Confessions of an Inadvertently Gentrifying Soul – a review

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Confessions of an Inadvertently Gentrifying Soul
by Bill Engleson
Publishing by Silver Bow Publishing

Purchase copies here

When I moved permanently to a small Caribbean island, there was a saying within the long-term expat community: Why would we want to change what brought us here in the first place? Unfortunately, those outsiders who arrived during the decades following me didn’t get this same memo. So I approached Bill Engleson’s new collection of essays with complete understanding and empathy.

Confessions of an Inadvertently Gentrifying Soul is writing with a glint in its eye and an upwards curve to the lips. Yes, these are rants about the inevitable changes that come to any small place once it’s discovered, but through these rants Engleson manages to also preserve the memory of that which brought him to Denman Island in the first place. With this collection, we have a unique opportunity to see what life was like before those other gentrifying souls moved into Ruraltania and changed it into something that closer resembled their way of life they left behind back in the big cities.

Peppered with relevant quotes from famous authors, comedians, and other thinkers, these essays (both previously published and new) on island and small-town life, cover subjects as diverse as: libraries, librarians and unusual objects found inside borrowed books; the usefulness (or not) of committees; censorship; tradition; the generation of ideas; local characters and curmudgeons; movies and old episodes of Leave It To Beaver.

So even though you have never lived on an island or in a small place, there’s still a great deal of insight into life in general to be gained from reading Confessions of an Inadvertently Gentrifying Soul. Engleson’s writing is comfortable, and very much like chatting over coffee while sitting in mismatched upholstered chairs in front of a wood fire. In fact, the entire book is like reminiscing with an old friend.

~ Susan M. Toy, author of the Bequia Perspective novels
(This review was previously published in the Island Tides newspaper of Denman Island)

Bill Engleson has been featured on Reading Recommendations, here and here. Susan M. Toy is the brains behind Reading Recommendations and reading recommendations reviewed.

The Gift: Penance – a review

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The Gift: Penance
by J.P. McLean
Published by WindStorm Press
Genre: Fiction – Contemporary Fantasy/Thriller

Purchase copies here

The author sent me an ARC of this book (epub format) in exchange for an honest review.

This book reunites the readers with Emelynn Taylor – in need to work undercover to keep the deal with the ICO.

With The Gift: Penance, J. P. McLean has once again created a thrilling combination of mystery, paranormal, urban fantasy, and a touch of romance with steamy situations. It is a compelling read centred on Emelynn, drawing you close to her. J. P. McLean paints a clear picture of the main characters’ mindsets while the story evolves. In this fourth story, I was drawn even closer to Em – again an invisible friend and ally; trying to find the culprits with her. The characters are of sufficient depth, believable with their flaws and virtues. The story is a very nicely woven combination of several genres, has a wonderful flow; it was easy to get hooked. I had a great time reading The Gift: Penance.

This is a book for you if you like mysteries or paranormal romance with a very urban touch and believable characters, some strewn in steamy situations, and some violent events.

The stunning fourth book in The Gift Legacy series!

Highly recommended!

Karen Oberlaen
(For the full review go to My train of thoughts on …)

J.P. McLean has been previously featured on Reading Recommendations. Karen Oberlaen reviews books on her blog, My train of thoughts on …