Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Playing Fast



THREE STRIKES AND HE’S OUT…

When baseball bad-boy Finn Castro raises one eyebrow too many, the Saints send him down to the minors. He’ll have to earn back his major-league dreams with the Sarasota Springs Preachers. Finn’s certainly never claimed to be a man of the cloth, and cleaning up his act isn’t going to be easy with stunning Eva Harlowe at the heart of the team’s administration…

UNTIL SHE THROWS A CURVEBALL
Eva knows having a crush on Finn Castro is about as sensible as wishing for an eighth day of the week, but seeing the gorgeously muscled player in person melts her resolve. If she’s planning to leave baseball at the end of the season, a hot fling could be a fantasy home run. But when no-strings sex begins to feel like a perfect partnership, will Finn and Eva choose the love of the game or real life together?


My Review

I have seen this author's books floating around the internet for a while but I have never really checked them out until now. Although, I kept meaning to try this author sooner. Now, after reading this book I am kicking myself that I did not pick up a copy sooner. I just fell in love with Finn. A reformed bad boy with a heart of gold. What is not to love about this...oh and he is easy on the eyes (bonus).

Eva may have been the older one in the relationship but it was Finn that was the teacher. He really helped Eva to loosen up and showed her that age is only a number. In fact, it did not show or have any affects in my mind that Eva was older. Well except for a time or two. Yet, it was so cute when she stood up for Finn and he complimented her on doing so. I read and finished this book in a matter of a few short hours. Not only is this book titled "Playing Fast" but it reads fast (this is a good thing). I now plan to go back and check out the prior novels in this series.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Legends of Teddy Bear Island

Teddy Bear Island has as many grizzly tales as it does flesh-eating plushies, and it’s bursting at the seams. From the elven vagabond lurking the jungle to the hired mercenaries looting the temple, every corner of the island has its own history, and its own secrets. Tear into this collection of curious, creepy, and downright crazy adventures based on Teddy Bear Island RPG, where escape is never easy, and nothing is quite as innocent as it appears. Around every corner waits something eager for the ripping. Grab your toughest dwarves, your surliest orcs, and your most loyal kobolds, and get ready to spill some stuffing.

What story will you tell?


My Review

The story goes that Jessie the Flufamancer was what you could call a mad scientist. He brought to life teddy bears. Yet, these bears are not the cute and cuddly kind. Nope, these ones are the killing type. Jessie and his bears escaped to Teddy Bear Island, where it is told that Jessie lived there with his bears until his death. Now, the bears roam freely on the island.

A group of adventurers go exploring the island. What they encounter are Zombears, Brute Bunnies, and a large three-headed bear sea creature to name a few. There is lots of killing, stuffing flying,...oh and heads will roll. I thought this was a good book. Although, I must admit that even with all of the killing that the bears were not that scary. Yet, I would not want to meet them in person. The different authors did a nice job of telling the different stories to make this one whole book. If you do have a couple hours to spare then you may want to check out this book.

Catalyst Moon: Incursion


Trouble is brewing in Whitewater City where Kali, a crippled mage must meet with a powerful healer. Together with her escort, Stonewall - a man with nothing left but his own name, they must defeat bloodthirsty bandits. But with every strife comes a discovery of new landscapes within each other’s hearts.
My Review

This is an nice, interesting read. The lay of the land got me excited. I found Kali to be a surprise. Each time that she used her abilities there seemed to be something new that even Kali was learning about her full powers. Although, I agree with another reader that the use of the other characters calling Kali "Mage Halcyon" was confusing at first. This is because the author really did not it clear that Mage Halcyon and Kali were the same person. It was not until after about chapter 10 that Kali even questioned what Stonewall was calling her by the other name that he explained it was out of respect.

In fact, the first 5 to 6 chapters were not really explained that well in regards to the events or why Kali found herself in handcuffs at the beginning of the story. Yet, I stuck with the story despite this as I liked Kali and I did find the story to have action and it moved at a steady pace. If you can get past this then the story does get better the further you get into it. In regards to the romantic relationship between Stonewall and Kali, if it was not even there I would have been fine with it. It was sweet but I did not feel the great passion. Readers who are looking for something different to read may be interested to check out this book.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

I'm Still Here




A modern take on Sleeping Beauty, for fans of Jojo Moyes.

Elsa is spending her thirtieth birthday in the hospital bed where she's lain for months after a devastating mountain accident. Unable to speak, see, or move, she appears to be in an irreversible coma, but her friends and family don't know that she's regained the power of hearing.

That day, a stranger named Thibault enters the hospital to visit his brother, who's just been injured in an accident that killed two young girls. He instead seeks refuge in the room where Elsa lies, and quickly becomes intrigued by the young woman, returning day after day to sit beside her, convinced that his words are being heard.

As their connection grows, the doctors deliver a devastating blow to her family. Is it possible that Thibault knows something no one else does, and can he reach her before it's too late?


My Review

This is my first introduction to author, Clelie Avit. What a heartfelt story. I was cheering for Elsa and Thibault the whole time. I love that the main focus was really on just Elsa and Thibault. They both had a story to tell if you just listened. Yes, Elsa did have a story and her story was that she is a fighter; Thibault knew this and this is why he felt such a strong connection towards Elsa. Although, it was really Thibault that needed saving. Elsa was his savior. As I was reading this book, I kind of felt like I was using my sense of hearing even more. This book was well written and translated just as well with no problems. What I mean by this is that it did not read stiffly or choppy. I look forward to reading more books by this author. I'm Still Here is like reading a Nicholas Sparks novel. This is a very good thing. You will fall for the story and the characters will stay with you even after you finish this book.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Paraiso

Like a Coen brothers noir south of the border, Paraíso is a genre-bending story about love, sibling relationships, and the dark side of paradise.

Peter and Wendy—their mother chose the names—felt as close as twins, despite their difference in age. As teens, they fled their wealthy Philadelphia home in the family station wagon and headed for Mexico, only to be discovered sleeping in the car on the banks of the Mississippi, in Huck Finn country. Now, many years later, estranged by an apparent betrayal as profound as their family's dysfunction, the two live separate lives, Peter as an editor in New York, Wendy as an edgy sports photographer with a taste for risk. With a new book out and an invitation to Los Cabos, she drives the Mercedes inherited from their father to Baja California, finally completing the trip begun twenty years earlier.

