June 15, 2018

Book Review Cusp of Night by Mae Clair


The truth hides in dark places . . .

Recently settled in Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania, Maya Sinclair is enthralled by the town’s folklore, especially the legend about a centuries-old monster. A devil-like creature with uncanny abilities responsible for several horrific murders, the Fiend has evolved into the stuff of urban myth. But the past lives again when Maya witnesses an assault during the annual “Fiend Fest.” The victim is developer Leland Hode, patriarch of the town’s most powerful family, and he was attacked by someone dressed like the Fiend.

Compelled to discover who is behind the attack and why, Maya uncovers a shortlist of enemies of the Hode clan. The mystery deepens when she finds the journal of a late nineteenth-century spiritualist who once lived in Maya’s house—a woman whose ghost may still linger. Known as the Blue Lady of Hode’s Hill due to a genetic condition, Lucinda Glass vanished without a trace and was believed to be one of the Fiend’s tragic victims. The disappearance of a young couple, combined with more sightings of the monster, trigger Maya to join forces with Leland’s son Collin. But the closer she gets to the truth, the closer she comes to a hidden world of twisted secrets, insanity, and evil that refuses to die . . .



Buy link  Amazon


My Review


Erie, suspenseful, sometimes sad, Cusp of Night held my interest up to the last page and remained  with me long after I  finished it.
            The spine-tingling essence of the plot is  thoroughly enjoyable. From the very beginning, the author, Mae Clair, sets the scene for a fascinating, intriguing  story.
Maya Sinclair’s arrival in Hode’s  Hill, a small  community, triggers a chain of events that both frightens and bewilders her. You never know what secrets people in a small town try to hide.
The Hodes are rich and content. But, as the saying goes, “Money does not always bring happiness.” Lies and ugly secrets are well guarded behind the fa├žade of a happy family.
 I am a believer of psychic ability so this book was for me. Nothing happens without a reason. It is as if Lucinda has called Maya to come to Hode’s Hill to help her. The day Maya comes, people in Hode’s Hill celebrate  the Fiend, a legendary creature, a kind of monster that took many lives.
Will Collin discover who is the liar in his family? Can Maya manage to master her fright and continue living in a house that is undoubtedly spooked? Is there any connection between Lady Glass and someone in Hode’s Hill?  Who is responsible for the horrendous crimes and attacks that frightens the community? Is the Fiend real? Only reading the novel you can find the answer to all these questions.
The author's writing was so good I felt as if I were right in the story--I could visualize everything as it happened. There are no grammar errors or any other errors. Well written and  structurally sound, Cusp of Night moves with really quick action. Amazing. I couldn't wait to continue reading, after having struggled to put the book away to deal with everyday life for a while.
There was no foul language or explicit sex scenes in this story, which is so refreshing. Shows you that good stories can be told and hold your interests without sex and profanity.
The characters are well developed, they show a strong sense of battling with a conscience, making them markedly human in the process.
 I enjoyed the intrigue and the plot kept me guessing.  A good thriller for anyone who likes to try to figure things out.
All in all a great read!  Tell everyone you know and who enjoys drama, intrigue and paranormal thrillers to read Mae Clair’s books.

May 3, 2018

Book Review - Queen of Diamonds by Sandra Cox

 Blurb

Logan Hunter is a bestselling author with a penchant for the ladies. Kendall Theron, his efficient publicist is prim and colorless—at least on the surface. Beneath the proper facade is a woman who will do anything to protect her family, even if it’s not quite legal.
Kendall, knowing her boss’s propensity for the fair sex, has replicated herself into a lady who should hold no appeal for the charismatic charmer she works for. She’s even added a Mrs. in front of her name for an extra layer of protection. If her boss ever turns those sharp eyes on her, if his curiosity is unleashed and he digs up her secrets, the results could mean jail time.
It’s taken Logan Hunter nearly three years to discover there’s more to his employee than meets the eye. An unplanned kiss that ignites them both has him looking at his publicist in a whole new light. He soon learns that the woman he thought he knew doesn’t exist, her persona an illusion. Everything she’s told him is a lie and he’s determined to find out why.


