Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunflower Touches



One more Brady Bunch joke, and I swear I will ugly cry in the corner!

Dad took seven years after Mom died to find the right woman. My stepmom is nice. I have no complaints but one. Like Dad, she has three daughters. If math is your defect, that’s six teenage girls in one house.

At least, we have a new house, but we also have a forced bonding project. It’s not a camping weekend—that’d be lame, but short. We have to share our craft and creative skills as a group to help each other with stuff. That’s what I get for offering to help with decorating this drab house. Even worse, it has to be recorded for the parents.

Add that to school, boys, friends, and our own stuff…when am I supposed to have any fun? I’m glad Dad is happy, but the sister explosion was never in the plan. I’m the oldest. I’m hoping a stepmom will free me from being mini mom. Maybe I’ll find the freedom to pursue my art, spend time with some interesting guys, and enjoy what’s left of high school.




My Review

I am a fan of this author's books. However, the name I know this author under is Cheryl Dragon. She writes erotica novels. I can barely remember a book that I have read that I did not like. So, when I got the chance to read this book I jumped at the chance. Yet, you could call me very curious about this book. I wanted to see how Ms. Dragon aka Ms. Oblon was at writing YA books. Well I am happy to report that Ms. Oblon can write YA books.

In the beginning I was team Chloe but then I quickly got on team Cat's side. However in the end I was on both of these girls sides (ok, may still a fan of Cat's more). The reason for this is because I found Cat to be a strong leader. She is smart, caring, and a bit sassy. Although, I liked Chloe's artist view point on life. While she may have been a little naïve, she grew stronger herself for it. Another thing that I liked about this book is the blended family and that everyone from the rest of the family to Cat and Chloe's friends all had voices in the story. I pictured Chloe's gay friend, Kyle to be more outgoing and full of personality, so I was disappointed that he was not. I have hung out with several gay friends who were like this so I am used to this type of personality. They are so much fun to be around. I can't wait to read the second book in this series which is Cat's story.

Purchase a print copy here
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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Who is Unruly




The second novel in Ronnie Douglas’ sexy Southern Wolves motorcycle club series—reminiscent of Kristen Ashley and Jay Crownover—tells the story of an aspiring fashion designer and a biker who discover a desire that knows no limits.

When the daughter of one of the Southern Wolves gets a flat in the middle of a thunderstorm, there’s only one thing to do—strip down to her underwear and get a little muddy. But when Alamo, the sexy biker shows up to rescue Ellen yet again, things are bound to get a whole lot dirtier.

Between the trouble he left behind and club rules, Alamo knows he needs to stay clear of Ellen. He’s not looking for a woman or complications—even when that woman is everything a man could want. Unfortunately, Ellen isn’t playing by anyone’s rules but her own these days, and a Southern woman who’s been raised by Wolves is awfully hard to deny.

So when they give in to their raging attraction, both get much more than they bargained for.





My Review

This is the second book in this series. It can be read as a stand alone novel even with some mention of a prior event from the first book and past character names. It is from the first book that I was first introduced to Ellen. She showed tons of personality. So I was looking forward to getting to know her better with her own story. Although, I did not love this book as much as the first one.

For me, I did like Ellen but I found some of her bright personality to not come across as strongly as in the first book. In the first one she was in your face and the type of person that you would want to bring with you to all parties. As I said I did not experience this as much in this book. Also, the chemistry between her and Alamo was alright. The heat between them was slower. However, some of this might have had to do with her past relationship. Yet, I am enjoying this series and can't wait to read the next book and meet more of the sexy men of the Southern Wolves.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Night Study

Ever since being kidnapped from the Illiais Jungle as a child, Yelena Zaltana's has been fraught with peril. But the recent loss of her Soulfinding abilities has endangered her more than ever before. As she desperately searches for a way to reclaim her magic, her enemies are closing in, and neither Ixia nor Sitia are safe for her anymore. Especially since the growing discord between the two countries and the possibility of a war threatens everything Yelena holds dear.

Valek is determined to protect Yelena, but he's quickly running out of options. The Commander suspects that his loyalties are divided, and he's been keeping secrets from Valek...secrets that put him, Yelena and all their friends in terrible danger. As they uncover the various layers of the Commander's mysterious plans, they realize it's far more sinister that they could have ever imagined.


