Thursday, June 30, 2016

Sea Rose Lane



Three-Time RITA Winner Invites Readers Back to the Captivating Coastal Town of Hope Harbor
After a devastating layoff, attorney Eric Nash heads back to the town where he grew up--only to discover that his childhood home is being transformed into a bed & breakfast. Instead of plotting his next career move in peace, he's constantly distracted by noise, chaos--and BJ Stevens, the attractive but prickly blonde architect and construction chief who's invaded the house with her motley crew.


As for BJ, her client's son might be handsome, but after a disastrous romance, dating isn't high on her agenda. Yet when they join forces to create a program for Hope Harbor seniors, might they also find healing, hope, and a new beginning themselves?


Three-time RITA Award winner Irene Hannon takes readers back to Hope Harbor for a new season of charm, romance, and second chances.
Review by Blanche Mancuso

Erin Nash has lost his job as an attorney and is devastated. He decides to go back to Hope Harbor, his childhood home in hopes of healing and a brand new restart to his life. What he finds is his home being transformed into a bed and breakfast by BJ, a very attractive contractor who is working on the project.

This is the second book in this series. The small town characters are warm, loving, frank but dependable. I especially loved Charley with his words of wisdom and love of God and animals. I loved this book and how God showed people that their dreams were different from that which He had intended for them. Sea Rose Lane is a wonderful book and I believe a must read for anyone looking for a romance with a touch of suspense thrown into the mix.

The Wolf Road



A debut literary thriller from an incredible new voice. What do you do when the man who gave you everything turns out to be a killer?
Everything Elka knows of the world she learned from the man she calls Trapper, the solitary hunter who took her under his wing when she was just seven years old.

But when Elka sees the Wanted poster in town, her simple existence is shattered. Her Trapper – Kreagar Hallet – is wanted for murder. Even worse, Magistrate Lyon is hot on his trail, and she wants to talk to Elka.

Elka flees into the vast wilderness, determined to find her true parents. But Lyon is never far behind – and she’s not the only one following Elka’s every move. There will be a reckoning, one that will push friendships to the limit and force Elka to confront the dark memories of her past.

My Review

This book does not read like a debut novel, it reads like a seasoned professional. Instantly I was transported into this world that Ms. Lewis built. Picture the wilderness from the movie, The Revenant. In addition, the characters felt like real people than just characters in a story. It was like I was watching a movie play out within the pages of this book from beginning to end. I like Elka's name. It is different and unique. The meaning behind her name was cool, even if it was given to her by a serial killer. Speaking of Elka's father, I could see why she felt in a way so strongly in the beginning about protecting him as he really was the only father figure she knew.

Although the murders are mentioned that is really all that is to the murders. Not a ton of blood or gore, so for those who can't handle lots of gore this is a good thing. I was cheering for Elka the whole way through. She proved that she is a fighter with every situation she endured. I am looking forward to reading the next book by Ms. Lewis.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

First Comes Love



Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing; Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes their family, their different responses to the event splinter their delicate bond.

Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter ends up in her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.

On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately, Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired.

As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them, but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover they need each other more than they knew . . . and that in the recipe for true happiness, love always comes first.

Emotionally honest and utterly enthralling, First Comes Love is a story about family, friendship, and the courage to follow your own heart—wherever that may lead.

My Review

This was an fine read. I just did not feel the sorrow or strong family bond with Josie and Meredith's family. Although I did appreciate Josie and Meredith bond as sisters. Yet, I was more drawn towards Josie and her carefree personality. Even though their marriage was fractured, I was on Nolan's side. When things got difficult it seemed that Meredith would retreat into herself or lash out at Nolan. Out of the two sisters, Meredith appeared to be closer to her brother.

This book was long kind of like a tome more than a book, which would not have bothered me if I had shared a strong connection with the characters in this story. This may not have been one of my favorite books by this author but I will still read more books by this author.

Summer Reading Challenge

Collecting the Dead



 
Magnus "Steps" Craig is part of the elite three-man Special Tracking Unit of the FBI. Called in on special cases where his skills are particularly needed, he works as a tracker. The media dubs him "The Human Bloodhound," since Steps is renowned for his incredible ability to find and follow trails over any surface better than anyone else. But there's a secret to his success. Steps has a special ability---a kind of synesthesia---where he can see the 'essence' of a person, something he calls 'shine,' on everything they've touched. His ability is known to only a few people---his father, the director of the FBI, and his partner, Special Agent Jimmy Donovan.

When the remains of a murdered woman are found, Steps recognizes the shine left by the murderer from another crime scene with a physically similar victim. And he uncovers the signature at both scenes---the mark of a sad face. At the same time, another killer, one Steps has dubbed Leonardo and has been trying to track for over ten years, appears again, taunting Steps. But while Steps tries to find a clue that will lead him to Leonardo, the case of the Sad Face Killer heats up. The team uncovers eleven possible victims: missing women who fit the same pattern. Using his skill and the resources of the Bureau, it is a race against time to find the killer before it's too late.

My Review

I have found me a new author in my favorite genre...murder/suspense thrillers. I am so happy. Steps is an multi-dimensional character. Although I know Steps may not really appreciate the title of "Human Bloodhound" it is fitting. He has great instinct into the human mind and can assess a scene quickly.

