Author Ben Burgess Jr.

5 stars *****

So this is the Third Novel of this author and I must say that he is definitely on fire. He is making a name for himself.

While his love scenes for me, takes some getting used to as they are steamy, I found myself once again enthralled by his characters and the story line.

Karen is your typical working wife and mother who is bored, but it surprised me to find out she had more than one lover on the side. Karen had my emotions fluctuating from anger, to annoyance to downright heated, as she one minute belittled her husband Chris on more than one occasion. And she didn’t do it with words, but actions. It made me so angry how she allowed such disrespect for Chris from herself and others.

Chris on the other hand was very…not weak but defeated to me even before he found out about the infidelity. It’s like he gave up on life or just emotionally dead- until he finds out his wife is cheating.

Nadine, a character I was waiting to see if she would be too good to be true, dug her way into my heart too as she won over Chris’.

A small part of me wanted Karen and Chris to make it. That they would weather the storm, but in the end I enjoyed where they ended up. Overall it was a great read.

DWED had the pleasure of reviewing Monster, while I don't want to downplay that work I just have to say Wounded was an explosion on paper. From cover to cover I was transfixed. The story of Sam and her lifestyle to finding love and losing something so dear to her was enthralling and almost real. The connection I felt with all the characters was hard because once I finished, the finality of ending the story with them made me sad. Ben really put his soul into this work and he did a fantastic job.

True page Turner, mind bender, tear jerker, sitting on the edge of my seat kind of read.

Mary Jane is on the run, but from who? where to and why is she running? Not only was I intrigued by the opening of this riveting tale, but I found that I was asking these same questions throughout the book.

Who is Mary Jane and why is she running? Who can she trust, who is her enemy? Nicole takes her readers on a mind bending roller coaster as we follow Mary Jane and her journey of discovering who she is and why she is on the run. The book is suspense, thrilling and a psychological mystery all in one with action packed scenes, strong defining characters and twisrs that left me wanting more.

It has been an unbelievable year for me! In April of last year I found out I was pregnant. I had a very difficult pregnancy so I do ask in my most humbled voice, for your forgiveness for the lack of posting.

I had deaths in the family, as well as many joyful arrivals, not just myself but through cousins and siblings. It was a packed year.

In December I gave birth to a beautifully plump baby boy who is the center of my small family’s world.

I have had so many changes, additions and minor sacrifices within the last few months. But I have not forgotten about you all, my audience. I appreciate the words of kindness and hope you can forgive me the brief silence that has been DWED.

Now that things are back in full swing I promise to bring many reviews, thoughts, ideas, and topics that will keep all entertained. So stay tuned after this brief announcement for more.

Oh, and a Happy Belated New Year and all the other holidays I have missed. Time sure flew by didn’t it????

Synopsis: After the fall from the Maaldan cliff, Chalice is reunited with her friends on a journey that takes them to the coastline of Ielieria.  Little do Vlaad and his Fierain know what is in store for them as, bit by bit, their plans are thwarted by this blond-haired, blue-eyed beauty.

The small band of rebels then travels across the Realm, preparing it for war, while Chalice herself is brewing plans of her own that may just land her in the hot seat.  What will happen when she returns her father to the throne?  What will happen when he finds out what she has done?  And ... what will happen once Dar'Maalda learns of the rebels' location?

In the third and final novel of the trilogy, The Legend of the Raie'Chaelia, you find out.  It is a dramatic finish to an epic story of action, adventure, betrayal, forgiveness and love.

Rating: 2.5 stars **


My Thoughts: I had the pleasure of reading the entire series and find that I have to be completely honest in my findings. If I do not like a book, I try to assimilate a valid list of reasons why and give a most humbling opinion as to not cause harm to the writer and the potential of their work. I try to give it its due diligence and attention. I read through each book twice to make sure I felt the same when finished.

First, I believe Melissa worked very hard on this series and I have no doubt that a lot of heart and soul went into this project. While her creativeness and eagerness to tell the story of Chalice and her journey showed, I found that everything did not click or fit in order to give me as the reader a great connection.

I believe the writer Melissa, has the potential to be magnificent. While her descriptions of each character lacked the depth I needed to connect and maintain connection, I did feel like she made a valiant effort to establish the bond between reader and character but fell short. I do not believe it entirely her fault, I believe her writing style and my own imagination just didn’t mesh well and I believe that is the reason for my lack of enjoyment for this series. No matter my disconnection I did continue to read in order to give The Return as well as its sister books the time and attention they deserved in order to give this review.