My Review

Of all of the series that Mrs. Snyder has written, the Study books have still been my favorite. I read the first book in this series, Soulfinders which is kind of an extension of the Study books. It was Shadow Study. The book was fine but I was a little disappointed when I read it as I wanted and should have liked it more than I did. However this book made up for my disappointment. It does pick up where Shadow Study leaves off so if you are just starting this series, you will want to start with the first book. I felt all of the rich history involving Yelena and her lover, Valek in this book. They are my favorite couple in all of Mrs. Snyder's books. They were meant for each other. It is even more evident in this book with the happy news surrounding their relationship. I can't wait to see where it blossoms from in the next book.

The battle involving Yelena and Valek's enemies was great. I actually kind of did not miss the fact that Yelena was still without her healing powers in this book. Yelena was still the strong leader even without them. In fact, I thought it made her stronger. Yet, I will be glad when she does (hopefully) get her powers back.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Bullet for the Ghost Whisperer




When the CEO of Zynx, a high-tech startup company, is found dead at his desk, determined Detective “Frankie” Ryan is assigned the case. She learns that everyone entering and leaving the super-secure building is logged in and out automatically—it would take a ghost to get through that kind of security. She enlists reluctant gossip columnist and ace reporter for the Midnight Whisperer, Josh Harrell, to help her solve the case. After all, he has his own ghostly assistant, a seductive spirit that only he can see. But can she save Josh and Frankie from the killer’s bullet?

My Review

I am always in the mood for a good mystery story. Which is why when I got the chance to read this book I was looking forward to it. Also, the aspect of Josh having a ghostly assistant intrigued me. The book started out fine. I did some of the humor that Josh brought to the story. Plus his assistant added to the story as well and was refreshing. Yet, I really struggled with this book. Yeah if you are a cozy mystery reader than you may like this book as there is not a lot of blood and gore like the suspense mystery books. So this is a good thing. Every once in a while I would see a glimmer of something good but for me I could never find that connection with any of the characters in the story. Thus the reason that I struggled with this book. Which for being about 242 pages long this book is actually a shorter book than most others that I read. So it should have been no problems. However, like I said from the little that I did like I would consider trying this author again.

If I Run




If I Run
By Terri Blackstock
Published by Zondervan
Paperback: 352 pages
February 16, 2016; $15.99; 9780310332435
Description
Casey knows the truth.
But it won't set her free.
Casey Cox's DNA is all over the crime scene. There's no use talking to police; they have failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she's arrested . . . or worse. The truth doesn't matter anymore.
 
But what is the truth? That's the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren't adding up. Casey Cox doesn't fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan's skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn't guilty, why did she run?
 
Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan's damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices. The girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer . . . or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.



My Review

I have not read anything but this author but after reading this book I will be putting Ms. Blackstock on my list of authors to check out more books from this author. For anyone who is unsure of Christian Suspense being too preachy, you don't have to worry with this book. Ms. Blackstock shows how Christian Suspense is done right with this book. Plus, the nice thing about these types of books is if you can't handle too much blood or gore there is hardly any with these books. Ok, now to the book itself.

Right from the first moment I instantly connected with Casey and Dylan and the story. So this really helped as it kept my interest. Plus I found this book to be a quick read. The conflict that Dylan felt about Casey helped add to the story. I like that he took everything about the case with a grain of salt and did not just jump to conclusions like the rest of the police. Although with all of the evidence and the crime scene and Casey running away it did make her look guilty. Which she does seem to be hiding something. The town that Casey made her new start in was charming. This story did have a nice ending.
 
Author Bio
Terri Blackstock
, author of If I Run, has sold over seven million books worldwide and is a New York Times bestselling author. She is the award-winning author of Intervention, Vicious Cycle, and Downfall, as well as such series as Cape Refuge, Newpointe 911, the SunCoast Chronicles, and the Restoration Series.
For more information please visit http://www.terriblackstock.com/ and follow the author on Facebook and Twitter

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Rabbit Who Wants to Go to Harvard




The Rabbit Who Wants to Go to Harvard: A New Way of Getting Children to Stop Sleeping and Start Achieving
This hilarious parody for fans of Go the F**k to Sleep and Goodnight iPad spoofs the bestselling sleep-aid picture book The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep. If you loved (or hated) that book, then The Rabbit Who Wants to Go to Harvard is for you! It satirizes helicopter parents and gives parents of small children a window into what's ahead--college admissions! You can never start too early. An irresistible gift for parents who have a sense of humor.

