The Rules for Lying (Big Easy Shaman Book 1), by L. A. Kelley. (Still free?)
“I enjoyed this immensely. It is imaginatively plotted and tightly written. The characters are interesting and have unique characters and voices. It is a good read. I will be reading the next book in the series with great anticipation.” — Amazon Reviewer
Magic isn’t for sissies.
No good comes from this book. The story has magic, mayhem, theft, murder, sass talk, demons, animals committing felonies, gleeful revenge, and bad things happening to good people for no particular reason. It won’t encourage good habits and probably fine tune bad ones. The only lesson learned is don’t lie unless you know the rules.
Teenager Peter Whistler lives at the Little Angels Home for Orphan Boys. Life in New Jersey is harsh in the Great Depression, but Peter has an exceptional ability to lie. He hones his talent, convinced it’s the ticket to easy fortune. He certainly doesn’t foresee the arrival of a murderous conjurer with mysterious designs on a little blind girl named Esther. Drawn into a nefarious plot to unleash a demon, Peter leads Esther and an enchanted terrier on a desperate escape to New Orleans and meets Amelie Marchand. Like all well-bred southern girls she’s trained in deadly martial arts, but with a murderous stepmother, Amelie has troubles of her own. Peter and Amelie’s one chance for survival is to head deep into the bayou and seek help from a mad shaman known as the Frog King.
Welcome to an alternate 1930s where both jazz and magic fill New Orleans’ air. Can a little luck, mystical lies, and a dash of Cajun crazy help Peter harness the power to kill an immortal demon? If not, the Depression will be a picnic by comparison when hell arrives on Earth.
336 pages, with a 5-star rating from 17 reviews.
Living in Italy: The Real Deal – Hilarious Expat Adventures, by Stef Smulders. (Still 2.28?)
“Readers meet the wide variety of people that became part of their lives as they try to navigate through what seems to be endless mazes of bureaucracy. Always witty and with laugh out loud sections, this book is a true delight to read!!! Highly recommended.” — Amazon Reviewer
Would you dare to follow your dream and move or retire to Italy? Stef & Nico did, although their dog Sara had her doubts. Now from your comfortable armchair you can share in the hilarious & horrendous adventures they experienced when they moved to Italy to start a bed and breakfast.
For lovers of amusing travelogue memoirs who like a good laugh. And for those interested in practical advice on how to buy a house in Italy there is useful information along the way, pleasantly presented within the short stories.
Glossary of Italian words included! Learn the true meaning of Italian phrases and expressions like “non ci sono problemi“, “di fiducia“, “persone serie“, “tutto a norma” and many more. Learn a bit of the foreign language before going to Italy.
- Reader Views 2016/17 Literary Awards Winner
- Readers Favorite 2017 Award Winner Travel category
- Eric Hoffer Award Finalist
- 2017 ELIT Award Winner Travel category
- IAN Book of the Year Finalist Travel & Humor/Comedy/Satire categories
- New York & Amsterdam Book Festival Honourable Mention
- “a comical, often downright hilarious account” Reader’s Favorite Review ☀☀☀☀☀
- “Smulders’ storytelling artistry is wildly entertaining” Blogcritics/Reader Views ☀☀☀☀☀
- “Stef Smulders … does what a good writer does: He writes what he observes and leaves the judgement to you, the reader. No constant bellyaching from Mr. Smulders. I like that. I really like that.” James Martin, Italy expert, wanderingitaly.com
- “Fantastico! I am a tough critic and have nothing but kudos for this book. Buy this book!!” Elliana on Amazon
- “There is more of the flavor of Italy in this book than in … Frances Mayes’ ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’” Amazon review by Grady Harp HALL OF FAME TOP 100
- “now I can add Stef Smulders to the list of my favorite expat authors” N.N. Light
In 2008 Stef Smulders, his partner Nico and their dog Saar emigrated to Italy to start a new life and set up their B&B Villa I Due Padroni. They sold their home, left their friends and family behind and took a leap into the unknown. Now Stef shares his experiences in a collection of witty short stories. The book treats the trials and tribulations of an emigration.
The reader is introduced to a full range of Italian characters, from the trustworthy to the rogue, from the gentle to the shameless, flesh and blood Italians. Some are stereotype, others unexpectedly original. Yet they never fail to amuse and entertain.
For lovers of books like
- Michelle Damiani’s Il Bel Centro
- Katherine Wilson’s Only in Naples
- Tim Parks’ Italian Ways & Italian Neighbours
- Frances Mayes’ Under the Tuscan Sun & Bella Tuscany
- Gerald Durrell’s Corfu Trilogy
- Bill Bryson’s Neither Here Nor There & The Road to Little Dribbling
- “I was hooked”
- “Couldn’t put the book down”
- “What a fantastic read!”
282 pages, with a 4.2-star rating from 143 reviews.
Soulbound (The Return of the Elves Book 1), by Bethany Adams. (Still free?)
“The author has brought together a tale that leaves the reader eager for the next book and spins a world structure with just enough detail to frame the story perfectly, but without getting bogged down in world-building as is common in the genre. In short, this book is well worth your time.” — Amazon Reviewer
A deathbed promise
Arlyn’s quest is simple: Find her father and let him know her mother is dead. After all, Arlyn had promised her mother she’d go. The problem? Her father’s people are myths and legends, and he doesn’t even live on Earth. But despite a long journey through the mysterious mists of the Veil, finding him turns out to be the easy part.
A dream long-buried
After five hundred years, Kai has given up on finding his soulbonded. So when he stumbles across Arlyn after returning from his latest mission and recognizes her as his mate, Kai starts their bond in haste. But he never could have imagined that his bonded is his best friend’s newfound daughter. Whoops.
A hidden conspiracy sparked to life
Though the sight of Kai makes Arlyn’s heart pound, she isn’t sure she can forgive him for starting their bond without her permission. But her love life is the least of her problems. Her father is an elf lord, and his sudden acknowledgment of a half-human heir reignites the same conspiracy that took him away from her mother in the first place. Now Arlyn and her family must face iron wielding assassins, bigotry, and her newly awakened magical abilities if they hope to come through in one piece.
Arlyn thought she would return to Earth after meeting her father. Now she must fight to save the family she never knew she wanted.
Series reading order
Book 1: Soulbound
Book 2: Sundered
Book 3: Exiled
Book 4: Seared
255 pages, with a 4.3-star rating from 320 reviews.
Stolen Soul (Yliaster Crystal Book 1), by Alex Rivers. (Still 2.99?)
“Fun complex characters and a magical heist from a dragon’s horde. What more could you ask for. Definitely a recommended read!” — Amazon Reviewer
They say no man can rob a dragon. Good thing I’m not a man.
There’s an underground magical vault, protected by sorcery, security cameras, guards and whatnot. Think of the most impenetrable place in the world. Now triple it.
Here comes the bad news. It belongs to a dragon, and I was hired to break into it and steal his hoard. Suicidal? Insane? Maybe, but… actually, there’s no but. It’s suicidal and insane. Still, fortune favors the bold. Let’s hope fortune has a good disposition toward the crazy as well.
I might be an alchemist extraordinaire, and the best burglar on the East Coast, but this is not a solo job. I’ll need a team for this one. Accompanied by a powerful sorcerer, a fortune teller, a scam artist, and a hacker, I embark on the heist of the century. If we succeed, we’ll be legends. If not – crispy dragon snacks.
343 pages, with a 4.8-star rating from 34 reviews.
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