The killer featured in this book had a strong frontal presence. I am glad about this as most of the other books I have recently read in this genre the killer is featured half the time as a strong figure. I felt that both the killer and Steps are on equal footing. The rest of the characters in this book were not just playing second string either. The ending has left me wanting more.

I like the motto of the Special Tracking Unit (STU) "We save the ones we can"

A Certain Age

The bestselling author of A Hundred Summers, brings the Roaring Twenties brilliantly to life in this enchanting and compulsively readable tale of intrigue, romance, and scandal in New York Society, brimming with lush atmosphere, striking characters, and irresistible charm.

As the freedom of the Jazz Age transforms New York City, the iridescent Mrs. Theresa Marshall of Fifth Avenue and Southampton, Long Island, has done the unthinkable: she’s fallen in love with her young paramour, Captain Octavian Rofrano, a handsome aviator and hero of the Great War. An intense and deeply honorable man, Octavian is devoted to the beautiful socialite of a certain age and wants to marry her. While times are changing and she does adore the Boy, divorce for a woman of Theresa’s wealth and social standing is out of the question, and there is no need; she has an understanding with Sylvo, her generous and well-respected philanderer husband.

But their relationship subtly shifts when her bachelor brother, Ox, decides to tie the knot with the sweet younger daughter of a newly wealthy inventor. Engaging a longstanding family tradition, Theresa enlists the Boy to act as her brother’s cavalier, presenting the family’s diamond rose ring to Ox’s intended, Miss Sophie Fortescue—and to check into the background of the little-known Fortescue family. When Octavian meets Sophie, he falls under the spell of the pretty ingĂ©nue, even as he uncovers a shocking family secret. As the love triangle of Theresa, Octavian, and Sophie progresses, it transforms into a saga of divided loyalties, dangerous revelations, and surprising twists that will lead to a shocking transgression . . . and eventually force Theresa to make a bittersweet choice.


My Review

I was first drawn to this book by the lovely book cover. The next thing was the time period this story featured... the 1920's. I have really been intrigued by this era and getting my hands on new books that I come across that take place in this era.

As soon as I opened this book I was transported back in time. This is the best part about this book...the era. I was not immersed in the characters or their lives as much as I would have liked to be. In fact, for me I did not really see or experience a love triangle. Although, I thought that Octavian was good as was Sophie. Theresa was fine but I felt a brick wall between her and Octavian that they could not fully break down in their relationship. Despite not being in love with this book I did like what I read and would read more books by this author.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Running for Water and Sky


They say that right before you die, your whole life flashes before your eyes. But what they don't say is that the same thing can happen when your soul mate is dying. 

 After spending most of her 17 years being shuffled between families that don't want her, Bless Adler has no intention of opening her heart to anyone. And then she falls in love with Liam Reid.
The closer Bless lets Liam get, the more fearful she becomes. Then her new friend, Maylee, convinces her to go see a local psychic and the woman's glimpse into the future is anything but reassuring: Bless's absent father, drunk and bitter. A frantic crowd gathered at the beach. Liam lying in a pool of blood, a gun at his side. 


 Now Bless has 14 blocks to reach Liam on the shores of Lake Michigan. If he's still alive, she'll beg for him to fight for his life. If he's not, she'll say good-bye to the first person who made her want to fight for her own. Edgy, intense, and emotional, Running for Water and Sky is a story of the elation and angst that comes with love, and the challenge of learning to trust when betrayal is all you ve ever known.

My Review

It appears that I must have read a different book from the current readers. Everyone else is raving about this book. Don't get me wrong as in the beginning I thought this story was really going to go somewhere. Yet, after only a few chapters, I had lost interest in what was transpiring in the pages of this book. None of the characters jumped out at me and made me crave for their story. Yet I did keep reading as I thought I would find that "some" again. After just going through the motions until the half way point I was done. I did skip ahead to the last three chapters to see how the story would end. Unfortunately, this book was not for me.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Just but barely Within Reach

         
Dying wasn’t on seventeen-year-old Xander Hemlock’s summer to-do-list. Finding ways to spend more time with his girlfriend, Lila, was the most critical thinking he planned on doing. But that was before he found himself trapped in a realm of only darkness with thirty days to convince Lila he’s not actually dead—well, not completely, anyway.

As Xan tries to show Lila she isn't alone, she struggles to comprehend how her life has changed so completely. Six months ago her life was perfect: she was on her way to becoming a professional dancer, her parents were still married, and her boyfriend was alive. But now, with her anorexic tendencies stronger than ever, she must decide which is the lesser of two evils: letting go to be with a boy she doesn't love, or holding on to the unreasonable, yet overpowering, feeling that Xan is still within reach...and trying to show her something.

Improbable and endearing, Within Reach is a story of two soulmates discovering that sometimes it takes more than one lifetime to get it right.
 
My Review
 
Ok, so I did not totally see the ending coming. I liked how it ended with a bit of a cliffhanger. The story had a nice flow to it. I was able to read it without any real stumbling blocks. The main reason why I can't say that I am in love with this book is because although I did feel the strong connection between Xan and Lila, I did not experience the love worth going to the ends of the Earth for. I was craving this reading this book. It was like me the reader had to be assured of this factor at the end of every chapter. Yet, there was a few other love interest that came into the picture for Lila and I could not picture anyone else with her but Xan. For example one of the guys was Jason. At first I thought he was a good friend but as the story went on, he quickly got on my nerves and I found him annoying. So much that when he could come into the picture I would quickly skim over his parts of the conversation. As far as soulmates and a ghost story, this is not a bad one. It is actually one of the better stories I have read in a while.