But when the engine fails near a small town named Paraíso—Paradise—she lingers, exploring its underside in an affair with a dangerous man and, all too suddenly, becoming witness to a vicious crime. Meanwhile, in New York, Peter can't help but think of Wendy. When, from his apartment in lower Manhattan, he watches the Twin Towers fall on a beautiful September day, he knows it's time to leave his comfortable life, go find Wendy, and make peace with his long-lost sister. A noirish tale reminiscent of David Lynch and the Coen brothers, Paraíso traces the journey from a mother's dark secret to a place where love, and even perfect love, is possible.
My Review

This book started out just fine. The opening was good. It left me wanting to know all of the events leading up to the present moment. I was actually into this story for quite a while, even though my feelings about the story as a whole was middle of the road. I appreciated that the author let me get familiar with Wendy before he transferred over to Peter. Which the events that Peter had to deal with leading up to his reunion with his sister were real and a moment in history not to be forgotten. Yet, try as I must I really could not get into Wendy and Peter's lives or the story as a whole that much. Other then a faint whisper of the locations, the storyline a little and what was taking place at that moment. Although, from what I can remember of this story there is some depth to it and the ending was good.

Circle of Trust




A gruesome murder...
Radio psychologist Jacob Temple is found dead on the floor of his den. A gaping wound in his neck, lacerations crisscrossing his chest, a fork bored into each eye.

No break-in. No evidence.

Bouncing back and forth in time, the story of Jacob Temple's life unfolds as told by the people closest to him, particularly his ex-girlfriend Jane Light, who has been stalking Jacob for nineteen years, ever since he left her. Still reeling from her boyfriend Noah's murder, Kadee Carlisle works alongside Detectives Poole and Gibbs to unravel the facts behind Jacob Temple's life and death. As time ticks away, Kadee struggles to reconcile her conflicted feelings about her own past--and present--and their ominous parallels to the Temple case.

When the circle of trust is broken...
As the hunt for the killer ensues, a tragic love story unfolds, along with a plan for vengeance and an unflinching look into the mind of a murderer. But will they ever figure out who killed Jacob Temple? Piercing the thorny line between facts and deception, passion and obsession, this torrid thriller illustrates one important thing: SOMETIMES THE CLOSER YOU ARE TO THE TRUTH, THE HARDER IT IS TO SEE.
  

My Review

This is the first time that I have read anything but this author. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, despite the fact that I had not read the first book in this series. There was enough of the dialect that I was able to put the pieces together for the most part of what happened in the first book. Although, after finishing this book I do want to go back and check out book one. I liked Kadee Carlisle and Detectives Poole and Gibbs. I thought they all worked well together. There was a little sexual violence in this book but it was not long or drawn out. It only happened to be mentioned a time or two. What really drew me into this story was the characters. It is more character driven then psychological and suspenseful. While as far as when it comes to my taste in books. Yet, I was not disappointed by this factor. In fact, the last third of this book is where the story really comes together. The cliff hanger of an ending is great. It left me wanting more and looking forward to reading the next book to find out what happens.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Muse

A picture hides a thousand words . . .

On a hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, knowing that her life is about to change forever. Having struggled to find her place in the city since she arrived from Trinidad five years ago, she has been offered a job as a typist under the tutelage of the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick. But though Quick takes Odelle into her confidence, and unlocks a potential she didn't know she had, she remains a mystery - no more so than when a lost masterpiece with a secret history is delivered to the gallery.

The truth about the painting lies in 1936 and a large house in rural Spain, where Olive Schloss, the daughter of a renowned art dealer, is harbouring ambitions of her own. Into this fragile paradise come artist and revolutionary Isaac Robles and his half-sister Teresa, who immediately insinuate themselves into the Schloss family, with explosive and devastating consequences . . . Seductive, exhilarating and suspenseful, The Muse is an unforgettable novel about aspiration and identity, love and obsession, authenticity and deception - a masterpiece from Jessie Burton, the million-copy bestselling author of The Miniaturist.


My Review

The premise of this book had me intrigued. Then when I watched the video by the author reading a part from the book, I was even more interested to read this book. Yet, sadly I was not so over the moon with this book as I was looking forward towards. To be honest, it is purely by the author's writing and the wonderful time periods and locations that kept me reading as much as I did. The characters did not really resonate emotionally with me. Therefore I struggled with the book as a whole. Although, maybe just a tiny bit I did like Odelle. She did seem to have a stronger voice that stuck with me over Olive, Teresa and Isaac. However as I stated prior, the author does have a nice way of telling a story. I did feel like the story was being told with the brush stroke of a paint brush. I would try this author again.

Behind Closed Doors

Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace: he has looks and wealth, she has charm and elegance. You'd like to get to know Grace better. But it's difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are never apart. Some might call this true love.

Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace's friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call—so why doesn't Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?

And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?

The perfect marriage? Or the perfect lie?




My Review

Finally a book that actually does live up to the hype. What I mean by this is the mention to this being the next Gone Girl or other books like this. I have recently read some books that made comparisons to books like this and other best sellers and they turned out to be downers for me. In fact, some of the books I could not finish. Yet, I had no problems with this book what so ever.

Everything from the storyline with the alternating past to present, Grace and Jack's Jekyll and Hyde relationship, Grace's sister, Millie, and the suspenseful moments leading up to the ending. I can't wait to see the movie. It can't come out fast enough. Although, I am hoping it will be every bit as great as this book. At first I thought Grace was just the "perfect" wife but she was a fighter. I loved Millie and agree with her when it came to "Jorj Koony". He is an evil, evil man. Anyone who is looking for the next great book to read has to pick up a copy of this book. You will be doing yourself a favor.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Infamy



A Butch Karp-Marlene Ciampi Thriller

The "rock-solid" (Kirkus Reviews) prosecutor Butch Karp and his wife, Marlene Ciampi, return to solve the suspicious murder of a US Army colonel and battle corruption at the highest levels of the United States government in this novel by New York Times bestselling author Robert K. Tanenbaum.
Intrigue, murder, corruption, and dramatic courtroom battles combine to make Infamy another must-read in Robert K. Tanenbaum’s “tightly-written” (Booklist) legal thrillers. When a former Army veteran suddenly murders a colonel in New York, he claims that he had to do it because he was being used in mind control experiments. Surprisingly, a top Wall Street criminal defense lawyer, one with ties to the White House, decides to defend the killer, arguing that his client suffered from post-traumatic stress from his tours in Afghanistan and that it’s his patriotic duty to assist him.

