Sunday 23 September 2018

Six great authors = Six great books

I love reading stories. I've been reading them since my mother brought home Dick & Jane.

Okay, so many of you are too young to remember D&J, but those school books started me on a journey that will only end when these eyes close for the last time.

So many years later (65 today to be exact ), I'm still collecting books, piling them up on any available space. I can't help it! Many I read over and over.

There are so many great stories, talented authors but these ones stand out for me. This week I want to tell you about some that I really, really like - maybe you will too. 

**Please note that the descriptions all come from Goodreads.

1. The Baker's Secret by Stephen Kiernan

This book was recommended to me by my brother-in-law Paul because he knew that I enjoyed stories that took place during WW II. After finishing this delightful tale, I rushed out to buy all Kiernan's books. I have not been disappointed. He's an exceptional author.

From the critically acclaimed author of The Hummingbird and The Curiosity comes a dazzling novel of World War II—a shimmering tale of courage, determination, optimism, and the resilience of the human spirit, set in a small Normandy village on the eve of D-Day

On June 5, 1944, as dawn rises over a small town on the Normandy coast of France, Emmanuelle is making the bread that has sustained her fellow villagers in the dark days since the Germans invaded her country.

Only twenty-two, Emma learned to bake at the side of a master, Ezra Kuchen, the village baker since before she was born. Apprenticed to Ezra at thirteen, Emma watched with shame and anger as her kind mentor was forced to wear the six-pointed yellow star on his clothing. She was likewise powerless to help when they pulled Ezra from his shop at gunpoint, the first of many villagers stolen away and never seen again.

But in the years that her sleepy coastal village has suffered under the enemy, Emma has silently, stealthily fought back. Each day, she receives an extra ration of flour to bake a dozen baguettes for the occupying troops. And each day, she mixes that precious flour with ground straw to create enough dough for two extra loaves—contraband bread she shares with the hungry villagers. Under the cold, watchful eyes of armed soldiers, she builds a clandestine network of barter and trade that she and the villagers use to thwart their occupiers.

But her gift to the village is more than these few crusty loaves. Emma gives the people a taste of hope—the faith that one day the Allies will arrive to save them.

Learn more about Mr. Kiernan here. 

2. The Body on the Underwater Road by Chuck Bowie

I had the pleasure of meeting Chuck Bowie at a writer's convention hosted by WFNB a few years back and was introduced to his main character - Donovan - a Thief for Hire. I've read all the series and he's a fine storyteller. This is the newest caper for Donovan.

Tricia Parker was a woman with a past; one that led to a marriage break-up and the complete severance of ties to her very wealthy ex-husband and daughter. Fifteen years later, Tricia suddenly appears, wanting to talk to her daughter, and a day later, Tricia's body washes up on an underwater road. The prime suspects are her daughter and ex-husband, who are summering in St. Andrews. Friends who see their predicament contact Donovan and Beth, who are no strangers to murder, and who have certain skills in solving crimes. As Donovan begins piecing together the elements of the case, he happens upon an old acquaintance, a particularly nasty art thief who shouldn't even be in that part of the country. The Body On The Underwater Road is a story set in two countries. It's about estranged families, old money, and secrets. And murder.

I've been privileged to have Chuck as a guest here on the Scribbler many times and you can read more about this fine novel here or visit his website.

3. A Measure of Light by Beth Powning

At my first WFNB conference in Sussex, NB, I had the good fortune to meet Beth Powning. A very nice lady. Made me feel very welcome. I've read many of her novels and featured The Sea Captain's Wife (another truly great novel) here before. She's also been a guest on the Scribbler.

In her most dramatic and ambitious novel yet, bestselling author Beth Powning re-imagines the life of Mary Dyer, a Quaker who defied death to champion religious freedom during America's earliest years.

Set in 1600s New England, A Measure of Light tells the story of Mary Dyer, a Puritan who flees persecution in Elizabethan England only to find the Puritan establishment in Massachusetts every bit as vicious as the one she has left behind. One of America's first Quakers, and among the last to face the gallows for her convictions, Mary Dyer receives here in fiction the full-blooded treatment too long denied a figure of her stature: a woman caught between faith, family and the driving sense that she alone will put right a deep and cruel wrong in the world. This is gripping historical fiction about a courageous woman who chafed at the power of theocracies and the boundaries of her era, struggling against a backdrop of imminent apocalypse for women's rights, liberty of conscience, intellectual freedom and justice.

Discover more about Beth by visiting her website or check out her visit to the Scribbler here.

4. Bistro by Roger Moore.

Roger is another author that I met at a WFNB convention and not only is he a terrific author but he's a true gentleman that is generous with his time, his opinions and stories. When you meet him, you can't help but like him. He is the recipient of many awards that recognize his talents.

