Thursday, May 4, 2017

M. K. Theodoratus - The Ghostcrow: A Tale of Andor

Reread. The Ghostcrow: A Tale of Andor by M. K. Theodoratus (2014)
The Tales From the World of Andor Series Book 4
Length: 57 pages 
Genre: Short Story
Originally Read: 17 May 2015
Reread Finished: 4 May 2017
Where did it come from? Originally I received a copy of this book from Dorothy from Pump up Your Book in March of 2015. I acquired this book again as a birthday gift to myself in June of 2016.

So back in March of 2015 - March 25th, to be exact - I received a copy of this book from Dorothy from Pump up Your Book. I had initially signed up to be part of a virtual publicity blog tour for this book in May of 2015. It only took me one day in May of 2015 to read this book - from May 16th, to May 17th, 2015! While I did already have two of Ms. Theodoratus' short stories on my TBR pile, this was the first book that I have actually read by this author.

Although I deleted the first copy of the book right after I read it, I had always wanted to be able to reread the story again at some point. When I received an Amazon gift card for my birthday in June of 2016, I decided to purchase several ebooks for myself that I had enjoyed. I purchased five ebooks to read on June 22nd, 2016 and finally reread this particular book over two days in May of 2017 - from May 2nd, to May 4th, 2017! After I had read this book, I immediately went to Amazon and downloaded another three books by Ms. Theodoratus to read for free. 

May you read well and often

Monday, May 1, 2017

Reading Wrap-up For April at Emeraldfire's Bookmark


Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Emeraldfire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog.

Anyway, I started out April with about two hundred unread books lying around the house and ended the month with...umm...uncountable amounts of books unread. All of the books that I acquired this month came from Paperback Swap and an author.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile

Rereads
- Come Like Shadows by Welwyn Wilton Katz
- An Actor's Life: A Dark Comedy by Duncan Whitehead

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club by Duncan Whitehead
- Home For the Weekend: A Short Psychological Thriller by Duncan Whitehead

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- Mr. Wicker by Maria Alexander
- You Say Tomato, I Say Tomato, She Says Murder: A Short But Sweet Mystery by Duncan Whitehead
- The Best Man: A Dark Comedy by Duncan Whitehead

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Schism: The Battle For Darracia by Michael Phillip Cash
- Risen: The Battle For Darracia by Michael Phillip Cash
- An Actor's Life: A Dark Comedy by Duncan Whitehead
- Home For the Weekend: A Short Psychological Thriller by Duncan Whitehead

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me, considering. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 4
Pages Read: 515
Grade Range: A! to B+!

So, there you go! The reading month that was April. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

May you read well and often

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Duncan Whitehead - Home For the Weekend: A Short Psychological Thriller

16. Home For the Weekend: A Short Psychological Thriller by Duncan Whitehead (2015)
Length: 13 pages
Genre: Short Story
Started/Finished: 29 April 2017
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Duncan Whitehead as I downloaded a copy of this book for free from his website.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 25 April 2017
Why do I have it? I like short stories and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

Ashley Banks has been blissfully married to her college sweetheart Tom for the past five years and they have two beautiful boys together - four-year-old Lou and eight-month-old Evan. Although she generally loves her work as an attorney, having to occasionally work such long hours can be terribly annoying. Especially when she just wants to get home to her family at a reasonable time for the weekend. 

Such is Ashley's predicament on this particular weekend. A colleague has just emailed her a copy of a contract for one of the firm's more influential clients and has requested that she read it over. Ashley is frustrated of course, but she reluctantly stays late anyway, and then sends them her thoughts and impressions of the contract. 

Ashley may be annoyed by her current situation, but she also cannot help but worry about when she will be able to go home and see her family. According to local law enforcement, there is a serial killer on the loose who has apparently abducted and murdered several women. While it seems as if their perpetrator primarily targets women who are driving at night - and presumably heading home - the police warn that people still must remain alert at all times.

However, Ashley knows that her husband and children are waiting for her. So she must find a way to quell the twinges of fear fluttering through her heart and drive home to see her family. All she wants is to be home with them for the weekend.

According to the author's note, the idea for this particular story came from Mr. Whitehead's journey along several unfamiliar roads. He was driving alone at night, when a "what if" scenario suddenly popped into his mind. The possible multiple points-of-view add some extraordinary twists to the plot.

To be perfectly honest, I really enjoyed reading this story; it only took me about ten minutes to read. It did take me several seconds to follow the switching points-of-view, but once I did I became intrigued by the story. I would give this book an A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Duncan Whitehead - An Actor's Life: A Dark Comedy

Reread. An Actor's Life: A Dark Comedy by Duncan Whitehead (2013)
Length: 24 pages 
Genre: Short Story
Originally Read: 25 June 2013
Reread Finished: 27 April 2017
Where did it come from? Originally I downloaded a copy of this book from Amazon in May of 2013. I downloaded this book again as a free book from Mr. Whitehead's website in April of 2017.

So back in May of 2013 - May 10th, to be exact - I downloaded a copy of this book from Amazon. I don't know why, but I finally got around to reading it for the first time approximately a month later, in June of 2013. Actually, it only took me one day to read this book - but only because I started reading it at approximately 11:45 P. M. on June 24th - and finished the story shortly after midnight on June 25th, 2013!

Although I deleted the first copy of the book right after I read it, I had always wanted to be able to reread the story again at some point. Immediately after I finished reading The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club by Duncan Whitehead on April 25th, 2017, I went to the author's website and downloaded four more of his short stories for free. My reread of this story took place over one day in April of 2017 - April 27th, 2017.

May you read well and often

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Duncan Whitehead - The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club

14. The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club by Duncan Whitehead (2012)
The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club Series Book 1
Length: 189 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery 
Started: 14 April 2017
Finished: 25 April 2017
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Duncan Whitehead for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 10 May 2013
Why do I have it? I like contemporary mysteries and have read and enjoyed An Actor's Life: A Short Story by this author in the past.

Something just doesn't seem right in beautiful Gordonston. It may not be anything particularly noticeable, but something is most definitely peculiar about this charming little community in Savannah. Somewhere beneath the leafy shade of its trees and behind the friendly faces of its residents, not everything is as it appears. Something dark and destructive lurks behind the genteel southern facade.

The friends and fellow members of her afternoon cocktail club gather to reminisce and mourn the passing of Thelma Miller, but not everything is as it seems. As her three remaining friends gather together to reminisce about their memories of Thelma, to walk their dogs, and to gossip about their neighbors no one realizes just how little they actually know about each other. Apparently, it would seem that everyone who is anyone in Gordonston has something to hide. And, as such an intertwined web of lies and deceits insinuates itself into the middle class neighborhood, is anyone really who they seem to be?

