believe this talented author has another book in a totally different genre coming out soon.
I will be waiting eagerly to read it.
THAT BOOK is ‘Circumstances of Childhood” available now.
PURCHASE ANY OF JOHN HOWELL’S Books here on AMAZON.com
“FINDING BILLY BATTLES”
An Account of Peril, Transgression, and Redemption (Volume 1)
by RONALD E YATES. @jhawker69
Western Kansas 1860 Billy Battles is born on a remote homestead just off the storied Santa Fe Trail More than one hundred years later a great grandson inherits two trunks filled with Billy s personal effects Also in those trunks are several startling journals that chronicle an astonishing life that until now was obscured by the murky haze of time and Billy s deep rooted desire for secrecy The journals tell of a man both haunted and hunted who in a desperate search for peace and redemption journeys far from the untamed American West to the Far East South America and Europe They meticulously describe Billy s interaction with a wide assortment of men and women some legendary a few iniquitous and many lost to history They also recount his participation in such cataclysmic events as the Spanish American War turmoil in French Indochina and violent revolutions in Mexico and South America Complying with Billy s last request the great grandson assembles the journals into a compelling trilogy that reveals a man often trapped and overwhelmed by circumstances beyond his control but who nevertheless manages to persevere for ten decades When a great grandson inherits two aging trunks and a stack of meticulously detailed journals penned by his great grandfather he sets out to fulfill his great grandfather s last request to tell the story of an incredible life replete with adventure violence and tragedy The great grandfather s name is Billy Battles a man often trapped and overwhelmed by circumstances beyond his control For much of his 100 year long life Billy is a man missing and largely unknown to his descendants His great grandson is about to change that As he works his way through the aging journals and the other possessions he finds in the battered trunks he uncovers the truth about his mysterious great grandfather a man whose deeds and misdeeds propelled him on an extraordinary and perilous journey from the untamed American West to the inscrutable East.
MY HEADLINE FOR REVIEW… 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 A marvelous book to be treasured and read over-and-over again.
An EXCERPT FROM MY REVIEW;
“This talented author has crafted characters that engage the reader immediately, we are willingly taken into each scene, we see the characters there, all breathing, moving … and sounding a particular way, the visualizations in this book are superb.
Character depth connects us immediately to the roguish and beautifully layered persona of Billy Battles. The man is revealed with great skill throughout the book. Peel back those layers and recognize the man that dwelt beneath that skin.
I thoroughly enjoyed the journey into the old west and those well-known characters that greeted me there.
This marvelous blend of fact and fiction is a book to be treasured and read, over-and-over again.
NUMBER 3. “JAZZ BABY” by BEEM WEEKS. @beemweeks
While all of Mississippi bakes in the scorching summer of 1925, sudden orphanhood wraps its icy embrace around Emily Ann “Baby” Teegarten, a pretty young teen.
Taken in by an aunt bent on ridding herself of this unexpected burden, Baby Teegarten plots her escape using the only means at her disposal: a voice that brings church ladies to righteous tears, and makes both angels and devils take notice. “I’m going to New York City to sing jazz,” she brags to anybody who’ll listen. But the Big Apple–well, it’s an awful long way from that dry patch of earth she’d always called home.
So when the smoky stages of New Orleans speakeasies give a whistle, offering all sorts of shortcuts, Emily Ann soon learns it’s the whorehouses and opium dens that can sidetrack a girl and dim a spotlight…and knowing the wrong people can snuff it out.
Jazz Baby just wants to sing–not fight to stay alive.
MY BOOK REVIEW HEADLINE 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 A beautifully written and perfectly captured slice of time.
An EXCERPT from my REVIEW.
What happens when an author weaves a timeline with such devotion to detail that the reader can smell, hear, taste and feel the ambience? Jazz Baby is what happens. Author Beem Weeks seduces the reader with the perfection of both the dialogue and the dawning of an age that will live on as long as memory exists.
His characterization of Baby Teegarten is utterly perfect, her determination to succeed in a sleaze filled world is based on her absolute certainty that she has a voice that will move people, a voice that will transform the darkest of nights into glistening, gleaming candles of perfection.
NUMBER 2. “THE GLADE” By HARMONY KENT.@harmony_kent
“Readers who like to curl up during the long winter evenings and feel the delicious chill of fear running up and down their spines need only turn to The Glade to have all their expectations fulfilled.
