Richard C Hemingway and the novel Past Twilight: Mainstream fiction stirred with Mystery,
Suspense, Thriller, Action/Adventure and more than a smidgen of Science Fiction and humor. And yes, all served up
by a hard boiled detective.
All reviews by Richard Hemingway
Rendezvous Rock, by Rickey Bray, 430pages, Robert D. Reed Publishers.
One of the joys of reading a novel is that each author has a distinct voice and a little world for you to
explore and learn something from. Contrast this to the usual fare you see on TV and the movies: a homogenized mass
market that may entertain with gratuitous sex, violence and surface reflections on social mores – in other words a
literary Twinkie, tasty but nothing really to chew on. Rendezvous Rock by Rickey Bray is a first novel that will
give you more than a Twinkie taste for you to chew on. At the start of the first chapter it looks like a teen
romance type of novel. Boy carves the following inscription in to a large rock: ‘E.T. loves S.M. forever 1989’. The
girl then carves in the following inscription ‘RR 1999’. Of course RR stands for Rendezvous Rock, but what does
1999 stand for. Finding out all the implications of that inscription consumes most of this novel.
Rendezvous Rock is a pretty ambitious first novel. Of course there is some romance, sex and violence but
everything is portrayed in the world of a full scale religion that Bray has created. Even though some of the
participants are called Witches and Warlocks this is not some evil satanic cult; these are people who believe in a
god and have their own holy people who represent their god. In a review as short as this I can’t go into the
complexity of the world Bray is portraying and doing so would reveal some of the plot twists and the fact that
little in this novel happens by accident.
Although this novel has some Harry Potter magic in it, Rendezvous Rock is an adult novel that gives you a lot to
think about once you have read the novel. For example in the following quote one of the characters speaks about
people who run governments and religious institutions:
“In those works you listed, you find a love of deceit, treachery and self gain. This is their
unholy trinity. These are their gods. While they speak of Jesus, it is Judas with his silver coins whom they
truly admire in their secret hearts. Never forget this simple premise; and you will always be a step ahead of
As the above quote plainly states, Bray’s spiritual world is a contrast and thus will always be in conflict with
the outside world that we all live in. Are there things about his world that will cause you to give honest thought
about the world you (the reader) occupy? I would say yes, but each person will take from his novel exactly what
they bring to the novel.
I would guess that Bray has the outlines for more novels that will further explore the world he has created.
Certainly the ending while satisfying enough hinted that maybe some future problems might develop. And finally,
this is a novel that should be made into a movie. The characters are hot, the scenery interesting and the world
Bray has presented is ready for the mass market to digest.
More information about Rickey Bray
Cleah: The Lost Fury Chronicles The
Otherworld: available at Amazon Kindle and Smashwords.
By: Brenda McCreight Phd.
Lush forests filled with some magical people, evil villains and a lot of obnoxious and
cruel Trolls keep this novel moving at an adventurous pace.
I enjoyed this book and even though the book was meant for a
young teenage girl even older males like me can find enjoyment in reading this book. The author “is a therapist,
author and consultant specializing in services for individuals and families dealing with challenges such as
stress, depression, family relationships, life transitions and early-childhood trauma.” And like all authors she
has brought her skills into shaping the narrative of this book.
At the start of the novel, the reader is introduced to Cleah and
we quickly learn that she is “headstrong and stubborn.” Soon after a
physical description is given and we find out that Cleah looks different from the other slaves whom she works
with. She is also taller: “Cleah determined she had seen about fifteen summers, but she was already taller than
most of the grown women and some of the men.” If we look at how the author
presents Cleah, we can see that Cleah is a teenager and if her height and other features are a little different
than other people then there might be something special about Cleah. We also learn that Cleah has accepted her
position in life and hopes that someday she might marry the son of a local blacksmith or farmer and live a
traditional life as a free person. So even though there’s something
different about Cleah, we can see that at the start of the novel Cleah is looking forward to a conventional
Of course, the author isn’t about to let that happen so before
long Cleah’s life gets thrown off course because this novel is a journey novel. And as in all journey novels it
really isn’t about where the protagonist travels it is about the inner discoveries that challenges and hardships
force the protagonist to discoverer about himself or herself. And finally, it is about the people he or she
meets on the journey and what each person who may be good, bad or neutral teaches the protagonist.
