Sunday, May 27, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 244 - Beyond Control by Kat Martin, By Fire Above by Robyn Dennis

Beyond Control (Texas Trilogy #3)Beyond Control by Kat Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Just when you think you know where all the danger is coming from another threat arrives. This time it is Josh Cain's time to get thrown off balance. Victoria Bradford is running from a abusive ex fiancé and Josh gives her a job and a place to hide. Then Josh becomes the target because of his military background. Between the two they cannot relax their guard. This has it all. Danger from two sides and tension between the two main characters. Both must face their past and decide what they want for their future. A great ending to the Texas Trilogy.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.


By Fire Above (Signal Airship, #2)By Fire Above by Robyn Bennis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved The Guns Above and was excited when By Fire Above came out. While I enjoyed the book I felt it was not up to the standard set by book one. This time Josette Dupre spends more time on the ground than in the air. First it is politics, something that she fails at in spite of the help Lord Bernat and his older brother give her. All of this was rather slow and while interesting I just kept wanting Josette back in the air. The real action did not start until the very last part of the book. There once again the story took off and was hard to put down. Josette and Bernat are both interesting characters and it is fun to see more of their backstory and history. Bernat is changing and becoming a much nicer character. It will be interesting to see what happens in the next Signal Airship book.

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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews #243 - Ocean Light by Nalini Singh, Scandal Above Stairs by Jennifer Ashley

Ocean Light (Psy-Changeling Trinity, #2; Psy-Changeling, #17)Ocean Light by Nalini Singh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have been slow to get into this series but kept at it as I loved original Psy-Changeling and all of its characters. Now there are a whole new set of humans and a unique set of changelings. While some of the characters from the first series make appearances (I loved it when they showed up) this time it is the water changelings and humans who are featured. In this second book we get to see Bowen Knight again and it is a bit of a surprise as he was shot and feared dead in the last book. He has to work very hard to get Kaia Luna's, a water changelings) trust. Along the way he needed to have help before it kills him in fixing the mesh preventing the Psy from accessing his brain. Betrayal on both sides keep the tension high as Bowen and Kaia work to stop a war between water based changelings and humans from breaking out. This is another interesting well plotted story that solves one problem but leaves another that needs to be solved.

Scandal Above Stairs (Kat Holloway Mysteries, #2)Scandal Above Stairs by Jennifer Ashley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved book one, Scandal Below Stairs. Book two is a step above. Much of the back story and character development has already been done and the plot flows much smoother. This is a great mystery that kept me guessing. Daniel and Kat are more comfortable with each other and their interaction is more interesting this time. I loved the new characters and how they fit into the series. Ashley does a very good job of writing historical mysteries and I do not plan to miss a one.

I received free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Unringing the Bell by Judy Higgins - Virtual Tour and Giveaway


Unringing the Bell
by Judy Higgins

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GENRE: Mystery

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BLURB:

In the small town of Goose Bend, Pennsylvania, people don't forget. Especially something as sensational as 12-year-old Jacob Gillis burning down the town. Nineteen years later, Jacob returns, hoping for redemption. Instead, he finds himself entangled in a murder investigation. The prosecutor, taking advantage of Jacob's involvement with the victim's beautiful sister-in-law, threatens Jacob with loss of career and reputation if he doesn't play by his rules. Only by outwitting the prosecutor can Jacob save his future.

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Excerpt 

When Jacob Gillis was twelve years old, he burned down the town of Goose Bend, Pennsylvania. The fire didn’t actually consume the entire town – only two blocks of the four-block business section went up in flames – but when the folks in Goose Bend spoke of the incident, they persisted in saying that Jacob Gillis, abetted by his friend Charlie Garrett, burned down the town.

Jacob watched Laskey walk back to the Sequoia, his limp barely detectable, and for the thousandth time he wondered why his friend kept what had happened to his foot a secret. But there were some places Laskey didn’t go – formidable Laskey with his gruff manner and hard-muscled body. He was a private person and sometimes a grizzly bear, but he had a goose-down heart which he tried like heck to hide. But Jacob knew.

Laskey grasped the arms of his chair and pushed his feet hard against the floor to contain himself. For a brief moment, the thought had rushed through his head that a jail term for assaulting a DA would be worth enduring for the pleasure of smashing Inglehook’s head against his desk.

