Indie Book Reviews: Part I

The best thing about spending the last 2 months driving between Oregon and Washington, living out of a suitcase, and ignoring my bossy muse has been catching up on reading. Indie books were gifts from heaven!

It’s been a while since I’ve shared reviews of books I’ve enjoyed. These are in no particular order. And there are more to come!

 

A Thousand Yesteryears

by Mae Clair

Intriguing plot and believable characters. At the death of her aunt, Eve Parrish returns to Point Pleasant to sell off the family hotel. Not only is the town known for sightings of a fantastical creature, the mothman, it’s also the location of a bridge collapse that, fifteen years ago, claimed the life of Eve’s father and friend. That tragedy still hangs over the town, and Eve has no plans to stay.

But her old crush Caden Flynn still lives in town, a man haunted by the events of the collapse that took his sister’s life. The truth about what happened that day begins to unravel when the home of Eve’s aunt is vandalized, and she begins receiving threatening notes. Someone wants her gone, even if he needs to kill her.

The story is a high-paced paranormal thriller with vivid worldbuilding and a touch of romance. The plot holds together well with all pieces falling into place. The characters are emotionally rich and thoroughly credible, not only the main characters but those on the periphery. I was intrigued by the mothman and its mysterious relationship to the events. Excellent fun and highly recommended. I’m eager to read more of the series.

Global Link to Amazon

***

Survival of the Fittest

by Jacqui Murray

Fascinating world-building. I seem to have developed a taste for prehistoric fiction. After reading Murray’s Born in a Treacherous Time, I was looking forward to her next foray into the dawn of man. This book takes place 850,000 years after Born in a Treacherous Time and is the first book in a trilogy. It’s not a stand-alone novel so be prepared to move on to Book 2 when it comes out.

The plot of the story is something of a quest as three separate groups of early man abandon their home-bases in search of safer ones. A changing climate, dwindling resources, and danger from a growing number of aggressive tribes drive them onward.

To some extent, the first half of the book is three separate stories, one for each group. They join into one larger group about mid-way through the read, and the rest of the book deals with the choices made to procure peace and ensure their survival. Subplots and characters add flavor to the story, all in the well-researched context of prehistoric life where, naturally, the norms are different than they are today.

One group dominates more of the book than the other two. The main character is a female leader, Xhosa. Her responsibility is to protect her people from a variety of dangers, particularly from other humans, while they search for a new home. She’s a complex character, thoughtful and ingenious, and callous as needed in a world where the weak jeopardize the entire group.

Secondary characters have distinct personalities, strengths, weaknesses, and quirks which add complexity to the “human” tale. There are power struggles, deceptions, kindnesses, and wisdom. The world-building is a fascinating foray into prehistoric landscapes. Though fiction, Murray deftly brought to life a time we have little record of. Highly recommended.

Global Link to Amazon

***

 

Short & Not Always Sweet

by Dorinda Duclos

Stories to savor. Duclos offers a generous selection of over 60 short stories, pieces of poetic prose, and flash fiction in a compilation that kept me enthralled for an entire afternoon. The writing is lovely, evocative, and in many cases emotional. Some pieces are lyrical and heartfelt reflections with themes centered on nature, serenity, and empowerment. Others are dark forays into ghostly hauntings and the realms of murder and revenge. Some of my favorites are Patience, Dusk, Wilted, and I Am. A wonderful way to spend an afternoon or to savor over a week, one page at a time.

Global Link to Amazon

***

Happy Reading!

205 thoughts on “Indie Book Reviews: Part I

  1. Sarah says:

    Great reviews, Diana! 😄 So glad you found the time to do some reading in the last two months! I know Jacqui’s Survival of the fittest but didn’t know the others – always lovely to add more books to my TBR! 😄

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Ann Coleman says:

    Thanks for the book recommendations! They look interesting, especially the last one because I love short stories.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So glad to see you’ve had some fantastic time off on the road, just you and indie books! Something some of us can only dream of… Where do I sign up??
    Hope you have a wonderful week ahead, Diana 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for sharing these gems, Diana! Bravo to Mae, Jacqui, and Dorinda! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Having a great excuse to do little but read sounds fabulous. Thanks for the recommendations!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. These sound like 3 very different books, each with their own strengths. Isn’t having the gift of time to read wonderful?

    Liked by 2 people

    • They are so different from each other, Ellen. You’re right. I like mixing up genres, especially now that I’m reading more. I enjoyed all three and they were godsends while I’ve been on the road. Thanks for the visit!

