Sunday, June 25, 2017

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 111 - Breeder by Cara Bristol, The Cowboy's Renegade Bride by Laurie LeClair, Orion by Ruby Lionsdrake

Breeder (Breeder, #1)Breeder by Cara Bristol
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Dak and Omra are interesting characters. Omar is not your typical breeder. She was raised differently and in somewhat independent. Dak starts out typical Alpha but soon realizes that he has something special in Omar. There is a lot of sex in the story but also a danger that change brings. A nice start to a new series.


The Cowboy's Renegade Bride (The McCall Brothers Book 2)The Cowboy's Renegade Bride by Laurie LeClair
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jenny Wentworth is back after being left at the alter for the second time. All she wants is a family and children but she has decided to go it on her own. She is through with men. This is a fairly typical story with Sheriff McCall as the man she has always been attracted to. Look for tension and romance as they work toward their HEA.

Orion (Star Guardians, #1)Orion by Ruby Lionsdrake
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is another take on being captured and taken off Earth. This time it is pirates who capture Earth Women to sell to aliens where they will fight and then get eaten. Not a nice thing to happen. Luckily there is someone planted in the crew who is there to set up the rescue. The rescue happened but the women have not been returned home yet or maybe never. What I liked the most was how humans ended up on multiple planets. Lionsdrake made very good use of mythology to explain how Earth natives, names and gods got scattered around the galaxy. The characters were fun, the danger ever present, and the romance interesting. Book two was released at the same time as Orion so I do not have to wait to see who finds romance next and maybe a clue about returning the women home.

View all my reviews

Friday, June 23, 2017

Transformation by James Gunn - Nerd Blast and Giveaway


Transformation
by
James Gunn
BLURB:

Science Fiction

Planets at the edge of the Federation have been falling mysteriously silent. The arrogant and recalcitrant bureaucracy running the Federation grudgingly allows two transcended humans, Riley and Asha, to investigate. They join forces with the Earth's Pedia, a global A.I., along with Tordor, a Dorian representative of the Federation, and Adithya, a member of a splinter group vowing to destroy the Pedia. No one on the team trusts one another.

They must find a common ground and the answer to the planetary silences in order to confront an enemy more ancient than the Transcendentals and more powerful than any Pedia.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOK DEPOSITORY

EXCERPT - Chapter One


The invasion began a million or more long-cycles ago, but the galaxy is bigger than minds can encompass, and information crawls across interstellar space if it moves at all. The Galactic Federation was slow to recognize the nature of the danger.

The Galactic Federation is a misnomer. It actually occupies only a single spiral arm of the local galaxy that humans call “the Milky Way,” although in recent long-cycles explorations began into the neighboring spiral arm in search of what had become known as the Transcendental Machine. So it is not surprising that the invasion went unnoticed until remote worlds of the Federation began to fall silent, sending out no capsule messages through the network of nexus points that made interstellar travel and communication possible, and failing to acknowledge those sent as routine reports or inquiries.

Finally, bureaucracy stirred and dispatched automated survey ships and, when they did not return, ships staffed with representatives of the various species that made up the Federation. They, too, went missing until, at last, a single damaged vessel appeared in a space monitored by Federation Central and remained motionless where it had materialized from a nexus point. When it was finally reached and boarded, investigators found its crew dead except for a single survivor, the captain.

He was a Dorian and his guttural voice was recorded before he died. “They are all dead, all dead,” he said. It wasn’t clear to his rescuers whether he was referring to his crew or the inhabitants of the planets they surveyed. “We brought them into the ship, thinking they were evidence of what had happened, maybe recordings, our science officer said. But they must have been poisoned. They were sterilized, you know, according to protocol. We did everything by protocol. They swarmed out, unseen but we knew they were there by what happened. The crew went mad, you see. The invisible creatures did that, and the crew turned upon each other as if they were trying to get away. But they couldn’t until they all were dead. All dead.”

