Tuesday, December 29, 2015

BETWEEN A VAMP AND A HARD PLACE




Lindsey Hughes loves antiques and couldn’t be happier to make a living in the estate sale business. Hughes loves antiques and couldn’t be happier to make a living in the estate sale business. But when her assistant accidentally buys an entire estate without her approval, Lindsey is forced to clean up the mess herself.

Lindsey travels to the newly purchased, age-old house in Venice, Italy, and soon discovers more than she (never) bargained for. While digging through the hoarder’s trove that fills every floor, she finds a secret staircase behind a wall that leads to a strange coffin…with an even stranger inhabitant.

Vampire Rand FitzWulf has been in his coffin for 600 years. But now that he’s awake, he’s ravenous, and there’s a delicious-smelling woman with a rare blood type in his basement. Luckily, Lindsey has more to offer than blood: she agrees to travel throughout Europe with Rand to help him get revenge on the one who turned him. But as the unlikely pair grows closer, will the billionaire vampire be overtaken by his thirst for blood—or his thirst for love?


My Review

If you are over vampires you just might get back into them with this book. I know I will be finding more books like this...romantic comedy with a paranormal twist. Rand is your typical tall, dark, sexy vampire but the way he looks to interact and communicate in the 21st century is funny. Especially the language barrier between him and Lindsey. There is laughs to be had. The way that Rand kept calling Lindsey a "wench". Then there is Lindsey's best friend, Gemma. She also brings comedic relief. I had a very enjoyable time reading this book. Because of all of the laughs and the characters I was able to get lost in this book and was speeding along reading this book.

The storyline was a good one. Very believable and plenty of action and romance. I could feel the deep connection involving Rand and Lindsey. They may have came from different centuries but they show that time does not matter when it comes to love. I will be checking out more books by this author.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Postcards from the Sky

The aviation world is a man’s world—it always has been, and it continues to be so today. In fact, women make up a mere 5 to 6 percent of the total pilot population worldwide. But from the first time Erin Seidemann experienced what it was like to see the world from a small plane’s perspective, she was hooked—and she’s spent much of her time since then fighting her way into becoming one of that 5 to 6 percent.

Postcards from the Sky: Adventures of an Aviatrix tells of the struggles and adventures one encounters as a woman in the male-dominated space of aviation. With humor and equanimity, Seidemann recounts her varied experiences as a female pilot—from the chauvinistic flight instructor she makes the mistake of falling in love with to the many, many customs agents who insist she can’t possibly be her plane’s owner (“Where’s your boyfriend?”)—while at the same time giving insight about just what makes flying so incredible . . . and so very addictive. Frank, funny, and full of adventure, Postcards from the Sky is an entertaining foray into a world few women have dared enter.



My Review

I finally found a book that helped me get out of my book reading slump. I sat down to read this book and a few hours later I was done with it. I enjoyed reading all of Erin's adventures. I like that she stood her ground in the male driven world of aviation. It is women like Erin that are good role models for other women. I have always been fascinated by the aviation world. I did take some flying lessons and have about 20 hours under my belt. It has been years since I have taken lessons again but I have not given up my dream of one day getting my pilot's license.

Reading this book I really did feel like I got a sense of who Erin is as a person. I enjoyed this because when I am reading memoirs I want to get to know who the person is that I am reading about. The pictures featured in this book were cool as well. One of my favorite parts was towards the end when Erin and her friend went to Airventure in Oshkosh, WI. I have been there twice before. It is held annually in July. I would like to go back some day but I think I will skip the camping experience.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Ask Him Why


From the bestselling author of Pay It Forward comes the stunning and emotional story of a young soldier’s unthinkable act…and the bonds of a sister and brother’s love.

Ruth and her little brother, Aubrey, are just teenagers when their older brother ships off to Iraq. When Joseph returns, uninjured, only three and a half months later, Ruth is happy he is safe but also deeply worried. How can it be that her courageous big brother has been dishonorably discharged for refusing to go out on duty? Aubrey can’t believe that his hero doesn’t have very good reasons.

Yet as the horrifying details of the incident emerge, Joseph disappears. In their attempts to find him, Ruth and Aubrey discover he has a past far darker than either of them could imagine. But even as they learn more about their brother, important questions remain unanswered—why did he betray his unit, his country, and now his family? Joseph’s refusal to speak ignites a fire in young Aubrey that results in a disastrous, and public, act of rebellion.

The impact of Joseph’s fateful decision one night in Baghdad will echo for years to come, with his siblings caught between their love for him and the media’s engulfing frenzy of judgment. Will their family ever make their way back to each other and find a way to forgive?
  


