Richard & Maria – Readers’ Favorite

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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers’ Favorite
Two Face the World: Marry in Haste… by Sarah Stuart is a suspenseful romance with strong psychological hints, a second entry in a gripping romance series. I first read Three Against the World and was literally hypnotized by the author’s exploration of the emotional depth of the characters, but in this new novel, she takes the stakes higher. Richard and Maria are a new couple and while they have every reason to be happy, both are haunted by their past, both caught in a powerful, disturbing dilemma — face the truth of their past and risk their marriage or keep their secrets from each other and live in constant fear. But when their lives and property are attacked, they make the decision to uncover the person behind the attacks.

Sarah Stuart spins a tale that will resonate with readers. The characters are genuinely flawed and their humanity is deftly handled. The author has the gift of infusing the narrative with realism, making readers feel as though they are confronted with a story that unfolds before their gaze. The narrative starts with a powerful premise and deals with a problem that readers encounter in real life. The question that begs for an answer is: What do we do with our past when we get married? The strong narrative voice combines with the crisp prose to create a reading experience that is enjoyable. The prose is atmospheric, the plot intriguing and the characters skillfully developed with psychological and emotional depth. Apart from her gift of storytelling, Sarah Stuart creates the kind of conflict that defines the dynamics of the story and keeps the reader utterly engaged. Two Face the World: Marry in Haste… is another excellent read for fans of contemporary romance.

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers’ Favorite
Two Face the World: Marry in Haste… by Sarah Stuart is the second book in the Richard and Maria series, a suspenseful romance that explores the complexities of a relationship between two compelling characters and the choices they make. I love books that are intense and a plot structure that puts the characters in stressful situations, and this story does just that and more. We encounter Richard and Maria, a couple who are newlywed, and while they have everything to feel happy about, they are each haunted by their own past. When they start experiencing attacks on property and their lives, they are forced to face reality and lift the lid on their secret fears and insecurities to each other. But can they identify their enemy and save their marriage?

Sarah Stuart knows how to grab the attention of readers and keep it by creating characters that are rock solid and real, with a humanity that readers can easily connect to. It’s very easy to care for these characters, because they are written into a world that is familiar to most readers and they face dilemmas that nurture the conflict and make it strong. The plot advances through a wave of suspense that gets readers intrigued and curious to find out what happens next. The prose in Two Face the World: Marry in Haste… is beautiful and the author combines the art of writing vivid descriptions with well-written dialogues to create emotionally and psychologically rich scenes. An entertaining read, indeed.

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers’ Favorite
In Two Face the World by Sarah Stuart, Richard and Maria can now officially announce their love to the world, three years after being thrown together in the most unusual circumstances. They have each other, promising careers and a wonderful future to look forward to. That should be enough, but their tormented pasts of rejection and loneliness have left them damaged emotionally. They both question if they have a right to happiness. Someone they know agrees with them, and is secretly holding a grudge and wants them to separate. A threatening letter lands on Richard and Maria’s doorstep. As they try to solve the mystery, the threats become more violent and sinister. The pressure is on to find the person responsible before someone gets seriously hurt. With unexpected personal problems, can Richard and Maria once more stand together against the world, or will this put an end to a great love story?

Sarah’s relaxed writing style really made this an enjoyable read. She places such detail in the story line and characters’ personalities, it brings a realism to relationships, life struggles and the emotion a person feels in dark situations. The characters’ mannerisms and dialogue also suit their personalities perfectly. The narrative just flows and you get lost in the lives of the characters. Richard and Maria are complex and tortured souls, full of self-doubt. This is not just a beautiful love story, but a tale of two people overcoming years of rejection and accepting who they are. I think the star of the novel, though, was the little Jack Russell; he was adorable. I had the pleasure of reading Three Against The World, and although you do not need to read the first story to enjoy this sequel, it would give you more of an insight to the background of this endearing relationship. Highly recommended if you enjoy real-life romance novels.

The Truth Finders

It’s very easy to identify with people living on Earth in the fifth millennium, made so by the clever use of recognisable everyday items upgraded, and how matter-of-fact people were. Rooms could be made smaller or larger depending on whether you needed space to entertain friends or to sleep in the bedroom. “Of course, we have to be careful not to drop things or the mechanism jams.” Also, the geography of what remains of inhabitable Earth is clear, and it is frighteningly believable that man would have polluted most of the planet.

Okay, so there I am “magicked” forward – and I do need a magic carpet; most sci-fi/fantasy leaves me cold. I fascinated by Vrail and his struggle to control his gift to read people’s minds and become a truth finder who can trace criminals, save lives, and stay sane! He’s an ordinary young man, no better or worse than the average youngster, battered by voices in his head, and the thoughts of others he’d rather not know.

