When Flowers Weep

Garden Scoops

Balance is key.

When a local beekeeper loses all his bees, a local garden shop owner vows to find answers, but is it too late? Will a lone kayaker that researches the bayous find clues that lead to solutions? Can a mayor protect other beekeepers from the same fate? Or, will more mysteries be uncovered along the murky waters of the Moctobi Bayou?

imageWHEN FLOWERS WEEP, is the second novella in the Community Gardens Series. An entertaining read about friendships and community spirits.

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Cress in Waterbee

Another fantastic book by an independent author – those agents and publishers are really missing out! Here’s my review for Amazon and Goodreads:

It’s quite hard not to go over the top when reviewing ‘Cress in Waterbee’ by Joye Johnson. As an English teacher with a literature degree I’ve read a lot of the classics, and this felt from the start like it was in the same category.
Born in America in the days of segregation, Cress – with her dark skin and pale eyes – was never going to have an easy time. It falls to her equally unconventional guardian to carve out a life for them both in the small town of Waterbee. They settle there with a supporting cast of terrible people, terribly kind people and some who are a bit of both. The plot carries you through the seasons of Cress’ life till you almost feel responsible for her yourself!
This story is original and stirring – I can’t remember the last time I was so desperate for two fictional characters to thrive and succeed.
Well written with clever twists and heartfelt descriptions, this is a novel to laugh and cry with and should certainly be around for generations to come.
Now, I have to return to a far more mundane world and wait patiently for the sequel, ‘Cress on the Bay’.

If you are an indie author and would like to read and review my book in exchange for me doing the same, please get in touch!

Buy ‘Cress in Waterbee’ here.


Sequels by Reece Evhans & Karin Boutall

With a grade 2 sprain to my ankle this has been a weekend for reading and very little else! As I’m close to finishing my second book I decided to have a look at the sequels published by a couple of the authors I’ve discovered through WordPress. Here are my thoughts:

‘The Charge of a Star’ is the second book in the Seeker Series by Reece Evhans and picks up perfectly where the last left off. Ally is in Ireland looking for answers regarding her developing psychic powers. However, the sweet old ladies who make up the seer council have a slightly different agenda and Ally heads back to Albuquerque with more to think about than she was bargaining for. It’s not long before her powers plunge Ally headlong into another dangerous adventure and a quest to resolve a past crime.
As with the first book in the series, Ally’s character is superbly drawn – her inner thoughts give the reader insight into a charming quirky teenager struggling to make sense of her situation.
The relationship with Jack (who has his own problems to deal with) continues to evolve and grow in this book too, including all the drama and uncertainty teenage romance brings.
The supporting cast are not just present but developing themselves that little bit more: Grams, Mum (plus new boyfriend), Tara and Megan all add colour to Ally’s world and are much more than just plot drivers.
This is a great story that will be enjoyed by a wide range of readers. Well written, funny, romantic and deeply intriguing.

The second sequel I treated myself too was ‘When Flowers Weep’. The second garden suspense mystery by Karin Boutall returns to Sand Hill Cove where Joan and her friends are trying to solve the mystery of the disappearing bees.
This sequel has all the winning elements of the its predecessor: the relationships between the friends and the hint of romance; the angst of a mother watching her teenage son cope with growing up (and learning the lifelong lesson that if a person doesn’t care for your cat they’re not worth bothering with!) and the strong thread of friendship and community support that makes this series so appealing.
The mystery element of the book kept me guessing and the gradual revealing of the answers was very satisfactory.
This is a lovely series and has seen me nicely through my third immobile day!

Community Gardens by Karin Boutall

‘Community Gardens’ is the debut novel from Karin Boutall and introduces The Garden Suspense Series.
When Joan loses her husband in an aviation accident, moving back to Sand Hill Cove, Mississippi, with her son, Zack, seems like a smart move. There she can pursue her dream of running a local garden shop and raise her son with the help of local friends. However, it quickly becomes clear that, like most small towns, Sand Hill Cove has its secrets!
This book is perfect, ‘curl up on a Sunday afternoon with a cup of coffee and a good read’ material. The characters are well drawn and appealing – as a single Mum for 16 years, I could certainly relate to Joan’s Xbox concerns!
The genre is what is known as ‘cosy’ (or ‘cozy’ if you’re in the US) murder mystery and this first book spends a lot of time helping the reader to find their way around Sand Hill Cove, getting comfortable with the settings and inhabitants, all of which adds to the enjoyment of the story.
The actual mystery – and more importantly, the characters’ response to it – reveals more about the community and sets the reader up nicely for the sequel, which is available now.

A well written book and highly enjoyable read which I thoroughly recommend.


Today I have discovered Goodreads- yet another promotional tool available to independent authors! Thanks to Reece Evhans (author of The Seeker Series) who first mentioned it.
It took me a while to figure out how to get my book on there, and it threw me when they asked me to review it! But I eventually realised that you link yourself to the book when you join their author program. I’ve just applied now and am awaiting approval.
Has anyone else used the Goodreads promotional tools to market their work? And if so, did any have particularly good results?

A Reverie of Brothers

Well, I’ve had the pleasure of reading another great book by an independent author. Seriously, who needs publishers? Here we go:

A Reverie of Brothers is a powerful first novel by author R.D. Shanks.
Set in the imaginary world of Horizon, this is not a fantasy novel but a story about the subtle struggle for power within relationships and between individuals.
The beautifully crafted descriptions of the royal family and the all important advisors who, “resemble a choir of octogenarian angels”, put me in mind of the Game of Thrones series. However, I would say this novel is less about the political and more about the psychological battles.
Eli is the king in charge and he is struggling against the insolence of his eldest son, Prince Chiron. Meanwhile, the younger son, Acario, has problems of his own dealing with the manipulations of ‘viscous and vengeful’ Ava – his cousin who has a mysterious hold over him.

These are intriguing and relatable characters who keep you reading to the end through several unexpected and expertly crafted twists.

Shanks has done a brilliant job with this novel, which should be enjoyed by a wide range of readers.

I’ll be posting on Amazon now and checking Goodreads. I’ve a mystery to read next, ‘Community Garden’ by Karin Boutall, which looks great. That review should be here very soon thanks to me spraining my ankle yesterday! Nothing to do but read 😁.

Meanwhile, if you’re an independent author and would be interested in exchanging reviews, please send me a message.

A Reverie of Brothers https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1505631394/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_n1NPub1QZ2BMP