As our authors receive reviews, we will be posting them here:
ARLENE F. MARKS
Reviews of The Accidental God
Science fiction and comedy don’t often mix (with the obvious exceptions of Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett), but Arlene Marks manages to blend the two beautifully in The Accidental God. Demonai, a being who exists in five dimensions, discovers the planet Earth, which is inhabited by “threedees,” and must convince his superior that the Earth is inhabited by sentient beings or it will be destroyed. Fun ensues when Demonai inserts himself into our world and begins to alter reality to challenge humans to demonstrate their sentience. The pace is fast, the writing taut, and there are some lovely comic moments. My only quibble is the cover, which I think might put some readers off. If there was ever a case NOT to judge a book by its cover, The Accidental God is it. A great read. (Ken, on Amazon.ca)
A fun and well written novel, travelling through time and dimensions seamlessly. The plot is clever and well crafted. The characters are interesting and likeable, although one must suspend judgment to fully appreciate the story. An enjoyable read! (E.B., on Amazon.ca)
This Sun Dragon Press author was among the authors receiving awards in the Crime Writers’ of Canada short story contest last weekend. Petru’s story, A Grave for Two, earned honourable mention in the 5,000-word Bony Pete competition at the organization’s Bloody Words Conference.
Reviews of Love, Obey, & Betray:
LOVE, OBEY & BETRAY by Maggie Petru (Sun Dragon Press, 521 pages, $20.71 softcover, $9.99 Kindle) Jon Fear, Record staff – Waterloo Region Record, January 12, 2013.
Vlad Horbatsky and his wife, Kate, work for a Toronto-area defence contractor. They met after the Second World War ended and now have three adult children. But the past is still very much with them as this suspense-filled novel gets underway. The hot-tempered and domineer-ing Vlad can never forget the time he spent in a German concentration camp. And Kate, who endures his verbal abuse for years, can’t forget her own time as a wartime spy for the Allies, a role that saw her become romantically close to a talented German engineer named Andreas Wachter. As the war came to an end, she abandoned him and fled to safety.
When that same German engineer, now 25 years older and work- ing for a U.S. company, arrives to inspect the plant where Vlad and Kate work, the lives of all three are tossed upside down.
This isn’t a polished book to look at, but all in all it’s a pretty good yarn.
Maggie Petru is the pen name of Maggie Petrushevsky, a former Guelph Mercury reporter now living in Burlington.
A good read and a good romp from Nazi Germany to the sabotage of modern North American weapons production Sept. 24 2013 By Susan McCrae Vander Voet
History follows the characters, a former undercover spy for the allies in a German munitions factory, her Nazi lover and boss, her persecuted, at least in his own mind, Polish/German husband. Their history plays out in a modern munitions plant, where theft and the sale of plans to the ‘enemy’ and sabotage take centre stage before the culminating murderous rampage which takes the reader from Toronto to Prince George and into west coast USA.
Can’t put it down! Oct. 12 2012 by Bedford Girl
Only a few chapters in but there’s lots going on. Can’t wait to see how one particular plotline works out, and I hope some of the characters get exactly what they deserve. Good job it’s the weekend and I’ve done all the food shopping. I don’t have to move for the next two days
My honest opinion-Dave Hayden. Oct. 25 2013 By By David Hayden
I have been a long time getting to this review because I have read the book at my computer. I limit my computer time to one hour a day and so have not read more than a chapter at a time. I usually read history and so would not have picked up the book except for the fact that I know Maggie personally.(we shared lots of time during a writing course we both took at the same time and have remained Email buddies ever since).
It is because of this that I know first hand how long she has worked on this book, many, many years. I found the attention to detail and the character detail to be very well demonstrated. I have enjoyed reading and will recommend this book to friends. The only reason I give it four stars is because I am one of those people who never give ten out of ten. Congratulations Maggie you deserve the success you have created here and I thank you for reviving my interest in finishing a book of my own.
