Sunday, September 30, 2012

Courting a Cowboy

Review by Nancy

It all began with the letters. Sophie Vandercook had been writing back and forth with her half brother, James for several years. Sophie had a plan and nothing could stand in her way. A Hurricane didn’t have a chance against Sophie when she had made up her mind. Nothing would do but she finally travel from her St. Louis home to visit James on the ranch he worked on in Wyoming.

When she gets there, the hands are all acting a bit – odd. There is a long story behind Sophie’s letters and no one wants to be the one to let it out. The ramrod of the outfit, Nate Abbott, a grump of the first order won’t give Sophie the time of day, much less a smile. She doesn’t think much of Nate, either. Staying with the ranch owner and his daughter, Edith is an awakening for the all-girls school teacher from Mrs. Forestall’s Academy. Women in Wyoming, just like everywhere else, are treated nicely but not like Sophie has in mind. She wants a marriage of convenience. He in Wyoming and herself back at Mrs. Forestall’s.

Before she knows it, Sophie is engaged. Three times, in fact! She breaks each off because it’s not what she wants. If she only knew what she wanted, it would help!

A nice story of Wyoming cattle ranches in the 1880s. No cussin’, no drugs and no shoot-outs. Just a stubborn woman and a more-than-stubborn man batting at each other every chance they get.

Purchase a copy here

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Your House is on Fire, Your Children All Gone

I was very excited to want to pick up this book and read it. I was in the mood for a good horror story. Unfortunately for me this book missed the mark. It moved very slowly and the characters were uninteresting to me. I thought the back story about each character in regards to where they came from would help with the story. It would shed light as to what prompted them to do what they did but all it showed me was the children grew up in sad families and then started getting in trouble and being trouble makers. I got about almost half way and then I skimmed the rest of the book. Just so I could find out what happened in the end.

This book was more about the drawing out of the characters then it was about the scare factor. This is what I wanted. The scare might have been there but it was subtle. However I do have to give it up to the graphic art department for the creepy book cover. If you hold the book at just the right angle you can see the imprinted embossed words that over lay the cover and they say “If You Tell On Me You’re Dead”. Now that is creepy.

Leaves...Please support this book, it’s a finely written family history with unforgettable characters.

Review by Nancy

Leaving a place is hard if it’s always been your home and the Gold siblings weren’t any different. They have grown up in the Sugar Maple Inn in Connecticut but things were different now: Mom and Dad were both gone and each child has their own interests, yearnings and thoughts. The place had been sold and it was time for the final Sugar Maple Inn Halloween Party – a tradition started by their mother many years ago.

This wonderful blend of irony, love and humor is one of my favorite books this year. The characters are so typical of a family: the Politician, the musician and the rest. They bicker, the love each other deeply (although it doesn’t always seem like it) and the band together one last time to make it work.

This is the first Michael Baron book I’ve read – the good news it this is the first books featuring the Gold family but not the last. The ending leaves you wanting to know what happened and that’s just screaming for several sequels. Yippee! He’s writing them! Please support this book, it’s a finely written family history with unforgettable characters.

Purchase a copy here

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Christmas Carol Murders is a nice, cozy murder mystery.

Everyone in Dickens Junction is gearing up for Christmas.

Zach Benjamin works as a reporter for the magazine, Rainbows. He is in town to write about Dickens Junction. Mervin Roark is the owner of Mervin Enterprises. He is interested in purchasing property in Dickens Junction. Some people are not interested in selling. Mervin has pissed off several people with his bully tactics but who did he piss off enough to want to murder him?

The Christmas Carol Murders reminded me some of author, Gail Fraser’s Lumby series. With some of the nutty characters and the town. It made for a fun read. However, it did take be a while to get into this book in the beginning. Also, I felt like the writing was simple in a way. Not that I don’t like simple but sometimes, especially when it comes to a murder mystery, I do want some element of surprise. It felt like the conversations between the characters was simple. Like for example, I don’t really care what the description of the characters are or what they are wearing but my focus is on the murder. It was like when one person would have an idea the next one would run with it. So in this aspect I was not a fan of this book but again, I did enjoy the background of the location. The Christmas Carol Murders is a nice, cozy murder mystery.


A tantalizing cozy murder mystery in the Dickens Junction Series by Christopher Lord.

Christopher Lord's Biography

Christopher Lord was born in Astoria, Oregon. He now lives in Portland with his partner of twenty years and their Devon Rex, Miss Corey, the inspiration for Simon’s Miss Tox. He is hard at work on future books in the Dickens Junction mystery series.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

With Every Letter is a must read and a keepsake that you will want to read over and over again!

