Professional reviews for your published books...
Barbara Bamberger Scott has been reviewing on the internet and in print publications since 2006. She will give your book a fair, thoughtful and positive review.* Reviews can be done from print books, pdfs or other online methods. You will have a chance to read and comment on your review before it is posted on the websites at A Woman's Write and Good Reads. There is a $60.00 fee ($30 Reading + $30 Placement) payable in total ($60.00) in advance to our Paypal account. Please google Barbara Bamberger Scott to see the wide range of her reviews on such sites as Book Reporter, Curled Up with a Good Book, Blue Ink, Self Published Reviews, US Review, Foreword, Clarion, Pacific, and Chanticleer.
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Please read and enjoy this sampling of Barbara's reviews:
Telling her story from the voices and viewpoints of four of its characters, debut author Vermaas paints a vivid picture of how she and her entrepreneur husband Garry, two of the voices, combined their career goals with a sense of higher purpose. Both were graduates of Columbia University who started their married life in comfort in the US. An economic downturn stymied Garry’s ambitions, so with a business strategy he had been carefully devising, he moved JD, son Garret, daughter Jolyn, and baby Shi Ya, adopted in China - to Qatar, where he would design an Emir’s palace. Garret, the third of the book’s story carriers, was burdened by autism. Fortunately, he came to enjoy being part of pack of adopted siblings that would eventually number 12, including himself and Jolyn. Angela, the book’s fourth voice, is a third world orphan whose sorrows, terrors and survival instinct provide a counterpoint to the safety and comfort generated and shared among the Vermaas family circle. Finding and taking to heart each new child required international travel – to China, India, and the Philippines - up to the last titanic effort – six siblings at once. (Full review at Amazon, Bookbub, Goodreads)
“Winning is everything.” That’s the prevailing philosophy in the kart racing world, the racing world in general, and forms the basis for an emotional, action-packed look at what can happen to young people when they become addicted to speed, competition and the need to succeed. Gary Lee Dillanger’s dad was all for his participating in racing, starting him off at age eight with a kart once raced by a kid from the storied Kilgore family. The Kilgore men – Monroe, Sonny and now young Mackie – are racing icons. They drive as fast as they like with impunity almost everywhere, but especially around their Alabama home where they are revered. Gary Lee, now about to graduate from high school, has ambitions to become Kilgore’s new star, until a dark night on a back road, where a car gets the best of him. He winds up in the ER, comatose, not knowing if he is responsible for the crash that threatens his life and has killed his girlfriend Gillian. Debut author Jaseron has carefully constructed this complex look at the racing scene and how it affects, and may destroy, lives while tainting the morality of those who manage to ascend to the top echelons. (Full review at Amazon.com)
ATOP THE WINDMILL: A childhood in the American southwest is brought to life by author and linguist María Dolores Gonzales in this sparkling, bilingual memoir. The year before she was born, her parents were living on what seemed an idyllic ranch in northeastern New Mexico, but a massive flood destroyed that paradise forever, forcing a move. In 1946, Gonzales was born in what could only be described as miraculous circumstances, as her mother, laboring for days, prayed she would not die. She was named for her grandmother, but also in honor of La Virgen who, her mother always believed, answered her prayers. Such remarkable, sometimes uplifting, sometimes fraught incidents, are sprinkled throughout the narrative: mother and children being serenaded by Mariachis the day they departed after spending time with their father who had taken a job in Mexico; their father’s perilous walk home through a horrific blizzard; María’s mother “learning” to drive when she and her daughters were stranded on the highway; her mother’s sudden offer of a teaching job when the family was on the brink of financial collapse. (Full review at Good Reads)
In this highly personal retrospective, author Marilee Eaves recreates a childhood of privilege and the gradual development of wisdom and the wish to give back. Eaves’ book opens at a critical juncture. Consigned to a locked hospital ward after a psychotic breakdown in her early college years, she receives a phone call from her mother insisting that she return home to New Orleans to be the Queen of the Krewe of Osiris Ball during the coming year’s debutante celebrations. Like her mother and grandmother, Eaves was expected to relish this honor, which denoted her as “royal” in NOLA’s lofty social circles. With trepidation she agrees, thus subsuming her own wishes, fears and ambitions to take her role in family tradition. Eaves describes her upbringing surrounded by luxuries but unsettled by a neglectful mother, an overbearing stepfather, a weight problem, and a slowly growing urge to escape. The life to which she was heiress would have seemed to some like a paradise of gala events, servants, prestige and even an overseas cruise. But it also included almost constant psychiatric therapies in adulthood, confusion, infidelities and more than one mental collapse. (Full review at Amazon.com)
Mary Jo Doig believed she had grown up in an unremarkable home environment. She was able to start college and look forward to a career. Pregnancy stalled that vision and giving birth to a child who died of birth defects was the first of many life burdens that Doig would bear. Her husband had a drinking problem that resulted in a traumatic auto accident. He found another partner and left Doig alone, the single mother of two little boys. A friend encouraged her to go back to college, where she met a man to whom she was greatly attached but who was killed in a car wreck. Loose and lonely, trying to find comfort in her Catholic beliefs, she met a man of few words who was pursuing his dream to be a farmer. The two married and Doig took well to rural life. A longtime knitter, she became a quilter and worked in case management with disabled individuals, but sadness continued to stalk her. One day she chanced on an article about childhood abuse. Her reaction to it was extreme. She soon realized that she was among those who had been verbally, physically and sexually abused. Memories of an uncle surfaced first, but later she recalled terrifying incidents with her father. Thus began six years of therapy..... (Full review at Amazon.com)