When Thelma's closest friends begin vying for the attentions of her widower - local alderman and mayoral candidate, Elliott Miller - petty jealousies surface and a longstanding friendship begins to fray. A kindly elderly lady with an infamous uncle hides a dark secret, and plots revenge for a perceived wrong that was perpetrated against her family over thirty years before. A formerly illustrious children's author with secrets of his own is also haunted by memories of his past. And Kelly Hudd, a vivacious, bubbly newlywed - and aspiring model - has just won herself an all-expense paid trip to the destination of a lifetime.

An extraordinary cast of characters features strongly in this story of intrigue, deception and revenge; and some very intriguing questions come to mind. Questions such as: what exactly does a recently retired accountant have to keep from his lovely new bride? And just why would Carla Zipp - a former showgirl from Las Vegas and an attractive widow of only sixty-two - suddenly feel the need for plastic surgery? However, as long-buried secrets are unearthed and the lessons learned from history - both deeply-rooted and more recent - disintegrate and disappear from the collective psyche; a murderer stalks his next victim.

An enigmatic European gentleman befriends a young businessman in South America; a distinguished Italian count wanders the streets of Paris; and a charismatic, kind-hearted nephew - an altruistically-minded charity organizer based in India - returns to Savannah for a brief visit. As a mysterious organization with tenuous links to organized crime attempts to extend its influence around the globe; a handsome fire fighter who can do no wrong and a trio of widows with deeply hidden agendas round out this complex cast. Amid the thrilling twists and turns of a story that will lead to a stunning sucker punch of an ending, the Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club’s primary concern still remains the aesthetics of their neighborhood park - and locating the culprit who refuses to 'scoop' after his dog walking sessions in their treasured park.

I must say that it took me quite some time to finally read this book. It's been on my TBR pile for almost four years and I have only just gotten the chance to read it. To be perfectly honest, I don't know why I waited so long to read the book; I found that the story was very interesting and fast-paced.

I was caught up with the mystery right away and avidly wanted to see what would happen next. I'm curious to find out how the series will develop and give this book a solid A! In my opinion, this was an intriguing start to Mr. Whitehead's series, and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Introducing Witches Among Us by Kathryn Meyer Griffith!

So, what with the long-awaited April release of the fourth book in The Spookie Town Mysteries Series - Witches Among Us - Kathryn Meyer Griffith, the author of The Spookie Town Mysteries - would like to mention that the first book of the series, Scraps of Paper, is now perpetually free to download from Amazon. Also, if you'd be kind enough to write a brief but honest review of any of Ms. Griffith's books on Amazon, she would be absolutely delighted. Just email her at rdgriff@htc.net, and she'll be happy to send you a complimentary copy to read. The first three books in the series are also available on Audible as well!

Scraps of Paper by Kathryn Meyer Griffith is the first book in her Spookie Town Mysteries Series, and I had the pleasure of reading Book 2 in the series - All Things Slip Away - back in March of 2014! Here is my review. I'm delighted to say that I actually have Books 1 and 3 on my TBR pile as well, and I hope to read them some time soon. You can also download the other two books in the series - Check 'em out! ;)

Meet Kathryn Meyer Griffith

Since childhood I’ve been an artist and worked as a graphic designer in the corporate world and for newspapers for twenty-three years before I quit to write full time. But I’d already begun writing novels at 21, over forty-two years ago now, and have had twenty (ten romantic horror, two horror novels, two romantic SF horror, one romantic suspense, one romantic time travel, one historical romance and three murder mysteries) previous novels, two novellas and twelve short stories published from Zebra Books, Leisure Books, Avalon Books, The Wild Rose Press, Damnation Books/Eternal Press; and I’ve self-published my last five novels with Amazon Kindle Direct and my dinosaur novels are my best-sellers.

I’ve been married to Russell for thirty-six years; have a son, James, and two grandchildren, Joshua and Caitlyn, and I live in a small quaint town in Illinois, which is right across the JB Bridge from St. Louis, Mo. We have three quirky cats, ghost cat Sasha and Cleo, and live cat Sasha (Too), and the five of us live happily in an old house in the heart of town. Though I’ve been an artist, and a folk singer in my youth with my brother Jim, writing has always been my greatest passion, my butterfly stage, and I’ll probably write stories until the day I die…or until my memory goes.

2012 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my horror novel The Last Vampire - Revised Author’s Edition ~ 2014 EPIC EBOOK AWARDS *FINALIST* for my thriller novel Dinosaur Lake.

Connect and Socialize with Kathryn!



Scraps of Paper - Revised Author's Edition by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2013)
Length: 192 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon and Audible!

Scraps of Paper - Revised Author's Edition Blurb: 

Abigail Sutton's beloved husband walks out one night, doesn't return, and two years later is found dead, a victim of a long ago crime. It's made her sympathetic to the missing and their families.

Starting her new life, Abigail moves to small town and buys a fixer-upper house left empty when old Edna Summers died. Once it was also home to Edna's younger sister, Emily, and her two children, Jenny and Christopher, who, people believe, drove away one night, thirty years ago, and just never came back. But in renovating the house Abigail finds scraps of paper hidden behind baseboards and tucked beneath the porch that hint the three could have been victims of foul play. 

Then she finds their graves hidden in the woods behind the house and with the help of eccentric townspeople and ex-homicide detective, Frank Lester, she discovers the three were murdered. Then she and Frank try to uncover who killed them and why...but in the process awaken the ire of the murderer.


All Things Slip Away - Revised Author's Edition by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2014)
Length: 264 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon and Audible!

All Things Slip Away Blurb:

Ten years ago Frank Lester, a Chicago homicide detective, thought he had rid himself forever of the Mud People Killer who’d kidnapped and murdered six people. Frank had shot him as he’d fled through a snowy night; had killed him, he believed, though a body was never found.

But the killer wasn’t dead. He’d only been waiting to take his revenge on Frank and those he cares about now…ten years later. Frank retired early and is living back in his hometown of Spookie when the killer resurfaces to take up where he left off. Kidnapping more innocents and tormenting Frank and the people he cares about.

Unless Frank and his artist girlfriend, Abigail Sutton, can find and stop him before he kills more people and perhaps both of them.

Ghosts Beneath Us by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2015)
Length: 343 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon and Audible!

Ghosts Beneath Us Blurb:

Someone is terrorizing the elderly in a certain neighborhood in Spookie and vandalizing their homes. As usual, Abigail Sutton, a freelance artist, and her boyfriend Frank Lester, a retired homicide detective, are called in to help find out who’s doing these awful acts. The two seem to have an uncanny knack for unraveling mysteries and getting to the bottom of such strange happenings.

