Review: Miseries, Illusions and Hope

Synopsis:

My second book—Miseries, Illusions and Hope—is a collection of few short stories I wrote in the last few years. Most of them appeared on my blogs on Facebook and Blogger. 
These stories are about everyday people who are working hard for themselves and their loved ones. I call these people everyday heroes. They may be illiterate or poor, but they are sincere and trustworthy. They touch the lives of others around them. 
Life is highly unpredictable and very complicated. It silently teaches us so much about love, intrigue, conflict, and persistence.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Miseries, Illusions and Hope by Almas Akhtar is exactly as the title suggests. Short stories that demonstrate each of these. The characters each have their own reasons. Money is hard to come by and life brings and takes from each of them. Their circumstances are easy to relate to and draws the reader, like myself, closer to their tale. I was entertained and sucked in from the first page. Almas Akhtar’s writing feels so real that it’s hard to stop reading. Each part goes by quickly. Overall, I enjoyed it. I recommend this small piece to readers worldwide. 

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Review: Inside






Synopsis:

Virgil Skinner served fourteen years for a murder he didn’t commit. He’s finally been exonerated, but he can’t escape the gang he joined in order to survive. They’ll do anything to keep him from telling what he knows. And if they can’t get to Virgil they’ll go after his sister and her kids.
The California Department of Corrections needs someone to infiltrate another gang, one that’s taking control of the state’s most notorious supermax. Virgil agrees to do it under an alias—in exchange for his sister’s protection.
Chief Deputy Warden Peyton Adams is opposed to having Virgil in her prison. How will she protect him if things go bad? Besides, she’s far too attracted to him; she might even be falling in love with him. That makes her all the more desperate to keep him safe—and it gives him someone else to lose. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Brenda Novak is the master of suspense! Her latest novel, Inside, is thrilling. Dark, dangerous, and sexy. The journey inside is epic. A man who framed by his mother and her boyfriend for murder. He was sentenced to prison. Then, a gang inside that prison had him as one of their own. Only when Virgil gets out, they want him dead. Somehow, they find out he’s flipped sides with the police. Being on probation, Virgil is used by authorities to go under and filtrate another deadly gang. One just as bad the previous one that he left. From there he meets the Chief Deputy Warren, Peyton. Peyton is beyond gorgeous. Her life was hard but she enjoys her job. Dangerous, definitely. 

Peyton is soon in charge of an investigation that could turn deadly. And it’s taking place right inside of her prison. The man that is chosen to filtrate a serious yet deadly gang is Virgil. Some thing about him, has Peyton curious. So, curious that she breaks into his motel room to find more info. What she finds only makes her more determined to save this man. 

Both Peyton and Virgil find themselves falling for each other. However, one gang is after Virgil. They can’t find him, so they go after his sister and her kids. One member of that gang ends up making a big decision that sons leads him on another path. Virgil is worried about his sister and the kids. Being inside another gang, feeling attracted to Peyton, and worrying about his sister is leaves him in knots. I was both intrigued and hooked. Inside by Brenda Novak is exciting, fast-paced, and hot. I felt the chemistry, the fear, and the risks as if I were experiencing them instead of the characters. Believable and stunning. Well-told. I highly recommend this novel to all. 

Review: Abiding Mercy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When doing the right thing will only lead to more heartache, how do you know what you are supposed to do?

Sixteen-year-old Faith has worked full time in her parents’ Amish restaurant since she finished eighth grade. She loves her Amish community–and the recent romantic attentions of her longtime friend, Gideon. When her sister seems to be getting too friendly with Englischers, and her parents are in a buggy accident, Faith only wants to escape into her dream of joining the church and getting married.

But then a local newspaper runs a story about a child named Adriana who was kidnapped fifteen years earlier, and everything Faith has held true comes into question.

Suddenly the community Faith has known her whole life seems unreal. Can she even trust her own family? And how will she ever find home again if she no longer belongs in the world she knows best.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Abiding Mercy by Ruth Reid is amazing. The protagonist had a journey that weighed heavy on the heart and the mind. I fell into the story. The emotions were everywhere.  I  felt everything the main character felt. Sadness, confusion, and difficult choices ahead. Loss, faith, and hope were major themes found within the pages. It was a journey I will never forget. My heart immediately went out to Faith. She grew up in one world, finding that she was snatched from a different one. Choices will need to be made. A young woman has a lot on her plate. Loosing one set of parents only to find that they weren’t her biological ones. Abiding Mercy was well-told. I enjoyed reading every page of it. Sweet, engaging, and beautifully woven. Ruth Reid has captured my full attention with this tale. Overall, I highly recommend it to others.

 

Review: Sirens Over the Hudson





Synopsis
Westchester Co., NY – 2008. Panic engulfs the financial district, but the privileged youth of Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow is not feeling the sting just yet. For the children of bankers and Wall Street sharks, the summer holds the promise of rock concerts, boat rides on the Hudson and flippant hookups. Gregory King spends the final weeks of the school year skipping classes, playing guitar and toying with Islam. Greg has a secret vice: he likes to take other people’s things. For a while he manages to get away with petty theft – until he becomes obsessed with Cyntie van Vossen, his classmate’s girlfriend. Their affair sets off a chain reaction of treachery and violence. The bars of the gilded cage start bending beneath the weight of the secrets encasing the community where money solves every problem. How will Gregory pay for his mistakes after his trust fund runs out? Sirens over the Hudson will herald his misery.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Sirens Over the Hudson by M.J. Neary is an interesting tale. Packed full of mockery on the rich. Here, I got to explore the lives of one rich family. Despite their money, most family members are not doing that well. Their career choices show that. Plus, their detriment relationships shows that even the rich can fall to pieces. A young son, is focused on his music. He dislikes his parents treatment towards his brother. He feels like a failure to them. Gregory has some weird habits. Like stealing things off corpses even though his family has money. A dysfunctional family and themes of racial issues are also explored. Every pages builds the intensity of the situations. Entertaining and enjoyable to read. Sirens Over the Hudson is a must read. 

Review: A Life Removed





Synopsis:

Detectives Bruce Marklin and Jocelyn Beaudette have put plenty of criminals behind bars. But a new terror is stalking their city. The killer’s violent crimes are ritualistic but seemingly indiscriminate. As the death toll rises, the detectives must track a murderer without motive. The next kill could be anyone… maybe even one of their own.
Officer Aaron Pimental sees no hope for himself or humanity. His girlfriend is pulling away, and his best friend has found religion. When Aaron is thrust into the heart of the investigation, he must choose who he will become, the hero or the villain.
If Aaron doesn’t decide soon, the choice will be made for him. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Life Removed by Jason Parent is a thrilling criminal tale. Inside, readers will follow an investigation. Murder happening more than once. A former officer once good turns into a monster. With two of the best detectives following the evidence, it’s only time until Aaron Pimental’s life stops. The chase is exciting. The detectives, Bruce Marklin and Jocelyn Beaudette, are interesting to follow. A killer is loose and it will take time before they stop him. Death, danger, and intrigue are covered on every page. I enjoyed reading this novel. I look forward to reading more books by this talented writer. Overall, A Life Removed is one thriller I recommend to all. 

Blog Tour: Play for Me by Celine Keating


Interview with Celine Keating

ULM: What inspired you to write your novel, Play for Me?

A train trip across Canada, a kind of concert in motion, jumpstarted the idea. I had begun studying classical guitar, which led to writing for music magazines. When I heard about the train ride and how several bands would be performing, jamming, and interacting with their fans, I decided it was something I just had to be part of and write about. It was quite an experience, and I found myself wanting to explore why music is so powerful for us and about obsession and hardcore fandom. To top it off, on the train I was berthed next to the leaders of two of the bands and had a front row seat to their very explosive romantic breakup – they became the models for my lead singer Blaise and her guitarist JJ. 

 ULM: What was it like creating the main character, Lily?

I actually based Lily in large part on my sister. Her twin daughters were going off to college and she was suddenly confronted with empty-nest angst and the realization thatshe had lost sight of her own needs through years of work and childrearing. I wondered,is it possible to reinvent yourself in middle age, to rediscover your own creative potential? In a way, Play for Me is a cautionary tale, especially for women, of what can happen if you lose touch with your deepest self.

ULM: Since your novel is around the central theme of music, what kind of music do you enjoy listening to? 

While I love most styles and kinds of music of music, my favorite is anything guitar-centric, whether rock, acoustic, classical, flamenco. I also really enjoy singer songwriters.

ULM: How would you describe your novel, using only three words? 

emotional, intelligent, honest 

ULM: How would you describe your other main character, JJ? 

 He’s charming, sweet, needy, super talented, and, ultimately, selfish.

ULM: What advice would you give to other writers?

I advise writing every day, even if just for 15 minutes. One trick I use if I’m stuck is to work off other writers. Sometimes I copy out entire passages I admire and then use that as a base to write something of my own. It’s a great way to improve technique. I also recommend joining a writing group – whether in person or online –for feedback, advice, and support. 

ULM: Do you have any future writing projects that you can share with us, readers?

I’m currently working on a new novel set in Montauk, Long Island, with a broad cast of characters. It’s about the conflicts and pressures – environmental and financial – on a beach/resort town.

ULM: What is it like being both a writer and editor? Which task would you say was easier? How long have you been an editor?

A very interesting question! I think it’s sort of right brain/left brain – both are creative in their way and both also require basic language skills, but overall, editing requires the analytic part of the brain while fiction depends on the intuitive and on the imagination. Happily editorial work doesn’t make the same kind of demands on me that fiction does –of invention and imagination. So they are complementary but very different. For me, editing is easier, because most of it can be learned, whereas fiction is an art, and any art relies on being able to tap into the deeper parts of the self and on honing one’s creativity and unique point of view—and how all of that works is something of a mystery! I’ve been an editor for decades. I started out in publishing as an editorial assistant and worked my way up through various editing jobs. Then I switched to magazine copyediting, and now I work as a freelancer. 

ULM: Being a music reviewer, would say that this had some influence on writing your novel, Play for Me? 

Yes, absolutely. I have been able to do many interviews with musicians for various articles and found their lives and struggles to be quite interesting. So I used a lot of that material in the novel. Also, in writing reviews one has to describe – to people who are listeners but not necessarily musicians – how music sounds. Finding the right descriptivewords and a way to put them together is a unique kind of challenge. The experience writing reviews really helped when I was trying to communicate how JJ’s music sounds to Lily so the reader can imagine it, and also to understand the profound effect the music has on her. 

 ULM: How did you become a music Reviewer?

 I find that pretty interesting. It’s not every day one hears about meeting a Reviewer of music. Breaking in to music reviewing is similar to breaking in to other writing for publications—with a query letter and your clips (already published work)—except that you are requiredto play an instrument yourself. I wrote a query letter to Acoustic Guitar magazine about a CD I wanted to review, and they accepted. After that they asked if I’d like to review for them regularly, and that led to longer pieces and to writing and reviewing for other places as well.

ULM: Where can readers find you and your work online?

 I’m at www.celinekeating.com and I’m always happy to hear from readers. Many of my stories and reviews are available, as well as excerpts from my novels.  


