Review: A Sky Full of Stars




Synopsis:

The stars are about to align in the newest Shaughnessy brothers romance!
WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE

Brilliant astrophysicist Dr. Owen Shaughnessy feels more connected to the cosmos than to people. He’s great with calculations, but when he leads a team of scientists to study a famous meteor shower, he doesn’t factor in his free-spirited artist assistant Brooke Matthews.
LOVE CAN DAZZLE YOU

Polar opposites in personality, the friction between them threatens to derail the project. But the beauty and mystery of the night sky draw Owen and Brooke together—and she’s going to surprise him in ways the stars never could.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Sky Full of Stars by Samantha Chase is another brilliant masterpiece. Once again, this talented writer, has brought me to tears. Her story is full of emeotions that pulled at my heart strings. Sad, hilarious, frustrated and loved. A book that made readers feel something is a book worth reading. A Sky Full of Stars has it all. 

Inside this latest novel, Samantha Chase features the brainiac brother. Dr. Own Shaughnessy. He’s hot, clever, and the sweetest man ever. But little by little, I got to view his bolder side. His personality is one that intrigued me. All his life, his family stood up for me. Telling him,,he’s normal. When everyone else said differently. As an adult a lot of that feeling of not being normal transferred over…making it harder for Dr. Owen to believe in himself. Yet, his family continued to tell him he’s perefect. I love the Shaughnessy family. Yes, they’re loud and different, but they’re loyal. They love each other. 

A Sky Full of Stars is about Dr. Owen finding the courage to believe that he’s perfect the way he is. That’s he’s normal. It’s a real struggle for the man whose so talented. Then, as the plot unfolds, his world gets shaken. Enter Brooke Matthews. A girl trained for beauty pageants. Together their lives will be rocky. As in the real world nothing comes easy…these two will cry, laugh, love, and fight. I enjoyed watching them grow. Also, themes of loss, love, and courage are found on every page. Overall, I highly recommend A Sky Full of Stars to all. 

Review: Drama Luau (A Nicky and Noah Mystery)

Synopsis:

Theatre professors and spouses, Nicky Abbondanza and Noah Oliver, are on their honeymoon at a Hawaiian resort, where musclemen in grass skirts are keeling over like waterfalls. Things erupt faster than a volcano when Nicky and Noah, along with their best friends Martin and Ruben, try to stage a luau show. Nicky and Noah will need to use their drama skills to figure out who is bringing the grass curtain down on male hula dancers—before things go coconuts for the handsome couple. You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat entertaining fourth novel in this delightful series. Curtain up and aloha! 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Drama Luau: A Nicky and Noah Mystery by Joe Cosentino’s is another grand adventure with this stunning pair. Nicky and Noah are two professors who end up solving cases. Wherever these two go, there’s always a murder investigation around the corner. This time, Nicky and Noah are heading on their honeymoon. Both choose Hawaii as their destination. Not only does murder follow them where they go, but there’s always an opportunity for them to perform a show. 

Joe Cosentino’s has once again, brought all of his usual talents with him. Drama Luau is his newest piece to the Nicky and Noah mysteries. A novel that speaks out for the LGBT community. I love reading Joe Cosentino’s work. He always incorporates major themes into his tales. Each theme brings out a real life issue that readers everywhere can relate to immediately. As with his previous novels, this one was just as exciting. Humor filled the pages. Readers will have found adventure, mystery, and romance with every page. Nicky and Noah are my favorite gay couple. Something about them just lures me further into their story. Funny, clever, and sweet. One teaches fitness the other teaches drama. Their roles as detectives isn’t lost on their friends nor family. I can’t find anything not to love about this series. Especially, Drama Luau. This read had me laughing and falling in love…I was hooked instantly. Overall, I highly recommend Drama Luau to all. 

Review: Rejected Writers Take the Stage

Synopsis:

After months of playing the lottery and hoping for an uptick in her dog-boarding business, Janet’s friend Annie must face the inevitable: the bank is foreclosing on her family farm. But thanks to the Rejected Writers’ Book Club, Annie doesn’t have to face it alone. With just a few weeks to raise the $20,000 that she and her fifty rescue dogs need to avoid becoming homeless, the writers need a fund-raiser, and fast. Much to Janet’s horror, Doris has another crazy plan.

In a moment of inspiration, their fearless leader declares a solution: a musical extravaganza. No one in the group has ever produced a musical, but Doris will not be deterred—they’ll write it together. And with Flora, who has never sung a note in her life, as the lead and Janet as their reluctant director—along with a hypochondriac costume designer, a pyrotechnics enthusiast, and Janet’s very pregnant daughter pitching in—what could possibly go wrong?
To produce a miracle for Annie, Janet and her friends will work around the clock holding auditions, concocting elaborate costumes, and getting a little too close to blowing themselves up—but will it be enough?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Rejected Writers Take Stage by Suzanne Kelman is a wonderful woman’s fiction piece. The charcaters are charming. There are moments I laughed out loud, worried, and fell in love with this group. A group of writers get together to help one of their own be saved from being homeless. Their actions to save her and the dogs under her care, will be full of drama, flair, and excitement. This book is full of craziness, humor, and friendship. The sense of community in this small-town of theirs was believable. I loved following along. Suzanne Kelman’s writing is entertaining from the start to end. Overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere. 