Diego and Isabel fall in love – more than once, in more than one place, and more than one time. In this sophisticated exploration of the possibilities of time travel, we learn that the course of true love is ever changing, ever the same.Orton’s book, the first in a five part series, starts when the hero and heroine meet – again – and recreate an old love that ran aground fifteen years before when misunderstandings cropped up. After Diego rescues Isabel from an exploded building, and with those old confusions neatly smoothed over, the two resume their affair, living in a cabin in the woods somewhere near Denver.Until Matt, a physics professor, finds a metal sphere that was left at the bombed out building, bearing the inscription “e=mc2.” Somehow, the realization dawns that the sphere is connected to the ability to a series of films that depict Earth as it was before a doomsday scenario that will happen. All these elements and more are deftly mixed, stirred and spiced by Orton, who seems totally comfortable moving her fascinating cast of characters through time and space. (Full review at Amazon.com)
In What Matters Most, author Helen Bea Kirk has painted a big canvas that engages us with its intimate portraits – a woman looking for what she’s lost by holding on to little pieces of the past, and a strong man used to being in control who wants to give in, for the first time, when he finds something he didn’t know he was looking for. When Meaghan and King first meet, it’s under less than ideal circumstances: heavily disguised, she’s robbing his pawnshop. When he tries to stop her, she fires her pistol. Yet for some reason, when the police arrive on the scene, he lies and covers for the mysterious stranger, more curious than threatened. (Full review at Amazon.com)
The latest addition to her adventure/romance series shows award-winning author Kaylin McFarren once again mixing sensuous love and bloody terror. The anti-heroine of Twisted Thread is Akira, a Japanese woman whose checkered past as geisha and gangster has led her down a path to murder, intrigue and the loss of all feeling for others, her only goal to free herself from the web of vengeance she is trapped in. She is given a last chance by mobster mogul Mitsui, who promises that the completion of just one more job will relieve her of her indebtedness to him and allow her to begin a new life—anywhere but in Japan. All she has to do is take a cruise and identify a killer. Someone murdered Keiko, a female relative of Mitsui, on a previous cruise. That someone may be British art dealer Paul Lyons or Paul's wife Sara, both of whom were known to have quarreled who Keiko who died mysteriously soon afterwards. Akira will travel "chaperoned" by Mitsui’s man Takashi who will pose as Akira’s father, observe her actions, "clean" the scene once Keiko’s killer is known, and give Akira the tools she will need to start life over. (Full review on Amazon.com)
Marilyn Norrod’s new novel, The Cat, The Crow and The Grimoire, focuses on a mysterious former slave surviving as best she can in the aftermath of the Civil War.
Because of her knowledge of herbs for healing and magic, Gwendolyn Higgins is asked by an Arkansas neighbor to assist with her childbirth, but when the woman dies, Gwendolyn is accused of witchcraft. Forced to flee her homestead when threatened with lynching, she is approached by the two orphaned children of her former patient, begging her to take them along since they don’t want to live with their brutish father. She also takes her “familiar” cat Ra and a crow named Jaspar who acts as a spy by “sharing” his eyes with her. (Full review at Amazon.com)
Cecilia Velástegui’s mystical prose, depth of characterization and adroit plotting have been compared favorably to the work of established literary figure Arturo Pérez-Reverte. It should be no surprise, therefore, that her latest historical novel, Lucía Zarate, Velástegui, though a relative new-comer, is tied with Pérez-Reverte as a finalist in the 2017 International Latino Book awards. “Lucía’s diminutive size had always created a see-saw of emotions within her. She either frightened people or suffered their ridicule.” Lucía Zárate was unique, a 20-inch high adult with a tinny, piping voice and the ability to charm audiences with her boisterous personality and cheeky jibes. Born in 1870 in Mexico, believed by the locals to be a chaneque, or mischievous sprite, Lucía would live to meet monarchs, be courted by a midget and displayed with a giant. Her life is the subject of this fascinating historical novel by award-winning author Cecelia Velástegui. Zárate’s mother consents to have her healthy but vulnerable daughter sent on tour to the US and beyond only if a suitable nurse/cook/companion can be found for the journey. The author has cleverly created this companion in the street-wise, scam-wise Zoila. (Full review at Amazon.com)
Laura, the heroine of S. J. Wilke’s A String of Murder, has a gift. It’s unique and it might be useful if she uses it properly. She can look at certain objects and mentally picture their history – objects that are associated with strong feelings, powerful, unusual situations that leave behind the feelings of those who experienced them. She called these feelings “strings” because that’s what the memories look like when they first come in to her mind. Jack, a wildcat antique entrepreneur, recognizes her talent for identifying art pieces and hires her to work for him. So the money starts to come in and young Laura finds she has a real career…maybe. (Full review at Amazon.com)