Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The Memory Weaver

Eliza Spalding Warren was just a child when she was taken hostage by the Cayuse Indians during a massacre in 1847. Now a mother of two, Eliza faces a new kind of dislocation; her impulsive husband wants to make a new start in another territory, which will mean leaving her beloved home and her mother's grave--and returning to the land of her captivity. 

Haunted by memories and hounded by struggle, Eliza longs to know how her mother dealt with the trauma of their ordeal. As she searches the pages of her mother's diary, Eliza is stunned to find that her own recollections tell only part of the story.

Based on true events, The Memory Weaver is New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick's latest literary journey into the past, where threads of western landscapes, family, and faith weave a tapestry of hope inside every pioneering woman's heart. Get swept up in this emotional story of the memories that entangle us and the healing that awaits us when we bravely unravel the threads of the past.

Review by Blanche Mancuso

This is the first book I have read by this author. The author weaves a dynamic story about a missionary's daughter named Eliza. Eliza is strong in her faith. I loved how the author weaves the past with the present with Eliza's mother's diary. I was swept away by the story and the beautiful background scene for this story. Which was rich in history and thus kept my interest from the first page to the last page and everything in between. While this story was fiction, I enjoyed how the author incorporated true events into the story. Now that I have been introduced to this author and the talent she has as a storyteller, I will be reading more books by Jane Kirkpatrick.

Devil and the Deep Release Day Party + Giveaway


Scarlett is living her happy-ever-after, back in the real world. Only the ‘happy’ part is proving problematic.

For starters, there’s the isolation. Being a Cerulean among humans is fraught with risk, so her time with people can only be fleeting. Which means being with Luke but not being with Luke.

Then there’s her Cerulean light, her power over life and death. Less awesome talent, as it turns out, and more overwhelming responsibility. And it comes with rules – rules that are increasingly difficult to obey.

But what’s really pushing Scarlett to the precipice is something much bigger than herself, than her life in the cove. A force to be reckoned with:


When long-buried truths are exposed, will Scarlett keep her head above water – or will she drown in the blood-dimmed tide that is unleashed?

Buy links





It began with screaming. Shrill, ear-piercing, horrified screaming.

A girl shrieked, ‘Blood! Look, look – it’s everywhere!’ and pressed her hand to her mouth.

A man shouted, ‘Good grief!’ and another, ‘Great Scott!’

An old lady swooned gracefully and would have tipped over the balustrade of the riverboat had a lanky lad not caught her.

The cause of the excitement – a woman lying slumped on the long table on deck, cheek on her bread plate, headdress in the butter dish – twitched a little.

‘She’s alive!’ cried a lad beside her delightedly. ‘She moved!’

‘Did not,’ argued another.

‘Did too!’

‘Gentlemen,’ interjected a short, portly man with a twirly black moustache, ‘if you will forgive my intrusion, it must be noted that this woman has a bullet hole in her head and is logically, therefore, quite definitely deceased.’

Another old dear folded to the deck with a prolonged ‘Ohhhhhh’ and her husband grabbed a feathered fan and began wafting cool evening air in her face while calling, ‘Smelling salts – does anyone have any?’

I tried to keep a straight face. Really I did. I bit my bottom lip until I tasted my cherry-red lipstick. I pinched my leg through the cream satin of my gown. I dug my long cigarette holder into the sensitive flesh of my arm.

But it was no good.

The ‘What ho, chaps’ posh accents.

The buxom woman sagging in the arms of an elephant hunter wearing Converse All Stars.

The production of smelling salts in a bottle whose label read Pepto-Bismol.

The corners of the little round man’s moustache coming looser with his every word.

The fast-pooling puddle of pinkish blood on the bread plate, buffeted by the steady in-and-out breaths of the corpse.

Take it from a girl who’s really died – death on the River Dart, Devon, is hilarious.

‘Dear me, Ms Robson here appears to be quite overcome with shock,’ said the guy at my side suddenly, and he slipped an arm around me and turned me away. ‘Come, madam. Let us get some air.’

I smiled at him. Then grinned. Then choked back a guffaw. Thankfully, by the time full-scale hilarity hit me I’d been led to the rear of the boat, away from the rest of our party, and could bury my face in the bloke’s chest and shake mutely with laughter.

The gallant gentleman rubbed my back soothingly as I let it all out and said loudly, for the benefit of any onlookers, ‘There there, pignsey, there there.’