Do you struggle with getting your child to bend to your will? Join parents all over the world who have embraced this groundbreaking book as their new nightly routine.

In this parody of The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep, Ronald and Mommy Rabbit get help from Adderall Aardvark, Kollege Koach Kitty, and Admission Officer Owl, who know just how to stop all that incessant sleeping and get into Harvard, now. This lovingly panic-inducing and innovative story helps children at any age to set aside sleep and other quaint relics of youth for a much worthier goal: the Ivy League.

Make your dreams your child's dreams today!


My Review

This is a fun, quick read. Although this book is not just a book but an interactive experiment. Before you even start this book, there is a introduction in the beginning that explains the different font and how to read this book. Yes, this book does come with instructions.

I found myself reading the book like it was meant to be read. Just to see if and how it made a difference. It did make a difference in how the story was projected to the listening audience. Although, I can't say that I felt any stronger in my desire to want to go to Harvard. Yet, all of the characters in this book were good: Ronald, Mommy Rabbit, Adderall Aardvark, Kollege Koach Kitty, and Admission Officer Owl.

To the Stars


In the second book in New York Times  and USA Today  bestselling author Molly McAdams’ Thatch series, Knox Alexander must convince his long-time love Harlow Evans that they’re meant to be together.

He promised to wait for her.
She told him he was wasting his time.
Not waiting for him ended up being the biggest mistake of her life.

When they were younger, Knox Alexander swore to Harlow Evans that he would wait for her to turn eighteen so they could be together. But that was three and a half years away, and Harlow couldn’t ask him to give up all the fun and thrills of going away to college for her. As the years passed, Knox remained a constant in her life—whether she liked it or not—but when her eighteenth birthday came around, Harlow’s heart belonged to someone else.

Every day for the last four years, Harlow has been haunted by that fateful choice. And though he may appear unaffected by what happened in their past, Knox has always tried to fill the void Harlow left. But when he comes stumbling back into her life and refuses to leave, will Harlow finally let him into her heart…?



My Review

I have read several other books by this author and liked them. Although, this is probably my favorite book out of the ones I have read. I have not read the first book in this series but I will go back and check it out now that I have finished this book. Yet, I must admit that while I really loved this book, I also feel a little back about liking it so much and it was difficult to read this book at the same time. Due to the nature of this story. Again what made this book so great was the characters themselves. Knox and Harlow are the real deal. What I mean by this is that they never stopped loving each other. Knox is the ultimate sweetheart. He would have waited forever for Harlow. Then there was the saying that they had to show their love for each other "To the stars" as in "Who would love someone to the moon when they could love to the stars."

I read and finished this book in a matter of a few short hours. So committed to the whole package of this book. Again, although this story was tough it had some funny moments. I do look forward to reading the next book by this author.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Hannah’s Choice



Hannah Yoder loves her quiet life on the banks of the Conestoga Creek. In 1842, this corner of Lancaster County is settled and peaceful--yet problems lurk beneath the placid faade. Hannah's father worries about the spread of liberal ideas from their Mennonite and Brethren neighbors. And Hannah blames herself for a tragedy that struck their home nine years ago. She strives to be the one person who can bind the threads of her family together in spite of her mother's ongoing depression and her sister's rejection of their family. But her world is threatening to unravel.

When two young men seek her hand in marriage--one offering the home she craves and the other promising the adventure of following God's call west--Hannah must make a choice. Faithfully perform her duties to her family? Or defy her father and abandon her community?
  


Review by Blanche Mancuso

I have read many stories about the Amish before but author, Jan Drexler takes a very positive view of the Amish history which I really enjoyed. This book showcases a wonderful story of the choices Hannah has to make and how they affect her family. She manages to be a true friend to both her family and friends. This book makes you feel like you are walking right beside Hannah on her journey through it all. I love the way the story was written and would highly recommend this book to all readers, especially those who enjoy the Amish lifestyle. Which if you have not read a book by this author before, now is the perfect time as this book is book one in this series. This author has probably become my favorite for Amish stories.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

THE DOLL'S HOUSE BLOG TOUR




The brilliant but complicated Helen Grace is back for a third outing in THE DOLL’S HOUSE (NAL Trade Paperback Original; February 2, 2015; $15.00), which opens with one of Arlidge’s now-signature harrowing scenarios:  Ruby wakes up one morning after a night out on the town, however, she quickly realizes she’s locked in a basement with no means of escape. Her captor eerily explains that no one is looking for her. No one wants Ruby, except for him.
 