The title says it all! Oct. 30 2012 By clcook
This novel totally delivers. There’s romance, intrigue, murder, espionage and plenty of action. The writing style is clear, concise and consistently moves the story forward. The plot line is complicated, and even though I tried to guess at the outcome, I wasn’t even close. This book is well worth the read!
— Jenn’s Review blog Wednesday, April 23, 2014
This is the ultimate, perfect summer beach read! I literally did not stop laughing from page one to the very end. The characters are developed so well that you feel like you are reading about your best friends. They are all a bit quirky and hilarious, and even the bad guys will make you laugh. I literally laughed so hard at some parts of the book that I had tears running down my face. The story is very well written with a wonderful mixture of suspense and comedy. There is a large dose of sexcapades thrown in for good measure. I usually don’t read books that have a lot of sex in the story, however this book came at it from such a comedic angle that it’s not overly offensive or crass. The murder mystery was developed perfectly. It kept me guessing until the very end. Just when I thought I had it figured out, another wrench was thrown in and I was left guessing again. I am absolutely im love with the characters from Dying for Sex and I have my fingers crossed for more adventures with my new favorite book friends!
Reviews of Dying for Sex:
Great holiday read! July 11, 2013 — By BookBee
An excellent summer read! Take this with you on vacation for a lighthearted mystery that will keep you guessing ’til the end. Sex, drugs, and an old folks home? How could it get any better?
This book has it ALL! Murder, Comedy, and Sex! Really, don’t miss this! December 12, 2013 — By LaurieHere – Contemporary Fiction and MORE – Book Reviews
This book was a RIOT to read! I think there was not one page I did not laugh at! Spend one day in a retirement home, and you’ll be in tears laughing at these people! It attracts ALL types! The scenarios were told very well, very detailed, and very well written. In the beginning there was one scene that was SO funny that one of the characters inhaled flour through a kitchen mishap! We are dealing with Octogenarians here, so I’m sure a few of you out there know what trouble they can get into without trying much! LOL!
This author CAN WRITE! She even had the main character, Lindy, talk to us directly, which I just loved! If there is any book you want to read that has some humor in it, or you want a hilarious book to escape to, THIS IS IT! You have murder, comedy and sex – what MORE could you ask for at ANY age? Gee, what do I read next? This one was SO GREAT!!
Great Mystery, great humor!, December 5, 2013 By Dealsharingaunt
This book was hysterical. It reminded me of Blanche from Golden Girls. This book made me think of Blanche in a retirement home, and how every one around was just like her. The mystery kept me thinking until the killer was unmasked. The puns made the book so much more enjoyable. The author did a great job describing stuff in the book as well. My favorites were dollop of oatmeal and Juicy Fruits. I recommend having tissues near by, not because the book was sad, because as I read this book I laughed so hard that I cried. I can not wait to read a sequel. I am giving this book a 5/5.
Delightful and funny. Jan. 31 2014 — Peter G.Mcgarvey
It is not often I read a book in one sitting these days. Dying For Sex was one of the special exceptions.
This is a wonderful first mystery by Lynn Albrecht who I feel has a great future in the field. The characters are sharply drawn and suffused with wit while the plot is both engaging and twisted.
Lindy is a 50ish divorced mother and part-time caterer. She is frustrated with her lack of a love life. And to really complicate matters her favorite aunt Pip has gone off her meds and is about to be evicted from the old folks home. As if life weren’t complicated enough Lindy becomes obsessed with finding out who was behind the killing of her aunt’s social worker.
Her investigation brings her into conflict with a handsome detective who she finds herself lusting after. It also leads her down a rabbit hole into the sexual underground of her seeming innocent community.
The story is delightful and funny and rips along. I look forward to reading future adventures of Lindy and her friends.
Zany sleuthing. Dec 2 2013 By Joan King
Ms Albrecht deserves praise for her first book. This delightfully entertaining murder mystery is fraught with witty remarks, naughtiness, and memorable characters, whom I hope to meet again in the future. Please let me know when the movie is released. There will be one, right?
