RECENT REVIEWS & ENDORSEMENTS

  • Exteriors and Interiors
    C. McGee
    "Extremely dark humor that's very well done." ~ S. Loewen, Book Hookers

  • Because I Had To
    David Bulitt
    Because I Wanted To ...keep turning the pages!
    FIVE STARS
    March 22, 2017

    "I thoroughly enjoyed Because I Had To. Though completely unfamiliar with the adoption, abortion, twin, sibling rivalry, mental illness themes, David Bulitt made these themes come alive. Bulitt made you care for, hate, empathize, envy, and lust after his characters. The opening chapter will grab your attention and keep you turning the pages.
    Because I Had To has something for all types of readers, men women, mothers, fathers, siblings, children, 20-somethings just starting out and even jaded, middle-aged lawyers. The plot follows a year in the life of a troubled, twenty-something, adopted, twin girl-young woman, following the sudden death of her loving father. We meet her aloof mother, her perfect twin sister, her therapists, and our narrator: her dad's lifelong friend "JB" - "Uncle Bro" a middle-aged divorce attorney questioning his "WHY."
    Though Bulitt could have relied on time-worn cliche's in creating his characters, he does not go there, instead giving us just enough insight to allow us to stop and think about who these people are, why they are making the choices they do. Bulitt does not preach to us when we might think those are the wrong choices. His characters play the hands they were dealt. Personally, I loved the asides about JB's divorcing clients, the judges before whom he appears and their "quirky" persona's and situations, even if those vignettes do little, if anything, to advance the story or Jess' character.
    I read David Bulitt's first novel: The Card Game first and glad that I did, as it introduced and gave depth to Jess & JB that one might not get from merely reading Because I had To, or reading them in the reverse order. Both volumes are well worth reading. I look forward to his next work!" ~ Harvey Jacobs, Amazon

  • Beat the Rain
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    Interesting view into a marriage between two troubled people, both difficult to root for. Despite this, their story is compelling and heartbreaking. Insight into desire, needs, relationships within a family, and the choices we make and how they define us. ~ Book Girl, Goodreads Review

  • October Song
    David W. Berner
    I am not a rock-n-roll person, but if there is one thing that Mr. Berner's memoir succeeds in is compelling the reader to realize their dreams and in a simple way, he takes us on the journey of how he took that first step.

    A brief look at the plot: You have David W. Berner, who is 57 years old, but in his early days (what he calls the vinyl era) he played rock n roll in a neighborhood garage band. He enters a national songwriting contest and quite unexpectedly is named a finalist.
    But that's not the half of it, David is called on to perform the song live at a storied venue for Americana music. Grabbing his old guitar and the love of his life, David hits the road, hoping to live out a musical fantasy he thought had been buried long ago.

    I loved: the road trip and the trip down memory lane.
    I related to: his account of his first love, Michelle, who simply left him a note in his locker saying they couldn't be and she moved, well...if Michelle's reading this simple heart felt review, 'Woman! Please text or email, or tweet David and say hi :-)' You can go the extra mile and buy a copy of his book and look for him to autograph it!

    If you are not into music, this book would demand quite some attention of you, and I reckon that's the down side, but I'm not saying you stop at that, read on because of how easy it is to connect to David's humor, fears and most of all the way he gets excited when he's got the chance to do something he always wanted.

    Memoirs as reflections of lives lived, decisions made and lessons learned are not so easy to rate, but for the fact that this book is about never giving up on dreams and taking the chance to realize a dream you've always had, it gets four stars!
    It has also persuaded me to listen to Bob Dylan, I don't know what I'll experience listening to his songs, but it's definitely worth a try. ~ Dora Archie Okeyo, NetGalley/GoodReads

  • Malaren
    N.E. David
    MALAREN - A SWEDISH AFFAIR is the third full length character-based novel by N. E. David. Focussing on the story of Alan Harrison, an actuary who finds himself stranded in the midst of grief after the death of his wife Susan, MALAREN features strong characters, emotive side themes and demonstrates how extreme situations can bring out actions most incongruous with our character.

