All At Once by Paige Ambroziak: My review

This is not your average “girl meets boy” story. And, though you may believe in “love at first sight” this romance does not run smoothly when that happens. The attraction between Jayne and Lyel may be deep and instantaneous, but both have barriers that stand in the way of “happily ever after” Jayne has just come off a nasty relationship which has eroded her ability to trust. Lyel has a secret that he cannot share. But true love requires trust – on both sides.

When Jayne gives Lyel that trust without knowing his secret it shatters her when he disappears after three blissful days. She is left to build her life back up on her own and shows her underlying strength in doing so.

Since this is a love story, and since the author has already told us Lyel comes back to share his secret, I know I am not sharing any spoilers by telling you that they do resolve their issues and achieve their version of “happily ever after”. Yet, it’s not quite what you’d expect. And Vera Mae keeps us in suspense about it until almost the very end.

Vera Mae weaves her story with skill and a deep understanding of human nature and the nature of inner strength. One requirement of mine, for any story I read, is that the characters are real, and develop throughout the book. In this the author gets full credit. I thoroughly enjoyed this story. I think you will, too.

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My Holiday Gift To You

My Stand-alone

My Stand-alone

It’s that time of year and I’m feeling generous. Until Dec. 31, 2016 all my ebooks will be #FREE via Smashwords at

Here is the link to my page:

The first in the Earth’s Pendulum series, Back From Chaos, is always free and needs no coupon.

The second, Through Kestrel’s Eyes, will need coupon code RP64N

The third, The Dreamt, Child, will need coupon code JR95M

My fourth book, Labyrinth Quest, is not part of the series and stands aone. It will need coupon code QA22V.

I hope you will enjoy these and share the codes with your friends and aquaintances as well.

Have a safe and happy holiday season and may 2017 be good to you.





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The Cabin by Smoky Zeidel, my review

This delightful read had me spellbound. It’s been a while since I read purely for pleasure and this was the perfect book for that. It has elements of magic, time travel, romance, and mystery –all beautifully blended in a way that makes the reader believe.

I always look for characters I can relate to, ones that develop as the story progresses. In this, too, Ziedel performs, whether we slip back into the Civil War years or live in modern times, whether the decisions and actions of the characters are propelled by magic or by real relationships in the past or present, I never doubt. The characters are real while I I am with them.

Zeidel never resorts to gimmicks or coincidence to move the story forward, in spite of the temptation magic might provide. Each incidence of magic serves a purpose. As well, her descriptions of her surroundings, both past and present, are deftly portrayed without becoming flowery or overwrought.

Zeidel writes with a deceptive simplicity that I love.

Highly recommended.

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My Review of The Trinity by Paige Ambroziak

This is a story that will create very diverse reactions in those that read it. It is deep, involved, and may offend those with a religious bent who do not take kindly to conspiracy theories involved the Roman Catholic Church.

I was not one of those. I recognize it for what it is:  fiction, almost a fantasy, in the vein of the Da Vinci Code. Like that book it is complex, with dark secrets, skewed interpretations of doctrine, and characters that will stop at nothing, even murder, to keep those secrets and move their heretical cult’s cause forward. Unlike that book, it is written with greater skill.

Ambroziak’s writing is complex and detailed. The reader must pay close attention as the story moves back and forth in time in order to explain without giving too much away. That she does and still keeps the reader guessing attests to her considerable skill as a writer.

If I have one criticism it is that almost every character has more than one name, depending on what stage of life they are at and who they engage with. While I occasionally found that confusing I do understand why it was necessary. Those who love complex stories with intrigue and secrecy will likely find this an asset rather than a distraction.

This book is definitely not for everyone. Yet it was well researched, skillfully written and will appeal to many, especially those who like to be challenged a bit.

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My Review of El and Onine by Paige Ambroziak

El and Onine

“El and Onine” is a complex story that does not fit neatly into any box. It is a creation story, an epic saga, a paranormal fiction, a fantasy, and a romance. I took my time putting this review together because I wanted to do justice to the deft way Ambroziak deals with the complexities of a theme which appears in many forms throughout our human history.

Those of us familiar with Ovid’s Metamorphoses will recognize the origins or theme behind the masterful way in which Ambroziak makes this recurring subject  in literature new and fresh. As someone not familiar with Ovid’s version I found that my lack did not deter me from enjoying this one.

Even those not accustomed to creation myths will find this book a joy to read. Yet, its complexity will challenge the reader – in a good way. Ambroziak creates characters that reveal themselves slowly and patiently. She does so with such a clever hand that we are drawn to them, wonder about them, want to know them better from the outset, even become impatient to solve the riddle of who they are in their depths. While this is especially true of both El and Onine, our two main characters, even some secondary characters, such as the Venutian goddess, do not appear full-blown, but become known to us bit by bit.

The worlds Ambroziak builds, both on Venus and on Earth, are beautifully and completely wrought. The alien cultures are well developed, including the religious/mythological  aspects which drive the theme forward. I marvel at the visual images that invoke both worlds. Ambroziak uses description with just enough detail that we see a full picture, but wastes no extraneous words to get us there.

The story does not follow a chronological line, but moves back and forth in time. This allows the reader to learn why things unfold as they do without giving away too much too early. Some characters are given two names, depending on what part of the story they live in at the moment, or which other characters they interact with. This keeps the reader guessing, at least for a time, as to who is who. We have our suspicions, but no certain confirmations until well into the book. It is a clever device that keeps us on our toes, asking questions, wanting to see how it all ties together.

While I loved all of these aspects, the underlying romance is what drew me in the most. Both El and Onine must suffer greatly before they can fulfill their destinies, El without knowing her role, Onine with full understanding.  Yet neither are what they seem, at first, to the reader, or to each other.

This exceptional book will keep readers engaged from page one to its conclusion. I recommend it for enthusiasts of all the genres mentioned.

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