‘Pigsney?’ It was the final straw. My high-heeled sandals gave way and I melted into a puddle of mirth on the deck.

‘I’ll have you know, Scarlett Blake,’ hissed Luke, my boyfriend a.k.a. gallant gent, hoiking up his too-tight corduroy trousers so he could squat down beside me, ‘I Googled “old-fashioned terms of endearment” and pigsney’s a classic.’

I wiped tears from my eyes, dislodging a false eyelash in the process, and tried to catch my hiccupping breath as Luke went on.

‘Means pig’s eye. No idea why that’s appealing, but apparently in the seventeenth century, calling a lady pigsney was the very height of courting.’

Through his fake specs Luke’s blue eyes fixed me with a stare so earnest I almost managed to stop laughing.

‘But this is a Death on the Nile-Stroke-Dart murder mystery night, Luke,’ I managed to get out. ‘Set in the nineteen thirties, not the seventeen thirties.’

‘Ah,’ he said, ‘but my character tonight, Mr Fijawaddle, is a historical fiction writer, isn’t he? So as well as dressing like a brainy recluse – and I’m warning you now, I won’t hear another slur against this tweed jacket – he’d know all kinds of obscure terms. Like ginglyform and jargogle and nudiustertian and bromopnea and farctate and quagswag and philosophunculist.’

His showing off sobered me just enough to control the giggles. ‘You made those words up,’ I accused, poking a crimson talon into his mustard-yellow shirtfront.

He blinked at me innocently. ‘Did not. I told you before we left the house, I did my homework.’

I narrowed my eyes. ‘All right then, Mr Fijawaddle, what does that last word you said mean?’


‘Yes, that.’

‘Er…’ Luke gave me a sheepish grin.

‘Spill it,’ I said menacingly. As menacingly as a girl dressed up as a vintage Hollywood starlet with cute little pin curls and rouge aplenty can be, that is.

‘Philosophunculist,’ recited Luke. ‘Noun. A person who pretends to know more than they do in order to impress others.’

I threw my head back and laughed. ‘Busted!’

Luke slipped an arm around me and pulled me close. Really close.

‘Bet you like it when I use long words,’ he said huskily, eyes fixed on my too-red lips.

‘Bet you like it when I wear a clingy nightgown as a dress,’ I replied, eyes fixed on his too-kissable lips.

‘Brazen hussy,’ he growled at me.

‘Randy boffin,’ I murmured back.

Then neither of us said another word for quite some time.

Megan Tayte bio


Once upon a time a little girl told her grandmother that when she grew up she wanted to be a writer. Or a lollipop lady. Or a fairy princess fireman. ‘Write, Megan,’ her grandmother advised. So that’s what she did.

Thirty-odd years later, Megan is a professional writer and published author by day, and an indie novelist by night. Her fiction – young adult romance with soul – recently earned her the SPR’s Independent Woman Author of the Year award.

Megan grew up in the Royal County, a hop, skip and a (very long) jump from Windsor Castle, but these days she makes her home in Robin Hood's county, Nottinghamshire. She lives with her husband, a proud Scot who occasionally kicks back in a kilt; her son, a budding artist with the soul of a palaeontologist; and her baby daughter, a keen pan-and-spoon drummer who sings in her sleep. When she's not writing, you'll find her walking someplace green, reading by the fire, or creating carnage in the kitchen as she pursues her impossible dream: of baking something edible.

You can find Megan online at:

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Fallback (The Dead Survive Book 2) = Zombies

After being rescued from a brutal band of marauders, Ellen Hale rebuilt her life in the fortified neighborhood that became her home. A heartbreaking decision and devastating loss pushed her to become a fierce fighter, because weakness only got you and those you loved killed.

Now her community is facing a deadly threat, and Ellen has another choice to make.

Ellen volunteers as a member of fallback team three, tasked with establishing a temporary refuge for their citizens in the event their community is overrun by the enemy. As the danger intensifies, she and her adopted sister, Melissa, set off with the rest of their team on the road trip from hell.

Their mission is cloaked in secrecy, but suspicions of a traitor arise.

Something is affecting the zombies’ migration patterns, and when blacksmith Tyler Garrett is discovered trapped in a farmhouse, the team refuses to trust him. But Ellen believes his story, and it’s not just because of his rugged, blond good looks and soft-spoken manner—his skills can greatly benefit their team.