That’s a simple introduction to a very detailed story. Many previous reviewers refer to it as YA, and it would certainly appeal to the teenagers I know, but I neglected all sorts of things I should have been doing to read it and it was a sad moment when I realised all I had left to do was write a review.

Three Against the World: A Waif, a Stray, and a Romance?

Three Against the World: A Waif, a Stray, and a Romance?

Richard loses his job. He’s ditched by his gold-digging fiancée. His ex-wife dumps a daughter he didn’t know about on his doorstep. Will being a single dad make another romance impossible? Has it ended Richard’s new freedom to make a teenage dream come true?

Fourteen-year-old Maria knows her mother doesn’t want her. Can she believe her father does, or is she a burden he’d be happier without?

Ben, a dog Richard adopted from a rescue centre, defends Maria from a rapist, but the Dangerous Dogs Act is draconian. Will the Jack Russell’s life be forfeit, Richard jailed, and Maria lose her only defender in a world that keeps proving it’s hostile?

Two Face the World: Marry in Haste…

Two Face the World: Marry in Haste…

Click the Cover to View or Buy.

Richard and Maria’s wedding is romantic and joyful, but both are still haunted by past rejections. Sinister letters and unwanted gifts arrive, and the more each tries to protect the other by keeping them secret, the heavier the burden of guilt and anxiety.

Vicious attacks on lives and property begin. Richard and Maria are determined to uncover the identity of their enemy, but they have no idea who might have a motive. Will their love hold fast or the old saying “marry in haste,    repent at leisure” prove true?

Editorial Reviews

Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers’ Favorite
Two Face the World: Marry in Haste… by Sarah Stuart is a suspenseful romance with strong psychological hints, a second entry in a gripping romance series. I first read Three Against the World and was literally hypnotized by the author’s exploration of the emotional depth of the characters, but in this new novel, she takes the stakes higher. Richard and Maria are a new couple and while they have every reason to be happy, both are haunted by their past, both caught in a powerful, disturbing dilemma — face the truth of their past and risk their marriage or keep their secrets from each other and live in constant fear. But when their lives and property are attacked, they make the decision to uncover the person behind the attacks.

Sarah Stuart spins a tale that will resonate with readers. The characters are genuinely flawed and their humanity is deftly handled. The author has the gift of infusing the narrative with realism, making readers feel as though they are confronted with a story that unfolds before their gaze. The narrative starts with a powerful premise and deals with a problem that readers encounter in real life. The question that begs for an answer is: What do we do with our past when we get married? The strong narrative voice combines with the crisp prose to create a reading experience that is enjoyable. The prose is atmospheric, the plot intriguing and the characters skillfully developed with psychological and emotional depth. Apart from her gift of storytelling, Sarah Stuart creates the kind of conflict that defines the dynamics of the story and keeps the reader utterly engaged. Two Face the World: Marry in Haste… is another excellent read for fans of contemporary romance.

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers’ Favorite
Two Face the World: Marry in Haste… by Sarah Stuart is the second book in the Richard and Maria series, a suspenseful romance that explores the complexities of a relationship between two compelling characters and the choices they make. I love books that are intense and a plot structure that puts the characters in stressful situations, and this story does just that and more. We encounter Richard and Maria, a couple who are newlywed, and while they have everything to feel happy about, they are each haunted by their own past. When they start experiencing attacks on property and their lives, they are forced to face reality and lift the lid on their secret fears and insecurities to each other. But can they identify their enemy and save their marriage?

Sarah Stuart knows how to grab the attention of readers and keep it by creating characters that are rock solid and real, with a humanity that readers can easily connect to. It’s very easy to care for these characters, because they are written into a world that is familiar to most readers and they face dilemmas that nurture the conflict and make it strong. The plot advances through a wave of suspense that gets readers intrigued and curious to find out what happens next. The prose in Two Face the World: Marry in Haste… is beautiful and the author combines the art of writing vivid descriptions with well-written dialogues to create emotionally and psychologically rich scenes. An entertaining read, indeed.

Reviewed by Lesley Jones for Readers’ Favorite
In Two Face the World by Sarah Stuart, Richard and Maria can now officially announce their love to the world, three years after being thrown together in the most unusual circumstances. They have each other, promising careers and a wonderful future to look forward to. That should be enough, but their tormented pasts of rejection and loneliness have left them damaged emotionally. They both question if they have a right to happiness. Someone they know agrees with them and is secretly holding a grudge and wants them to separate. A threatening letter lands on Richard and Maria’s doorstep. As they try to solve the mystery, the threats become more violent and sinister. The pressure is on to find the person responsible before someone gets seriously hurt. With unexpected personal problems, can Richard and Maria once more stand together against the world, or will this put an end to a great love story?