Review: No One But You



Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak welcomes you to Silver Springs, a picturesque small town in Southern California where even the hardest hearts can learn to love again… 
Struggling to make ends meet after a messy divorce, Sadie Harris is at the end of her tether. Her waitressing gig isn’t enough to pay the bills let alone secure primary custody of her son, Jayden, a battle she refuses to lose. Desperate, she accepts a position assisting Dawson Reed—the same Dawson Reed who recently stood trial for the murder of his adoptive parents. Joining him at his isolated farm seems risky, but Sadie is out of options. 
Dawson has given small town Silver Springs plenty of reasons to be wary, but he’s innocent of the charges against him. He wants to leave his painful past behind and fix up the family farm so he can finally bring his dependent sister home where she belongs. 
As Sadie and Dawson’s professional relationship grows into something undeniably personal, Sadie realizes there’s more to Dawson than the bad boy everyone else sees—he has a good heart, one that might even be worth fighting for.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Brenda Novak is one of my favorite writers. Her work is amazing. Each book has a unique story that grabs my heart. This latest novel, No One But You, is part of a new series. Inside, readers will find that it houses many themes. Ranging from marital problems to domestic violence. Plus, a character has been arrested for a crime he didn’t commit. As readers dig further they’ll find demons everywhere. A town so ready to torture an innocent man, another man who is violent to his wife, and a mother trying to survive…

No One But You pulls at the heart. Sent me on an epic emotional journey. One that I won’t ever forget. The charcaters were believable. As for the plot, it was a bit slow in the begging then sped up as the action took over. Dangerous, intriguing, and a bit sad. Brenda Novak creates another opportunity for readers to explore real world issues in a fictional setting. Brilliant and well-told. I recommend this new novel to all. 

Review: The Man Who Walked Out of the Jungle




Synopsis:

April, 1970. Late at night, a mysterious Caucasian emerges from the rain forest north of Saigon. Unexpectedly he encounters a US Army outpost and is killed. Who was he, and why was he alone deep in the jungle? Military investigator George Tanner must find the answers soon––and survive.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Man Who Walked Out of the Jungle by Jeff Wallace is for those who love a good novel about war. Instantly, I was taken into a suspenseful tale with a lingering question that caught my curiosity. My intrigued only peaked further as the pages held my attention. The pacing was a bit lagging but other than that, it was good. The Man Who Walked Out of the Jungle by Jeff Wallace is a military thriller that feels real. Action, adventure, and danger all wrapped in one engaging tale. The plot sent me deep into the investigation of why one man was alone in the jungle. Overall, I recommend this novel written by Jeff Wallace to readers everywhere. 

Review: Jellybeaners

Synopsis:

Jellybeaners is a contemporary novel set in the heart of Appalachia, revealing the money ties, political corruption, wasted lives, and overall cash-churning nature of the prescription pill culture from perspectives spanning both sides of the law.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Jellybeaners by Gene Scott is a great contemporary read. This novel alerts readers to the pill popping issue. What better way to address it than to weave it into a work of fiction…an addiction that continues to haunt our world. Prescription drugs is one of the easy drugs for others to get their hands on…whether it’s over the counter from family members or on the store shelves. The entire plot was believable. Realistic, strong, and held truths. Gene Scott is a writer whose not afraid to lay out the troubles faced in reality. Not many are aware of the prescription pill addictions. I was intrigued by the tale. Overall, I recommend it to readers worldwide. 

Review: Mr. Either Or 

Synopsis:

Aaron Poochigian’s Mr. Either/Or is an ingenious debut, a verse novel melding American mythology, noir thriller, and classical epic into gritty rhythms, foreboding overtones, and groovy jams surrounding the reader in a surreal atmosphere. Imagine Byron’s Don Juan on a high-stakes romp through a Raymond Chandler novel. Think Hamlet in Manhattan with a license to kill.
Aaron Poochigian earned a PhD in Classics from the University of Minnesota and an MFA in Poetry from Columbia University. His book of translations from Sappho, Stung With Love, was published in 2009. The Cosmic Purr, a book of original poetry, was published in 2012.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Mr. Either Or by Aaron Poochigian is quite an interesting read. This novel, is layer out in a unique way. I was hooked. Aaron Poochigian is a talented writer indeed. His protagonist isn’t like most. I loved how the words took me through the book. It was like reading one of my favorite literary novels – tone wise and had the alluring nature of the fictional reads I’ve read and come to love. Each section is intriguing. Readers like myself will drink up this work of fiction. Engaging, well-told, and different. Mr. Either Or is very entertaining from beginning to end. I recommend it to readers worldwide. 

Review: The Darkness 

Synopsis:

A young man is found murdered, his bones crushed nearly to dust before his body was dumped into New York’s East River
In New York there are hundreds of murders a year, but this one is different. Somebody is sending a message. And shockingly, the victim has ties to my brother, Stephen Gaines, recently murdered by an elusive drug lord known only as the Fury.
For years this kingpin has been shrouded in darkness. Stephen was executed just as he was about to shed some light. Working alongside my mentor, Jack O’Donnell, I’m going to find the truth behind this blood-soaked curtain. But the more we reveal, the more we realize just how dark the Fury’s plans are. And that no matter how brutal the violence has been, we haven’t seen anything yet….