Mellie Blake lost her mother at a young age and her father’s job as a botanist in the jungle left Mellie as a loner. She is anti-social. It is very hard for Mellie to make friends. Mellie actually prefers it this way. That is until Mellie is instructed to make friends or her ob could be in jeopardy. One of the ways that Mellie makes friends is by being a pen pal to a soldier. The catch is that everyone in the pen pal program is anonymous.

Lt. Tom MacGilliver has tried to hide but it is hard when everyone is familiar with your last name. That is why Tom is excited about the pen pal program. He can make friends without anyone knowing who he is. A chance meeting with Mellie might change things.

I have read every book by Mrs. Sundin and I am a fan of hers and aviation. So I get the best of both worlds when I read her books. I am excited about her new series. After reading With Every Letter I am more excited then ever to read the next book in this series. I loved every moment of this book. The letters back and forth between Tom and Mellie almost had me crying a time or two. As the story progressed, I was smiling with every letter. I was not surprised that Mellie discovered early on that Tom was her mystery pen pal. What can I say, women are very perceptive.

Mellie and Tom were both on the shy side. They helped each other grow and blossom. The ending when Tom finally met his pen pal and discovered that it was Mellie was funny and put a huge smile on my face. For any one who is thinking about trying out Mrs. Sundin then now is a good time. Also, if you are wondering about the Christian publisher and how much preaching there is, there is not a lot. It is subtle and not in your face. With Every Letter is a must read and a keepsake that you will want to read over and over again!

“Available September 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Overall, a nice twist on the back story behind one of the famed characters from Stoker.

The last thing Lucy Weston remembers is attending the opera with her sister. Then Lucy awakes to find herself cold and hungry. Only her hunger is not for food but for blood. Lucy wonders what has happened to her. She comes upon a house. The house has a library. Lucy picks up a book titled Dracula by Bram Stoker. Lucy proceeds to read the book and discovers that Stoker has written about her. Only Stoker has portrayed Lucy as someone she is not. Lucy goes on the hunt for Stoker to set the facts right.

When I read the book summary for this book and saw the book cover I was really excited to read this book. Some because of the vampire aspect. Never really got into the whole Bram Stoker craze. What drew me into the book cover is the whole steam punk aspect. I have recently discovered this genre and am enjoying reading books from this era.

So this book was slow to get going. I did have a time or two when I wanted to put this book down and give up but I stuck with it. It did get better and more entertaining as the story progressed, however, I still was a little let down by the book. The battle scene was good but the romance was lacking. So as you can see I had a bit of a tug of war with this book myself. Overall, a nice twist on the back story behind one of the famed characters from Stoker.

Thrones of Desire: Erotic Tales of Swords, Mist and Fire

Review by Nancy

Thrones of Desire is a compliation of novellas – 14 in all – with their plots loosely based on swords, thrones, lords and ladies, etc. The 14 stories may titillate a bit but, to me, they all seemed to stop suddenly. Wham, Bam…well, you know.

“The Widow’s Man” by Nyla Nox was a fair tale, I like the way it was written, the characters seemed real, although the end was a bit off-putting. The rest of the stories were all right.

Overall, I felt a disappointment because I kept reading through each tale hoping for improvement and there was none.

About the Author

Mitzi Szereto is an author and anthology editor of erotic and multi-genre fiction and nonfiction. She has her own blog, “Errant Ramblings: Mitzi Szereto’s Weblog” (, and a Web TV channel, Mitzi TV (, which covers the “quirky” side of London.

Her books include the controversial Jane Austen sex parody Pride and Prejudice: Hidden Lusts; Red Velvet and Absinthe: Paranormal Erotic Romance; In Sleeping Beauty’s Bed: Erotic Fairy Tales; Getting Even: Revenge Stories; The New Black Lace Book of Women’s Sexual Fantasies; Wicked: Sexy Tales of Legendary Lovers; Dying For It: Tales of Sex and Death; and the Erotic Travel Tales anthologies. A popular social media personality and frequent interviewee, she has pioneered erotic writing workshops in the UK and Europe and lectured in creative writing at several British universities. She divides her time between England and the USA.

The Sparrow and the Hawk

Review by Nancy

Tales of the Sparrow Book One by Meg Lacey

Jillian (Jillie) is a laid-back spy for the NAS (Natural, Abnormal and Strange) who certainly has her work cut out for her on the newest case – finding the Carmaletta Choker before someone who knows what it can do does. She is a journalist by trade which is the perfect cover since she’s dong an article on jewelry. But her usual photographer doesn’t show for the meeting. He’s been replaces by Griff Ryland, one hunk of a man (?) and who is set on getting his hands on the Choker as well.