Synopsis:

International Book Award finalist in literary fiction

Indie Excellence Award finalist in fiction

USA Book Award finalist in fiction
“Keating combines the soul-searching of Eat, Pray, Love with the rock ’n’ roll fable of Almost Famous to create a novel of midlife crisis with music at its core.” —Booklist 
Middle-aged Lily impulsively joins a touring folk-rock band, leaving her job and marriage behind in an attempt to find a second chance at life, passion, and art.
It happens without warning: At a folk-rock show at her son s college, Lily becomes transfixed by the guitarist s unassuming onstage presence and beautiful playing and with his final note, something within her breaks loose. After the concert, Lily returns to her comfortable life an Upper West Side apartment, a job as a videographer, and a kind if distracted husband but she can t stop thinking about the music, or about the duo s guitarist, JJ. Unable to resist the pull of either one, she rashly offers to make a film about the band in order to gain a place with them on tour. But when Lily dares to step out from behind her camera, she falls deep into JJ s world upsetting the tenuous balance between him and his bandmate, and filling a chasm of need she didn t know she had. Captivating and provocative, Play for Me captures the thrill and heartbreak of deciding to leave behind what you love to follow what you desire.” (less)

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Play for Me by Celine Keating is a contemporary piece written mostly for women. I can feel the main characters’ emotions as the scenes played out…I also noticed that the writer’s book held her passion for music. Deep, entertaining, and well-told. As I followed the main character, Lily, I got lost within her story. She goes out doing what she loves and ends up entangled in her own problems. Decisions have to be made….and the consequences are intense. Making the novel’s atmosphere that more electrifying. Romance between two that shouldn’t occur, a marriage held by a strong, and destruction of her daughter’s life lay ahead. As I read through the pages and wasn’t sure what advice I would give to Lily. I felt her pain as the plot continued. Celine Keating has a way of luring readers like myself further into the book. 

Play for Me is exactly as it states and the options get harder as one wife slash mother tries living her life and balancing the old with the new. But as with reality, life has a way of knocking us back down to earth. Overall, great read for women everywhere. Easy to relate to and connect with the characters. 

Review: Electric Souk



Synopsis:

Ireland’s gone bust, and with it Aisling Finn’s life. She flees austerity for adventure in the desert. But the Arabia she finds is not that of her dreams. Everyone is chasing a fast buck, a fast woman and another G&T. Expats and locals alike prickle with paranoia. Debonair fixer, Brian Rothmann, charms Aisling with champagne brunches and nights at Bedouin camps. But is Brian a hero or a desperate expat prepared to go to any lengths to get what he wants? Is this Aisling? Or is he using her as bait? Her only hope is Hisham, a local activist. But where do his loyalties lie? Aisling faces severe peril when the sleazy expat and blood-lusting desert worlds collide, as the Arab Spring erupts. She has to ask, whom can she trust? Can she trust her instincts? Humanity blisters in this haunting, lyrical thriller about trust and treachery.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Electric Souk by Rose McGinty is by far an interesting read. It instantly takes readers on an epic journey. A young woman leaves her homeland for work in another country. A country full of war, distrust, and danger. The stakes are high. Never knowing who to trust, Aisling Finn puts her life in the hands of those around her. Spies, secret police, and work fill her days. At first, the novel shows Aisling following people as they live a fast life full of drinking and good times. But fear hangs deeply in the air. I never knew what to expect next. Rose McGinty writes a superb novel. Suspense, intrigue, and the mysterious lure of what may come. Electric Souk is definitely an electrifying tale. Resistance, destruction, and secrets on every page. The intensity builds. The charcaters are written in a way that visually tugs readers further into the book. Loyalties and deception are major the,es surrounding these interesting charcaters. Overall, I highly recommend reading Electric Souk to all. 

Review: Love’s Dark Door 

Synopsis:

Charlotte is going through the normal difficulties that follow graduation from college: finding a life of her own and a place to work. It is complicated even more when her parents tell her they are going to get a divorce. The divorce makes Charlotte feel depressed, and it seems as though no one can help her at all… until she meets Lane.

Rating: 4-stars

Review

Love’s Dark Door by Julia Bailey is a contemporary romance that is easy to relate to as well as understand. The character’s situation is one that can happen to anyone. Coming home from college, Charlotte finds her parents fighting. They are getting a divorce. That puts pressure on Charlotte. She thoughtby coming home, she could fix their situation. But she soon realizes that she can’t. She soon applies for an interview…and her dad just barely gives her the time of day. Then, upon the interview she reacted in a way that most people wouldn’t for fear of losing a job. But considering the stress she was under it felt right. From there Charlotte gets more than she thought she would. Love’s Dark Door is complicated, messy, and emotional. The ending felt a little cut off…like it was too short or neededa bit more before ending…other than that the book was great. Charlotte goes through a rollercoaster ride as her life changes from negative to positive to negative again. 

Review: Regolith



Synopsis:

Elle is a sales superstar at Aspen-Hayward Inc., a company specializing in consumer products and medical supplies. To her surprise, she is hand-picked by the company’s board to run the Research and Development department with an impossible mandate: deliver an industry-leading adaptive learning program to anticipate consumer needs, or else. Aspen-Hayward—languishing in the shadow of its nearest and largest competitor, Rossigland Inc.—is wagering its future on Elle’s leadership.

Meanwhile, Daniel and Greggory work for a security team responsible for loss prevention along Rossigland’s far-reaching and treacherous supply chain. During a routine delivery run, Daniel and Gregg encounter an unusual threat that leads them through a wild ride of adventure.

Elle hires Noam, a developer-savant who quickly brings her department to the verge of something great: the world’s first artificial consciousness, capable of creating humanity’s most needed solutions— saltwater agriculture, a cure for aging and cancer, and sustainable energy.

What none of them know is how their two worlds will collide with an impact of unprecedented scale.

Characters

Elle

Ellison Cole is a tough young woman: a joy with friends but tenacious at the office. She relies heavily on her underachieving but lovable confidant, Cy. Elle has a complicated past and her present becomes more conflicted after meeting Victoria, a more tenured executive at Aspen.

Daniel Brevier

Daniel is a field manager for Rossigland security. If there is one person you can count on to solve a problem, Daniel is your guy—but don’t expect him to avoid making a mess in the process.

Noam

Noam Cohen is much more than a developer and has effortlessly excelled since a young age. He is nothing short of a prodigy at his job and is “a natural” when the team is off-duty.

George McPherson

George is Rossigland’s low-profile COO and, over the course of the book, emerges as much more important than he first appears.

Major Themes

Chaos vs. Order

Evolution: Does a superintelligence present a risk or a benefit to humanity, or both?

What does it mean to be human? Is our purpose to be purely objective, or is humanity defined by an imperfect but vibrant subjective experience?

Advanced physics: an abundance of Earth-like planets in our galaxy; quantized super-vacuum theory related to the AI’s power once born.

Ellison Cole and Aspen-Hayward

Aspen-Hayward wants to rise to the level of sophistication of Rossigland Inc., a larger and much more successful competitor. Senior leadership promotes Elle to bring a sales-oriented focus to Research and Development. She hires Noam and later directs him to take the program to the limit, even if her methods and motivations are compromised in many ways. Then things become complicated.

Daniel Brevier


Daniel and his crew suffer an attack and soon gain valuable intelligence from the crew of another ship. Greg returns to his family, while Daniel smells danger and wants a piece of the action.

Action he finds in a series of adventures, at a classified armory to a battle at an energy processing facility to the brink of an epic battle for humanity’s survival.

The Two Stories Converge


We later discover the problem Daniel discovered is much larger than anyone had imagined while Elle and Noam struggle to realign their project. The two stories weave together in an intricate and beautiful conclusion that will leave you wanting more.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

H. William Glenbrook has masterfully woven two tales combining them into a super novel. Each story has its own set of characters and consequences. Both of these will soon be emerging together. Suspenseful, intense, and well-written. I haven’t read a novel like this one. There is a lot of action happening. Trouble ahead. Regolith is like having Star Wars collide into our real world.  The danger is a huge threat. No one will just realize the extent until they’re pressured into trying to stop it. The writer has combined business, technology, and fantasy into one interesting story. Like with all businesses choices are made and it can break or make the people involved. The plot is clever and fast-paced. Regolith is full of action and intrigue. It kept me keep reading until I reached the last page. The characters are the most fascinating group, ever. Smart, savvy, and bold. Their personalities make them believable. H. William Glenbrook has taken the impossible and made into something that could be possible. Quite frightening. The reality of the future…will keep readers engaged. Overall, I highly recommend this book, to all. 

Review: The Karaoke Queen

The Karaoke Queen: And Her Year of Yes (Adventures of The Karaoke Queen Book 1) by [Powers, Annie]

 

Synopsis:

Sometimes you get older before you actually grow up, and twenty-seven-year-old Kennedy James is about to discover just that.

Sure, she has a fiancé and a future, but she realizes (just in time) that it isn’t quite the future she wants—much to her down-home Arkansan family’s chagrin.

Stifled by the conventions of Southern society, the expectations of older generations, and the everyday struggles of being a responsible adult and professional woman, Kennedy is in desperate need of a change.

She ditches the ring and starts over closer to home. With the help of a lively best friend, a new puppy, and a few nights with too much alcohol (OK, maybe more than a few), her decision to embark on a “Year of Yes” drives her closer and closer to her true self.

Through everything, she slowly discovers a person she can truly love—the quirky, empowered, karaoke-loving Kennedy she hasn’t had the pleasure of meeting yet.

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

The Karaoke Queen by Anne Powers is a great read. The main character, Kennedy goes about life exploring. She has to say yes, to everything within reason. I thought that was interesting. However, it felt like she wasn’t really into anything at all. She just skirted by life and ended up where ever life took her. That’s how it felt to me. The only thing that made me like her was her getting Rosie. A newborn puppy. I didn’t feel any kind of emotional attachment to Kennedy. She rolled with each chapter. No connection to anyone or any place. She dumps her fiancé, which I totally understood why. Then, she dates but nothing really hooked me into her story or into why she should be liked. I felt like this was more of a memoir than fiction. No hook. The character was real and I can see her doing the things she did…but everything felt empty. No purpose. Nothing. She didn’t fall in love. She didn’t get her heart broken. Kennedy just does what she wants. This is why I give it only three stars. Felt flat to me. I wanted to be swept off my feet and plunged into the book. That never happened here. The writer’s book was okay. Not the best. The ending held nothing for me as well. So, she forgave someone and moved completely on…but there was no emotional feeling to it. It was like a teacher telling students to do homework. Their minds and hearts are not into it but if they don’t do it, they get a zero. Kind of how this read. The Karaoke Queen would be better if their was a way for readers to connect with Kennedy. 

Review: Challenge Your Assumptions, Change Your World



Synopsis:

Andy Cohen, New York Times notable author of Follow the Other Hand, introduces the Assumpt!, a breakthrough way to make better business decisions, faster and smarter.

Orville Wright, co-founder of modern aviation, dismissed the idea of creating a landing strip. He assumed that if man had to smooth out the airstrip, he didn’t deserve to fly. Houdini, master of escapes, didn’t know how to exit a new model car. He assumed that all door handles operated in the same way.Even the smartest, most successful and talented people make assumptions. 