Friday, June 24, 2016

In the Shadow of the Gods

 


 

Inside the Book:



Title: In the Shadows 
Author: Rachel Dunne 
Release Date: June 21, 2016 
Publisher: Harper Voyager 
Genre: Fantasy/Action Adventure 
Format: Paperback/Ebook

A breathtaking talent makes her debut with this first book in a dark epic fantasy trilogy, in which a mismatched band of mortals led by a violent, secretive man must stand against a pair of resentful gods to save their world.

Eons ago, a pair of gods known as the Twins grew powerful in the world of Fiatera, until the Divine Mother and Almighty Father exiled them, binding them deep in the earth. But the price of keeping the fire lands safe is steep. To prevent these young gods from rising again, all twins in the land must be killed at birth, a safeguard that has worked until now.

Trapped for centuries, the Twins are gathering their latent powers to break free and destroy the Parents for their tyranny—to set off a fight between two generations of gods for control of the world and the mortals who dwell in it.

When the gods make war, only one side can be victorious. Joros, a mysterious and cunning priest, has devised a dangerous plan to win. Over eight years, he gathers a team of disparate fighters—Scal, a lost and damaged swordsman from the North; Vatri, a scarred priestess who claims to see the future in her fires; Anddyr, a drug-addled mage wandering between sanity and madness; and Rora and Aro, a pair of twins who have secretly survived beyond the reach of the law.

These warriors must learn to stand together against the unfathomable power of vengeful gods, to stop them from tearing down the sun . . . and plunging their world into darkness.

    photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpgB&N

Meet the Author:

Rachel Dunne
Living in the cold reaches of the upper Midwest with her great beast of a dog, Rachel Dunne has developed a great fondness for indoor activities. For as long as snow continues falling in Wisconsin, she promises to stay inside and keep writing. 

Her first novel, In the Shadow of the Gods, was a semi-finalist for the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, and will be published by Harper Voyager in June of 2016. Its two sequels will follow.  
Twitter
facebook (2)
 

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Tour Schedule

Monday, June 20 - Guest blogging at A Title Wave
Book featured at Book Cover Junkie
Tuesday, June 21 - Interviewed at Harmonious Publicity
Guest blogging at The Dark Phantom
Wednesday, June 22 - Book featured at Bound 2 Escape
Book featured at The Literary Nook
Thursday, June 23 - Interviewed at Literal Exposure
Guest blogging at The Writer's Life
Friday, June 24 - Book reviewed at Cheryl's Book Nook
Book featured at The Bookworm Lodge
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Monday, June 27 - Interviewed at The Review From Here
Guest blogging at Write and Take Flight
Tuesday, June 28 - Interviewed at Voodoo Princess
Book featured at Lover of Literature
Wednesday, June 29 - Book reviewed at The Recipe Fairy
Interviewed at I'm Shelf-ish
Thursday, June 30 - Interviewed at As the Page Turns
Book reviewed at I'm Shelf-ish
Friday, July 1 - Book reviewed at Cover2Cover
Book featured at CBY Book Club
Book reviewed at 3 Partners in Shopping
Book reviewed at Ashley's Bookshelf
Book reviewed at Deal Sharing Aunt
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Thursday, June 23, 2016

All Summer Long

Tia Gets a Second Chance at Love When an Old Crush Suddenly Reappears

Though it means giving up the chef's job at her uncle's small town Italian restaurant in Washington, Tia D'Amico is thrilled to move to San Francisco to help her aunt with a new business venture: transforming an old luxury yacht into an upscale floating restaurant. The icing on the cake is that Leo Parker, Tia's crush from a long-ago sailing camp, has been hired as the yacht's captain. The only problem is that he's engaged to someone else.


Tia hides her feelings and rolls up her sleeves as she sets out to make her aunt's dream a reality. But as the tide turns on Leo's relationship, does Tia dare hope he might set a course for her heart?


All the romance of a summer in San Francisco is captured in this delightful story from an author who has made a career of tugging our heartstrings.




Review by Blanche Mancuso

You will want to read this love story set in the San Francisco area. Tia D'Amico goes to San Francisco to help refurbish an old yacht owed by the D'Amico family. She has just finished her studies at Culinary School and has become a chef.

Her Aunt and Uncle want to make the yacht into a floating dinner cruise ship in the Bay area and they have asked Tia to be in charge of the renovations. Tina ends up falling in love with the ship as well as an old flame who reenters her life...but will the love extend to the captain?

What happens next is a joyful and entertaining book that will keep you turning the pages to see what is going to happen next. This is the perfect book for a fun summer, romantic read. I so enjoyed this book and very much look forward to reading the next book by this author, Melody Carlson. Which by the way this book is the second one in this series and it can be read as a stand alone novel.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

If You Left + Giveaway



If You Left

By Ashley Prentice Norton
Published by Mariner Books / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Paperback: 256 pages
June 14, 2016; $14.95 US; 9780544263680

Description:

All relationships have their ups and downs. For Althea and Oliver Willow, the ups and downs are a bit . . . extreme.

Welcome to the bipolar marriage.

