BOOK REVIEW – “Teacher Beware (A Grace Ellery Romantic Suspense Book 1)” by Charlotte Raine

Teacher Beware (A Grace Ellery Romantic Suspense Book 1)Teacher Beware by Charlotte Raine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Pasts define the present in this gritty, suspense driven tale

FOUR STARS * * * *

This is my official book review of “Teacher Beware (A Grace Ellery Romantic Suspense Book 1)” by Charlotte Raine…

I found this story to be very engaging. First off, I liked the format of the story. I’m not normally a really big fan of flashback story-lines – I hate the feeling of being derailed. However, Charlotte Raine (author) did a fantastic job of keeping you aware, by way of the short chapter titles, who had the lead at the time and the time-frame (present or past) – much like is done in a movie when time and places shift and text is run at the bottom of the screen. The switching between the characters and their points of view was handled skillfully and for me, added to the flow of the story. (Made me lock in and focus as the context changed).

I liked the back-story and the explanations for the characteristics of the main characters. The effort did add depth to them and allowed me as a reader to better understand why they were the way they were. It allowed for a connection to the main characters. I didn’t get as deep a connection as I was hoping for, but that is my personality issue, not the story telling. It “sort of clicked” for me rather than “fully clicked.” That would be my only “ding” to the book – I personally could not quite get that full connection to the characters; their present story or their back-story.

This was a “Goldilocks” length story; it was a suspenseful read with a little romance thrown in.

I read some of the reviews at and I would like to chime in on the aspects of “a cliffhanger ending” and “that’s no way to write a book” from my own personal opinion (and not part of a direct response to any of them). The story had a beginning, a middle, and an end. To me that is a complete story. The epilogue offered “an additional scene” – nothing less than one might see at the end of a movie part way through the credits (the infamous “added scene”). I feel it was done tactfully and appropriately – in the epilogue where it belongs. I don’t think it spoiled anything from the book and just adds to the idea “there will be more to the story – stay tuned.” Some will argue that it the epilogue should be “a section or speech at the end of a book or play that serves as a comment on or a conclusion to what has happened” and formally that is what it is for but writing styles have changed over time (read Shakespeare lately?) and today, this is the place to leave that “to be continued” (if so desired).

I recommend “Teacher Beware (A Grace Ellery Romantic Suspense Book 1)” by Charlotte Raine – * * * * Four Stars (out of five)

View all my reviews


FOUR STARS  * * * *

This is my official book review of “The Black Bag” by P.H. SOLOMON

The read was very solid storytelling, especially for a short story.

This was a very good read and it told the short story very well. It is not my normal subject matter when I read a book but I heard good things about it through the other reviews so I wanted to give it a try.

I agree with other reviewers that younger readers (teen / young adult) would likely enjoy this best as it plays more into their age group but it was enjoyable none the less.

SPOTLIGHT ON – Jason Zandri at Book Viral – Another Sunset

Recently, Another Sunset was reviewed “In the Spotlight” over at Book Viral. As part of the introduction to my first work of fiction, Another Sunset, I will offer up the story synopsis and then the link to the write up (with the full text below):

David Stephenson is a kind drifter who comes to settle in the small Texas town of Westville. His sense, empathy, and awareness are well received by the residents of the failing town as they welcome and befriend him. During his stay he helps a small local girl try to realize her dream and while doing so excites and energizes the whole town to help out. Lives change as fate takes a critical turn. The local would-be reporter, tasked by David’s longtime friend, takes off on a mission to unravel the mystery of his travels, where he came from, and discovers why he is on his journey.

Presently, the full review can be found via

The full text of the write up (beyond the synopsis) is:

A delightfully perceptive and compelling tale, Another Sunset is the debut novel from author Jason Zandri. A novel that weaves the significant and trivial into an enthralling narrative that is far from prescriptive. There’s no pretense to Zandri’s prose, with a time worn familiarity that makes his tale hard to put down, but it’s in the complexity that underpins his plot that the real story prevails. This is a tale where the past, present and future fuse together to create a beguiling mystery. A tale about perception that doesn’t conform to a linear script and it’s this element that Zandri has shrewdly captured. The drama is well pitched, the intrigue simmers throughout, but the foibles that resonate through an eclectic host of characters and Zandri’s fine ear for dialogue keeps it authentic and adds to the complexity that underpins his plot. More than anything else, it’s this that keeps the pages turning as the shards of mystery come together with Zandri delivering an inspired denouement.

An excellent debut and one that demands your attention Another Sunset certainly deserves a place on your ‘must read’ list and is strongly  recommended.

Another Sunset is available via my website for the book –

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BOOK REVIEW – Reclamation (The Legacy of Ilvania, #2) by Andi O’Connor

FIVE STARS * * * * *

This is my first foray into the world of Ilvania. While “just” a short story, it was packed with character depth and emotion as it introduced you to setting. I imagined it a time of old, a magical fantasy world, where and societal hierarchy and intrigue were the call of the day. Issues today that would be taboo are effectively mainstream but where compassion and the mystical forces are at hand, future paths are unknown for the characters. These young protagonists are coming into their own to rise to the challenges that face them. The continuing story will tell the tale.

BOOK REVIEW – When Darkness Breaks by Traci Sanders

FIVE STARS * * * * *

Count your blessings; count the important ones twice

I have a saying I like to “keep close” when I deal with unexpected things – “You cannot control life; in most cases it just happens to you. You can control how it affects you.”

That Zandriism of mine came to mind when I read “When Darkness Breaks.” The story entailed the dealings of family rocked by an external tragedy and how it affected their lives. The issue drove the family to make changes and those changes affected their immediate future. The struggles within the tale come from each of the main characters coming to grips with those changes and learning to have an understanding of how to get their own closure from it and deal with it (not always in the best of ways).

As the story reaches a critical juncture, plans made are sidetracked as life happens to the couple, and those plans are forced aside.

I really enjoyed the character development and I would recommend this book to readers that like contemporary literature, drama, and some romance in the mix.

An introduction to you of myself

My name is Jason Zandri and you barely have to look past a search engine to find me. I’ve been online such a long time (I personally predate Windows 95) that my name is everywhere. If you can’t find me by name you can search out my online alias “GUNDERSTONE” – if you see that name somewhere, it’s highly likely that it’s me “behind the moniker.”

I have been writing creatively since I was fifteen (so that’s 30 plus years now – I’ll be 46 in May of 2015). Other than blogs about my hometown and two technical books from over a decade ago, I am relatively new to formal writing. My most recent work of fiction is “Another Sunset” which I will introduce in a future blog post.

I work in the Information Technology field since 1998 (you know, the pesky job that pays the mortgage and the other bills) and have worked for the likes of CSC and Microsoft. I am currently employed full time as a systems engineer in the R&D group at Bloomberg LP in New York City.

I am a lifelong resident of Wallingford, Connecticut where I own a home filled with my wife, my four kids (ages ten to five as I write this), our puppy Belle, as well as my mother in law and my brother in law (for this half of the year anyway).

I am looking forward to interacting with my readers and fans here as well as via Twitter (where I do most of my book follow up) but I am more than happy to have you engage me wherever.

Feel free to connect with me on Facebook via my author page at

You can FOLLOW me on Twitter via

You also can ADD me to your circles on Google+ via

Thanks for allowing me the opportunity to introduce myself. If you’re feeling so inclined feel free to introduce yourself to me in the comments section.