As the team struggles to reach the fallback, previously secure locations are overrun, and their chances of success seem remote. With the likelihood of a traitor nearly certain, and the lives of everyone she loves at risk, Ellen must figure out who to trust before the traitor—or the zombies—destroy them all.

Is there a spy among the fallback team,
or is there another threat lurking in the Kentucky hills?

I did not read the first book in this series, which probably accounts for a slight reason of why I had some troubles finding that connection with all of the characters in this book. However, this did not deter me from still reading and enjoying this book. I like that the author infused life in the characters and not made the zombies just a second string or the typical type of zombies.

Ellen for sure is a leader and strong female heroine. She also has sass. Some of the other readers commented that they were not feeling the love interest between Ellen and Ty. I did feel the connection. It was not in your face but one that started out slow and grew into something real. However as much as I did like this book there were times when I could get easily distracted so I was not fully 100% always invested in the story. Yet, I was always able to jump right back into the book when I did come back to it.

Free Book

Young adult clean romance for FREE?!? Yes, please!

REWIND TO YOU by Laura Johnston is FREE on all major online eBook retailers through the first week of October, so be sure to click one of the links below and DOWNLOAD!

One last summer before college on beautiful Tybee Island is supposed to help Sienna forget. But how can she? This is where her family spent every summer before everything changed, before the world as she knew it was ripped away.

But the past isn’t easily left behind. Especially when Sienna keeps having episodes that take her back to the night she wants to forget. Even when she meets the mysterious Austin Dobbs, the guy with the intense blue eyes, athlete’s body, and weakness for pralines who scooped her out of trouble when she blacked out on River Street.

When she’s with Austin, Sienna feels a whole new world opening up to her. Austin has secrets, and she has history. But caught between the past and the future, Sienna can still choose what happens now…

  “Johnston’s debut spotlights romance and familial relationships, including themes like grief and self-sacrifice. It’s an ideal story for readers looking for a deep-rooted YA love story with the emotional ups and downs and poignancy of a Nicholas Sparks contemporary. There’s also a touch of wit and a sigh-worthy hero – a definite on your TBR list.”
– RT Book Reviews

Divine Vices book Blitz + Giveaway

Book Blurb: 
The last thing sixteen-year-old Cassie Foster needs is trouble, but that doesn’t stop him from finding her. 

Nine months after the tragic accident that killed her mother and sister, this high school junior just wants a fresh start. Settling down in the quiet town of New Haven, Maine, she’s found peace at last…until the new resident bad boy, Jackson Matthews, comes into the picture. Arrogant, sarcastic, and devastatingly sexy, he’s the very last thing Cassie wants to entertain. Romance was never part of the plan. But when terrifying circumstances drive these two together, she finds herself in over her head and drawn in by his allure. As local girls begin disappearing, Cassie can’t help but wonder if it’s just a coincidence that everything started when this blue-eyed Casanova strolled into town. Will falling into Jackson’s arms mean she’ll be falling victim to a real lady-killer…or worse? 

The answer will open the door to a world she never thought possible.

Author Bio: Melissa Parkin is a Chicagoland native who feels weird referring to herself in the third person. When she's not binge reading, taking photographs, breaking the first rule of Fight Club, or playing music too loud, she's writing young adult paranormal romances.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Red for Murder

Despite the partial success of ‘Operation Rome Is Burning,’ the City of Los Angeles is once again in danger. Years earlier, in 2001, the government scrubbed ‘Operation Red Alert’—the secret code name for a mission to take out the 9/11 terrorists. FBI Special Agent John Swenson and Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim O’Brian have discovered that the failed operation from 9/11 has been retooled and re-hatched by government conspirators as a means to kill the President of the United States, deal the final death throws to a nation, and destroy all of Southern California. But this time it’s going to be different. The Iron Eagle and his men know the plot well in advance, but can they move fast enough to stop it before the City of Los Angeles and the nation are sent into a catastrophic tailspin that could end the Republic once and for all?