Are these stories an exercise in creativity or are they a remembrance of things past? How accurate is memory? Do we recall things just as they happened? Or do we weave new fancies? In other words, are my inner photographs real photographs or have they already been tinted and tainted by the heavy hand of creativity and falseness? The truth is that I can no longer tell fact from fiction. Perhaps it was all a dream, a nightmare, rather, something that I just imagined. And perhaps every word of it is true. I no longer know.

Get more news and find out what Roger is up to by going here. You can check out one of his visits to the Scribbler here.

5. What's in a Name by Sally Cronin.

Sally Cronin is an online friend I met through a group of wonderful authors from across the pond. She resides in England and devotes much of her time supporting her fellow writers. A very generous lady whom I've had the good fortune of being featured on her website. She also has been a guest on the Scribbler. This collection of short stories are based on people's names and a delight to read.

There are names that have been passed down through thousands of years which have powerful and deep-rooted meaning to their bearers. Other names have been adopted from other languages, cultures and from the big screen. They all have one thing in common. They are with us from birth until the grave and they are how we are known to everyone that we meet.

There are classical names such as Adam, David and Sarah that will grace millions of babies in the future. There are also names that parents have invented or borrowed from places or events in their lives which may last just one lifetime or may become the classic names of tomorrow.

Whatever the name there is always a story behind it. In What's in a Name? - Volume One, twenty men and women face danger, love, loss, romance, fear, revenge and rebirth as they move through their lives.

Anne changes her name because of associations with her childhood, Brian carries the mark of ancient man, Jane discovers that her life is about to take a very different direction, and what is Isobel's secret?

Drop by Sally's informative website by going here. Check out her visit to the Scribbler by going here.

6. Finton Moon by Gerard Collins.

Thank goodness for WFNB conventions. I attended one of Gerard's workshops and what was most evident beyond his skills as a writer, was his deep desire to help others. A gifted storyteller that will always keep you entertained.

Finton Moon is an unusual child who feels like an alien. A gentle soul growing up in the rough town of Darwin, Newfoundland, he lives with his strict Catholic mother and grandmother, lawless father and three older brothers. While his grandmother has him 'right ready for the seminary,' Finton's interest lies in books, nature and solitude. He is secretly in love with the unattainable Mary Connelly, while eschewing the attention of the equally misfit Alicia Dredge, who adores him from afar. In Finton's life, there are monsters everywhere, including Bridie Battenhatch, the crone next door who harbours secrets about the Moon family she will share in exchange for the boy's company, while all his heroes come from books and TV.

But Finton's parents quickly discover that he is extraordinary, for he has been born with the ability to heal with his hands. As he grows older, his miraculous talent becomes more apparent and useful, even as it isolates him further from those around him. While Finton Moon wants nothing more than to belong, he lives in a world that sees him as other, and his greatest fear is that he will be trapped forever with these people who both misunderstand and abuse him.

Discover more about Gerard on his website. Check out one of his visits to the Scribbler here.

The above grouping is by no means definitive of the best novels available but one's that I truly enjoyed. Here's a few more you shouldn't miss.

Jason Lawson - Facebook Page

Susan Toy - Website

Lee Thompson - Website

This novels not too bad either (so I've been told) 

Deep in the wilderness of the Peruvian Andes lies a monument hidden for centuries. Who were the builders? Why was it abandoned? What secrets does it reveal?
In 1953, an amateur rock climber makes a startling discovery. Overwhelmed by the choices he must make, the mountaineer completes his ascent deciding he will document his findings and present them to his superiors as soon as possible. It will take another fifty years before anyone reads what he wrote.

In 2004 news of the strange revelation reaches Drake Alexander. He will become involved whether he likes it or not. People very dear to him are plunged into a nightmare of avarice, impairment and death. Using all his skills as an ex-soldier, with accomplices he can trust, can he save his tormented friends from the raiders that thirst for the secret that lies within the mountains?

What's your favorite novel? 

Thank you for visiting. Please feel free to leave a comment. 


  1. Thank you so much, Allan. It is very kind of you to read my books, let alone promote them. I do like Bistro. The cover drawing is called "Naval-gazing", a cartoon bird-man gazing at the three ships that are approaching his belly-button. That's why his beak is open: he's saying "oh-no, not again!" Thanks again, Allan, for your kind words. I hope to see you soon.

    1. It's a pleasure Roger. Great stories deserve great attention.

  2. Thanks, Allan! And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

  3. Six delightful books, Alan. I was pleased to see Sally Cronin's delightful book here. I also loved that one.

  4. What a lovely surprise and honour to be featured with this group of amazing authors. Thank you so much Allan I am delighted. I will do as a reblog post on Friday.. you are very kind. Sally

  5. Thank you so much Allan and I am delighted to be included with such amazing authors. I will reblog on Friday and of course share. I will check out all the books as they sound great.. best wishes Sally

    1. Glad you like it Sally., Really enjoyed reading your novel of short stories. Looking forward to #2.

  6. Every summary of these books demands that I read them! (Indeed, I have already read 4 of them). Thanks for including me.

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