Review: Jagged Edge of the Sky by Paula Marie Coomer

The Big One was a phrase folks in Western Australia used regularly. It had been years since a good, restorative rain. Every half century or so, heaven uncorked its barrels, as Merl liked to put it. When that happened, Deadhorse Creek and Gillagong Slough became a roaring, killing monster, swallowing man, beast, and hearth, rearranging the jagged edge of the sky.

Jagged Edge of the Sky Book CoverThe world revolves around life. Life, at any cost can be a blessing or a curse, but Coomer allows her readers to decide for themselves what they make of the several characters that she writes about. From Australia to North America, this author’s love of sharing others’ tales has been made apparent. This work of literary fiction is a beautiful array of descriptions in what one would consider, an amazing life…a harsh life…an abandoned life…and a life worth living. There are portions of this novel that are quite emotional; however, for those who stick it out to read until the end…it is a truly entertaining and riveting story. Coomer has a way of spanning her research with remnants and bits of truth crossed with fiction.

This novel first delves into the life of a woman, named Cherise Tuor, who feels her life has completely stopped…become uneventful even though she has a loving husband and children. She becomes infatuated with a man, Rich Hand, who has traveled with neighboring Americans into the Outback for educational purposes. Both her and the neighbor, Jeanne McMurtrey become pregnant from an affair with Rich. After having the child, Cherise ultimately leaves her husband and children for a new life while Jeanne and her family travel back to America. Two children, left with no recollection of who their father is. After being told…Dale McMurtrey goes in search of his father in Australia while Martin Tuor, after his divorce, travels to the Americas in search of the great West. Coomer’s story is very character-driven; however, all characters that are mentioned have all had some type of connection with the other characters in the book. This connotation makes is a tremendously satisfying read, but it is deeply emotional.

Coomer is exceptionally knowledgeable with her research and her writing is amazing. This author does a great job with character development and originality. The pace is a little slower than intended, but not so slow as to hinder interest. This authors has a mesmerizing novel that will both captivate and immerse the reader into a spiraling vortex of emotion and complexity. If you are a reader of literary fiction, this may be perfect for you. On a quick note, this novel is a bit different from general literary fiction; it can be categorized as experimental since an open mind is necessary for this read.

A free copy was exchanged for an honest review of this fictional piece.


Star Rating


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The House on Seventh Street by Karen Vorbeck Williams

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About the Book

Winna returns to her Colorado hometown to settle her father’s estate and sell his last residence, the grand Edwardian house built by her grandfather. She shares childhood memories with her married daughter as they clean and sort through both trash and treasure. Winna hopes to reconcile with her disinherited sister Chloe, and resumes relationships with her best friend and her high school boyfriend.

As the house gives up its secrets—a handwritten will, old love letters, an unfinished story in a notebook, and a diamond ring hidden among her childhood marbles—Winna calls into question everything she ever knew about her beloved grandmother. Then in the dark of night come footsteps on the stairs and numerous break-ins. Valuable art and jewelry go missing, her car’s brakes fail on a mountain road. Winna has an 80-year-old mystery to solve and needs to stay alive long enough to do it.

The House on Seventh Street was inspired by the Nancy Drew Mysteries the author read as a girl. Readers of both literary and women’s fiction and old fashioned mysteries will enjoy this book.

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The House on Seventh Street


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Other books by this author include:

My Enemy's Tears

My Enemy’s Tears


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THOSS Teaser #1

Review of Audio Book


Actually, I didn’t think about it like that until later. I was a romantic teenager with stars in my eyes—you know. Gramma said she packed her bags. She went to the train station to meet him, but at the last minute she couldn’t get on the train. When it came down to the moment, she realized that she couldn’t leave her baby son. She said she kissed her lover goodbye and watched the train pull out of the station. Later, she learned that he had died on that trip.

Mystery of one’s past is memorizing, tantalizing and sometimes, downright catastrophic. There are both pros and cons to discovering or dredging up secrets from the past, but it is with a strong heart and will that makes a person decide to travel down that path in the first place. Williams captivates her readers with the assembly of a secretive past, incorporating a cozy mystery into the depths of her findings. The characters that this author has created have vast depth to their personalities, making this story fascinating. The House on Seventh Street is thought-provoking and mysterious.

Winna, returning home to settle her father’s estate, has one thing in mind. She wants to get everything taken care of and return back to her home—away from Grand Junction. With her daughter assisting her in the cleanup, Winna discovers a lot of things from her family’s past. Most importantly, someone wants Winna out of the way and makes that very clear when several incidents occur…made to look like accidents. With a break-in and the breaks on her tire being tampered with, Winna feels like she has a mystery on her hands. Why would looking into her past cause such paranoia and fear in the hearts of anyone else? Her relationship with her sister, Chloe, is a bit outdated, but can Winna’s personality and her strength bring her family all back together again…maybe even rekindle the relationship of a former lover?

