Book Review – Blood Moon Over Africa by Paul Zunckel

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Blood Moon Over Africa

Book 1 of The Blood Trilogy

by Paul Zunckel




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Blood Moon Over Africa

Book 1 of The Blood Trilogy

by Paul Zunckel

Africa, a place where superstition and witchcraft runs deep, a place of beauty, but where death lurks in the shadows. A land shrouded in mystery, with ancient beliefs simmering just beneath the surface – set on a collision course with modern western ideas.

An innocent act unleashes a horror that walks the African night… under the full moon… and nothing is safe.

Piet van Zyl, safari owner, finds himself drawn into a world of witchcraft, and face to face with a horror returned from the grave. With the support of Veronica Strydom, with her vast knowledge of African Culture, he must rid the night of the abomination, or die trying.



“…you cannot help but be compelled to read on…”    reviewed by Lilian Flesher

[This review is from a gifted ebook reviewer copy.]

You will be taken on a journey, an adventure, a scary trip that will have you rooted to the spot, whispering to yourself, WATCH OUT, perhaps yelling at the kindle like me!!! This is a fabulously well-written story, it tells the story of the old ways,  witch doctors, medicine men, of tribal beliefs, the things that scare the tribes, the information is endless, you cannot help but be compelled to read on, to follow the journey to the end, keep praying for a miracle because these pair along with their friends and helpers are going to need more than help, they are going to need every ounce of their wits, their courage, their skills, and prayers to protect them.!


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 Blood Moon Over Africa, Book 1

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Paul Author Photo with talking parrot

Author Paul Zunckel

Paul Zunckel was born in 1957 in Zimbabwe, then known as Rhodesia. His family moved to South Africa in 1966, where he completed his schooling at Kingsway Senior High School in Amanzimtoti.

He did his two years National service in the South African Defence Force as an Ops Medic, wanting to follow his heart and study medicine, but life got in the way.

Paul was employed in Air Traffic Control for twenty years, and has been involved in Management positions for over twenty-five years. He has a Human Resource Management Diploma, and is an accredited Facilitator.

He started to write full time in August 2014, about something that is close to his heart… Africa. The mysteries, the superstitions, and all the beauty and treachery of the land. He holds his wife responsible for the road he is now traveling, as she was the driving force behind him in his Debut novel, Blood Moon over Africa. Since then, the stories line up to be told.

Paul loves to write as it takes him into another world, and he enjoys the reaction that he receives from readers.

Apart from writing novels, he also plays the guitar and writes his own material, although he is unable to read music. Music forms a big part of his life, and he can lay claim to having cut one CD, although he does say, “I’m too old to be an idol.”

He has two children from a previous marriage, and has been married to Lucie, the love of his life, for the last fourteen years. Paul and his family live in the Eastern Cape, South Africa along with man’s best friend, a cross Alsatian/Lab  who answers to the name “Pooch”  and is at his feet every time he sits down to write and will not move until “his human” is finished and types The End.


Where to find Paul Zunckel online


Twitter: @zuncks

Facebook: Paul’s Facebook Page


Please Review Me…

At a recent party a friend was praising a couple of books that I wrote – I stepped to the side and asked her if she would be kind enough to post a review. She looked genuinely concerned and said “I wouldn’t know what to write”.

It’s easy, if you can tell me one (or more) things you liked (or even disliked) about the book, you can write a great review. You don’t have to be a professional book reviewer and you can post the review simultaneously on multiple sites.

You would be doing this author and all authors an incredible favor. Potential readers look for books that people want to read and seeing lots of reviews says to them that the book is worthy of their time.

So please, I know several of you out there have read at least one of my books – please help me by posting a review on Amazon, Barnes&Noble, Goodreads, YOUR Facebook page, Smashwords, KOBO, iTunes or send it to me for the Potpourri Parlor.
Thank you!

all march 2015

a good quality book review is NOT the school-age book report. Your review should be a minimum of five or six sentences up to two or three (small) paragraphs. Don’t prove you read the book by including spoilers (that totally unexpected twist that really made the story). Write what YOU liked (or disliked) about the book; a book should be a personal experience for every reader so keep it personal. Be honest but never brutal; if the book was filled with typos for instance but was still a great story say something like “a few distracting typos took away from an otherwise terrific story”. (Always try to find something positive to say). If you didn’t like the book because it was not your favorite genre then own up to it; despite mostly four and five star reviews, my favorite review I received on one of my books was only two stars — the writer stated she didn’t care for it because my style was too much like Danielle Steel and she doesn’t care for Steel (who happens to be one of my faves). Again, review the book from YOUR perspective, YOUR likes and dislikes, and the impact the book had on YOU. Remember to be gentle but always honest.”

Book Review: Dragon Flower by Suzzana C Ryan

Dragon Flower by Suzzana C Ryan


Dragon’s don’t exist. They’re creatures of myth and magic. Mya Bellows knows better.
Gage Davis has seen dragons, smelled dragons and slain them. He isn’t a knight. Nor does he live in the dark ages.
The Dragon, a fictional creature, there are no more dragons. Inside Mya’s soul, she knew this to be false, dragons existed, and she fought every day to keep hers at bay. Then he came along, the slayer, and a legend escaped and became reality.