***Content Warning: While the Iron Eagle Series can be read out of order as a stand-alone book the reader should be advised that backgrounds and details of the characters may be confusing if readers choose to do so. The Iron Eagle Crime novel series contains mature subject matter, graphic violence, sexual content, language, torture and other scenes that may be disturbing to sensitive readers. This series is not intended for anyone under the age of eighteen, reader discretion is advised.***

Purchase a signed copy here

My Review

Another great book in this series. With each one the dynamics of the working relationship involving John and Jim gets stronger and stronger. They are really getting their groove together. I see them both on equal levels. Yet, I like that despite all of the torture and gruesome murders that Jim still has a conscience. He is like the angel whereas John is the devil on your shoulder.

Although I can not stop reading these books fast enough and have gotten used to the gruesome displays of murders and the strong language, I still can get shocked. For example, I did not know there were so many violent ways to dispose of someone. Also, while rape scenes are not new, the horrific scenes in this book of the rape was a little off putting. Yet, again still a good read.

Suzy Strom was your typical fourteen-year-old girl. She had hopes and aspirations, including becoming a model. Suzy’s mother did not share in her enthusiasm, and her father, Los Angeles Homicide Detective Randy Strom, knew nothing of them whatsoever. When an unforeseen rendezvous with a random stranger results in their daughter’s murder, Randy and Amy Strom do what any good parents would – they take matters into their own hands. Caught up in sensationalizing yet another young woman’s murder, Hillary Sums and Terry Brady, a lesbian media power couple hungry for a headline, weave fiction into a story with little facts. And as the Stroms collide with the two reporters, Sheriff Jim O’Brian and FBI Special Agent John Swenson, aka The Iron Eagle, pursue truth and justice for the victims.

Purchase a signed copy here

My Review

I like the addition to a new player in the mix from the police force. He really tested John and Jim. Which was great as it showed what a force they are to be reckoned with. Although if this was my child that was murdered, I would have probably felt the same way.

The last couple of books dealt with adults so to go back to children really brought my emotions up another level again. I was cheering and fighting for justice that much harder. Of course, the Iron Eagle does get his prey. All you can do is hope that he kills you quickly as the Iron Eagle likes to play with his prey. There are not many surprises in these books, so when details emerged regarding events in the past involving John, I was surprised. I felt that I got to know more about John in those moments.

Thursday, September 24, 2015


Rancher Staten Kirkland, the last descendant of Ransom Canyon's founding father, is rugged and practical to the last. No one knows that when his troubling memories threaten to overwhelm him he runs to lovely, reclusive Quinn O'Grady—or that she has her own secret that no one living knows. 
Young Lucas Reyes has his eye on the prize—college, and the chance to become something more than a ranch hand's son. But one night, one wrong decision, will set his life on a course even he hadn't imagined. 
Yancy Grey is running hard from his troubled past. He doesn't plan to stick around Ransom Canyon, just to stay long enough to learn the town's weaknesses and how to use them for personal gain. Only Yancy, a common criminal since he was old enough to reach a car's pedals, isn't prepared for what he encounters. 

In this dramatic new series, the lives, loves and ambitions of four families will converge, set against a landscape that can be as unforgiving as it is beautiful, where passion, property and pride are worth fighting—and even dying—for.

My Review

I am a fan of Jodi Thomas. I have enjoyed reading many of her books from her Harmony series. So when I saw her coming out with a new book from a new series, I was excited. Ransom Canyon is the first book in the Ransom Canyon series.

While I did like this book and thought it was a nice start to this new series, I cannot rightfully say that I am in love with the characters at this moment. Thus I cannot remember all of the details of each story line. Although the location that this new series centers around is nice. I look forward to reading the next book in this series and getting to know more people of Ransom Canyon.


He wasn’t even sure they were friends some days.  Maybe they were more.  Maybe less.  He looked down at his palm, remembering how she’d rubbed cream on it earlier and worried that all they had in common was loss and the need, now and then, to touch another human being.
The screen door creaked.  He turned as Quinn, wrapped in an old quilt, moved out into the night.
“I didn’t mean to wake you,” he said as she tiptoed across the snow-dusted porch.  “I need to get back.  Got a hundred new head of cattle coming in at dawn.”  He never apologized for leaving and he wasn’t now.  He was simply stating facts.  With the cattle rustling going on he might have to hire more men.  As always, he felt like he needed to be on his land and on alert.

She nodded and moved to stand in front of him.
            Staten waited.  They never touched after they made love.  He usually left without a word, but tonight she obviously had something she wanted to say.

