Self-Published Saturday: Cathedral of Silver #ScienceFiction #SpaceAdventure

Self-Published Saturday is my effort to help indie/self-published authors with the huge task of marketing their books. Self-published authors have to do it all, and if I can help even a little, I’m happy to do so. Below is my review of Cathedral of Silver, a Sci-Fi space adventure.


The beautiful snow-capped mountains of Kanchi are places of nightmares. Paul Tarseus, a ruthless Lord of the Tuyet Voi, seeks to uncover the secrets of this unknown darkness. But when twisted into the company of young Ramona and her mother, Paul’s goals and brutal views of the galaxy are flipped on end.

Never has Paul imposed the service of underworld mercenaries, sided with arch-rivals, or been swept into family dramas, and he certainly has never been told to apologize to a drone. But he’ll do whatever it takes to protect those around him and to drag the evils lurking in the shadows of the galaxy into the light.


What a gem! Every once in a while, I add a diamond because five stars is not enough. This is one of those times.

Wow. I can’t heap enough praise on this young, first-time author. Cathedral of Silver has a compelling plot, lots of action, and well-developed characters. The space adventure does not quit. And most importantly of all, it’s fresh and original, but somehow still has that “classic science fiction” vibe. Wall has a rare ability to make his characters memorable and make the reader care about them. That takes true talent. Now I need to rave about the world-building. It’s fantastic! I’m impressed with the author’s creativity. And the writing easily transports me to every stop on this adventure. This is unique, special, addictive science fiction. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

Although I was offered a free copy, I purchased a copy of this book because the author’s writing talent blew me away and I know I’ll be hearing his name again. Watch out for Ian Wall, writing world!

My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.


Ian Wall

(In his own words) I’m a debut author who loves science fiction and deep characters.
But wouldn’t you rather be reading a fun sci-fi adventure with a dark underbelly of spooky nightmares? *Cough cough* Cathedral of Silver, Book 1 of The Galaxies Saga?

No? Well, if you insist. I’ve more or less been writing my whole life. Well, since 4th grade anyway. I come from a family of writers, so I like to think my love for the art is somehow genetic. Penciling short stories and poetry was a hallmark of my adolescence, but I never had the courage to try publishing anything until recently. Cathedral of Silver is my first real attempt at writing a novel, and I’ve spent the last three years pouring my blood, sweat, tears, and soul into making it as great as it can be.

If you’d like to back my silly endeavors, check out a couple of free chapters of Cathedral of Silver on Amazon. Your support means more to me than you might know!

Thanks for reading



*If you read the book, please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way!

Self-Published Saturday: Tales of the Romanov Empire #Russia #Russianhistory #RussianJews

Self-Published Saturday is my effort to help indie/self-published authors with the huge task of marketing their books. Self-published authors have to do it all, and if I can help even a little, I’m happy to do so. Below is my review of Tales of the Romanov Empire, a selection of fictionalized stories about important characters in the Romanov family.


Stories you’ve never heard about the Romanovs….

Tales of the Romanov Empire is a novel in short stories that examines one of history’s most successful dynasties. The Romanovs were Russia’s absolute monarchs from 1613 until 1917. Yet, beyond the glittering wealth and tragic love story of Nicholas and Alexandra, much of the dynasty remains shrouded in mystery.

Tales of The Romanov Empire sheds light on the Romanovs’ unknown figures, from the election of Mikhail Feodorovich, the first Romanov tsar, to the bride shows that were staged to help Tsar Alexei find a wife. Grand Duke Konstantin, the Romanovs’ famous poet, comes to life as he and his favorite cousin, Grand Duke Sergei, examine their ideals and their sexuality in a world that is hostile to them. All the while, as the empire’s Jews struggle amidst the Romanovs’ pogroms, many make the decision to flee to the freedom of the United States- these stories in particular are based on the author’s own family history.

This novel contains stories of war, stories of personal gifts and choices bent to an autocratic ideal. In their telling, the vast human cost of absolute power- on both the oppressors and on the oppressed- becomes clear.