Althea is a thirty-seven year old upper crust Manhattan-ite on the brink of another breakdown—her fifth in nine years. Diagnosed with manic depression, she has spent her marriage oscillating between what she calls “the Tombs” and “the Visions”. Her husband Oliver has been there for her through all of it. It is Oliver who packs her bag for the hospital, who visits during visiting hours after each suicide attempt, and who takes care of their nine-year-old daughter Clem. It is Oliver who holds their family together.
 
Discharged from the hospital, Althea decides that this summer will be different—she will be the loving, sexy wife Oliver wants, and the reliable, affectionate mother that Clem deserves. This summer, she will be “normal”. When the family moves to their East Hampton mansion for the summer, for the first time in Clem and Althea’s lives as mother and daughter there is no “summer girl” there to pick up the slack when Althea cannot face the reality that comes with being a mother.
But once they arrive, nothing goes according to Althea’s plan. Oliver becomes even more distant, and his relationship with their interior decorator is a bit too close. Clem also seems not to need her as a mother, and Althea finds that getting to know her own daughter is far more exhausting than she had though it would be. Into this scene enters the much younger, attractive, David Foster Wallace-reading house painter, who reaches something in Althea that has been long buried.
 
Fearless, darkly funny, and compulsively readable, If You Left, is a searing exploration of the limits of family and the unavoidable truth that sometimes in order to move forward we have to destroy the things we've worked so very hard to build.

My Review

First off I am not knocking anyone who id dealing with a mental illness like Althea in this book. In fact, I thought that she was the only interesting person in this book. The rest fell flat as did the story for me. At first I was intrigued by the story but after the first couple of chapters my excitement quickly went away and I found it harder to read this book. I got almost half way and put the book down. From what I did read however if I had been more engaged in the rest of the characters in this book than I actually may have stuck with it. I would be willing to give this author another chance in the future.

Author Bio:

Ashley Prentice Norton is the author of the critically acclaimed debut novel The Chocolate Money, and a graduate of Exeter, Georgetown, and the creative writing program at New York University. She lives in New York with her husband and three children.
For more information visit his website at http://www.ashleyprenticenorton.com and connect with her on Facebook.

I do have a copy to giveaway to a US Reader if someone wants to check out this book. Leave a comment with your email and I will pick a winner Sunday, June 26th

Monday, June 20, 2016

Vigilance + Giveaway


Regina Shen:  Vigilance (Book 2)


After two years of training, outcast Regina Shen prepares to jump the barrier wall into the World Federation to hunt for her sister, but nothing goes according to plan. The Federation condemns Regina and her family to live on the seaward side of barrier walls.


For two years she avoided capture. Now the Federation is desperate to exploit her unique DNA in order to prevent human extinction. She would rather die than help the people who kidnapped her sister. The Federation’s notorious Department of Antiquities, under the command of Chief Inspector Joanne Demarco, polices barrier walls, destroys knowledge from the past, and pursues Regina for her genome. Now Demarco has a ruthless rival who aims to capture Regina as a means to overthrow Demarco.


Regina has survived by her wits on swampy islands and salvage from sunken cities, including illegal print books not available in the Federation. Her photographic (eidetic) memory, access to these books, and an amazing teacher just may help her reach the university town in the Federation where they’re holding her sister. Pursued by Antiquities, Regina jumps the wall into the Federation.


While making new friends and enemies, she must use her wits to avoid letting either of two rival inspectors capture her. Can she rescue her sister from an obvious trap?


Buy the book:   Amazon   Barnes & Noble


My Review

The first book, Resilience was fine. I thought it had an alright pacing and the author did a good job of introducing me to this world and Regina. Yet with this second book I am thrilled to have read it. I was able to instantly connect with all of the characters better. So far I thought that this book was better than the first. Regina is shaping out to be a strong leader. Regina's hunt for her sister, Colleen brings her even closer in this book. With Mo-Mere's experience with the Federation she was the perfect teacher for Regina. Not that I doubt that Regina would not be able to survive on her own but her cover would have been blown a lot sooner if it had not been for Mo-Mere. Mo-Mere is like Yoda with her wisdom. This is a perfect reference as this series has that nice futuristic feel to it that fans of these types of books will enjoy.

In the first book I learned about the Federation but in this book I actually got to really see what the Federation is really all about. The change in scenery was nice. Instantly I could picture all of the locations In addition, I like that there are the main staple characters so I can keep that established relationship with them while getting to meet some new ones like Ester. Although at time I was a little frustrated with Ester she came off meek. Yet as the story went on, Regina's strength did rub off on Ester. I can't wait to read the third book in this series to see if Regina will be able to take down the Federation.


Author's Bio:


He was raised by a roaming aerospace engineer, growing up in various parts of the United States and Europe, as well as traveling through Asia. He took to stories as his anchor, including the works of Asimov, Bradbury, and Heinlein, and has been writing since age eleven.


Growing up, he was inspired by his father’s engineering work on cutting-edge aerospace projects to look to the future.


In an ideal world, Lance would find time loops where he could step out for a week at a time to read and write. Then he would return to the moment he left, without life getting in the way. Of course, since everyone would have the same ability, he suspects life would still sneak in.


Lance is also the author of short stories and novelettes.


Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter   Facebook   Goodreads
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Red Platoon: A True Story of American Valor



In 2009, Clinton Romesha of Red Platoon and the rest of the Black Knight Troop were preparing to shut down Command Outpost Keating, the most remote and inaccessible in a string of bases built by the U.S. military in Nuristan and Kunar in the hope of preventing Taliban insurgents from moving freely back and forth between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Three years after its construction, the army was finally ready to concede what the men on the ground had known immediately: it was simply too isolated and too dangerous to defend.

On October 3, 2009, after years of constant smaller attacks, the Taliban finally decided to throw everything they had at Keating. The ensuing 14-hour battle-- and eventual victory-- cost 8 men their lives.

Red Platoon is the riveting first-hand account of the Battle of Keating, told by Romesha, who spearheaded both the defense of the outpost and the counter-attack that drove the Taliban back beyond the wire, and received the Medal of Honor for his actions.

My Review

I am a fan of military books. They are probably the number one type of nonfiction book that I read. Most of the books however have been about the past wars. Red Platoon is the most recent book I have read in a while focusing on a more current war. At first I was not into this book, which disappointed me due to the subject matter. Yet, because of this subject matter I tried to stick with the book. The second time I opened up this book it was like I was reading a different book, I was more focused and engaged in Clinton Romesha and his fellow comrades of the Black Knight Troop. This is probably one of the most realistic military books I have read in a while. There really was no holding back from the poo barrels to life in the barracks to the graphic details of the men getting hit and their brains spilling all over the dirt. If you are a fan of military stories than you are used to the language. Which for me I am used to and accept as part of the story. It was like I was there with Clinton and the rest of his comrades as they were taking heavy fire. It is people like Clinton and his comrades that fight for the rest of us and are willing to share their stories that we can have movies base don these books like the most recent movie, 13 Hours. This is a must, must read.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Murder Comes by Mail

 


A Cozy Mystery Complete with a Small Town Full of Charming, Quirky Characters
Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane doesn't particularly enjoy being touted as the hero of Hidden Springs after pulling a suicidal man back from the edge of the Eagle River bridge in front of dozens of witnesses--a few of whom caught the breathtaking moments with their cameras. But the media hype doesn't last long as a new story pushes its way into the public consciousness of Hidden Springs' concerned citizens.


Photos of a dead girl arrive in the mail, and Michael becomes convinced she was murdered by the man he saved. With a killer one step ahead, things in Hidden Springs begin to unravel. Now Michael must protect the people he loves--because the killer could be targeting one of them next.
Readers will love racing along with Deputy Sheriff Keane as the clock ticks in this page-turning mystery.
  

Review by Blanche Mancuso

Murder Comes by Mail is an very entertaining mystery about Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane, the town of Hidden Springs and what happens after he saves a killer about to commit suicide. The people in this small town each seem to play a role in solving the mystery of "who done it". This is a down home, feel good story in which the characters in the story are highly entertaining. It also tells the story of Deputy Sheriff Michael Keane and his struggle to let go and let God work in his life.

I love Hidden Springs because it is the type of town that I love to visit and the people of the town seem like fun and loving people that want nothing more than to help solve the mystery. I would highly recommend this book as it was fun to read and it kept you wondering about how the mystery would be solved right up until the end.

The Reclamation

We're happy to be hosting Thorn Osgood, author of the scifi/fantasy, THE RECLAMATION, today!  Please be sure to leave a comment below this post to let him know you stopped by!


About the Book:

Title: THE RECLAMATION
Author: Thorn Osgood
Publisher: Mind Wings Audio
Pages: 595
Genre: Scifi/Fantasy

Corilan, 25, is an IT project manager by day, and spends her free time involved in ecological organizations endeavors. When her long-absent negligent father, Nolan, wants to see her she’s annoyed. Finally, she decides to see him and despite the friction over his absence, from that meeting her life evolves. Nolan tells her of his birthright, an environmental organization, the School of Ancestral Guidance (SAG) and its members having ancestral guides. This clarifies Corilan’s gift, a voice inside, something she has never revealed. Knowledge of SAG feeds her obsession against environmental destruction.

Then an invisible entity, Earthos, manifests itself to her and proposes assistance in uniting people that want earth preservation. Years, she has been seeking a way to unite conservationist factions and still has no solution. Inspired by her inheritance, she accepts Earthos’ proposal and infuses with him. Then, she joins the SAG organization. From her infusion, she soon discovers abilities, among them lightning bolt generation, mind reading and control.

Armed with powerful abilities and her ancestral guide, Corilan must take an unexpected path. Then she discovers who her real enemies are and must find a way to defeat them.

For More Information

  • The Reclamation is available at Amazon.
  • Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
  • The book is also available at Kobo.
  • Read a preview of his book at his website.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.