Another thing he probably did wrong, he thought.  He never complimented her, never kissed her on the mouth, never said any words after he touched her.  If she didn’t make little sounds of pleasure now and then he wouldn’t have even been sure he’d satisfied her. 

Now, standing so close to her, he felt more a stranger than a lover.  He knew

the smell of her skin, but he had no idea what she was thinking most of the time.  She knew quilting and how to make soap from her lavender.  She played the piano like an angel and didn’t even own a TV.   He knew ranching and watched every game the Dallas Cowboys played from his recliner.

            If they ever spent over an hour talking they’d probably figure out they had nothing in common.  He’d played every sport in high school and she’d played in the orchestra.  He’d collected most of his college hours online and she’d gone all the way to New York to school.  But, they’d loved the same person.  Amalah had been Quinn’s best friend and his one love.  Only, they rarely talked about how they felt.  Not anymore.  Not ever really.  It was too painful, he guessed, for both.

             Tonight the air was so still moisture hung like invisible lace.  She looked to be closer to her twenties than her forties.  Quinn had her own quiet kind of beauty.  She always had, and he guessed she still would even when she was old.

 To his surprise, she leaned in and kissed his mouth.

            He watched her.   “You want more?” he finally asked, figuring it was probably the dumbest thing to say to a naked woman standing two inches away from him.  He had no idea what more would be.  They always had sex once, if they had it at all when he knocked on her door.   Sometimes neither made the first move and they just cuddled on the couch and held each other.  Quinn wasn’t a passionate woman.  What they did was just satisfying a need that they both had now and then.

             She kissed him again without saying a word.  When her cheek brushed against his rough jaw, it was wet and tasted newborn like the rain.

             Slowly, Staten moved his hands under her blanket and circled her warm body, then he pulled her closer and kissed her fully like he hadn’t kissed a woman since his wife died.

             Her lips were soft and inviting.  When he opened her mouth and invaded, it felt far more intimate than anything they’d ever done, but he didn’t stop.  She wanted this from him and he had no intention of denying her.  No one would ever know that she was the thread that kept him together some days.

            When he finally broke the kiss, Quinn was out of breath.  She pressed her forehead against his jaw and he waited.

             “From now on,” she whispered so low he felt her words more than heard them, “when you come to see me, I need you to kiss me goodbye before you go.  If I’m asleep, wake me.  You don’t have to say a word, but you have to kiss me.”

            She’d never asked him for anything.  He had no intention of saying no.  His hand spread across the small of her back.  “I won’t forget if that’s what you want.”  He could feel her heart pounding and knew her asking had not come easy.

            She nodded.  “It’s what I want.”

            He brushed his lips over hers, loving the way she sighed as if wanting more before she pulled away.

             “Goodnight,” she said as if rationing pleasure.  Stepping inside, she closed the screen door between them. 

            Raking his hair back, he put on his hat as he watched her fade into the shadows.  The need to return was already building in him.  “I’ll be back Friday night if it’s all right.”

Note from Jodi Thomas


Welcome to a taste of RANSOM CANYON.  When I began my series, I knew my first character would be Staten Kirkland.  He walked into my writing bunkhouse, sat down and began to tall me his story.  He’s a strong man who always tries to do the right thing, but life has dealt him his share of blows.

 One rainy night, after losing his wife to cancer, his son, just 16, dies in a wreck.  Shattered in grief, he turns to a woman he’s know all his life for comfort.

 Quinn O’Grady was his best friend.  She’s shy. Staten knows she guards terrible scars inside.  As their story of finding love and hope grows both must face their darkest hour.

 Amid their story, Staten must stand against modern day rustlers.  He is surprised to discover an entire town stands with him.

RANSOM CANYON is the story of a small town at the crossroads between ranches where lives intertwine.


Pre-Order to win a $250 VISA card

A fifth-generation Texan, JODI THOMAS sets the majority of her novels in her home state. With a degree in Family Studies, Thomas is a marriage and family counselor by education, a background that enables her to write about family dynamics. Honored in 2002 as a Distinguished Alumni by Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Thomas enjoys interacting with students on the West Texas A & M University campus, where she currently serves as Writer in Residence. When not working on a novel or inspiring students to pursue a writing career, Thomas enjoys traveling with her husband, Tom, renovating a historic home they bought in Amarillo, and "checking up" on their two grown sons.