As New York District Attorney Roger "Butch" Karp prepares a murder case against the veteran, he meets with investigative reporter Ariadne Stupenagel, who suspects that one of her sources for a story on high-level government corruption was a victim in the shooting. This points not to a random act of violence, but a hired killing that goes to the top levels of our nation.

In this fast-paced thriller, Karp goes up against corruption so powerful that he, his family, and his friends are in danger if he intends to prosecute those responsible for the murder of an FBI whistle-blower. Filled with edge-of-your-seat action, stunning plot twists, and, "solid courtroom scenes" (Kirkus Reviews), Infamy will keep you guessing until the very end.

My Review

When I was checking if I have read prior books by this author, I saw that I had read Outrage, book 23 in this series. I really enjoyed that book as well. After finishing this book, I can guarantee you that I will not like years past again between books by this author. I really like this character, Butch.
As far as attorneys are concerned he is one of the best ones I have liked in books. He gets to the point and knows his stuff. I don't ever want to meet him in court.

Although, he was not the only one that I enjoyed seeing in action in this book. The other person was journalist Ariadne Stupenagel. It was easy to see why she got top stories. Everything from the military aspect of this story, to the characters, the court room drama, and the ending was great. If you have never tried this author out now is the perfect time.

Lost in Thought

This event takes place August 22 – 29, 2016
luminis facebook banner (2) Welcome to another exciting tour with Novel Publicity. This time with author Cara Bertrand and her series The Sententia & the release of the third book in the series, Tangled Thoughts! This tour is classic Novel Publicity event, featuring a rafflecopter with special swag, paperbacks from the author and an Amazon gift card as well as spotlight posts, reviews from bloggers and more! Since this book is a series, we’ve recruited bloggers and readers from around the web to read and review all the Sententia books & help the author celebrate the release of Book 3, Tangled Thoughts!

 

Book 1: Lost in Thought lost in thoughtLainey Young has a secret: she’s going crazy. Everyone else thinks she has severe migraines from stress and exhaustion. What she really has are visions of how people died—or are going to die. Not that she tells anyone that. At age 16, she prefers keeping her crazy to herself. When doctors insist she needs a new and stable environment to recover, Lainey’s game to spend two years at a private New England boarding school. She doesn’t really think it will cure her problem, and she’s half right. There is no cure, but as she discovers, she’s not actually crazy. Almost everyone at Northbrook Academy has a secret too. Half the students and nearly all the staff are members of the Sententia, a hidden society of the psychically gifted. A vision of another student’s impending death confirms Lainey is one of them. She’d like to return the crappy gift of divining deaths with only a touch, but enjoys spending time with Carter Penrose—recent Academy graduate and resident school crush—while learning to control it. Lainey’s finally getting comfortable with her ability, and with Carter, when they uncover her true Sententia heritage. Now she has a real secret. Once it’s spilled, she’ll be forced to forget protecting secrets and start protecting herself.

My Review

I was drawn to check this book out by this fabulous promotion of the book "Perfect for readers who love books and series such as Vampire Academy, Spellbound, and Sweet Peril, Lost in Thought is a sure winner for young adult readers interested in the paranormal, romance, and action-packed twists."

This book did start out fine. I was very intrigued by Lainey's abilities as a sentenia. Yet, I got a glimpse of her abilities before the story went on to just conversation. I kept reading hoping that the story were get better for me as I was rooting for it. Sadly, it did not as did the other characters. There was no emotional connection towards any of them. I did skip ahead towards the last third of the book and started reading. This is what I was looking for at the beginning of this story...action. I understand that this being the first book in this series that the author may have felt that she really needed to bring out the history of the sentenias, the school, and all of the characters. However, if you can stick with the book for a while, then you may enjoy this series.

Book 2: Second Thoughts

second thoughts
The continuing adventures of an ordinary teenage girl with extraordinary mental abilities, perfect for readers who love books and series such as Vampire Academy, Spellbound, and Sweet Peril. Secrets, lies, and looming deaths—all things Lainey Young deals with in a typical day of high school. In her senior year at Northbrook Academy—a New England boarding school where the majority of the students and nearly all the staff are members of the Sententia, a hidden society of the psychically gifted—Lainey has even more to worry about. Things like classes, college, her boyfriend, and, of course, the vision she glimpsed of her impending death. But to her surprise, Lainey finds one worry she can cross off her list, namely Senator Daniel Astor, the leader of the Sententia. After a shocking discovery when they finally meet, Lainey realizes maybe she was wrong to distrust the Senator. She relaxes even further when he seems to accept her refusal to work for him after graduation. But with her secrets mounting and the time to solve them running out, there’s a final enigma Lainey hasn’t yet encountered: Daniel Astor doesn’t take no for an answer. Ever.

Book 3: Tangled Thoughts


tangled 
thoughts
High school graduation is a time for goodbyes, new beginnings, and if you’re Lainey Young, narrowly escaping with your life. Forced to leave behind both Northbrook Academy and Carter Penrose, Lainey believes she’s earned her freedom— from the eyes of the Perceptum and Daniel Astor’s schemes. Meeting handsome and very persistent Teaching Assistant Jack Kensington the first week of college complicates everything, including her feelings. College and flirtations with Jack help Lainey put all things Sententia behind her. But when her aunt arrives for a visit, with an unexpected guest and even more unexpected news, Lainey’s tenuous control over her life snaps. Once again, she’s linked to everything she thought she left behind. And this time, there’s no escape. Growing up, Carter Penrose thought he knew a thing or two about heartbreak—namely that it sucks—but he never knew exactly how much until losing Lainey. His life moves in a totally unplanned direction and he finds himself with a new home, new job, and even a surprising new girlfriend, all thanks to Daniel Astor. But just when Carter feels settled in the DC world of politics, a visit home to Northbrook brings up unexpected questions—about what happened at graduation and everything he believed about his Uncle Dan. When tragedy brings Lainey and Carter face to face for the first time since summer, their lives have never felt more separate. Lies drove them apart. Will the truth bring them together?