The investigators found no evidence in the ship’s automated records about invaders, only recordings of the crew killing each other with their bare hands and anything they could tear away from the ship to use as weapons. The ship had returned only because the captain had programmed instructions to be executed automatically in case of emergency.

Finally Federation Central began to take seriously the possibility that something mysterious and possibly invisible had emerged in the unexplored spiral arms of the galaxy, or had entered the galaxy from somewhere beyond the zone of thinning stars and the beginning of intergalactic space. Three long-cycles later the news reached Riley and Asha and the Pedia at the heart of the human world.

Asha sent a message to Riley: “Get in touch about silent stars. Pedia says invasion is 92.4 percent likely.”

Riley turned to a rejuvenated Jak in his subsurface lunar laboratory. Jak was a mad scientist, who had turned his own clones into agents in the quest for the Transcendental Machine. Riley had entrusted Jak with the matter-transmission process that had led to transcendence. It was an act of blind trust if not even hubris—Jak was a mad scientist but he was Riley’s mad scientist. Now, with a copy of the Transcendental Machine reproduced in Jak’s laboratory, Jak had been his own experimental subject, followed by his daughter Jer, and the process had restored Jak’s health if not his youth. He was still mad, only not as desperate.

The laboratory itself was much as it had been when Riley had told Jak and Jer about the Transcendental Machine and left with them the red sphere that he had discovered on the primitive planet where the Transcendental Machine had stranded him, where dinosaurs had survived or avoided the catastrophes that had destroyed their kind, or their evolutionary equivalents, on other worlds. The red sphere had survived the millennia as well, the only known artifact in this arm of the galaxy of the creatures who had created the Transcendental Machine. Perhaps it held their secrets as well.

But now the laboratory was filled with the machinery of transcendence.

“The Pedia thinks the galaxy has been invaded,” Riley said.

“The Pedia doesn’t think,” Jak said. “It calculates.”
“Still—”

“Its calculations are usually accurate, although limited by a lack of imagination.”
“So—you think there is an invasion?”

Jak shrugged. “That’s a matter of definition. The galaxy is big and vast spiral arms are unexplored, even unapproached, like the ‘terra incognita’ of deepest Africa in the nineteenth century. So who knows what may lurk in the vast unknown, like the culture that created the Transcendental Machine, until it bursts into our sphere of awareness.”
“Your point is that it doesn’t matter whether it is native to our galaxy or from another galaxy?”

Jak shrugged again. He was clearly bored with this line of discussion. He bored easily, when it was not his idea.

“But surely what does matter is whether we are being invaded.”

“We?” Jak said. “It’s the Federation’s problem.”

“But what if the Federation is overmatched?”

“We’ll all be long dead before it affects our little corner of the galaxy,” Jak said. “If it ever does. The galaxy is far bigger and its stars are far more distant from each other than any of us—even me—can imagine. Our system is remote and in an impoverished neighborhood. It might easily be overlooked.”

“And that’s reason enough not to be concerned?”

“The Pedia has to be concerned,” Jak said. “That’s its categorical imperative: the welfare of the human species. That’s what I mean by a lack of imagination. We have other choices. And wasting my limited moments of existence on a possible invasion in the remote future by unknown creatures is not one of them.”

“So you think it’s possible?”

“Oh, I think it’s likely. As I said, the Pedia’s calculations are pretty accurate, and it has greater calculating power than anything this side of Federation Central itself. I just choose not to get involved.”

