Death By Association by Madona skaff-Koren – a Book Review

Naya is trying to find her way.

When the Multiple Sclerosis struck, Naya almost lost herself. Thankfully, she has gotten some of her old drive back. She finds solace working out in the gym, trying to keep her mind and her body focused on something else other than her disease. She knows that with each lift of the weights, she is fighting against her own body and it is a fight that she will win.

While at the gym, she spots a new gym attendee Larson Rask. He is wheelchair bound and pesters her with a lot of questions while she’s trying to get a set in. He annoys her and she does her best to ignore him. That all changes when cops come into the gym and arrest him on three counts of murder.

Rask reaches out to her for help. He thinks that someone at his company, Rask Architecture, has framed him for the three murders. Rask wants Naya’s help. She almost refuses, except she can’t believe that a guilty man would ask for her help. Despite her better judgement, she goes.

What she finds there could be her undoing.

This such an amazing book! I loved every thrilling moment. This is the second book in the series but you don’t need to have read Journey of a Thousand Steps to enjoy Death by Association.

This book is a thrilling whodunnit of the highest order. The pages flipped by quickly for me and I was desperate to figure out the mystery. Thankfully Skaff-Koren’s writing is so good that every guess I had about the who did what and why was wrong. I love when that happens! I love the minutiae that Skaff-Koren works into the novel. Every small detail is full of red herrings and the plot is full of twists and turns .

Madona’s power is in her characters and the strength of her storytelling. Naya is a diverse and amazing character and she propels the story along as you are drawn along with her to discover everything right alongside her.

The fact that she lives with multiple sclerosis is only a piece of who she is. Thankfully, it’s not all of who she is as a person. I loved reading about her life with MS and how she chose to live beyond it.

Ultimately, this is a novel with tons of heart. I loved Naya’s family, her friends Travis, Mackay and Keghan. I loved the report that all of them have, the friendship that seems to go beyond the page, the emotions feel so real. I also loved Naya’s dog Minaki whose actions made me snort out loud several times throughout the novel.

Skaff-Koren’s power is in the small details that she uses to flesh out each of her characters. Yes, this is a mystery, but there are no cardboard characters here. Instead, you get a novel filled with real people all of them working together, fighting for what is right.

Not only has Skaff-Koren written a kickass mystery novel on par with Minette Walters, she has written a novel with characters I end up feeling like I know. Should I see them on the streets, I would greet them as friend…and then ask them if they need any help with their sleuthing. What an incredible book

Even though I know the ending, I want to go back and read it all over again.

Heart Song – A Poem

I go inside myself.

It is warm there

and the sun is shining inward,

filling me with light and shadow.

As I walk further into myself,

I hear a sound.

It comes softly from the shadows

and as I walk towards it,

I see the shape of a man.

He lies on the ground,

curled up into a ball.

I walk towards him.

The light shifts

so that I can see him.

I am looking

at a part of myself,

the one that is lonely and isolated.

The part of me that is always afraid.

I look at the piece of myself

that has been hurt so many times

and I can see the bruises on his skin,

the hollow look in his eyes.

He sees me and looks into me.

His eyes are bright jewels in the darkness.

I kneel beside him

and I pull him into an embrace.

I rock him gently,

humming a sweet song

to ease his spirit

and comfort his heart.

I sing of safety,

of contentment

and an end to the pain

he has lived with

for so very long.

I sing of love

and tell him

that love is all we need.

As the song continues,

I can feel his tears

falling onto my skin.

They are tears of relief.

When the song ends,

I feel him let out a deep breath

that he had been holding

all this time.

I feel him let go.

As he begins to fade from inside of me,

I think of how long I’ve

carried him within me.

When he looks at me now,

I see the light within him

and I know that it

is reflected within me.

As he fades away,

giving me a look of joy,

the light is filled with stardust

and I make a million wishes.

I step out of myself,

knowing that they

have already come true.

Love and Lemonade Wins Best GLBTQ+ book of 2019!

I am over the moon!

My novel Love and Lemonade won Best GLBTQ+ Book of 2019 from the Love Romance Café! How amazing is that?

When Love and Lemonade was nominated, I was very moved. That book took a lot out of me to write. It’s the third in a story arc so there were a lot of different storylines to wrap up. It’s also the first time I’ve written about a character with a disability.

When I began writing it, I knew that the novel would focus on all different kinds of love. I knew that I would have a character that was disabled, I just didn’t know which kind. It occurred to me by the time that I got to the part where I wanted to introduce Zack, I knew that he couldn’t use a wheelchair. I knew nothing about using one. If I had to write about a disability, I would write about one I knew. I gave Zack my disability, multiple sclerosis.

I knew that I wanted the novel to be about all kinds of different love and really wanted to highlight the difficulties of being disabled within the gay community. Zack lives with the same multiple sclerosis that I do. He goes through the same pains as I do. It felt like I was living through my first forays into the dating world. I really wanted to convey his sadness and how much he wanted to be loved.

I’m so proud of writing this novel and so very proud of the fact that it won the title of Best GLBTQ+ Book of 2019. I am overjoyed and I don’t have the words to express my thanks. It was nominated alongside other really amazing books!

Having Love and Lemonade win Best Book of 2019 is such an amazing thing. You can get your copy, along with the other books in the series so far, here:

https://renaissance-107765.square.site/product/love-and-lemonade-by-jamieson-wolf/123?cs=true

I truly hope you enjoy it!

The Descent Gets Reviewed!

‘Nathan Burgoine is an author I love. His novels and short stories are among some of my very favourites! Now I love him even more!

He’s been doing a wonderful series of blog posts about short stories. I love short stories and started my writing career with them and still write them today. One of my short stories was included in Nothing Without Us. The Descent features a wizard who is looking for a cure for his multiple sclerosis.

Well, how thrilled am I that Nathan reviewed it! He had amazing things to say:

Whenever I sit down to read a story from Jamieson Wolf, I get ready for the sparkle. There’s a kind of bright joie-de-vivre Wolf brings to his prose that’s infectious and bubbly, and honestly sometimes it’s the perfect balm. So when I got to his tale in Nothing Without Us, I was ready for some of that fictional glitter. And I got it, with a heaping dose of amusingly sarcastic wizard Jefferson on his way to meet with an oracle.

You can read the whole review by clicking here: https://apostrophen.wordpress.com/2020/06/20/short-stories-366169-the-descent-by-jamieson-wolf/?fbclid=IwAR12ij-tc4L0P87kCUPqxvs7dPxjjZcc8NhUzsmRrus6NFT9Ic9-wifFt0A

I’m so glad he loved it! Thank you ‘Nathan, so very much.

You can get your copy of Nothing Without Us, which is an aurora nominate book, by clicking here:

I hope you enjoy The Descent and all the stories in the anthology!

Voting Is Live! – Vote for Love and Lemonade!

Hey everyone! Check it out! The polls are open for the LR Café Best of 2019! My novel Love and Lemonade has been nominated for Best GLBTQ+ Book!

Please go vote for Love and Lemonade here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8SR9TNT  

Voting runs from June 13th until Noon on June 18th!

I love this book so much and I would love for it to win. For that, I need your help! Go out there and vote and then tell your friends!

Let’s show Love and Lemonade some love!

Vote here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/8SR9TNT

Thank you everyone!

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