Love the books and can’t wait for more? Did you know about these two extras? Click the book covers below to find out more!
afterhtoughtthougths 
yes                

This event takes place August 22 – 29, 2016

About the Author

CB headshotCara is a former middle school literacy teacher who now lives in the woods outside Boston with: one awesome husband, two large dogs, one small daughter and lots of words. Lost in Thought is her first novel and was one of three finalists for the 2011 Amazon/Penguin Breakthrough Novel Award in the Young Adult category. Connect with Cara on her website and at Luminis Books.

Get all Cara’s books on Amazon by visiting her author page.

Enter the Rafflecopter for your chance at great prizes!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2e77192108/" rel="nofollow" data-raflid="e2e77192108" data-theme="classic" data-template="" id="rcwidget_5n3h8rf6">a Rafflecopter giveaway

>

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The Girl Who Slept with God


An entrancing debut about two sisters exiled by their parents when the eldest becomes pregnant

Set in Arco, Idaho, in 1970, Val Brelinski’s powerfully affecting first novel tells the story of three sisters: young Frances, gregarious and strong-willed Jory, and moral-minded Grace. Their father, Oren, is a respected member of the community and science professor at the local college. Yet their mother’s depression and Grace’s religious fervor threaten the seemingly perfect family, whose world is upended when Grace returns from a missionary trip to Mexico and discovers she’s pregnant with—she believes—the child of God.

Distraught, Oren sends Jory and Grace to an isolated home at the edge of the town. There, they prepare for the much-awaited arrival of the baby while building a makeshift family that includes an elderly eccentric neighbor and a tattooed social outcast who drives an ice cream truck.

The Girl Who Slept with God is a literary achievement about a family’s desperate need for truth, love, purity, and redemption.


My Review

I had a bit of a reservation about reading this book. I was not sure what I was going to get. Would it be too preachy and way out there to almost unbelievable or somewhere in the middle? Well let me tell you that after reading this book it was in the middle. Which was just fine with me. I don't like when stories are too preachy.

Although I must comment by saying that I thought the author gave an insightful look into what a truly devout evangelical Christian family life must be like. I am a Christian but my family was not like this. In a way I found the three sisters to be more disjointed then close knit. Out of the three sisters I found Jory to be the strongest of them all. I had mixed emotions about the ending of the story. Not to give anything away. It was just because of how all of the events lead to the ending. This book is a pretty good read.

Brain Storm

The ultrawealthy families of Chouteau Forest may look down on a woman like death investigator Angela Richman, but they also rely on her. When a horrific car crash kills a Forest teenager, Angela is among the first on the scene. Her investigation is hardly underway, however, when she suffers a series of crippling strokes. Misdiagnosed by the resident neurologist, Dr. Gravois, and mended by gauche yet brilliant neurosurgeon Dr. Jeb Travis Tritt, Angela faces a harrowing recovery.

It’s a drug-addled, hallucinating Angela who learns that Dr. Gravois has been murdered…and the chief suspect is the surgeon who saved her life. Angela doesn’t believe it, but can she trust her instincts? Her brain trauma brings doubts that she’ll ever recover her investigative skills. But she’s determined to save Dr. Tritt from a death-row sentence—even if her progress is thwarted at every turn by a powerful and insular community poised to protect its own.

My Review

Another new to me author. I am actually glad that Angela had to cope with her situation. It brought me closer to her and made me see her as a real person and not just a character in a story. There were a few stumbling blocks along the way with Angela as she did not always come off as confident in her skills and knowledge. Yet, she is able to keep a clear head. I expect that in the next book I will see Angela grow stronger.

If you like a good mystery story with good characters and writing than you should check this book and series out. Plus, the blood and gore count is low. So even cozy mystery readers would enjoy this book. I am so glad that the author survived her own experience with her strokes. Because the author gave these same experiences to Angela, it brought more life to her. I look forward to checking out the next book in this series.

The One Man is Andrew Gross!





1944. Physics professor Alfred Mendl is separated from his family and sent to the men’s camp, where all of his belongings are tossed on a roaring fire. His books, his papers, his life’s work. The Nazis have no idea what they have just destroyed. And without that physical record, Alfred is one of only two people in the world with his particular knowledge.

Knowledge that could start a war, or end it.
Nathan Blum works behind a desk at an intelligence office in Washington, DC, but he longs to contribute to the war effort in a more meaningful way, and he has a particular skill set the U.S. suddenly needs. Nathan is fluent in German and Polish, he is Semitic looking, and he proved his scrappiness at a young age when he escaped from the Polish ghetto. Now, the government wants him to take on the most dangerous assignment of his life: Nathan must sneak into Auschwitz, on a mission to find and escape with one man.

The One Man, a historical thriller from New York Times bestseller Andrew Gross, is a deeply affecting, unputdownable series of twists and turns through a landscape at times horrifyingly familiar but still completely compelling.


My Review

It has been a few books since I have read anything by this author. Yet, Mr. Gross is still one of my favorites to read. In fact, just the other day I was talking books and authors with one of my friends and I told her to check out this author. This book is a slight departure from the typical books that I have read by Mr. Gross with his mystery/suspense thrillers. I like this side of Mr. Gross. In addition, this book takes place in one of my favorite time periods. Instantly, I was captivated by both Mendl and Nat's stories and how they intertwined with each other. Nat's bravery to risk his life for a man he does not know is inspiring. Mendl also carried strength in the way that he carried himself and the way that he cared for the ours in Auschwitz. Reading this book I was transported back in time and the camp. It was like I could smell death lurking around the prisoners, feel and hear the beatings, and the sirens. If you have never read a book by Mr. Gross, now is the perfect time. The One Man is a must, must, treasure of a read!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Someone Must Die


When her six-year-old nephew vanishes from a neighborhood carnival, Aubrey Lynd’s safe, snow-globe world fractures; it shatters when the FBI’s investigation raises questions about her own family that Aubrey can’t answer.

