Friday, 9 January 2015

Dobyns Chronicles by Shirley McLain

Title: Dobyns Chronicles
Author Name: Shirley McLain

Dobyns ChroniclesDobyns Chronicles by Shirley McLain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was provided with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book was a brilliant piece of historical fiction that I loved all the way through. The story takes us through the times of Charlie Dobyns, an enigmatic and haunting character. Born to a cowboy father and a Cherokee Indian mother, Charlie's life wasn't a bed of thorns. Shouldering the responsibility of taking care of his siblings and himself, Charlie is a rock of a character. As we see the world through the eyes of Charlie, we see how happiness lies in little delights and silent miracles. There are moments to cherish, amidst all the misery. I loved the fact that the author has made Charlie's character out to be as natural flawed as each one of can be, and not idealistic or larger than life. This makes the character even more endearing, with all its conflicts, blemishes and weaknesses.

The author also sets the scene brilliantly for taking us through the America of those ages - the rugged lifestyle, battle for survival and the ruthlessness of life itself. I was thoroughly impressed with the author's command over the language - the writing is so exquisite and mesmerising that at times I read and re-read pages just to absorb the beauty of all the words.

This is absolutely wonderful book and I urge everyone to pick this up.

My rating for this book: 5 stars

View all my reviews

Author Bio:

I was born in the bay area of California but my family moved my sister and I back to Oklahoma, where they were both from. I’ve lived many different places but I always come back home.

I started the sixth grade in the Oklahoma school system and graduated in 1967. I started to college for a nursing degree but decided that “my man” was much more important. I became an RN with an Associate degree in 1971. Then many years later I went back to school with my sister who was also an RN and we obtained our Bachelor’s degree in nursing.

I am married to a man who spoils me rotten, and I love it. I have two grown children, six grandchildren and twin Great-grandsons. My family has grown by leaps and bounds. My husband and I now have a fur family at home. We have five dogs and three cats and they are all spoiled rotten. It’s like living in a house full of three year olds. When one is not into something another one is.

Author Links -

Twitter: @shirleymclain93

Book Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Xlibris
Release Date: May 2014
Buy Link(s):

Amazon Print Purchase Link:

Amazon Kindle Purchase Link:

Other Purchase Links:

Book Description:

Dobyns Chronicles is about a young boy whose father was a cowboy and whose mother was Cherokee Indian. His parents worked very hard on their ranch to raise their children and survive, but tragedy ends Charlie’s way of life. He finds that it is up to him to raise his siblings, David and Viola. His passion for dignity and life is what helps him to survive.

This book allows you to follow his life and live the adventures, ups and downs that shaped him into the man that he became and that of his family for generations. It’s a book of twists and turns, and a rollercoaster of emotions that will make it hard for you to put the book down.


Ma was Cherokee Indian. She had some different ways about her, but she was a Christian. I think Pa said she was Church of Christ, so I think that made us Church of Christ also.

Ma was strict on us boys. I can't tell you the number of times she warmed our backside with Pa's belt or washed our mouths out with soap for saying a curse word. Pa could get away with it, but my brother and me sure couldn't.

Since Viola was too small to be of help to Ma. Until Viola was old enough, David and me helped with house chores. We also helped Pa out in the field. Most of the time, I was the one in the field and David took care of the chores around the house. He may have been small, but he sure was strong. I guess we were all strong, from cutting wood, pulling water from the well and general hard work.

It seemed like Ma was always making clothes, and cooking even though I knew she did other chores. She taught Viola how to make butter at an early age. Ma let her move the dasher up and down in the churn for as long as she could. I think Ma was helping Viola develop muscles like us boys. Sometimes Ma would have Viola go out to the woodshed and pick up small pieces of wood for kindling. That sturdy old wood cook stove used lots of wood. That stove would use a couple ricks of wood a year.

In the summertime, Ma got up early and got the rest of us up, and built a fire outside to cook, so we wouldn't have such a hot house. She’d usually cook enough at one time to keep us fed all-day I can still taste those biscuits made in the Dutch oven. We always had fresh honey or molasses to eat with our biscuits. Times were good then. It’s strange what kids think they know, but really don't.