Q&A with Jodi Thomas

Author of



1.      What was your favorite part about writing Ransom Canyon?

            I grew up surrounded by family who were ranchers and farmers.  I always loved the way they loved the land.  They saw themselves, not as the owners, but the caretakers.  I loved writing a story where the land and the weather were almost characters.  When I stepped into Ransom Canyon, the characters crowded around in my mind waiting for me to tell their story.

            I think people all over are pretty much the same: we love, we dream, we worry, but I heard somewhere that people in the west are like sturdy furniture with some of the bark left on.

2.      What was the most challenging part of writing Ransom Canyon?

Making sure I got it right which wasn’t easy since I hadn’t been on a ranch or farm for more than a dinner in years.  I have a dear friend with a ranch where they do it all right so I spent the seasons watching, asking questions and talking to the men who saddle up each day to go to work.

Then, I turned a little house out back of my mission home into Ransom Canyon.  I posted pictures on the walls, listed family histories all the way back to the 1800’s, covered every inch of space with whiteboards to chart the facts.  Every night I go out to what we call the bunk house and step into my story.

 3.      What character do you connect most with in Ransom Canyon and why?

In the first book I connected with Staten Kirkland because I know ranchers like him.  I know the way he thinks and how hard he tries to do what is right and not show his feelings.  Some nights, in my little room off the patio, I swear he’d be leaning over my shoulder, hat pushed back, reading every word.  Laughing when I got it right.  Thumping me in the back of the head when I got it wrong.

Also, I connected with Jubalee and her feelings of having used up all her chances until now she’s even afraid to hope.

I understood Quinn when she closed herself away from people and Yancy when he hid his secrets afraid no one would accept him if they knew.   I knew how Carter felt following a quest that made no sense.  I’m Charley loving a child more than himself.

How can I explain?  When I write I’m with all the characters.  I AM every one of them.

4.      Have you ever used real events or people to inspire character or events in your novels?

I wrote my mother into a book called TWISTED CREEK years ago.  I watched her go slowly into Alzheimer’s.  The journey offered heartache and blessings.  Even now, almost fifteen years later, I sometimes stop and watch the clouds.  She’d forgotten my name those last few years, but she never lost the wonder when she looked at the sky.  I figure she’s still watching, just from another direction.

Many times I’ve felt like my life was research for my writing.  A tumble from a horse left me with a slight limp I have trouble hiding when I’m tired.  I witnessed a robbery when I was 17 and don’t remember being afraid, only fascinated at how terrified the kid robbing the store looked. My big brother was shot in Viet Nam and it seems like that is where all my heroes take a bullet.

If you met me, you’d meet a quiet person who watches people but I never put real people in books.  My sister-in-law kept bugging me to be in a book.  So a few years back I put her and my big brother in a book.  I made them chickens. J

5.      Would you ever write a memoir? What are your feelings about writing a memoir?

I don’t think I’d write about my life.  Not all that exciting.  I married my first love, raised two sons and they blessed us with four grandchildren.  I like traveling, working in my flower garden, teaching my oldest grand who is 6 to sew and my 4 year-old to cook.

If I did write a book it would be about my journey into writing.  What it’s like to have a dream so strong you give up sleep for five years before you have any success.  How it feels to live your life in two worlds every day.  I think I’d call it RARE AIR, because I believe writers develop in rare air.  I don’t think you can educate or make a writer.  I think they evolve.   


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Last Chance Hero

The inhabitants of Last Chance, New Mexico, could not be more pleased. Dr. Jessica McLeod has opened an office right on Main Street. Andy Ryan, the best athlete the little town ever produced, has ended his short career in the NFL and has come home to coach the mighty Pumas of Last Chance High. Unfortunately, Dr. Jess immediately gets off on the wrong foot when she admits that she's never seen a football game, isn't really interested in doing so, and, in fact, doesn't know a first down from a home run. Meanwhile, Coach Ryan is discovering that it's not easy to balance atop the pedestal the town has put him on. When this unlikely pair is drawn together over the future of a young player--whose gifts may lie in the laboratory rather than on the football field--they begin to wonder if they might have a future together as well.

With the flair that has made her Last Chance books a favorite among readers of contemporary fiction, Cathleen Armstrong draws on the passion Americans have for the traditions of small-town high school football.