Aubrey picks apart the inconsistencies to expose the first of many lies: a ransom note—concealed from the FBI—with a terrifying and impossible ultimatum. Aubrey doesn’t know what to believe or whom to trust. The abduction is clearly personal—but why would someone play a high-stakes game with the life of a child? The more she presses for answers, the more Aubrey is convinced that her mother is hiding something.

Desperate to save her young nephew, Aubrey must face harsh truths and choose between loyalty to her family and doing the right thing. And she’d better hurry, because vengeance sets its own schedule, and time is running out.
  

My Review

This book is my very first introduction to this author. They always say the best impressions are the first impressions. After reading this book, you can say that I am impressed. I will be looking for more books to read by this author.

Aubrey really helped solve the case. She picked up on clues that most of the others did not and kept a level head throughout the whole situation. Although, I must say that Special Agent Smolleck was no dummy. He kept cool under pressure as well. This could translate to being some what off-putting but once you got to know Agent Smolleck, you had respect for him. I really had no idea the motive behind the kidnapping until the backstory started unfolding. I was hooked every moment of the way. If you are a fan of a great mystery story then you should check this book out.

Paris Runaway




Inside the Book

Title: Paris Runaway
Author: Paulita Kincer
Publisher: Oblique Press
Pages: 256
Genre: Women’s Fiction
When divorced mom Sadie Ford realizes her 17-year-old daughter Scarlett has run away to Paris all she can imagine are terrorist bombings and sex slaves. After learning her daughter chased a French exchange student home, Sadie hops on the next plane in pursuit. She joins forces with the boy’s father, Auguste, and the two attempt to find the missing teens. The chase takes Sadie and Auguste to the seedier side of Marseille, where their own connection is ignited. Since the divorce, Sadie has devoted herself to raising kids and putting her dreams on hold, but when her daughter needs her most, Sadie finds that concrete barrier to life beginning to crack. In her journey, she learns the difference between watching the hours pass and living.

For More Information

My Review

I really like how reading this story had a gritty feel to it. It made the whole reading experience as real feeling as it could be. Sadie had a very valid reason to go chasing after her daughter. terrorist bombings and sex slaves are not things to be taken lightly. In fact, the more I read and educate myself on human trafficking it needs to be brought more into the spotlight and stopped.

While I have never been to Paris, it was like I could see the city both the beauty and the dangerous sides as Sadie and Auguste were traveling from location to location. Although, I have to say that if it was not for Sadie, then Auguste would be lost and would have let the police try to find the children. Sadie impressed me more and more with each passing moment. The romance between she and Auguste was good. It did not feel like the author forced it in the story. In addition, I really like that it did not distract from the story. I look forward to reading more books by this author.

Meet the Author

 
 
Paulita Kincer has an M.A. in journalism from American University. She has traveled to France 11 times, and still finds more to lure her back.
She currently teaches college English and lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her three children, two cats and one husband.
Her latest book is the women’s fiction, Paris Runaway.
For More Information



Book Excerpt:

I knocked on one apartment door that had a wreath hanging on it. It could still be his door, I justified. Maybe Monsieur Rollande liked to decorate. Avoiding the wreath, I rapped my knuckles against the worn wood. Maybe Monsieur Rollande remarried and his new wife chose the wreath of dark-green leaves topped by lily of the valley with its tiny white, bell-shaped flowers. When I got no response, I walked to the door opposite. No wreath and no sounds from within. I knocked three sharp thumps and waited, but heard no squeaking of the floor as someone moved toward the door. I sighed. No one home again.

There are worse places to wait, I thought as I heard a louder crack of thunder from outside. The sky had been threatening rain all morning, and apparently the clouds now delivered on their threat. I imagined myself standing outside the gate without buttons to push as the rain soaked me through the t-shirt, jeans and thin cardigan.

I assessed the landing where I could be waiting for most of the day. A thick wool rug covered the floor and a small table fit flush against the wall with a flat back. The other half curled out in a semi-circle. On the table sat a round fishbowl with aqua-colored rocks in the bottom. A goldfish swished back and forth in the dim light. How strange, I thought, as I became entranced watching the fish make his circles, pausing to open and close his mouth in my direction a few seconds before swimming around again.

I sank to the floor with my back against the wall, like the little table. I would be able to hear or see either door if it should open. I might as well rest my tired feet. I debated undoing those ankle straps. But I decided to simply rub at the sore spots while leaving the sandals buckled. Who knew when I’d have to make a dash to catch someone?

I sat where I could gaze at the fish, and his endless rounds made me feel calm. I could feel my breath becoming slower and deeper. I knew I’d find Scarlett today; I just needed to be patient. Slow and steady, I told myself as I became more mesmerized with the striking orange fish.

Suddenly the fish ducked inside one of his faux coral hiding spots. I hadn’t moved or startled him. I glanced around, moving only my eyes, and I saw the reason for the fish’s abrupt disappearance.  A handsome black-and-white cat crawled stealthily up the stairs. His front paws perched on the top step, and his nose and eyes just peeked between the paws. The rest of his body must be poised on the stairs below, ready to pounce on the table and snatch up the fish.

The cat moved only his eyes too, but they found me, and he froze. I was going to ruin his attempt at breakfast. I smiled. I missed my own cat Puck. His warmth on my lap, the way his purring could put me into a trance of well-being. This cat on the stairs seemed to have accepted the fact that an actual person sat in the stairwell. His eyes locked with mine, and I saw his body relax. He would not need to pounce after all. He turned to look at the fish bowl, but the wise goldfish remained hidden.

“It’s okay,” I said. I held out my hand, palm up, toward the cat. “Here, kitty. Come see me.” I didn’t have anything to offer him, but if he smelled my hand, he might let me pet him, rub my hand over his soft fur, gain some sort of relief from contact with another living creature.