Laskey squared his shoulders, turned around, and looked Jacob in the eyes. “Don’t get yourself in a mess, Jake. Extrication isn’t always possible.” He started for the door.
“Give back the painting,” he called over his shoulder. “And Jake,” he paused and twisted around. “Don’t ever mistake pretty wrappings for the quality of the gift inside.”

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INTERVIEW 

1.     What group did you hang out with in high school?

I always liked the active kids who were up for action and adventure. No sitting around for me! I wanted to be with the group who was first in the swimming pool, or raring to go on a hike or play baseball. Sometimes, I also spent time with the group who hung out in the science lab after school. We made slides for biology class or worked on demonstrations for physics.

2.     What are you passionate about these days?

People who can’t afford to eat. Elephants. Tennis.
I spent about a year interviewing people who came to my church for the once-a-month free lunch we offered for the indigent, writing their stories in a blog. Every story was different and it was an education for me. Previously, I’d thought that most people who wanted a job could get a job. I had no idea of the many, many reasons why they couldn’t. In all the people I interviewed, there was maybe one who was taking advantage of the system. I’d have to write a book to cover all the issues. Anyone interested in some of these stories can check them out at justlunch.weebly.com.

Then there are the elephants. Sometimes it looks as though they have more compassion than some humans. Two books that are great reads are Life, Love, and Elephants by Dame Daphne Sheldrick and Elephant Man by Vicki Croke. If you were ever in doubt about the intelligence of elephants, the stories in these two books should banish your doubts.

Tennis saves me! It’s my exercise; it’s a social activity four times a week (I’ve made a whole bunch of incredible friends on the court); and it’s a stress reliever. A few whack, whack, whacks at the ball gets rid of a lot of writer-induced frustration. And I love watching Federer play, as well as Nadal. I will be very sad when they retire. 

3.     If you had to do your journey to getting published all over again, what would you do differently?

I lucked out with my first book, The Lady. It was named a finalist in the 2012 Amazon Break-out Novel Contest, so getting agents to look at it wasn’t a problem. Winning a prize also gave me the confidence to keep going, and has made the whole publishing process a lot easier.

4.     EBook or print? And why?

I’m not sure why there should have to be a choice. Books should be in every from available! And that includes audio-books. Nat Jones, a Charleston, SC actor has made an audiobook of Unringing the Bell. When I listened to his read of the first two chapters, I felt the most excitement I’d felt in a long time (since winning the award for The Lady). Having an actor read what you’ve written is a truly amazing experience. The Lady has also just come out as an audiobook. Also, a movie producer has shown a bit of interest in The Lady. THAT will be beyond amazing if it happens. I’ve picked out the cast: Julia Roberts, Diane Lane, Holly Hunter, Queen Latifa, Brad Pitt. Wow!

5.     What is your favorite scene in this book?

A friend of mine told me a story about what happened at his senior prom. I loved the story so much that I incorporated it into Unringing the Bell. I won’t tell you what happened, but the tension that still exists in the book thirteen years after the prom was the driving factor for the relationship between my protagonist, Jacob Gillis, and the beautiful sister-in-law of the murder victim. The issue is resolved in the very last scene. I still get a kick out of reading that scene.

I also especially like the chapters in the book where Aunt Zuela (Dr. Zuela Hay, distinguished professor of Shakespeare) is part of the action. She’s zany, funny, outspoken, and unpredictable. My agent told me she was “too far out” and that I had to tone her down. He was unconvinced by my reply that she was based on an actual person, so I reluctantly made her less zany. I think he was probably right. But “too far out” or not, I had fun with her. 




AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Judy Higgins was born in South Georgia where she grew up playing baseball, reading, and taking piano lessons. To pay for her lessons, she raised chickens and sold eggs to neighbors. She attended Mercer University for two years, and then Baylor University from which she graduated with a BA in German. She received her MA in German literature from The University of Michigan. After teaching German for several years, Judy decided to become a librarian and earned an MA in Library Science at Kutztown University in Pennsylvania.
Judy’s life took an exciting turn when she left her teaching job in Pennsylvania to be Head of Library at the Learning Center School of Qatar Foundation. She lived in Qatar for eight years, enjoying the experience of living in a different culture and traveling to exotic places during every vacation. Recently, she returned to the United States and lives in Lexington, KY. Judy has two children, Julia and Stephen, two children-in-law, Jim and Erin, and four grandchildren: Kyle, Jon, Karina, and Addy.