      Like

  7. kevin cooper says:

    Great reviews, Diana. Mae’s book is the only one from these I’ve read and reviewed myself. Will have to check up on the others. Good to see you posting and glad to hear you have time for reading! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hello there. Pre-internet, so many good writers wouldn’t have seen their works published. It’s a new ball game now, and a very good one.

    Neil Scheinin

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Great! Thank you, and have a wonderful weekend! Michael

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Annika Perry says:

    Diana, lovely reviews of these three books! I already have the first two downloaded on my kindle so your post was a gentle reminder to read them soon. I love the mixture of stories by Dorinda and will take a closer look at this. Have a great weekend! 😀🌺

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so glad you got a little nudge, Annika. All three were highly entertaining, and they made time fly as I was stuck in traffic or running errands. I know you read a lot, and hope you enjoy them. Thanks for the visit, my friend, and Happy Reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Good reviews, Diana. I’m glad to hear you’ve almost got your parents settled in a place where they’ll be more comfortable. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you enjoyed the reviews, Suzanne. And thanks for the note on my parents. They were rather unrealistic about their capabilities, but there was no reasoning with them. So we have one more move. I’m hoping that by mid-August, they’ll be in much better quarters with more services. ❤

      Like

  12. Reblogged this on Musings on Life & Experience and commented:
    A good review of three different books Diana has read.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Soooz says:

    Wonderful reviews, Diane. Thanks so much for drawing my attention to two books I was unfamiliar with. (I’m already a huge fan of Mae’s Point Pleasant series) My TBR list may not be on speaking terms with me for a while. 😊

    Liked by 2 people

    • You’re very welcome, Suzanne. Mae has a lot of fans, for sure. Dorinda’s book is a quick read and well worth it. Jacqui’s books are all great, but her prehistoric fiction is fascinating. And yeah, those TBR piles can get out of control! Happy Reading!

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Jennie says:

    Great reviews, Diana. Thank goodness you have reading to give you some pleasure right now.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Fantastic Diana.. I have read Jaqui’s book and loved it.. great reviews.hugsx

    Liked by 2 people

  16. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord Blog Magazine and commented:
    Not just one book review but three from Diana Peach for Mae Clair, Jacqui Murray and Dorinda Duclos… fantastic.. head over and enjoy.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. Jan Sikes says:

    Fantastic reviews! I loved “A Thousand Yesteryears!” Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the visit, Jan. That was a good book, wasn’t it? I can’t wait to move through the series. All three of the reviewed books were awesome and so different from each other! Have a great evening and Happy Writing!

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Theresa Everton Pulyer says:

    There really needs to be more hours in the day! All the books sound fascinating and Mae’s book particularly intrigues me. Thank you so much for sharing these wonderful novels.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for the visit, Theresa. Reading saved my sanity over the past few months, and I have lots of reviews to share. One fun thing about reading the books of indie bloggers is the wide variety. These three are all so different and all worthwhile. Happy Reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Joan Hall says:

    I haven’t read the others, but I loved A Thousand Yesteryears. Mae’s writing is always superb.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Thanks for sharing these awesome reviews! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Hi D, nice to see you on here again 🤗
    Hope all’s going well for you….

    Liked by 2 people

  22. It’s been long since I visited here, Diana. I’ve probably missed a lot.😱 But living out of the suitcase for almost two sounds busy or was it for leisure!

    But lovely to read your reviews. As I’m tackling my own summer reading challenge, I’ve read and enjoyed Murray’s book too. I found world-building and characters fascinating. I’m just bad with reading all the books in the series (I still haven’t finished your Rose Shield) so, it’s Iikely that I’ll never know what came of Xhosa’s ambitious wanna be pair mate.😀

    Anyway, hope you’re having a wonderful summer!

    Liked by 2 people

  23. Thanks so very much for the wonderful review, Diana! I’m so glad you enjoyed the book! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  24. dgkaye says:

    Thanks Diana. Happy to say I have all these books awaiting me to get to them. 🙂 Thank goodness for books right! When we feel pulled from our routines in life, nice to know we can at least fall to a good book and get some reading time in. ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  25. Thanks for featuring me, Diana! I’m in good company. I just started reading Mae’s Hode’s Hill series. Read the first book, glads there’s a next.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Looking forward to three great reads! Sharing…

    Liked by 2 people

  27. I recently read a thread by readers saying they find many of their books on blogs. Thanks for the great reading suggestions, Diana. I’m glad you were able to relax a little while away.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I make a lot of book choices that way, Mary, and these three books are very different from each other. I listened to books on the road (about 18 hours a week), read in the morning and evening and while my parents napped. Reading was so much better than playing mindless games on my phone! Lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  28. genuasaram says:

    Hey there..I have followed your blog…please may you follow my blog also as I am just starting out and would sincerely appreciate it
    ..lotsa love xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  29. Haven’t read any of these as yet. Always playing catch up with my reading! Nice details of reviews. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  30. Aw geez. Just when I thought I had my To Read Pile under control you had to go and do this.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mine is getting under control, finally. But then I go out and download more books. They’ve been a blessing over the past six months or so. Thanks for stopping by Mike. Hope you’re having an awesome summer with the family. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  31. Reblogged this on Archer's Aim and commented:
    A Thousand Yesteryears leads off this review post, a book which I enjoyed thoroughly.

