Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a fireblood who must hide her powers of heat and flame from the cruel frostblood ruling class that wants to destroy all that are left of her kind. So when her mother is killed for protecting her and rebel frostbloods demand her help to kill their rampaging king, she agrees. But Ruby's powers are unpredictable, and she's not sure she's willing to let the rebels and an infuriating (yet irresistible) young man called Arcus use her as their weapon. All she wants is revenge, but before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to take part in the king's tournaments that pit fireblood prisoners against frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her and from the icy young man she has come to love.

Fast-paced and compelling, Frostblood is the first in a page-turning new young adult three-book series about a world where flame and ice are mortal enemies—but together create a power that could change everything.

Hardcover, 384 pages
Expected publication: January 17th 2017 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

My Review

It has been a little while since I have read a good young adult novel. This book sounded good but I had my reservations. The last couple of books along this same type of theme sounded good too but they turned out to be downers for me.

Well I am excited to report that this book is every bit as great as it sounds. Right from the get go I was on Ruby's side. Her abilities had me very intrigued. As she grew and learned how to use them better, my resolve for her got bigger and bigger. The whole vibe between she and Arcus was like playing tug of war. Arcus was a man of mystery. Little by little his secrets were revealed but the biggest one I did not see coming. It came out of left field. At this time I like both the fire and frostbloods. Fire and Ice can be a deadly combination but at the same time they can work well together. This is the case with Ruby and Arcus. A strong showing of a debut novel for new author, Elly Blake.

K Street

The latest installment in M.A. Lawson's thrilling Kay Hamilton series, K Street finds the ex-DEA agent working solo to uncover the motivations behind a gruesome shooting at a covert intelligence agency in Washington, D.C.

It’s been almost a year since Kay Hamilton was fired from the DEA for going rogue. Since then, she’s been employed by the Callahan Group, a covert intelligence agency based in Washington, D.C. Her job description is as dubious as the people she works for, and the undercover mission that nearly killed her in Viking Bay has Hamilton questioning the legitimacy of her employers.

When Hamilton arrives at the Callahan Group’s K Street office to tender her resignation, she unwittingly interrupts a deadly heist during which the robbers have stolen the company safe and left her boss gravely injured. She knows that Thomas Callahan doesn’t keep much cash in the safe—the men must have been after something other than money. But before Callahan slips into a coma, he whispers a name that will lead Kay to an organization even more secretive than the Callahan Group: the NSA.

Gripping, cinematic, and endlessly entertaining, K Street is the third installment of M.A. Lawson’s Kay Hamilton series, which follows our tough, gun-toting, and fearless heroine as she sets out to find answers and exact revenge.

My Review

My first experience with this author and series turned out to be a great one. I plan to go back and read the prior novels to get to know more about the Callahan Group and Kay. Kay is a kick-ass heroine. She showed that she can play rough ball. I would rather be fighting along side her than against her. Besides being strong, she is also smart. Oh, and she does not care if you are male or female. If you get in her way, you better give her what she wants.

A good storyline with plenty of intrigue. Because the story was strong with equally strong characters, I was able to really get into this book. It moved fast. I would say that I was not too surprised by how the plot went or ended. Yet, I was not disappointed either. Kay is my kind of woman.

This is Not Over

Two women are caught in an escalating game of cat-and-mouse that leads to an explosive ending in this breathtaking psychological thriller from the author of a Necessary End and Don’t Try to Find Me.

You’ll have your deposit within seven business days, just like it says on Getaway.com. I’ve put through a refund to your credit card for the full amount, minus $200 to replace the sheets. I couldn’t get the stain out despite professional laundering and bleaching. . .Miranda

All Dawn wanted was to stay in a beautiful beach house with her husband, to live like money’s no object, for just one long weekend. Then Miranda, the home’s owner, has to send an e-mail like this, full of lies and the suggestion that Dawn’s so dirty, she needs to throw out her sheets. Someone needs to teach Miranda a lesson.

Beware of your "host"
I wouldn’t leave a review on Getaway.com at all, if I didn’t feel it was my civic duty to warn others . . .

Miranda cannot believe her eyes. Yes, she may be a doctor’s wife, but she needs the rental money from the beach house desperately. Someone needs to teach this Dawn a lesson.

Two very different women with one thing in common: Each one knows she’s right, and each is determined to win this battle of words and wills and (eventually) worse. Neither will yield, not before they’ve dredged up hidden secrets, old hurts, and painful truths that threaten to shatter the foundations of their lives.

Because it’s never really just about the sheets, is it?

This is not over.

This is so not over.