Live, laugh and love in this great first novel Nov. 20 2013 By Joan Brunger
I loved this book for its quirky characters, comical descriptions and down to earth description of life in a nursing home and of a single mother. Mayhem and laughter from start to finish. My husband picked it up and really enjoyed it as well. I’m looking forward to the next book.
Reviews of The Last Mentsch:
The Last Mensch is a rich, poignant and often hilarious celebration of story-telling. It effortlessly combines the historical novel and the picaresque to create a portrait of South Africa’s fledgling Jewish community, of the emergent nation and of a range of endearing and infuriating eccentrics. It is among the most sweeping, audacious and lively novels ever written about this country. — Professor Michael Titlestad University of the Witwatersrand
‘A great deal of historical research has gone into establishing the authenticity of the period, the landscapes as well as the depiction of the panoply of well-known historical characters such as (philologist Herman) Bleek, (Cecil John) Rhodes and Scotty Smith. The latter two are encrusted in their own mythology, but Bayer manages their entirely plausible cameo appearances. The Last Mentsch is not only persuasive, it is eminently readable, interesting and entertaining.’ – Professor Elsie Cloete, University of the Witwatersrand.
…’an elaborate cast of characters, some of whom (Auntie Cockeye for example) would not be misplaced in a novel by Dickens. The character of the narrator, Yitzhak, leaps off the page, the cadences of his speech are perfectly measured and there is plenty of occasion for humour.’’ – Professor Karen Scherzinger, University of Johannesburg.
The judges of The Last Mentsch, shortlisted for the 2013 European Union Literary Award was said to ..”gallops us into a fast-paced roller coaster of immigrant survival… and the writing of all three finalists is across the board “superb”…
JAMES STEPHEN O’BRIEN
Reviews of The Papal Enclave:
“You are a Writer! I love your work. You picked me up and held my interest from the opening paragraph. In particular, I love your characters, and I think you have a super idea for a plot. You expose just enough of it as you get into the novel to keep me guessing what’s around the next bend.” — John Dobbyn – Author & Law Professor – Villanova Law School
“You’re a terrific writer, a rare blend of true literary wit and talent. The writer of the literary thriller is rare and prized….We all know there are thrillers and Thrillers—yours is the latter!” “I very much enjoyed reading and editing it and I hope that we can work together on the next installment of Professor Ripley. I hope this is the beginning of a fabulous literary career.” — Dr. Harte Weiner – Writer & Chief Editor – Cambridge Editors
“Jim O’Brien creates an atmosphere to be savored with every page.” — J. L. Morin – Author, SAZZAE
Pulled in like a waterskiing tow rope lifting you out of the water, December 26, 2013 By Eugene Davis (Wilmington, Delaware USA)
This was a fun ride. Loved all the clever references to things Delaware. I thought I was in a Tarantino movie with the use of multi-perspective views of scenes. Well done!
A MUST HAVE THRILLER, December 22, 2013 By Nick Quercetti (MAGNOLIA, NJ, US)
Since reading Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code I have become a junkie of thriller novels with religious overtones, Knights Templar and sadistic villains. Having read all of Dan Brown, Tom Knox, Raymond Khoury and even some more dry but fact filled texts such as Holy Blood Holy Grail, I had been looking forward to the next GREAT author to peak my interests. In his first ever novel, James O’Brien not only writes an intense hair raiser but also drops a TREMENDOUS amount of historic knowledge that had not been uncovered in works from the aforementioned authors. His characters are BRILLIANT, and the plots and scenarios through which they navigate are quite realistic. A MUST READ for fans of vicious, blood thirsty villains and religious thrillers who enjoy reading a thoroughly researched, captivating novel. I anxiously await James O’Brien’s next gem!
Thoroughly enjoyed Papal Enclave, December 20, 2013 By Philip Doerle (Bensalem, PA United States)
I’ve just read and thoroughly enjoyed Papal Enclave. It was a particularly interesting read it from the perspective of a full Roman Catholic background. Combining the disturbing present-day headlines, the history, intrigue and myths of the Vatican into a well scripted modern thriller leaves me hungrily awaiting the next work of this talented writer. It should be a must-read for all Catholics as well as the rest of the world looking for some insight into the mysteries of the Vatican.