My Review

This is not a bad book, I just could not find myself relating or connecting with all of the characters in this book. Or maybe I did connect in some way as I could not stand most of them. I really only found Aubrey, Aunt Sheila, and Joseph to be interesting. The rest of the family I had no interest in. In fact, I found Aubrey, Ruth, and Joseph's mother to really piss me off. Any time she made an appearance in the story, I would cringe and after a while, I would quickly flip past her parts.

Which I have to comment and say that as much as I appreciated the family dynamics surrounding Joseph's circumstance, I did grow tried at times of how slowly the story read. It seemed like parts would be repeated again and again but in different ways. A good ending though to this story.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

DESPERATE MOON BOOK SPOTLIGHT




Title: DESPERATE MOON
Author: Jennifer Ott
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 390
Genre: Victorian Era Historical Romance

A thought-provoking take on the vampire mythos that makes you consider how the natural-spiritual and scientific worlds might intersect.

For six hundred years, vampire Katerina Vaduva roamed Europe witnessing civilization’s altering events—knights on crusade, the suffering of plague, enlightening of the humanist movement, among others. Throughout her years and separated from the normal human condition, she gained knowledge, riches and personal power the greatest kings and mightiest leaders failed to acquire.

During the latter half of the 19th century, while married to a Prussian Colonel, Katerina meets and falls passionately in love with a young ambitious scientist who desires to understand her condition and the life she had lived. He wants more than to possess her body, but her heart, her mind and her soul. It is for him, she would risk everything. True desire is not just a physical matter; it is in the mind and the heart of your lover.

For More Information


  • Desperate Moon is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.






About the Author

 

Inspiration comes from watching way too much Monty Python. The abstract and the absurd way of looking at normal life, not only offers humor, but questions many problems in society in a light-hearted manner. If we can laugh at ourselves, if we can laugh at life, problems do not seem quite so difficult to tackle.  In fact, problems are not as complicated as they seem; everything is very simple. If you can laugh at it, write about it and read about it, most likely one would think about it.

Author Jennifer Ott has written several satire fiction, Wild Horses, The Tourist and two non-fiction books Love and Handicapping and Ooh Baby Compound Me! She recently published, Serenidipidus and Edge of Civilization. She also is the host of the SuperJenius Internet Radio show on Artist First radio Network.

Jennifer Ott lives in Long Beach, California, enjoys the sun, the sand, the surf and lots of Mexican food.

 

Jennifer’s latest book is the Victorian era historical romance, Desperate Moon.

For More Information







Book Excerpt:

Siegfried was still awake scouring over his texts when a knock sounded on his door. He checked the clock and grinned—just in time. He closed his books and strolled to the door. Upon opening it, he saw a dark face shrouded under the hood of a large cloak.
“Irena,” he said with a widening smile.
She stepped inside lowering her hood. “Here for my appointment, Doctor,” she said letting her cloak drop to the floor and exposing her nakedness to him.
He had met her during one of his house calls. She offered nanny services to one the elites who lived in the hills surrounding Prague. Siegfried always wondered why such a beautiful girl would give herself up to servitude when she could find a rich husband.
“Servitude would be marrying a rich man,” Irena once said to him, “freedom is being his servant. Mistresses gain a lot more than married women.”
Irena was greedy as such. Siegfried was only too happy to find himself tasty to her, yet he too shared her same philosophy. He offered his service in providing healing and care and once he left their front door, he was again a free man to his own mind and mission.
Not being able to resist the sight of her supple body, he pulled her close and kissed her face.
She pushed him away. “Doctor, you are still dressed.”
With haste, he removed his clothes starting with his pants that constrained him and his shirt which he struggled to remove. She laughed helping him tug the sleeves over his wrists. Once both were naked, he carried her to his bed where he rested her down on the feather mattress.
He lowered his face between the plump yet firm breasts of his nubile nightly visitor, traveled upward to the nape of her neck, and paused. Curiously, he nibbled and tasted her skin.
“That feels good,” she said with a sigh.
He lowered his body onto hers and pressed himself inside her continuing to thrust rhythmically as her head gently hit the headboard. She dug her nails into his back scratching his skin and drawing blood. He grunted pushing harder and faster.
Within a black swirl, Katerina appeared in the doorway. She watched Siegfried's blood run down the curve of his back as he made love to Irena. She moved toward him, elevating her palm just above him to feel his sexual energy.
He rolled over pulling Irena on top of him. She laughed, gyrating above. She too lowered herself nibbling on his neck. “Feel good?”
Siegfried widened his eyes suddenly seeing Katerina. He sat upright with fright. “Kat—!”
Katerina disappeared instantly.
Irena rotated her head in the direction of Siegfried's gaze and saw no one. ”Kat?”
Siegfried collapsed on the bed, the moment ruined.
Irena crawled off his body. “Who is Kat?”
“No one,” he said hoping she would believe.
She threw her cloak over her shoulders. “If you have another woman, Siegfried that is fine with me. Just refrain from screaming out her name while with me.”
He pulled on his pants. “No. It is not that. It was nothing. Just an illusion.”
“Maybe you are working too hard, too much stress,” she said gathering her stuff to leave.
“It is late. Stay,” he begged
Irena grinned and kissed his chin. “It is a short walk. I will be fine.” She blew him a kiss at the door.
Outside the wind howled and Irena held her hood tighter around her neck. She spun around and saw another cloaked shadow. “Hello!” she called and received no response. “Hello, is someone there?” She looked around fearful back-stepping to Siegfried’s door.
The shadow neared her with the force of a howling storm. Irena had no time to react when Katerina pierced her teeth into her neck. Irena’s life evaporated into Katerina. She vanished with Irena still in her embrace.