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Darkness by Jason Pinter is a dark thriller. The plot instantly swept me into its web of murder, drugs, and violence. This novel was full of twists and turns. Intrigued, engaged, and full of suspense. Every page pulled me further into the chase. A deadly game of good versus evil. Blackmail, threats, and death. The fear factor is raised to new heights. Inside The Darkness, a man is found murdered right before he was about to shed some evidence. A message well received. A drug lord has some sinister plans as the duo team continued their search for the truth…the evilness only expanded. I haven’t read any of Jason Pinter’s previous novels but this one was good. It caughtmy attention. Perked my curiosity. It led me on a journey. 

Review: The Glorious Heresies 





Synopsis:

From Lisa McInerney, hailed by The Irish Times as “arguably the most talented writer at work in Ireland today,” comes The Glorious Heresies, a searing debut novel about life on the fringes of Ireland’s post-crash society.

When grandmother Maureen Phelan is surprised in her home by a stranger, she clubs the intruder with a Holy Stone. The consequences of this unplanned murder connect four misfits struggling against their meager circumstances. Ryan is a fifteen-year-old drug dealer desperate not to turn out like his alcoholic father, Tony, whose feud with his next-door neighbor threatens to ruin his family. Georgie is a sex worker who half-heartedly joins a born-again movement to escape her profession and drug habit. And Jimmy Phelan, the most fearsome gangster in the city and Maureen’s estranged son, finds that his mother’s bizarre attempts at redemption threaten his entire organization.

Biting and darkly funny, The Glorious Heresies presents an unforgettable vision of a city plagued by poverty and exploitation, where salvation still awaits in the most unexpected places.

— New York Time’s Book Review’s “10 Best Crime Novels” of the year.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney is quite a read. There’s a lot of realistic issues happening within the plot. The charcaters have tough struggles that can send their worlds spiraling downward. Ranging from drugs to sex plus violence, their worlds are full of chaos. They want different lives yet live in paths that keep them where they are or send them down further than where they originally planned to be. Four misfits each with a different issue. Readers will get an insider’s view to the world’s ugliness and how those living these lives try to survive their outcomes. The Glorious Heresies is definitely a dark yet deeply complex story. This world stayed in my mind long after reading reading it. Unforgettable scenes. Overall, I recommend it to other readers.

Review: Physical Forces (A K-9 Rescue Novel)



Synopsis:
LOVE TO THE RESCUE



Macayla Burkett is no ordinary private eye. She’s a pet detective, dedicated to tracking down missing dogs and cats. When two famous racing greyhounds disappear and turn up dead, Macayla finds herself in the midst of a much more serious case. And when the thieves target her and threaten her life, she realizes she’s in grave danger—until a ridiculously handsome stranger enters the picture …
Oliver Kelly may look like a male stripper, but his muscles aren’t just for show. The gorgeous Australian is co-owner of a K-9 Search and Rescue service dedicated to saving those in danger. When he and his K-9 partner, an Australian shepherd named Jackeroo, rescue the fiery detective from trouble, the sparks begin to fly. And when they join forces to stop a widespread case of animal theft, it unleashes a torrent of passion that’s impossible to tame…

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Physical Forces is an entertaining romantic suspense read from the beginning. D.D. Ayres is a a writer who knows what readers want in a novel. This tale showed me the K-9 teams in action. The bond between them and the dogs was believable. I fell in love. I can’t imagine anyone not falling for this group of characters both the two and four legged kind. 

Inside Physical Forces by D.D. Ayres, I met a woman lacking her licesnce as a private investigator who went all out to find missing greyhounds. Macayla Burkett is a detective for animals. They go missing, she’s gets called. She loves helping owners find their pets. Her personality is strong. Macayla is independent, likes to work her own hours, and fend for herself. She’s smart and pretty. However, Macayla ends up stumbling into a situation that’s a whole lot more serious than her previous adventures. This time, she’ll need help…which comes in the form of Oliver Kelly. Talk about heat! The whole story from this point on, was intense. The raw desires flying like electricity in the air between both Macayla and Oliver. Their situation at hand is dangerous and it’s only a matter of time until they explode…overall, I highly recommend this engaging romance to readers everywhere. I loved the action, intrigue, and the passion between the charcaters. Don’t forget the amazing dogs, too!

Review: The Prada Plan 5 

Synopsis:

In this explosive addition to the New York Times bestselling series, Ashley Antoinette brings you pain, pleasure, love, hate, as YaYa struggles to hold it all together before life blows up in her face, in The Prada Plan 5.
Disaya finally has it all. The man she fought for is hers at last. Her name is Mrs. Indie Perkins and their daughter is safe. Leah is gone. Life is supposed to be good. So why isn’t she satisfied? Why does life suddenly seem so bitter? YaYa’s Prada Plan had worked but with the riches comes pain.
She and Indie have grown apart, and with Parker now a permanent fixture in their lives, Indie is pressured to juggle it all. But YaYa’s patience is running thin. Indie is loving her wrong. Her life isn’t what she wants. Her Prada Plan has changed…and now, it’s time to pursue a plan B in order to get what she really wants… 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Prada Plan 5 by Ashely Antoinette is another drama filled urban fiction read. Having not read any of the previous novels, it was hard to follow along. Trying to figure out why the main charcaters made the choices they did was not easy to understand. However, the drama filled world of their was certainly entertaining. There was never a boring moment. Tough love, bad choices, wrong relationships, and trouble were just some of the issues brought into the book. Living the rich life isn’t easy, nor as fun as the fantasy of it. Pressure lies heavily upon the charcaters…their actions will layout their futures…chasing after dreams is hard. Ashley Antionette is a talented writer. I have read other novels co-written by her. This novel would be easy to follow along if I had read her previous Prada novels. However, the plot was fast-paced and juicy. The entertainment never ended. Overall, The Prada Plan 5 was a great read. 