Yet good decisions are often stymied by assumptions that go unchecked.So why does this book encourage you to make assumptions? It turns out your assumptions are a key component in your daily decision-making process. But how do you identify your assumptions? How do you separate out those that help or hurt? Build or destroy? Solve problems or create new ones? 

This book shows you how to utilize your assumptions productively and in ways you haven’t imagined. Challenge Your Assumptions, Change Your World is full of big ideas–it’s a unique book that will change how you make decisions and in turn increase your success in business and life. 

Reviews

“Decisions are only as good as the assumptions they are built on. Cohen shows you which ones to use and which to watch out for. ” –John Danner, UC Berkeley and Princeton faculty member, global advisor and keynote speaker.

“Andy challenged the thinking and attitudes of my team with some real eye-opening consequences. In my experience, it is rare that such an impactful person can translate these skills into written form. Reading this is like he is in the room with you.” –Irene Dorner, former President and Chief Executive Officer of HSBC USA

“The vast majority of security issues we face today stem from misplaced trust assumptions. This is a must-read for the security professional.” –Colonel (Ret.) Greg Conti, Ph.D.

About the Author

Andy Cohen is a popular and recognized TEDx speaker, author, and international thought-leader. He has a degree in experimental psychology and a room full of prestigious advertising awards. Andy has taught at the world’s most respected universities including New York, Cornell, Duke, UC, Berkeley; ISB (India); and CKGSB (China).

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Challenge Your Assumptions, Change Your World by Andy Cohen is exactly that. This is one nonfiction guide that challenges, provokes, and teaches readers. The principles and content inside are based on the writer’s experience. His background in the business world is shown throughout the pages. Easy to follow along. I’m a full-time student and an entrepreneur. This book helped me understand a lot. I always make assumptions more so than my peers. Weeding through the good versus bad assumptions was made easier after reading, Challenge Your Assumptions, Change Your World. Andy Cohen’s book is indeed the best tool for all. Whether you’re a student, work in business, or an entrepreneur, you can easily learn what it takes to keep from making the wrong assumptions. Mistakes happen all the time. But if one could help prevent a good handful from being repeated, then it’s worth it. I really enjoyed following along. The chapters and writing style were well-done. Overall, I highly recommend this book to readers everywhere. 

Review:  Brooklyn Streets Meet Wall Street


Synopsis:

Coming from a ruff section of Brooklyn, New York, a young man climbs the ladder to success and falls in love. His happiness, however, can’t last forever, and an important friendship puts his future in jeopardy.
Josh Robinson was drifting through life. When he thinks about the man he wants to be in the future, the only thing he is certain of is that he wants to wear a suit. To Josh, a suit means respect. When people saw his father in a suit, they would go out of their way to call him Mister.

For his future, Josh picks one of the professions where wearing a suit is mandatory: securities trading. The second he sets foot on Wall Street, he knows he made a great decision.

His future looks even brighter when he meets the lovely Lisa. She is gorgeous and intelligent, but their relationship leads to a complicated and messy love triangle that will have severe repercussions for all of them.

In this novel of sweet romance and high finance, Josh is forced to make a difficult decision about his priorities and his future. Can he really have the dream job and the dream girl?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Brooklyn Streets Meet Wall Street is an urban fiction novel that readers won’t forget. It literally takes readers straight into the characters’ lives.  Josh is an African American who grew up on the streets and dreamed of doing something better with his life. That dream was working at Wall Street. Financial investments. Wearing a suit to Josh represents respect. Wearing a suit would give him the respect he wants. However, life is never as simple or easy as well plan. There’s always more struggles, tough choices, and mistakes before we get anywhere. I liked how this urban fiction novel was easy to read and follow along to…it represented a realistic side to the street life. The ugly side to how the poor really live and how they struggle to make ends meet. Their decisions to engage in crime shows two sides of them. Survivors and and those who don’t care about humanity. From killing to drugs…readers can feel the violence and intensity of every situation. Coming from this kind of lifestyle is hard to get away from no matter how high one is willing to sprite in the world. James Jimmy Richardson has created an entertaining read that will capture his audiences from everywhere. Well-written, stunning, and well-developed. Overall, I recommend Brooklyn Streets Meet Wall Street to readers everywhere. 

Review: The Newcomer 




Synopsis:

In 1737, Anna Konig and her fellow church members stagger off a small wooden ship after ten weeks at sea, eager to start a new life in the vibrant but raw Pennsylvania frontier. On the docks of Port Philadelphia waits bishop Jacob Bauer, founder of the settlement and father to ship carpenter Bairn. It’s a time of new beginnings for the reunited Bauer family, and for Anna and Bairn’s shipboard romance to blossom.

But this perfect moment cannot last. As Bairn grasps the reality of what it means to be Amish in the New World–isolated, rigid with expectations, under the thumb of his domineering father–his enthusiasm evaporates. When a sea captain offers the chance to cross the ocean one more time, Bairn grabs it. Just one more crossing, he promises Anna. But will she wait for him?

When Henrik Newman joins the church just as it makes its way to the frontier, Anna is torn. He seems to be everything Bairn is not–bold, devoted, and delighted to vie for her heart. And the most dramatic difference? He is here; Bairn is not.

Far from the frontier, an unexpected turn of events weaves together the lives of Bairn, Anna, and Henrik. When a secret is revealed, which true love will emerge?

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

The Newcomer by Suzanne Woods Fisher is a great tale. The characters have a lot of family issues and internal struggles to sort through before all can be well. The plot is intense. Suzanne Woods Fishers leaves readers wondering what will happen. A tough yet stubborn father trying to make new lives for his family. His family especially his son, Hans, are broken. Faith, trust, and redemption are strong the,es of this novel. I enjoyed the clean and refreshing route this writer took. However, I wasn’t as excited to read through this book as fast as other Amish novels. The plot was steady and slow in other spots. The Newcomer has a lot to offer readers. The deeper meaning to family is one. Relating to the characters difficultly was easy. Adventure, troubles, and new beginnings. I liked reading this story. 

Review: The Tut Clone Contracts



Synopsis:

Readers of this Book Will … 1. Enjoy robot combat with live ammunition at the 2033 Munich Oktoberfest as Edison Richards, a ten-year-old Tut clone, competes against the leading war-robot operators of Europe. 2. Participate in an attack on a drug lord’s mining camp in Guatemala as Kachil Coban, a Tut clone undergraduate at the University of Chicago, rescues a young Mayan cousin from sexual slavery. 3. Hide under a sink in the Oriental Institute as two of the Tuts’ girlfriends raid the place one night, looking for evidence of the clones’ origins. 4. Join a truck convoy crossing Cairo under fire as the Tut clan, now united, takes over their ancestral homeland, founds the 34th Dynasty, and revives a dysfunctional Egyptian state. 5. Listen in at the Tuts’ first press conferences as they meet the challenges of ruling Egypt after a lost war, an Islamic insurrection, and economic chaos. 6. Join the funeral procession of John Jazz Tut, assassinated by a terrorist, as he becomes the first royal interred in the Great Pyramid of Giza in 5,000 years. Hear Gordon Geertsma, now Tutankhaten II, deliver a funeral oration and restore Egypt to its place as a leading center of civilization in the year 2046, newly renumbered Anno Aegypti 6046.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Tut Clone Contracts by Jan Issaye Berkhout is one marvelous journey. Jan Issaye Berkhout takes readers into an unforgettable adventure of a lifetime. Intrigue, action, travel. Egypt is a fascinating place where so much can happen. This story has everything readers could dream of plus, more. It’s fast-paced and thrilling. There’s robotics, slavery, dysfunctional state of Egypt and others. Wars, danger, political as well as economic conflicts are brought into the tale. Creating a rich fantasy filled with nothing but exploration as the plot unfolds. 

This novel, caught my interest from the title alone. Anything with Egypt catches my attention. In fiction, there was a ton of room to make a story. The writer, Jan Issaye Berkhout went beyond any writer. I was excited, caught in suspense, and loving every moment. Every page had visual and entertaining scenes. The characters were well developed. Some parts of the novel, were educational. I found myself completely engaged inside of The Tut Clone Contracts. Whether one is into technology, sci-fi, or adventure…this is the perfect read as it has it all. Overall, I recommend it the book to readers worldwide.

Review: Three Fat Singletons



Synopsis:

Dotty the virgin, Jesse the divorcee, and Mary the man-eater are best friends with four things in common: they are single, obese, pushing 40, and unsatisfied with life.

Together they explore the fat-underworld of London including blind dates, Internet dating, phone sex and the possibilities of lifetime celibacy.

When a week-long getaway to Greece turns into a whirlwind of romance, sex and horrific embarrassment, each one of them will have to decide what they really want in life.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Three Fat Singletons is a laugh-out-loud kind of read. Readers will find themselves relating to the realistic issues of the three women. Being fat is a major issue we see in our world, today. Here, are three friends who are struggling with being over weight. Their heavy weight is the center of their problems. Then, there’s their choices they make…that leads them further into a whole. I thought it was great to read about real women with real issues. Dotty, Jesse, and Mary are as real as characters can get in fiction. It was refreshing. Most books portray skinny or curvy women getting the hot sexy man and lucking out with everything. However, in the Three Fat Singletons, J.M Bartholomew captures reality with ease and flair. I enjoyed following the friends as they went opabout their situations from food to men. Their journeys are not pretty nor the best, but it was quite entertaining. Well-written, funny, and three dimensional characters…I would recommend this novel to readers everywhere. A great women’s fictional piece, as well as a comedy. 

Review: Something More Boxed Set by Danielle Pearl


Synopsis:

NORMAL (Book 1)

It’s the kind of situation most people would dread. Starting at a new high school, in the middle of my senior year, in a new town, in a new state. I know no one. No one knows me. That’s what I’m counting on. 
A year ago, Aurora “Rory” Pine was just a normal teenage girl – just as sweet and naive as the fairy tale princess she was named after. 
But this isn’t a year ago. 
Rory is broken, and suffering from a new debilitating anxiety disorder, wrought with precarious triggers, she moves across the country to escape the source of her troubles. Her plan is anonymity, but that’s easier said than achieved for the new girl having a panic episode outside of calculus. The worst part? There’s a witness – and a gorgeous one at that. 
Sam is a walking trigger for Rory. Incredibly handsome, built like the star athlete he obviously is, and undoubtedly popular, Sam outwardly represents everything Rory despises about high school. But as the fates keep throwing them together, a connection sparks that neither ever expected, and certainly can’t ignore. 
But Sam has issues too, and Rory’s past won’t just stay in the damned past. When friendship evolves into something deeper, can a girl utterly destroyed by the worst kind of betrayal and a boy battling demons of his own ever have a normal relationship? Is that even what they want? Find out in NORMAL, a gritty story of trust and abuse, heartbreak and salvation, and if they’re lucky – love. This is not a flowery romance – not for the faint of heart.