 




Friday, December 11, 2015

Sabotage Book Blast Blog Tour




Title: Sabotage
Author: Bryan Koepke
Publisher: Writers Cabin Press, Ltd.
Pages: 316
Genre: Thriller

Reece Culver and his friend Haisley Averton travel to Scotland with only one thing on their minds - fishing.  After witnessing an automobile accident involving a freelance journalist they quickly realize that something far greater than a crash caused his SUV to sink into the frigid waters of the North Atlantic.

 

With increasing curiosity, Reece inserts himself into the complicated life of Marie Rhodes who is in the middle of her own crises as she watches her 20-year marriage crumble.

 

Realizing that they’ll never make it out fishing, Haisley uses his skills in computer forensics to find out who hacked into Karl Rhodes’ office computer at Draecon International and made it appear that he’d remotely accessed the dead journalists laptop.  As Haisley combs through logs on the chief of strategy’s computer he stumbles upon an even bigger plot involving a secret drone factory somewhere in the United Kingdom, what looks like funds being embezzled out of Draecon International, and a plot that threatens the national security of the U.K.

 

Reece spends increasingly greater amounts of time with Marie Rhodes trying to learn what she knows and soon finds that he can’t resist the temptation of falling in love with the woman of his dreams.  But as things heat up he questions her true motives.

 

When Karl Rhodes’ executive secretary is found dead Reece agrees to protect Marie’s soon to be ex-husband Karl.  In a tricky game of cat and mouse Reece travels the globe as he tries to keep Marie, her husband, and Karl’s mistress out of harms way, and unknowingly puts himself directly into the crosshairs of a hired assassin.

For More Information


  • Sabotage is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.




About the Author

 

Bryan Koepke lives in the United States with his wife, and dog. He grew up in the midwest, settled in Arizona, and then twenty years ago made his way north to Colorado. He's a private pilot, Electrical Engineering Technician, and since 2009 has been employed as a Financial Analyst. Bryan has always had an interest in writing. He wrote his first stories at the age of 7. He started writing thrillers in 2010, and published his first book in 2014.

He holds an FAA Airframe & Powerplant Mechanic's license, Pilot's license, and has a BS in Finance. He's also taken multiple graduate level engineering classes. His many hobbies include hiking, fishing, skiing, and travel. He's an avid reader and enjoys watching television shows like 24, Homeland, Breaking Bad, The Blacklist, and Ray Donovan.

 

His latest book is the thriller, Sabotage.

For More Information





Book Excerpt:

Saturday June 8, 2013

             

             Julian had been told the target would be traveling south along the coastal road. With a practiced hand he pivoted the stock of the Russian-made sniper rifle on its black steel swivel mount atop the bipod legs and aimed toward the highway below. The SUV would be passing right through his sight . . .  there. A chilly breeze blew through the tent, rippling the damp cotton shirt that lay molded to his back. He wasn’t nervous, but he did tend to sweat as the killing hour approached. He regarded the unpleasant sensation as just part of the job. It wasn’t like anyone would ever find out.

Peering through the custom-made rifle scope, he adjusted the magnification between his thumb and index finger, zooming in on the worn white strands of the highway’s center line several hundred yards below. As he rotated the knob back out, he spotted the farthest flag he’d placed in the branches of a nearby tree. The strip of white plastic barely fluttered, telling him the wind was calm.

His square unshaven chin pressed firmly against the cold black stock of the Dragunov SVD, and he pushed upward, seating the steel magazine that housed multiple 7N1 steel-core sniper rounds. With its 151-grain projectile and velocity of 830 meters per second, it was perfect for this type of work.