Review: White Fur




Synopsis:

A stunning star-crossed love story set against the glitz and grit of 1980s New York City 

When Elise Perez meets Jamey Hyde on a desolate winter afternoon, fate implodes, and neither of their lives will ever be the same. Although they are next-door neighbors in New Haven, they come from different worlds. Elise grew up in a housing project without a father and didn’t graduate from high school; Jamey is a junior at Yale, heir to a private investment bank fortune and beholden to high family expectations. Nevertheless, the attraction is instant, and what starts out as sexual obsession turns into something greater, stranger, and impossible to ignore. 

The unlikely couple moves to Manhattan in hopes of forging an adult life together, but Jamey’s family intervenes in desperation, and the consequences of staying together are suddenly severe. And when a night out with old friends takes a shocking turn, Jamey and Elise find themselves fighting not just for their love, but also for their lives. 

White Fur follows these indelible characters on their wild race through Newport mansions and downtown NYC nightspots, SoHo bars and WASP-establishment yacht clubs, through bedrooms and hospital rooms, as they explore, love, play, and suffer. Jardine Libaire combines the electricity of Less Than Zero with the timeless intensity of Romeo and Juliet in this searing, gorgeously written novel that perfectly captures the ferocity of young love. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

White Fur by Jardine Libaire is a thrilling romance. Similar to the Great Gatsby in ways. I was intrigued by this plot. Two lovers from opposite sides. Threatened and in danger all because they love each other. A love that shouldn’t be if, a particular family had its way. Perfect plans can be hard…when others are determined to see it fail even if that means a couple of lives are lost. Poor versus the rich and the star-crossed theme hits hard with this tale. White Fur is an intense love story. Filled with glamour, anger, an one brilliant emotional journey. Deep, heart felt, and exciting. Jardine Libaire kept me captivated with Jamey and Elise. Tragic yet realistic…a love story that pulls. I recommend it to readers worldwide. 

Review: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow



Synopsis:

Ever since the Delonese ice-planet arrived eleven years ago, Sofi’s dreams have been vivid. Alien. In a system where Earth’s corporations rule in place of governments and the humanoid race orbiting the moon are allies, her only constant has been her younger brother, Shilo. As an online gamer, Sofi battles behind the scenes of Earth’s Fantasy Fighting arena where Shilo is forced to compete in a mix of real and virtual blood sport. But when a bomb takes out a quarter of the arena, Sofi’s the only one who believes Shilo survived. She has dreams of him. And she’s convinced he’s been taken to the ice-planet.
Except no one but ambassadors are allowed there.
For Miguel, Earth’s charming young playboy, the games are of a different sort. As Ambassador to the Delonese, his career has been built on trading secrets and seduction. Until the Fantasy Fight’s bomb goes off. Now the tables have turned and he’s a target for blackmail. The game is simple: Help the blackmailers, or lose more than anyone can fathom, or Earth can afford. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Evaporation of Sofi Snow by Mary Weber is a fascinating YA book. The race to find answers is thrilling. A young girl loses her brother and a young man is worried he lost her, Sofi. Sofi isn’t sure if her brother is really gone or not. Miguel may know something…only now, he’s being blackmailed. Can an online gamer and an Abassador find a way to beat the odds?

Sofi is clever. She’s a charcater that I can easily connect to. Her loss and grief over her brother pulled me closer to her. When she thinks her brother may not be gone likeeveryone states…she goes searching for the truth. Her determination and bravery make this a worthy adventure. Then there’s Miguel. He is in a difficult position. Not sure of who Sofi really is but is pulled to her by a connection, soon leads him into danger. Video games and aliens are taken to a whole level in this stunning tale. Intrigue, suspense, and a deadly plot will keep readers sucked into The Evaporation of Sofi Snow. Mary Weber’s talent can be seen through her words. Every page absorbed me into the conflict…overall, I highly recommend this novel. 

Review: Rites of Azathoth




Synopsis:

F.B.I. criminal profiler Diana Mancuso doesn’t do field work anymore. Not since a tragic mistake that cost innocent lives. But when notorious serial killer Luther Vayne escapes from prison and resumes his campaign of brutal murders, the Bureau convinces her to take one last case. To catch him, she must understand him. She must delve into the arcana that fuels his madness, risking her life and her sanity to follow his twisted path. The trail plunges her into a shadowy world of occult rituals and unspeakable horrors, leading to a secret cabal operating at the highest levels—and a plot to summon the darkest of all powers, to bring forth an evil that does not belong in our world—to enact the Rites of Azathoth.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Rites of Azathoth by Frank Cavallo is clearly a well-written dark fantasy. The title and cover caught my curiosity. Upon reading this tale, I found Frank Cavallo’s talent to entertaining. His novel is a dark mystery and horror combined. A thriller too. A serial killer, a tragic mistake that cost innocent lives, and new murders committed will surely lure readers further into the story. A fast-placed plot with an edge that will frighten and keep readers like myself deeply engaged. Suspenseful with every page. Guessing will occur as readers dig their way through it. Rites of Azathoth is wicked novel full of twisted scenes. Evil is here. Escaping it will be hard. Overall, I highly recommend this fantasy to readers everywhere. 