    Liked by 3 people

  32. Great reviews, Diane. I’ve read many of Mae Clair’s books and enjoyed them. The other two books look like ones I need to add to my TBR. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Will reblog tomorrow when I’m on my computer (it never seems to work when on my tablet). Tweeting now 😊

    Liked by 3 people

  33. Diana, you’ve made all these marvelous selections sound wonderful! I’m eager sit down with all of them. Hugs on the wing!

    Liked by 4 people

  34. Ohhhh… new books. Sounds fabulous. Great reviews! ❤

    Liked by 3 people

  35. A fantastic list of authors! Congrats to all on the wonderful reviews. I hope things are settling down for you and your family, Diana {{hugs}}

    Liked by 3 people

  36. I loved the Point Pleasant series and can vouch for it also

    Liked by 4 people

  37. Mae Clair says:

    Diana, what a lovely surprise to find my book here with two other intriguing works. Thank you for sharing your review of A Thousand Yesteryears. I’m thrilled to have been a distraction for you during a difficult time. I loved your review! Thank you!

    And congrats to Jacqui and Dorinda. I’ve read To Hunt a Sub by Jacqui and was riveted from start to finish.

    Liked by 4 people

  38. Jina Bazzar says:

    Great reviews to what sounds like great books, Diana. I read when I need time to stop thinking and just relax! I’ve seen Mae and enjoy Jacqui’s blog, but the third one is new to me.

    Liked by 5 people

  39. D.L. Finn, Author says:

    Great reviews:) I have read two of theses and thoroughly enjoyed both.

    Liked by 4 people

  40. Teri Polen says:

    I love Mae’s Point Pleasant series, but for some reason haven’t read the first book. Have it on my Kindle, so hopefully I can get to it soon. Great reviews, Diana!

    Liked by 4 people

  41. ‘Short & Not Always Sweet’ immediately appealed – a buy and read for me – thanks for highlighting and reviewing it here, Diana.

    Liked by 3 people

  42. joylennick says:

    Reviews are always appreciated, Diana, and yours are positive and valued, I’m sure. Dorinda Duclos sounds more my cup of lemon tea…
    Thank you. x

    Liked by 3 people

  43. Thank you for sharing these – A Thousand Yesteryears has definitely piqued my interest!

    Liked by 4 people

  44. Staci Troilo says:

    I’ve only read Mae’s book, and it was wonderful. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about all three titles you listed.

    Liked by 4 people

  45. Fabulous reviews, Diana. I have books by all three of these authors on my kindle and have read all of them before.

    Liked by 4 people

  46. Thank you for reviewing Dorinda’s book! She’s a fellow blogger here on WordPress that I’ve been following. I knew that she had published a book, but when I saw the review here, I was like “Ahh! I know her! I know her!” 😆

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’ve been following her for years, and when her book came out, I scooped it up. It was a perfect break between some longer books and stories. She’s immensely talented. I hope you give her book a try. Thanks for stopping by, and Happy Reading!

      Liked by 2 people

  47. balroop2013 says:

    Nice reviews Diana. Reading keeps us balanced in all the challenges of life! I am glad you could read so many good books even when you are so busy in the care of your dear parents. Looking forward to what is next! 🙂 Happy reading.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I probably have 20 reviews to share, Balroop. Lots of reading – especially in my car. The drives just zipped by. 🙂 And you’re so right that reading provided a great balance to all the stress and running around. Thanks for the visit, my friend. Have a great day. ❤

      Liked by 3 people

  48. Terrific reviews, Diana. I loved Jacqui’s book and I have Mae’s loaded on my Kindle, along with thousands of other books. Your review will prompt me to move it up in the queue. As for Dorinda’s book, I think I’d need a hard copy so I could stare at the cover all day. It’s a beauty!

    Liked by 7 people

  49. Marcia says:

    Thanks for the reviews, Diana. I’ve read Mae Clair’s books and loved them. Definitely checking out the others, too. 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

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