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.
Named one of the best websites for authors by The Association of Independent Authors!
A Wicked Thing
By: Michael Kasenow
Publisher: Infinity Publishing
Publication Date: March 2013
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford
Review Date: May 16, 2013
Michael Kasenow delivers a masterful thriller in his latest novel, A Wicked Thing. This is a thriller that addresses the innocence of good as much as the consequences of evil.
In the quaint maritime province of St. Martins, New Brunswick, Gwen and Stephen Burns have a good life—near perfect, actually. Between their thriving real estate business, the handful of cabins they own and rent and Gwen’s ghost tours, the notion of ever retiring simply wasn’t an option. It seems Gwen was a strong believer in the afterlife and there was plenty of that to be found when the fog rolled in most nights near the Bay of Fundy that fronted their property. Stephen Burns, on the other hand, didn’t believe in ghosts. Most nights he was content to ignore such nonsense and opt for his easy chair with a good read—often the likes of a novel by Robert Louis Stevenson. Quiet was about to change for the Burns.
St. Martins effortlessly delivered up many perfect blue sky days for summer beach dwellers. When a young boy and his mother happened upon Jonathan McAllister face-planted in the sandy shoreline, curiosity roused the boy’s imagination and he asked his mother if Jonathan was one of those beach bums as they passed by. Hearing the boy’s comment, Jonathan sat up and looked around. Dazed and confused, he couldn’t remember how he got there. What was more troubling was he had no idea where ‘there’ was. He shook off the night; picked himself up and set off in the direction of what he hoped would be town. He heard the voice of Ian McLaughlin before he saw the man, perched on the porch of the turn of the century Victorian. After a brief conversation and coming to the conclusion Jonathan needed a job and place to stay, Ian pointed him in the direction of the Burns. Maybe being here was a destiny; especially after the death of his wife and two sons. With the prospect of a place to stay in trade for some handyman work for the Burns, perhaps this was where he needed to be to sort things out over the summer ahead.
St. Martin was about to lose its innocence. Stunning, redheaded, blue-eyed beauty Tara Walsh was declared legally insane after she satiated the appetite of an industrial wood chipper with the likes of her husband. According to Tara, the two horrific years of marriage to her brute of a husband Charley was the most frightening experience of her life. Fact of the matter was nobody knew for sure if Charley was the awful beast Tara described. No matter, all she ever wanted from Charley was the endless acres of timber he owned and the money that went along with it. On trial for his murder, she knew exactly when to turn the waterworks on for the jury as much as when to toss a sultry glance toward the judge. In the end, nobody bought any of it as she was found guilty and insane before being shipped off to the sanitarium. St. Martins was going to regret that decision for a very long time to come.
Michael Kasenow is a master of the pen. He demonstrates this once again with his signature and fluid style. I had the pleasure of reading his previous book, A View From the Edge, and experienced an instant connection with his work. Such was also the case with A Wicked Thing. Mr. Kasenow deserves big props because it is clear to this writer; he knows how to write from his soul. He has an innate and natural ability to hold his audience willingly captive and engaged through the entire read. The man is a fantastic writer and without question, I am a fan. Keep writing Michael, you clearly have the gift.
Quill says: A Wicked Thing is a sit on the edge of your seat thriller that has been written by a truly gifted wordsmith.
By: J. Bronson Haley
Publisher: WestBow Press
Publication Date: February 2011
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: May 14, 2013
Understanding the fact that there’s a ‘friend’ out there who will always be with you no matter how far you’ve fallen or how many sins you’ve committed, is a beautiful reality. At the same there are many in this world who are lost, who have succumbed to alcohol, drugs, anger, fate - and simply found themselves with nothing; living a life of loneliness that they couldn’t get out of.
This story is a true tale offered by a man who saw the bottom of life and ended up finding the one person who could help him through the pain and pull himself up - out of the nightmare he was living. This was not only an intriguing story about his life and the life lessons learned, but also a beautiful tribute to the Son who is forever trying to help us not lose our way.