Author Interview with Kristi Saare Duarte about Her Novel The Transmigrant






ULM: What was it in the ancient scriptures that inspired you to write The Transmigrant?
The idea of Jesus as a holy man rather than the Messiah had been brewing in my mind for a long time. For me, the New Testament story didn’t quite add up. If Jesus were of God, then certainly he would be loving, inclusive and kind, right? Yet, in the stories we hear and the movies we see, Jesus pretty much says, “believe in me, or go to hell,” which sounds like something a bully would say. 

So, when I happened upon a book about Jesus in India, it all started to make sense, the pieces fell into place. I’m not saying this is the truth, or the only truth, but for me it was the logical explanation for who the man Jesus had been, and what he had done during those eighteen years not mentioned in the bible.

I started researching old scriptures and found the Nag Hammadi Library, a collection of scrolls unearthed in Egypt in 1945. These manuscripts date from the third and fourth centuries, and are believed to be based on scriptures from around 80 AD or earlier, which would make them earlier than most of the Gospels of the New Testament. In the Nag Hammadi texts, Jesus is a kind and holy man, but he is not the Messiah. 

The more ancient sources I studied, the more I found scriptures that supported my theory. I did also read the bible, several times, and underlined sections that aligned with my thoughts. There are plenty of jewels to pick from the New Testament if you really look.

ULM: How long have you had a fascination for historical things? 

I grew up in Sweden and went to school in the Old Town of Stockholm, a city that dates from the 13th century, and I guess that has something to do with it. Whenever I travel, I like to visit ancient locations and meditate in the presence of old buildings and ruins and absorb the energy of the past.

I don’t believe people who lived thousands of years ago differed so much from us. They still loved and laughed, were vain and greedy, girls were attracted to boys, etc. I feel like we sometimes forget and believe that everyone was prude and correct, like in the Middle Ages. But before then, the people were perhaps even more promiscuous than we are today. Maybe.

ULM: You mentioned that the Russian traveler, Nicolas Notovitch’s 1894 book, “The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ”, also inspired you. What really stuck out to you from this book?

This was the book about Jesus in India that started my thought process and made me want to write The Transmigrant. This was the seed that, many years later, has blossomed into a novel. In the “Unknown Life,” which is based on scrolls found in a Tibetan monastery, Jesus travels across the Middle East and ends up first in Sindh (Pakistan), where he studies Buddhism, and later in Jagannath (Puri, India). 

He makes his way back home via Kapilavatthu (Nepal), the Himalayas, Kashmir, Persia, and Syria. Along the way, he studies Hinduism and Buddhism, among other local religions. The fascinating this is that when you start looking closer, all these religions have common threads. Most of the core beliefs are the same, or every similar. And also, when I looked at the distances and the time it would have taken Jesus to travel from one place to another, the calculations in the book were correct. Remember, there was no Google Earth in 1894. How could Notovitch have made up the story and have gotten it so right? To me, the book is very believable.

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

Sly, spiritual, and sexy.

ULM: What was the research like for writing The Transmigrant?

At times, it was overwhelming. I started with The Unknown Life of Jesus Christ, the New Testament, and the Nag Hammadi Library. I watched Robert Beckford’s Channel 4 documentaries on YouTube. But the more I read, the more books I found that I just had to read. My apartment in Harlem is packed with books about Jesus. I also tried to read different point of views, different opinions. 

I didn’t want to follow anyone’s lead, I wanted to form my own theory. Finding information about the common man in Galilee, Syria, India, etc. in the first century, was difficult. What did they really eat? What kind of sandals did they wear? There are almost no drawings of poor people from that era. And of course the majority of people couldn’t read or write, and those who could wrote for hire or wrote from a political perspective. I did travel to Israel, Syria, India, and Nepal to see the places with my own eyes. It made a huge difference. 

ULM: What process did you use to help you outline your book?

To be honest, I just started writing. I didn’t know almost anything about Jesus when I started. For example, did you know that none of the gospels, perhaps not a single word in the New Testament were written by Jesus’ disciples? It was a steep learning curve. 

Once I had written my first draft, I went back and forced in a plot line. At one point, the book was 125,000 words long. Now it’s 95,000. I cut out more than a quarter that just didn’t fit. Still, I couldn’t have done it a different way. I think Historical Fiction is like that, you learn as you write, and you don’t know what the story is until you have written the last page.

ULM: What other projects do you have in mind after releasing, The Transmigrant?

I have written the first draft of the follow up, which starts six months after Jesus’s death. His disciples, who have been in hiding, get together and decide they need to keep spreading his message to the world. 

They don’t want him to have died for nothing. I’m at the point now that I need to clarify the plot line, but the bare bones are there. After that, I might write about Jesus’s brother Thomas, who brought Christianity to India. I wouldn’t mind going to India again for research.

ULM: For readers, who haven’t yet read, The Transmigrant, can you share with them briefly about it?

The story follows Yeshua, a somewhat presumptuous young man who thinks himself wiser than everyone else, on his journey to adulthood. It’s focused on the eighteen years not mentioned in the bible.

Yeshua can’t be a priest in his home country because he’s not born in a priestly family, so he travels via camel caravan along the Silk Road to India, in search for a guru. In the novel, Yeshua is an ordinary man who struggles with his ego, falls in love, yearns to be wise, and ultimately dedicates his life to becoming wise.