At the same time, the body of a woman is found buried in a secluded beach, but according to forensics, the woman has been dead for years, yet no one has even reported her missing. But why would they? She's has been sending text messages to her family and updating her Twitter for years. Helen Grace, once again, is on a race against the clock to find Ruby and deduce the mastermind behind this disturbing crime.

My Review

This is the third book in this series. I am a big fan of mystery stories. I have read a bunch over the years so I can pretty much figure out the plot early into the story. Not to say that I did not still enjoy reading this book. In fact, I first was introduced to Detective Inspector Helen Grace when I read the second book in this series, Pop Goes the Weasel. It was then that I became a fan of Helen and this series.

Helen is smart and one tough cookie as well. I mean how many other detectives do you know that would go as far as to take a bite "literally" out of a killer. While there were murders there was not a lot of time spent in great details about the murders so not a lot of blood and gore if you can't handle this type of stuff. In addition, I found the pacing of the story great as I did not get hung up in one place in the story for any long time. I can't wait to read the next book in this series.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Last Dinner Party


Title: The Last Dinner Party
Author: Carly M. Duncan
Publisher: Createspace
Pages: 390
Genre: Mystery


When Jeanie D'Alisa is found murdered in her bedroom after hosting a dinner party in her home, detectives Anna Cole and Kristy Hicks are called to investigate the crime. Known within her community for her generous, yet unpredictable nature, Jeanie's secrets unfold as family, friends and neighbors become suspects. Anna and Kristy discover stamped passport pages revealing travels unknown and a curious relationship between Jeanie and the charming salesman who frequents the apartment building. Meryl, Jeanie's devoted and needy friend, further complicates the investigation when she phones Jeanie's sister who is studying abroad and lies to her about the cause of death. Through a muddied pool of misdirection and betrayal, will Anna and Kristy be able to assemble the clues in order to bring Jeanie's killer to justice? The path to solving the mystery becomes tangled with faces of loved ones who are revealed to be foes in this story about the lengths people will go to in order to save themselves.


For More Information




My Review

I had all the best of intentions going into this book really looking forward to this book. Sadly, try as I might I could not get into the story or the characters. This book is read as a cozy mystery so the blood or gore that you expect from a suspense mystery is not there. Which I have read many cozy mysteries but I think that lack of "suspense" was what I was craving with this book and I could not find it. Even when I put the book down only to pick it back up and randomly jump to the middle of the story. I read for a while more and I did not feel like I missed anything having not read about 100 pages of the story. When I got to the ending I may have not have seen the motive coning but I could tell you I was not that surprised by the reasoning for the murder. One good thing I did see a little working in the favor of this book is the working relationship between Kristy and Anna. Kristy with her brass attitude did draw me in and than there was Anna who may have been more on the quiet side but she was more of the brains of the two women.



Book Excerpt:

She opened her eyes only once she heard the apartment’s front door close. She couldn’t even bring herself to turn over in the bed despite her discomfort, for she didn’t want a single mattress coil’s shift to alert him to the fact that she was awake. She waited a moment, lying in her bed, pausing in case he had forgotten anything, but the sound of footsteps faded into the distance.

Meryl Brunetti had been awake for twenty minutes, but she wasn’t prepared to begin the day. Not until he was gone. She didn’t want to see him, she didn’t want to talk, and she certainly wasn’t prepared to deal with anything they’d discussed the night before. She needed more time, and she needed to figure out how she felt.

Instead of waking up at seven o’clock to make him breakfast as usual, to start his day on a pleasant note, and see him out the door, she slept. Or, rather, she pretended to sleep. She’d been unable to sleep the night before. Her mind twirled with anger, despair, and uncertainty.