Amazon Customer Review

reviewed by Anne C. Schneider

What an enjoyable story. Mya is an only Dragon Child of two Dragon Parents. Female Dragons don’t breathe fire, but her family is cursed and she is a big purple dragon that breathes fire. She works at the Museum and has always been attracted to Gage. He is an archeologist that hunts for Dragon remains sites. They finally admit that they have feelings for each other. Gage tells her that he is a Dragon Slayer, thinking that she will not believe there are really dragons. Mya decides to tell him that she is a Dragon. They both remember a prophesy from the past involving true love and killing of the Dragon by the slayer or killing of the slayer by the Dragon. Read the story to see what happens. Suzanne C Ryan is a great story teller and has written a beautiful story about a Dragon and a Dragon Slayer that have fallen in love and have to deal with their true paths in life.

The Vanilla Heart Publishing Reader-Review Club

Free Books for Reader-Reviewers!

Do you love to read? Sign up to be a Vanilla Heart Publishing Reader-Reviewer! You will have your choice of terrific VHP titles to choose from, and once you have reviewed five VHP titles in ebook format, will also be eligible to receive review titles in print, an occasional audiobook, and some great swag and surprises!

Reader-Reviewers have a private group page where titles are listed with available editions, and an easy RR request form to keep things simple.

Book Review: Battling the Storm Within by Sgt. Stephanie Shannon

Battling the Storm Within

by Sgt. Stephanie Shannon

Living for 20 years with undiagnosed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) caused by military sexual trauma (MST) and Gulf War Illness (GWI) has not made life an easy path for Sergeant Stephanie J. Shannon. In this, first book, Battling the Storm Within, Stephanie shares how her time of military service, and the resulting trauma she experienced, continues to affect her daily life, even 20 plus years later–a common story among military veterans.

A brave and deeply personal memoir that details Stephanie’s military experiences, and especially her struggles when transitioning back to civilian life, this book is a bold step on the path for recovery for all veterans. This book serves not only as a lesson of how to reclaim your life after PTSD, GWI, and MST, but also a call for change in legislation, government policies, the VA system, and military practices and procedures that impact the veteran population and their families.

Stephanie’s story is a story of struggle, survival, and healing; that empowers others to address their own personal traumas and overcome them, bring awareness to the public the many issues the veteran population face, and provide resources and solutions to veterans and others in need.

Her mission is to empower others to face their own personal traumas, be healed, be restored and live again.


an Amazon Review

5.0 out of 5 stars Battling The Storm Within  reviewed by Karen Showell
This book is a MUST READ for anyone who is thinking about joining the Armed Forces, who has been in the Armed Forces or who are currently in the Armed forces. U.S Army Sergeant Stephanie Shannon paints a vivid picture, describing her TRUE STORY about what some of our military veterans have gone through, or are going through to protect our country. This book describes many of the situations that she has gone through. Each day, our veterans put their lives on the line to make sure that we are safe.
For this reason alone, I am so very proud of them.
Before I read her book I had no idea what she, as well as some of the other soldiers, go through on a daily basis. Stephanie’s book will cause you to take a deeper look into the insane circumstances that our Veteran women and men have endured to protect the lives of our U.S. citizens.

Getting heard comes at a huge price.
A woman is always reminded (using subtle or not so subtle jabs,) that no matter how strong she is, or how smart she is, she will never be as good as a man; no matter the job, or the circumstances. Some women are made to feel that a woman only has one purpose for a man and when no one is within earshot, he will be only too happy to tell her. And worse, if no one is around at the time, he or she may even show her, forcefully.

Sometimes the armed forces can be an environment ripe for rape. And it is not just women being raped. Men are suffering the same brutal treatment and there is just as little being reported about this phenomenon. The sad thing is, it is not being talked about or reported. Any woman, at any time, if she is unfortunate enough, can be on a base where an accused, alleged, rapist has already been pardoned by a base commander as a “misunderstanding” or having a “lack of evidence.” That “rapist” can be reassigned, as a means of keeping the them in the military because they are a “good soldier.”

The law is especially unjust and unfair, as well as unconstitutional, considering the unsettling history and incidences of sexual assault in all branches of our military, which tends to affect the potential soldiers who will likely suffer that same fate as Stephanie, if something is not done right away. It is long past time to right this wrong. Our bravest women should not feel compelled to seek dangerous alternatives after rape, because of the injustices that they may suffer.

I know that there is an unwritten code with our armed forces among our servicemen. A bond that should not be broken, however, I feel that there is an unwritten bond, as well as a written bond, that has been written by the very hand of God, that should never be broken. I am one million percent sure that Stephanie would rather break her unwritten bond with man any day, than to let her God down. Stephanie’s bond with her God is REAL, and for her not to tell the absolute truth about what really went on, would go against her bond with God.