Sarah’s relaxed writing style really made this an enjoyable read. She places such detail in the story line and characters’ personalities, it brings a realism to relationships, life struggles and the emotion a person feels in dark situations. The characters’ mannerisms and dialogue also suit their personalities perfectly. The narrative just flows and you get lost in the lives of the characters. Richard and Maria are complex and tortured souls, full of self-doubt. This is not just a beautiful love story, but a tale of two people overcoming years of rejection and accepting who they are. I think the star of the novel, though, was the little Jack Russell; he was adorable. I had the pleasure of reading Three Against The World, and although you do not need to read the first story to enjoy this sequel, it would give you more of an insight to the background of this endearing relationship. Highly recommended if you enjoy real-life romance novels.

Artemis: From Vigilanty Diety to Superhero

Excellent review of an interesting book.

Writing to be Read

Artemis

One town, two killers and the body count is rising.  Artemis, by Chris Snider is the tale of how freak set of circumstances turned an ordinary scientist on the brink of death into something no longer human. With superhuman powers, including the ability to command animals, Joseph Art becomes Artemis, defender of animals and the innocent or vulnerable. The police don’t know whether they should string him up as a vigilante, or pin a medal on him. After he comes face to face with the evil clown axe murderer, the stakes are raised and the hunt becomes personal, and no one knows what will happen when the two killers confront one another a final time.

The individual storylines are skillfully woven into a single plotline and action filled climax. I give Artemis four quills.

four-quills3

Kaye Lynne Booth does honest book reviews on Writing to be Read in exchange for…

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A Date with . . . Tom Johnson

Excellent interview, Frank. Reblogged.
I like Tom’s writing, and most of all I like Tom. He and Ginger feel like friends, even though they are the opposite side of the pond.

Frank Parker's author site

Tom Johnson is a retired Military Cop from Seymour, Texas. As well as moving around quite a bit as the son of a cowboy, his military service took him to Korea, France and Vietnam but he loves his home town:

“ I was born in Seymour, but spent twenty years in the military. My dad was a cowboy and cook, so we moved to other places during my early years. In fact most of my early education was in schools in Wichita Falls, Texas. After retiring from the military service we moved back to Seymour because our parents were in bad health, and we stayed after they passed away. Seymour is a small ranch and farm community,with a population under three thousand. However, we have two museums here. The Baylor County Historical Museum, and the Whiteside Museum of Natural History. Seymour is in the Permian Basin (think oil) where a…

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Paul Ruddock’s Review of Three Against the World

Twists and turns at every juncture – a wonderful mix of romance and human drama.

Romance and melodrama don’t normally feature high in my reading preferences but I was in the mood to read something different, and this looked like it would fit the bill.

After the day from hell, to say that Richard’s life and those closest to him will never be the same again would be the mother of all understatements. I’m tempted to say that some elements are at first reading a tad implausible, but Sarah Stuart weaves them into the story with such seemingly effortless writing that you accept and believe them from start to finish.

The same qualities and compassion that led Richard Carpenter to adopt a problematic and previously abused little stray dog are the same ones that would make him the perfect father and husband. After his ex-wife, Naomi, turns up on his doorstep with a teenage girl, Maria, declaring her to be his daughter, Richard Carpenter is facing life-changing choices and dilemmas. Being the sort of man he is, Richard doesn’t hesitate in accepting responsibility for Maria, determined from the start to be the best father he can be. What emerges is a story of domestic and personal drama, filled with twists and turns at every juncture as his life lurches from one tribulation to the next while trying to build a home and future for his new family.

Some of the characters, male and female alike are as delightfully loathsome as ever graced the page of any book: an ex-wife who thinks nothing of dumping her teenage daughter with a complete stranger to her simply because the girl would get in the way of her new and extravagant lifestyle, a gold-digging fiancée that makes Cruella De Vil look like Mother Theresa, who calls off the wedding the moment her would-be future husband’s fortunes take a turn for the worse and who then strands Maria with a non-existent aunt just to get him back, and an utterly vile teenage lad who would threaten anything and anyone to hide and keep quiet what he’s done to name but three.

Amid all the turmoil going on in his life and a string of failed relationships with totally unsuitable women, indeed narrow escapes in some cases, Richard is lonely and desperately wants to settle down with a woman he truly loves, one who loves him in return and in the same way. Starved of the love she never got as a child, Maria too wants love and the man of her dreams, and in one final twist of fate, both Richard and Maria might just find the happiness they both crave.

The first book I’ve read by this author but certainly won’t be the last. One of the easiest five stars I’ve given all year, so thoroughly looking forward to the sequel and other books by Sarah Stuart!

Paul Ruddock is the author of one of the cleverest horror stories I’ve ever read.

Click the cover the find out more and buy if you dare!