Riley nodded and made arrangements to return to Earth. He would deal with Jak later.
Copyright © 2017 by James Gunn



Praise for TRANSCENDENTAL

“Jim Gunn doesn’t publish a new novel very often, but when he does it’s a whopper. Transcendental is his best yet, and in it he demonstrates his possession of one of the most finely developed skills at world-building (and at aliens-creating to populate those worlds) in science fiction today. Read it!” —Frederik Pohl, bestselling author of Gateway

“James Gunn, after a long, stellar career in science fiction, is a master of the narrative art—as he shows in this Chaucerian pilgrimage through the galactic future.” —Robert Silverberg, bestselling author of Lord Valentine’s Castle

Praise for JAMES GUNN

“Reads more like a collaboration between Heinlein and Asimov. The concept is pure, classic science fiction.” —New York Times Book Review on Star Bridge

“Its characters, at least the protagonists, are drawn with psychological depth. The charm and vividness of Gunn’s prose, plus his deft hand at keeping his plot moving, will keep readers on board through the end. The recent saga of Occupy Wall Street and the other Occupy movements around the country makes many of the events and actors of Kampus feel very current.” —Fantastical Andrew Fox

“One of the very best portrayals of contact with extraterrestrial intelligence ever written.” —Carl Sagan on The Listeners

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Add caption

JAMES GUNN is the Hugo Award–winning author of Transcendental, Transgalactic, and The Listeners, and the coauthor, with Jack Williamson, of the classic epic SF novel Star Bridge. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas, where he is professor emeritus of English at the University of Kansas. He is the founding director of the university's Center for the Study of Science Fiction. Gunn is also one of the last living Grandmaster Award winners from the golden age of science fiction. www.sfcenter.ku.edu


Photo Credit: SF Center



--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

5 Winners will receive a Set of the Trilogy (TRANSCENDENTAL in Trade Paperback, TRANSGALACTIC in Hardcover, and TRANSFORMATION in hardcover).






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http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2017/05/nerd-blast-transformation-by-james-gunn.html

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Hell Holes: What Lurks Below by Donald Firesmith - Book Blast and Giveaway

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 110 - Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins, Loving the Texas Lawman by Charlene Sands, Pew! Pew! by multiple authors

Now That You Mention ItNow That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a good mix of coming home again and romance. The romance takes a back seat to Nora Stuart's adjustment to coming home to Scupper Island after being hit by a car. She has not been back in years and was a very unhappy resident as a child and teenager. I loved the mix of women in the story. Nora's mother is far from being a cuddly person, her niece is going through problems of her own, one new friend does not know the friend ship rules, and a old enemy is still around. The romance is very low key. All in all a nice mix that kept me reading.  I receive a free copy of this book in return for an honest review.  It will not be released until the end of this year.


Loving the Texas Lawman (Forever Texan, #2)Loving the Texas Lawman by Charlene Sands
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A familiar but well done trope is at the heart of Loving the Texas Lawman. Jillian Lane and Sheriff Jack Walker were high school sweetheart until Jillian's mover her to California. He was from a family of lawmen and Jillian was from the wrong side of the tracks. It would never work but now Jillian has built a successful company that is heading for trouble and she needs help. Returning to Texas and asking Jack seemed like a good idea. Of course it all goes wrong before it goes very right. A nice romance with interesting characters and plot.


Pew! Pew!: Sex, Guns, Spaceships... Oh My!Pew! Pew!: Sex, Guns, Spaceships... Oh My! by M.D. Cooper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is exactly what it says it is; Science Fiction stories with a fun twist. In some cases it is the crew, some the situations but in all cases fun. There are nine stories in all. I did not read all at once. It was nice to have something that was entertaining but easy to finish in one setting. I had heard of several of the authors and this was nice way to see their writing style before deciding to try any of their novels.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Fortune Teller by Gwendolyn Womack - Blurb Blitz and Giveaway



The Fortune Teller
by Gwendolyn Womack

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Romantic Thriller

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:


Semele Cavnow appraises antiquities for an exclusive Manhattan auction house, deciphering ancient texts―and when she discovers a manuscript written in the time of Cleopatra, she knows it will be the find of her career. Its author tells the story of a priceless tarot deck, now lost to history, but as Semele delves further, she realizes the manuscript is more than it seems. Both a memoir and a prophecy, it appears to be the work of a powerful seer, describing devastating wars and natural disasters in detail thousands of years before they occurred.