ReCAP (Book 1.5)

Rory and Sam fell in love in NORMAL, and we all fell in love right along with them. Now see it all unfold through Sam’s eyes, and learn just how the new girl with anxiety issues stole the heart of the gorgeous heartthrob, and turned his world upside down. 
You already heard the story. The one of how Rory and I fell in love, supposedly, even if she couldn’t handle it in the end. You know how it all went. 
Or you think you do. 
You only know her side. But I have my own point of view, and even Rory couldn’t know my thoughts in those few months it took for her to go from being a stranger to my whole entire world. 
Every moment is permanently ingrained in my memory. In my goddamned soul. From the moment I stumbled upon the girl panicking outside of calculus – the one with the tight little body, the angelic face, and the fierce attitude – to the night she abandoned me in Miami. It was the sum of those moments that changed me irrevocably. 
Our story isn’t over. I won’t let it be. But this, this is what happened so far, the way I saw it. 
I’m Cap. Or Sam, to Rory. And this is my story.
OKAY (Book 2)

After the horrors she’s survived over the past year, Rory never expected to find the one thing she certainly wasn’t looking for – love. But after the painful realization that her past has left her a dangerous liability to the person she cares for the most, she finally understands that for her and Sam, love means letting go. 
Can two people hopelessly in love ever revert back to just friends? Neither Rory nor Sam knows for sure. But the one thing they do know – it’s the only choice they have. 
As Rory recovers from a devastating assault, Sam will do anything to make sure it never happens again. But how far will he go to keep her safe? Their choices will change everything, and they will either bring them back together, or destroy them irrevocably…
Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Danielle Pearl is a talented writer. Her books lure readers into her plotlines. Like magic. The Something More Boxed Set has everything readers who enjoy romances will want. 

In Normal (book 1), we are introduced to the beginning of a realistic couple. Rory is a broken girl who falls in love with a guy she should despise…yet fate brings them together not once but many times. Maybe they’re meant for another. But then, there’s a catch. Sam’s life isn’t as perfect as Rory would assume. Relating to each of these main characters is easy. Both have heavy yet real life drama to deal with like the rest of us. This made me want to read more about Rory and Sam. 

Luckily for me, Danielle Pearl, had the second part of this couple’s story. Inside Recap (book 1.5), readers get the scoop of the same story but told in Sam’s point of view. This was brilliant on the writer to do so. Readers like myself love viewing a story from both main characters’ point of views. Because it gives the same story a deep and more emotional attachment if one point of view was left out of the book.

Last but not least, there is Okay (book 2). This novel is the epic turning point for both Rory and Sam. They both know what they should do but doing it is so much harder. This tale has a Romeo and Juliet feel to it. It’s safer if they stayed friends…but what the hearts wants can destroy them forever and is more powerful than what the brain tells them. 

Overall, I was hooked. Every page contained suspense and intrigue. I couldn’t stop reading this Boxed set. The characters pulled me inside their lives. I was trapped and excited. A thrilling sensation filled me as I followed both to the last page of Okay. The characters are complex. Their emotions was like one wild rollercoaster ride. I enjoyed every intense moment. Their relationship was a constant state of pull and push. Engaging, entertaining, and phenomenal. Danielle Pearl has clearly caught my attention with this boxed set. I highly recommend this contemporary romance set t readers everywhere. Each book, is definitely worth the time to read. Something More is exactly right. This set is something more…

Review: Pepper’s Ghost

Pepper's Ghost by [Auten, William]

 

Synopsis:

Charlotte Alexandra Long is determined to create her own life, but severe reverberations await her at the crossroads of each decision and always the possibility that the very thing she put in place on her own terms could be wiped away by an uncertain future. As Pepper’s Ghost weaves in and out of her experiences as a teen and young adult, and locations in the South and Midwest, Alex emerges from the remains of young Charlotte, but her evolving identity will never escape being an outsider in society’s eyes. After a series of ill-fitting jobs, Alex joins a traveling amusement company as a sideshow performer, where illusion and reality interplay through the metaphor of an old theater trick. She faces challenges from her troubled but devoted father, her self-absorbed mother, a spectrum of circus employees, and emotional ties to memories and places that give solace in times of ambiguity and loneliness.

Rating: 4 stars

Review:

Pepper’s Ghost by William Auten is a YA read that will lure readers into its depth. The young character, Charlotte Alexandra, aka Alex, is interesting. She is unlike most leading female characters. What she really is surprised me…her journey was one wild roller-coaster ride after another.  The dynamics of family life are played throughout this read. The parents make the life for Alex a bit more complex than should be. I liked how as a main character she was constantly challenged. Alex took on each challenge moving through life the best she could do. Sometimes things worked out and sometimes not. William Auten portrayed the realities of life along with fantasy in way the just made readers like myself more curious. Memories…and emotions were strong, it was easy to be swept up within them. Pepper’s Ghost is a coming of age tale that comes off as entertaining, mysterious, and deep. The plot was developed and the pace was steady. Overall, I recommend it to all.

Review: Supernova

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Synopsis:

C. A. Higgins’s acclaimed novel Lightless fused suspenseful storytelling, high-caliber scientific speculation, and richly developed characters into a stunning science fiction epic. Now the dazzling Supernova heightens the thrills and deepens the haunting exploration of technology and humanity—and the consequences that await when the two intersect.

Once Ananke was an experimental military spacecraft. But a rogue computer virus transformed it—her—into something much more: a fully sentient artificial intelligence, with all the power of a god—and all the unstable emotions of a teenager.

Althea, the ship’s engineer and the last living human aboard, nearly gave her life to save Ananke from dangerous saboteurs, forging a bond as powerful as that between mother and daughter. Now she devotes herself completely to Ananke’s care. But teaching a thinking, feeling machine—perhaps the most dangerous force in the galaxy—to be human proves a monumental challenge. When Ananke decides to seek out Matthew Gale, the terrorist she regards as her father, Althea learns that some bonds are stronger than mortal minds can understand—or control.

Drawn back toward Earth by the quest, Althea and Ananke will find themselves in the thick of a violent revolution led by Matthew’s sister, the charismatic leader Constance, who will stop at nothing to bring down a tyrannical surveillance state. As the currents of past decisions and present desires come into stark collision, a new and fiery future is about to be born.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Supernova by C. A. Higgins is the second adventure in this brilliant series. A sci-fi fantasy that brings women up to the forefront and puts them on an unthinkable journey. I found this novel, quite interesting. It had all the right elements of its genre and still swept me off my feet. I love the computer intelligence shown inside this tale. One that is almost human like. Frightening, intriguing, and highly entertaining. Supernova is about computer science, emotions, and choices. Choices that can have consequences…C. A. Higgins is a talented writer who words lured me deep into a fantasy that has it all. Fighting, action, and technology. The emotional journey was like that of a roller coaster ride. Very exciting. Overall, I recommend this tale to readers everywhere.

Review: To Love a Viscount

Regency Romance: To Love A Viscount (CLEAN Historical Romance) by [Bennett, Jessie]

 

Synopsis:

Her childhood friend is available, but a handsome stranger makes her doubt her choice.

One of the society’s most beautiful eligible women, Miss Emma Roberts knows that her father is dying and she must choose a husband. She has always known Viscount Francis Turner, and he seems the solid choice in her desperate situation. However, another opportunity has arisen. He may be the better choice for pretty Emma.

Handsome Viscount Francis Turner loves his childhood best friend, but he’s also in a desperate situation and must marry quickly in order to save his inheritance. Then the dashing Captain Jonathan Green captures her attention, and he doubts whether she is the right choice for him. He must make a choice to pursue her heart or watch her be claimed by another man, but he must also choose a bride for himself before time runs out.

Emma and Francis must find a balance between romance and friendship—and decide whether a solid friendship is a right foundation, for a lasting marriage. Theirs could be a marriage for love, but Emma must choose between security and the desire of her heart.

Can she overcome her reservations and discover which man is her true love?

Will Francis find a way to save his family home and win the heart of the woman he has loved since childhood?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

To Love a Viscount by Jessie Bennett is an enchanting historical read. This romance is clean. The soul and heart of this story will captivate readers everywhere. Two best friends find themselves in a desperate situation. One’s father is ill the other is getting weaker. One friend is penniless and the other needs a husband. When both friends meet, their attraction towards each other is visible. However, Francis has to work for his money now, sacrificing his own pride to save his and his father’s home. Emma needs to find a husband before her father dies. He seems to be getting worse each time…and he wants to see his girls married before his last breathe. Fate is funny sometimes. Francis soon becomes a hero in rescuing his best friend Emma for a bad suitor and her father from an evil relative. Francis can’t ignore his blossoming love for Emma; however, he feels unworthy of her love. Emma has feelings for her best friend Francis but then there’s a new man trying for her undivided attention. Who she chooses will affect the rest of her life in many ways.  Jessie Bennett is a talented writer. Her work never ceases to amaze me. I love the charming yet realistic characters. Their drama and troubles make for an interesting read. I enjoyed following both Francis and Emma as their lives changed them and led them into new beginnings. To Love a Viscount is definitely a must read for all. I highly recommend Jessie Bennett’s novel.

 

Review: The Striver’s Row Spy

 

Synopsis: 

Stunning, suspenseful, and unforgettably evocative, Jason Overstreet’s debut novel glitters with the vibrant dreams and a dangerous promise of the 1920s Harlem Renaissance, as one man crosses the perilous lines between the law, loyalty, and deadly lies…

For college graduate Sidney Temple, the Roaring Twenties bring opportunities even members of his accomplished black bourgeois family couldn’t have imagined. His impulsive marriage to independent artist Loretta is a happiness he never thought he’d find. And when he’s tapped by J. Edgar Hoover to be the FBI’s first African-American agent, he sees a once-in-a-lifetime chance to secure real justice.

Instead of providing evidence against Marcus Garvey, prominent head of the “dangerously radical” back-to-Africa movement, Sidney uses his unexpected knack for deception and undercover work to thwart the Bureau’s biased investigation. And by giving renowned leader W. E. B. Du Bois insider information, Sidney gambles on change, that could mean a fair destiny for all Americans…

But the higher Sidney and Loretta climb in Harlem’s most influential and glamorous circles, the more dangerous the stakes. An unexpected friendship and a wrenching personal tragedy threaten to shatter Loretta’s innocent trust in her husband—and turn his double life into a fast-closing trap. For Sidney, ultimately squeezed between the Bureau and one too many ruthless factions, the price of escape could be heartbreak and betrayal no amount of skill can help him survive.

Rating: 4 stars

Review:

The Striver’s  Row Spy by Jason Overstreet is a great read for all. It combines a lot of elements and sets off an intriguing tale. The story takes readers back to the historical time period of the 1920’s. A lot goes on during that time. It offers a new opportunity to the main character that seems highly unusual yet it happens. The suspense, danger, and mystery, sets readers guessing. My mind was spinning with what ifs. An African American man being offered a high yet dangerous job hooked me. The story lured me in deep. A job that proves more, risky than originally planned…leaves Sidney stuck in one crisis after crisis. Circles of going, undercover, has ways of biting one back…Harlem and the aristocratic lifestyle is an interesting read. I loved how it came to life inside this novel. Jason Overstreet brings the impossible things into a highly entertaining piece of fiction. However, I can’t picture one man turning over another of his own kind no matter what the pay or job offer is. Other than that the story was interesting. I recommend it to all who love the civil rights movement and a good mystery.