A rifle was the best—precise, anonymous, and decisive. He ran the shot through his mind one more time. Envision what you want to have happen. He’d read about that in an e-zine, and he adopted it as part of his preparations, even though it was supposed to be part of his ten-year life plan. He didn’t need any plan. In ten years he’d be rich and retired on a private island in the Caribbean.

The tracking device he’d stuck under the rear bumper would tell him when the SUV was near. It would approach on its way south toward the city of Talbert. He’d picked the perfect spot. The narrow Scottish road curved left around a large hill, and the vast expanse of the North Atlantic Ocean spread beyond the guardrail.

Confirm the license plate BV-061-EK, lead the target, and pan upward to the windshield. He’d draw a bead on the man’s head, squeeze the trigger, and watch as the windshield filled with a fine red mist. He’d envisioned the heavy vehicle veering sideways and crashing through the flimsy rusted guardrail before plunging into the depths of the sea. The driver would be dead before he realized how freezing cold that water was.

            As the assassin waited patiently enduring the wet chill that reminded him of his home on Bainbridge Island, he monitored the moving red dot on his cell phone. A young woman with a yellow scarf drove past in her blue Volvo sedan. His stomach growled, and he remembered the bacon he’d had at the inn.  The slabs were thick and cooked only in patches. Typical British cuisine.

            The dot was rapidly approaching, and he shifted his attention to a silver Nissan Pathfinder rapidly making its way up the road. It carried two occupants. Damn it, he thought as a maroon BMW X5 came around the corner. The Pathfinder would pass in front just as the BMW entered his field of fire.

He could feel a drop of sweat rolling down the knobs of his spine. He zeroed in the rifle scope on the BMW windshield. The cross hairs remained steady as the SUV slowed to make the curve. He saw the Pathfinder pass through in a blur. He had a split second of clearance as he squeezed the trigger. The windshield misted red and flashed beyond his line of sight.




Thursday, December 10, 2015

JUSTICE IS FOR THE LONELY BLOG TOUR





Title: JUSTICE IS FOR THE LONELY
Author: Steve Clark
Publisher: Rorke Publishing
Pages: 430
Genre: Suspense

In JUSTICE IS FOR THE LONELY, the stunning new suspense novel by author Steve Clark, Kristen Kerry, a smart, attractive, young lawyer faces the dilemma of trying her biggest legal case while attempting to fulfill the less than moral demands of her client and boss. Kristen’s malpractice case has the potential to be the largest verdict of its kind in Texas legal history. She must juggle her strong legal skills with a heavy load of insecurities stemming from a traumatic childhood. The book, which Midwest Book Review says is “exceptionally well written and engagingly entertaining from beginning to end,” features action-packed scenes; complex multidimensional characters; and compelling subplots.

Kristen Kerry made partner at Wright and McGee in six short years. During that time, she worked obsessively and spent most of her personal time alone or slamming punching bags in martial arts training. The “Layne” malpractice case is Kristen’s opportunity to prove she is a trial lawyer equal to any male. Tammy Robberson, a tough talking, morally deficient insurance adjuster handpicked Kristen to represent the defendant hospital in the lawsuit, certain that Michael Stern, senior partner representing the doctor would see the attractive young attorney as another potential conquest. To win the case, Kristen is expected to be competent, wily, and a team player, even if it means sleeping with attorneys her firm is supposedly collaborating with during the malpractice case.

After Kristen fails to charm information out of Tony Caswell, Stern’s associate representing the doctor, Tammy instructs her to focus on Stern himself. She is told to do whatever it takes to gain his trust then betray him so the doctor ultimately bears the liability rather than the codefendant hospital and nurses. Michael Stern who is an attractive, masterful attorney, is also a known philanderer. His wife Diana is a Dallas socialite from very old money. Teaming up with Stern is a risk for Kristen that shakes up her professional and personal worlds. Despite her disgust over the assignment, Kristen finds herself attracted to Stern after she sees him in his role as father of a teenage daughter, but she still knows he might double cross her.

As the case progresses, Stern’s wife, a member of the Texas Pardon and Parole Board, becomes responsible for the release of Leonard Marrs, a sexual predator, who is violent and disturbed, yet very charming. After leaving prison, he becomes obsessed with Diana. When Caswell, whom Stern removed from the Layne case, discovers secrets about Kristen’s past, he teams up with Marrs for revenge against both attorneys. And what better revenge than implicating them in murder?