They make arrangements to attend a party given by what has to be one of the oddest characters I’ve read in a long time. Mannekins dressed to the hilt, guests dressed – interestingly (oh yes!) along with the sexual pull from Griff help keep Jillie on her toes.

This book was odd. I kinda didn’t like it at first but the descriptions of the choker owner – Franklin – and his “friends” absolutely enthralled me! If you like a bit of evil with your dinner and a house that has its’ own issues this is a perfect book for you. One issue and only one that I had, the last page reads” To be continued……”

Never fear. The Sparrow and The Vixens Three will be out next year!


Meg wrote her first novel in the sixth grade, her own version of a classic historical romance. However, her writing career didn’t last. Over the years, she’s been an actress, director, producer, creative director, copywriter, creative dramatics teacher, mime, mom, college instructor, and a school bus driver. She’s formed, and worked as a Vice President and as CEO, two creative marketing and media companies in the Midwest. She’s worked in all media from network cable programming to corporate initiatives; to games and interactive websites. Through it all, she has always returned to writing.

She has written for Silhouette and Harlequin, and you can find her titles available in digital format at any online bookstore.

Her new paranormal romance series, Tales of the Sparrow, will be published by Imajinn Books with the first book, The Sparrow and the Hawk, is available September 30, 2012.

Her new contemporary romance: Million Dollar Mistake, is available October 23, 2012. It’s the first book in the Million Dollar Men series.

Visit Meg Lacey: at

Email Meg at:


Monday, September 17, 2012

Greco’s Game will have you wanting more!

Aleksandr Talanov is recovering from the brutal death of his wife. Before he can find the peace and quiet he so desires, Talanov decides to track down the people responsible for his wife’s death. Talanov gets more then he bargains for when he tangles with both the Russian Mafia and the CIA. Someone wants Talanov out of commission for good but who?

Greco’s Game is book two of the Aleksandr Talanov novels. This book can be read as a stand alone novel. Fans of military themed, action thrillers like Jason Bourne will enjoy this book. This book read really fast and not just because of the short chapters but because of the fast paced action. There was not a moment that I was bored. Talanov is a people person character. What I mean by this is that Talanov is interesting, multi-dimensional and makes me want to know more about him. This is a good thing.

The topic for this book “human trafficking” is a very serious matter and one that people need to be aware of. The way that we treat each other as humans is horrible. Talanov was the right man for the job. He produced results. There were a few twists in this story line. Mr. Turner sucked me into this book. The ending ended on a high note and a nice lead into book three. The ending was good enough that it did make me read the quick preview for book three. I do not usually read the previews for the next book. So what are you waiting for, pick up a copy of Greco’s Game today. Greco’s Game will have you wanting more!


A native of Kansas, James turned to writing fiction as a result of his years as a smuggler behind the old Iron Curtain. He has been on a KGB watchlist, organized secret midnight meetings with informants, located hidden mountain bunkers, and investigated legends of forgotten tunnels buried beneath the cobblestones and bricks of some of Central Europe’s most venerated cathedrals. Department Thirteen, his debut thriller featuring former KGB informant, Colonel Aleksandr Talanov, was inspired by those experiences and went on to win the USA Book News “Best Thriller of 2011″ award, a gold medal in the 2012 Independent Publisher “IPPY” Book Awards (thriller/suspense), and a gold medal in the 2012 Indie Book Awards (action/adventure).

A former journalist in Los Angeles, James holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Baker University and a Master’s Degree from the University of Houston (Clear Lake). His 2011 “Too Ugly Tour” saw him drive 4500 miles across America promoting his books and speaking to thousands of students about not letting the hard knocks of life defeat you, which in his case included years of rejection, surviving cancer, and once being turned down for a customer service job because he was “too ugly” — a reference to the facial scars he still carries from his successful 1991 battle against cancer. He and his wife, Wendy, a former triathlon winner, live in Adelaide, South Australia.

You may visit him
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Colonel Aleksandr Talanov — the “ice man” — is married to a woman he wishes he could love. But he can’t, and it’s an ugly consequence of his training with the KGB. Even so, no one should have to experience what Talanov experiences: the brutal murder of his wife in front of his eyes.

Wracked with guilt and suspected of plotting her death, Talanov spirals downward on a path of self-destruction. He should have been killed, not her. He was the one whose violent past would not leave them alone. Months tick by and Talanov hits rock bottom on the mean streets of Los Angeles, where he meets a hooker named Larisa, who drugs and robs him.