    Up until the start of the novel, Alan had led a very safe, traditionalist lifestyle. Unable to cook beyond boiling an egg, his widowhood leaves him struggling with more than just sorrow until the clichéd mother-in-law arrives (or should that be monster-in-law?). However, after receiving an invitation to spend some time on the shores of Lake Mälaren, Sweden, Alan slowly finds himself discovering how a change of scenery and physical activity can bring mental healing. Sadly Alan’s newfound way of life is set not to last as his peace is disturbed by unwanted guests. Events that ensue reveal strength in times of crisis, the fragility of human emotion and the lengths to which we will go to afford our own protection.

    Beyond the main plot, there are a number of themes that are touched upon including desire, lust, manipulation and the role of women in relationships. Alan comes from a conventional background in which male and female roles are sharply divided and his narrative is certainly told from a male perspective. His talk of 'blue' and 'pink' household duties and his attitude towards the women he interacts with reinforce this. Although Katerina is Swedish, her predictable address to Don and Alan of ‘boys’ speaks of more than just a lack of command of the English language.

    The characters are simple, stereotypical and sometimes shallow in nature. However, it is the interaction between them that produces the fireworks. With lessons in keeping your friends close but your enemies closer, and how not to act when a guest at someone else’s house, MALAREN keeps you entertained with the bizarre ways humans protect their true selves. No more so than at the very end, of the novel where Alan’s behaviour could be construed as securing his own interests.

    Methodically written, MALAREN is an enjoyable read. It is published by Roundfire to the same high quality as THE BURDEN, with a front cover image that sets the scene for the action beautifully.
    ~ L Blythe, Amazon

  • Malaren
    N.E. David
    N. E. David does it again! A beautifully crafted observation of the complexities of the human spirit - N.E. David has amazing insight and that rare ability to translate feeling, observation and emotions to the page with riveting effect. For me, his characters are real; to the point that it is impossible not to identify with them - their trials, tribulations and successes, and sense of redemption is a draw which is impossible to resist. Great writing from a great writer - check out his previous works - the novella A Day At The Races, and his remarkable insight into the 'Arab Spring' in his novel Birds Of The Nile. I'm now going to read N.E. David's second novel The Burden - I missed that one, but I'm looking forward to another fascinating N.E. David story!
    ~ markorichards, Amazon

  • Malaren
    N.E. David
    Death is often portrayed by authors as an ending. And for the poor person who ends up six foot under it is. But for people who knew - and perhaps loved - the person who died, death is not an ending but a new beginning. Perhaps a difficult beginning, too. It is this essential truth which lies at the heart of Nick David's new novel. David's genius as a writer is to illuminate how relationships are often founded on deep inner feelings, which sometimes even those who possess them don't recognise. Malaren opens with actuary Alan Harrison preparing for the funeral of his beloved wife Susan who has died too young. Within pages, we're introduced to a network of complex relationships such as Alan's children and in-laws - including the compulsory mother-in-law from hell. But just as you settle down to think this is going to be a redemptive long haul as Alan rebuilds his life, the story takes off in an unexpected direction. Alan is invited to Sweden, to stay with in-laws on the banks of Lake Malaren. It's hopefully not a spoiler to say that the pace of the plot quickens and that Alan turns into a person we'd never have expected from the opening pages. Nick's fluent writing style and apt ability to draw believable characters keep the pages - or in my case the screen refreshes - turning easily. The best Nick David yet.
    ~ Mr P F Bartram, Amazon

  • Malaren
    N.E. David
    Having read "Birds of the Nile" I wasn't sure what to expect from "Malaren" (not my usual gory thriller) but I enjoyed it from the first chapter, in fact it kept me awake until 1.00am as I kept reading "just one more chapter before I turn out the light". It was very well written and conjured up the peace and quiet of living in the Swedish countryside. I wish it had been longer to find out how Alan's life evolved when he returned home.
    ~ Sheila Mason, Amazon

  • Malaren
    N.E. David
    I was particularly keen to read N.E. David's novel "Malaren", as I had spent many a summer in the Swedish countryside. The description of a typical Swedish country retreat was very accurate, both with the cabin,the outhouses, the boats and the jetty.
    As with the personalities they made me giggle, as I certainly have come across most of those types: The quiet Swede, the drunk Swede, the flirtatious Swede and the persistent home-maker.
    I would recommend this book to everyone but particularly to those who have connections to Sweden or are planning a visit in the near future.
    I found the story compelling and a real pageturner.
    ~ Gun Hammar, Amazon

  • Bullet Gal
    Andrez Bergen
    The story was captivating and enthralling, the plot was perfect and the characters strong and well developed. The mystery was also well delivered. I was hooked into the story from the beginning till the last page. I loved it and would recommend it to everyone. ~ Rubina Bashir, NetGalley

  • October Song
    David W. Berner
    Poignant, captivating and engaging. I loved it and would recommend it to everyone. The book was a one-sit read for me. You emerge better for reading it.