Clark was inspired to write JUSTICE IS FOR THE LONELY as a means of showcasing story lines and characters from some of his own dramatic cases. He has encountered many fascinating people during his years of private legal practice. Clark states, “While there are many legal genre books, the vast majority involve the criminal system and none, to my knowledge, explore the nasty business of malpractice litigation, particularly its effect on troubled characters.”

JUSTICE IS FOR THE LONELY is much more than a novel with thrilling legal action, gripping subplots, and romance. It offers readers a story of the transformation of a shallow, self-absorbed man who finds love and an adult child of alcoholic parents who overcomes her inability to trust anyone.
“I think almost everyone, including men will identify with Kristen and her insecurities, her loneliness,” Clark says, “they will cheer on her courage, even her recklessness, and will be heartened by her integrity and hopefully eager to follow her future adventures.”


My Review

I found myself struggling to read this book. While the characters were fine, I found that the story got bogged down with lots of details and thus it moved at a very slow pace. I was already 130 pages in and wondering when the story was going to pick up. In fact, it is funny that I mention "details" because if you were to ask me about some of those details I would not be able to remember them as I found myself only slightly interested in the plot with the slow pacing. However I did find Kristen to be a good character. I gravitated towards her for her strong female presence. In a man's world she stood toe to toe with her peers. Although I have to warn readers that the "f" word is used a lot throughout this book. If the details had been paired down some and the pacing picked up I would not have had a problem with the book being so long and I would have rated this book higher. However I did see promise in Mr. Clark and hope that the next book is better.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Question + Giveaway

Book Description:THE QUESTION invites readers to consider this premise: 
If you could have the answer to one question, and only one question, what would you ask... and who would try to stop you from asking it? 
To what extremes would they go?

THE QUESTION is a thriller that explores a new way of thinking, a method powerful enough to answer very complex questions . . . perhaps powerful enough to solve the universe's most fundamental mysteries . . . perhaps powerful enough to resolve religions' most beguiling unknowns. 

THE QUESTION is an adventure story . . . fiction that you may wish, may believe, may know, is true. The narrative occurs in the present, with scenes in California, Washington, D.C., Paris, Shanghai, New York, and Afghanistan.

The story is aimed at high-school and older readers and contains some graphic violence and occasional sexual allusions. The plot is action-oriented with an element of scientific fantasy, similar to Jack Finney's "Time and Again." The prose is crisply written, professionally edited, and organized into movie-scene chapters. 

THE QUESTION is ideal reading for anyone who is curious . . . for those who gaze into the cosmos at night and wonder . . . for those who look into the mirror and imagine . . . for those whose hearts beat faster when confronting the unknown . . . for readers who enjoy a fast paced, contemporary thriller that inspires them to think.

Buy the book:   Amazon  ~  Book Depository

My Review

I have read several other books that have the scientific aspect and they can run a fine line between being too unbelievable. So how do you make a story so it is plausible? Well you need to make the storyline be something that readers could imagine actually happening without being too "techie". Which there was some of this in this story but that and even the graphic violence and occasional sexual allusions were not what bothered me. In fact this book is a quick read if you can get past the first like sixteen chapters. It was a slow beginning. I struggled to stick with the book in the beginning but I wanted to find out the answer to the "Question". Which I do agree with some of the other readers that this is not the "Question" that would first come to my mind. Also, I found the flow from the different characters and locations not a smooth transfer also in the beginning. I found myself skimming the book at times but the last half of the story is better.

Meet the author:  

R. Breuer Stearns is an investor and author.
Mr. Stearns graduated from Phillips Academy, Andover (1970), Harvard University (AB, 1974), University of Chicago (MBA, 1977), and DePaul University College of Law (JD, 1979). He rapidly ascended on Wall Street in the 1980’s, serving as Managing Director, Mergers & Acquisitions at Lehman Brothers and Head of Investment Banking (North America) at UBS Securities.  While living in New York, he founded “Terrific Teachers, Inc.,” a foundation dedicated to identifying and rewarding the best of the best of the city’s public high school teachers.

Shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Mr. Stearns launched a private investment bank in the former Soviet Union.  He spent the early 1990’s seeking to marry emerging science, primarily emanating from Russia’s Defense sector, with Western capital.  During this period, Mr. Stearns made a small fortune, albeit from a larger one.  The venture provided a remarkable lesson in hubris, a tremendous reservoir of internal strength, and first-hand source material for Mr. Stearns’ first book, Winning Smart After Losing Big (Encounter Books, Beijing University Press).