The book shows the similarities between Hinduism, Buddhism, and Judaism, and how Christianity can very well be a product of them all combined. It’s not a heavy novel with a hammered-in message, it’s more of a travelogue with some steamy scenes, too. It’s not really a religious book, even though it’s about Jesus, as strange as it may sound.

ULM: What are some books, movies, and or other articles that you enjoy that pushed you into writing this book?

Apart from the research, I mentioned earlier, I don’t think any specific books or movies influenced me. But I did like The Last Temptation of Christ, and I think The Transmigrant might have some parallels with the movie. 

ULM: What are your other hobbies besides writing an entertaining yet stunning book?

I read a lot, of course. But I guess my passion is travelling. I’ve visited a third of the world’s countries, and although I can’t reach them all in my lifetime, I can still dream about it. The more difficult the place seems to be, the more I want to go there. Tibet and Ethiopia are my favorite countries thus far. 

But I don’t mind a weekend on the beach with a good book, either. I also enjoy live music shows. I’m lucky I live in New York City, because there’s free music everywhere. We often go to a jazz dive bar in my neighborhood, Paris Blues. And in the summer, concerts at Central Park Summer Stage and Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect park.

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

The Transmigrant is on pre-sale on Amazon.com until July 13 when it will be published more broadly. My web site is: www.KristiSaareDuarte.com. I also have a blog with funny travel stories at www.AmongBuddhasAndBabas.wordpress.com. And if you have any questions or comments, please don’t hesitate to email me at: KristiDNYC@gmail.com or contact me on twitter: @kristisaare.

New Release: For Love or Freedom by Lili Mahoney

Amazon: http://bit.ly/2q8EKwU

Amazon CA: http://amzn.to/2qxi2PZ

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2qxgvJw

Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2qx0lQx
Add to #Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33840811-for-love-or-freedom

#Giveawayhttp://bit.ly/2r7s06P

Synopsis:

Tatum hasn’t had it easy. Her life has been a series of battles, but that hasn’t stopped her from finding and hanging onto what she wants and loves. She’s come a long way from the small farm in Texas she was born on – she’s earned her own way through college on diving scholarships, then moved to begin her career as an elite swim team coach, and is doing her best to survive her life as a widow and single mom.

When Nic Lobo literally steals her away from the life she’s fought to keep together, the most basic of responses is to hate him with every fiber of her being. His quick temper and random absences make that easy. So is the fact that she’s still in love with her dead husband, though she’s also very angry at him for the way in which he left her. But Nic is stubborn and committed, and he has the uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before, not even with the father of her child. He forces Tatum to respond to him the only way he knows how and that terrifies her in so many ways.

Will she fight him to the death, refusing to forgive him for the harm he’s caused, or will he wear her down until she acknowledges the connection their souls won’t allow to be severed. 

Review: Threads of Supsicion

Synopsis:

Dee Henderson Pens Another Compelling Cold Case Mystery
Evie Blackwell’s reputation as a top investigator for the Illinois State Police has landed her an appointment to the governor’s new Missing Persons Task Force. This elite investigative team is launched with plenty of public fanfare. The governor has made this initiative a high priority, so they will have to produce results–and quickly.
Evie and her new partner, David Marshal, are assigned to a pair of unrelated cases in suburban Chicago, and while both involve persons now missing for several years, the cases couldn’t be more different. While Evie opens old wounds in a close-knit neighborhood to find a missing college student, David searches for a private investigator working for a high-powered client.
With a deep conviction that “justice for all” truly matters, Evie and David are unrelenting in their search for the truth. But Evie must also find answers to the questions that lie just beneath the surface in her personal life.

Rating: 4-stars

Review

Threads of Suspicion by Dee Henderson is a deep Chase after the truth. Missing persons cases are being investigated and the blur between work and personal lives will blur. The pressure to solve them is high. As the cold cases connect with one another and with other cold cases, the duo team has their hands full. Murders…old wounds…and an engaging plot. Mystery, intrigue, and some romance. I enjoyed following Evie and her partner David as they went about getting answers. I haven’t read any previous novels by this talented writer, but I am happy that I read this book. After reading Threads of Suspicion, I look forward to reading more by the bestselling writer, Dee Henderson. 

Review: Dragonsoul

Synopsis:

Littlehorn is the last dragon, born into a world that wants him dead.

The dragon’s blue scales and orange eyes are a stark contrast to the dull gray around him. The sky is gray. The ground is gray. Everything is gray, even the skin, eyes, and hair of every other living creature, including humans.

When Denyth, a simple farmer dreaming of a world of color beyond the gray encounters Littlehorn, the two set out on a journey to find the truth of where Littlehorn came from and if there truly is a world of color beyond the gray.

But Denyth isn’t the only human who knows of Littlehorn’s existence. A dragon-hunter named Zero, who has dedicated his entire life to purging anything of color, is coming after Littlehorn to finish the job.

Dragon and human flee together to the colorful land called Evenar, coming across a host of odd, colorful creatures, including a cat-like shapeshifter who can hear the land, a pacifist troll who wields a club the size of a tree trunk, and even a group of walruses who can talk.

Just as they think that they have found paradise, they discover a terrible secret: humanity wasn’t responsible for the fall of dragons after all.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Dragonsoul by Kayl Karadijian is an interesting YA fantasy. I liked the two worlds created by this writer. One of color and life and the other full of gray and doom. The farmer boy who finds the last dragon egg made my heart melt. The two new friends travel in the world of color…where there are other fascinating characters. While the dragon hunter tracks the farmer down down to kill his new friend the dragon, aka Littlehorn. For those who love adventure, fantasy, and a good journey, this is definitely a novel to read. I was captivated by the plot from the beginning to end. Overall, I highly recommend Dragonsoul to all. 