The more she reads, the more the manuscript begins to affect Semele’s life. But what happened to the tarot deck? As the mystery of her connection to its story deepens, Semele can’t shake the feeling that she’s being followed. Only one person can help her make sense of it all: her client, Theo Bossard. Yet Theo is arrogant and elusive, concealing secrets of his own, and there’s more to Semele’s desire to speak with him than she would like to admit. Can Semele even trust him?

The auction date is swiftly approaching, and someone wants to interfere―someone who knows the cards exist, and that the Bossard manuscript is tied to her. Semele realizes it’s up to her to stop them: the manuscript holds the key to a two-thousand-year-old secret, a secret someone will do anything to possess.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT

To my reader: I can see what time you live in, and I feel your eyes upon me. We are from different eras, you and I, and by the time you are reading these words, my ancient world will have long been buried. I am one you call a seer—someone who can divine the future and divine it well.

The power of intuition will have ebbed in your time, so you may not believe this story, or worse, think it a fable. But I assure you, my tale is true. I will begin by telling you about my life before, when I was a girl in Alexandria, Egypt.

In my youth, I did not know I had the sight. Only at certain times did the faintest glimpses of what was to come strike me like glimmers of light. Suddenly, I could see when the rains would come, whether my brother would marry, if my father would buy me the wesekh collar from the market. This kind of simple knowledge would present itself, but for the most part, I thought nothing of these inklings.

Copyright © 2017 by Gwendolyn Womack. All rights reserved.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Gwendolyn Womack is the author of the RWA Prism award winning novel The Memory Painter. She writes metaphysical thrillers and love stories that travel history, exploring divination, reincarnation, magic, and time travel. She lives in Los Angeles with her family and is currently working on her third novel.



Buy Links for The Fortune Teller:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

iBooks

BAM!

Independent Bookstores

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

Gwendolyn will be awarding Exploring Tarot Using Radiant Rider-waite Tarot: Deck & Book Set  (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit the other blogs on the tour:

June 5Notes From a Romantic's Heart
June 6It's Raining Books
June 7Books, Dreams,Life
June 8Christine Young
June 9EskieMama and Dragon Lady Reads
June 12Lampshade Reader
June 12Sharing Links and Wisdom
June 13fuonlyknew
June 14Romance Novel Giveaways
June 15Celticlady's Reviews
June 16Deal Sharing Aunt
June 19Two Ends of the Pen
June 20The Bookworm Chronicles
June 21Mixed Book Bag
June 21Booklove
June 22Hearts and Scribbles
June 23Independent Authors
June 26Long and Short Reviews
June 27Jazzy Book Reviews
June 28Nickie's Views and Interviews
June 28Random Thoughts From a Tech Nerd
June 29Paranormal and Romantic Suspense Reviews
June 30Danita Minnis

He Takes the Cake by J. Lynn Rowan Book Blast and Giveaway




HE TAKES THE CAKE
by J. Lynn Rowan

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Contemporary romance

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Life is good for Tess Gardiner: Her Savannah, Georgia, bakery and cafe is thriving. She’s earned Master Pastry Chef status from the American Culinary Federation. And she’s attending a regional culinary convention in Charleston, where she’s been invited to sit on a small business panel discussion. The opportunity to tout her success will, hopefully, lead to bigger and better things in her professional life. As for her personal life? The relative contentedness she’s enjoyed for years receives a sudden jolt when she comes face to face with Tyler Brinks, the ex-boyfriend she summarily dismissed from her life eight years ago.

Tyler’s success as a highly-trained chef has launched him into the stratosphere. He already owns one ridiculously successful restaurant, and he’s aggressively working on plans for a second. But he’s never quite gotten over Tess, and he’s never really been sure what actually went wrong between them. So when a pastry and baking competition is announced for the week following the culinary convention in Charleston, Ty jumps at the chance to tempt Tess with the challenge of being his partner, giving him the perfect opportunity to remind her how good they once were together.