Book Excerpt:

Corilan closed the back door to her new place and carefully removed her siec, making sure the acidic residue of atmospheric particles did not make contact with anything. After taking off her gloves, she removed her ENAZ mask and placed it on one of the moving crates nearby. She examined her siec; a cloak made of biodegradable mesh that served as a sieve to catch and block atmospheric particles. The particles grew heavier after dark and attached to the fabric, creating large clumps of acidic residue that could easily rub off on her skin or quickly eat through more vulnerable materials. Two more wears, she figured. After she shoved her gloves in one of the siec’s pockets, she hung the cloak on the coatrack by the back door. The visibility lens and nasal filters in the mask could be cleaned later.
For nearly five years, this was the process she had gone through daily to go outside, and she was pissed. Life did not have to be this way—it was a widely known fact that the deterioration of the environment was caused by the actions of humans. Yet industry and national leadership chose to do nothing; nothing that was truly effective. She dreamed of finding a way to resolve the environmental problems, in spite of the indifference of corporate CEOs and government leaders. Her body became rigid, her teeth clenched; her hands tensed and became fists at the thought. Those avaricious, self-serving bastards! To lead opposition against the environmental status quo and reverse the damage, that’s what she wanted. Every time she put on her outer gear or removed it, these were the thoughts that filled her mind, leaving her helpless and frustrated. Ticked off that leadership was so obliging to industry . . .
Catching her runaway thoughts, she refocused her thinking and realized she was still standing by the back door.
Then she remembered what she had placed in her shoulder bag the day before the move. Her eyes scanned the tops of the moving crates and boxes stacked on the floor and furniture. She located her bag, browsed the contents, and found what she was seeking. Corilan stared at the letter in her hand. She had found the piece of cursive-written correspondence on the floor when she’d come home the day before the movers arrived, and had stuffed it in her shoulder bag without opening it and continued packing. Who took time to write hard copy anything anymore? Moving to the kitchen counter, closer to the light, she opened the letter.

March 27, 2040

My Dear Daughter,

I received your thank-you card. Good to hear from you. I hope you’ll be happy in your new place.
You are probably surprised to hear from me so soon, but as I said in my previous letter, I would like to see you. I know I have not been a part of your life since your mother died, but I have not forgotten you.
I would like to see you on the second Sunday of next month. I will be in Pond Park at 6:00 p.m. If you decide not to come, I will understand. No matter what happens, you will always be loved.

Love,
Your father

Corilan laid the letter on the counter and pursed her lips—Nolan Troxler, her father. So soon? She hadn’t expected he would respond at all. Why would he? This was his second letter to her in her life. No surprise that he felt unworthy. Really, there was no other way he should feel. She hadn’t seen him in a little over twenty years. Hell, she couldn’t even remember his voice. The way she looked at his message, it was as if he was telling her, “I’m here now, let’s be family? Oh, and by the way, you’ve got two weeks to decide.” What made him think he could just arrive in town and tell her that? She felt anger rise inside, and a flush of warmth swept over her. Okay, her father had been widowed early in his marriage, but did that mean he’d had to abandon her?
 



About the Author

Thorn Osgood was born in Thomasville, Georgia, and grew up in South Florida. During her grade school years, her father read her stories that fed her imagination. Through the years, she has traveled many times to that special place in her mind to imagine fantastic yarns and what ifs and she has finally started to write them down. This is her debut work. Thorn currently lives in Crawford County, Georgia with her Mittelschnauzer, Raskoph, and his stray cats, Grayball and Tweeky.

His latest book is the scifi fantasy, The Reclamation.

For More Information

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

LIAR LIAR



Detective Helen Grace gets caught in an inferno of death and destruction in the red-hot new thriller from the author of Eeny Meeny, Pop Goes the Weasel, and The Doll's HouseDetective Helen Grace has never seen such destruction. Six fires in twenty-four hours. Two people dead. Several more injured. It's as if someone wants to burn the city to the ground...

With the whole town on high alert, Helen and her team must sift through the rubble to find the arsonist, someone whose thirst for fire—and control—is reducing entire lives to ashes.

One misstep could mean Helen's career—and more lives lost. And as the pressure mounts and more buildings burn, Helen's own dark impulses threaten to consume her…

My Review

Another amazing read by M. J. Arlidge. This is not a lie as I am not a "liar" but the honest to goodness truth. I am a fan of Detective Helen Grace and her partner, Charlie. They make a great team. The more and more I see these two in action, I am thrilled. Both strong co-lead characters. It was kind of like dual stories happening with Helen and Charlie both investigating on opposite sides to come together for an great ending. The beginning started out strong and pulled me in. Not that I expected anything less. I like that I was slowly introduced to all of the other characters in the story and not all at the same time as there was quite a few. If you have never read these books then what are you waiting for as you need to pick up a copy today. This book can be read as a stand alone novel. I can't wait to read the next book.

Monday, June 13, 2016

House of Bradbury

Mia Gladwell s life is going nowhere. The media has skewered her debut novel, her fiance Carson, a successful Hollywood producer, has jumped ship, and now she s living in her sister s carriage house unattached, unemployed, and uninspired. Then she learns that the Los Angeles estate of iconic author Ray Bradbury is up for sale, and she feels an immediate urge to buy the wonky old house, convinced that moving into the late author's home will inspire her to create her best work yet.

Life in the Bradbury house is not what Mia imagined, however. Soon after moving in, to fulfill a debt she owes to Carson, she agrees to take in a pill-popping young actress as a tenant, and suddenly she finds herself in a balancing act between her needy ex, an unpredictable starlet, and her disapproving sister, who s keeping a close eye on her. Add to this a series of mysterious sketches left at her doorstep by a stranger, and Mia s life is more complicated than ever. As she searches for clues, though, Mia discovers insights into her own life. Maybe moving into Bradbury s house was a big mistake but maybe not."  