The summer I turned six, was a dry and hot one with plenty of lightning storms, but no rain. We had a large crop of corn standing in the field ready to harvest for livestock feed. I’d ate my fill of fresh corn, so now the stalks and ears were continuing to dry. Pa took some of the ears and had it ground for ma, so she could make her crackling corn bread and mush during the winter. We loved that sweet corn meal mush for breakfast. Sometimes she would put it in a bread pan and let it get cold, slice it and then pan fry it for lunch. I remember the temperature being so hot outside; I could feel my skin burn through my shirt.

Gone by Anna Bloom

Gone by Anna Bloom
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was provided with a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The story takes us through the lives of Bex and Joshua, both leading completely different lives, and yet, unified in the fact that they're both blemished by painful pasts. But that said, I loved the way the author managed to propel the plot forward, ensuring that this is not just a story that deal with emotional baggage, nasty memories and tears, but more importantly, hope, sunshine and laughter. The two protagonists are remarkable, taking their life head on, until pricks or stabs from their pasts haunt them. When destiny brings them together, they each see in the other the reflections of their own anguish and helplessness. Will they both decide to face things together, or does life get too bitter for them, is what the book takes us through.

I loved the characterisation of both Bex and Joshua - Bex is quirky, sarcastic, yet warm and vulnerable. Joshua is witty, boyish, laughing a lot and easy to be with. Kudos to the author for carving these characters out this way, making them very endearing, instead of choosing the stereotyped pitfall that many plots fall prey to, making people with horrid pasts become snarly and unpleasant people. I would have preferred the pace of the book to be a tad faster. But that said, I thoroughly each and every page, with the author doing a great job of setting the scene and helping the reader visualise things.

I definitely recommend this to lovers of romance books.

My rating for this book: 4 stars

View all my reviews




Rebecca Walters is haunted by past tragedies and the names that people call her. When her parents take her to Cornwall for two weeks and she meets local artist Joshua Adams, Rebecca starts to understand that her future is what she can make it. But when her past secrets start to catch up with her will Rebecca fight to remain the girl she's found or will she run from a past that won't stay Gone.


“Josh, come on! Don’t be such a girl.”
I grind an elbow into warm sand as I lean up to find out who Josh is, and why he is a girl.
Instantly I feel on edge. There are six guys running down the beach, surf boards under their arms.
I don’t want to talk to anyone, or even be seen by anyone. I was just looking for some peace and quiet.
I should have stayed in my room. That way I can’t hurt anyone and no one can hurt me.
I breathe a sigh of relief as five of the guys dive straight into the sea, completely ignoring my exposed spot on the sand. Then I offer myself a rueful laugh as I realise that these people are used to seeing strangers on a beach. I won’t hold any interest for them, yet. Not until they realise who I am and the rumour mill starts up again. I will be long gone by then.
It’s the bastard thing about Social Media. It’s impossible for people not to find out who you are. No matter how much you might want them not to.
Facebook is the bane of my life. I know I’ve made mistakes. I don’t need status updates about it.
I wonder which label will attach itself to me first?
I’m a girl with lots of labels and I’m not talking about current fashion trends.
Allowing myself a slow exhalation of air I repeat the words that are currently keeping me going. I will be gone soon. Soon enough.
I watch as the six guys splash through the waves. They keep their wetsuits rolled down and give me what would be an arresting eyeful of toned abs, if my eyes weren’t distracted by something else. The sixth one.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Anna Bloom is a contemporary romance writer with the sole writing ambition of writing about life as it happens. Dedicated to real characters, real problems and real romance Anna writes tales to stir your heart and head. Combining a busy schedule of looking after two young children, working in a local school and writing swoon worthy romance for Mature Teen readers, she also spends a lot of time imagining kissing hot guys and talking to the voices in her head- all in the name of her art.

Enter to win a $50 Amazon GC! A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Book and Author Spotlights