Indie Author Book Reviews


The lads in these two books by indie authors are worlds apart…

The Coal Miner’s Son – A Family Saga, by Patricia M Osborne; and The Christopher Daring Adventures – The Forest of Riddles, by Stephen J Willis

The Coal Miner’s Son -A Family Saga-
by Patricia M Osborne

What happens when you rip a young lad out of his working class family home and transplant him into the privileged world of lords and landed gentry?

Such is the fate of 9-year-old George Gilmore. When his father was tragically killed in a mining accident his mother, faced with an impossible choice, makes the heart-breaking decision to send young George to her titled but estranged parents in the south, to be brought up as the heir to the family estate. Now that he is the man of the house, however, George wants nothing more than to stay with his Mam and help bring up his little sisters.

Struggling with the death of his father and the loss of his home and bewildered by the new lifestyle he was being forced into, George struggles to adapt. He becomes embittered and resentful, convinced that his mother had not only abandoned him, but had in fact sold him. Among the challenges he faces in this unfamiliar life are a scheming governess, boarding school, betrayal and a kidnapping which almost destroys him.

His only ally in this new environment is Elizabeth, his mother’s younger sister, who has had her own particular trials to endure. The daughter of an overbearing father and having suffered an arranged marriage to an abusive man decades her senior, Elizabeth’s mettle is being tested, but in George she finds a purpose and starts to throw off the shackles of suppression.

Going back and forth between George and Elizabeth the story follows their respective journeys from scared little lad to confident teenager with a goal in life, and downtrodden daughter to self-assured young woman. But what of George’s relationship with his mother, are they reconciled? And what does the future hold for them all?

The sequel to Patricia M Osborne’s debut novel The House of Grace, The Coalminer’s Son is the second book in the House of Grace trilogy, which is due to wrap up in March 2021 with the third book, The Granville Legacy. All books are published by White Wings Books and are available via Goodreads and Amazon.

The Christopher Daring Adventures, The Forest of Riddles
by Stephen J Willis

Within a tall whispering forest, night-time eyes blink in wonder at a magical blue spectacle dancing all about them in the silence. But as darkness falls something else awakens and a creeping menace threatens the tranquillity of the dancing blue lights.

Far away Christopher Daring, nearly thirteen years old and with a well developed sense of adventure, is preparing to visit his grandfather Charlie in the remote Scottish countryside. Christopher is fascinated with mysteries and has been reading avidly about a strange symbol and its connection to mysterious creatures spotted in the Scottish Highlands.

Along with his best mate Jason and new friend Poppy, Christopher arrives at his grandfather’s to find the usual peace and calm of the area in something of a turmoil. There have been some strange goings-on around the lake and forest beside which Charlie lives, and he and his neighbours are on high alert. Of course this is grist to Christopher’s mill and he, Jason and Poppy set out to discover what’s going on, cautioned by the adults to be very careful.

What follows is an intriguing medley of plot and counter-plot, suspicion, betrayal, code-breaking, derring-do, heroism and brushes with death… oh, and small blue folk with unusual powers.

The Forest of Riddles is also full of fascinating facts, some of which – says the author – are true and some, equally, are not. He leaves us to decide which is which!

It is the second book in the Christopher Daring series, and can be found on Amazon or from Stephen’s website

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