 

 

Review: Pigeon-Blood Red

 

Synopsis:

For underworld enforcer Richard “Rico” Sanders, it seemed like an ordinary job. Retrieve his gangster boss’s priceless pigeon-blood red ruby necklace and teach the double-dealing cheat who stole it a lesson. A job like a hundred before it. But the chase quickly goes sideways and takes Rico from the mean streets of Chicago to sunny Honolulu, where the hardened hit man finds himself in uncharted territory when a couple of innocent bystanders are accidentally embroiled in the crime. As Rico pursues his new targets, the hunter and his prey develop an unlikely respect for one another and Rico is faced with a momentous decision: follow his orders to kill the couple whose courage and character have won his admiration, or refuse and endanger the life of the woman he loves?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Pigeon-Blood Red by Ed. E. Duncan is definitely for fans of The Bourne Series. The tale includes action, danger, and suspense. The intrigue of what will play out entices readers to dig further. Before I know it, the book will have come to an end. Engaging read with choices to make. The characters are well-developed. Their actions are what got them into their present situation. But the hired killer is stuck in a far more pressing matter…kill the couple or to have someone he truly loves killed.The unknown of future events and how the tale will end moves readers into a frenzy to read. I am excited that this is the first of a new trilogy by this talented writer. I can’t wait to read the next adventure. Overall, I highly recommend this read to everyone.

 

Review: Remembering Everly

Remembering Everly (Lost & Found Book 2) by [Berg, J.L.]

 

Synopsis:

After two years in a coma, August Kinkaid has forgotten the darkness in his past. But his past hasn’t forgotten him. His beautiful former fiancée, Everly, remembers every tumultuous moment of their stormy relationship. The sizzling passion. The web of lies. And the terrible secret Everly’s been hiding since her last fateful night with August.

Now, the truth is out and August remembers everything. As his long-buried memories come flooding back, he begins to understand why Everly would want to move on with her life. Why she would give her heart to another man. And why August should try to forget her once and for all.

But he can’t give up on the only woman he’s ever loved. Even if he has to reopen old wounds–and face the darkest demons of his past–August will do whatever it takes for a second chance with Everly. He let her slip away once. He’s not about to spend the rest of his life remembering Everly when he could be holding her in his arms forever . . .

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Remembering Everly by J.L. Berg is indeed a fascinating novel. Here, readers are brought into a tale woven with regret, pain, and a hope for second chances. Plus, a love between two characters that has not yet faded. There might just be hope for a man who’s jaded and a woman intended on moving forward despite everything…

J.L. Berg’s writing swallowed me up…the more a man’s memory came to him, the worst the separation from his only love felt. Themes like betrayal, love, fate and hope lie deep within this novel. Remembering Everly is more than just a contemporary romance read. An emotional journey that dragged me into the feeling of loss, despair, anger, and happiness. Wounds take time, to heal. With every step of the way…we must calculate our every move. None of us know when or what will happen next. August Kinkaid is a man to analyze and to cheer for…his movements were rocky at best in the past…and now, with a second chance at life, he’s going to have to fight for a clean record. Happiness doesn’t come easily and that’s portrayed realistically inside this title. I was amazed at how easily it was to connect with the characters. Their struggles, thoughts, and emotions became mine. After having read this novel, I can clearly say that relationships are a battle to be fought and reckoned with…overall, I highly recommend this beautifully written tale to all.

 

Review: Ana’s Magic

Ana's Magic by [Kamaria, Adia]

 

Synopsis:

How far are you willing to go to make your dream a reality? For Ana Wright, the answer to this question is, all the way!

“Ana’s Magic” is a page-turner that tells the story of Ana Wright. A young girl who loses everything, including her close bond with her family due to unfortunate circumstances and a little stubbornness of her own. She is forced to make the intense transition from girl to woman in what seems like the blink of an eye. She finds herself alone, deprived and disheartened with her long anticipated childhood dream seeming far out of reach.

Suddenly, Ana’s life takes an unexpected turn and she finds herself living a lifestyle filled with glitz, glamor and everything in between. Lost in the allure of the high life, “Miami Beach style”, she quickly learns that everything that glitters isn’t gold. Still, she is determined to make her dream a reality, even if it kills her.

Follow Ana on a journey to where glamor meets the streets, love turns bitter and dreams come true.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Ana’s Magic by Adia Kamaria is an intriguing read. Where those with dreams and ambition work hard to make it all come true. But soon things go down south. Family life isn’t what is was. A father who became a drug dealer to give his family especially his little girl everything they wanted. But as with all bad jobs…the high life lasts only so long until it’s destroyed. Ana’s father and another man are soon sentenced to prison for a long time. Her mother is wanting to move back to Jamacia with her kids. The two sons are going with their mother but Ana doesn’t want to go. Her mother is asking her to give up her dreams to go back to the place they came away from…to open up a grocery store. No way! Anger, confusion, and worry creep up within this read. A family who went through tough times are now, facing them again. Finding a school to finish her fashion studies and a place to live are seeming like an impossible reality…but Ana is determined to try. But will she end up failing or making it to the top?

Ana’s Magic is full of drama, crime, and heat. The fashion world is a lot harder than readers think. Working one’s way up costs money and money is the one thing that the main character was running out of…this seemed to cause her to get involved with people who were in bad businesses like her father and uncle were. There’s plenty of adult content with this exciting read. Readers can easily connect with Ana. A character who held bigs dreams and kept on chasing them even when things got tough. Adia Kamaria writes well. There’s never a boring moment. Her characters pop off the pages and entice readers. The big question in this novel is how far is one willing to go for their dreams. Overall, I enjoyed this urban street read and recommend it to all.

Review: Rise of the Chosen

 

Synopsis:

In Sam’s world, there are two rules. Rule #1: Nobody dies. Protect the living at all costs. Rule #2: Everybody dies. At least once.

The Waking was a global event in which a force called the Lifeblood invaded all humans who died. The few strong enough to control it came back as powerful immortals. The rest let the bloodlust take over and awoke with one goal – to kill.

Newly appointed Watch Guard Samantha Shields has a legacy to uphold. Her father died a hero defending their city and now she wants to follow in his footsteps. Except for the dying part, of course. Unfortunately, fate has other plans as she discovers deep dark secrets that make her choose between her loyalties and the lives of everyone in her city. Both rules are in play as Sam is forced to make hard decisions that could cost her everything – including the person she cares about most.

Rating: 4 stars

Review:

Rise of the Chosen by Anna Kopp is intense. There are the dead,  and the dead who walk. Then, there’s an army of individuals set on protecting the innocent. One young woman lost her dad and then her mother. After the loss of her mother, Sam was promoted to the highest level of fighting. Her boyfriend ends up being killed but issues out a warning to her. Then, she and her new teammates are preparing to fight a battle. One that is about to break out and only time will tell what happens next.

Rise of The Chosen was well-written. The main character, Sam, is a lesbian. So there’s plenty of F/F action happening. The tale is fast-paced. Packed with tons of action, tough choices, and fighting. Death is everywhere inside this novel. Losing the only family Sam had is a tough emotional journey. Then she also loses a past boyfriend that she cared about like a friend. Work is tough especially when the leading female didn’t have time to prepare or work her way up to the highest level. Lots of science fiction fantasy themes can be found in this exciting read. Anna Kopp is a talented writer. I was fascinated by her book about the dead and the war at hand.

 

Review: Duke of Golden Shire (King of Hearts)

 

Synopsis:

Nicholas Knight rises to Dukedom after his father’s recent murder. His rank leads him to meet two women. Angelina Leblanc, a mysterious courtesan from the British Isles, with hidden motives and a destructive secret. Then Genevieve Bissonette, a young debutante just presented at court with a nose for trouble. She often takes the duke with her on her reputation endangering escapades. One lands them down an irreversible path. Meanwhile, Nicholas has a friend with a nasty grudge spawning his hate in a festering wound of prior rejection. The man’s eerie obsession with his sister has come full circle since he’s now plotting against him one loved one at a time. Can Nicholas keep the women in his life safe? Will he discover who his enemies are as they continue to multiply? Who can he trust when even his friends are foes? Both women want and expect completely different things from him. One’s his fitted match; his undeniable equal and the other his perfect opposite. Loving two people is possible but is it obtainable? This is the world, where holding someone’s hand alone can break the delicate fibers of your reputation and reputation isn’t just image, it’s power.

Rating:  5 stars

Review:

The Duke of Golden of Golden Shire by Nicole Strycharz is one phenomenal read. Talk about wow…Instantly, readers are plunged deep into the plot…and straight into the characters shoes. I cried, laughed, blushed and felt frustrated in more ways than one. Readers will need a tissue box for this remarkable story. I couldn’t stop reading once I opened up the book. The heat, hot sex, and emotional journey, was a million times that of any other novel I have ever read.  Those most talked about movies that move the audience in ways that you can’t stop thinking about them…well, The Duke of Golden Shire is exactly that. I finished it in one night and haven’t stopped thinking about it since then…Nicole Strycharz is beyond talented. Her words pull readers in and then wrap a tight vine around them and keep them prisoner until the ending. OMG! The ending…I can’t say too much without spoiling it…but readers will be on hands and knees beginning for the next brilliant adventure. This was masterfully woven for all readers’ entertainment and I highly recommend it to readers worldwide.  I know for a fact that I simply can’t get enough of Nicole Strycharz’s writing…her characters will blow readers away.

 

Review: All Summer Long

 

Synopsis:

All Summer Long follows one charming New York couple – prominent interior designer Olivia Ritchie and her husband Nicholas Seymour, an English professor and true southern gentleman.  They are seemingly polar opposites, yet magnetically drawn together and in love for more than fourteen years.

As they prepare to relocate to Charleston, S.C., Olivia, the ultimate New Yorker, has reservations about the promise she made to retire in the Lowcountry, where Nick wants to return home and lead a more peaceful life.  They are moving north to south, fast pace versus slow pace and downsizing.  Nick is ecstatic.  Olivia is not.   She can’t let Nick know that their finances are not what he thought.   Her client list is evaporating, their monetary reserves are dwindling and maybe that house she picked out on Sullivans Island needs too much work.  Thank God, for her assistant, Roni Larini, her right (and sometimes left) hand.

As they find themselves pondering the next step of their lives, Olivia and Nick travel with her billionaire clients and their friends and are swept up into the world of the ultra-rich and explore the globe with a cast of zany eccentrics over one tumultuous, hot summer. All as Olivia grapples with what lies ahead for her and Nick.

This is a story of how plans evolve and lives change in unexpected ways, how even those who have everything are still looking for something more.  Even the most successful people can often struggle to keep things together.  All Summer Long asks the ultimate question: can money buy happiness?  From Sullivans Island to Necker Island to Nantucket to the beaches of Southern Spain, we’ll come to recognize the many faces of true love, love that deepens and endures but only because one woman makes a tremendous leap of faith. And that leap changes everything.