    ~ Rubina Bashir, Booklove

  • Because I Had To
    David Bulitt
    "I could not put this book down- characters so real, I found myself in each one- laughing, crying and thrilled to turn each page. A wonderfully written story woven together brilliantly. I can't wait to see what's next for David, but for now Jess, J.B et al remain with me." ~ Carl Berkelhammer, Amazon

  • Because I Had To
    David Bulitt
    FIVE STARS
    "Great insight into the thoughts of an adoptee. I have two adopted children and two biological and I was in tears for the feelings revealed." ~ Nancy, Amazon reader

  • Because I Had To
    David Bulitt
    "It was a book I really enjoyed. Really showed how some adopted children can feel rejected all their lives, even when they are shown love. It was a great read and I look forward to another book from a great author." ~ Elaine, Amazon

  • Because I Had To
    David Bulitt
    FIVE *****
    "David Bulitt's second book, Because I Had To, really held my attention to the last page. I didn't want to put it down." ~ Amazon reader, Amazon

  • Because I Had To
    David Bulitt
    The story mainly covers that of Jess Porter, who who is in her early twenties and has recently left home and is trying to come to grips with the challenges of adult life.
    From the beginning it is clear she is not in good shape emotionally at all. We are given plenty of clues why that might be: her adoptive father has died and her relationship with her adoptive mother and twin sister is far from ideal. She asks a good friend of her father's, a lawyer, to help her fnd her biological mother - and perhaps herself.

    The friend of the Father has challenges too - that of dealing with the disillusionment that can accommodate middle age. What he has actually achieved in life seems so shabby compared to his earlier dreams of greatness. But he is willing to reach out and help Jess.

    This novel reminded me of a certain kind of gritty and naturalistic 70's TV drama, in which life starts out messy and can end in messy ways too, amidst the occasional moment of new insight and understanding. At the tale, Jess seems to be finding her feet on the one hand and encountering new troubles at the same time.

    What works most for me in this novel is that there is the recognition of just how tough early and untried adulthood can be. More individuals may well find themselves incredibly lost and can fall down incredibly hard at this time more than any other. Neither may middle age prove to be a time of massive complacency.

    Because I had To is certainly recommended for those who enjoy this kind of realist 'find Yourself' novel. ~ Lynda Stevens , Amazon

  • Because I Had To
    David Bulitt
    "I really enjoyed this book and would give it 4 1/2 stars! It was hard to put down." ~ Net Galley reviewer, Net Galley

  • Beat the Rain
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    4 stars. Nigel Jay Cooper delves into the far corners of his characters' minds and brings us there with him to twist and turn in their emotions and thought processes.. We find ourselves making the same decisions as the story progresses because there doesn't seem to be a way out of the inevitable truths. I would have preferred a bit more eroticism, but that's just me. Enjoy the humanity in this novel of raw experiences. ~ Colin Gruchy, NetGalley

  • Beat the Rain
    Nigel Jay Cooper
    I liked this book which is essentially a story of a marriage and all the ways two people make themselves miserable. There were some interesting twists I didn't see coming and some good writing that was thought-provoking. Louise is really awful and it's hard to root for her, but Adam isn't perfect either. No spoilers on plot details, but I will say this is a sad book... Definitely makes you think about the choices you make and why you make them. ~ BookGirlonGoodreads, Goodreads Review

  • October Song
    David W. Berner
    4/5 Stars
    After reading the description of this book, I thought author David Berner found songwriting fame and fortune late in life. No, that's not what happened. What happened is he entered a song writing contest, went with other finalists to Virginia to play his song, and found that trip stirred up all sorts of memories, as well as intense thoughts and feelings about creativity. There was no giving up the day job. That was okay with Mr. Berner, though, since he's a level-headed middle-aged man firmly grounded in reality. In this memoir, he looks at the realities of his life and shares them with his readers. ~ SundayAtDusk, Professional GoodReads Reviewer

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