As the competition heats up in the kitchen, it soon becomes clear to Tess that Ty has more than cream puffs and cupcakes on his mind. And she can’t deny that her feelings for Ty never truly cooled, but have been simmering all these years, despite the way their relationship ended. Now Ty’s attention has her wondering—is this just the path to final closure? Or could this be a second chance at true love?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT

Ty comes to a stop a couple paces away and settles his hands on his hips. “Hey, Tess. Long time, no see.”

“Yeah, well . . .”

That’s got to be the lamest opener ever. I clear my throat, relieved that my voice is working at all, and muster up my pride.

But before I can come up with a real comment, Ty says, “I saw you listed on the small business panel discussion. Must be exciting.”

“This from a featured presenter.” Squaring my shoulders, I tilt my head slightly and jerk my chin at him. “You always walk around in your chef’s coat?”

“Only when I’m hoping to run into my ex-girlfriends at culinary conventions.”

The teasing note in his deep voice has my eyes narrowing. “Tyler—”

He holds up his hands, palms out, and chuckles. “Geez, I’m kidding. Calm down, Contessa.”

“Do. Not. Call. Me. That.” I grind the words out from between my teeth.

“Wow. Still touchy, are we?” He crosses his arms again and tips his head back while he surveys me. We don’t have a big difference between us in height, but whenever he does that, it makes me feel about five inches tall. “I was actually prepping for a demonstration, and was just taking a little break.”

Irritation slides through me, both at Ty as well as myself. I shouldn’t be letting the old hurts bubble up like this. I haven’t seen him in eight years. Even if we parted on the worst terms possible, he deserves the benefit of the doubt, as a fellow culinary professional if nothing else.

“Sorry.” I make a show of folding up the pamphlet, forgotten until now, and sliding it into my bag. The move allows me to break eye contact and re-center myself. By the time I look up again, Ty’s smirk is back in place. Hoisting my bag into a more secure position on my shoulder, I fold my arms in a mirror of his posture. “You’ve probably got a busy few days ahead. Odds of us running into each other again are slim, so . . .”

A knowing light flashes in his eyes, even as he offers a handshake. Against my better judgment and with only the barest hesitation, I accept.

Fires start popping up all along my nerves the instant our palms touch. By the time I realize my mistake, it’s too late to pull away.

Ty gives my hand a gentle squeeze. “Maybe I’ll see you around.”

He releases me, takes a couple steps backward, and gives me a wink before turning to walk away. I stand there, my hand still hanging in the air like a limp fish.

Maybe I’ll see you around?

Coming from Ty, that’s not a possibility.

It’s a promise.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Author Bio:

J. Lynn Rowan started writing stories as a small child, usually starring her favorite cartoon characters. Most of her work through middle and high school was filled with typical teenage angst and melodrama, and usually mirrored the books she loved to read. But eventually she found her own author’s voice and decided to seriously pursue a writing career.

Historical fiction remains J. Lynn’s “first love”, but she has enjoyed the journey to becoming an author of romance and chick lit. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, the Central New York Romance Writers, and the Historical Novel Society. She is also a teacher who tries to instill a love of learning, reading, and writing in her students.

When she’s not writing, J. Lynn enjoys travelling, gardening poorly but enthusiastically, studying various topics in American history for her own expertise, and channeling Julia Child every time she steps into the kitchen.

A native of Oswego, NY, she now lives in Charlotte, NC, with her own Romantic Hero of a husband and their little rainbow, affectionately known as Babycakes.