Some of the old people think it’s ghosts in their basements, in their homes, doing these destructive deeds but Frank doesn’t believe in ghosts; while Abigail isn't so sure. Then the old folks begin to disappear one by one or to die suspiciously and Frank thinks there’s a sinister plan behind the crimes and is determined to uncover who or what is responsible. In the end, they, with a little help from their friend eccentric old Myrtle, must solve the mystery or more of the old ones in town might end up dead. Sequel to Scraps of Paper (Spookie Town Murder Mystery #1) and All Things Slip Away (Spookie Town Murder Mystery #2)


Witches Among Us by Kathryn Meyer Griffith (2017)
Length: 324 pages 
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

Witches Among Us Blurb:

Spookie is a quaint village often cloaked in fog and filled with mysteries. The usual eccentric characters are here for their fourth murder mystery and the case is one which really hits close to home this time for Myrtle, the town’s Perry Como singing and wagon-pulling bag lady. Her sister Evelyn, the local animal hoarder, is missing. Strange miniature figures fashioned of twigs are found hanging from one of Evelyn’s trees as warnings. 

Because of them Myrtle fears a coven of wanted-to-be witches she once knew, and escaped from, almost sixty year ago could be behind the kidnapping because she stole their ancient black grimoire - and they want it back. But Myrtle doesn’t want to let them have it because she believes the grimoire is dangerously real. The book mustn’t fall into the wrong hands and the old coven’s hands are covered in blood. So Myrtle again seeks Frank and Abigail’s help in getting her sister back, alive, and protecting the grimoire. 

What they don’t know is a fourth addition to their team of sleuths, a mysterious psychic and new addition to the town, will emerge and join the battle...but whose side will she be on? Is she merely a psychic or is she something more? And will they get Evelyn back alive or will the old witches find and possess the grimoire first? The fourth Spookie Town Murder Mystery.

May you read well and often

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Introducing The Good Dictator: The Birth of an Empire by Gonçalo J. Nunes Dias!

I'm delighted to tell you all that the first book in Gonçalo J. Nunes Dias' dystopian science fiction series The Good Dictator - The Birth of an Empire will soon be free to download for a very short time from two online retailers - Amazon and Smashwords. Since Mr. Dias will soon be releasing The Good Dictator: The Birth of an Empire to the Spanish market at some point within the next couple of months, he has decided to offer the English version of his novel to download for free from both of these websites. As this may very well be the final time that readers can get their own copy of this book - at least for the foreseeable future - for two days only, from Friday, May 19th, to Saturday, May 20th, 2017 - The Birth of an Empire by Gonçalo J. Nunes Dias will be available to download from Amazon and Smashwords for free! I would advise you to grab your own copy as soon as you can!


Meet Gonçalo J. Nunes Dias

Gonçalo JN Dias was born in Lisbon in 1977, and graduated in Environmental Engineering and Natural Resources of the Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco. He lives today in the Basque Country, Spain.

The Good Dictator I, was his first novel. It became the most downloaded book in Portuguese last April, on Amazon, and it has now a good English translation.

Before writing the second part of The Good Dictator, he's now writing a crime fiction

Besides writing Gonçalo is a fan of birdwatching, cork trees, movies and athletics.

Connect and Socialize with Gonçalo!



The Good Dictator: The Birth of an Empire by Gonçalo J. Nunes Dias (2016)
Length: 258 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon or Smashwords!

The Good Dictator: The Birth of an Empire Blurb:

An unidentified object parked on the moon - and no one seems to know where it came from. Gustavo, a middle-aged computer programmer with a comfortable and grey life, decides to make a list of what he would need to survive a hypothetical attack. He becomes obsessed with the list, spends a fortune, robs a drugstore: his own family thinks he is going insane.

However, after the attack, it’s the insane who are well prepared for a new era in society. First book of a trilogy.


May you read well and often

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Welwyn Wilton Katz - Come Like Shadows

13. Come Like Shadows by Welwyn Wilton Katz (1993)
Length: 289 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Started: 3 April 2017
Finished: 12 April 2017
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 3 February 2014
Why do I have it? I like fantasy and had read and enjoyed Witchery Hill by this author in the past.

Sixteen-year-old Kincardine O'Neil is absolutely ecstatic when she manages to get a summer job with the prestigious Stratford Theatre of Canada. Although she has a sneaking suspicion that she may not have gotten the job based on her own merits, but because her mother went to high school with Jeneva Strachan - the director of Stratford Theatre's annual Drama Festival. Whatever the truth of the matter, Kinny is determined to do the best that she possibly can in her new position.

However, when Kinny first arrives in Stratford, nothing is as it seems. In fact, things start to go wrong almost immediately. Her position as Jeneva Strachan's assistant seems a little tenuous; her 'boss' is acting very strangely: chilly and standoffish one minute; warm and attentive the next. Kinny is fairly certain that Jeneva just doesn't know what to do with the teenager; or at the very least she definitely doesn't want Kinny around.

The director's attitude towards Kinny soon becomes quite obvious, and begins to spread among the actors. The majority of the company - with one or two exceptions - appears hostile and slightly condescending. While Kinny initially tries to ignore their attitudes - putting their rudeness and pettiness down to their beliefs that she is "only a kid" - she doesn't know how to change the situation.

Instead, she throws herself into the preparations for Stratford Theatre's annual Drama Festival: a complete reimagining of Shakespeare's Macbeth. Kinny knows that actors are intensely superstitious; after all, superstition is an integral part of theatrical culture - she just doesn't believe that some minor wardrobe and prop malfunctions, or even the occasional bad review - will ultimately doom the play. However when one woman dies in a freak accident, Kinny is horrified. Could there possibly be any truth to the rumors; could it be that the play, Macbeth, is actually cursed?

When yet another prop malfunction leaves the production without an appropriate mirror to use, the harried prop designer asks Kinny to try and locate a new one. After instituting an exhaustive search of all the secondhand shops around Stratford, Kinny eventually discovers a plain wooden hand mirror in an out-of-the-way junk shop. According to the shopkeeper, the mirror was originally part of a shipment of antique theatre props, so should be exactly what she needs.

Although there are some slight imperfections with the mirror - most notably an unusual burn mark in its handle - Kinny feels strangely compelled to buy it. Soon, as she begins to spend more time around the mirror, Kinny begins to notice changes happening to herself and several other members of the Stratford Theatre Company. She slowly becomes convinced that the mirror has some sort of mysterious power; a mesmerizing power that seems to come from somewhere deep in the past.

The mirror begins to exert that power over select members of the company - actors have visions of an ancient stone circle and a distressed but regal looking figure. Kinny herself begins to have visions of three peculiar women - women who seem to wield an extraordinary influence over the past and the present. Determined to find out what's happening, Kinny begins to investigate the history of Scotland and tries to discover something more about the true Macbeth.

Yet the closer that Kinny comes to the historic figure of Macbeth, the more she witnesses the power of these three mysterious women. She is left wondering just who these women are, and what sort of power they have over this particular production of Macbeth. And just what do they want from her?

Actually, I had already read another book by Ms. Katz several years before this one. I had also studied Macbeth in high school and was intrigued to discover how the author would use the play in the plot. I read this book for the first time back in 1995 and thoroughly enjoyed reading it back then. While I found the plot to be just as interesting as when I read the book the first time, I would have to give it a B+!