Subsequently, Mr. Stearns served as Chief Financial Officer of The Dial Corporation, Chief Financial Officer of Columbia/HCA Corporation, Chief Financial Officer of PacifiCare, Inc., President and Chief Operating Officer of Vascular Genetics, Inc., and Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Quepasa Corporation (QPSA:Amex).

Mr. Stearns is a Founder of VestaPoint Capital LLC, a family of investment funds focused on real estate development.  He lives in Arizona with his wife, two dogs, two cats, and a horse.  He travels extensively and is intensely curious.

Connect with the author:   Website

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Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Roped In Book Spotlight

Roped In
Title: Roped In
Author: K.D. Hays
Publisher: K.D. Hays
Pages: 140
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Life has settled into a more stable pattern for fledgling investigator Karen Maxwell of DS Investigations, but that stability is precarious. At work, she has an uneasy truce with Rodney, the “office maximizer” hired by her brother to do some of the administrative work she used to do. Her brother has not assigned her any real cases and she thinks it’s because he doesn’t trust her after she was fired from her last major assignment.

But she soon gets her chance. The firm’s insurance agent calls in a favor and asks them to investigate whether a valuable parrot was killed as a result of snowfall damage to a house. Karen is pretty sure Dave will assign this to her, since the investigation will involve no money or prestige. But it may help earn back his confidence.

Then Gina Callaghan hires DS Investigations to find out who sabotaged her daughter Hayley’s rope at a jump rope competition. Hayley competes in power jumping events, and she failed to make the top four in the regional tournament. If Karen can prove that one of those top four jumpers behaved unethically, then Hayley, (who was fifth) will have a spot at the national competition, and a chance to go to the World tournament. Dave assigns Karen the lead role in this case, so now she has a chance to prove to her brother that she can conclude an investigation before the client is ready to pull the plug.
Karen bribes her son to take a jump rope class on the day when the jumpers she needs to watch have their practices. Initially, Hayley Callaghan does not want the matter investigated so Karen has to be a subtle as possible. Meanwhile, in the parrot case, Karen’s investigation seems to indicate that the parrot’s owners are telling the truth and not trying to defraud the insurance company. But the picture they offer as proof somehow arouses Karen’s suspicion.

At jump rope practice, she finds a lot of masked hostility and a host of possible suspects, but no one who saw anything. Then Hayley’s sister steps forward and admits that she saw someone rummaging through her sister’s rope bag. Circumstances point to two possible suspects, in addition to the sister herself. But Karen can find no proof of wrongdoing and thinks the break was most likely an accident. Then Hayley changes her position and urges Karen to follow through with her initial suspicions. She immediately wonders why.

But she doesn’t have time to wonder. Her brother insists that she stop working on the insurance case and her client insists that she write up suspicions against one of the other jumpers so they can file a complaint with the national sanctioning commission. Working against the clock, Karen finds proof that the picture is fake, proving that the insurance clients were trying to defraud the agency. But time runs out on the jump rope investigation—once again the dissatisfied client fires Karen before she solves the case. This time, she knows an innocent girl is going to face blame and could be banned from the sport she loves. So she digs on until she uncovers the truth —and possible destroys a family in the process.

For More Information


  • Roped In is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.






About the Author

Kate Dolan began her writing career as a legal editor and then newspaper columnist before she decided she was finally ready to tackle fiction.  As the author of more than a dozen novels and novellas, she writes historical fiction and romance under her own name and contemporary mysteries and children's books under the name K.D. Hays.  When not writing, she enjoys volunteering as a living history interpreter and riding roller coasters with her daughter. 

Her latest book is the cozy mystery, Roped In.

For More Information





Book Excerpt:

“And you promise that you can be discreet?”

“Of course.” We’d never mingled with nobility or the rich and famous, but we had done work for the old moneyed families in Maryland and knew some of them could be passionate about maintaining their privacy.

“Good,” she murmured, and again I had the sense that she was going through a checklist. I wondered if she might be the personal assistant to a rich woman who needed us to find missing heirloom jewels or locate the beneficiary of a testator’s unexpected bequest.

“I need to hire an investigator,” she said, rather redundantly.

“Yes,” I said, trying to be patient as my gaze strayed to the clock. I was going to have to flat-out run down to Main Street to make it to the salon on time. But it would be worth it if I was able to rope in a new client. With this woman’s educated voice and concerns about discretion, I thought we might be looking at something substantial. Even if it was just a woman wishing to keep tabs on her husband, she might be a client with enough money to pay for a extensive investigation. So I didn’t want to make her feel rushed.

“Why do you want to hire an investigator?” I asked gently.

“I need an investigator. Your best investigator,” she said firmly. “To find out who broke my daughter’s jump rope.” 