This is a collection of fictionalized short stories that outline the history of the Romanov dynasty from the first Czar in 1613 until the deaths of Czar Nicholas and his family at the hands of the Bolsheviks in 1917. The research is impeccable and the number of short stories–39–is impressive, as they are all woven together so well. The stories are short-shorts and dip into significant periods in the history of the Romanovs.

I learned so much about Russian history during that period. These stories really take you right into those times and places and make them come alive. We see deceit, treachery, determination, death, and more. We see the persecution, slaughter, and forced removal of the Jews. We see the Romanovs’ beginning, as well as their bloody end, and watch their reign with fascination and horror.

The commitment of the author is admirable, as she takes on fictionalizing and developing so many characters from history and succeeds in transporting us back to their time and their situations. The story of a Jewish family’s escape to America is her family story, and that makes it even more personal and compelling. I can’t stress enough how well this is written. I recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn more about Russian history in a fascinating way.

I downloaded a copy of this book on Kindle Unlimited, where subscribers can read it for free.


Tamar Anolic

Tamar is a writer who specializes in historical fiction and military fiction. Her short stories have been published in The Copperfield Review, The Sandy River Review, The Helix, Foliate Oak, Frontier Tales, Pen In Hand, Evening Street Review, Every Day Fiction and The Magazine of History and Fiction.

Her historical books focus on the Romanovs and include The Russian Riddle, a nonfiction biography, and the novels Triumph of a Tsar, Through the Fire, and The Imperial Spy. Her military fiction includes the novel The Last Battle, about a female veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, and The Fledgling’s Inferno, science fiction about a gene that runs in military families and causes superpowers.



*Kindle Unlimited subscribers can read this for free.

*If you read the book, please leave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, as well as anywhere else you review books.  Some people feel very daunted by writing a review. Don’t worry. You do not have to write a masterpiece. Just a couple of lines about how the book made you feel will make the author’s day and help the book succeed. The more reviews a book has, the more Amazon will promote it.

*Please click on the “share” buttons below and share these books with your Twitter, Facebook, and WordPress followers. A little bit of help from all of us will help self-published authors go a long way!

Blog Tour and Book Review: Only for my Daughter

*I’m on the schedule for Saturday, but I had to put this up a day early.


I look at my lovely girl. The child I always promised to keep safe, the child I know I’d love no matter what. I look at her and in that moment, my heart breaks into pieces. Because right now, I am not sure I know her at all…

Julia’s daughter Grace is her whole world. To Julia, she’ll always be the little girl who would put her tiny hand in hers, who she could heal with the smallest kiss, who would trust her mother with everything.

But Grace has changed since becoming a teenager. She’s fallen out with her childhood best friend and has become quiet and distanced. Julia wants more than anything to find a way reach her only daughter. Even if some days it seems impossible, Julia knows her lovely, sunny girl is still in there.

Until today when Grace came home after school, covered in blood, and she’s refusing to speak, except to acknowledge that her former best friend is lying in a coma in hospital.

Julia is forced to ask herself: what could Grace be hiding? She can’t believe her little girl could have done something terrible. But her instincts tell her that Grace is keeping a secret. And if it’s what Julia fears it might be, she could lose her fragile, gentle daughter forever.

And – as another mother’s daughter fights for her life – Julia will have to ask herself, how far would she go as a mother to protect the child she loves with her whole heart?

This totally unmissable, heartbreaking, grab-your-tissues story is perfect for fans of Kate Hewitt, Diane Chamberlain and Jodi Picoult.


This definitely has a “grabbed from the headlines” feel as teenage bullying leads to violence and injury. Mothers all over will feel for Julia as she struggles to protect her bullied daughter. The pressures on teen girls and even their mothers to be perfect and “in with the right crowd” definitely will strike a chord with many readers. The struggle of parents to get their teens to talk is real, even when they are in terrible danger. It took me back to the most unpleasant parts of high school, things that have only gotten worse with the introduction of social media. This heartbreaking read might make you pause your day and remind the teens in your life how much you care. Gut-wrenching, emotional, and true to life. Highly recommend. 4.5 stars, rounded up to five on sites without a half-star option.