Review by Blanche Mancuso

This book, Last Chance Hero by author, Cathleen Armstrong was a book that once I started reading I could not lay it down. Last Chance could have been written about every small town around America or even the world. What I mean by this is that parents marry and become families of their own raising young men and women, who are taught in schools and churches on what our God given rights are. All boys and girls can learn to love God, to be honest and loyal to their family, to their God and country, and fellow citizens.

Jessica was great. She was a bit stubborn but friendly at the same time. Also, the spark of romance between Jessica and Andy was nice. This is the last book in the series but I am ready to see the next series or book and read it by this author. I have read another book in this series and each one can be read as a stand alone novel. This author has become a favorite author of mine. I would recommend this book to readers.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Shadow Fall

In the ninth romantic suspense novel in the New York Times bestselling Tracers series, author Laura Griffin brings back her elite cadre of forensic experts as they hunt down the most brutal serial killer yet.

Special Agent Tara Rushing arrives at a grisly murder scene and quickly discovers she’s got a serial killer on her hands. The killer is meticulous, making sure to wipe up even the smallest traces of evidence…but the Delphi Center experts are on the case.

The local sheriff has a suspect all picked out—ex-Marine and current security expert Liam Wolfe. Despite all her digging, Tara knows very little about Liam when she shows up at his sprawling Texas compound, which serves as headquarters for Wolfe Securities, and she’s surprised by her intense physical reaction to him.

As she and Liam grow closer, Tara finds herself depending on his skills and expertise to help her track a killer. But when another body turns up, Tara must decide if she can trust the man who’s quickly stealing her heart.

My Review

Another great book in this series. I was speed reading through this book. Because it was that good. I like Tara and her take charge attitude. She can back up her words. Tara is a big reason why I had such an enjoyable time reading this book. The other reason was Liam. He shows that he can be a great protector. Also, while Tara and Liam did not share a lot of screen time together as a couple, which is understandable as he is her number one suspect; still I could feel the connection between them. Just like this scene from the book: It is where Tara has just been shoot at and she confronts Liam. She acts so causal while telling Liam that she has just been shoot at. Liam somehow keeps his cool but barely. This scene showed me just how tough of a bad ass Tara really is and how much Liam has real feelings for Tara. He showed that he would go to the ends of the world to protect her.

My only fault with this book was that the crime itself while good focused on the crime somewhat but was not feeling like the main focus with not enough emphasis on the killer. The truth was slowly drawn out until the last third of the story when it flew by quickly. Yet, I will read the next book in this series.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Steampunk Carnival

Crossing her boss will be one dangerous ride.
Katya Romanova gave up everything to work at the one-of-a-kind Steampunk Carnival, and she wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Her elaborate costumes win her all the attention she seeks, including the sporadic affections of her boss, carnival owner William Warden.

But in the summer of 1887, death threats against Mr. Warden shake everyone’s sense of security. The unknown sender could harm them all. When Katya stirs up unexpected evidence proving Mr. Warden hid the carnival’s true origins, she realizes he aims to protect only himself. To return the spirit of fun and freedom to the place she loves, Katya sets out to replace Mr. Warden with the carnival’s inventor. As violent events erupt, Mr. Warden fights for strict control of his business and Katya’s loyalty. Trapped between his charm and his tyranny, Katya must pretend to comply even as she plots against him.

With the adoration of the entire country supporting Mr. Warden, nothing less than the perfect plan will succeed. One misplaced move could throw Katya’s best friend and new love into danger. Failing means neither she nor the establishment’s rightful owner ever sees the carnival again.

My Review

This is a genre that has slowly picked up steam but I think it could use more of a spotlight. There is something fascinating about this genre. It is so multi-faceted. It can do in many different directions like the author took with this book. However I could not help but compare this book some to another author's steampunk carnival series that I like called "Blud" series by Delilah S. Dawson. Which Ms. Dawson really brings to life the carnival life while incorporating the steampunk aspect. So I was looking for this while reading this book. I got the carnie life but it could have been any type of carnival. Although the author did add some aspects of steampunk and it was brought forth more towards the half way point of the story and forward. 

Katya is a strong female lead. I like that she held the story all the way from the beginning to the end. The mystery surrounding the carnival and the threats was nicely down. It kept my interest yet, I wished that the suspense was cranked up on the volume dial a little more. Overall, this is a good book.