B+! - (85-89%)

May you read well and often

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Reading Wrap-up For March at Emeraldfire's Bookmark


Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Emeraldfire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog.

Anyway, I started out March with about two hundred unread books lying around the house and ended the month with...umm...uncountable amounts of books unread. All of the books that I acquired this month came from Paperback Swap and The Wayback Machine.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile

Rereads
- To Teach an Ancient God by Sapphire Phelan
- The Gladiator's Girl by Amy Hearst
- Wish by a Hazel Tree by Tia Nevitt
- The Sevenfold Spell by Tia Nevitt

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- The Gladiator's Goddess by Amy Hearst
- The Magic Mirror and the Seventh Dwarf by Tia Nevitt
- Narvla's Celtic New Year by Therese Gilardi

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- To Teach an Ancient God by Sapphire Phelan
- The Gladiator's Girl by Amy Hearst
- The Gladiator's Goddess by Amy Hearst
- Wish by a Hazel Tree by Tia Nevitt
- The Sevenfold Spell by Tia Nevitt
- The Magic Mirror and the Seventh Dwarf by Tia Nevitt
- Narvla's Celtic New Year by Therese Gilardi

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me, considering. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 7
Pages Read: 648
Grade Range: A+! to A!

So, there you go! The reading month that was March. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

May you read well and often

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Therese Gilardi - Narvla's Celtic New Year

12. Narvla's Celtic New Year by Therese Gilardi (2014)
Length: 275 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 10 March 2017
Finished: 30 March 2017
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Therese Gilardi for sending me a copy of this book for me to read from Netgalley.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 10 February 2015 as an ebook; Since 10 May 2015 as a physical book
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and have read and enjoyed Matching Wits With Venus by this author in the past.

Narvla believes that she has everything going for her back home in Connecticut. Her life has always been as precisely choreographed as one of the routines that has made her a national step-dancing champion. Actually, Narvla's life is as close to perfection as it gets; and she wouldn't have it any other way. She has a loyal best friend named Gabby, a devoted boyfriend named Derek, and a definite lock on admission to her dream college - the University of Notre Dame.

Everything is perfect - until her mother is named United States Ambassador to Ireland, and then Narvla's life slowly begins to unravel. First her father has to stay in Connecticut for work, so just she and her mother move to Dublin. Then she receives a disturbing picture of Derek and Gabby; from someone who wants to remain anonymous. Next she struggles to qualify for the Irish elite step-dancing squad, and her grades plummet.

Narvla isn't quite sure if her life could possibly get much worse than it has already; and then she meets Colin McPherson. Known on the local music scene as Dublin Boy, he presents perhaps the biggest obstacle in Narvla's young life. While Colin loves to play the guitar, he disdains academics and has an obvious distrust of Americans - a feeling that borders on downright animosity. So, Narvla is utterly devastated when she is unexpectedly paired with Dublin Boy for the most important semester of her life.

Although she is genuinely upset with this particular situation, she knows that she can't really do anything much to change it. However, Narvla is truly alarmed by her burgeoning attraction to Dublin Boy. In reality after all, Dublin Boy is most definitely not her type: he has a reputation for being a 'lady's man'; he obviously has no desire to focus on his studies; and of course, there is his deep resentment of Americans. Yet Narvla can't seem to help her growing feelings for him...

So as the Celtic New Year unfolds for her, Narvla slowly begins to discover the true charm of embracing the unexpected. She will come to understand that not everything in life can be organized quite so perfectly as one of her dance routines. Soon she will learn that not everything in life should go as planned, and that she can abandon her lifelong need for control in every single aspect of her future.

This book has actually been on my TBR pile for a little over two years and I have just gotten around to reading it. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. In my opinion, this was a fast-paced and intriguing story. I have always enjoyed reading books about Ireland and Irish culture and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. I would give the book a definite A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Friday, March 17, 2017

May You All Have a Blessed St. Patrick's Day!


We hope that all of our lovely family and dear friends - both in real life as well as online - have a safe and holy St. Patrick's day. May you all have a wonderfully peaceful celebration full of fun, food, and happiness! ☘️☘️☘️🇮🇪

May you read well and often

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Tia Nevitt - The Magic Mirror and the Seventh Dwarf

11. The Magic Mirror and the Seventh Dwarf by Tia Nevitt (2013)
The Accidental Enchantments Series Book 2
Length: 114 pages 
Genre: Short Story 
Started: 12 March 2017
Finished: 15 March 2017
Where did it come from? From Apple I-Books 
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 19 September 2016
Why do I have it? I like short stories and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

Prince Richard of Schwarzberg is a cursed man. Having initially accepted willing guardianship of the magic mirror that has been in his family for generations, Richard soon finds himself enslaved to both the mirror and to the whims of the cunning enchantress queen of Weissland. Twice a day for almost a decade - whenever the Lady Sybelle calls upon the spirit of the mirror - Richard is compelled to answer her three questions truthfully. Determined to discover a way to free himself from the Lady Sybelle's thrall - and desperate to protect other innocents from her evil sorcery - Richard leaves his father's realm and soon becomes 'The Lost Prince of Schwarzberg'.

All her life Gretchen has been teased for being small. Although she has learned to ignore the various cruelties of the townspeople - the taunts and comments, the pointing and outright stares - she secretly wishes that she could find a place to call her own. When she hears a minstrel's tale of a hidden farm populated by little people such as herself, Gretchen is cautiously optimistic. Could there possibly be a place out in the world where she would be seen as a person and not just as an oddity?

Determined to find this wonderful place, Gretchen sets out on her journey - and is eventually welcomed into their home by the mostly male inhabitants. The Klein family: Frau Marta, her husband Herr Dieter, and their sixteen-year-old son; and their four farmhands: Gunther, Klaus, Rudolph and Lars all act most appropriately towards Gretchen and are happy to meet her. Lars in particular woos her with his gentle and kindhearted nature and his quiet strength.

Delighted to have finally found acceptance among people who look like her, Gretchen soon settles into a peaceful routine at the farm. However, danger looms on the horizon when Gretchen meets a troubled young woman one morning, while on her way to market. After hearing the young lady's desperate story, she offers the runaway princess - Angelika of Weissland - shelter at the Little Farm.

Although Ange is safe for a few weeks, she soon feels compelled to return to her stepmother's castle. Determined to protect her late father's subjects from Lady Sybelle's cruelty, she resolves to provide as much assistance as she can in secret - in the guise of 'The Tattered Princess'. Wandering somewhere nearby, Richard initially finds himself admiring Ange's forthright manner and compassionate nature. However, as his feelings grow stronger, Richard soon finds himself falling in love with the beautiful princess.

When he is eventually compelled to tell the queen that she is no longer the fairest one of the realm, she is enraged by Richard's revelation. She vows to find Princess Angelika and destroy her, as well as anyone who might try to help the young woman. It soon becomes apparent that if either Gretchen or Richard are to have their own happily ever afters, they must team up to break the mirror's spell before the queen kills them all...

