Book Review. The Existence of Pity. Jeannie Zokan. 

Growing up in a lush valley in the Andes mountains, sixteen-year-old Josie Wales is mostly isolated from the turbulence brewing in 1976 Colombia. As the daughter of missionaries, Josie feels torn between their beliefs and the need to choose for herself. She soon begins to hide things from her parents, like her new boyfriend, her trips into the city, and her explorations into different religions.

Josie eventually discovers her parents’ secrets are far more insidious. When she attempts to unravel the web of lies surrounding her family, each thread stretches to its breaking point. Josie tries to save her family, but what happens if they don’t want to be saved?

The Existence of Pity is a story of flawed characters told with heart and depth against the beautiful backdrop of Colombia.

Book Review. Tales of Woe. John Reed. 

Sometimes people suffer for no reason. There’s no sin, no redemption – just suffering and misery. These spectacularly depressing true stories of totally undeserved suffering are told with elegance, restraint and simplicity. Murder, accidents, depravity, cruelty and senseless unhappiness are met with no happy endings, abject misery and pointless, endless grief. Tales of Woe delivers today’s most awful narratives of human wretchedness, and evokes catharsis that can’t be matched. Designed in a one-of-a-kind white text on black paper with 50 pages of full-colour art.

Book Review. INDIE POET – Thirty Poems From My Thirties: 2006 – 2016. Harry Whitewolf. 

In this short book of previously unpublished verse, indie poet Harry Whitewolf spits out his words with the ferocity of a rampant llama on speed. Poems knocking the establishment and rants mocking modern society are wedged between personal tales of boozing, smoking, loneliness and sex. Delivered with passion, anger, humour, beat and bite, this new collection is a quick sizzle trip through Harry’s dirty thirties.

Go on, give an indie poet a go.

The House on Devil’s Bar. Jessie McAlan.         A Book Review & Giveaway. 

The police verdict of a woman’s accidental drowning in the Mississippi River does more than set tongues wagging in the small Missouri town of Klim; it starts a flood of cancellations that threaten to sink Rona Murray’s bakery and events business. And blacken her good name. Determined to save both, she starts her own investigation to prove she and her property are blameless.  Barbara Lindborg had stopped by Linn House to consider renting it for a party. Yet, when Rona returned from accepting a delivery, the woman had vanished.
Rona’s preliminary search for Barbara yields nothing more than suggestive footprints on the Bar.  Did the woman accidentally fall into the river?  Was she pushed – and if so, why?  A later hunt reveals Barbara’s cell phone in the woods. How did it get halfway up the hill if the woman drowned a hundred feet below? The phone’s camera holds snaps of Klim, its residents, and the Bar. Do any of these hold a clue to her death? Or did her and Rona’s earlier conversation about history and treasure have a different meaning?
Suspects and motives pop up like bubbles in yeast. Is Matt, an employee, still bitter about his and Barbara’s divorce? What about Rona’s own ex, Johnny? Is he trying to drive her out of business, or is his current girlfriend, Crystal, jealous of their relationship and trying to eliminate the competition? A bit like calling the kettle black, for Crystal seems very friendly with Frank, the bad boy neighbor. Frank isn’t lily-white, either. He dislikes Rona; is he behind the pranks on her property or mixed up in Barbara’s death?  It isn’t until Rona’s life is threatened one stormy night that she learns the killer’s identity and her true feelings about Johnny.