My Review

I had a tiny reservation about reading this book prior to reading it. I think ok I will attempt to read it. Well my attempt became real. I did enjoy this book way more than I thought. Such a good thing. Mia has self doubt about herself but I am glad that she took a giant leap of faith and purchased a home of her own. Although I really knew nothing about author, Ray Bradbury, I felt like I had a good visual picture of just who he was and what he liked to do in his time from the descriptions of the house and the experiences that Mia encountered with the house. Zoe turned out to be another great surprise. I thought she would be a stuck up model/actress type but she was genuine. I could even somewhat put up with Mia's crazy ex, Carson. This book is an enjoyable read.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Azaleas Don’t Bloom Here




Title: Azaleas Don’t Bloom Here
Author: Frank T. Klus
Publisher: Createspace
Pages: 338
Genre: Literary/Action/Dystopian
 
In a dark and dying world, Eugene Sulke stands on the cusp of his lifelong dream: a promotion, money, and a home in the affluent section of Old Chicago, called the Fortress, where he can watch the sun set over the azaleas. Only one thing stands in his way–his own fear that he is responsible for the terrible conditions his new home would wall him off from.

Caught in a web of intrigue and the warnings of his wife, Eugene could not see the unfolding chaos around him. Suddenly, his wife is dead, he’s in prison, and then subjected to the government’s final solution–a mind-altering technique that would change anyone from who they are to anyone they want them to be. A rescue is attempted, but Eugene’s own fears become his worst enemy..His friends must convince him to go to New America and face the shocking truth about what destroyed his world.

My Review

I am a fan of the dystopian books and thus this is the reason why I was looking forward to reading this book. Also the title is very catchy. I do agree with another reader that the world that Mr. Klus built for this book feels very realistic. I could picture how desolate the world had become and understandably the "dog eat" attitude. What I am speaking about is the cruel beatings that Eugene endured while imprisoned. It did not seem to just be beatings but to show just who is in charge. The beatings I got but at the same time it was difficult to read about. Another thing is the language in the book. There is the use of the "f" word as well as "cunt". Which I think the "c" word is worse than the "f" word. One last thing I wanted to point out and that I found distracting is the interchanging from Eugene to Gene. It would not have been such a problem if from one sentence Eugene was used and than the next sentence Gene was mentioned so closely together. This book may not have appealed to me but it appears I am in the minority.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Resilience + Giveaway



Regina Shen is an outcast forced to fend for herself in a world that bans books and artifacts from before the Great Collapse. An approaching storm could be the least of her problems. The World Federation condemns Regina and her family to live on the seaward side of barrier walls. Those walls were built to hold back rising seas caused by abrupt climate change and as a place to dump outcasts.
 
A hurricane threatens to destroy Regina’s world, tearing her from sister, mom, and home. Now Federation agents claim she has unique DNA that could prevent human extinction. It's too bad she doesn't trust them enough to barter fairly, let alone with her life. Three-hundred-plus-year-old Grand Old Dames rule the all-female Federation using a rigid caste system. Their notorious Department of Antiquities, under the command of Chief Inspector Joanne Demarco, polices barrier walls, destroys knowledge from the past to suppress dissent, and pursues Regina for her genome.


Regina survives by her wits on swampy islands and thrives on salvage from sunken cities, including illegal print books from before the Federation. With her photographic (eidetic) memory, she defies Antiquities by consuming salvaged books not available in the Federation, which makes her an outcast even among her exiled peers. With Antiquities in pursuit, Regina fights to stay alive and avoid capture while hunting for her family. Does she have the resilience to survive both the storm and Antiquities?


​Buy the book:  Amazon   Barnes & Noble
 
 
My Review

I received the opportunity to review this book and the other three books in this series as part of a blog tour. I am glad I did otherwise I would still be unfamiliar with this author and this series. Although, I must admit that the front and back covers were not very appealing to me and in fact had me a little worried about the standards for this book. After reading this book it just goes to show that you can't judge a book by its front or back covers.

I like the world that the author has built. Regina is a strong female heroine. She kept getting stronger and stronger as the story went on. Therefore, I can't wait to read the second book. Readers who like to read post apocalyptic books will enjoy this one. Although I must admit that it did take me a little while to warm up to the characters but again it was the world that did it for me in the beginning. The ending left me the reader looking forward to reading the second book.

Author's Bio:


He was raised by a roaming aerospace engineer, growing up in various parts of the United States and Europe, as well as traveling through Asia. He took to stories as his anchor, including the works of Asimov, Bradbury, and Heinlein, and has been writing since age eleven.


Growing up, he was inspired by his father’s engineering work on cutting-edge aerospace projects to look to the future.


In an ideal world, Lance would find time loops where he could step out for a week at a time to read and write. Then he would return to the moment he left, without life getting in the way. Of course, since everyone would have the same ability, he suspects life would still sneak in.


Lance is also the author of short stories and novelettes.


Connect with the author:  Website   Twitter   Facebook   Goodreads

THE WRITING PROCESS by Lance Erlick
Writers seem to follow one of two approaches to storytelling. Some do extensive outlining to the point they know exactly what will happen and when before they begin to write. Others have a sense of where the story begins and ends and explore the story as they write. Both approaches work, depending on an author’s style and the story’s needs.
 