Royal Command Family Saga

The Royal Command Family Saga is an award-winning series of four Romance/Sizzle books that track the life of Michael Marsh from a young backstreet boy to him becoming known to fans as The Diamond Superstar, and beyond.

Meet Lizzie, daughter of a Scottish laird who rejects her inheritance, and Michael and Lizzie’s children born over twenty-five years to a Catholic couple whose great strength is forgiveness.

Lisette, who becomes a superstar and a wicked seductress.

James, a drunken drug-addict and the future laird of Kinloch.

Harriet and Kit, the twins passionately in love – with each other.

Greta, the feisty rebel who falls into a sex-traffickers trap.

And so many more twenty-first century characters, the good, the bad, and the downright wicked!

But never forgetting Margaret Tudor and her secret lovechild, or her manipulative granddaughter, and their influence on the Marsh family.

The Author and Her Books

Sarah Stuart lives on the edge of a quiet English village where wildlife sightings are common, though becoming less so. Hunting with dogs is now illegal in the UK: it goes on in secret and incidences of this are almost impossible to prove in court. Many of her dogs are, or have been, rescues and only those who enjoy the limelight perform onstage. Her royalties are donated to animal charities. 

Dogs were Sarah’s opening into show business. During a period when she lived in Wales she supplied them to professional companies using Aberystwyth University’s Arts Centre Theatre during student vacations. Many musicals and plays performed there were on their pre-West End premiere run, which gave her an unrivalled opportunity to talk to directors, choreographers and the many other vital members of the backstage staff, and the performers. These ranged from actors and actresses in their first, or early, roles to worldwide superstars of stage and screen. That experience, and her association with the Northern Ballet, underpins the vivid portrayals of show business triumphs and heartbreak.

Sarah has studied English language and literature, and history, with delight since her early teens. She is a qualified adult literacy tutor and has written short stories, in addition to other resources, for her students. Her published articles have been in magazines dedicated to wildlife and dogs. The Royal Command series, her debut into full-length fiction, was well received. and the books have won a number of awards. Her latest series, Richard and Maria, draws on more personal life-experience, and reflects Sarah’s love and concern for animals. The books are romance suitable for a younger audience, but suspense remains a powerful driving force.

Sarah’s hope is that readers will enjoy her novels as an escape from reality, but be left understanding that fame and fortune often comes at a high personal cost. Also, an increased perception of the threat to animals: those shot in the name of sport for trophy heads, endangered species, many poached for their fur and ivory, and tragically discarded pets.

Royalties from sales and Kindle Unlimited page reads are donated to charity.

Read samples of the books – links on every page.

Richard and Maria Trilogy

 

Richard and Maria – Books 1 & 2

Three Against the World: A Waif, a Stray, and a Romance?

How complicated can one man’s life become in a matter of hours?
Very, if you happen to be Richard Carpenter. It began on the last Monday in October, but as our American friends will know, Halloween doesn’t usually start before dawn. That is when thieves are on the prowl, and Richard forgot to bolt his front door. Not that the intruder picked the lock carefully; he wasn’t good at it. Next, Richard switches on the fax machine at the bank where he is the manager and discovers the branch is closing, along with two hundred others, so he’s out of a job. He is supposed to be going to the golf club Halloween dinner dance, but dare he? Angry customers will be there, but he’ll be in costume with a mask. His fiancé, who isn’t wearing a mask, discovers from furious people who guess who he is that he’s unemployed and throws his ring at him. Richard is better off without her, but he doesn’t see it that way. Home, alone but for Ben, his Jack Russell, he resorts to brandy. After a day like that, I’d resort to brandy, but there are twenty minutes to go before his horrible Monday is over, and the doorbell rings. Outside, is his ex-wife Naomi, with teenage Maria, a daughter Richard didn’t know he had. “I’ve looked after her for fourteen years. It’s your turn now.”

Book 2 – Pre-order available – click the cover to go to Amazon.

Two Face the World – Marry in Haste…

Marriage with a twenty-one-year age gap -particularly after Richard treated Maria as the daughter DNA proved she wasn’t for three and a half years – was never going to be easy. Richard intended to wait until Maria completed a university degree – Richard often has sensible ideas. The women in his life have never cooperated, and Maria is no exception, but his feisty bride turns out to be only one of his problems.

Marry in haste, repent at leisure? Somebody intends to split Richard and Maria apart, but why? What could he or she have to gain? As Maria herself says, “the past has a nasty habit of coming back to haunt you” Is she right, or does one of the girls at The White Hart, the pub where he entertains the clientele for his friend, “Mr Pickwick” Bill Hamilton, want Richard for herself? How he or she attempts to shatter the marriage is  no-holds-barred and increasingly unscrupulous.