Tuesday, November 13, 2007

MJ Book Reviews for the Book Marketing Network

I am a former Canadian journalist and five-time author. Since I write myself, I truly appreciate the effort (and sometimes agony) that goes into writing a full-length book. Any author will tell you that it is akin to giving birth to a new entity - an extension of self. While it can be difficult, the ultimate publication of your book is a joyous experience, since you can then see the fruits of your many months - often years - of labor.

In reviewing your book, be assured that I will treat your work with respect. That is not to say that I will never be critical. The storyline, characters, English in general - must make sense. I am hoping that your work will also move me, change me, give me great pause for thought, take me on a wonderful journey or otherwise impress me in some way.

The resulting review, which will be posted on this page can be used by you on your own web site, in email promos or any other way that you see fit.
I am offering these reviews to Book Marketing Network members because I believe reading and writing are vital to growth and learning. If you are a parent, I sincerely hope you are instilling this value on your children as it can become a lifelong passion for them.

To join the Book Marketing Network, go to: http://www.bookmarket.ning.com. At this site, you will meet countless authors from around the world who write on everything from romance, to crime and the paranormal.
To request a review, contact Jean Lauzier: http://bookmarket.ning.com/profile/JeanLauzier I look forward to reading and sharing your books.

If you would like to have your book
professionally reviewed please contact me.

Until then,
take care,

Martha Jette



Bee Balms & Burgundy by Nelson Pahl

Published by Cafe Reverie Press, 2008
ISBN 978-1-4243-2743-0

The Author's Note at the beginning of this novella left me wondering.

"To every woman who has fought the battle, and the subsequent self-doubt and fear, win or lose.... I offer my respect." Nelson

I thought perhaps that Nelson Pahl referred to the timeless battle women face when it comes to love - from finding the right partner, to attempting to build a relationship with a man that would last a lifetime. Boy, was I wrong!

As the story of 30-something Vancouver bachelor and entrepreneur Nick May unfolded, it became clear that the battle he referenced was not about love. Someone he held most dear - a childhood friend - was suffering the battle of her life, a battle with cancer.

Mia was the girl next door - a boyishly built woman he'd known since he was five. Though he loved her dearly, she was definitely not the kind of femme fatale that Nick generally dated. His ego had thus far drawn him instead toward beautiful, strong, independent and often temperamental women with large libidos. As he put it, "because he could."

It wasn't until a scheduled trip home to St. Paul to visit his mother that a whole new view of Mia, a gentle, sweet woman emerged. Then for the first time in Nick's life, he was faced with the prospect of both the greatest love and the most terrible fear.

Surprisingly for a male writer, Mr. Pahl handles this delicate situation with great sensitivity. The reader gets the impression that the author has actually lived his story - something that isn't always easy to do, particularly when it involves explaining the deep and often hidden emotions of a woman. I am quite impressed.

As well, the author's descriptive language offers a clear picture of both the characters and the locations the story is set within. Mr. Pahl seems to have mastered this technique.

When the novella came to its end, I thirsted for more. Somehow, I felt this book could have easily continued for another ten chapters at least. I was also left with a couple of unanswered questions, which should not be the case.

However overall, I truly enjoyed reading Bee Balms & Burgundy. My one complaint is that I feel Mr. Pahl could have taken the story much further. I did not want it to end.

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My Dearest Friend by Hazel Statham

Published by Wings ePress Inc.
ISBN 978-1-59705-230-6 2008

Robert Blake thought his world of all-consuming guilt and anger over the untimely death of his younger brother, Stefan would never end. To ease his overwhelming grief, the Duke of Lear frequented London's smoke-filled gaming rooms - "home to the cream of society."

He was truly a man filled with rage - that being added to by an unfaithful lover, whom he caught with another man. Eventually, London's nightlife bored him and he chose instead to leave Blake House to wallow alone in his sorrow out of sight in the confines of his country estate, Stovely Hall.

However by the following spring, the duke's dark world was unexpectedly turned upside down when a lovely and spunky young woman sought his help. Jane Chandler dearly wanted to bring her injured brother home from battle-torn Spain, a journey that would be fraught with all manner of danger.

As the story progresses, Jane's self-determined attitude comes to loggerheads with Robert's still lingering insensitivity and anger. This book is a 19th century love story full of jealousy, treachery and heart-wrenching misunderstandings as the duke learns to love and trust again.

My Dearest Friend is well written and easy to read. Once you begin doing so, you won't want to put the book down. For more information or to secure a copy, please visit the author's web site at: http://www.hazel-statham.co.uk.

Lady of the Roses

By Sandra Worth

Published by Berkley Books, New York
January 2008

ISNB 978-0-425-21914-0

Lady of the Roses is a heart-wrenching tale of love and war set in England in mid-1400. It recounts the ongoing battle for supremacy between the houses of York and Lancaster, the white rose and red rose respectively. At the same time, two powerful families – the Nevilles, who favored York and sought peace, and the Percies, who followed no one but themselves – struggled for control of the land.

Young Isobel Ingoldesthorpe, daughter of Lancastrian knight Sir Edmund was merely 15 when the reality of the ongoing War of the Roses threatened to keep her from marrying the man she loved. Yes, the custom was to become betrothed at a young age at that time and usually, the marriage was pre-arranged to the advantage of those involved. However, Isobel fell head over heels for Sir John Neville, who was faithful to the House of York.

At that time in history, King Henry IV sat on the throne but due to his mental failings, his Queen Marguerite ruled the land with an iron fist taking money from the poor and sending her army out to do battle with her enemies. Sir John Neville was known far and wide as a gallant knight – son of Richard, Duke of York - who along with his brothers Thomas and Warwick had more than the lawless Percies to contend with. The House of York, itself, became divided between those loyal to the mild mannered king and those who hated Queen Marguerite for her ruthlessness.

Though the Lady of the Roses is solidly based historically, the primary focus of the book is on Isobel’s journey as the wife of the Yorkist, John and their subsequent children. Each time John set out for battle, there were many days and nights that Isobel feared he might never return home to her alive. It truly is a touching tale that not only puts you at the center of the action, but also endears you to Isobel – a sweet and good hearted woman who only wants her family and the rest of England to live in peace.

Author Sandra Worth has presented an endearing tale that is bound to touch you on many levels. In fact, if you reach the end of this book and have not shed a tear or two, then you have no heart.

For more information or to purchase Lady of the Roses, go to: http://www.sandraworth.com/

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Hazel said...

Thank you for your very kind review, Martha,



Hazel said...

Hi Martha,

I hope you don't mind but the duke was never married previously, it was his betrothed that he found in a lover's arms.

Just thought I would mention it in case you wished to change it.

Thank you for the lovely review,


Martha Jette said...

Hi Hazel:

It was my pleasure to read your book and the error has been corrected.

Thanks so much,