Guest Post: Should an Author Stick to One Genre? by Kayl Karadijian



Should an author stick to one genre?
Most authors tend to stick to one genre. Fantasy writers typically only do Fantasy. Scifi lovers focus on the future and whatifs and nothing more. Romancers can’t get enough of John Smith, and on and on. As an author who started with fantasy, then did a nonfiction memoir, now doing a scifi romance, and will go back to fantasy, I wonder if more authors should explore different stories?

To give some better insight as to what I’m getting at, I want to describe my own foray into new lands. So far, I’ve written five books. Three are from my epic fantasy series Tales of Ashkar. One is from a YA Fantasy trilogy called Dragonsoul. The last is a nonfiction memoir of my great grandfather, who survived the Armenian Genocide. My sixth, which I am currently working on, is a scifi romance inspired by Nic Pizzolatto (the guy behind True Detective) that contains a giant monster rampaging through San Francisco.

So far, I can say that I am glad I’ve ventured out into the dark. Going from fantasy of the utmost caliber to nonfiction in a personal and historical sense has developed my skills as a writer in two ways. The first is that I’ve gone from making up my characters and their story to writing about a real person and his real struggles, allowing me to understand different ways to approach human emotion and conflict. The second benefit is that from taking my eyes away from writing fiction after fiction, I switched to nonfiction and am now switching back. In other words, writing the nonfiction has given me the chance to refresh my skills as a writer, and as I come back to fiction I won’t be dogged down because I’ve just written four fantasy novels prior.

It’s also nice from a voice perspective. Writing fantasy is amazing, but it can also be a challenge when trying to convey a more archaic and specific voice with your characters. For example, my scifi romance is contemporary, and the dialogue and prose is going to reflect that.

So to all the other authors out there who may want to venture into other genres and have cold feet, I say go for it. You’ll learn a lot about yourself, and I guarantee that your writing skills will improve in some capacity.

 

You can find Dragonsoul, my YA Fantasy, here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MCVJVIP and Remembering Avedik: The True Story of a Genocide Survivor, my nonfiction memoir, here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B072526BGS



Author Bio

Kayl Karadjian’s bio: Kayl Karadjian is a lifelong fan of Science-Fiction and Fantasy books, Manga, and Role-playing games. He is the author of multiple books in the Tales of Ashkar and Dragonsoul series.
Catch updates and follow me on social media here: 
https://talesofashkar.com

https://twitter.com/talesofashkar

https://facebook.com/talesofashkar

Review: Train to the Edges of the Moon





Synopsis:

Punk is no ordinary millennial who takes the life as it is. She has a nasty habit of getting in troubles, she shows the middle finger to prejudice and stupidity, she fights against her broken identity and darkness of her soul. She goes against the stream with her heavy, tight shoes, but she still tries to be a better person. Punk’s adventurous journey to become someone who matters starts in a Place Without a Name, continues in Italy and London. Her train is full of sad reflections, laughs, modern tales about our young lives, relationships and occasional heartbreaks. If you’re a misfit, depressed, lonely or tired of people telling you what to do join Punk’s wild side of the moon. It all may seem out of this world, but it is very real. 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Train to the Edge of the Moon by Asper Blurry is an interesting contemporary tale. One that spins readers deep into a millennial’s journey. Deep, dark, and emotional. Mental illness and the fight to survive is a common theme seems inside this book. Asper Blurry created a refreshing story. Many readers like myself can relate to the main character’s battle. To be understood, accepted, and happy. Life isn’t that easy nor neat. Humans are greatly flawed. Punk is a troubled teen whose life is anything but nice. Punk has many flaws which were expected. Believable and realistic. Train to the Edge of the Moon is a thrilling and raw. Readers will see the openness of the writer as they flip through every page. The writing by Asper Blurry is very bold. I enjoyed reading this novel. 

Review: Under a Desert Sky


Synopsis:

There comes a time in life when we find ourselves in the desert place of burning questions. Why? Why me? But even as we shake our fist heavenward, the heart whispers another question. Who? Who are you, God? It is a question of relationship, a question we all murmur in the hardest places. 

Against the backdrop of the Sonoran Desert, Lynne Hartke asks her own hard questions as cancer arrives like a thief with one goal: to take it all. Hair. The contents of a stomach. A marriage. A life. As her days become a blur of doctors’ appointments, treatments, and surgeries, she wrestles with a tumble of tangled emotions, a shaken faith, and self-doubt. Cancer is now not only threatening her own life, but, in a surprising twist, the lives of both her parents as well. 

Through her raw, lyrical words, Hartke invites fellow sojourners to discover that in life’s hardest places, they are not alone in their fear, they are not foolish to hope, and they are never forgotten by a loving, pursuing God. Never. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Under a Desert Sky by Lynne Hartke is an inspiring memoir of one woman’s journey with cancer. Cancer is the toughest path one finds in life. It takes hold of us, crushing us under its pressure. Sometimes, we feel like we’ve lost the battle and want to give up. However, this book, redefines hope, beauty, and faith in the hardest places. Lynne Hartke’s words grabbed my attention immediately. Her words made me cry and feel that hope never dies. Pain only makes one stronger. Beautifully written by a survivor, who went through it all. Pain, grief, and hope. Overall, I deeply recommend this memoir to all. 