Rating: 4 stars

Review:

All Summer Long by Dorothea Benton Frank is a truly a thoughtful novel. One that takes readers on a journey of finding what they really want and need in life. Marriage is not easy but it takes courage, sacrifices, and love. A woman and her husband get to take a vacation and it’s on this vacation she gets to think about everything. Maybe her marriage is okay and will survive no matter what is happening with her work and career. Marriage, after all, is for better or worse, rich or poor. All Summer Long is an exploration and deep thinking that leaves readers wondering what will happen next. Dorothea Benton Frank portrays the life of a wife and husband beautifully in this tale. I found the beginning a bit slow for my taste but once I moved past that…the plot was steady. Overall, I enjoyed the sneak peek into these characters lives and recommend it to all.

 

Review: Making It in India

 

Synopsis:

When Sanjay is forced to pursue engineering, he feels like a fish out of the water. With his future already determined by his parents, he feels trapped with nowhere to turn. Despite having no passion, to pursue engineering, he ends up in the cut-throat world of the IT industry in India. Then enters Tara, the girl who makes Sanjay chase his dreams and make him realize that life is more than one paycheck and a job you truly detest!

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Making It in India by J.K. Vahn is an interesting tale told from a male Indian man who from birth had his fate sealed for him by his parents. The story took me on a journey of Sanjay going thru his predestined journey in life and wanting to do what makes him passionate. Writing. Sanjay loves to write. His poetry is beautiful enough to make one special woman like Tara feel emotional. She loves reading what he has to write. In a way, she is his muse. The one who inspires him and tells him not to give up on his writing. Whereas his parents were strong in pushing their only son to an engineering school. Sanjay’s father was an engineer and so that’s what his parents pushed him to be. Somehow, Sanjay ends up doing well on his exam and getting a job at one of the best IT companies. He hates it. Not that he can’t do the work but it’s not something that stirs up a desire to do it. As he works as an engineer he learns how to deal with his work, life, and friends. Soon he gets promoted and that’s about when he finally takes a risk in turning his life around to his desire. It also helps that he has Tara supporting him all the way. Maybe his parents will support him as well…

Making It in India shows readers how hard life can be. Things we want may not happen when we want them too. However, we can turn our lives around if we really want to change directions. I loved how J.K. Vahn portrayed the ways, lifestyles, and thinking of the people from India. A realistic output on life, family, and most of all dreams. This tale was well-written. The story was told from the point of view of the main character, Sanjay. I loved following Sanjay as he obeyed his parents, did what was expected of him and went out to do what he’s passionate about as well. Challenges, love, and growing up…are main themes of this inspirational novel. Overall, I highly recommend it to readers everywhere.

Amazon Link: Making It in India 

Review: Hauling Through

 

Synopsis:

The small community of Kestrel Cove is pretty much the same as any other fishing town on the Maine coast – a tight-knit group of hardworking and hardheaded characters living within the ebbs and flows of a life dedicated to catching lobsters. But there is one thing that is unique: The residents of Kestrel Cove believe that a Russian spy satellite cruises overhead every night at 8 pm. And even though they know that they should behave while they’re being watched, they’re unable to stop themselves from being who they really are.
Enter Jamie Kurtz, an underachieving graduate from a nearby private college. After disappointing his father and getting cut off from any financial support, he is forced to get a summer job with a recently injured lobsterman in Kestrel Cove. And while Jamie is able to handle the physically demanding work of lobstering, he struggles to find his niche in the social fabric of the community. No matter how hard he tries, he remains an outsider who is closely watched and talked about, but not entirely included.

Eventually, after sharing moments of happiness and sadness with them, he’s accepted as one of their own. In the process, he not only finds true love but feels the warmth that comes from belonging to something bigger than himself. When his former college professor comes to him with an offer that’s too good to pass up, he’s faced with a difficult choice. A decision of this magnitude might be out of his control – perhaps the satellite should just decide what is best!

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Hauling Through by Peter Bridgford is an exciting novel with a lot of adventure, suspense, and intrigue. Readers will be lured deeply into this brilliantly well-written piece. Peter Bridgford’s talent shines through on every page. Hauling Through offers readers a mixture of what the life of fishermen in Maine is like and how the small-town life can be difficult. Living in my own small town, where people either make it or break it the acceptance levels is not easy at all. The variety of characters inside this quirky read will keep readers turning the pages. There are a lot of laugh-out-loud moments. Peter Bridgford has captured the reality of life into his amazing world of fiction. Once readers get past the introductions and know what’s going on, the plot speeds up from there.

Inside Hauling Through by Peter Bridgford, readers are introduced to the small-town way of life. If readers knew what lobster work was like for those living in Maine within this novel, readers would appreciate their lobsters a bit more. Life, of lobster catching and crazy town folk, is everything you would expect in Kestrel Cove. It is here that we meet the main character, Jamie Kurtz. He isn’t an insider of this community until close to the ending. His journey of the ups and downs that he has experienced in this fictional town is a lot for one man, a man who felt closer to a town than his own family. But what really will entice readers is the offer that Jamie receives and what happens from there. Spies, romance, and trouble lurk ahead waiting at every readers’ fingertips. I enjoyed reading this tale and following Jamie as his journey builds up and comes to a close. Peter Bridgford’s novel has what every reader wants in a novel, with realistic characters that readers won’t forget. Overall, I highly recommend this title to readers everywhere.

Review: My Rider

 

Synopsis:

Things aren’t always what they seem. Sometimes our Knight in Shining Armor is just a
figment of our imagination.

Season I

Sunny Long was excited when she thought she had found the perfect man in Stanley.
When they met, he did and said all the right things. But that all came to a screeching halt
once he’d gotten his hooks into her. Sunny soon found out that her Knight was nothing
more than a crazy controlling abusive beast. Because of the physical abuse, Sunny must go
into hiding.

Rider Hills can’t believe it when he sees the beautiful Sunny with black eyes and a battered
body. He is more than happy to take her in and show her how to defend herself. In the midst of protecting her, love and respect blossoms. As their passion grows can Rider keep Sunny safe or will Stanley succeed in killing them both?

Season II

Ford Hills has been shot and left for dead. No one knows who would want the nicest of guys killed. Heading home from work Latoya finds Ford on the side of the road. She springs into action determined to nurse him back to health. Will her kindness and compassion lead to her putting herself in harms’ way to rescue him from the unknown?

Season III

Passion Sims has it all. She is CEO of a great company. She has beauty, money, and tons of
lovers that she easily controls. Love has never been in the equation; until she meets Chance Tate. Chance remembers letting the chocolate beauty get away at a party. A decision that he regrets daily. A surprise meeting brings the two face to face once again. Will she allow love into her heart? Or will she lose the man that loves her more than life itself because of her selfish attitude?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

My Rider by Rachal Perez is brilliantly well-written. Inside, readers will find three well-developed stories that instantly pull them in deep. I absolutely love romance novels especially when the writers combine more than one amazing story into a book. This was by the greatest book from Blazing Pages Publications. Here, I had a taste of three different scenarios that had me hanging in suspense from beginning to end. Each story contained real life characters with believable destinies and a predicament for trouble. I also enjoyed the variety. Women are left running away from trouble or women finding injured men that bring trouble to their lives. Either way, each story caught and captured my divine attention and dragged me into each character’s shoes. Absolutely loved the style of writing that held the perfect amount of intrigue, romance, and danger. Readers will find themselves lost in the exciting plots that await for their eyes. Overall, I would highly recommend My Rider by Rachal Perez to readers everywhere.

Review: The Life She Wants

 

Synopsis:

In the aftermath of her financier husband’s suicide, Emma Shay Compton’s dream life is shattered. Richard Compton stole his clients’ life savings to fund a lavish life in New York City and, although she was never involved in the business, Emma bears the burden of her husband’s crimes. She is left with nothing.

Only one friend stands by her, a friend she’s known since high school, who encourages her to come home to Sonoma County. But starting over isn’t easy, and Sonoma is full of unhappy memories, too. And people she’d rather not face, especially Riley Kerrigan.

Riley and Emma were like sisters—until Riley betrayed Emma, ending their friendship. Emma left town, planning to never look back. Now, trying to stand on her own two feet, Emma can’t escape her husband’s reputation and is forced to turn to the last person she thought she’d ever ask for help—her former best friend. It’s an uneasy reunion as both women face the mistakes they’ve made over the years. Only if they find a way to forgive each other—and themselves—can each of them find the life she wants.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Life She Wants by Robyn Carr is another amazing read by this talented writer. A novel that shows how one’s easy life can easily be taken from them. One can work hard and be decent and still have trouble…like Emma Shay Compton. Marriage and her lifestyle were  taken away in one great swoop. Fate lands her back home. A place with bad memories. But looking at her options she has nowhere else to go. Maybe she can start new and gain her life back. Easier said than done. Robyn Carr brilliantly creates novels that hook and captivate readers from the beginning to end. Her words are inspiring and heartwarming. Friendship, as well as new relationships, are great themes within this riveting new title. Back home Emma will have to be patient in getting the life she wants.

The Life She Wants is packed with emotions and a raw intensity that pulls me in deeply. I love Robyn Carr’s writing. She never disappoints. The rollercoaster ride that readers will be going on within this new tale is one that shows us no matter what life brings we can overcome anything. Friends with a falling out so long ago are now brought back into each other’s lives. Only time will tell if they can repair their friendship and make it solid once again. The drama of Emma’s husband’s investigation still comes chasing after her…making her life miserable. She can’t wait until it’s over if it ever ends. The police have been tapping into her phone and still bother her with endless questions. Her frustration and despair felt so real. I felt like I was inside Emma’s shoes rather than sitting in a chair reading about what she felt. Not only does Emma have nothing, battling an ongoing investigation due to her dead husband but also has feelings for a man that she tries not to get to attached to...The Life She Wants has everything plus more then what every reader wants or expected to find. I loved following the characters especially Riley and Emma. Their friendship tugged at my heart. Overall, I highly recommend this story to readers everywhere.

 

Review: Charmed by the Best

 

Synopsis:

Is it possible to love two men simultaneously?

This is the foremost question on Chayne’s mind as she is forced to confront the drama associated with being entangled in the ultimate love triangle.

Chayne is gorgeous, intelligent, classy yet sassy and is admired by many. Nevertheless, she remains closed to the possibility of new love because her heart still beats for her high school sweetheart Devon. Devon is everything Chayne loves charming, tall, handsome, and a star basketball player to boot. However, the two were forced apart by distance as they embarked on two different collegiate paths.

Despite distance and time Chayne and Devon, both remain unwilling to completely move on. That is until Chayne, meets Sterling, a handsome, articulate, college athlete, who comes from a wealthy family. Enamored by her charm and beauty Sterling sweeps Chayne off of her feet, or so he thinks.
Now Chayne’s path has led her down twist and turns and ultimately to a fork in the road, Devon or Sterling? While attempting to embrace love she is faced with the consequences of opening her heart to two different men. Chayne’s world is consumed with love, lies, and loss as she attempts to answer the question, how do you follow your heart when it is split between two loves?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Charmed by the Best by J. Shanay is stunning. This urban drama fiction is packed with everything readers want. Action, suspense, and heat. J. Shanay introduces two characters that are so realistic that it’s amazing this novel is just a piece of fiction. There is Chayne. A smart, sassy, and beautiful African American woman who grows up loving a boy. The boy who stole her first kiss and her heart. Devon is the good looking sports guy that grows up near Chayne. They both go through similar family issues and are deeply in love with one another. However, time takes them away from one another time and time again. Every time they meet they feel the pull on their hearts. Tragedy soon strikes and leaves them separated once again…as life goes by Chayne and Devon go their own ways. That’s when a new player comes in…Sterling.  Sterling is a hot and wealthy sports guy who has fallen for Chayne. Charmed by the Best is an urban romance about one woman whose heart has to decide which man she loves. J. Shanay’s writing kept me lured and sucked in from page one. Her characters and their emotional journeys are enticing. They are easy to connect to on every level. This urban fiction is definitely three dimensional, and I highly recommend it to others.

