The Perfect Fig

The Perfect Fig

The Perfect Fig

Review by Glenda

The Perfect Fig – Short stories from England and Italy by S.M.Walker



I reached in for an apple and pulled out a fig. A perfect fig!



“I don’t review self-published authors.” Was an email I received several months ago. I had sent a request to a notable reviewer in hopes of luring them in with promises of chocolate chip cookies and fancy wine in exchange for their honest opinion of my book. 

I had stepped foot into ‘self-published’ snobbery.

“Why is this?” I asked myself. So I purchased a couple of self-published books and then I opened them and then I read them and then I thought “OH GOD! We are horrible!” and then I understood why I got that email.

Well, no, to be fair, WE are not ALL horrible, but I have stopped buying physical ‘self-published’ and have started downloading these books on my Kindle. I want to be supportive of my fellow littérateurs but the truth is, not all of us who love to write, know how to write well. I have limited space for physical books and being that I’m fifty-six and more than halfway through my life, I have limited time to read. I’m picky about where I invest it. So, I reach my hand in and out of these digitials like Eve, searching for a perfect apple to chomp on. If it’s a bad bit I don’t bother biting more and I unload and pick another.

A month ago I found a fig, I put it in my mouth and bit, and then I bit again, and then I savored and then I bit again and then I licked all of the juicy bits running down my arm and then I jumped up from my easy chair,  ‘YUM! DELICIOUS! HOORAY!” I shouted waving my sticky hands in the air.

“You are shaking the whole trailer.” Haney pointed out.

“But you don’t understand! She knows how to write! It’s brilliant! It’s bloody brilliant, that ending!

He rolled his eyes at me, stuck a sausage in his mouth,  clicked the tv to TSN to, and started watching football. 

I sat back down and started another story.

I’m an impatient reader, and it was as if Walker knew this and saved me. Her short stories are crafted well and are brisk, easy, and entertaining! Flash fiction in the finest fig quality!

Walker’s brit wit snaps crisply and she puts the dot on the Epic ‘i’.  I don’t know if I want to peek inside of her mind or flee from it. How she pulled some of those endings had me cheering with glee and trembling at the exact moment. 

Not every story had that exact impact yet there was something in each that resonated with this Canadian reader and it had me longing for more!

I purchased not one but 3 physical copies after I read it. This little book will suit very well in my library and I will pull it out for visitors when they are poking around for a quick read. I sent one to my mum who also appreciates a chuckle and I’ve kept one aside to give away.

Walker priced the book well for me to share her work with others. I commend her for her selected price point.

The cover was eye-catching enough to want to peek inside and it suited the title perfectly. I’m currently re-reading the little stories and then I shall move on to her next book.

Thank you for writing The Perfect Fig, S.M. Walker, I will enjoy it over and over again!

I feel quite sorry for the person who doesn’t review self-published. They lost out reading this little gem and I’m thrilled that I can honor a fellow self-published author with a five-star, raving review!


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The Plastic Priest – Review by Glenda

The Plastic Priest – Review by Glenda

The Plastic Priest

Review by Glenda

 The Plastic Priest by Nicole Cushing

Published by Cemetery Dance Productions


The Master and Margarita got married in Stepford, conceived their daughter Barbie, and Nicole Cushing wrote all about it in The Plastic Priest.

The description drew me to want to read this book. Where does a body go when the soul has been poisoned? I wanted to know.

The cover is dark and weird yet so is the book so it’s entirely fitting.



The Spiritual Stepford wife of God, lives in Owlingsville. Her name is Kaye. I met her, I’m sure a bit of her resides in each one of us.

Kaye is an Episcopal priest, married to her pagan husband Charlie. From the get go you expect a clash, you expect that the mind will be challenged with conflicting beliefs, conflicting thoughts, conflicting emotions, conflicting understanding of what it means to be human. It was all of this presented within well rounded characters and some lovely wit.

Cushing developed the characters in The Plastic Priest in a way that made this reader feel like she was sitting beside them, loving some, hating some and sometimes wanting to roll my eyes and tell some to ‘f’ right off. The pace of the novella was perfect.

While I loved the development of all the characters, Janus’ left me feeling like I was missing something. Maybe his was a little too abrupt or whimsical in his power? A bit of a jester more than a god? No doubt it was purposeful, but it made my mind stretch into the downward dog to grasp it and I’m a little lazy. That position hurts.

A philosophical thriller? A metaphysical memoir? I rated it a four out of five stars. If you love grappling with those who grapple with religion, you will enjoy this novella.

Thank you to Cemetery Dance Publications and NetGalley for the ARC. The views expressed are all mine, freely given. The Plastic Priest will be published Dec. 15, 2023 Keep your eye out for it!



The Road to Bone Hill Book Review by Glenda

The Road to Bone Hill Book Review by Glenda

The Road to Bone Hill

Review by Glenda

 The Road to Bone Hill by Kenton J. Moore

Published by Soul Forge Media


Hello, is it mead you’re looking for?