Growing up is after all a journey.
Unfortunately for Cleah and fortunately for the readers Cleah’s
existence as a slave gets interrupted by a raiding party that proceeds to slaughter most of the people, slaves
and masters alike, in the household where Cleah works. Later, we learn that one of the people in the household,
Sibby the cook, is captured by the raiders but at least is alive and later is reunited with Cleah.
Sibby at the start of the novel was a mentor and guide to Cleah.
So Cleah with the help of Sibby, escapes and later finds Ronan
the son of her master. He is injured and Cleah helps him and the both of them set out on a journey through the
Otherworld and a detour through the Underworld to get to some relatives of Ronan, who may provide shelter and
also help them to raise an army that will retake their fortress back and of course punish the raiders. In
between they meet some interesting creatures, some who help them and some who try to kill them or keep them in
The author moves the novel along at an adventurous pace.
As the novel proceeds, we find out that Cleah is more than a simple servant girl
as we learn her back story during their journey. In this story, her back
story is an important part of the plot and may indicate what Cleah will do with her life after the story ends.
It looks to me that Cleah may have a few more adventures before she is finished. Altogether, I liked this novel and the author’s description of the Otherworld and the
Underworld felt real. I really liked the Underworld and for a moment or two I thought Cleah and Ronan had
managed to descend unto Dante’s Inferno, especially the third circle (Gluttony) and the fifth circle
Will Cleah and Ronan
hook up at the end of their adventure? Sorry you have to read the book to
find out. Perhaps my favorite line in the novel, “What needs to be, is;
what isn’t needed, is not.” - might offer a clue.
For more books written by Author:
Interested in my latest fiction e-books? - have a look at - Smashwords
Interested in my adoption related books? - have a look at - Amazon.com
Inside Out by Juin Charnell
Tough gritty prison detective
story that weaves its way thru a prison setting.
Lt. Perri Stone, a supervising investigator in a prison a lot of people are dying a natural death or are
they Perri wonders. The novel starts pretty rough as one convict rapes another convict and this scene is
presented in graphic detail (not for the squeamish). When the rapist is questioned about the rape, he
readily admits that it was indeed a rape. This arouses Lt
Stone’s suspicions because prisoners never admit to anything and even if they are caught red handed they
always try to blame it on someone else.( I have questioned
several criminals during my work career, I believe this is a Standard Operating Procedure for a criminal.)
Further adding to her suspicions was the fact that both victim and perpetrator had no previous relationship
yet both were in an area neither should have been in at the time.
course, every question needs an answer that when answered requires another question until the investigator
gets the final answer. Eventually, Perri ties the rape and the deaths together.
There is also a parallel plot in
this novel because Lt. Stone is a lesbian. How she deals with
her love interest and how being a lesbian in a prison setting are explored in this novel.
this novel, we can see that prisons are the ultimate in institutional control. Everything is planned for the
prisoners from waking up to going to bed at night. [The staffs are also prisoners, but at least they get to
go home after the prison is finished with them] Every place that a prisoner goes to are controlled by gates,
locks, procedures, cameras, alarms and of course, the ever vigilant eyes of correction officers. Yet as we
see in this novel, prisoners and correction personnel find ways to get around the system. The author who has had a career in the prison industry knows and shows all
the little details about how a prison operates. For that reason
alone this book is worth reading.
Prisons are an area that ‘polite
society’ knows about but chooses to ignore until a prison riot or prisoner escape puts a prison right on the
front page. The fact that eventually most prisoners will be released from a prison at some point I am sure
‘polite society’ tries not to think about. Since society spends
billions on prisons and the criminal-justice system a good question to ask would be. Do prisons end a criminal career or do prisons teach job skills and
networking to further a criminal’s career once they get out of prison?
liked this book because it takes a look at places and people that are seldom portrayed in
novels. The author has written another book around
the main character – should be interesting.
For sale on
Amazon: Inside Out