“Come on, boy,” I said, making an assumption about his gender. It didn’t matter because the cat probably didn’t understand English anyway. My voice was soft and soothing as I tried to coax him. Suddenly, a desire overwhelmed me to hold a cat on my lap, stroke his soft back, and feel his purr kick in and vibrate against me. Even a cat that didn’t understand English must sense distress and want to comfort a human. To feel some sort of release from the past two days would be such a respite.

“It’s okay; you’re safe,” I said. “Come on.” I had moved from sitting on the floor to perching on my knees as I held my hand closer to the cat. Suddenly, the cat streaked past me. I expected it to stop abruptly at the closed door of the apartment, but it continued to zoom through the legs of a man and down the hallway beyond. The door stood open now when it had definitely been closed the whole time I waited.

I looked up from the floor, drinking in the man whose brown leather Lacoste shoes stood before me. The little alligator near the heel marked them as Lacoste, and I couldn’t decide if I would adore or detest the pomposity of the shoes.

Brown jeans encased the man’s long legs, and he wore a white broadcloth shirt unbuttoned at the top. A loose cotton scarf with blue and gold draped loosely around his neck.

“Are you trying to seduce my cat?” The timbre of his deep voice, still thick with sleep, mixed with the French accent on the English words sent a quiver through me. His words sounded like a promise and a warning.

“Seduce?” My voice rose at the end of the word and came out like an irritating crow’s caw, in comparison to his smooth accent.

I jumped to my feet, feeling the blush rise from the v of my t-shirt up my neck to my face. “Bonjour,” I mumbled, not quite meeting his eyes. I couldn’t believe he’d seen me talking to the cat – so naked and vulnerable. This man observed me being, well, me.

I remembered why I sat on his doorstep as I turned toward him. “I’m looking for Monsieur Rollande.”

“That is me,” he said, in his slight French accent. A little thrill and relief suddenly washed over me.

“Oh, Monsieur Rollande, I’m so pleased to meet you. I’m looking for your son, Luc. I think my daughter Scarlett is with him, at least, I hope she is. She ran away from home. In Florida … in the United States. She said she was going to stay with her dad, but then he called, and he hadn’t seen her, and she had these strange charges on her credit card, and we found out she had flown to Paris to follow Luc, and I hadn’t even ever met Luc, so I had no idea. I just got on a plane and came right here, but I couldn’t find anyone at your wife’s apartment, I mean, your ex-wife, I guess, and I’ve been so afraid.”

Monsieur Rollande reached a hand forward and put it on my arm to stop my ramble. His firm hand against my bicep steadied me, like the vibrating cat purr I had imagined. I took a deep breath. I couldn’t collapse. 

“Come inside,” he said. And if the situation were reversed, I didn’t know if I would have invited this crazy lady in, the one talking to cats and watching goldfish and then chattering a mile a minute about sons and flights and runaway daughters.

But he led me into his apartment. We stood just inside the entrance in a hallway that had doors to the left and right.

“It will be okay,” he said. And his words buoyed me, making me think that maybe it all would be fine, as if I had shifted part of my worry about Scarlett somewhere else. And then, before I could blink them away, tears started to drip from my eyes faster than I could keep up with them.

“I’m so sorry,” I said mopping at my face. “I don’t know why I’m crying. I’ve just been so worried, and I haven’t had anyone to help me find her.” I took a deep, shuddering breath and resolved to both stop talking and stop crying.

“Come. Here is the toilet. Go refresh yourself, then we will talk.”

And his description was literal. The long narrow room held a toilet and a sink along with a mirror on the wall. No windows. No decorative pictures. No ornamental doilies on the toilet tank. I blew my nose into some toilet paper and dabbed at the tracks of tears along my face.

I inhaled deeply to get control. “I am getting closer to finding Scarlett,” I told myself in the mirror.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

What is 23 Minutes Past 1 A.M.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Chincoteague Island, Virginia, August 14 2016: Pump Up Your Book! is proud to announce Robert J. Dornan’s ’23 Minutes Past 1 A.M.’ virtual book tour starting September 5 and ending November 30.  Robert will be guest appearing at blogs throughout the U.S. and international regions talking about his phenomenal new historical fiction novel that critics are calling very real and moving.

Robert J Dornan is someone who wishes to leave a better world to his children. He realizes that the odds are slim but he will do whatever he can to increase the probability of success.  He is always
open to discuss new and innovative ideas and hopes someday to see the building of a functional solar city as well as a fair and community-driven compensation system.

23 Minutes Pass 1 A.M. is a work of fiction based on factual events from Chernobyl and villages throughout Ukraine. In the early morning of her sister's wedding day, Mila Kharmalov stared in stunned silence at the coloured sparks streaming from Reactor Four of the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant.  At that very moment, her life and the lives of everyone she knew changed forever.

Years later and on another continent, Adam Byrd was writing biographies for everyday people looking to leave their legacy in book form. When the woman he loved phoned from Kiev offering him the chance to write the story of a lifetime, he jumped at the opportunity not realizing that his voyage would be a bumpy ride through a nations dark underbelly. With the help of his friend's quirky cousin, Adam is nudged into a fascinating adventure of love, greed, power and psychotic revenge, culminating with a shocking finale.

If you’d like to follow his tour, visit http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2016/08/01/pump-up-your-book-presents-23-minutes-past-1-a-m-virtual-book-publicity-tour/.  Please leave a comment or question at each of his tour stops to let him know you stopped by!

Pump Up Your Book! is an award-winning virtual book tour agency for authors who want quality service at an affordable price.  More information can be found on our website at www.pumpupyourbook.com. While there, check out our Authors on Tour page to see what we have coming up in the months ahead. We’re always looking for new bloggers to join our team.

Contact Information: 
Dorothy Thompson
Founder of Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Tours
P.O. Box 643
Chincoteague Island, Virginia  23336

Killer Pursuit


We're happy to be hosting Jeff Gunhus' KILLER PURSUIT Virtual Book Tour today! Jeff is giving away a grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Card and one autographed paperback plus four runners up will receive an autographed paperback copy of his book!  Enter below and leave a comment at this blog for five extra points!