Lionel Ritchie, started humming. The skull’s empty eye sockets blinked. I swear I saw a horn move. I entered a world I never knew existed…


 The Road to Bone Hill took this reader from the Coast of BC to the North of Kamloops in Canada. Invited by author Moore, I flew into his story, fuelled by a big bucket of honey and a restless spirit. I entered the world of mead.

I didn’t know I meaded it until I read it.

Moore both entertains and educates as he zips the reader through the process of mead-making. His attention to detail had me believing that I too, could make mead simply by following his instruction. At moments I wanted to. At moments I could smell the cotton candy air as he caramelized honey. At moments I could taste the words on my tongue. I drooled, it landed on the cover of the book, and I wiped. My husband asked what I was doing.

“Just reading. Do we have any mead anywhere? I have a sudden urge.”


He looked at me blankly. He needed to read the book.

I appreciated the dip into history as Moore explored the French mead from the 1300’s. I thought it fascinating that one could drink essentially the same mead from that era and also interesting from a historical perspective, that a recipe copied from century to century still existed, giving me a small glimpse into their lives. As the book was an instruction book of Mead I think a deeper dip into Mead’s history may have accentuated the flavor, like salt on caramel.

The bones and the name on the cover made me say “Whattt?” and I was thoroughly pleased when Moore connected the cover to his story.

Moore avoids a book of dry instruction by dipping in and out of the ‘how to’s and into the ups and downs of his life. The result is a nicely paced book that had me flipping pages to see what would happen next.

Moore’s passion, his life, his know-how, and a couple of recipes are nicely contained in a paperback available on Amazon for 26.87 Canadian Dollars. If you are thinking you want to make mead, it’s an amazing price for his knowledge. Moore also seems to be a human you could reach out to via social media with any question. Indeed for the price of a couple of Big Macs, some fries, and a chocolate shake you could have his wisdom sitting on your bookshelf and his mind a Facebook click away.

While the information and Moore’s life were tied up into a well-worded bow, I had difficulty with the presentation from the layout/publishing aspect. While surprised that the photos contained inside were color, some of the photos were pixelated leaving the reader feeling that the publishing was on the low side. A couple of pages had off – centered text that seconded the first thought. The blurb on the back didn’t have the negative space surrounding the text that seemed in tune with a higher-quality publishing experience. I realize that color photos are not inexpensive, so I appreciate the idea. To push this idea to perfection it would have been ideal to see a paper quality that supported crisp color photography.

As I can see the book being pulled off the shelf of a Mead maker again and again and again, I can imagine a more durable cover would be forgiving to juice-covered fingertips. My drool marks didn’t wipe off.

Not yet available on Kindle, I’m quite sure this medium would be welcomed by all.

I rate the layout of the book at a 3 out of 5 and the inside information a solid 4 out of 5 with a strong encouragement to buy if you are looking at getting started in mead making. Moore’s experience, I feel, could save you a lot of time and money and it was just plain enjoyable to read.

 The Road to Bone Hill is a lively site see through the eyes of Moore. I enjoyed reading about parts of BC I have never visited and hearing some stories of his life as he navigated COVID and loss. Even if you have no desire to make mead but enjoy memoirs and biographies of regular people, I would recommend it.

Now I’m off to the liquor store to find a bottle of mead even if I don’t mead it ;P.


Cloud Cuckoo Land Review By Glenda

Cloud Cuckoo Land Review By Glenda

Cloud Cuckoo Land

Review by Glenda

Mamma I’m Coming Home!


The cover didn’t draw me to this book. The author did. I didn’t even read what the book was about before I purchased it. When I started it, it made my head spin and I scrunched up my face and went, “Whhhhaaat?” 

“What the heck, was this?”

Well I found out!




Momma, I’m coming home. The cry of the mythical ‘Cloud Cuckoo Land’ placed strategically within Doerr’s fictional ‘Cloud Cuckoo Land’ threads together five lives over eight centuries. It seems fitting that Ozzy Osborne sings its theme song!

You need the end to understand the beginning.

This happens in life quite often, you don’t understand why you are going through something, or why things are happening in the sequence they are. It is only afterward, when your eyes bounce down the timeline of life that it becomes clear. Sometimes amazingly clear. It is only then that you sigh in absolute wonder and breath in joy, ‘That’s it! That’s why!’ Holy hockey sticks! Bloody amazing!

I, like many of the ‘one-star’ reviews on Amazon, had difficulty with the beginning of Cloud Cuckoo Land. I felt like I was treading water in a sea of information. An ancient Greek story that I don’t care to read somehow on this stage with future Konstance and recent history Zeno with 5 kids in a play. What does the geeky autistic awkward antagonist in Seymour from 2020 have to do with a girl named Anna and the gentle ugly human, Omeir from 1439? How the heck were all these people in all of these eras going to connect?