My Review

This is the second book I have attempted to read by this author. I say this because the first book I found uninteresting and unforgettable. Yet, this time I was super hyped to check this book out. I forgot about the past. This book was a let down to me.

There was nothing appealing about either Miranda or Dawn. Both women came off as childish. In fact, I don't think that either one was coming out on top as the winner. The author tried to make me the reader feel for each woman by providing me details about their lives. This may have worked if most of the alternating chapters were not focused on the mud slinging. The obsession was getting out of hand. For example when Dawn was being pleasured by her husband and she is talking about Miranda. Dawn finally realizes in that situation that she was focusing too much on Miranda that she decides that her and her husband are going to have sex and so she jumps on top of him to ride him like a stag. I thought this book would get better for me, thus I kept reading. I could only get to chapter 20 before I could no longer stand Miranda and Dawn.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Fighter Pilot Daughter

Title: Fighter Pilot’s Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War
Author: Mary Lawlor
Publisher: Rowman and Littlefield
Pages: 336
Genre: Memoir
Format: Hardcover/Kindle
FIGHTER PILOT’S DAUGHTER: GROWING UP IN THE SIXTIES AND THE COLD WAR tells the story of the author as a young woman coming of age in an Irish Catholic, military family during the Cold War. Her father, an aviator in the Marines and later the Army, was transferred more than a dozen times to posts from Miami to California and Germany as the government’s Cold War policies demanded. For the pilot’s wife and daughters, each move meant a complete upheaval of ordinary life. The car was sold, bank accounts closed, and of course one school after another was left behind. Friends and later boyfriends lined up in memory as a series of temporary attachments. The book describes the dramas of this traveling household during the middle years of the Cold War.

In the process, FIGHTER PILOT’S DAUGHTER shows how the larger turmoil of American foreign policy and the effects of Cold War politics permeated the domestic universe. The climactic moment of the story takes place in the spring of 1968, when the author’s father was stationed in Vietnam and she was attending college in Paris. Having left the family’s quarters in Heidelberg, Germany the previous fall, she was still an ingĂ©nue; but her strict upbringing had not gone deep enough to keep her anchored to her parents’ world. When the May riots broke out in the Latin quarter, she attached myself to the student leftists and American draft resisters who were throwing cobblestones at the French police. Getting word of her activities via a Red Cross telegram delivered on the airfield in Da Nang, Vietnam, her father came to Paris to find her. The book narrates their dramatically contentious meeting and return to the American military community of Heidelberg. The book concludes many years later, as the Cold War came to a close. After decades of tension that made communication all but impossible, the author and her father reunited. As the chill subsided in the world at large, so it did in the relationship between the pilot and his daughter. When he died a few years later, the hard edge between them, like the Cold War stand-off, had become a distant memory.

For More Information:

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My Review

To be perfectly honest, in the beginning I was not feeling this book at all. I wanted to be done with it even before I barely was into it. Yet, because it is in one of my favorite genre's to read, I decided to give it a second chance. So, glad that I did. Author, Mary Lawlor did a very good job of portraying her family life with a military father.

What I enjoyed the most was not just about Mary's father's experiences in the military but additionally what life was like living back in this time of the Cold War. I am not as well versed in this war as I am WWI or WWII.

While, Mary's father may have been the one fighting in the real war; Mary's mother was fighting her own battle to keep her family together and raising them as best she could. Which I thought she did a good job of doing so. For a lot of Mary's stories about her father, they were serious, so it was nice to read about her laughing over the beer experiment incident. This is a well written book. The family pictures were a nice addition as well.

About the Author

Mary Lawlor grew up in an Army family during the Cold War.  Her father was a decorated fighter pilot who fought in the Pacific during World War II, flew missions in Korea, and did two combat tours in Vietnam. His family followed him from base to base and country to country during his years of service. Every two or three years, Mary, her three sisters, and her mother packed up their household and moved. By the time she graduated from high school, she had attended fourteen different schools. These displacements, plus her father's frequent absences and brief, dramatic returns, were part of the fabric of her childhood, as were the rituals of base life and the adventures of life abroad.

As Mary came of age, tensions between the patriotic, Catholic culture of her upbringing and the values of the sixties counterculture set family life on fire.  While attending the American College in Paris, she became involved in the famous student uprisings of May 1968.  Facing her father, then posted in Vietnam, across a deep political divide, she fought as he had taught her to for a way of life completely different from his and her mother’s.