But in the seedy world of prostitution and human trafficking ruled by the Russian mafia, this hooker made the big mistake of stealing the ice man’s wallet. In it was Talanov’s sole possession of value: his wedding photo. Talanov tracks Larisa down to get that photo because it reminds him of everything that should have been but never was, and never would be because an assassin’s bullet had mistakenly killed his wife. Or was it a mistake?

The answer lies in Greco’s Game, a chess match played in 1619 that is famous for its Queen sacrifice and checkmate in only eight moves. In an unusual alliance, Talanov and Larisa team up to begin unraveling the mystery of what Talanov’s old KGB chess instructor regarded as the most brilliant example of how to trap and kill an opponent. The question is: who was the target?

My Berlin Kitchen is a lovely, mouth-watering adventure

My Berlin Kitchen is a lovely, mouth-watering adventure. Getting to know Luisa Weiss was fun. Reading this book was like I had known her all my life and we were good friends. From the time that Luisa was a little girl to the point where she and her husband were celebrating how much time has passed with each other.

The bonus is all the yummy recipes inserted in this book. There are so many to choose from that I don’t know which ones I want to try out first. Ok, well I do have an idea. Probably the Sour Cherry Quarkauflauf and Poppy Seed Whirligig Buns. Of course, I am sure I will be trying all of the recipes. I was surprised that I did not drool.

Luisa really told her story wonderfully. This was a quick read for me. The way that Luisa painted Berlin makes me want to visit. For foodies and nonfiction fans like, do yourself a favor and treat yourself to a copy of My Berlin Kitchen today. You will not regret it.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

52 Days of 52 Reasons to Love Jessica Brody and Her Books

1 of the 52 Reasons to Love Jessica Brody and Her Books….for 51 other reasons, visit Novel Magic (September 14th), I Am a Reader, Not a Writer (September 16th), and Fiction Freak (September 17th), and stay tuned for more!

Jessica is so thrilled at readers’ reactions to 52 Reasons to Hate My Father, and she is excited about her upcoming book, Unremembered, too! The final four blogs in this tour will be offering copies of Unremembered, so make sure to follow along!

About 52 Reasons to Hate My Father (FSG, July 2012)

Being America’s favorite heiress is a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it.

Lexington Larrabee has never to work a day in her life. After all, she’s the heiress to the multi-billion-dollar Larrabee Media empire. And heiresses are not supposed to work. But then again, they’re not supposed to crash brand new Mercedes convertibles into convenience stores on Sunset Blvd either.

Which is why, on Lexi’s eighteenth birthday, her ever-absent, tycoon father decides to take a more proactive approach to her wayward life. Every week for the next year, she will have to take on a different low-wage job if she ever wants to receive her beloved trust fund. But if there’s anything worse than working as a maid, a dishwasher, and a fast-food restaurant employee, it’s dealing with Luke, the arrogant, albeit moderately attractive, college intern her father has assigned to keep tabs on her.

In a hilarious “comedy of heiress” about family, forgiveness, good intentions, and best of all, second chances, Lexi learns that love can be unconditional, money can be immaterial, and, regardless of age, everyone needs a little saving. And although she might have 52 reasons to hate her father, she only needs one reason to love him.

52 Reasons to Hate My Father Excerpt

      If you love what you just read about this book then you are in luck. I have 3 copies to give away of 52 Reasons to Hate My Father . US readers only. Just leave me your email address and why you would like to read this book. Winners chosen September 22nd.

Tributary and hanging with Barbara Richardson

Review by Nancy

Thirty years of Clair Martin’s life make up the pages of Tributary. A life of scorn, preaching, pain, suffering and justification, all told in first person by Barbara Richardson. Born with a large birthmark, Clair’s mother left her in Utah while very young. She was passed off by the Mormons to various people in the Church who were in need of help. No one helped Clair, it was up to her to make it or not. She got encouragement from one widow for her lovely flower cards which she sold for spending money.

She is nearly raped by a son of one of the Church elders and decides it is time for her to leave Utah for points South and East. She lands in New Orleans where she becomes a laundress in the colored ward of a local hospital. She falls in love with a little boy she names Tierre (“T”). He’s back and she’s not but it doesn’t matter to Clair because he becomes the son she cares for and raises to read, study and work hard. They decide, after receiving a long letter from the widow, to return to Utah and go North to a sheep ranch owned by the lady’s son, Stephen.

There’s nothing in northern Utah and not much in Clair’s soul when she finds, ultimately, that Stephen has converted to Mormonism and already has two young wives. He wants a third – Clair – but she won’t give in.

Through the 1850’s to the 1880’s, Clair and her friends, enemies and T travel dirt roads by foot, wagon and horseback to learn what God and Brigham Young have in store for them. The scenery is so well described that I could see it with my eyes closed and living in New Orleans in the 1870’s! There must have been nothing like it.