I’ve used both. The first published novel that I wrote was Rebels Divided, now the 3rd book in the series. For it, I did heavy brainstorming and outlining since the story involves the merging of two storylines. Outlining allowed me to make sure they’d mesh before I began writing. After Rebels Divided, Annabelle Scott, one of the protagonists, inspired me to write her story: The Rebel Within. Because I’d gotten to know her so well, Annabelle’s story wrote itself, as if she were narrating the story to me. I knew where the story began, how it would end, and the major hurdles along the way, but I did minimal outlining and followed her lead.
 
For the Regina Shen series, I did substantial brainstorming and research into abrupt climate change and into what this future world might have evolved into. Because of that and the storyline, I did more extensive outlining than for The Rebel Within.
 
I try to write every day in the morning, which I find as my most creative time. I get very possessive about my mornings for this reason and feel let down if I get distracted and can’t at least write something. Often I wake in the middle of the night with scenes or solutions to story problems and then have to make notes in the dark. When I’m ready, I focus on a first draft to get the story out and breathe life into it. I liken this to putting modeling clay on the wheel. Then I edit and mold the story until I’m happy with how it feels and how the story works.
 
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The Girl from the Savoy

Dolly Lane is a dreamer; a downtrodden maid who longs to dance on the London stage, but her life has been fractured by the Great War. Memories of the soldier she loved, of secret shame and profound loss, by turns pull her back and spur her on to make a better life.

When she finds employment as a chambermaid at London’s grandest hotel, The Savoy, Dolly takes a step closer to the glittering lives of the Bright Young Things who thrive on champagne, jazz and rebellion. Right now, she must exist on the fringes of power, wealth and glamor—she must remain invisible and unimportant.

But her fortunes take an unexpected turn when she responds to a struggling songwriter’s advertisement for a ‘muse’ and finds herself thrust into London’s exhilarating theatre scene and into the lives of celebrated actress, Loretta May, and her brother, Perry. Loretta and Perry may have the life Dolly aspires to, but they too are searching for something.

Now, at the precipice of the life she has and the one she longs for, the girl from The Savoy must make difficult choices: between two men; between two classes, between everything she knows and everything she dreams of. A brighter future is tantalizingly close—but can a girl like Dolly ever truly leave her past behind?

My Review

I read The Girl Who Came Home and really thoroughly enjoyed it, however this book I could not stop reading from this author. I kept seeing this one make its way around the web a lot of times and each time I wanted to read it that much more. I finally got the chance to read this book. It far exceeded my expectations. I was instantly transported into the 1920's, the Savoy Hotel, and the grueling world of Broadway productions.

Until some books where one or two main character's voices are strong, in this book I loved all of the voices from Dolly, Loretta, Teddy, and Perry. Each one had a story to tell that was lovely. Although I was very drawn to Loretta, then Dolly, Teddy and Perry equally. The Girl from the Savoy is a must read.




Ink and Bone



Twenty-year-old Finley Montgomery is rarely alone. Visited by people whom others can’t see and haunted by prophetic dreams, she has never been able to control or understand the things that happen to her. When Finley’s abilities start to become too strong for her to handle – and even the roar of her motorcycle or another dazzling tattoo can’t drown out the voices – she turns to the only person she knows who can help her: her grandmother Eloise Montgomery, a renowned psychic living in The Hollows, New York.

Merri Gleason is a woman at the end of her tether after a ten-month-long search for her missing daughter, Abbey. With almost every hope exhausted, she resorts to hiring Jones Cooper, a detective who sometimes works with psychic Eloise Montgomery. Merri’s not a believer, but she’s just desperate enough to go down that road, praying that she’s not too late. Time, she knows, is running out.

As a harsh white winter moves into The Hollows, Finley and Eloise are drawn into the investigation, which proves to have much more at stake than even the fate of a missing girl. As Finley digs deeper into the town and its endless layers, she is forced to examine the past, even as she tries to look into the future. Only one thing is clear: The Hollows gets what it wants, no matter what.

My Review

It has been a few books past since I have read one by this author. Yet I liked this book. The main character, Finley is cool. However I wanted to see more of her gift in action. I found it very intriguing and when she her viewed the whole scene as it played out in front of her with her out of body experience. I felt really connected in that moment to the story and the characters. If Jones was there to be a love interest for Finley, I was not seeing the sparks. Finley and Jones together as friends was the vibe I got. Although, neither one really took the lead on solving the disappearance, they did it together.

It was pretty apparent early on how Merri's story tied into the whole investigation. It was a sad one but Merri is a fighter. Even with a broken marriage, she did not give up fighting to discover the truth. The ending was good even if it did take a while to get there. The beginning was great and then about a third of the way into the book it lost some steam. Luckily the last third of the story came together and picked up steam again.

One True Loves



In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancĂ©, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.




My Review


This is the first time that I have heard this author's name. When I first picked up this book I was in between other books and so it was not really my first choice. Not that I don't like a good contemporary story even now and again. So to my great surprised I not only digged this book but I was all about it. Although it was quickly easy to see how this story was going and how it would end. Which speaking of the end, I felt that Emma made the right choice in the end. I could feel the difference between the Emma of the past and Emma of the future. She was two different and grown up.

To be honest, either way I was rooting for Sam. I felt like I barely really knew who Jesse was. His and Emma's love was more present when she wrote her letter to him then when they were together. Not like she and Sam. Now that I know what this author can bring to the table I will be checking out more books by this author. One True Loves is one of the best summer reads of 2016.

Purchase a copy on Amazon