book reviews

Book Review: Good Indies I’ve Read

Here are a few more Indies I enjoyed over the past few months:

  1. Spirit of the Shell Man–recommended for those who love quirky and intriguing mysteries
  2. 5 Mystic Keys–a simple guide to taking charge of your life and fixing personal problems
–a note about my reviews: I only review books I enjoyed. I need to be inspired to write. That’s why so many of my reviews are 4/5 or 5/5

Spirit of the Shell Man

by Chris Hall

Three events start Chris Hall’s sequel to Song of the Sea Goddess, Spirit of the Shell Man (2022):  A yacht arrives unexpectedly. A caravan of construction vehicles trundle through the seaside town, their goal building something no one has any knowledge of. The local Professor anonymously receives a beautiful inlaid box he can’t open–most probably a puzzle box–and it contains something he feels he should reveal. These seem unrelated, but under the masterful storytelling of Chris Hall, all find their places in the fullness of this confusing and enticing story. As readers unravel these mysteries, we are soaked in the atmosphere of this rural South African village where everyone knows everyone, where technology doesn’t define how things are done, and neighbors are the most efficient method of accomplishing tasks.

Recommended for those who love quirky and intriguing mysteries and anyone who couldn’t get enough of Song of the Sea Goddess.

5 Mystic Keys

by Grace Allison Blair

I don’t often read self help books but I’m a fan of Grace Blair’s. She wrote an earlier one (Do You Have a Dream) which I enjoyed and then Einstein’s Compass which I fell in love with (fiction–nothing to do with solving personal problems). 5 Mystic Keys to Courage, Confidence, Creativity (2022) is a simple guide to taking charge of your life and fixing personal problems. Based on common sense and requiring a will to change, I found this to be a good approach with fresh ideas drawn from Grace’s own life experience. Despite difficult challenges that would defeat many, she refused to quit and turned these into an engine for achievement by focusing on faith and spiritual strength.

“When life gives me a plot twist, I have a map…”

She breaks 5 Mystic Keys into seven sections–

  • If at first you don’t succeed, change the rules
  • Do you need to be rescued
  • Do you believe in God
  • Emotions + Energy in Motion
  • What are your boundaries
  • What are priorities
  • What is the value of prayer

Each includes insightful ideas like ‘Trust your intuition’, ‘Value your creativity’, and ‘Experience your soul’s dreams’. Once you absorb these, she shares the 5 Mystic Keys (you’ll have to buy the book for that reveal). Supporting these is her personal story and meaningful quotes from spiritual advisors:

“God is not the bellhop in the sky to deliver every whim or wish.”

“Every intention sets energy into motion. Whether you are conscious of it or not.” –Gary Zukav

It’s a fast read or a slow one, depending upon where you need help and unlike other fix-me books you may have read. Highly recommended to those who feel let down by the world and in need of a special touch.



Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Man vs. Nature saga, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and the acclaimed Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Natural Selection, Summer 2022

79 thoughts on “Book Review: Good Indies I’ve Read

  1. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blogger Weekly – August 6th 2022 – #Interview Marcia Meara and D.G. Kaye, #Bookreviewing Robbie Cheadle, Jacqui Murray, Alison Williams, #Fear Cheryl Oreglia | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

  2. Hi Jacqui, both of these books sound excellent. I have another of Chris’, written under her pen name, on my kindle first, and then I will read this one. I also have one of your books coming up. The self help book sounds very sensible. We are masters of our own destiny to a large extent. There is a saying “God helps those who help themselves.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Jacqui – I’m definitely interested in Chris’ book ‘The Spirit of the Shell Man’ – especially as it’s got South African connections … I’ll look into it – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The “Shell Game” had me thinking of a version of “The Gods Must Be Crazy” as outsiders have a way to intrude into peaceful but naive society. The first section of “Mystic Keys” sounds like the commander on Star Trek who was the first to get test right by re-writing the question (It’s been a long time, I don’t exactly remember how it went together)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks, Jacqui, for reading and reviewing my spiritual self-help books, “5 Mystic Keys to Courage, Confidence and Creativity. I appreciate your precious time and the wonderful review. For people experiencing change it’s a must have. For people looking to make a change, the workbook will assist you in having what you want to have, do or be easier.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I like the first bullet under the 5 Mystic Keys. It reminds me of my two rules: #1 – There are no rules, just principles; #2 – Don’t forget Rule #1! I’m going to check out Shell Man. Thanks, Jacqui!

    Liked by 1 person

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