An outright wonderful story by the author of Guest House and one you should take the time to read slowly to enjoy the moods and thoughts of a self-made woman dealing in a world of men.

Author website

1. What is it like to live in one of the "greenest" places in Colorado?

Boulder is immensely blessed with green spaces and the zoning to protect them. I live two blocks from South Boulder Creek which runs wild through a field of cottonwoods, elms and willows, among waist-high flowers all summer long. I walk there every day. I’m not a happy camper without wildlife neighbors. I’ve seen kingfishers, flickers, herons, hawks, peregrine falcons and one large mottled owl on the banks of the creek. Also a snake, a frog, hundreds of dogs and my old friends milkweed, lupine, bladder campion, wooly mullein and snowberry who are visited by bees, butterflies, dragonflies and mosquitoes. I love it here.

Oh, goodness, did you mean environmentally green? Same answer.

2. Who was your favorite author growing up and why?

My favorite popular author was Anne H. White who wrote Junket, the tale of a busy farm dog whose family abandons him to the clueless care of the citified newcomer McDonegal clan. This novel made me long to have an Airedale Terrier. I still pull White’s story out every few years and revel in its wit and charm, and my own half-smoldering desire for an Airedale Terrier.

Since no kid can choose just one favorite author, I’ll tell you my favorite author in the literary category: James Hurst. He wrote the heart-wrenchingly beautiful short story “The Scarlet Ibis.” My fifth grade teacher read this aloud to the class, and I remember sobbing uncontrollably all afternoon. I rediscovered the story, hardbound, a few years back. I still find the writing remarkable.

3. Where do you go to write? Boulder has such wonderful spots to just sit and enjoy. Do you ever choose them instead of home?

Unlike author friends of mine who frequent coffee houses, the noisier the better, I write at home. My upstairs window looks out into trees with a hint of the Flatirons behind them. Birdsong is the only soundtrack. One time I did write elsewhere. On a particularly important, nature-laden part of Tributary’s rewrite, I went to sit in the shade of a cottonwood tree near a little lake in south Boulder for two days. I figured my Shoshone character Kashess spent all of her time out of doors so I should, too. I let my day be more like her day. Let the sparkling waters and rough weeds take charge of the writing. I think it worked. I hope readers agree. Tributary is as much about land and water and wildlife as it is about people.

P.S. I also had a budding writer’s crush on Farley Mowatt.

Friday, September 14, 2012

What the Heart Remembers is a spell bounding read!

Eden Harrison used to love running. She also loved her fiancé, Derek. That stopped when Eden required a heart transplant. Now, Eden is a changed person. Even since her transplant, she has been experiencing strange visions. Although the visions are like from scenes of another life she lived.

Darcy Silver recently lost her husband. In a strange consequence, Darcy also lost her lover. When Darcy meets Eden she feels an instant connection towards her. Eden and Darcy will soon discover just how close they really are.

I found this book to be read-worthy. The premise of it was what had my attention. While, the characters were nice it did take me time to warm up to them, especially Darcy. In the beginning I found Darcy to be cold and emotionally detached. Where as with Eden she did have the whole transplant and visions thing going for her. Otherwise, I did find her boring as well in the beginning. As the story progressed it did get better. Then there was a lag during part 2 when things slowed down but part 3 picked up again and stayed steady until the end.

I quickly figured out whose visions Eden was having so there were no surprises there. However, this book was not so much about the element of surprise as it was about the story and the connection between the characters. Overall, this was a nice first introduction for me to this author. What the Heart Remembers is a spell bounding read!

What was your inspiration for What the Heart Remembers?

I’ve long been interested in the idea of cellular memory and even longer fascinated with the idea of waking up one day and feeling like someone else. But these two ideas didn’t really coalesce into a story until I was working on the draft of a completely different novel. This actually happens to me with some frequency—I’ll be pretty sure I know what I want to write and while I’m struggling through it, the idea for something else will emerge fully formed. So I was trying to write a domestic scene—I think it was an argument between a husband and wife—and having a real problem with it, just not liking it at all and suddenly I had this vision of these two women (and they dropped into my head with names; Darcy and Eden), neither who she seemed to be on the surface, and the rest of it all fell into place.

Did you do any research to prepare for writing What the Heart Remembers?

I did. I searched online for newspaper and journal articles about cellular memory and found some very interesting articles; mostly personal stories of people who’d had transplants and had experienced feelings of connection with their donors. I also read a couple of very informative books on the subject; one a memoir by a woman who’d had a heart/lung transplant and one a compilation of anecdotal findings on cellular memory. Finally, and most importantly, I interviewed several doctors and nurses, all of whom were extremely generous with their time and provided invaluable information.