Karen Vorbeck Williams has a stunning novel that is well-written, compelling and creative. The author does a superb job with character development and back-history. The pace is very fluid, but a tad slower than normal—largely due to the retelling of Winna’s grandparents and parents’ history that is discovered upon diving into the house’s hidden artifacts. The narration is professional and organized. If you are a reader of literary or women’s fiction, this may be your cup of tea.

About the Author

Author PhotoKAREN VORBECK WILLIAMS began writing as a girl–short stories, poems, and little essays on her beliefs.

In the 70s, when her family moved to seven acres of land in Southeastern Massachusetts, into a farmhouse built in 1710, she wanted to learn more about how the people who first settled the land actually lived. As her family restored the old rooms and removed the paint from the wide pine board floors, Karen realized that her house had been built before her 11th great grandmother Mary Bliss Parsons (1625?-1712) had died. She had lived in Northampton, MA, probably in a house quite similar to Karen and her family. It was there that she was accused of witchcraft. Northampton was about a two-hour drive from Karen’s house. Gradually she began to research her life and found an amazing story. The result was the historical novel “My Enemy’s Tears: The Witch of Northampton.”


Karen’s second book “The House on Seventh Street” was inspired by the Nancy Drew Mysteries that she loved as a girl. The book is set in the town where she was born and is based on a number of memories from her youth as well as family stories and myths. She was writing fiction which gave her the liberty to exaggerate these stories and tell whopping lies if that would improve the plot or deepen the characters’ motivations.

On the personal side, Karen is a widow and grandmother, an avid amateur photographer, and master gardener. At the moment, she is working on her third novel–again historical fiction set in 17th century New England–and a book of short stories.


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The House on Seventh Street

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Lauren Jones
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Booktrope Publishing

About Booktrope

Booktrope is a new type of publishing company, founded in 2011 in Seattle, WA. Committed to the creation of quality books and to our unique marketing methods, we’re pioneering a book development process called team publishing. Learn more at

What Was Mine by Helen Klein Ross

During Baby Bingo, one of the guests en route to the bathroom mistakenly opened the door to the nursery and soon the entire party was gathered at its threshold, faces agog, silent, and I saw myself as they did: a woman stocking up for a baby I’d never have. For the first time, I realized, as they did, as Warren had tried to convince me—I wasn’t ever going to have a baby. I just wasn’t.



25111142One of the most devastating realities that a woman can face, has come to life in this novel. Ross’ story lays out the perfect husband and wife, right before your eyes—with one imperfection, the inability to conceive a child. Several marriages fail because both individuals thrive for what they don’t have—failure becomes a manifestation with the power of crippling the mind and tipping the hormonal balance. This story is gripping, emotional and psychologically intrepid. By delving into the minds and personalities of the characters as they live out their life, Ross engages the reader with exceptional persistence and creativity that are absolutely riveting.

Lucy is a married woman who doesn’t think about consequences, not at first—until becoming pregnant. Upon revelation, she is hesitant about what is growing inside of her. She has a new career, financial instability and a thriving marriage that is not yet ready to move on to a new chapter. All of these reasons come crashing down and begin to weigh on Lucy—she feels that the time is just not right and she must make a choice. After deciding to abort the baby, Lucy understands that she will be unable to part with it if she waits until birth to give the baby up for adoption. As if Lucy willed for another way, she is overcome with emotional distraught and relief when she has a miscarriage. She prays for the baby to come back in a few years when they are ready. After years pass and various failed attempts burden both Lucy and her husband, the emotional turmoil has grown to insurmountable discomfort—a discomfort that pushes him away. Lucy becomes withdrawn, unattached, unforgiving and essentially a shell of herself—until one day in a huge furniture store, she is drawn to a four-month-old baby alone in a cart. Though this thought process is highly irrational, Lucy feels justified, suddenly thinking that this is the baby that she had prayed for—that this is the one she had asked to come back into her life.
Lucy’s character, becoming withdrawn and systematic, points toward Post-Traumatic Stress. She weeps for the baby that she had lost, the baby that she would never give birth to. As everything begins shutting down, it is apparent that Lucy is not capable of criminal activity—much less kidnapping an innocent child. The way that she carries herself and her distraught sense of logic are signs of mental illness, but her composure and commonality is what deters those around her from seeing a clear picture of what could have actually transpired.
The author does a superb job with character development and credibility. As this story unfolds, so many factors come to play into these character’s lives. It is not difficult to sympathize with the victim in stories such as this, but even more striking than that—it is also not difficult to sympathize with the kidnapper. With such emotional conflict, making practicality and reason confusing at best—Ross has a compelling novel that will leave readers with awe. If you are a reader of women’s fiction or literary fiction, you may want to pick this up—but, fair warning…it may not be easy to put down.
A free copy was exchanged for an honest review of this fictional piece.