I received a free copy of this book from Bookouture via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.


Emma Robinson is the author of several women’s fiction novels. She also blogs about the funny side of parenting and has contributed to podcasts such as Funny Women. Whilst her early novels are humorous, her recent work focuses on emotional themes and these novels are both heartbreaking and life-affirming. Emma enjoys writing stories that explore the power of family and friendship in the most challenging circumstances.

Emma currently lives in Essex with a husband, two children and a small black dog.





Amazon UK

A Call for Beta Readers for the Sequel of Eternal Road – The final stop

Here’s a chance to be a beta reader for the sequel to Eternal Road! Contact John Howell if you are interested.

Fiction Favorites

Photo by Library of Congress on Unsplash

John wants you as a beta reader

The sequel to Eternal Road – The final stop, is now ready for the excellent input from beta readers. It has a working title of The Last Drive.

Here is a brief blurb

Sam and James are reunited and tasked with finding two souls who seem lost on the Eternal Road. Unfortunately, the higher-ups believe there has been some interference by Lucifer, so Sam and James must return and find out what happened to Ryan and Eddie.

Ryan was killed in Afghanistan, trying to avoid a schoolyard with his crippled plane. Eddie Rickenbacker, Ryan’s hero, is to guide Ryan to his Eternal Home, and now both are missing.

So come along with Sam and James as they try to find the missing souls while staying one step ahead of the prince of Darkness, who is…

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Covers That Scare You Away (Read at Your Own Risk) #CreepyCovers

So I was inspired to write this post when I saw the creepiest of covers (above) on Laurel Rain Snow’s great blog. It was part of her Sunday Post about upcoming reads. I could not scroll by this picture fast enough. It got me to wondering if anyone else gets so creeped out by a cover that they don’t read the book. Decapitated doll heads? No thank you! And don’t even get me started on the Chucky movie series.

Another thing that scares me to no end and creeps into my dreams is the concept of the evil clown, though even a happy clown looks evil to me. Here’s a good example:

This clown makes my heart stop a little bit. I have never read this book. And I won’t because I can’t make it past this cover.

So would a happy clown face be less scary? Below is a coloring book for kids! I don’t think so.

Now to lighten things up a bit, here’s another cover that scares me to no end. It’s the dreaded “shirtless man” cover. I scroll past these as fast as I scrolled past that decapitated doll head. Because behind the cheesy cover is usually a cheesy novel filled with clichés. This cover might be scarier than the other three! To be fair, I haven’t read this author, but I couldn’t resist poking fun at the cover.

What about you? Are there any covers that turn you off of the book?

Blog Tour and Book Review: The Murder of Mr. Wickham–A Jane Austen inspired cozy mystery


A summer house party turns into a thrilling whodunit when Jane Austen’s Mr. Wickham—one of literature’s most notorious villains—meets a sudden and suspicious end in this brilliantly imagined mystery featuring Austen’s leading literary characters.

The happily married Mr. Knightley and Emma are throwing a party at their country estate, bringing together distant relatives and new acquaintances—characters beloved by Jane Austen fans. Definitely not invited is Mr. Wickham, whose latest financial scheme has netted him an even broader array of enemies. As tempers flare and secrets are revealed, it’s clear that everyone would be happier if Mr. Wickham got his comeuppance. Yet they’re all shocked when Wickham turns up murdered—except, of course, for the killer hidden in their midst.

Nearly everyone at the house party is a suspect, so it falls to the party’s two youngest guests to solve the mystery: Juliet Tilney, the smart and resourceful daughter of Catherine and Henry, eager for adventure beyond Northanger Abbey; and Jonathan Darcy, the Darcys’ eldest son, whose adherence to propriety makes his father seem almost relaxed. In this tantalizing fusion of Austen and Christie, from New York Times bestselling author Claudia Gray, the unlikely pair must put aside their own poor first impressions and uncover the guilty party—before an innocent person is sentenced to hang. 