How long did it take you to write What the Heart Remembers?

I had a very different writing schedule with What the Heart Remembers than I usually do. I worked on the first 80 or so pages for about three months, but then, due to a family emergency and other circumstances beyond my control, I was unable to get back to it for several months after which time it became a now-or-never type of proposition. I ended up writing about two-thirds of it in about 8 weeks. It was a crazed summer; I was writing for about 14 hours a day. It wasn’t pretty.

How important is organ donation to you?

I understand the reasons why someone would not want to be an organ donor and I can also understand how difficult it would be for family members to make that decision for a loved one who couldn’t. But I do believe that organ donation is a good and positive thing and personally see no reason not to be an organ donor.

Do you believe that people do share a connection with their donor?

I don’t see how it’s possible not to share a connection. On the most basic, physical level, a piece of one person’s body resides in the body of another after a transplant—on that level the connection is inescapable. But I do believe that there is a stronger connection than that between a donor and a transplant recipient. Evidence and proof of cellular memory is still anecdotal, but I have no doubt that one day (sooner rather than later) it will be proven scientifically as well.

What is one thing that you want readers to take away from this book?

First and foremost, I want readers to be engaged and entertained (and—my fondest wish—thrilled). The mark of a great read for me is when I want to simultaneously skip ahead so I can find out what happens (I don’t) and slow down to make it last longer (I can’t); a delightful dilemma and one I always seek to create for my readers. Beyond that, I would consider myself very successful if I am in some way able to allow readers to view an idea (in this case the connections between people) in a d

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Fistful of Collars is a man’s best friend of a read!

Bernie and Chet are a team. Bernie is a private investigator. Lately, Bernie has been feeling the pinch in his financial situation. If it was not for this, he probably would have argued more with the Mayor about his latest job. The mayor wants to hire Bernie to baby sit a movie star. The town is the setting for a movie and Thad Perry is the star. Bernie is no one’s baby sitter but the money is good. It seems that Bernie will have to earn his money when someone tries to go after Thad.

A Fistful of Collars is book five of the Chet and Bernie mystery books. I have been eyeing this series for a while but just never found a chance to check any of the books out until now. This is why it is a good thing that this book can be read as a stand alone novel.

I thought this was a fun, charming read. Nothing to serious about it. This is what I liked the most. The characters were goofy but entertaining. I loved Chet. He is a great narrator. His input was valuable, funny, and observant like a dog. Bernie is lucky that the case he has goes so easy for him. At times I wonder about him. He seems like a dim wit but a likable dim wit. I do plan to go back and check out the rest of the prior novels. A Fistful of Collars is a man’s best friend of a read!

Lucky Bastard

Nick Monday is a private detective. Nick is not just your run of the mill detective either. Nick has a knack for taking people’s luck. You did not know that you could steal someone’s luck. Well you can. Not everyone is born lucky, some purchase their own luck. This is where Nick comes in.

Nick was sitting in his office when in walks a tall brunette. Her name is Tuesday Knight. She wants to hire Nick. Someone has stolen her father’s luck and she wants Nick to get it back. Tuesday’s father just happens to be the mayor of San Francisco. The payoff is right up Nick’s alley. Soon Nick finds himself in over his head.

I have not read anything by this author yet. So this was my first time seeing what Mr. Browne had to bring to the table. He brought comedic relief, some wacky and interesting characters, a sarcastic main lead…all rolled up into a quick read! Yep, that is Lucky Bastard. Some are born lucky and others have to beg, steal and kill for it.

I liked Nick Monday. He has an interesting personality. He is someone that at times I could hate but then quickly turn around and cheer for him. Part of the reason that I had this love/hate relationship with Nick was that I found what he did as a job intriguing and I liked his sarcasm but on the other hand he could also be crude. The sexual comments he made got old quick.

To be honest if it was not for Nick then I probably would have given up on this book a long time ago. The rest of the characters I found just ok. They never really grabbed my attention and they could have been anyone. Although, this is a quick read. This book was middle of the road for me but not always a bad thing.

Monday, September 10, 2012

From Blood...This is a must read!

Review by Nancy

In a story with as many surprises as murders, Edward Wright shows us that unexpected tragedies can end up being totally unexpected happiness.

Shannon hadn’t ever felt she fit in. She was dark-haired, sister Beth pure blond. Beth was whiney, beautiful and a dutiful daughter. Shannon met the folk at the city jail, smoked pot, and in general did all she could to not be what her parents wanted. Until they are killed. Then she uncovers photos of them marching, fists raised, protesting. PROTESTING?!? Roy and Mora Fairchild? The King and Queen of the university faculty? Who knew?