Cassandra Leuthold started creating outside-the-box, character-driven stories in second grade. Over twenty years later, she continues to combine what most people think of as opposites: the magical and the everyday, the modern and the vintage, the darkest recesses of the mind and the greatest heights humans can achieve.

In between new ideas and breathing fresh life into old projects, you can find her sewing, watching TV, and binging on music from around the world.

Cassandra lives with her writer husband and their moody cat, Gaia, in a house three sizes too big. She holds a Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in English.
Visit her online at

What is a Soulmate?

Most people search for decades to find their soulmate; Rachel Masterson was born with hers. Sharing her body with another soul has had its ups and downs for 15 year old Rachel, but there’s no one she’d rather share her life with than her soulmate, Rider. Fiercely devoted to him, Rachel has ostracized herself from most of her peers and gained a reputation as someone just a little too far gone on the wrong side of crazy. Her family’s sudden move, however, gives her a chance at a fresh new life, without the stigma of her “imaginary friend.” Hit with the triple-whammy stress of trying to make new friends (and her first boyfriend) in a new school, in a new town, far away from the only other person who has ever understood her, Rachel’s relationship with Rider is strained by the choices that she makes, choices that ultimately lead to their separation. When a tragic accident tears them apart, can Rachel learn to live and love again?

My Review

This is a sweet, charming, quick read. When Rachel first met Rider that was so precious. Right away I could feel the connection that they shared. Than as Rachel and Rider grew up into teenages, I could see the connection between them slowly coming apart. Yet, at this point I still only saw Rider as a best friend and not a true soulmate in the romantic sense. However, as I got to know the guy that Rachel was crushing on in school, I definitely say that Rider is the better guy. When the sad, tragic event happened I did not experience a change in my emotions towards either Rachel or Rider. There was no big surprise on what happened next. I was just surprised that it took the character that long to figure out what had happened. The ending is a nice lead into the next book in this series. Which I read the quick snippet of the next book and this is where the story will pick up more with depth to the storyline. This book can also be read by the teenage audience but mature readers as it does deal with high school and sex.

Purchase a copy here

About Kellie McAllen

Hi! I'm Kellie and I'm a bibliophile! I've had a lifelong love affair with books. I love the fantasy and romance of immersing myself in a great story, so it was inevitable that I take the next step and become a writer. When I'm not reading or writing, I also love baking, interior decorating, and watching dancing shows on TV. I live in North Carolina with my wonderful hubby, 15 year old daughter, and two sweet kitties.
Kellie McAllen
Author of The Soulmate Series

The Year of Necessary Lies

One amazing year in a remarkable woman¹s life journey becomes the inspiration for generations when she takes a huge risk, follows her heart, embraces forbidden love, and unwittingly becomes the champion of a winged world that is on the brink of extinction. It’s 1903, the world is poised for drastic change, and Julia Briton is a naive, beautiful Boston socialite who suffers a series of devastating losses and discovers that her beloved husband is involved in the plume trade—the massive slaughter of birds for use in the fashion industry. When Julia is secretly ushered into the early 20th century by a group of brazen female activists, she boldly risks everything and embarks on a perilous journey to the wilds of untamed Florida, a place of great danger where men will stop at nothing to get what they want and where one man, and a faithful friend, force her to make yet more life-changing decisions. Years later, when Julia’s great-granddaughter, Kelly, discovers some hidden tape recordings in her famous great-grandmother¹s dresser and learns the real truth about Julia’s year, a year that changed the course of history, she must decide what to do with her grandmother¹s incredible legacy. Will she keep the real “secret of the year”, or will she be brave enough to follow her own heart?  

My Review

When I spotted this book I was drawn to it by both the lovely book cover and the premise of the storyline. So I was really looking forward to reading this book. It was something different from my typical reading.

Ok, so this is a book where the past and present did not merge so well together. I enjoyed the past way more than the present. So it is easy to say that I found Julia and her campaign to save exotic birds way more exciting than her granddaughter, Kelly's voice. So after a while I found myself quickly skipping over the present to get back to the past. I would have been fine staying in the past. However as much as I liked the past, I found I was not as over the top thrilled with this time period as I have been drawn reading other time periods.

So this brings me to the other reason why I gave this book such a low rating. It is because I found most of the other characters not up to par with Julia and the story so drawn out. If the other characters had been more lively and the story just as lively than this would have been another story and I would have given this book a higher rating.