A Summer House Party. A Murder Mystery. Two Young People Investigate. I’m already in. Now add in almost ALL of Jane Austen’s leading characters! Not only I am in but I’m sure all the Jane Austen enthusiasts are dancing with glee. This was so well done!!! I love that the Darcys of Pride and Prejudice have been married 22 years when this book begins. And I love that their son has been brought in as a new character, along with Juliet Tilney, daughter of Catherine and Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey. I love that there is a touch of “enemies to friends” romance thrown in. And I love that this transports me back to 1820. The idea of a house party turned murder investigation–and nobody can leave–is an intriguing, Agatha Christie-style twist. The unofficial investigation done by the very proper Mr. Jonathan Darcy and the spirited Juliet Tilney is captivating to watch. This book is everything a Jane Austen devotee will love, with a touch of Agatha Christie and a dash of adventure thrown in. This is a nostalgic, intriguing, captivating, and fun collision of the worlds of Jane Austen. I hope to see a sequel.

I received a free copy of this book from Knopf Doubleday via Austenprose PR. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.


Claudia Gray is the pseudonym of Amy Vincent. She is the writer of multiple young adult novels, including the Evernight series, the Firebird trilogy, and the Constellation trilogy. In addition, she’s written several Star Wars novels, such as Lost Stars and Bloodline. She makes her home in New Orleans with her husband Paul and assorted small dogs. 




Jane Austen was born on December 16, 1775 at Steventon near Basingstoke, the seventh child of the rector of the parish. She lived with her family at Steventon until they moved to Bath when her father retired in 1801. After his death in 1805, she moved around with her mother; in 1809, they settled in Chawton, near Alton, Hampshire. Here she remained, except for a few visits to London, until in May 1817 she moved to Winchester to be near her doctor. There she died on July 18, 1817. As a girl Jane Austen wrote stories, including burlesques of popular romances. Her works were only published after much revision, four novels being published in her lifetime. These are Sense and Sensibility (1811), Pride and Prejudice (1813), Mansfield Park (1814) and Emma(1816). Two other novels, Northanger Abbey and Persuasion, were published posthumously in 1818 with a biographical notice by her brother, Henry Austen, the first formal announcement of her authorship. Persuasion was written in a race against failing health in 1815-16. She also left two earlier compositions, a short epistolary novel, Lady Susan, and an unfinished novel, The Watsons. At the time of her death, she was working on a new novel, Sanditon, a fragmentary draft of which survives.


Book Review: A Matter of Death and Life

I greatly enjoyed this second trip to the unusual and action-packed lives of “Gideon Sable,” Annie Anybody, and their gang. Having met these characters before, I was ready for more dangerous, quirky, and magical adventures. This one does not disappoint, as they are constantly thrown in a new pickle right after getting out of the last one.

Most of the old gang is back, including Gideon, who may not be the actual GIdeon Sable, Annie Anybody, who changes her identity at will, Lex (The Damned), who wears the halos of angels on his wrists, and Johnny Wilde, the Wild Card who has no limits. They are joined by Gideon’s ex, Switch it Sally, a master thief. As a group, they are a powerful force. Hired by Judi Rifkin to steal the Mask of Ra, they head to Vegas, with many adventures along the way.

I enjoyed the quirky first book, and this second installment is just as satisfying. The characters are fascinating and the schemes they come up with are clever and enjoyable. There were a couple of times when it seemed to go too far over the top, even for a book that is written to be over the top. The fight on the train comes to mind. But overall, this is a criminal heist adventure steeped in magical realism that will captivate the reader.

I received a free copy of this book from Severn House via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

My review of Book 1, The Best Thing You Can Steal is here.


Simon R. Green is a British science fiction and fantasy author. Green was born in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire. He holds a degree in Modern English and American Literature from the University of Leicester. He is the author of the best-selling Nightside series and many other works.


Amazon UK


Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted here @ Caffeinated Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

I started participating in The Sunday Post meme because I think it will actually be helpful in planning and organizing my coming week. Here’s my review of last week and plans for the coming week.