I have always enjoyed reading fairytale retellings, and this one was just as entertaining. I was intrigued by the plot of this story and avidly wanted to know how it would develop. I would give this novella a definite A! and look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Tia Nevitt - The Sevenfold Spell

Reread. The Sevenfold Spell by Tia Nevitt (2010)
The Accidental Enchantments Series Book 1
Length: 90 pages 
Genre: Short Story
Originally Read: 28 December 2010
Reread Finished: 12 March 2017
Where did it come from? Originally I downloaded a copy of this book from Netgalley in August of 2010. I also acquired another copy of this book from Apple I-Books in September of 2016.

So back in August of 2010 - August 17th, to be exact - I downloaded a copy of this book from Netgalley. I don't know why, but I finally got around to reading it for the first time approximately four months later, in December of 2010. Actually, it only took me two days to finish reading this book - from December 26th, to December 28th, 2010.

Although I deleted the first copy of the book right after I read it, I had always wanted to be able to reread the story again at some point. When I received an Apple gift card for my birthday in June, I made sure to acquire a second copy of this book as soon as I possibly could. So I bought my second copy from Apple I-Books on September 19th, 2016 and my reread took place over two days in March of 2017 - from March 10th, to March 12th, 2017.

May you read well and often

Friday, March 10, 2017

Tia Nevitt - Wish by a Hazel Tree

Reread. Wish by a Hazel Tree by Tia Nevitt (2011)
The Accidental Enchantments Prequels Series Book 1
Length: 17 pages
Genre: Short Story
Originally Read: 7 February 2013
Reread Finished: 10 March 2017
Where did it come from? Originally I downloaded a copy of this book as a free read from Tia Nevitt's website in January of 2013. Although I realize that the book has since been deleted from Ms. Nevitt's website, I was able to find the link again through the internet archive website The Wayback Machine in March of 2017.

So back on January 18th, 2013, I downloaded this novella as a free read from Tia Nevitt's website. I actually read it approximately a month later - on February 7th, 2013 - and thoroughly enjoyed my first reading of the book. I always enjoy reading fairy tale retellings, and this one one was no different for me.

What caused me to download another copy of this novella to read again was the fact that I had recently acquired the first two novellas in Ms. Nevitt's Accidental Enchantments Series. Alright, so by 'recently', I mean back in September of 2016 - September 19th, 2016 to be exact - which is relatively recent for me. I actually acquired both ebooks from Apple I-Books after I received a gift card for Apple for my birthday. I reread this novella on March 10th, 2016 and am looking forward to reading more of Ms. Nevitt's work some time in the very near future.

May you read well and often

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Amy Hearst - The Gladiator's Goddess

8. The Gladiator's Goddess by Amy Hearst (2014)
The Gladiators' Gifts Series Book 2
Length: 83 pages
Genre: Short Story
Started: 7 March 2017
Finished: 8 March 2017
Where did it come from? From Apple I-Books
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 19 September 2016
Why do I have it? I like short stories and have read and enjoyed The Gladiator's Girl by the same author in the past.

Nardine has been a slave ever since her mother sold her at the age of eleven. Her master runs a school for gladiators in ancient Rome known as a ludus. Although she occasionally serves the master and his family whenever they travel to gladiatorial events; Nardine primarily divides her duties between the kitchens and the infirmary as both a cook and a physician's assistant.

She had always counseled her friend Celeste to be extremely careful about falling in love with a gladiator, as that sort of relationship could only lead to heartbreak in the future. Nardine knows this feeling from personal experience as she has lost her heart exactly twice in her lifetime - first to a gladiator named Matthias, then to another one called Gaius - and she has inevitably lost both men to the horrors of the arena. While losing Matthias was certainly heart-wrenching, Nardine is utterly devastated by the sudden death of Gaius.

Nardine privately believes that she has long been unlucky in love, so she truly cannot fault her mistress Cornelia for believing that she is actually cursed. However, despite suffering through such tremendous grief, Nardine also begins to believe that she has ultimately been blessed as well: she is finally pregnant. Yet a life of bondage is definitely no future for a child, so Nardine resolves that escape is the only viable option, no matter what the punishment will be if she fails.

Fleeing from his sorrowful past, Abedi has long wanted to be a gladiator. Now he is living his dream, and at one of the most prestigious schools in all of Rome. Yet despite relying on his strength, bravery and quickness while fighting in the arena, Abedi also cannot deny that there is always the possibility that he will be injured or worse.

Ultimately, Abedi will be tested to the very limits of his abilities and endurance. However, after meeting the beautiful Nardine working in the infirmary - the answer to his prayers - he will find the challenges that he has faced in the arena are only the beginning. Indeed, it is the promise of finally having a family of his own, an enduring love, and the prospect of freedom that will sustain Abedi throughout his time in the arena.

Actually, this book is quite a bit longer than the first book in the series. Although having said that, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story as well. As I have said before, I usually enjoy reading anything having to do with ancient Greece and Rome, and it was intriguing to read more stories based in this particular historical period. In my opinion, this was a fast-paced and well-developed story despite its relatively short length and I would certainly give this novella an A!

 A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Amy Hearst - The Gladiator's Girl

Reread. The Gladiator's Girl by Amy Hearst (2013)
(Revised Author's Edition 2014)
The Gladiators' Gifts Series Book 1
Length: 48 pages
Genre: Short Story 
Originally Read: 7 January 2015
Reread Finished: 5 March 2017
Where did it come from? Originally I downloaded a copy of this book for free from Amazon in November of 2013. I also acquired another copy of this book from Apple I-Books in September of 2016.

So, back on January 7th, 2015, I read this book for the first time. I had actually acquired a free download of it from Amazon on November 15th, 2013. While I don't understand why it took me so long to read the book, I eventually did and then deleted the ebook afterwards.

I acquired another copy of this book from Apple I-Books on September 19th, 2016. Actually, I had wanted to reread this book for quite some time, and was happy to finally do so in March of 2017 - from March 4th, to March 5th! My reread of the story only took a day, but despite the main characters names being changed and the book getting a totally redesigned cover, the story is exactly as I remember it.

May you read well and often

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Sapphire Phelan - To Teach an Ancient God

Reread. To Teach an Ancient God by Sapphire Phelan (2008)
Length: 21 pages
Genre: Short Story
Originally Read: 30 August 2010
Reread Finished: 2 March 2017
Where did it come from? Originally I received a copy of this book to read from Sapphire Phelan. Then, back in October of 2016 I downloaded another copy for free from All Romance Ebooks.

So, back on August 1st, 2010, Ms. Phelan was kind enough to send me a copy of this book to read. Since I usually enjoy reading anything having to do with Greek mythology, I was excited to read this book. Finally, I was able to read it on August 30th, 2010 and then I deleted the ebook.