Years of turbulence followed.  After working in Germany, Spain and Japan, Mary went on to graduate school at NYU, earned a Ph.D. and became a professor of literature and American Studies at Muhlenberg College.  She has published three books, Recalling the Wild (Rutgers UP, 2000), Public Native America (Rutgers UP, 2006), and most recently Fighter Pilot’s Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War (Rowman and Littlefield, September 2013).

She and her husband spend part of each year on a small farm in the mountains of southern Spain.


Book Excerpt:


The pilot’s house where I grew up was mostly a women’s world.  There were five of us.  We had the place to ourselves most of the time.  My mother made the big decisions--where we went to school, which bank to keep our money in.  She had to decide these things often because we moved every couple of years.  The house is thus a figure of speech, a way of thinking about a long series of small, cement dwellings we occupied as one fictional home.

     It was my father, however, who turned the wheel, his job that rotated us to so many different places.  He was an aviator, first in the Marines, later in the Army.  When he came home from his extended absences--missions, they were called--the rooms shrank around him.  There wasn’t enough air.  We didn’t breathe as freely as we did when he was gone, not because he was mean or demanding but because we worshipped him.  Like satellites my sisters and I orbited him at a distance, waiting for the chance to come closer, to show him things we’d made, accept gifts, hear his stories.  My mother wasn’t at the center of things anymore.  She hovered, maneuvered, arranged, corrected.  She was first lady, the dame in waiting.  He was the center point of our circle, a flier, a winged sentry who spent most of his time far up over our heads.  When he was home, the house was definitely his.

     These were the early years of the Cold War.  It was a time of vivid fears, pictured nowadays in photos of kids hunkered under their school desks.  My sisters and I did that.  The phrase ‘air raid drill’ rang hard--the double-a sound a cold, metallic twang, ending with ill.  It meant rehearsal for a time when you might get burnt by the air you breathed. 

     Every day we heard practice rounds of artillery fire and ordinance on the near horizon.  We knew what all this training was for.  It was to keep the world from ending.  Our father was one of many Dads who sweat at soldierly labor, part of an arsenal kept at the ready to scare off nuclear annihilation of life on earth.  When we lived on post, my sisters and I saw uniformed men marching in straight lines everywhere.  This was readiness, the soldiers rehearsing against Armageddon.  The rectangular buildings where the commissary, the PX, the bowling alley and beauty shop were housed had fall out shelters in the basements, marked with black and yellow wheels, the civil defense insignia.  Our Dad would often leave home for several days on maneuvers, readiness exercises in which he and other men played war games designed to match the visions of big generals and political men.  Visions of how a Russian air and ground attack would happen.  They had to be ready for it.

     A clipped, nervous rhythm kept time on military bases.  It was as if you needed to move efficiently to keep up with things, to be ready yourself, even if you were just a kid.  We were chased by the feeling that life as we knew it could change in an hour.


Friday, January 13, 2017

Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye

Warren the 13th is the lone bellhop, valet, waiter, groundskeeper, and errand boy of his family’s ancient hotel. It’s a strange, shadowy mansion full of crooked corridors and mysterious riddles—and it just might be home to a magical object known as the All-Seeing Eye. Can Warren decipher the clues and find the treasure before his sinister Aunt Annaconda (and a slew of greedy hotel guests) beats him to it?

This middle-grade adventure features gorgeous two-color illustrations on every page and a lavish two-column Victorian design that will pull young readers into a spooky and delightful mystery.

My Review

I have never heard of these books before. Yet, now that I have discovered this series, I am in for all of the adventures with Warren. Warren is odd-ball but for all of the outcasts in the world, he is the likable hero. Plus, he is smart and everyone he meets (for the most part) does like him. Although, Warren is not the only other person that I enjoyed meeting in this book. There is Petula, Sketchy, Mr. Friggs, Beatrice, Rupert, and Chef Bunion.

I tried to figure out the mystery surrounding the All-Seeing Eye but I had no clue. Not that I was trying too hard to solve the mystery. I was really just along for the journey and fun. My nephews will enjoy meeting Warren as I have. The best part is that they can read this book on their own. The illustrations help to really bring this story to life. Warren the 13th and The All-Seeing Eye is an enjoyable read for the whole family. I will be picking up the next book in this series.

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Duck Squad

Title: Duck Squad
Author: John Arnold
Publisher: Createspace
Pages: 75
Genre: Fantasy
Three ducks escape from a university lab experiment and find sanctuary in a fraternity house. They discover human beings can be their friends – and enemies. Their adventures begin righting wrongs – and getting even.

My Review

What a fun read. I have always believed that animals can speak. We as humans just have to listen. Some of us have the ability to communicate back with the animals. When I was little, we used to have ducks. Ducks are intriguing animals.