Judy’s first book, The Lady, was a finalist in the 2012 Amazon Break-out Novel Award. The first two novels of her Bucks County Mysteries, Unringing the Bell and Bride of the Wind are available March 1, 2018. The series is set in an imaginary small town in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Call me Mara, the story of Ruth and Naomi, is scheduled for publication in March, 2019.

In addition to writing, Judy’s passions include travel, tennis, elephants, and playing the piano.


Amazon author page URL:            https://www.amazon.com/Judy-Higgins/e/B00FZQOZPU


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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit the other blogs on the tour.

March 1: Christine Young
March 6Edgars's Books
March 8XoXo Book Blog
March 13Sharing Links and Wisdom
March 15Stormy Nights Reviewing and Bloggin'
March 20It's Raining Books
March 22Let me Tell you a Story
March 27A Chick Who Reads
March 29Unabridged Andra's - review
April 3BooksChatter
April 5Read Your Writes Book Reviews
April 10Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews
April 12The Reading Addict
April 17The Avid Reader
April 19Queen of All She Reads
April 24The Mystery Section
April 26Author C.A.Milson
May 1Fabulous and Brunette
May 3Two Crazy Ladies Love Romance
May 8Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!
May 10Harlie's Books
May 15Hope. Dreams. Life... Love
May 17Jazzy Book Reviews
May 22La libreria di Beppe
May 24Mixed Book Bag
May 29Musings From An Addicted Reader
May 31Readeropolis
June 5Locks, Hooks and Books - review
June 7Sapphyria's Books
June 12Long and Short Reviews

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 242 - Need to Know by Fern Michaels, Head On by John Scalzi

Need to KnowNeed to Know by Fern Michaels
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is book 28 in the Sisterhood series and the first one I have listened to. The series seems to be popular but it just did not resonate with me. I found the entire story line ridiculous. In the end I even felt sorry with the man they were out to get even with. I wondered how the famous singer ever let someone take that much advantage of her. On the plus side it did show some very strong women who knew how to take care of themselves and their friends. I think if I had been reading this it would have been a DNF. Since I was listening when I was driving I gave it a pass.


Head On (Lock In, #2)Head On by John Scalzi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What is not to love in a game where you can take the head off of a player and do no damage. If you have Haden’s Syndrome and pilot a threep it can be done. Everything is OK until someone finds a way to kill a player. This is a fun mystery with so many suspects you need a chart to keep score. I love Chris Shane and Leslie Vann, the two FBI agents investigating the crime. Chris has Haden's and leaves a trail of damaged or destroyed tweeps where every he goes. Vann is a gritty in your face detective who get results. She and Chris are great working together. You do need to read Lock In before starting Head On to keep from being confused about who and what people with Haden's can do.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 241 - Shifter Mate Magic: Ice Age Shifters by Carol Van Natta, A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman

Shifter Mate Magic: Ice Age Shifters Book 1Shifter Mate Magic: Ice Age Shifters Book 1 by Carol Van Natta
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Jackie Breton is on the run and fearing for her life and the life of her unborn baby. Lucky for her Trevor Hammond, prehistoric bear shifter crosses her path and helps save the day. This is another fun shifter story with two really interesting characters. The action is ongoing and the tension keeps building as the story progresses. Even after they are safe there are still issues that need to be solved. I loved the prehistoric bear part of the story. It made Trevor even more appealing.


A Duke Like No Other (Playful Brides, #9)A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a good use of the married but apart for years trope. Mark Grimaldi has let his pride rule his marriage and as a result he has not seen his wife in 10 years. Now he needs a favor and Nicole Huntington Grimaldi will grant it in return for one of her own. This has all the needed elements for a good story. Attraction that has not died, secrets that need to be revealed, and a murder that changes everything.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Asta and the Barbarians by Becca Fox - Book Blast and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Becca will be awarding custom made bookmarks, coasters, and magnets to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour


Asta heard about King Torvald's crusade and watched her people fortify the town's defenses, but she never imagined foreign invaders would come to her peaceful shores. In one fateful night, she loses everything she holds dear and somehow gains the favor of the warrior god. Has he given her the tools she needs for revenge or does he have a greater plan in store?