Why am I reading about Constantinople? For ‘F’ sake. Can’t I just read Doerr’s beautiful prose in a simple story? Why is he pushing my mind to think? Instead of super simple he’s spooning Greek Text into my morning coffee, I really wasn’t sure how I felt about that!

My mind ached. I wanted to put it down.

But then the words of my best friend from 1940 whispered in my ear. “Glenda, keep reading. If you put it down you learn nothing. If you read to the end you may only understand 10 percent but that’s 10 percent more than you have if you put it down.

“Yes, Mortimer Adler. We’ve danced this dance before. I know what to do.”

I picked the book back up.

I continued.

Cloud Cuckoo Land was not a book to read anywhere but by myself in quiet with no distractions.

‘Holy hockey sticks’ started slapping midway. I wanted to read it quickly to get to the ending but that’s not what one does with a Doerr book.

Some books are a piece of Hubba Bubba. You unwrap it, put it in your mouth, chew quickly to extract all the flavor, and spit it out. Be done with it. A Doerr book is a piece of Worthers. Chocolate-coated Worthers with a crystal or two of sea salt on top. It is to be savored. And you must take time, if you bite through it quickly you will miss the pleasure of it.

Every character and even supporting characters in Doerr’s Cloud Cuckoo Land hit ‘Worther’ status. I was flying with Trusty Owl and blinking flies away with Moonlight and Tree. Classic Doerr! His words had me hearing the scratching in Seymour’s brain and feeling the Greek text under Anna’s fingers. I saw nature I’ve never seen, and will never see. Doerr created his own perambulator with words and had me walking, and touching, and feeling, and seeing and smelling and brilliantly he connected it all. This is a Five Star Book that I will keep in my library and read again and again.

You need the end to understand the beginning.


The Pale-Faced Lie Review by Glenda

The Pale-Faced Lie Review by Glenda

The Pale-Faced Lie

Review by Glenda

It was the cover and nothing other than the cover that pulled me in to press the ‘buy’ button for this memoir.

Who was that little boy holding up such a big car? What was his story? I knew it wasn’t going to be good because the words scrawled across the front in white and blood red screamed what the little boy couldn’t…

Dark. Glenda, this one will be dark.


The Pale-Faced Lie is a perfect title for this memoir set throughout the late ’50s, ’60s, and into the ’70s culminating with David Crow, the adult, answering the unanswered questions I had gathered along the way.

It was dark, and I had to put it down on several occasions because it was disturbing. I also read other books between it. I could only absorb bits of David’s experiences at a time. I felt bad about that. He had to live it every moment of his life.

To say that I grew to despise the actions of his Mother, his Father, and Mona is an understatement. What they did made my blood curl. If you are particularly sensitive to the plight of childhood abuse you may want to pass this book over. While the lashings lashed, it was the psychological attacks that made me seeth, more than once I threw the book down uttering “What is WRONG with people!”

It was hard to read. YET…

There is victory.

Some readers may not think so. I can imagine some readers would have liked a victory that had David slaying Goliath with a sword of flames. This David used a potato… and then later a pebble. He inspired me by using the pebble of forgiveness. It’s so much easier to hate.

While I know David needed to forgive to survive, I did very much enjoy reading how he used everything his father taught him on his father. (I’m guilty of enjoying a little vengeance. 😛 )

Throughout the story, David ran. I was able to catch him on Facebook to ask if he was still running. A knee injury has him pedaling instead. (PS I love Authors who take the time to respond to us ‘regular’ folks!) I understood what running did for him and truly was thankful that he discovered it for himself.

David pulled me into the era of his youth and introduced me to places I’ve never been yet his descriptions of the Navajo battling their alcoholic demons resonated with me here in Chilliwack BC. Our natives beat back the same demons in 2023.

I gave the book a solid 4 out of 5. But David gets a 10 out of 5 for endurance and overcoming!

If you love memoirs, if you love stories of human lives enduring and surviving (against the odds I have to add) then you will enjoy A Pale-Faced Lie.



Review – a land more kind than home

Review – a land more kind than home

A Land More Kind Than Home

Review by Glenda

 This book was recommended to my by my literary friend David Sweet.

I love the color and the contrast of the cover it is a perfect blend of the darkness in the story blended within the soft voice of it’s Appalachian author.






A tragic tale told in the genteel voice of an Appalachian storyteller. Words wrapped in a thick accent pulled me into a place I’d never been with people I have met before. Cash had the ability to draw in the familiar allowing this story to resonate.

I felt I was at home in a place I’d never been.

Cash leads the two-step, dipping in and out of his character’s lives, gently rock-stepping through a dry August. You could feel the sweat pearling on the forehead, you could smell the odor of perspiration seeping through their ‘Sunday’ best.

Like a mournful vibration on a violin string, the story lingers long after the last page is turned. It was fitting it was read in the Summer time.

A solid 4 out of 5. With a high recommendation to read especially if you love the feel of small-town America rooted in history and tradition.