I know that it is her faith in God that has given her the courage to write this book and I respect her and I support her one million percent. I give a standing ovation, as she tells her story and her truths. I know that by reading her book, it will give others the courage to come forth and tell their stories as well. No one should have to suffer the indignities that Stephanie has had to face, let alone from her own comrades. It is one thing to be attacked by the enemy that you are fighting against, but to be attacked from within is senseless and sad. This book shows only a portion of the battle scars she has suffered. It is my prayer that God will show you, through the Holy Spirit, like He has showed me what really goes on behind the scenes, as I read her story.

I feel that since Sergeant Stephanie put her life on the line, the least that our government could have done was to have her back. I also feel that during her time of service, no one had her back except Jesus Christ. She is not saying that all men and women of the armed forces are bad people. There were some people who were there for her in her time of need, such as her good friend and comrade Pam.

I feel that all she was asking for was to to be respected as an equal , and for the peace that God talks about in His word; the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7.) I do not feel that this was too much to ask for. I feel great changes need to be made on the part of the Legislation and government to help our veterans who come home with MST and PTSD.

This book is highly informative and will leave you speechless. Her book draws you in so much that it feels like you are in the story with her. This is her TRUE STORY of the injustices, sexual harassment’s, indignities, and disrespect, that Stephanie, as well as others have suffered while serving her country for us. As I read her book, I could feel her pain. After reading her book I have a new respect for her. Even as I write this review tears are falling from my eyes. I don’t even know how she functions on a day to day basis. I believe every word of her story is the truth. I also believe that many others have been going through or have gone through these same types of experiences, but are too afraid to speak out.

It is my Prayer that Stephanie will become THE VOICE for those who have suffered, and may still be suffering. My prayer is that those who are in leadership will begin to make immediate changes, before many others suffer the same fate as Sergeant Stephanie. I am so proud of where God has brought her from, and how she is fighting to make things right for others. I know that she gives all of the Glory to Jesus Christ for what He is continually bringing her through.

No doubt there will be those who will be upset or may disagree with her story, and that is their right, just as she has her right to tell her story. I salute her with pride and all of the love and support that I have in my heart. She makes me proud to be a United States citizen. Our service women and men deserve nothing less than our full support and commitment as they continue to give theirs to our nation.

My question to you is: Will you join her in her fight against the enemy within? I know that I will!

Book Review: Farewell, Hello by Charmaine Gordon

Farewell, Hello

by Charmaine Gordon

“Charmaine Gordon’s book, Farewell. Hello, is a wonderful tale of the beginnings of a relationship and its twists and turns.  The beauty that shifts from idealism to reality hurts and surprises and I found myself really feeling the bygone time of purity, innocence and nostalgia of our heroine, Joy Davison.  Thanks Charmaine for such a great read and a throwback to the Chicago of the early 50s!

Her website refers to her work as “stories of women who survive and thrive” and it comes right off the pages: satisfaction, empowerment and at least a touch of fine romance on almost every page.”

   ~reviewed by Paul Harris

That first kiss… that first incredible, agonizing, bellyache-making first kiss. Soon, Joy and Danny are inseparable, planning a future – a life, together. A kiss goodbye couldn’t prepare the high school sweethearts for all that lay ahead. A family crisis, a tornado, and the Korean War brought their plans to a screeching halt, and changed their futures… but maybe not their forever.

About the Author

Charmaine Gordon writes books about women who Survive and Thrive. Her motto is take one step and then another to leave your past behind and begin again. Six books and several short stories in three years, she’s always at work on the next story. The books include To Be Continued, Starting Over, Now What?, Reconstructing Charlie, Sin of Omission and The Catch, and her series of Mature Romances, The Beginning…Not the End.“I didn’t realize at the time while working as an actor in NYC, I’d become a sponge soaking up dialogue, setting, and stage directions. I learned many tools of writing during the years watching directors like Mike Nichols and actors including Harrison Ford, Anthony Hopkins, and Billy Crystal. And would you believe, I was Geraldine Ferraro’s stand– in leg model, my first job giving me entrée into all the Unions needed to work. When the sweet time ended, I began another career and creative juices flowed.”

Book Review: Bartlett’s Rule by Chelle Cordero

Bartlett’s Rule

Real people, Real Problems and Real Solutions 5 stars(an Amazon review)

At first glance, Paige Andrews’ approach to celebrity writer and celebrated womanizer Lon Bartlett is reminiscent of a child’s first day at the beach, a child who runs down to the incoming waves only to run back to the safety of the dunes beyond the water’s reach, and then again, and then again. Indeed, she desperately wants her evolving relationship to be as spontaneous and carefree as first love.

But in looking closer, as both lovers and mad men are apt to do, Lon sees that behind Paige’s engaging smile lie painful memories of man named Hal who raped her and all but took away her ability to get close to anyone again. Lon’s best intentions trigger Paige’s worst fears.

“Bartlett’s Rule” is an easy-to-read novel about difficult-to-resolve issues for rape survivors and the prospective significant others in their lives. For Paige and Lon, sorting out the boundaries of trust and the limits of patience is a treacherous undertaking because they are very much in the public eye and because Hal’s arrogant needs are not yet satisfied.

Unfortunately, Paige’s dysfunctional family is also not out of sight and out of mind, providing additional twists and turns in the plot to keep readers guessing about choices and outcomes until the last page.