Enthralling mystery involving recent events within the Church, December 15, 2013 By Michael G. Johnson (Marietta, GA United States)
Jim provides an exciting story line based on fairly current events within the Catholic Church. You will find yourself wondering how much truth lies within the story. Jim does an excellent job of keeping multiple story lines and plots advancing together to an ultimate climax at the end. I had a really tough time putting this book down. A great thriller combining the settings similar to a Dan Brown novel with military/CIA espionage twist. Grab a copy of this book while available. Good work Jim, looking forward to round two for professor Ripley.
A fact filled thriller, December 15, 2013 By Anne Clasen
I am a fan of Dan Brown and would call “The Papal Enclave” an updated DaVinci Code.
The plot is based on recent history, the cover-up of the paedophile scandal by the Catholic Church.
It is a fast paced thriller, a page turner, I could not put down.
Simply a well crafted and well researched fact-filled thriller.
Dr. Stephen Ripley, a Harvard Law School Professor pursues the trail – or rather the absence of any traces – left by the torturers and murderers of his research assistant in Cambridge, Massachusetts, He is assisted by a journalist at the Boston Globe, Sigourney Penance. The eternal city soon turns out to be their beautiful but dangerous destination.
5+ STARS & TWO THUMBS WAY UP!!!, December 10, 2013 By Daniel P. O’Brien
LOVE these Characters. I cried and prayed for all the Bill Casteel’s in this World, but pray even harder for Charles Mason to get through his ‘List’. And, ‘The Ghost’, is a Stone Classic Villain! Right there with James Patterson’s ‘Wolf’ or any of Stephen Coontz’s villains sent after Jake Grafton or Tommy Carmellini. Even Stephen Hunter’s Swagger Clan (Bobby Lee & Big Earl) never took on the Devil in crimson silk. Could not put this one down, too fast paced. Like eating Chocolate Ice Cream with all the goodies, but NO CALORIES!!! A Must Read for Suspense Junkies like Me!!!
M. H. ACHMANN
Reviews of Julian’s Crusade:
Book by local writers: Julian’s Crusade By Jon Fear Julian’s Crusade, by M.H. Achmann (Sun Dragon Press, 626 pages, $26 softcover, $9.99 Kindle) — Kitchener Waterloo records, January 31, 2014.
Many of us learned of Richard the Lionheart of England as children — in tales of Robin Hood, the outlaw hero of Sherwood Forest. It was King Richard’s brother, Prince John, who became Robin Hood’s foe while the king himself was busy with the Third Crusade.
In an impressive debut novel, published by tiny Sun Dragon Press of Guelph, Cambridge writer Ursula M.H. Achmann follows the course of Richard’s late 12th-century expedition. But her focus is not the king, who is not a very heroic figure in this tale, but a fictional Sir Julian, a young knight who follows the king and is tasked with guarding the Princess Berengaria of Navarre. She is soon to marry Richard and is travelling to Sicily for the ceremony.
A few battle experiences make the fledgling knight realize it’s much tougher to follow the code of chivalry than he had imagined.
On his way home, even bigger challenges will confront Julian. Much of the story is set at a fictional castle in Lorach, in an area that is now in southwest Germany.
On her website, Achmann says her interest in the historical figure Berengaria inspired the novel. But the story subtly shifted, she writes, and it became a tale about two years in the life of a young medieval knight. A sequel is in the works.
Sun Dragon Press describes itself as an “eclectic micro publisher with a macro vision.” Publisher Marilyn Kleiber, said in an interview that Achmann’s manuscript was recommended to Sun Dragon by a mutual friend.
When she gave it a look, she was impressed by the historical research Achmann had done and also by the plot. “It was a story that moved along. I was quite excited when I read it.”
Julian’s Crusade is sold online through Amazon.ca.