Monday, December 7, 2015

Looking for Orphan X


The Nowhere Man is a legendary figure spoken about only in whispers. It's said that when he's reached by the truly desperate and deserving, the Nowhere Man can and will do anything to protect and save them.

But he's no legend.

Evan Smoak is a man with skills, resources, and a personal mission to help those with nowhere else to turn. He's also a man with a dangerous past. Chosen as a child, he was raised and trained as part of the off-the-books black box Orphan program, designed to create the perfect deniable intelligence assets---i.e. assassins. He was Orphan X. Evan broke with the program, using everything he learned to disappear.

Now, however, someone is on his tail. Someone with similar skills and training. Someone who knows Orphan X. Someone who is getting closer and closer. And will exploit Evan's weakness---his work as The Nowhere Man---to find him and eliminate him. Grabbing the reader from the very first page, Orphan X is a masterful thriller, the first in Gregg Hurwitz's electrifying new series featuring Evan Smoak.  


My Review

I have a few of this author's books on my shelf. I have not read any yet but I had planned on checking this author out. Especially when I have heard good things about this author from the internet and a fellow reader friend. I just seemed to never find the time or chance to read any of the books that I had from this author. I finally found a chance with this new book. It really grabbed my attention.

The beginning of this book had my attention. I thought I can't wait to see where this story was going to lead. Which to be honest I found myself indifferent to Evan. I did not feel for him and what he had went through in his childhood to space him into the person he was in the present but at the same time I did not feel a strong presence with him in the story. In fact, I thought the other person gunning for Evan had a stronger presence. Yet the last third of the story did make up for some of these short comings with Evan showing why he should be feared. 

Check out an excerpt and where to purchase this book here

The Word Game

 
For overprotective parent Alyson Ward, any time her daughter, Lyla, is out of sight is reason to panic. So it’s a big step for her when she lets Lyla attend a sleepover at her cousin’s house. Comforted by the knowledge that her sister, Tricia, is the chaperone, Alyson does the one thing she never thought possible: she lets go and trusts that her daughter will be safe.

But Alyson’s sense of peace is short lived. When Lyla comes home the next morning, she reveals something that could tear apart not only their family but also the entire community. Now, Alyson and Tricia must confront their painful shared past as they come together to help a little girl who they fear might be harboring terrible secrets similar to their own. Will the sisters be strong enough to face their demons in order to protect the child, even if it means telling their most private truths?
  
 
 
My Review
 
The subject matter of this book is no laughing matter. It is a serious one. Not just parents but everyone should be aware of the subject matter and how to identify the signs. This is why I became frustrated with most of the characters in this book because it seemed that only Alyson was the only one that took the situation very serious. Towards the end the rest of the characters did come together and help make the situation a better one but by than I was so over the people that it was a little too late for me. Also, I felt the story was just ok. I have read other books by this author so I know that Steena Holmes can write and bring emotion to her characters. This is why I was disappointed that I did not experience this while reading this book.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Beautifully Shattered Book Spotlight




Title: Beautifully Shattered
Author: Courtney Kristel
Publisher: Amazon
Pages: 412
Genre: Romantic Suspense

What would you do if your world fell apart right before your eyes? If everything you held dear was stolen before you had a chance to say goodbye, would you give up or keep fighting? Adalynn Maxwell didn’t decide to give up. She was robbed of her choice.

After years of therapy, Adalynn finally wants to move on and her brother’s sexy best friend Jax lures her further out of her shell. But she doesn’t understand his game and he changes the rules at every turn, making her fall into the waiting arms of the mysterious Doctor Kohen Daniels, whom she can’t seem to avoid. She’s terrified of trusting him, but something about him makes her want to bare her soul.

Adalynn is desperate for that all-consuming love she reads about, but doesn’t believe she deserves it. Her desperation to prove to Jax that she isn’t a little girl anymore may ruin her forever. One wrong decision can change her entire future. She has one last choice to make, but will it be ripped away from her like everything else? Will she pay the ultimate price? -


For More Information


  • Beautifully Shattered is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.



About the Author

Courtney Kristel graduated from The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, but she couldn't shake her true passion for writing. She's currently working on the second novel of the Beautifully Series, Beautifully Mended. When she isn't creating stories to share with the world, Courtney usually has a book in her hands or is searching for new music to add to her writing playlist.  

 

Her latest book is the romantic suspense, Beautifully Shattered.

For More Information




Book Excerpt:

I want to pretend to be the confident person I used to be, but I’m not her, I can’t pretend. Not even wearing a mask can transform me into a different person. When the song ends, I thank the stranger for the dance when I feel him behind me. My whole body breaks into chills. I know if I turn around, I will come face-to-face with Jax. I’m not ready, but my body doesn’t want to listen to me anymore. I slowly turn around toward the one person that I want more than anything.