Review: To Swallow the Earth

 

Synopsis:

(Suspense, western, short novel) 108 years in the making! What if you came home after a journey and your family was no longer there? What if someone else was living in your house, running what you used to manage—and trying to kill you? Could a beautiful woman be behind it? Wade Forester must stay in the shadows because it seems, everyone has reason to shoot him. His father has disappeared, and his sister won’t speak a word to anyone. Patricia Laughlin is searching for her family as well. Few people gain her trust or approval, though powerful landowner Bridger Calhoun just might be the man to do it. After a clash throws them to opposite sides, Wade must decide if risking his life helping Patricia is worth the trouble. Bridger must win Patricia’s heart, and Patricia must learn which killer to trust with her life. Set in the historic Nevada silver rush, and reminiscent of Grey, L’Amour, and Twain, the writing comes from intimate knowledge of the era and area. Having lived off the land, Wilcox depended on his wit, grit, and strength—and that of his animals—for survival, just as these characters do. Wilcox and Beckstrand weave authentic detail and care for the terrain and its creatures into an adventure that will make your heart pound and fill your lungs with the “rarefied air” of the old Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

To Swallow the Earth by Karl Beckstrand and Ransom Wilcox is indeed a fascinating tale that readers won’t want to miss. There’s adventure, intrigue, and danger ahead for readers everywhere. The characters are realistic and their actions are believable. The scenes pop, to life, with such vivid descriptions. I could feel the intensity as the story built up with every flick of the pages. Someone was going to die…

Inside To Swallow the Earth, both Karl Beckstrand and Ransom Wilcox, introduce to readers a young woman who lost her father. A father who got tangled up with a dangerous man and now, that same man is trying his way through to get to the daughter. His plans are to marry her…to take what he wanted from her father. But there’s another man who she meets that also catches her attention first. He is the man that she likes. But with the evil man’s easy smiles and charm he causes her to believe the other man is evil…

Who is indeed to be trusted and who will win her heart is something that I highly recommend to readers to read. The journey will be one that stays with readers forever. It’s easy to get lost, into the land and animals, and something else that stirs up the course of two individuals…love comes hard and fast but recognizing it is harder than we can imagine…Overall, I loved reading To Swallow the Earth. Karl Beckstrand and Ransom Wilcox are talented writers whose stories will never be forgotten.

 

 

Review: Never Again

 

Synopsis:

Struck by lightning on her annual birthday hike to a favorite mountain meadow in Colorado, 80-year-old Clara Norwood closes her eyes, expecting to die. Instead, she wakes up on an Elirian spaceship. When she is returned to Earth, however, Clara realizes that the Elirians did more than simply heal her injuries. They also reversed all the ravages of aging, and she is once again a beautiful young woman.

At first, Clara rejoices in her newfound strength and energy, but before long her 80-year-old spirit begins to feel at odds with her youthful body. She is uncomfortable with the all the electronic gadgets of the 21st century and dreads the prospect of outliving her friends and family. She is also mystified by the unexpected attention she receives from men who are younger than her own adult children — and completely unprepared for the new realities of modern dating and romance.

Faced with the prospect of living her life all over again in another era, Clara wonders if the Elirians, would be able to return her to her old body — and what her choice would be if they could…

Rating: 5 stars

Review: 

Never Again by Heather Starsong brings readers a highly unique novel. A novel that portrays an older woman who is dying only to be saved. However, not only is she saved but she stays young forever and watches those around her die…then there’s the struggle with handling all of the latest technologies that are developed over the years that are beyond her understanding. I loved how Heather Starsong has brilliantly intertwined science fiction fantasy and technology with a story about old age. We all wish we could stay young forever but is it really worth it in the end? Here, readers are not only highly entertained but get to explore that what if side and get to see for themselves that being young forever doesn’t hold as much promise as we originally have thought it would. The characters are interesting and the scenes are vivid with action and depth. Overall, I enjoyed reading this novel by Heather Starsong and look forward to reading more of her work. I highly recommend this read to readers everywhere. One unpredictable event that could change your future forever is an irresistible must read for all.

Review: Turka Bella

 

Synopsis:

Compelling Military Love Story

A week after watching the events of September 11, 2001 claim thousands of innocent lives, Jonathan Feldman, a 23-year-old Jewish-American from Chicago’s affluent Gold Coast neighborhood, decides to join the U.S. Army.

With no prior interest in the military, but feeling lost a year out of college, Jonathan feels compelled to be a part of something bigger than himself. Like many young soldiers at the time, he enlists with ambitions of saving the world from Muslim extremism and visions of hunting down the evil perpetrators of 9/11.

Those dreams are shattered when he is transferred to a remote base in Germany that is soon to be closing down and left forgotten by the American government. But what happens when Jonathan’s brother and friends visit for Oktoberfest that changes his one-dimensional existence forever.

It is at that time, when Jonathan is perfectly unprepared, destiny brings Ela, a beautiful Turkish Muslim businesswoman from Istanbul into his life.

Love blossoms…

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Turka Bella by Jonathan Feldman is a stunning memoir that will automatically grab readers and take them deep within its pages. The people and scenes come, to life, on every page. Everything and everyone felt so real. Readers are taken back to the before and the aftermath of one of the most horrific events in the history of the U.S. The terrorist attacks of September 11th will forever haunt the American people especially that of one in particular. He can’t shake the terror he saw happening in his own country. I enjoyed following the character’s journey and his family heritage. A Jewish culture and language…along with the character’s sense of American duty that leads him on his new path in life. A path of love and destiny. Jonathan Feldman’s memoir is brilliantly well-written and will captivate audiences from all over the world for ages to come. Love, hope, and fate…are all a part of this fast-paced memoir. A memoir that has a little of everything and will never be forgotten by its readers. I enjoyed reading Turka Bella, and I look forward to reading more future works by this talented writer. I highly recommend this powerful yet beautifully told memoir to readers worldwide.

Review: Remember the Ladies

 

 

Synopsis:

Growing up in an orphanage prepared Amelia Cooke for the high-stakes role of a female lobbyist surrounded by the egos of the 1887 Congress, a time before women had the right to vote. Her success in the isolating male arena comes from using the tactics she’s learned from those who oppressed her. So when she’s hired by the National Women’s Suffrage Association to help pass a proposed constitutional amendment granting women’s voting rights, Amelia feels empowered to at last win a place for herself and give all women a voice in the world. What she doesn’t foresee is the charismatic and calculating Senator Edward Stillman who threatens to ruin her hard-earned reputation and end her career.

Edward Stillman is desperate for status and power among Washington’s Old Guard. To gain control of the most dominant committee in the Senate, Stillman must crush the women’s amendment and anyone else in his way, including Amelia. He’s driven, clever, and willing to exploit any advantage. But in a political game where bribery, threats, extortion, and seduction prevail, each player must decide just how low they are willing to let the fight go. Who will win? And at what cost?

Set in the extravagant Gilded Age, Remember the Ladies explores the conflict between the sexes with delightful writing and elegant descriptions, which brings the reader back to a time when the struggle for women’s equality had just begun.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Remember the Ladies by Gina L. Mulligan is a remembrance of the women’s suffrage movement. Gina L. Mulligan brilliantly recaptures the moment in time when women didn’t have the same rights as men. Those who took on jobs or tried to follow in some men’s footsteps were deemed crazy by both men and women alike. Going against a society’s norm wasn’t looked upon. Yet many women were daring enough to dare and to risk it all. Men took advantage of women’s looks and tried to blame women for enticing them on…when it was indeed them who cannot control themselves.

Inside the delightful novel, Remember the Ladies, women everywhere will relive the important steps for a woman to gain entry into the working field. That moment to be held with honor and respect, when most deem it impossible or ludicrous is thrilling. Readers will meet a young girl who loses both her parents in one fatal night. From there, she is in a school where women are not deemed fit to continue their studies like men are.  But that doesn’t stop the main characer, Amelia, from achieving her dreams of working. She has much to learn and to accept before she can find the strength to handle herself, in her new found work. Meeting a man who happens to be a senator does her favor in working her way up in the society, in becoming a working woman among men. I enjoyed this realistic yet highly fictional piece by Gina L. Mulligan. Her novel will forever be one remembered by the ladies.

 

Review: A Valentine for August

 

Synopsis:

Abigail Everett and August Black have been sweethearts for years but when her politically ambitious, cruel father separates them their love takes the ultimate test…time. After nine years of being apart, Abigail finds herself back in her hometown Maybrook to work as a governess, where people, places and things have changed. Especially her August, who is now an important part of the community. His new found success is due to more than just hard work however, it’s also due to the many sacrifices he’s made; including his own desires. Abigail finds he has come a long way from the boy she loved but the flame is not yet out. Will August be able to remember his love for Abigail and the man he was, before he is forced to be the man everyone now expects him to be? Valentine’s Day was once August and Abigail’s most meaningful day and now it’s coming back around; but will they still be one another’s Valentine?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

OMG! I don’t know where or how to begin telling you all just how AMAZING this historical novel by Nicole Strycharz is. First, readers are dragged into the world where women had little or no choice in matters…just like Abby inside of this story. Her father was a harsh, cold-hearted, and a very cruel man. He didn’t care if she died like her poor Mamma did. Her mother didn’t come from wealth or high standing so her father didn’t care about his dying wife nor their daughter. He thinks of them as extra weight keeping him from reaching his power position. Readers will immediately feel a sense of love and sympathy for Abby has her father punishes her simply because she wouldn’t lie to secure his position and because she fell in love with a stable boy, August. A Valentine for August is indeed a must read for all.

