Roses & Thorns

Roses & Thorns

Sunday, November 27, 2016

A Wave From Mama by A. Robert Allen


A former slave gets his dream job building the Brooklyn Bridge, but finds himself at war with the gangs of Irishtown. Will the corrupt Metropolitan Police save or sacrifice him?

1863 Weeksville, Brooklyn: The free Black community of Weeksville becomes home to an unusually small boy and his mother who fled Manhattan during New York’s Draft Riots. When his mother succumbs to her injuries, the boy swears revenge against everyone and everything that contributed to her death. His diminutive size and acrobatic climbing abilities make him a spectacle to behold, while his awkward social habits make him an outcast to everyone in Weeksville, except the adopted family he swears to protect.

When his stepbrother is attacked, the boy becomes embroiled in a battle between the Irish Gangs and Whiskey Kings of Irishtown while the corrupt Metropolitan Police sit on the sidelines. The backdrop of the action is the building of the Brooklyn Bridge and the racial tensions of the period.

Will the boy survive the ordeals of the day and achieve his dream of being a high-flying tower man on the bridge project? Or, will he become another victim of the Irish gangs and never know the joy of standing atop the tallest structure in North America?

About the Author:

A. Robert Allen is a long-time resident of New York City and a higher education professional. A Wave From Mama is his second novel of historical fiction and Volume Two in his series, Slavery and Beyond. The impetus for the first volume, Failed Moments, was his personal genealogical research which traced his family tree back hundreds of years and uncovered roots that were White, Black, Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish. Failed Moments is a fictional account of his ancestors in 1790 during the slave revolution in what would become Haiti, and later in 1863 during New York’s Draft Riots. Find out more about the author and his works at his website:


Venture Simmons is a deformed child—short for his age, but with long arms, he looks more simian than human. He and his mother escape slavery, only to meet brutality on the streets of Manhattan. They escape to the free black community of Weeksville, Brooklyn, before his mother succumbs to her wounds. Having witnessed his mother’s assault, Vent vows to kill those responsible. However, he’s so traumatized, he thinks everyone is—until he meets a man named Moses who corrals him and turns him over to the Washingtons, who adopt him. Today, we would probably call Vent autistic. Or maybe it’s all just post-traumatic stress. But he’s a genius with math and a natural acrobat. And when they announce plans to build the Brooklyn Bridge, he wants to become a tower man, swinging from the heights of the structure, rigging the steel cables. Unfortunately, he falls afoul of the Irish gangs and the Whiskey Kings.

A Wave From Mama was yet another original plot with deeply-drawn characters by A. Robert Allen. We see the world through the eyes of a traumatized child who speaks to his departed mother, and recites his multiplication tables (well past those I learned) when he’s upset and needs to calm down. We watch him heal, develop, and grow. We also see the inner workings of the Irish gangs, the Whiskey Kings, the New York Police, and the building of the Brooklyn Bridge. A Wave From Mama is a fascinating page-burner, and I highly recommend it.

Author Website:
Warnings:  Violence
Length:  246 Pages
Print:  $9.99
Digital:  $4.99

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Murder on Moonshine Hill by Joan C. Curtis


When Jenna decides to go to a friend’s wedding, she expects to dredge up old secrets and old hurts, and she expects to see people from her past, but she doesn’t expect to stumble on a dead body.

Jenna’s friend is arrested. The wedding is cancelled. And Jenna’s tendency to stick her nose where it shouldn’t be leads her into the path of the killer.

Set in the serene mountains of North Carolina, Murder on Moonshine Hill is filled with suspense, humor, and a quirky cast of supporting characters.

About the Author:

Joan C. Curtis is an award-winning writer who has published seven books and numerous stories.  Readers compare her to the great Southern writer, Fanny Flagg. “She writes characters and a story that will stay with you.”

Her debut mystery/suspense novel, The Clock Strikes Midnight, won the Royal Palm Literary Award in 2015. The e-Murderer: Book 1 Jenna Scali Mysteries won the Gold from the Global EBook Awards 2016. Her newest release is Murder on Moonshine Hill: Book 2 Jenna Scali Mysteries.

Joan has been an avid reader for as long as she can remember.  She reads all kinds of books, including women’s fiction, mysteries, biography, and nonfiction.

“I write about characters who remind me of myself at times and my sister at times, but never fully so. My stories are told from the point of view with of a woman with a destiny. Characters drive my writing and my reading.”

Having grown up in the South with a mother from Westchester County New York, Joan has a unique take on blending the Southern traditions with the eye of a Northerner.  She spent most of her childhood in North Carolina and now resides in Athens, Georgia.


Murder on Moonshine Hill is the second Jenna Scali novel Ms. Curtis has written, and I admit I’m becoming a fan of Jenna’s. I like heroine’s with wry wit who stick their noses in where they don’t belong, especially when it gets them into trouble.

This time, when Jenna gets an invitation to the wedding of her former childhood friend, she decides to attend only after finding a note tucked into the envelope pleading for help. When they were kids, Jenna had a crush on Marcy’s older brother, Peter. But after Peter’s death in a horrible accident, Marcy not only shut Jenna out, she completely shunned her. Her detective boyfriend’s out of town at a training seminar, but her friend Quentin who is a British gay history professor talks her into going with him as her escort. She can’t resist taking him to the blue-blood Southern upscale destination wedding at a quaint mountain inn. And when she stumbles upon a body in the woods and Marcy’s the prime suspect, neither of them can resist investigating the crime.

Murder on Moonshine Hill was a bit slow getting started. It took time for Jenna to get to the wedding and meet all of the susp—guests. She already knew most of the bride’s family, but the groom’s side were all new acquaintances, and there were twists and subplots running through and between both sides of the bridal aisle. It seemed the only place there could be any love lost was between the bride and groom. But even they weren’t acting like a happy couple on the eve of their wedding.

So—who’s body does Jenna stumble upon? And who did it? I’m not telling. You’ll have to buy Murder on Moonshine Hill to find out.

Author Website:
Heat Rating:  PG-13
Length:  314 Pages
Digital Price:  $5.99

You’ll notice we always include the publisher’s buy link. That’s because authors usually receive 40-50% of the net proceeds from the publisher. Editors and cover artists usually receive about 5%. When you buy a book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or another third-party vendor, they take a hefty cut and the author, editors and cover artists receive their cuts from what is left. So, if a book costs $5.99 at E-Book and you buy from there, the author will receive about $2.40-$2.99. If you buy the book at Amazon, the author will receive about $1.70-$2.10.

Download the file from the publisher onto your computer as you would any other file. I’ve created a folder for books on my computer, with subfolders by source (Marketing for Romance Writers, Net Galley, Authors who find me on Kindle lists, etc.). That way, if there’s a glitch with your Kindle, the books are on your computer. Some publishers send books in all digital formats. If my Kindle breaks and my kids buy me a Nook, I won’t have to replace all of my books. If you have a Kindle and your hubby has a Nook, you won’t have to buy separate copies, so buying directly from the publisher can save you money.

Moving the file from your computer to your e-reader is as easy as transferring any file from your computer to a USB flash drive. Plug the larger USB end of your e-reader charging chord into a USB port on your computer and simply move the file from the folder into which you’ve downloaded the book to Documents/Books directory on your e-reader. You can move the file by highlighting it and dragging it to the documents directory in you Kindle you want to move it to. Or right click on it, and then left click copy or move. Or hit Control/C for copy, Control/X for cut, and Control/V for paste.

Your author will be happy you did when he/she sees his/her royalty statement.

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