My Week in Review

Monday was a crawl back to reality as my husband and I were on vacation most of the previous week. We were at our future retirement house in Bryson City, NC and enjoying beautiful mountain views and the company of family. We had a great time celebrating Easter there. Monday I was back to my job and looking forward to retirement in two years!

Tuesday I hosted a stop on the blog tour for A Kinder City, provided by Zooloo’s Book Tours.

Thursday I hosted a stop on the blog tour for It Never Occurred to Her, provided by R&R Book Tours

Friday I reviewed The Wives of Crimson Avenue as part of a book tour for Zooloo’s Book Tours.

And the highlight of the week is always Self-Published Saturday, where I review and promote only self-published or indie books. This week I reviewed A Breath of Fresh God by Charissa Fryberger and promoted Gail Meath’s wonderful saga Agustina De Aragon.

New Book Received

Although my Netgalley shelf is quite full, I was approved for an audiobook I couldn’t pass up, The Wedding Season by Katy Birchall. Here’s the cover and blurb:

Freya Scott is getting married. Her wedding to Matthew, her long-term boyfriend, is the first of eight in her calendar this year, and as someone who prides herself on being meticulously organized, Freya is intent on making it the perfect day to remember.

But when Matthew calls things off hours before they walk down the aisle, Freya’s entire life plan goes up in smoke. Humiliated and heartbroken, the last thing she wants is to attend a summer of other peoples’ nuptials on her own.

Fortunately, her friends have an idea: together they devise a series of outrageous challenges for Freya to complete at each event, designed to distract her from Matthew and what might have been. From getting stuck in an old church bathroom and needing to be rescued by the vicar to making out with a barman at a French chateau, Freya realizes that despite herself, she might just be having fun.

By the time the final wedding arrives, she will discover that the road to a happy ending sometimes has unexpected detours, that “I do” is only the beginning––and that perhaps her own love story isn’t over just yet.


Monday I will be posting my review of A Matter of Death and Life by Simon R. Green. Here’s the amazing cover:

Tuesday I will be reviewing The Murder of Mr. Wickham by Claudia Gray. This is a very intriguing mystery using characters from all of Jane Austen’s books. This is part of a blog tour for Austenprose.

Edited to add the Wednesday post: I’m writing a post called: Covers that Scare You Away! because I just saw the scariest dang cover while reading other blogs! So stay tuned for that!

Friday the 29th I will be posting a review of Only for my Daughter by Emma Robinson. This is part of a blog tour for Bookouture.

And on Self-Published Saturday (SPS) I plan to review two books:

Cathedral of Silver by Ian Wall . This is a suspenseful sci-fi read!

And I’m also reviewing Tales of the Romanov Empire by Tamar Anolic on Saturday for SPS. This is a collection of short stories that examines the Romanov Dynasty.

If you are an indie author and have any promotions going on that you would like to put on self-published Saturday or if you want me to spotlight your book, contact me at and I’ll get them up this week.

This Week’s Netgalley Reading

This week I plan to start A Home for the Lost by Sharon Maas and The Adoption by Jenna Kernan

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a major activity for me this coming week. It’s NFL draft week, starting Thursday and ending Saturday. I’m a huge Bengals fan and I can’t wait to see who my team drafts. But another thing about the draft that I love is I get to see dreams come true for so many young men as they are chosen for a multi-million dollar job and start their professional football career. I never tire of seeing their families celebrate. During draft week, I never miss a moment and you will find me in front of the tv all weekend. But I will still post all my reviews!

I hope you have a great week!

Self-Published Saturday: Free Book! Agustina De Aragon #Freebook #FreeonAmazon #SpanishHistoricalNovels

Gail Meath’s historical saga about the life of Agustina De Aragon, the “Spanish Joan of Arc,” is free all weekend in ebook format on Amazon. This was an editor’s choice by the Historical Novel Society in August 2021, and that’s just one of the accolades it’s received. I highly recommend putting it on your shelf! You can check out my review here.


Amazon UK

Be sure and leave a review! Reviews are gold for self-published authors!