It was very disappointing to me because I love fantasy, I love falling into other worlds that authors create. I find it encompassing and generally enjoy books I have read. I am not in any way demoralizing or making this a put down. I am simply saying that there were instances when I began to feel that pull during my reading, I would get excited and then ultimately the anticipation would die a very fast death because of misunderstanding the passages, not understanding what the author was trying to convey and where exactly she was trying to lead me on this journey of her world and the people within it.

When I finally got to “The Return” I was a bit reluctant. I experienced some of the same let down from the two previous books, but I will honestly say this book showed more promise as Melissa was gaining her footing. I feel horrible for not being able to jump for joy as I had thought I would in the beginning, I felt like I was left high and dry and it frustrated me because the potential for this series to be great is there, it just wasn’t for me.

**** Although I may not have liked the book very much, I do however want to acknowledge that one may not like everything they read and encourage my viewers not to pass judgment on my thoughts alone. While it may not have been my cup of tea, it could very well be yours. Happy Reading always! ****

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DWED Interviews Meredith Allard, Author of Her Dear and Loving Husband



DWED: First, tell us a little about yourself.


When I’m not teaching or writing (which isn’t often), I enjoy reading, scrapbooking, and finding great vegetarian recipes since I love to cook. I also practice yoga, and I’ve been known to shake my stuff at Zumba classes. I have a special affection for belly dancing, and I may practice a shimmy or two while brushing my teeth in the morning.

DWED: Have you always aspired to publish a novel?


I began writing because I had always had these crazy story ideas floating through my head. Throughout my school years I was lucky enough to have teachers who used my writing as examples for the class, and that added to my feeling that I was a writer. I knew that writing was in my future, and I tried out journalism and screenwriting but neither felt right. Finally, I found my way to writing novels and I knew I found my home.



DWED: Would you say the journey to publishing was easy or hard? Why?


It certainly wasn’t easy. Like a lot of writers, I had to deal with a lot of rejection letters along the way. I think it always takes a certain amount of stubbornness to go after your dreams, but it’s always worth it in the end.


DWED: Who or what would you say inspired Her Dear and Loving Husband”?


A student handed me Twilight (this was in 2008) and though I wasn’t into vampires I read it because she raved about it. After I read the Twilight books, I started watching True Blood, and from there I started reading Anne Rice, Charlaine Harris, and of course the standard in the genre, Dracula by Bram Stoker. After I had a brain full of vampire, a story about a vampire still mourning his long-dead human wife occurred to me. I kicked the idea around in my head for about six months, and then I decided to see if there was anything to this crazy idea. From the moment I started writing I never looked back because the characters and the story took over. Originally, I didn’t have any intention to write a piece of historical fiction, but once I decided to set the story in Salem, Massachusetts I knew I had to incorporate the Salem Witch Trials somehow. The story travels back and forth between Salem during the witch hunts and present-day Salem. This isn’t a blood and guts vampire story. It’s a love story, and James is a very human vampire.

DWED: How does Her Dear and Loving Husbandstand out? What does it offer and more importantly what can viewers find within it pages?

One of the things that set the Loving Husband Trilogy apart from similar books is that the point of view goes back and forth between James and Sarah. That’s one thing I found missing in some other vampire stories—you only got the human girl’s point of view. I always wanted to know what the vampire was thinking and feeling. In the Loving Husband Trilogy we hear from both James and Sarah—what they’re thinking, what they’re feeling, why they make the choices they do. I think it adds another layer of interest to their romantic story.


DWED: At length how would you describe the feedback for Her Dear and Loving Husband”?


The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. I’m very lucky because a lot of readers have really connected to the story of eternal love between James and Sarah. I’ve been sent some of the loveliest notes any author can wish to receive because they’ve been touched by the Loving Husband stories.


DWED: Would you say you have a unique style of writing?


I don’t think I have a specific style, though I do like to incorporate elements of poetry into my fiction writing. I love to read poetry, and though I’m not wise enough to be a poet, I can use elements of poetry in my fiction.


DWED: what kind of messages do you try to instill in your writing?


The underlying question in the novel is: what does it mean to be human? How is it that the vampire shows more human-like qualities in his ability to love when the humans can cast off or condemn others so easily?


DWED: Who is your favorite character in Her Dear and Loving Husbandand why?