Y. J. WONG
Reviews of Beatrix Reincarnated:
A must read for hilarious laughs and an enthralling view of the ancient Chinese! Dec 10 2013 By Amy Nunez
This book was really entertaining and captivated me from the very start. I was amused and delighted by Beatrice’s life in the present, but found myself breaking out in laughter and fascinated by the ancient Chinese world filled with caricatures of different people, ranging from “Lady Longan” to “Rudolph”. A must read for hilarious laughs and an enthralling view of the ancient Chinese!
Reviews of Wife Seller:
A Must Read December 2, 2012 By Catherine O’Connor Format:Paperback.
Excellent book. Couldn’t put it down. Well-researched, historically accurate, and most importantly, FUN to read! A good book to curl up with on a cold, winter’s day.
Enjoy this book!, December 15, 2013 — By Catherine Astolfo (California, USA and Canada)
Although I’m not usually a fan of romance books, this one was different. I loved the inclusion of the historical setting and facts, especially since the story is based in my homeland of Canada. Certainly it’s no ordinary romance tale, either, since the two protagonists are thrust together in an extraordinary way. Strong writing style, lots of humour along with the trials, and the characters are well drawn. I think the writing really gets going once our heroine arrives in Canada. I hope Marilyn Temmer will continue to tell great stories in the future, as her novels can only get stronger. I think you would enjoy this book!
Abused Wife, October 20, 2013 — By Nana
Story is about the harshness of the life of a Nineteenth century wife and her bid to survive. I did not really understand the first part of the story and the pretended sale. The reader got a glimpse of early Canada and the development of farming. A proxy marriage, two orphans, cattle, homesteading and a bachelor, selling of farm produce all combined to form the story. Cumbersome reading but eventually love prevailed.
A good solid read, October 2, 2013 By Nora
A woman escapes a wife beater and manages to recover her sense of self and find romance. Thankfully the jerks part in the story is small.
Wow, September 1, 2013 By Kindle Customer
Truly heart-felt story fell in love with the precocious children they were adorable. Really enjoyed the different spin on the whole mail order bride business.
Little House in Canada, February 11, 2013 By Catharine Bramkamp “Writing Coach” (Santa Rosa, CA USA)
This was like reading a Little House books based in Canada
I loved the detail and regional flavor of Wife Seller. The plot was original and engaging and I loved the hero!
Romantic and redemptive, I’m obviously not the only person to curl up and while away my winter afternoon with a good book!
Wife Seller!, February 11, 2013 By Margie
I couldn’t put Wife Seller! down. The author, Marilyn Temmer, is a wonderful story teller. She weaves stories of the characters against a background of very descriptive farming details from both England and Canada. Her dry sense of humour permeates the novel. A perfect book to curl up with on a cold winter’s day.
A Must Read!, December 2, 2012 by Catherine O’Connor
Excellent book. Couldn’t put it down. Well-researched, historically accurate, and most importantly, FUN to read! A good book to curl up with on a cold, winter’s day.
Reviews of Short Tales from a Tall Person:
imp: –n. 1. a small devil or demon 2. a mischievous child. Marilyn Kleiber is an imp in the truest sense of the word, and a tongue-in-cheeky one at that. Her Short tales From a Tall Person offers up a devilish grab bag of oddball characters immersed in situations that range from the zany to the macabre and everything in between. The child in every adult will certainly delight in this “thoroughly mixed bag of prose and poetry”. The short tale truly wags the dog in this upbeat collection. —Harry Posner, author and poet
Marilyn Kleiber’s “Short Tales from a Tall Person” swoops you from humour to terror and back again. A wide and varied collection of entertaining stories and poems, many with a surprising twist which leave you aghast . . . or wondering. The author paints pictures of both hope and horror and you’re never sure which until the end. Her mixed bag of characters, settings and plot lines leave you wanting more from this prolific writer. However, as the delightful cover suggests, I would not recommend reading this book by candlelight! —Gloria Nye, Editor & Publisher
“Short Tales from a Tall Person” is a delightful book. Marilyn Kleiber’s writing will certainly catch your attention and leave you wanting more. She has a sharp wit and keen mind for storytelling. High recommended! — Roger Dufau, Elora, ON