The ducks in this book were stars. Although, the true leader was Quock. Yet, Guk and Op were good sidekicks. It was great that Stan (human) just went along with the fact that the ducks could speak. Well via a laptop but still speak none the less. They way they took on the bad humans were awesome. Then there was the funny moment when they helped stop a thief. If you are an animal lover or just looking for a funny book to read, then check out this book. It is "quacking" good.

Book Excerpt:

The humans in the lab coats turned off the lights and left the room, shutting the door behind them. Quock listened carefully so he could hear them walk down the hallway and out through another doorway to the outside world.

Quock waited until there was no other sound in the building and he quacked at Guk who he could see in the cage next to him in the dim evening light from the lab windows.

                 “Guk? Are you sleeping?”

                 Guk wearily lifted his head from under his wing and quacked, “I was.”

                 “Is Op asleep?” Quock asked.

                 Guk looked over at Op’s plump, feathery figure in the cage next to him and then at all the sleeping Pekin ducks in all the other cages. He said, “Everybody’s asleep. Those drugs they give us make us sleepy. Why aren’t you asleep?”

                Quock looked around apprehensively. “Something’s happened to me.”

                 Guk was wide awake by now. He stared at Quock.  “Like what?”

                 “It’s like a cloud was lifted from my head,” Quock explained. “Suddenly I can understand.”

                Guk almost laughed. “Understand what? It’s the drugs they give us. They can make you think all kinds of crazy things.”

                 Quock stared back at Guk. “No, I mean it. I can understand them. I know what they are saying.”

                “You mean – the humans in the white coats?”

                 “Yes. The humans in the white coats. I can understand them now. And I can read what they write.”

                Guk shook his head. “There’s no way. It’s just gobbledygook.”

                 “Oh, no it’s not,” Quock shook his head. “It’s serious.”

                 Guk looked around at all the sleeping ducks in the room.

“How serious?”

                 Quock took a breath and whispered. “They are going to eat us.”


Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Meet the Author

John Arnold has had his work presented in either a reading or production at American Conservatory Theater (San Francisco) playreading series; California Playwrights Festival, Sacramento; Out and About Theater, Minneapolis; Playwrights Center, San Francisco; Sacramento Theater Company; West Coat Ensemble, Hollywood; Aloha Theater, Kainaliu, Hawaii; Moving Arts, Los Angeles; Mercury Cafe, Denver; First Stage, Los Angeles; The Theater-Studio, New York, Prince William Sound Community College, Valdez, Alaska; Theater of Western Springs, Illinois; and others. His monologue “Bit” is featured on Fourth Wall Review.com. His screenplays have been finalists in the Art Color “Digital Cinema International Film Festival, Montreal, the San Francisco Global Movie Fest, Indie Film Fest, Switzerland and the Swedish International Film Festival.

His play “Saint George” was winner of the 2016 Play Competition – Thistle Dew Theater, Sacramento. His monologue “Aunt Velma Considers Changing Religion” was part of the 2016 One Act Play Festival, Phoenix Stage Company, Connecticut.

He is author of “Duck Squad,” “Autobiography of a Duck” and “Going Home” – available via Amazon.com.

You can visit John’s blog at http://johnharnold.wordpress.com.

Hanging out with a Wicked Cowboy Charm + Giveaway




Author: Carolyn Brown

Series: Lucky Penny Ranch, #4

On Sale: January 31, 2017

Publisher: Forever

Mass Market: $7.99 USD

eBook: $7.99 USD

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Josie Dawson is new in town, but it doesn't take a local to know that Deke Sullivan is trouble—in a smokin' hot package. He's sweet, sexy, and has charmed just about every woman in Dry Creek, Texas. Well, Josie won't be next. She'll keep her distance, even if he is great with babies and makes a mean cup of homemade hot chocolate.

Deke Sullivan really is a one-woman type of guy. He just had to do a lot of looking to find that one woman. Now he thinks he's found her and he won't let a strong, sassy gal like Josie slip away. Just when he's wondering how to convince her he only has eyes for her, they get stranded in a tiny cabin during a major blizzard. If Deke can melt her heart before they dig out of the snow, he'll be the luckiest cowboy in Texas . . .


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Carolyn Brown is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author and RITA® Finalist who has sold more than 2.75 million books. She presently writes both women's fiction and cowboy romance. She has also written historical single title, historical series, contemporary single title, and contemporary series. She lives in southern Oklahoma with her husband, a former English teacher, who is not allowed to read her books until they are published. They have three children and enough grandchildren to keep them young.


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