I downloaded another copy for myself on October 9th, 2016 and reread the book on March 2nd, 2017. I'm just glad that I got a second chance to read this story before the above website went out of business. Actually, it only took me about ten minutes to read this book.

May you read well and often

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Reading Wrap-up For February at Emeraldfire's Bookmark


Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Emeraldfire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog.

Anyway, I started out February with about two hundred unread books lying around the house and ended the month with...umm...uncountable amounts of books unread. All of the books that I acquired this month came from authors, Netgalley and Amazon.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- Collision: The Battle For Darracia by Michael Phillip Cash
- Sweet Lake: A Novel by Christine Nolfi

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Webster's New World Pocket French Dictionary by Chambers Harrap Publishers
- Sweet Lake: A Novel by Christine Nolfi

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me, considering. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 2
Pages Read: 482
Grade Range: A+!

So, there you go! The reading month that was February. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

May you read well and often

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Book Spotlight For Sweet Lake: A Novel by Christine Nolfi

Hello Everyone! I hope that you're all having a wonderful day today. As this is her long-awaited Release Day, I'm delighted to welcome award-winning Contemporary Romance author Christine Nolfi author of Sweet Lake: A Novel - Book 1 of The Sweet Lake Series - to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. This is also my twenty-ninth Book Spotlight post ever, but I still hope that I do Sweet Lake: A Novel by Christine Nolfi justice.

About Sweet Lake: A Novel:


Linnie Wayfair knows just how many people are counting on her. But knowing doesn’t make doing any easier.

Everyone in Sweet Lake, Ohio, wants her to muster all her business sense and return the Wayfair Inn to its former glory. Her parents hope she’ll forgive her scoundrel of a brother and reconcile the family. The eccentric Sweet Lake Sirens want her to open the inn - and her heart - to new possibilities. And her hilarious lifelong friends Jada and Cat are dropping none-too-subtle hints for her to ignite a romance with Daniel Kettering, the sexy attorney who’s been pining for her for years...

Now a shocking turn of events will open old wounds and upend the world Linnie has carefully built. She has to make changes quickly - and the results, though not entirely what she expected, might be what she’s been yearning for all along.

Purchase your copy from Amazon!

Meet Christine Nolfi


Award-winning author Christine Nolfi provides readers with heartwarming and inspiring fiction. Her novel Treasure Me, Liberty Series Book 2, is a Next Generation Indie Awards finalist. The Midwest Book Review lists Second Chance Grill, Liberty Series Book 1, and the other Liberty books as "highly recommended".

Look for Sweet Lake, Book 1 of her new series, on February 28, 2017 and The Comfort of Secrets, Book 2, on July 18, 2017. Visit her at www.christinenolfi.com

Connect and Socialize with Christine!


May you read well and often

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Christine Nolfi - Sweet Lake: A Novel

5. Sweet Lake: A Novel by Christine Nolfi (2017)
The Sweet Lake Series Book 1
Length: 306 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Started: 8 February 2017
Finished: 26 February 2017
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Christine Nolfi for sending me a copy of this book to read from Netgalley.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 16 December 2016
Why do I have it? I like contemporary romance and have read and enjoyed Treasure Me by the same author in the past.

Like the populations of so many other small towns across the country, the residents of Sweet Lake, Ohio, pride themselves on knowing everything about their neighbors' business. Sometimes they even know more about their neighbors business than their neighbors do. However, the town of Sweet Lake certainly lives up to its name - it's a close-knit, caring community that takes care of its own. Such is the case with Melinda Wayfair.

The most prominent family in Sweet Lake is the Wayfair family; who have been the sole proprietors of the Wayfair Inn for generations. While the inn has been passed down from father to son for as long as there have been Wayfairs living in Sweet Lake, the Wayfair Inn has recently fallen on hard times. After her father suffers a serious medical crisis and is forced to retire, her scoundrel of a brother suddenly decides to run off and make movies in California. Linnie Wayfair is absolutely livid.

Freddie may believe that he's only fulfilling a lifelong dream and not harming anyone else, but Linnie would respectfully disagree. In her opinion, not only did Freddie leave when he was needed most - essentially deserting the family business to go do his own thing - he left without telling his family anything about where he was going. Linnie is also horrified to discover that Freddie has left all his responsibilities to the Wayfair Inn behind him - and squarely on her shoulders.

She knows that there are so many people depending on her, but realizing that the entire population of Sweet Lake is expecting her to become the savior of the Wayfair Inn is truly daunting. Everyone in Sweet Lake is looking to Linnie to employ all of her business acumen - mustering every ounce of her good business sense to restore the Wayfair Inn to its former glory. Her parents hope that she will find it in her heart to forgive her prodigal brother and reconcile the family. The eccentric Sweet Lake Sirens want Linnie to open the inn - and her heart - to new possibilities.

Meanwhile, her lifelong friends Jada and Cat continue dropping not-so-subtle hints for her to ignite something with Daniel Kettering, the sexy attorney who has been pining for her for years. Her friends might not be able to wait to see Linnie in a romantic relationship, but she feels that she just has way too much on her plate at the moment. Now, a shocking turn of events will open old wounds and flip Linnie's world totally upside down; threatening everything that she has worked so hard to make her own. She finds herself having to make alterations to her plans for the future - and to make those changes quickly - and the results, while not quite what she might have expected, just might be exactly what she has needed and has been yearning for all along.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Ms. Nolfi creates such loveable and funny characters - characters that I found myself really connecting with and caring about in a fundamental way. In my opinion, this was a beautiful start to a wonderful new series, and I'm avidly waiting to see where the story will go from here. I give this book a definite A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often

Monday, February 6, 2017

Michael Phillip Cash - Collision: The Battle For Darracia

4. Collision: The Battle For Darracia by Michael Phillip Cash (2014)
The Battle For Darracia Saga Book 2
Length: 176 pages
Genre: Science Fiction
Started: 25 January 2017
Finished: 6 February 2017
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Michael Phillip Cash and to Red Feather Publishing for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 13 May 2014
Why do I have it? I like science fiction and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

The Battle For Darracia Saga continues as a majority of the key characters find themselves at a soul-defining crossroads for themselves and their entire planet. The tensions between the social classes on the planet of Darracia have now reached their respective boiling points. Peace talks between the Darracians and their nearest neighbors the Quyroo people have essentially collapsed with the assassination of the Quyroo ambassador. Crown Prince V'sair's villainous uncle Staf Nuen has also attempted to stage a coup to seize his brother's throne, but although King Drakko was assassinated and Staf Nuen escaped, his conspirators were captured and brought to justice.

As Darracia is being rocked by the waves of violence and societal turmoil, certain members of the royal family find themselves separated from each other and spread throughout the galaxy searching for a meaning to the death of a much beloved and benevolent monarch. Shaken by his father's assassination - and unsure how capable he will be in ruling a kingdom that he views as still belonging to the late king - Prince V'sair struggles to hold the fractured kingdom together. Despite being surrounded by many of his father's most trusted advisers, V'sair still feels extraordinarily isolated and alone without so many of his loved ones by his side.