Second, readers will see how strong Abby holds herself up despite all of her father’s evil doing to tear hear and August away…Abby is heroine characters will fall in love with and would love to have as a friend. Third, readers will be surprised at the turn of events that involve Abby’s father, her future, and her man of dreams- August. A Valentine for August is truly heart-melting, suspenseful, and an adventure of a lifetime. I could not stop reading this beautifully told romance by Nicole Strycharz. Her talent shines with every novel she has every written. I highly recommend A Valentine for August to readers worldwide. You will be submerged deep into a historical past that has twists and turns everywhere. An exciting heart-throbbing heated novel that readers simply cannot miss! Best of all, you can read all of her novels in any order and still follow each character’s story. Nicole Strycharz is a new writer to watch out for…

Review: Desert Dark

 

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Nadia Riley is delighted to earn a spot at an elite, government-funded boarding school. Nothing sounds better than leaving behind her fraught relationship with her ex-boyfriend and moving to faraway Arizona for a spot at Desert Mountain Academy.  But the Academy is more than Nadia bargained for: it’s a covert CIA program training high-achieving students for the Black-Ops. Nadia struggles to keep up in her new classes while gaining the trust of her assigned teammates. Things get worse when news leaks that there is a double agent on campus, and someone is framing Nadia.  Nadia discovers dark secrets about her fellow teammates and learns one of them is the deserter.  With a setting that is Hogwarts meets The Bourne Identity, this debut YA thriller will make readers mad with suspense.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Desert Dark by Sonja Stone is brilliantly stunning. Her novel is set for YA; however, adults like myself will lose themselves inside this incredible read. I found it enticing, suspenseful and packed with action. There’s also, a mystery surrounding the events that keep readers intrigued from the beginning and until the ending. This new title in YA is exciting, hot, and carries a lot of themes such as family, loyalty, and friendships. I absolutely loved reading this new novel by a very talented writer. Desert Dark is the first novel I have read by this writer and I am now looking forward to book two. Hopefully, there is one. These characters are funny, unpredictable, and sweet. They are also, realistic, smart, and can kick butt.

Inside this suspenseful spy covert mission book, readers will follow a young girl as she is being sent to a private school that she has never signed up for…it gives her a chance to start over rather than staying home having to face her cheating boyfriend and ex best friend. Desert Dark totally fits in with the overall story. As the new girl, Nadia finds herself in the middle of a dessert with a top security governmental school, she finds there are indeed dark things going on…Nadia is smart and a tough student. She soon realizes how far behind she is and works daily to bring herself up to standards with her four-man team. Her roommate has a southern accent and is a little OCD when it comes to keeping things clean…but their friendship blooms despite that…but Nadia soon finds out each member of her team is holding onto a secret. Especially their hot team leader whose secret may crush what they both feel towards one another…then there’s a diary Nadia finds…and it’s after that her whole life gets messier than she ever expected. I loved reading this spy thriller. Desert Dark is not just for teens but can also be for adults. The plot, characters, and the pace were amazing. I couldn’t stop reading it. Overall, this is definitely a novel to read by all.

Review: Behave

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Synopsis:

“The mother begins to destroy the child the moment it’s born,” wrote the founder of behaviorist psychology, John B. Watson, whose 1928 parenting guide was revered as the child-rearing bible. For their dangerous and “mawkish” impulses to kiss and hug their child, “most mothers should be indicted for psychological murder.”

Behave is the story of Rosalie Rayner, Watson’s ambitious young wife and the mother of two of his children.

In 1920, when she graduated from Vassar College, Rayner was ready to make her mark on the world. Intelligent, beautiful, and unflappable, she won a coveted research position at Johns Hopkins assisting the charismatic celebrity psychologist John B. Watson. Together, Watson and Rayner conducted controversial experiments on hundreds of babies to prove behaviorist principles. They also embarked on a scandalous affair that cost them both their jobs—and recast the sparkling young Rosalie Rayner, scientist, and thinker, as Mrs. John Watson, wife and conflicted, maligned mother, just another “woman behind a great man.”

With Behave, Andromeda Romano-Lax offers a provocative fictional biography of Rosalie Rayner Watson, a woman whose work influenced generations of Americans, and whose legacy has been lost in the shadow of her husband’s. In turns moving and horrifying, Behave is a richly nuanced and disturbing novel about science, progress, love, marriage, motherhood, and what all those things cost a passionate, promising young woman.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Behave by Andromeda Romano-Lax is definitely a must read for all women. This fictional biography piece is a fascinating historical tale that will drag readers down one promising young woman’s life as one life  moment spins her whole life downward…

Andromeda Romano-Lax’s stunning novel portrays a woman’s ambition, work, and motherhood. Behave explores the psychological, emotional, and ethical ways of a smart, attractive, and independent woman. A well-known scientist soon falls into motherhood by accident…and now she’s living, behind a man as nothing more than a shadow. As a student studying sociology, communications, and education this novel….was beyond amazing. It informs, educates, and shows readers…what life was like for women like Rosalie Rayner. Readers will be spellbound by this magnificent story. A most compelling and well-written novel. Overall, I highly recommend Behave to readers everywhere.

Review: The Sword Chronicles

 

Synopsis:

She is a Dog – one of the many children and teens across the empire of Ansborn who have been sentenced to fight in the arenas. There they fight in battle after battle until they die for the sport of the people of Ansborn – an empire built atop the peaks of five mountains.

But one day she picks up a knife… and everything changes.

She discovers she is a Greater Gift – one of a handful of magic users with powers so great they have only two choices: to join the Empire as one of its premier assassins or die as a threat to the Empire itself.

She is no longer a Dog. Now, she is Sword. And she will soon realize that in this Empire, not all is what it seems. Good and evil collide, and she can never be sure whom to trust – not even herself.

She holds life in her hands for some. Brings death by her blade to others.

She is a killer.
She is a savior.
She is Sword.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Sword Chronicles by Michaelbrent Collings is an excellent adventure waiting at readers fingertips. This brilliant world of fiction is a fantasy that will take readers into the heart of life, death, and truth. A journey of discovery, determination, and a rise to a new rank. This novel is definitely for fans of the Hunger Games, Twilight, and The Lord of the Rings, then this novel is definitely for you.

The Sword of Chronicles takes readers on one girl’s journey from her past fate to her future one. She is deemed a dog to fight until she dies just for other’s entertainment…until something remarkable happens. Now, after having picked up a sword…she discovers she has a lot more power than before and is no longer a dog but a sword. Michaelbrent Collings masterfully weaves many elements in this story that will leave readers sympathizing with the character to rooting her on as she goes about full-filling her new destiny. But life just got more complicated and difficult instead of easier for her…she now has two choices become an assassin for the empire or to die…But not everything is what it seems…I highly recommend this brilliant YA novel to readers worldwide. This was the first novel I have read by Michaelbrent Collings and I loved reading it. The Sword Chronicles is stunning, adventurous, and absolutely entertaining.

 

Review: Unshatter Me

 

Synopsis:

Nineteen-year-old Alena Pavlis moved to Surrey, on the outskirts of London, to escape her past. Now, heading off to college, she hopes that she can finally move on and begin a brand new chapter. During her first day at Carpendale University, she meets Phillip Gregson, the cute streetwise guy, who introduces her to a whole new world. At first, Phillip seems to be the answer to all of her problems. Yet quickly she finds that her childhood trauma is creeping in, and so are outside influences which begin to drive a wedge between the couple. As the relationship reaches its breaking point, Alena starts to pursue her own dreams and aspirations. Just as she is finding her feet again and preparing to audition for Carpendale’s choir – the Coolette Singers, a perilous series of events turns her life upside down. Left with no other choice, Alena must confront the demons of her past head-on, even though it means risking everything.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Unshatter Me by Michelle Diana Lowe is brilliantly stunning…readers will be swept off their feet and wowed by everything that’s inside of this exciting novel. A multiracial romantic suspense for adults that is captivating. Here readers will be taken on a journey of facing one’s own fears and dilemmas. That’s exactly what the main character inside of Unshatter Me finally decides to do…

Life is never easy…readers can easily place themselves in the heroine’s shoes. Everything looks to be okay…then suddenly like a tornado, everything comes crashing down around Alena. Her past life is catching up with her and is forcing her hand…can she remain strong and face her own demons or will she let it all, un-shatter her? Michelle Diana Lowe has a talent that will bring readers to her world of fiction every time. Beautifully told and the plot is juicy and fast-paced. A story that will take readers’ hearts and souls. Overall, Unshatter Me is definitely a must read for all.

Review: Flirtation Walk

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Synopsis:

At West Point, Only True Love Should Lead You to Flirtation Walk

Lucinda Pennyworth, the daughter of a con man, is trying her best to leave her father’s sordid past behind her. When he dies unexpectedly, she takes the opportunity to move to West Point to live with her aunt, ready to take on a new life and determined to marry a respectable man, a West Point cadet, to impress her relatives.

Seth Westcott, a cadet at the academy, is proud to be at the top of his senior class. But when his mother dies and his sister loses their inheritance to a swindler, Seth wants nothing more than to head west to track down the con man. But the army will only send the cadets at the bottom of the class to the frontier . . . which leaves Seth with some tough choices.

When a woman trying her best to be good meets a man determined to be anything but, can there be hope for love, or will two lonely hearts be condemned to casual flirtation?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Flirtation Walk is indeed the first novel I have read by Siri Mitchell.  Her historical yet Christian romance is refreshing. There’s an unexpected journey that readers will take when they open this book. From a young girl trying to live to a decent way of life only to find out more about her dead father’s ways…can dampen anyone’s hopes…then there’s this super cadet whose smart and top of his class. He’s the kind of man that can easily be loved by any woman. Smart, strong, and determind…he sets out to find who has done his family wrong. It’s this path that leads to two unique individuals to meet. Where life will take them is something readers have to read on to discover for themselves.

Flirtation Walk is inspiring and enjoyable to read. I highly recommend this delightful read to readers everywhere. This is the kind of romance readers won’t want to miss. Siri Mitchell has more than talent up her sleeves…her words paint vivid images and scenes in readers minds. It’s like watching both Lucinda and Seth in person.

Book Review: The Clique by Valerie Thomas

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The Clique is a sensational YA novel that should be read. The characters demonstrate what happens to teens as decisions and choices pop up in life. Sometimes we are forced into doing things we do not want to do. Our decisions have major consequences that pull us down. But then when they seems to be going for the worse we somehow manage to pull ourselves back up and out of our troubles. It may take a while but, we will eventually get there. I loved reading this story about a group of girls and how things didn’t go so perfect for them. It showed a realistic side of teens and their dramas. I enjoyed reading on and learning how one of the girls changed a lot. She went from being carefree to being a mature young adult. Her realizations and her thoughts were interesting to read. Readers will love this stunning book! Its believable, intriguing, and shows the reality of life. Plus, all the characters are easy to connect with. Fun, sassy, and absolutely enjoyable are the words I would use to describe Valerie Thomas’s plot. I definitely would recommend her novel to all readers! I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars!

Book Review: Cry Baby Cry…or Not by DeWandus Johnson

Cry Baby Cry or Not is a stunning realistic novel about life’s choices and decisions.  DeWandus Johnson, has a well written plot that shows us that sad but very real world that we live in. I found the characters to believably real and intriguing. This stunning book is a about a girl whose mother is born both blind and deaf and ends up pouring al her hate and anger at the world into her daughter. That is until her daughter can’t take it anymore and decides to leave. The daughter is soon caught up in a dangerous world that is both sad and ugly. Gangs, violence, and so much is seen by this girl.  One gangbanger in particular sets his sight on her and is instantly attracted to her because of her loyalty. Her personality draws in him closer as well.  Readers will enjoy reader this one girl and her adventure in life and where her decisions and choices lead her. I would definitely recommend this book to readers because it shows the realistic side of our world like it is today, that many do not see. I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars.

Brainstorming for Authors!

How does your character imagine his/her new life ahead of time? How might the reality be

completely different from what your character was expecting? What mistakes might your

character make based on wrong assumptions?