Turns out quite a few people. Most with bad intentions. They think Shannon knows more than she does. They think she has the key to finding “the treasure.” She doesn’t but she’s damn sure going to!

What a great story! There is familial love, many surprises, murders left and right and, through it all; Shannon doing things in her own, stubborn, sometimes misguided way but trying to make it all right. This is a must read!

Purchase a copy here

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later

Jessica and Todd have broken the sister rule. Do not steal your sister’s old boyfriend. This is exactly what Jessica has done. Only this time it is more serious. Jessica and Todd say they love each other and they are planning on making it permanent by getting married.

Once learning the news about Jessica and Todd, Elizabeth runs away to New York to start a new life. Only Elizabeth can not stop thinking about the past.

I can remember growing up reading the Sweet Valley series and all the trouble and romances that Elizabeth and Jessica got into. All of the series were addicting. It has been a long time since I have read or thought about Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield.
When I first heard about this book, I was intrigued but then I read mixed reviews about it and was unsure if I wanted to read this book. After reading the new six book mini ebook series about Jessica and Elizabeth that sort of picked up after this book, I decided to go ahead and read this book.

This book was just ok. It lacked the same sparkle that I enjoyed from the earlier books. It read kind of stiff and there was too much repetition for me. I actually was surprised and found myself disliking Elizabeth in this book. While she had every reason for being extremely mad at Jessica and Todd, I felt the revenge thing was more Jessica’s style. Also, Elizabeth did not really love Todd anymore.

As the true events unfolded into Jessica and Todd’s hook up, I came to see how it happened and believed that they really did love each other.

In addition, I felt that some of the returning old characters were just for us fans and they have nor real value to the story. On one hand, I liked revisiting with the Wakefield twins but on the other hand I was disappointed in this book.

The Lutheran Ladies Circle: Plucking One String

Review by Nancy

Anyone who has ever lead or been on a committee will tell you that this book it the honest truth. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a Church committee, PTA, whatever – you will know these ladies well. You probably ARE one of them but may not admit it!

Vera has been a pastor’s daughter, pastor’s wife and is now a pastor’s widow. She has run the Shaded Valley Lutheran Church in Stillwater, Oklahoma her way for the past 25 years and now doesn’t know what to do with herself. So she continues on…..and on….. The other ladies in the Ladies Circle haven’t been happy with Vera for years but – she was the pastor’s wife and that was that. However, the “times they are a-changin’.”

This book is hilarious, sad and wonderful. These ladies are their own worst enemies but strive to do Good Work for their church; sometimes in spite of themselves. There are such funny stories to be told! My favorite was the Christmas Pageant which Vera appoints the Church Organist to oversee. The kids are hysterical and I was laughing out loud in many places.

Vera may be the husband appointed Manager of the Universe but this time the Universe seems to be trying to tell her something: LISTEN!

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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lip Service

Julia Sterling is the wife of Dr. Paul Sterling. Her husband is a psychiatrist. When Julia met Paul, she was seeing a psychiatrist. So when during the beginning of their marriage when Paul would treat Julia more like one of his patients then his wife, this would explain why Julia dealt with it. As the years passed however, Julia wanted Paul to see her more as his wife and not as his patient. This included being sexual in the bedroom. They have no relationship. Paul does not even want to touch Julia.

Julia is offered a chance to write a book. It is about sex and therapists. In order to truly do the book justice, Julia decides to take a course in learning how to be a "phone sex therapist". Soon, Julia is talking to many clients.

I had really high expectations of this book. I know what M. J. Rose can produce and so I was excited to try her as an erotic author. Unfortunately I was not feeling this book at all. The phone sex scenes were not enough to keep me interested. The characters after a while got on my nerves. I found Julia's husband, Paul to be really condescending. The way that he constantly psychoanalyzed Julia was awful. The way that Julia would put up with Paul was annoying. I found myself yelling at her in the beginning to just leave Paul. I know why Julia had her reasons but she did not need to stay.

I could understand how Julia became drawn to phone sex as she was not getting any. It was during these times that Julia really opened up. When the story was fully revealed and was winding down, I thought the ending was just ok. There was no real surprise that the reader could not see coming. Overall, this was not one of my favorite erotic novels. I think I will stick to M.J. Rose's reincarnation series.

Line of Fire by Stephen White

Review by Nancy

I have read all of Stephen White's novels. I started when I lived In Longmont, CO which is basically Boulder-east and was so enthralled with Alan Gregory, Sam Purdy and their friends that I couldn't put any of them down. The same goes today - I loved this book.