 My Review


     I chose to read this novel having already read several books of this author – Sandra Cox – and I  knew I would not be disappointed. 
     I highly recommend it to readers who want several hours of a feeling good story. Queen of Diamonds is a well- rounded, fun romantic comedy that will leave you with a smile on your face.
      Kendall is not your usual heroine. Her obvious intelligence and perilous audacity make her an amazing character.
      Will her boss, Logan  Hunter, a famous mystery writer, manage to untangle the web of deceit and lies under which she covers the dangerous truth?
      Can Kendall master her feelings for Logan, a heart breaker?
      Other two characters, Caroline and Kendall’s father, complete the cast of characters that steal your heart.



Buy link Amazon

April 10, 2018

 Dear followers and fans,
I've been absent for a long time because of health problems. Though recovery is slow, I accepted the invitation of Draculachronicle.com blog and wrote an article about my book/s Dracula's Mistress and its sequel Dracula's Prodigy.
You may find it here:
/http://draculachronicle.com/another-dracula-book-by-carmen-stefanescu/


                               Buy link Amazon

December 5, 2017

The Death of a KING



King Michael of Romania, who was credited with saving thousands of lives in World War II when, at 22, he had the audacity to arrest the country’s dictator, a puppet of Hitler, died on Tuesday at his residence in Switzerland. He was 96.

The Kingdom of Romania was formed in the mid-19th century when two Balkan principalities, Moldavia and Walachia, merged. Its shape and size changed radically as empires waxed and waned. It had a king only five times in its history, twice with Michael: He was king from 1927 to 1930 and again from 1940 to 1947.


He was born Prince Mihai Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen on Oct. 25, 1921, in Sinaia, Romania. His father was Crown Prince Carol; his mother, Princess Helen, belonged to the Greek royal family. Other relatives belonged to Prussian royalty, and his great-great-grandmother was Queen Victoria of England.




With the onset of World War II, King Carol, Michael’s father, tried to take advantage of his country’s political chaos by declaring a royal dictatorship. But the Soviet Union and Germany outmaneuvered him to seize Romanian territory, and the king came under fierce attack.


To placate the outraged military and Romanian fascists, he named the brutal General Antonescu to head his government. In September 1940, the general turned on King Carol and forced him to abdicate.

So, at 18, Michael was king — but in truth, he was more of a prisoner. He seldom appeared in public. Romania’s leaders gave him chores like reviewing troops. But as the young king matured into his 20s, he prepared to act. He secretly huddled with anti government forces that were gathering strength as Germany began to lose the war.

This alliance was at first secret, but by the summer of 1944 Michael had emerged as a symbol of popular discontent. Risking the severest retribution, he publicly pressed General Antonescu to surrender to the Soviets. The general refused. Michael summoned him to the palace and asked him again, pounding a table for emphasis. The general again refused.


Michael then uttered prearranged code words, and three soldiers and an officer came forward to arrest General Antonescu. He was locked in a vault where Michael’s father had once kept the royal stamp collection. Other arrests followed.

German pilots tried to kill Michael by bombing the palace, but the king prevailed, renouncing Romania’s alliance with Germany. Germany searched in vain for a Romanian general not loyal to the king. Its frustrated ambassador warned Michael that he was playing with fire.


By 1947, the Cold War had started in earnest, and Stalin ordered Romania to get rid of its king. Romania’s prime minister, Petru Groza, was persuasive: He threatened to execute 1,000 of Michael’s supporters, and Michael himself, if he did not abdicate.




Michael, the last monarch behind the Iron Curtain, abdicated on Dec. 30, 1947.



For years, while living mainly in Switzerland, he returned only as a stirring memory on Voice of America Christmas broadcasts. After communism fell, he headed home from his exile in Geneva in December 1990.


“King Michael! King Michael!” crowds screamed on his arrival. But, the country’s rulers, who had been elected that May, were shocked at his popularity and banished him again, saying he had not received proper permission for the visit.



He was allowed to return for Romania’s celebration of Easter, however, in 1992, and again Romania’s leadership was horrified by the size of the crowds he drew, news reports said at the time. He was not allowed to return for another visit until 1997.



But on that visit his citizenship and his castle — though not his crown — were returned, and King Michael visited regularly after that. In 2011 he addressed Parliament, which that year granted him the same rights as other former heads of state. He received a standing ovation.




Michael received the Legion of Merit from the United States and the Order of Victory from Moscow for giving help to the Red Army. He was the last living recipient of that medal, and one of only 20 to receive it.

 Requiescat in pace Your Majesty!