Email: jlynnrowanliterature@gmail.com

BETTER THAN CHOCOLATE PURCHASE LINKS

WHEN IN ROME PURCHASE LINKS

THE ONE I’M WITH PURCHASE LINKS

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

THE AUTHOR WILL BE GIVING AWAY a  $20 Amazon/BN GC

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Suitable Affair by Erica Taylor - Blurb Blitz and Giveaway




A Suitable Affair
by Erica Taylor

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Regency Romance

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Lady Susanna McCalister is young and beautiful, but her marriage prospects thus far have been rather lacking. Rather than living a life of spinsterhood, she decides a loveless marriage, to the dull and unromantic Lord Riverton, is better than none at all. One day while strolling through Hyde Park with her suitor, she is almost trampled to death by a rambunctious rider, Lord Westcott. Little does she know that this earl, who is as handsome as he is arrogant, would weasel his way into her heart. But the earl has demons of his own that threaten to complicate their secret romance, as he blames Lord Riverton for his sister's death. Can Susanna tame this tormented earl and help save herself and other women from a deadly fate?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT


She simply looked at him, her gaze taking in every inch of his face. After a long moment, she said, “You say you cannot offer me what I want, but how can you be certain of what I want? What if—for now—all I want is your friendship, and your companionship? What if all I want is you without promises of obligation?”

He shook his head. “That’s basically the opposite of what a lovely, young woman of marriageable age should want, Susanna.” She shrugged. “You’d be surprised to learn how progressive a marriageable-aged young woman I can be.” He chuckled. “What about Riverton?”

She shrugged again. “You said you wanted me as bait for something, which I assume is still current?”

He nodded, though it pained him to admit he needed her to continue her relationship with the viscount, even if it was just for show. “Then I shall continue on as before,” she concluded. “Though I have no intention of marrying him, even if your investigations turn up nothing.” “Please don’t hold out for me, darling,” he said softly, brushing a wisp of hair from her face. “You can’t put your life on hold me for me.” She shook her head. “Ian Carlisle, you absurd man, without you my life cannot go forward. I’m simply waiting for you to catch up.” There was no doubt; he was definitely in love with this woman.

Staring into her blue eyes, he could see the life he should have. A caring wife at his side, raising children in the country, fishing and horseback riding. Bringing up another Lord Westcott, doing it right this time, without all the mental baggage his father had dumped upon him. He himself sitting in Parliament, managing his family estates and living a life out of the shadows and schemes of the criminals of the world. Living life with the good and the wonderful away from the misery and the depravity.

It almost brought him to tears. For the first time since he ran away from home and joined the Army, he wanted more. He wanted more than his nomad existence, he wanted more than dipping into the immoral and illegalities, no more to bear witness to what the scums of humanity could do to one another.

“My darling, Susanna,” he said softly, trying to maintain his even tone, lest she see how broken he truly was—how her declaration had shaken him. “I do not deserve you.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Erica Taylor is a mother of two and military wife married to her high school sweetheart. Raised in the mountains of Colorado, she holds a BA in History from the University of Colorado. Erica has been writing stories since she can remember. She picked up her first romance novel while on a beach vacation as a teenager, and fell in love with falling in love, sexy heroes, and the feisty women who challenge their lives. A self-confessed geek, Erica loves anything Harry Potter, Doctor Who or Star Wars, can spend hours in Target with a Starbucks, and truly believes a cat makes a home. Currently living in South Africa, Erica can often be found writing during soccer practice or piano lessons and is not afraid to let dinner burn if it means getting the story out of her head.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

Erica Taylor will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit the other blogs on the tour:


June 12Buried Under Romance - review
June 13Up 'Til Dawn Book Blog
June 14Book Lover Promo
June 15Christine Young 
June 15Books, Dreams,Life
June 16Romance Novel Giveaways
June 19Fabulous and Brunette
June 20Mixed Book Bag
June 21LibriAmoriMiei - review
June 22Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews
June 23EskieMama and Dragon Lady Reads
June 26Welcome to My World of Dreams
June 27Mello and June, It's a Book Thang!
June 28Queen of All She Reads
June 29Punya Reviews... - review
June 30Hearts and Scribbles
July 10Author B. L. Blair
July 11Booklove - review
July 12Two Ends of the Pen
July 13Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
July 14Long and Short Reviews