When she heard the sound of the shower signally the beginning of his day this morning, she felt drowsiness weigh on her eyelids, as though his impending exit might cause her relief. She felt her mind quiet, and forced herself to keep her eyes shut. She wouldn’t rise and she wouldn’t make a sound. She couldn’t bear to see his face. Not after last night. She’d have to pretend later that she’d accidentally slept in.

Maybe she could blame oversleeping on the alcohol. She’d need some excuse, given the average schedule she kept, which rivaled military rising hours. She might be able to blame a hangover for her tardiness depending how closely anyone was counting her cocktails last night. As a rule, she vowed always to have a drink in hand at any social gathering both as an accessory (she could never figure out a comfortable, natural place for her hands), and an ordinary pause in conversation (she often took a sip when she couldn’t think of the next thing she wanted to say.) As a result, she appeared to always have a glass in hand, but she rarely drank with the same fury as some of her louder, and more entertaining friends.

After he left their home, when she heard the click of the lock in place behind him, she emerged from the bed and walked with purpose to the coffee maker. She brewed the first pot of coffee for the day. There would be at least one and perhaps two that followed, depending on her afternoon.

The morning light that flooded into the apartment seemed excessive this particular morning. On any other morning, Meryl would relish in the beautiful daylight that overtook her home, but today she had the beginning of a headache, perhaps from lack of sleep, and she pulled the living room curtains closed.

She wanted to spend a rare day in her pajamas without responsibility, but she couldn’t afford such a day. She never could. Every day, there were endless duties to address. There was the grocery shopping, preparing for her next book club meeting, picking up or dropping off the dry cleaning, meeting with other mothers on various committees, baking for fundraisers, and sometimes making multiple trips to the high school to drop off a meal or some piece of sports equipment that her son had forgotten.

Meryl loved to be busy. The constant buzz of her life made her feel like more than the housewife she was, but she sometimes secretly dreamed of a day off from cooking dinner, and wished she didn’t have to have the answers to every question her family members posed. They trusted her to know all, and she usually did, but the exhausting task of running more lives than her own was far too much for her to think about today. She wished she could sleep away her thoughts and responsibilities.




About the Author

Carly M. Duncan is a television producer and writer. Working in television, she has prolifically created visual narratives for more than a decade for networks including TLC, Discovery Health, MTV, NatGeo, Travel Channel, FYI and more.  

Her writing career officially began when one of her short stories, First Place, was published when she was a high school student in California. Her first two novels, Marcie and Behind You, are mysteries that touch on family bonds and the events that can strengthen or destroy them. 

Her third novel, The Last Dinner Party, introduces a pair of female detectives who will return in future stories. In addition, she is a mentor and editor to other writers as well as an avid reader. Her favorite authors include Agatha Christie and Stephen King.

Carly lives in New York with her husband and two daughters.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

At the Sharp End of Lightning Blog Spotlight + Giveaway




Book Description for At the Sharp End of Lightning:


AT THE SHARP END OF LIGHTNING. The interwoven fantastical tale of family, of loss and sacrifice, of unexpected gifts and coping with disability and new abilities set against the backdrop of climate change occurring across parallel worlds. In Oceanlight, Yalara Narika, a winged Sea Sprite, searches for her lover over immense seas only to find catastrophe and realization that her world is in turmoil.


Meanwhile in the safe suburban normality of North Wales, Einion Morgan Alban, a restless youth afflicted by a disease of the blood, is nearly murdered by a man in a white suit. Yalara and Einion must discover the causes of their near-deaths and their as yet unrevealed connections as they both face upheaval to their lives and their worlds.


Buy the book:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble



Author's Bio:

NR Bates was born in London, grew up in Wales, and lived in Canada and Bermuda. He shares his life with his wife and his house with seven cats, one dog and the subtropical wildlife of lizards, wolf spiders and ant colonies that seek out a better life indoors.


He is an oceanographer and scientist, and has published more than one hundred and thirty scientific papers on ocean chemistry, climate change and ocean acidification. He is a Senior Scientist at the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and Professor of Ocean Biogeochemistry at the University of Southampton, UK.


​His novels focus on epic fantasy and magic realism, and inspired by his deep love of the ocean and environmental sciences. He has also recently published a small book of short-stories set in Paris, entitled “The Fall of Icarus (The Elevator, The Fall of Icarus, and The Girl)”.


Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter   Facebook

 
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