Star Rating


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Cover Reveal: Juliana by Vanda


 By- Vanda

Genre- LGBT/Literary Fiction/Historical

Expected Publication Date-  September 14, 2015

It’s 1941 and Alice “Al” Huffman comes from the potato fields of Long Island with her childhood friends to make it on the Broadway stage, only to find she has no talent. She meets Juliana, the glamorous, perpetually-on-the-brink-of stardom nightclub singer whose voice sounds to her like “warm milk slipping down the whole of my body.”

Juliana, a sexual risk-taker with a secret, easily reels in a mesmerized Al who has never felt a love like this before.  Al is determined to hang onto Juliana no matter what. The only problem is that Juliana is more a woman of her time than Al could ever have expected.

Through Juliana, Al enters a secret world that includes men who wear frilly bathrobes and grass skirts and women who smoke cigars and wear pants with the zippers in the front.  Cameo appearances are made by Liberace, Ethel Merman, Talulah Bankhead, Lauren Bacall, Angela Lansbury and other 1940s celebrities.

About the Author- Vanda, an Edward Albee Fellow and Lambda National Literary Award Finalist, was profiled in the Dramatist Guild’s Magazine article, “50 (playwrights) To Watch.” She won first place in Pride Film and Stage’s Women’s Work Contest for her play, PATIENT HM (Now titled THE FORGETTING CURVE). THE FORGETTING CURVE was a winner in Theater Resources, Unlimited (TRU) Voices Reading Series. As a result this play was optioned and is expected to open next year in Boston. Her play, VILE AFFECTIONS, was published by Original Works, Publisher after receiving five standing room only performances at the International New York Fringe Festival. Her play, WHY’D YA MAKE ME WEAR THIS, JOE? received seven finalist awards and won first place in Celebration Theater’s Best LGBT Play Contest.


Review: To Dance With Ugly People by Lorene Stunson Hill

22566556ABOUT THE BOOK: To Dance with Ugly People is a No.1 Best Seller in the African/American Women’s Fiction list. “This novel is a book in which I was able to express a new divine awareness. I realized I had experienced a lot in life that had left me strewn and unsettled; the book brought about the resurgence of a strong feeling of cohesion. In this book I have tried to present some of the elementary principles of human nature that can be outside of perceiving, but not outside of holding dear, I call it “Ugly People.” For example, the violence of feelings, the slave of passion and the dark tyranny of despair. My life might not have been full of ease and luxury; but I preferred to glorify my existence, as I lived it, enticed by the wealth of experiences placed in my path. Watching the world around me, I became interested in Fate. Stories, of the sudden deaths of the rich and famous awakened even more trains of thought on Destiny. We strive to travel, what we think are the right paths in life, but, does destiny have to have the final say? Is fate everywhere we are, involved in everything we do and not only just the end? What do you think? On, that same note, I would answer, “Yes, it does!” And so this book was born. I could feel my heart glow with excitement and enthusiasm as I wrote this book. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.” — Lorene Stunson Hill

BOOK LINKS: Amazon | Goodreads | Barnes & Noble

REVIEW: Where do I begin?? This story is told through letters from Dani’s youth all the way into her adulthood. The author portrays all of the struggles that her character suffered through as a child including abandonment and resentment. As she grows older, life challenges her even more with desperation, fear and unrequited loneliness but she has courage and strength to carry on. She still believes that someone is out there who can give her the only thing that she has always been searching for, true affection and respect toward the woman she has become.

My love for Dani and Chance grew as the story continued. While Chance is not mentioned through the entire novel, but as someone whom Dani meets along the way, I found myself relating to her perceptions and emotions with this character. I kept longing to see Dani’s happiness. Every time I read about Chance, I smiled whenever she smiled because he was her light and that made her happy. I am going to be honest and throw in my input about some of the scenes in this book. Some were tremendously difficult to read through and I felt sick to my stomach at times but there is so much truthfulness to them. The author wants her readers to understand the pain and hardships that plagued Dani’s life so that you can understand her strength and the measures she took to find happiness. It wasn’t easy and it is not for everyone, but I absolutely recommend it to anyone over the age of eighteen. Both men and women can read this because this story does not have a specific gender preference, in my opinion. While the story is written in a series of letters by Dani, the main character, it is by no means too feminine. Sometimes, I would find myself getting frustrated with her for some of the choices that were made; however, everyone has to make choices that they regret at times, for loved ones. I give this book five stars because it was very well written and creative. There is so much raw talent that is encompassed into this novel; therefore, I was unable to put it down for the most part and I enjoyed having learned some new depths of life.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lorene Stunson Hill is a new aspiring author from Florida, USA. Her first fiction novel, is titled; To Dance with Ugly People, and is now available.