The Glade is a horror story in the mould of Stephen King, and rendered the more so by its faint echoes of Pet Cemetery and the even stronger resonance of the pervasive malignancy of It.”—Review by Brian O’Hare
This gripping, edge-of-your-seat mystery/thriller will have you thinking twice about booking that idyllic cottage in the country. Nothing in this woodland paradise within the Forest of Dean is what it seems.
The Wenstrops have it all: health, wealth, and happiness. Until everything falls apart. Helen gets arrested for murder, and yet is either unable or unwilling to give a defence. During her detention, vital evidence goes missing and tensions run high.
Meanwhile, in the woods, malignant forces gather power.
This sensational second novel by acclaimed author Harmony Kent will have you alternately laughing, crying, and gripping the edge of your seat as this roller-coaster ride of a plot unfolds. It will keep you guessing through its many twists and turns, and hijack your attention right up until you turn the final page. This book has it all: murder, intrigue, the supernatural, a broken marriage, a love affair, courage against impossible odds, suspense, and high drama.
“Expertly written, the book keeps you guessing at every turn. What can I say? You really have to read this book … if you’re brave enough!”—Review by Fantasy Queen
The Glade is an IndieB.R.A.G.Medallion honoree, and an Official Selection for the New Apple Book Awards 2015.
Praise for Harmony Kent:
“Kent gives the reader mystery, intrigue, sex, action and characters risking their lives for a greater good. Kent’s writing is an immersive experience.” T. Dewhirst (Rabid Reviews)
“With a very contemporary voice, Ms. Kent has found a place in this genre as she easily entertains and captures the reader…” J. Malinoski
“Kent…is a master of her craft. There is magic in her writing.” J. Brooke
MY REVIEW HEADLINE
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟Don’t miss this unforgettably terrifying walk on the edge of sanity.
An EXCERPT FROM MY REVIEW
I find that reviewing the Paranormal genre presents the reader with a challenge. To negotiate a pathway that navigates between what the human brain can perceive as possible, and what that same brain will render improbable.
I look for that ‘improbability’ factor to be challenged when I read Paranormal.
Author Harmony Kent has nailed that challenge, and she has done it beautifully with a style and pacing that caught me up instantly. Her intensely visual descriptive ability caused me to shiver, as ‘The Glade’ became palpably, demonstrably alive.
The author takes you to the shadowy places that permeate nightmares. This author has an empathy with, and an understanding of, the human psyche, and more specifically those unspoken things we as a species all fear.
“One Dyke Cozy” By Rhani D’Chae @rhanidchae
People come into our lives for a day, a season, or a reason…
“Shy taught me to fight like a champion, love like a poet, & live like it was my last day on earth.”
One Dyke Cozy touches on the lives of two girls, Gabby and Shy, from their first meeting as children to Shy’s untimely death.
This novel contains profanity and adult situations.
🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 One Dyke Cozy has to be in my top 5 of books read in 2017.
I’ve had the pleasure of reading and reviewing this author with her works ‘Shadow of The Drill” and “A Perilous Thirst” … in consequence I was excited to find this gem waiting to be read.
Have you ever read a book that touches every exposed nerve of raw emotion? That’s precisely how ‘One Dyke Cozy’ affected me.
The wonderful and at times harsh moments of honesty shine between these beautifully written pages. Author Rhani D’Chae has a rare gift of perception, a gift that enables her to dig deeply into her characters subconscious and elevate that character to a place where they become as real to the reader as their own reflection in a mirror.
Shy is a gay female, learning to survive in a world that still whispered the word gay behind closed doors, and then only in selected company. The existence of gays was barely acknowledged by people afraid that to allow these human beings their right to be different would somehow contaminate their closeted perceptions of a ‘pristine’ world.
Gabby is a child of that pristine existence, and her friendship with Shy will take her to places where her loyalty to her friend will be tested again and again. The author holds your heart in her hands with every word that she pens.
If you seek a book that will reach deep inside you, that will both touch and confound you, then you will find that right here.
One Dyke Cozy has to be in my top 5 of books read in 2017.
Do yourself a favor … read it, it will stay in your memory for a long time to come.
Tomorrow December 30th I will feature My TOP 5 NON-FICTION reads of 2017.
I do hope you’ll join me.