I’m taken aback when it’s not Jax. This is a new stranger. The man staring intensely down at me wears a blood red mask that covers his entire face, except for his lustful lips. He looks like the devil; the mask even has horns at the top. I blink a few times, expecting this devil mask to disappear and a simple black Casanova mask to take its place. 

Automatically, I take his offered hand. 

Mr. Secretive pulls me close so there isn’t any space between our bodies. I can feel his hard muscles underneath his tux. My breathing has become embarrassingly noticeable, and I’m pretty positive that my skin is on fire when his hands start to roam my bare arms. I look up at his face, trying to see his eyes, but with the lack of light on the dance floor, it’s impossible to tell the color. 

I’m so confused, everything in me tells me this is Jax. He’s the only one who can ignite my skin, that makes my whole body burn. But my mind can’t process why he’s in a different mask. 

Because this isn’t him. This is Mr. Secretive. 

He still hasn’t said anything and I don’t want to break the spell he has me under. He continues to grind his groin into my pelvis with the beat of the music, making it painfully obvious how aroused he is. By the pool of moisture gathering in my panties, it’s safe to say I’m in the same boat as him. The song is almost over when I get a quick whiff of his cologne. 

And I know without a doubt who’s behind the mask. 

I shouldn’t have doubted myself. I knew it was Jax before I turned around. I know him. My body knows him. I can feel him even from across the room. It’s as if my body, my soul, wants to haunt me forever. To torture me some more by reminding me what I can never have. 

Jax.

Reaching up, I thread my hands through his velvety soft hair. I pull his head down to me and press my lips to his. Jax releases his hold on my hips to cup my face as he deepens the kiss. I meet his tongue eagerly, loving the taste of him. I nibble on his lip and he growls into my mouth, turning me on even more. He’s the one to pull back first. I smile when I see he’s as breathless as I am. We’ve both just run an imaginary marathon. 

The smoldering look he gives me makes me shiver. I’ve never wanted anyone as desperately as I want him right here, right now. Without thinking long enough to talk myself out of it, I grip his hand and lead him off the dance floor. If there wasn’t people everywhere I would be sprinting with him to the nearest closed door. I weave us through the crowd and out to the hallway. I pull him along while I find somewhere for us to be alone. 

The first door we come to is locked. Same thing for the second one. We both sigh in relief when the third door opens. As I tug him in after me, my heel catches on the rug and I start to fall, but his grip on my hand saves me. He holds me to him as if he’s afraid to let me go. Spinning me around, he roughly slams his body into mine, banging my back into the wall. His hands are everywhere. 

 


Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Bone Hunters + Giveaway


The award-winning author of Valhalla brings back archaeologist Lexy Vaughan and retired Air Force officer Steve Macaulay, as they race to save a priceless discovery from disappearing forever.…
One of the greatest archaeological finds of all time, Peking Man, the 780,000-year-old remains of our earliest known human ancestor, disappeared during World War II from a cargo ship bound for America.

Now the Chinese government is fighting to keep a new religion from taking hold—a faith based on the belief that Peking Man is God. And they dispatch ruthless operatives to find and destroy the world’s most priceless fossil.

But the U.S. government has its own team on the hunt. From the mountains of Bavaria to the jungles of Central America and across the vast Pacific, Professor Barnaby Finchem, his brilliant protégé, Lexy Vaughan, and pilot Steve Macaulay will brave the wrath of nature and of man to win a race against unbridled tyranny.…



I have not read Mr. Mrazek's first book, Valhalla. Yet this book can be read as a stand alone novel. Having not read the first book I have not established a relationship with Lexy Vaughan and Steve Macaulay yet. However I thought that they worked well together. They have a good working relationship. This is nice because sometimes when I jump right into a series without having established a relationship, either I don't connect very well with the characters or it takes me a while to feel that connection. I had neither problem with this book.

What I did have a bit of an issue with is all of the ground work "dialect". It just seemed to go on and on and on. To quote one of the other characters in this book "This is all very interesting, but is there any way you could expedite your presentation". "I admire your diligence to detail, but there are other pressing matters on my agenda for today".

Yet, with all of the talking, I did like this book. The story was intriguing and it still read as a fast read. I do have a copy of Valhalla and I will read it.


Thank you to the Publisher as I have a bundle package of both THE BONE HUNTERS and it’s prequel, Vallhalla to giveaway. US only. Leave a comment with your email address. Winner picked Dec. 11th