V'sair's mother, Queen Reminda's own faith in the elusive Elements that have guided Darracians for centuries has been shaken to its very foundations. Although she grieves the loss of her husband, she remains steadfast in her support of her son as he contemplates his upcoming coronation. V'sair's stepbrother Zayden has spent much of the past year since his father's death searching for his uncle's whereabouts. He is on a self-imposed mission of vengeance - ranging from one side of the solar system to the other - determined to bring Staf Nuen back to Darracia to face justice; or die trying.

Reminda's handmaiden Tulani is trying to navigate both of her worlds, attempting to find the best way to bring them together. While she essentially grew up in service to the Darracian royal family -  Tulani is still a Quyroo - and her family lineage requires that she leaves service to the Darracians to begin training among her own people. Tulani's grandmother Bobbien is in fact the High Priestess of her tribe, and she wants her granddaughter to succeed her. Tulani loves her grandmother very much and feels obligated to fulfill Bobbien's wishes; but she is also devastated to be leaving behind Reminda and V'sair - the only family she has ever really known.

The villainous Staf Nuen has gone into hiding after orchestrating the initial coup. Having lost his wife, only son, and youngest daughter in the coup, Staf Nuen realizes that his own life is essentially forfeit if Zayden ever finds him. Although that coup wasn't entirely successful - and his cohorts were dealt with appropriately - Staf Nuen is still determined to form other nefarious alliances with certain diabolical new allies elsewhere in the galaxy.

However, like the vibrant comet zipping across the horizon, all the various factions of Darracian society are heading into a direct collision course. They are heading along a path that will test the power of their belief in themselves, their planet, and ultimately, in the power of the Elements that have guided them for centuries. This is a battle that will test the boundaries of their faith and challenge the balance of power.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. While the plot definitely reminded me of Star Wars, the story was intriguing and highly original. I avidly wanted to know what happened next. I look forward to reading the conclusion to this trilogy; and give this book a definite A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Reading Wrap-up For January at Emeraldfire's Bookmark


Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Emeraldfire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog.

Anyway, I started out January with about two hundred unread books lying around the house and ended the month with...umm...uncountable amounts of books unread. All of the books that I acquired this month came from authors, Netgalley and Amazon.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:


Changes to the TBR pile

Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- Christmas Magic 1959: A Short Story From my Childhood by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
- I, Angus by Mike Hartner
- A Quiver of Character by Mike Hartner

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Christmas Magic 1959: A Short Story From my Childhood by Kathryn Meyer Griffith
- The Cat Who Came For Christmas by Cleveland Amory
- The Best Cat Ever by Cleveland Amory

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me, considering. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 3
Pages Read: 383
Grade Range: A!

So, there you go! The reading month that was January. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

May you read well and often

Monday, January 23, 2017

Mike Hartner - A Quiver of Character

3. A Quiver of Character by Mike Hartner (2016)
The Eternity Series Book 5
Length: 115 pages
Genre: Short Story
Started: 7 January 2017
Finished: 23 January 2017
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Dorothy at Pump up Your Book for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 8 October 2016
Why do I have it? I like short stories and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

From all four books from The Eternity Series, here are several short stories featuring some of the minor characters who have inspired a certain amount of curiosity about their own stories. From James Stuart's cousin Bart and a particularly overconfident sea captain named Marek in I, Walter; to Crofter Shipping crew member Jose Corazon and Crofter family banker Michael Farnsworth in I, James; to the first female sea captain Mary Crofter Farquharson's four sons Keith, Kyle, Ian and Fergus in I, Mary; and Margret and Aileen - the adopted daughters of Reverend Angus Mackenzie in I, Angus - each of these characters have their own stories to tell beyond the books of The Eternity Series. And here are just a few of them: a baker's dozen of such background stories.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book; it was refreshing to delve back into the world of The Eternity Series. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future and I give this book an A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Introducing The Good Dictator: The Birth of an Empire by Gonçalo J. Nunes Dias!

I'm delighted to tell you all that the first book in Gonçalo J. Nunes Dias' dystopian science fiction series The Good Dictator - The Birth of an Empire will soon be free to download for a very short time from Amazon. Yes, for one short weekend - from Saturday, February 18th, to Sunday, February 19th, 2017 - The Birth of an Empire by Gonçalo J. Nunes Dias will be available to download from Amazon for free! I would advise you to grab your own copy as soon as you can!


Meet Gonçalo J. Nunes Dias

Gonçalo JN Dias was born in Lisbon in 1977, and graduated in Environmental Engineering and Natural Resources of the Polytechnic Institute of Castelo Branco. He lives today in the Basque Country, Spain.

The Good Dictator I, was his first novel. It became the most downloaded book in Portuguese last April, on Amazon, and it has now a good English translation.

Before writing the second part of The Good Dictator, he's now writing a crime fiction

Besides writing Gonçalo is a fan of birdwatching, cork trees, movies and athletics.

Connect and Socialize with Gonçalo!



The Good Dictator: The Birth of an Empire by Gonçalo J. Nunes Dias (2016)
Length: 258 pages
Purchase your copy from Amazon!

The Good Dictator: The Birth of an Empire Blurb:

An unidentified object parked on the moon - and no one seems to know where it came from. Gustavo, a middle-aged computer programmer with a comfortable and grey life, decides to make a list of what he would need to survive a hypothetical attack. He becomes obsessed with the list, spends a fortune, robs a drugstore: his own family thinks he is going insane.

However, after the attack, it’s the insane who are well prepared for a new era in society. First book of a trilogy.


May you read well and often

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Mike Hartner - I, Angus

2. I, Angus by Mike Hartner (2016)
The Eternity Series Book 4
Length: 249 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Started: 19 December 2016
Finished: 5 January 2017
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Dorothy at Pump up Your Book for sending me a copy of this book to read.
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 8 October 2016
Why do I have it? I like historical fiction and have read and enjoyed several books by. this author in the past.

Fourteen-year-old Angus Mackenzie had never really had any great ambition for his life. Growing up during a time when Scotland is being torn apart by dissension and civil strife, Angus is content to live his life quietly - taking care of himself and his family, and protecting them to the best of his ability. However, as war rages around him and he loses those he loves most, Angus grows increasingly more disillusioned by the state of his country. 

As a man of peace Angus has seen his share of death, and he is certain that the North has lost more men to the violence of war than it ever did to the ravages of Nature. Although he wants no part of such violence, it seems as if a peaceful existence and a loving family may not be a part the Grand Plan for Angus. Because the North needs a leader; someone who is able to build communities.

However, Angus Mackenzie must first undergo his own trials by fire. He must be tested, shaped and molded by his adversity. The person who emerges from this particular crucible will ultimately be a much stronger and much wiser man; someone who is held in the highest esteem and much beloved by those who know him. Angus Mackenzie will hit both highs and lows as he travels across the lands of England, Scotland and France, all before he meets the challenge of a new land.