Title: KILLER PURSUIT
Author: Jeff Gunhus
Publisher: Seven Guns Press
Pages: 352
Genre: Thriller

When a high-society call girl is murdered in her Georgetown home, investigators find two cameras hidden in the walls of her bedroom. One has its memory erased, presumably by the murderer. The second is connected to the Internet through an encrypted connection...and no-one knows who's on the other end.

Special Agent Allison McNeil is asked by beleaguered FBI Director Clarence Mason to run an off-the-record investigation of the murder because of the murder's similarity to a case she worked a year earlier. Allison knows the most direct path to apprehending the killer is to find the videos, but the rumors that the victim's client list may have included Mason's political enemies has her worried about the director's motives. As she starts her investigation, she quickly discovers that she's not the only one pursuing the videos. In fact, the most aggressive person racing against her might be the murderer himself.

My Review

This is the first book that I have read by this author. I was first drawn to this book by the book cover. I did not know that this book was the second one in a series. Yet, it can be read as a stand alone novel.

The murders are gruesome but nothing that I can't handle as these types of books are in my wheelhouse. What really made this book better is Allison. She has a good head on her shoulders. She does not back down from a dangerous situation. The intensity levels was there and I did like it but it would have been better for me if I had felt a stronger connection with everyone else in the story besides Allison. Even the killer I was not excited for. Although, I did like what I read and would read another book by Mr. Gunhus again.

For More Information

Killer Pursuit is available at Amazon.
Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

 
Book Excerpt:

Allison McNeil tensed when she spotted the first shadow dart through the mist and take cover behind a tree. In the early-morning light it took her a while to pick out all six members of the Hostage Rescue Team approaching the cabin, but within a minute she could clearly see the tactical team converging on their target.
 The small building stood on a rise, up from the swampy, flood-prone land around it. Wood-slated walls tilted precariously inward, twisting the windows into deformed rectangles. Moss and dead leaves covered the roof. The place smelled and looked like decay, well on its way to inevitable reclamation by the weeds and vines choking the cabin to a miserable death.
And, if Allison was right, the place deserved what it got. Hell, if she was right, she had half a mind to take a match to the place after everything was done.
She hunkered down behind a fallen tree, her head barely clearing the top to see the building and the team closing in. A trickle of sweat started at the base of her neck and went the length of her spine. She adjusted the Kevlar vest, under her light windbreaker emblazoned with large yellow letters. FBI. It felt ridiculous to wear the windbreaker when it was in the ’80s before daybreak with the Louisiana humidity hovering at about a thousand percent, but if it meant that the hotheads with assault rifles could more easily identify her as a friendly, then she was happy to have it.
Garret Morrison shifted his weight next to her, stretching out a leg and rubbing his knee. She gave him a sideways look.
“You all right?” she whispered. 
He scowled at her. They both knew she didn’t give a damn about him. The comment was intended as a dig at the fifty-three-year-old Garret who prided himself on being in better shape than the agents beneath him. Even though he ran the Behavioral Analysis Unit, home of the FBI’s fabled profilers who spent more time in the heads of the criminals they chased than in the field, he required an aggressive physical program for his people. Everything about Morrison is a throwback to the old male-dominated Bureau. A slicked-back head of hair with just the right amount of grey to lend him gravitas without making him look old, a square jaw out of a mountaineering magazine, cold steel-blue eyes that seemed to look through people instead of at them. Unless they were trained on an attractive female, in which case his eyes gave their full attention to the area below the chin and above the waistline. 
“Worry about yourself,” Garret grumbled. He turned to Doug Browning, a junior agent who followed Garret around like a little puppy. “Jesus, Doug. Not so close.” 
Allison turned back to the cabin and raised her binoculars, not bothering to hide the smile on her lips. Garret was a legend in the Bureau for his work hunting America’s worst criminals, but Allison’s own legend had grown since her work on the Arnie Milhouse case a year earlier. While that case had given her credibility, she knew she was just as likely to be referred to as the woman who’d broken Garret Morrison’s nose when he’d made one too many unwanted advances while she was a trainee. And, while she wanted to be known for her work, she didn’t mind that piece of fame following her around. 
“Alpha team in position,” said a voice through the small speaker in her ear. She noticed Garret put a finger to the side of his head and nod. He looked over at her. 
“You better be right about this,” he whispered. 
Allison shook her head. For all his brilliance—and, regardless of how she felt personally about him, she recognized that he was brilliant—Garret’s transparency could border on the inane. What he was really saying was that if the lunatic Allison’s research had tracked to this location wasn’t holed up in this backwoods cabin, if the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team had been activated and deployed for no reason, then the blame would drop on her like a bag of bricks. If Sam Kraw was in there, Allison knew it would be Garret standing in front of the cameras taking credit for the HRT mission and the capture of America’s most wanted fugitive. 
She pushed the thought away. As long as they caught the bastard and ended his multi-year killing spree in the Southeast, she didn’t give a damn who got the credit. 
Allison moved her binoculars. The tactical team was in place around the cabin, peering through scopes with infrared capabilities. If there was someone hiding in the shadows of a window or doorway, they wouldn’t be hiding for long. 
On some signal unseen by Allison, the men began a steady, crouched advance to the building. She realized she was holding her breath so she blew out her air slowly between pinched lips.
“Relax, McNeil,” Garret muttered. “You’re making me nervous.”
The two members of the tactical squad approaching from the front reached the deck that wrapped around the front of the building. As they strode across it, the old wood floorboards groaned. The men froze. The seconds stretched out. Allison became suddenly aware of the hum of insects in the air around her. The dampness of her own skin. The sound of a bird calling in the distance. All of her senses were wired tight. An entire year of her life was wrapped up in the next few seconds. And if she’d got it wrong, Garret would have the ammo he’d been looking for to get her out of his unit once and for all. But she wasn’t worried about herself. What really bothered her was the chance that she had it right, that this was Kraw’s hideout, but that somehow they’d spooked him and he’d already slipped away. If that had happened, he’d be hundreds of miles away by tomorrow, scouting for his next victim as he traveled. 
Movement in the cabin. Just a flutter. Like a bird trapped in a cage. Only her intuition told her it was more than a bird. It had been an arm. A human arm. Sam Kraw.
Based on the lack of movement from the tactical team, she realized no one else had seen it.
“I’ve got movement,” she whispered into her mic. “Window to the right of the front door. An arm.”
“I didn’t see anything,” Garret whispered. 
Allison ignored him. The men around the cabin responded immediately, reorienting to the front door. Guns pointed at the window.
One of the men produced a miniram, a high impact, brute force breaching tool. Coordinating with his partner, he crouched next to the door while the other man readied a flash-bang grenade. 
There was a pause, as if someone had pressed a button on a TV remote. Everyone was in place. The air seemed to still as if the world knew something was about to happen. Allison had her binoculars trained on the window where she’d seen the movement. If Kraw was inside, then the nightmare was almost over. She’d know in a few seconds whether that was the case or not. 
But in that second, she saw the movement again.
Only this time, she knew something was wrong. 
It was a man’s arm, she saw it clearly this time. But it was too stiff. The color was off. And, attached at the shoulder, she saw a coil of wire.
A mannequin arm on a spring. 

