Welcome to Feathered Quill Book Reviews, a place for readers to find their next treasure.
Along with reviews of many well-known titles, this site also searches out unique books
from small, independent presses.
Feathered Quill Book Reviews prides itself on giving the reader an honest, unbiased critique of each and every book on its website.
So slip off your shoes, pour yourself a cup of coffee, explore our pages,
and discover many wonderful gems in the world of books.
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Days of Future Past
By: Sally Smith O’Rourke
Publisher: Victorian Essence Press
Publication Date: August 2014
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Date: December 20, 2014
Ann Hart has one of those dream romantic lives that all women wish for on the stars. Although there is one regret in her past, one painful remembrance, she journeyed on from that moment in her life to marry her husband, Alex, and live in what could only be seen as a ‘fairytale’ home; a bungalow that spoke of nature, beauty and peace. However, as with any love story, there is darkness and suspense waiting right around the corner. And in this case, for readers, that thrilling and captivating ‘unknown’ begins in seconds.
Alex was a warm, kind man who wanted to help people. Unfortunately, that kindness brought him a shortened life, leaving Ann to live in their bungalow alone and do her best to go on. A normalcy for Southern California, an earthquake, hits and scares many; yet instead of being a blisteringly painful moment in Ann or any of her family’s lives, the quake turns out to be a door that opens into the past.
Ted McConaughy is a trauma specialist, and because of this earthquake, he and Ann Hart run directly into one another...again. You see, Ted is the one regret that Ann has. She and Ted were once extremely happy together; to the point that they were even ready to walk down the aisle, when something Ted did led to their relationship breaking apart. But now, after all these years, Ted is far worse off than ever. In fact, he is spouting words that only a person from the 19th century would say; not to mention, speaking in a Scottish brogue that he does not usually own. This is where the past meets the present, and Ann and Ted find out that the present-day may not be the only time they have ever fallen in love.
This author does an amazing job of interweaving the beauty of another day and age with the harsh modern world. This is not a surprise, as this author has written works that mirror the life and times, the love and passion, of a Jane Austen realm. As readers become attached – quite quickly, in fact – to the main characters, they will find themselves drawn into a journey that they will never forget. Not only will mystery lovers be pleased, but the romantic and mystical, even supernatural fans out there, will be over the moon for this one.
Quill says: From the intriguing dialogue to the expansive plot that wraps around a truly unforgettable couple, this book has it all!
By: Ellen Fischer
Illustrated by: Tiphanie Beeke
Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing
Publication Date: August 2014
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: December 12, 2014
Latke really is one very lucky dog! Saved from a shelter by a loving family, he’s brought into their lives and truly enjoys his new home. Unfortunately, he enjoys it a little too much and after getting in more trouble than one dog should, he’s afraid his family might return him to the shelter.
As the story opens, Zoe, her brother Zach, and their parents have gone to the animal shelter to find the perfect dog. After looking at many dogs, they settle on a medium-sized dog with a beautiful golden brown color – the color of fried latkes! Yum! And that’s how Latke got his name.
Latke quickly settles into his new house and as his family celebrates the eight days of Hanukkah, he finds so many neat things to taste. One day he eats all the sufganiyot, another day he chews Zoe’s dreidel and then he discovers some latkes… yum! Will Latke have to go back to the shelter?
Told from Latke's point of view, this is a very sweet Hanukkah story that brings home the message of love and forgiveness. With each transgression, Latke thinks he will get punished and perhaps be returned to the shelter. But with each mistake, Latke learns a lesson – he is loved. While one of the children might be upset, the other comes to the dog’s rescue and explains that Hanukkah isn’t ruined. At the end, Latke gets his own special chew toy and the family enjoys the Festival of Lights together.
Quill says: A story of love, forgiveness, and the joy of Hanukkah. Latke really is one lucky dog!
Little Miss Muffitt: Guardian of My Heart: A Tribute to All Those Special Dogs Who Capture Our Hearts and Stay Forever
By: Rose Miller
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing
Publication Date: September 2014
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: December 3, 2014
Dobermans! Lots and lots of Dobermans. Add in several German Shepherds, a couple of Giant Schnauzers, some cow dogs of various abilities and one very special Miniature Schnauzer and you have the makings for a wonderful dog memoir that will have all animal lovers glued to the pages.
Rose Miller, who has already authored two animal books about her other favorite four-legged friends (mules and Tennessee Walking Horses), pours all her energy and love into this memoir about the dogs who have shared their hearts with her. After giving the reader a brief overview of her early life so that we can understand her underlying love of dogs, Miller jumps right into her story by recounting her early attempts at dog ownership. One of her first dogs was Thunder, a Collie/German Shepherd cross who was trained by Miller to help bring in their farm’s cows at milking time. While Thunder loved running cows, this was a major ‘no-no’ for farmers who needed their dairy herds to be kept calm so as not to ‘drop their milk.’ Thunder’s boundless energy also came to blows with the farm’s pet peacock Peep.
Miller found herself finding a more suitable home for her dog and then began a search for a new dog. She settled on an Australian Blue Heeler, a breed known for their cow sense. Unfortunately, Heather, the new dog, needed to be kept busy all the time and her high energy level was getting her into trouble. Heather soon found herself at a new home with a rancher who knew just how to put all that pent-up energy to use.
Finding herself once again without a dog, Miller knew she had to carefully select an animal of just the right breed and temperament to fit into her farm’s lifestyle. Dobermans were recommended to her by a horse friend and after researching the breed, she began to look for the perfect dog. Miller's search led her to Falcon, a young male who easily settled in at the Millers' home. This handsome dog was soon joined by Quazar, a beautiful female Dobie. So begins the author’s love affair with this noble breed.
We meet the star of the book, Muffitt, several chapters into the story. At the time, Miller was looking for another Doberman to replace one who had just passed, but was disappointed to find no ads from local breeders for Doberman puppies. There was, however, an ad for a litter of Miniature Schnauzer puppies that grabbed her curiosity. Soon a little opinionated bundle of love named Muffitt entered Miller’s life and stole her heart forever.
The bulk of Little Miss Muffitt centers around the exploits of the title character, who, along with other canine friends, helps run the farm. We also meet several German Shepherds through the author’s daughter Michal, who is a K9 police officer. Several of the author’s family members make frequent appearances with their canine companions (I have to say Miller has the MOST understanding husband!). Along with the laughter and joy, the reader will share the author’s sorrow when it’s time for an elderly or ill dog to gently pass into the next life.
Having previously enjoyed the author’s book The Horse That Wouldn't Trot, I knew I was already a fan of her easy-going writing style. Little Miss Muffitt has that same comfortable, fun style that resembles one friend telling another about her pets. The distinct personalities of each dog comes through loud and clear in this book, which makes it all the more enjoyable. In addition, Miller isn’t shy about discussing her initial failures at selecting dogs and these pages can certainly help a new dog owner choose their first pet. She also shares how she learned to select just the right puppies and stories about police dogs who risk their lives every day. At 234 pages, it’s not a fast read lengthwise, but I nonetheless found it a quick read as I truly enjoyed reading about Muffitt and her friends. Thanks too, Ms. Miller, for donating the proceeds from your books to animal support groups!
Quill says: If you have ever shared your heart with a special canine friend, you will surely enjoy Little Miss Muffitt.