Read an Excerpt:

I waited until I couldn’t hear his boots slapping against the floor. Then I eased the door shut, leaned against the rough wood and laughed. It sounded hysterical, almost maniacal, even to my own ears. I clapped a hand over my mouth then, suddenly overwhelmed with grief. Because I wasn’t free. I would never be free of him.

Sliding down the length of the door, I sobbed as quietly as I could manage. The events of the last few weeks washed over me with their terror and grisliness. I allowed myself to mourn my parents, my sister, my fiancé, my friends, the servants who had so diligently cared for me, the quaint little town I had once hated, and the naïve, self-centered child I had once been.

About the Author:
Becca Fox was that strange girl in high school, who always seemed to have her nose in a book. She didn’t talk much because, more often than not, she was daydreaming about different fantasy worlds. During class, under the guise of taking notes, she wrote scenes for her works in progress.

Becca is a bit more social now but still enjoys reading, writing, and daydreaming. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona with her husband, a fat orange tabby cat, and a forever-puppy. She has published three books to date, I Dare You to Love Me (a young adult romance), In the Dark (a new adult paranormal romance), and Asta and the Barbarians (a new adult fantasy.)

Links:

Blog: https://fanofthefiction.wordpress.com
Website: http://becca-fox.com/
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Becca-Fox/e/B076PTNPV9/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17274613.Becca_Fox
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Bears_Goose1?lang=en
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beccajfoxauthor
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/beccajayfox/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rjagundez.5/?hl=en
Buy Links for Asta and the Barbarians:



Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Asta-Barbarians-Becca-Fox-ebook/dp/B07BGCRV9V/ref=as_li_ss_tl
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Asta-Barbarians-Becca-Fox-ebook/dp/B07BGCRV9V/ref=as_li_ss_tl
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/803680
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/asta-and-the-barbarians/id1359718982?mt=11
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/asta-and-the-barbarians
Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/asta-and-the-barbarians-becca-fox/1128197571

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Monday, May 21, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 230 - Planet Dragos by The Harrison, Ascendant by jack Campbell

Planet Dragos  (Elder Races, #9.8)Planet Dragos by Thea Harrison
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A nice way to see Pia and Dragos off to a new life. There is a lot of danger at first and then a lot of thinking about change as the story progresses. Good story for fans of the Elder Races series.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.


Ascendant (The Genesis Fleet, #2)Ascendant by Jack Campbell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Rob Geary and Mele Darcy are called back to help. Once again Glenlyon is in danger after losing one of their two warships. This is military space opera as Geary and Darcy arrive in time to help defend their neighbor Kosatka from attack. While this victory is important all know that they are still in great danger. All of the important characters play a part in Ascendant. There is a very loose web being woven as the colonies realize that they need to work together of be defeated. Geary and Darcy get back home and the stage is set for the next round in the war. For fans of the Lost Fleet series look for the one sentence hint about how the war in that series came about.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 239 - Reborn by Lance Erick, Luck of the Bride by Janna MacGregor

Reborn (Android Chronicles #1)Reborn by Lance Erlick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It takes a long time to get to the conclusion. In fact it takes a lot of replay as Synthia Cross is reborn each time her maker turns her off and wipes her memories. It is a little like Groundhog Day as she slowly hides and requires her past. I did find that part a little repetitive. I liked Synthia and how she worked to find a way to be herself and have a set of values that protected her and caused no harm to others. She was in a lot of danger and she was good a splitting hairs but in the end she managed to make a future she wanted. There were several surprises that defined how she was created. A very original concept that is just the first in the Android Chronicles.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.


The Luck of the Bride (The Cavensham Heiresses #3)The Luck of the Bride by Janna MacGregor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a three because I really did not like Michael Cavensham, the Marquess of McCalpin. He ignored Marsh and her sisters causing Marsh to struggle to make ends meet. He finally does the right thing only to crash and burn when March is accused of crimes against McCalpin. He was just not that great a hero. On the other hand I did like Marsh. She worked hard to keep her family together and to always put them first. The romance was second behind the crimes . It sounded like a better story in the blurb. Of course, in the end though there was a HEA even if I though Michael did not deserve one.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

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