Alan, psychologist, therapist, husband, father and friend is about to find out all sorts of interesting thing about several folk in his life. He knows that Lauren, his wife, is a top-notch lawyer for the Boulder DA's office. He knows that his best friend Sam the cop is hiding something major. His partner, Diane, who has had several bad years; is coming apart at the seams. Not that she doesn't have reasons, but.....

And then in walk two new patients: Amanda who has a background no one would want and Rick who is not at all who he seems to be. He's a lot more worrisome. Amanda's brother passed away from cancer and she helped ease his pain. Rick (aka Comadoe - you'd have to read it) apparently overheard a conversation while in a semi-coma that links Sam and maybe Alan to a murder in another town. Did Sam do it? Maybe. Did Alan know about it? Yep. Did Alan know Sam took Lauren's car? Not bloody likely!

The ease with which Stephen White comes up with plots worries me a bit. Not many are this good all of the time. He is. The part that worried me before I read this story was that this is the second to the last book about Boulder, Alan and Sam. We all know good things come to an end but - dammitt - I really liked these. And you will really love this one!   Purchase a copy here

The Good Woman

Meg Brennan Roberts is a publicist for Chad and Craig Hallahan. The Hallahan brothers own Dark Horse Winery. The winery is growing thanks to Meg. Chad approaches Meg and offers a golden opportunity. To go to the London Wine Fair with him to help promote the winery. Meg would like to go but there is the problem of her husband and family. She would have to leave them to attend. Meg’s husband tells Meg to go. Soon Chad and Meg are spending time together. The more time that they spend together, the more Meg starts to reevaluate her marriage.

I have read several of Jane Porter books and enjoyed them. What I do like about them is that the women are strong and experiences. What I mean by this is that they are not young and have lived for a while. It has been a while since I have picked up a book by Jane. So when I saw she had a new book releasing I thought it was a good time to try her again.

Unfortunately for me, this book did not hit the spot. I mean that Meg and Chad were fine and I thought that Chad was great. He and Meg made a good couple. It was easy to see why Meg fell for Chad. He was kind, respectful and was not Meg’s husband. Meg’s husband was a jerk. So this book would have been better for me if you had taken out Meg’s family out of the equation. Their constant bickering got on my nerves and even prompted me to put this book down and walk away from it. It took me a while to go back to it. Then I had to flash forward to when Chad and Meg’s story actually started. Probably will not read the rest of the books about the Brennan sisters but I do look forward to picking up another Jane Porter book outside of this series.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Willow Pond

Review by Nancy

Laura Austin has just successfully left his philandering husband when a mother’s worst dream happens. Her son is kidnapped while at his father’s home of Willow Pond. Laura is sure that Phillip is behind it because his movie career is waning and there’s nothing like a hot story to bring him back. She never even considers the other people in her life.

In the Roaring Twenties in New York where flappers abound and dirty deeds are blamed on the mob, the police are duds where investigation is concerned and, when the man they’ve just discovered was part of the deed ends up with a bullet in the head they’re stuck. Laura’s aunt Virginia has mob connections through her speak-easys and her lavish salon called Baccanel. Does she has have what it will take to help Laura find her son? Or – is she in on it? Never!

This first novel is a gem. The descriptions of clothing, vehicles and saloons are dead on. The characters know all the local language from the era and the plot unfolds really well. Ms. Tibaldi has done an excellent job of keeping us on the edge while waiting for Todd to be found. If he is, that is.

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Wild Card makes me want to sign up for my own Navy SEAL man.

Nathan Malone is a Navy SEAL. He is leaving his new wife, Sabella. Nathan’s mission was to rescues three girls from a Colombian drug cartel, uncover the mole, and get out. Instead Nathan is captured and almost every bone in his body is broken. Nathan is lucky to be alive. Nathan has a new identity…Noah Blake. Nathan is fine with never seeing his wife again but when he learns that Sabella is in trouble with the Black Collar Militia, he can not just stand by and do nothing. Only how long with Nathan let Sabella believe that Nathan is dead and there is only Noah?

Wild Card makes me want to sign up for my own Navy SEAL man. This is one steamy read. Noah and Sabella sizzle together. Sabella is one strong woman. She is Noah’s type. I am surprised however that Sabella did not realize that Noah was her husband sooner. I love that Sabella was loyal to her husband and did not just give in to Noah instantly. She did fight her desires for him in memory of her husband. However, it would be hard to resist for too long with a guy like Noah, especially when he is tempting Sabella along the way. After reading this book, I will now have to go back and read all the other books in this series.