Meant to make them think someone was inside.

It was a trap.

About the Author

Jeff Gunhus is the USA TODAY bestselling author of thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year-old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 30 on Amazon, have been recognized as Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists and reached the USA TODAY bestseller list.

After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active life in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel or on JeffGunhus.com.

His latest book is the thriller, Killer Pursuit.
For More Information

Giveaway

Jeff Gunhus is giving away a grand prize of $25 Amazon Gift Card plus one autographed copy of his book and 4 runner ups will receive an autographed copy his book as well!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Five winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive either the grand prize of a $25 Amazon Gift Card plus one autographed copy of his book or one of 4 autographed copies of his book
  • This giveaway ends midnight October 28.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on October 29.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

CAN I SEE YOU AGAIN?

Matchmaker Bree Caxton has a 98% success rate, a book about to hit the stands, and an amazing boyfriend. Until, that is, he gets cold feet about their future and runs from their relationship.
 
Afraid no one will buy a book on love from a woman whose love life is a mess, Bree begs her one matchmaking failure, Nixon Voss, to pose as her boyfriend. But when they become a hit with readers, they must carry on their charade just a little longer. Fortunately, they’re both having fun...
 
But then Bree’s ex decides he wants her back and a newspaper presents a challenge that could expose the truth about her rocky love life. Now she must find the courage to embrace what is, or risk losing something much bigger than her reputation: her heart...


My Review

I was ready to settle in and have an enjoyable afternoon reading this book. What I expected was tons of laughter. What I got was a few moments that barely made me crack a smile. While I did not like Bree's ex, even though I barely knew him and thought that she did better with Nixon, they came off more as "good friends" then lovers. I honestly tried to stick this book out as long as I could but I threw in the towel. If a book does not grab me within the first few chapters or the characters can't do it for me then I have no problems putting the book down. This sadly is what happened to me with this book. Yet, I will say that if Bree had come off as not as whiny and more charming, I may have stick this book out longer. Can I See you Again...No.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

To Follow Her Heart



Duty and love are powerful forces. Only one has the power to make her life complete. It is 1664 and Patience Terry is devastated to learn that Captain Jeremy Horton's ship has been shipwrecked off the coast of Barbados. There were no survivors. She had hoped that Jeremy would someday give up the sea and settle down with her in Southold, Long Island.

Unaware his memorial service is being planned, Jeremy sails aboard a British warship with secret orders to attack New Amsterdam and claim it for the British Crown. When he makes his surprise return to Southold--and to an overjoyed Patience--it's not quite the happily-ever-after his beloved had hoped for.

With a finely tuned sense for authentic historical characters and settings, Rebecca DeMarino plunges you into a world of tall ships, daring journeys, and yearning hearts.

Review by Blanche Mancuso.

A 16th century story of Southold, Long Island. Patience Terry falls in love with the dashing Captain Jeremy Horton, who loves the sea and is captain of the Swallow. Jeremy sets sail but soon afterwards Patience and the townspeople hear Captain Horton has been shipwrecked in Barbados and all on board have been lost.

The townspeople in Southold attend church and have daily prayer for all concerned aboard the Swallow. After some time the people of Southold have a memorial service for Jeremy. However, Jeremy is not dead. He has been rescued and arrives in time for the memorial service. Jeremy decides to build another ship and set sail again. Patience on the other hand loves the land and has made a life for herself but has always remained true to Jeremy while he was lost at sea.

The question remains is just how much is Jeremy willing to give up for ay all for Patience? The author brings this book to a thrilling climax with the characters, beautiful setting, wonderful story, and everything else from the front to the back cover. I believe this is a must read for all readers. I look forward to reading more books by this author.

Still Mine




The Girl on the Train meets The Silent Wife in this taut psychological thriller.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU VANISH FROM YOUR LIFE AND LEAVE NO STORY BEHIND?

SOMEONE WILL MAKE ONE UP FOR YOU.

Clare is on the run.

From her past, from her ex, and from her own secrets. When she turns up alone in the remote mining town of Blackmore asking about Shayna Fowles, the local girl who disappeared, everyone wants to know who Clare really is and what she's hiding. As it turns out, she's hiding a lot, including what ties her to Shayna in the first place. But everyone in this place is hiding something from Jared, Shayna's golden-haired ex-husband, to Charlie, the charming small-town drug pusher, to Derek, Shayna's overly involved family doctor, to Louise and Wilfred, her distraught parents.

Did Shayna flee? Was she killed? Is it possible she's still alive?

As Clare uncovers the mysteries around Shayna's disappearance, she must confront her own demons, moving us deeper and deeper into the labyrinth of lies and making us question what it is she's really running from. Twisting and electrifying, this is a get-under-your-skin thriller that will make you question what it means to lose yourself and find yourself in the most unlikely places.


My Review

When I read this line promoting this book, I just had to check it out "The Girl on the Train meets The Silent Wife in this taut psychological thriller." I can't really say that this is like either one or how much on the scale of a psychological thriller it really is like as I could not find myself being intrigued by the story line or Clare. At first I thought it was because I started this book at night but I picked it up again the next day and continued to read it for several more chapters with no appeal. Sadly this book did not do anything for me.