Both James Wentworth and Sarah Alexander, the love interests in the Loving Husband Trilogy, are close to my heart. In a lot of ways James is my alter ego in the story. James and I have a lot in common—we’re both English teachers, we both read and write a lot, we both think about things probably too much for our own good. Sarah is a lot like me too. I think she gets her personality traits more from me than I care to admit. And hey, I wouldn’t mind meeting a hot vampire man.


DWED: Who is your least favorite character in Her Dear and Loving Husbandand why?


Definitely Kenneth Hempel. I didn’t like the way he relentlessly pursued James, trying to out James as the vampire he is.


DWED: What can we look forward to seeing from you throughout 2013?


I’ve started the first draft of a new novella, and I have another story brewing, so I’ll be doing a lot of writing.


DWED: What would you say to all aspiring authors like yourself?


Stay true to your dreams, and be patient. We live in a time when we want things immediately, but it takes time to learn the craft of writing. I agree with the 10,000-hour theory—the idea that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a master at something. I would say that it took me at least that long before I wrote Her Dear & Loving Husband. Allow yourself to grow into the writer you want to be.


DWED: Is there anything we haven’t covered that you would like your readers and potential readers to know about both your work and yourself?


I’ve had many readers tell me that they don’t usually read or like vampire stories, but they were glad they read the Loving Husband Trilogy because it was so different from other paranormal books they had read. For readers who do enjoy paranormal romance or urban fantasy with a good dose of historical fiction thrown in, I hope they will give Her Dear & Loving Husband, along with Her Loving Husband’s Curse and Her Loving Husband’s Return, a try. 


James Wentworth has a secret. He lives quietly in Salem, Massachusetts, making few ties with anyone. One night his private world is turned upside down when he meets Sarah Alexander, a dead ringer for his wife, Elizabeth. Though it has been years since Elizabeth's death, James cannot move on.

Sarah also has a secret. She is haunted by nightmares about the Salem Witch Trials, and every night she is awakened by visions of hangings, being arrested, and dying in jail. Despite the obstacles of their secrets, James and Sarah fall in love. As James comes to terms with his feelings for Sarah, he must dodge accusations from a reporter desperate to prove that James is not who, or what, he seems to be. Soon James and Sarah piece their stories together and discover a mystery that may bind them in ways they never imagined. Will James make the ultimate sacrifice to protect Sarah and prevent a new hunt from bringing hysteria to Salem again?

Part historical fiction, part romance, part paranormal fantasy, Her Dear and Loving Husband is a story for anyone who believes that true love never dies.



Rating: 4 stars ****



My Thoughts:


Who doesn’t love a good witch’s tale? With all the choices a reader has out there one might think another tale might be a little too much but not for Meredith Allard. She has constructed a masterpiece of good old folklore, talent, imagination and history. From the beginning I was hooked, I couldn’t put it down and it reminded me of why I love a good hauntingly romantic story.

There was no stone left unturned, I couldn’t help but fall in love with James and Sarah, although I found it bizarre this man could fall for someone else while his heart in the beginning still belonged to his dead wife. But it goes to show no matter the level of complexity love can still be a beauty to be had and shared.

This was a great read, and just in time for the month of October where we celebrate Halloween and all that is spooky.
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Synopsis:  Wealthy entrepreneur Nigel Cain has devised an efficient new way to bring the earth's most precious resource to the masses - clean water - by transporting massive man-made icebergs from the frigid arctic and delivering them literally to the doorsteps of millions.

Gabriel Pike works at a small engineering firm that has been awarded the task of giving the final safety approval to pilot the first gigantic block of ice into New York harbor.

A consummate showman, Cain has built a fabulous 5-Star hotel and casino high atop the iceberg so his celebrity guests and media elite can cover this spectacle from beginning to end. Pike is whisked away from his work-a-day world and dropped into the lap of luxury where he's expected to simply rubber-stamp his inspection.

A brutal winter storms ravages the iceberg and exposes structural inconsistencies and hidden agendas that fill Pike with serious doubts about the true intentions of the project.  But a grisly double homicide on the ice puts the inspections on the back burner and sends Pike's life spiraling out of control when he's accused of being the jealous murderer in a lover's triangle.

But Pike soon discovers that there is far more at stake than just his life. He uncovers a conspiracy more heinous than anything he could have imagined - a plot that will level a city, change the political face of America, and whose shockwaves will be felt around the world. Fate rests in his hands - if he can survive long enough to take action...