Mr. Haley tells it like it is. The truthful account of his life in many different locations, brings Shreveport, Louisiana to the forefront. It is in this gritty town that readers are taken inside the cruel, frightening, sometimes vicious world of a street-fighter. Mr. Haley was one of those people who you would cross to the other side of the street to avoid, simply because a part of you was scared to death of what he would do if you were on his bad side. The cold bars on the jail cell clanged at times, and there were even moments when Mr. Haley had no idea how he got arrested in the first place. This is a man who lived a life wrapped around utilizing and relying on addictions in order to find some kind of happiness in the haze.
Even when you find yourself angry at this man; even when you find his manners distasteful, there is always a part of you that feels for him. Saying he had a ‘tough childhood’ is an understatement; but it was why he created the mask he constantly wore to protect himself from the world. Though his face may have worn a sneer and his fists may have pounded on flesh, there was a soul inside screaming for help.
Failure happens. But instead of giving up, instead of choosing to crawl through life, Mr. Haley found a way to stand by finding Jesus. I know there are still those out there who roll their eyes at this concept, but Jesus is a true friend who offers us the power to stand against all the sin and violence that make headlines each and every day.
This author offers wisdom, a look at the combination of true struggle and redemption, and the common sense understanding that no one is perfect and Jesus doesn’t expect us to be. The locations are incredibly vivid, ranging from the streets of Louisiana to the stunning landscape of Colorado to Mexico and beyond. It is odd to say this about a nonfiction piece, but the thrills and adventure are certainly there. This is a breath of fresh air; and for some, it may just be the shot of faith they need in order to put their life back on track.
Quill says: From the depths of pain to the apex of freedom, this book hits on all cylinders and is priceless!
For more information on The Depth of Grace: Finding Hope at Rock Bottom, please see the book's website at: www.depthofgrace.com
By: Jane Gerencher
Illustrated by: Michael Patch
Publisher: Inkwell Productions
Publication Date: June 2012
Reviewed by: Ellen Feld
Review Date: May 7, 2013
Santa is VERY tired. He’s had quite a night, delivering presents to all the good boys and girls around the world. Returning home, there’s nothing he’d like better than to slip on his comfy slippers, sip hot chocolate, and get a hug from his favorite kitty, Sugar.
Sugar is an absolutely adorable cat, with an irresistible expression and a fluffy, pure white coat that blends perfectly with the white trim of Santa’s red coat. Sugar is loved by everybody, and expertly cared for by Nugget, an elf whose sole job it is to take care of the cat. Nugget did try other jobs, such as painting toys and feeding reindeer, but he never lasted long at any job because, while he tried really, really hard, he always fumbled the task. Caring for Sugar, however, has been the perfect job for him and he is proud to see to every need of the cat.
Back to the story…on that particular Christmas Eve, while Santa, Mrs. Claus and Nugget headed from the sleigh to the house, Sugar ran to the sleigh. Finding Santa’s hat, the cat snuggled with it and took a much needed nap. Meanwhile, one of the elves came running into the house to show Santa a present that had not been delivered to a little girl. Santa knew that the youngster truly deserved the gift, so he ordered his reindeer harnessed and off they went. Shortly after Santa disappeared from view, Nugget noticed that Sugar was gone. Would he be able to find Sugar or had he failed yet another job?
Santa’s Sugar is a really fun, original story that I truly enjoyed reading. It has Christmas, a cute elf who tries so very hard, a kitty that you’ll want to bring home and oh, yes, a little mystery about a missing cat. At 51 pages, with not too much text per page and lots and lots of fantastic illustrations, it’s a good ‘read-together’ for young fans of Santa. It is also the ideal length for youngsters who are not quite ready for chapter books, although I suspect even those who can read above this level will choose this book for a bedtime story. And about those illustrations - did I mention they’re great? They capture the mood of Christmas and the love of the season perfectly. Wrap it all up and it’s a wonderful Christmas gift for your young reader.
Quill says: A truly original Christmas story that teaches responsibility, and more importantly, that there is a special purpose for each of us.