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I wasn't quite sure where the story would go from the previous book, as Angus Mackenzie wasn't actually a relative of Mary Crofter. However, I found that this book worked perfectly within the series; the plot was just as intriguing as the previous books and advanced the story along very well. I would give this book an A!

A! - (90-95%)

May you read well and often

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Book Blast For Sword and Sorcery Series by Dylan Doose


Hello Everyone! I hope that you're all having a wonderful day today. I am delighted to welcome Dylan Doose, author of the dark fantasy series Sword and Sorcery to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Mr. Doose will be going on a Virtual Book Tour with Pump up Your Book! lasting through the beginning of January. This is also my twenty-eighth Book Blast post ever, but I still hope that I do The Sword and Sorcery Series by Dylan Doose justice.

About Fire and Sword:


Condemned to hang for their crimes, they'll march instead to perish as heroes, or live as free men.

A broken nation in need of a savior - ravaged by plague, decimated by dark magic, infiltrated by a foreign evil seeking to dominate from within. Three will rise to save the beleaguered land. But will they be enough?

A fantasy adventure for fans of Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence and Scott Lynch!

Three men condemned to die: Aldous Weaver, a heretic monk turned sorcerer, imprisoned for accidentally incinerating the leader of his order. Kendrick the Cold, an infamous crusader turned fugitive, is a villain who knows he can never be a hero. Theron Ward, an aristocrat with a penchant for slaughtering monsters, and a legend in his own mind.

When the kingdom of Brynth is threatened by a far greater evil, the unlikely trio must make a choice - seek to escape this land that cries for their execution, or find the true heroes within themselves. And then, armed with fire and sword, march together against the forces of darkness. But can three such disparate warriors ever prevail?

**Fire and Sword received an Honorable Mention from Library Journal 2016 and a Shelf Unbound Magazine Notable 100 for 2015**

Don't miss the dark fantasy that reviewers are calling 'gritty, fast-paced and compelling' - get your copy of Fire and Sword today!

Purchase your copy:

Amazon * Barnes and Noble * IBooks * Kobo

About Catacombs of Time:


In a world where the Rata Plaga and ghouls feast on the dead, doctor Gaige De’Brouillard believes science, not magic, conquers all.

Even death is just an equation to be solved.

When De’Brouillard is called upon by the Lord Regent to cure a curse and save one of the damned, he must battle for his career, his faith in science, and even his life. In the darkest slums and deepest catacombs, the doctor finds himself staring death in the eye with no scientific solution at hand. Has the doctor finally come across a question that science cannot answer, and will he pay with his life?

Don't miss the dark fantasy that reviewers are calling 'visceral,' 'fantastic,' and 'intriguing' - get
your copy of Catacombs of Time today!

Purchase your copy:

Amazon * Barnes and Noble * IBooks * Kobo

About The Pyres:


Once again, three unlikely heroes must band together in a fiery conflict between gods and demons.

A country ravaged by civil war, now threatened with evil unleashed by rivers of blood. Three must rise again to save the beleaguered land and thwart a dark prophecy.

A fantasy adventure for fans of Joe Abercrombie, Mark Lawrence and Scott Lynch!

Theron Ward, Aldous Weaver and Kendrick the Cold must band together and fight again. This time, they are caught in the timeless clash of gods and demons, and led by the dark prophecy of dreams.

A ruthless warlord, the Dog Eater, rises out of the rivers of blood from civil war. As friend and foe reach out from futures past, the three will see a city of white stone turn black with ash...and the only way forward is through the fire. One thing is certain, none of them will ever be the same. And one will be transformed in ways he never dreamed. Dare the three depend on the blood ties of the past to carry them through this terrible night?

Don't miss the next thrilling installment in the dark fantasy that reviewers are calling 'gritty, fast-paced and compelling' - get your copy of The Pyres today!

Purchase your copy:

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Meet Dylan Doose



Writer. Sculptor. Bad fitness advice. In between writing books, award winning fantasy author Dylan Doose fills his not-so-busy schedule with martial arts, mountain biking, paddle surfing, weight lifting, and of course HBO, PS4 and increasing the size of his beloved personal library. Dylan’s Fire and Sword received an honorable mention from Library Journal in 2016 and was a Shelf Unbound Notable 100 for 2015.

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Fire and Sword Excerpt:

The thing left a trail of thick black blood and green pus. More a stream than a trail, if Theron Ward, hunter of monsters, wanted to be precise. It was wounded and wounded horribly, but not dead.

Grimmshire was not the only town ruined by the plague. As far as Theron knew, the whole country had a piece of it. The rats came with those terrible black boils. Rats larger than dogs. In the beginning, they came in swarms. Now they appeared alone or in small roving packs, as if a once powerful tether that bound the group had been weakened.

Four years ago, they had come and spewed their filth into the town. Two days was all it had taken until half the town was crawling and squealing with the rats, puking up pus and bursting black boils. The other half of the town became the swarm’s feast.

Those who didn’t turn simply couldn’t. The priests said that only the sinners turned, that the pious were protected from the plague. Theron doubted that, for he was not a pious man and he knew a thing or two about sin - sins of the flesh mostly - and he had been exposed to enough plague to wipe out a city.

Yet he had not turned.

Theron suspected something more sinister than nature, or the work of gods and devils to be the villainy incarnate that had unleashed such wickedness upon the land. He suspected something more human, or slightly more than human. Unpopular opinion, but his opinion nonetheless.

It was midday, but it was dark in the ruined town. The clouds shrouded the sun, gray and threatening, but not a drop of rain. The once green pastures were yellow as far as the eye could see. Once this had been a bustling, happy little town. Now there were just the colors of pus and piss and ash all around, beneath those suffocating gray clouds.

There came a rustling sound from the chapel, the one building in the town not entirely burned to the ground. It had been painted white when it was built, and painted black with soot and ash when death had come to its town. The stained glass windows were shattered, shards of the vibrant panes scattered round in the dirt and the yellow grass.

Theron burst through the door. His skin crawled at the sight of the wounded thing within the chapel; they always made his skin crawl, though he had killed over a hundred. He could kill over a thousand and still his skin would crawl.

Theron was a beast hunter, had been for nearly a decade, but the rats had always disturbed him the most, more than any creature or demon. What made the things so terrible was not the giant, rotting buckteeth that burst from the mouth. It was not the boils or the tufts of matted fur. Not the long tail or the brutish muscles, not the naked, sagging female breasts or the male parts dangling, filthy and crusted.

It was the eyes, for the eyes remained entirely human. And so, Theron was certain that a human being was still left in there, with no control over what it had become and begging for its torment to end.

This one had been a woman once, perhaps a mother, a lover, a sister, a daughter. For a dreadful moment he pictured his own sister taking the form of the wretched thing before him.

May you read well and often