Book Tour: The Magnate’s Marriage Merger by Joanne Rock





Synopsis:

The matchmaker meets her match…in one very persistent tycoon!
Secretive matchmaker to the rich and famous, Lydia Whitney prefers to stay behind the scenes. But after one mistake, rich resort developer Ian McNeill is hot on her trail, and he’s more attractive—and persistent—than ever before.
Ian can’t believe it when he figures out who’s messing with his family: a woman who has deceived—and seduced—him before. What’s her agenda? And why can’t he resist her? He’ll get the answers to all his questions, if Lydia agrees to his convenient marriage proposal. But once she’s in his arms again, will he let her go?
200 Pgs. |Heat: 3 | Series Info

Harlequin Desire | Rel: May 9, 2017
AMAZON | B & N | GOOGLE | ITUNES | KOBO
 

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS
Four-time RITA nominee Joanne Rock has never met a romance sub-genre she didn’t like. The author of over eighty books enjoys writing a wide range of stories, most recently focusing on sexy contemporaries and small town family sagas. An optimist by nature and perpetual seeker of silver linings, Joanne finds romance fits her life outlook perfectly–love is worth fighting for. A frequent speaker at regional and national writing conferences she enjoys giving back to the writing community that nurtured and inspired her early career. She has a Masters degree in Literature from the University of Louisville but credits her fiction writing skills to her intensive study with friend and fellow author Catherine Mann. When she’s not writing, Joanne enjoys travel, especially to see her favorite sports teams play with her former sports editor husband and three athletic-minded sons.



Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Magnate’s Marriage Merger by Joanne Rock is a novel full of passion. Talk about desire! This read is hot as fire. Both main characters will be playing with something they can’t resist nor deny. That is what makes this a compelling tale. 

Inside The Magnate’s Merger, I met a tycoon, Ian McNeill. He is wanting to know who is messing with his family and why. Then, he finds the answer. Someone he knew from his past. But her motive is what he’s really searching for…only he doesn’t realize how dangerous the game he’s playing will be. Hearts will be taken.

Then, there’s the secretive matchmaker, Lydia Whitney. Her one mistake leads her past flame to chasing her. This time, he’s hotter and more demanding than she knew. He offers her a convenient marriage proposal…will she accept it?

Joanne Rock has once again brought another fabulous book to my hands. A heated romance packed full of tension. The future of the characters lies with their choices…the suspense is killing and the intrigue kept me turning the pages. Overall, I highly recommend The Magnate’s Marriage Merger to all readers. 

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: Despair to Deliverance 





Synopsis:

The story begins with a phone call from Robin. She and I had been working together in therapy for almost ten years. She usually didn’t call between sessions, partly because she was very aware of and careful about boundaries, but also because severe anxiety about making phone calls was one of her symptoms.
The story that follows this phone call is one of courage and determination. Despair to Deliverance is a memoir-one unique in its perspective from both client and psychotherapist-that uncovers the harrowing experience of recovering from mental illness.
Robin Personette’s descent into a severe mental health breakdown is not an experience she goes through alone. With her longtime psychotherapist, Sharon DeVinney, PhD, at her side, Robin must first learn to see the value in life before she can continue living.
With touching transparency and a courageous examination of what it means to fight for a stable and healthy life, both Robin and Sharon welcome readers to follow them on their unique journey together.
For anyone who has ever struggled with life’s challenges-or who has had a loved one dealing with mental illness-Despair to Deliverance is a comforting message of perseverance and hope. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review

Despair to Deliverance by Sharon DeVinney, Ph.D. & Ronin Personette is a memoir forall to read. The path of having a mental illness is not easy to navigate through alone. Here, Robin has her psychotherapist, Sharon, to help her. A dark journey of despair is slowly lifted through a woman’s search for help. A triump over severe mental illness. After reading other books by  mental illness patients, this was the first one I’ve read by both the doctor and the patient. It was exciting to read pages written by both women. It peaked my curiosity. Many suffering from mental illnesses also suffer from depression. I was glad to see the outcome of Robin’s journey turn to be a good one. Despair to Deliverance is a recommended read for all. 

Review: City of Miracles

Synopsis:

Revenge. It’s something Sigrud je Harkvaldsson is very, very good at. Maybe the only thing. 
So when he learns that his oldest friend and ally, former Prime Minister Shara Komayd, has been assassinated, he knows exactly what to do and that no mortal force can stop him from meting out the suffering Shara’s killers deserve. 
Yet as Sigrud pursues his quarry with his customary terrifying efficiency, he begins to fear that this battle is an unwinnable one. Because discovering the truth behind Shara’s death will require him to take up arms in a secret, decades-long war, face down an angry young god, and unravel the last mysteries of Bulikov, the city of miracles itself. And perhaps most daunting of all finally face the truth about his own cursed existence. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review

City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett is an epic science fiction fantasy. Robert Jackson Bennett has impressed me with his writing. I haven’t read a book of his until this one, and I am thrilled I did. This novel of his, has a powerful emotional journey. One that sucks readers straight into its emotions. Sadness, anger, loss and many more. I enjoyed following this closing piece of the trilogy. Fast-paced story. City of Miracles offers action, adventure and a deep sense of attachment. It kept me captivated. The characters are complex and the plot is woven in a way that kept me from putting down…overall, I highly recommend this masterpiece to readers everywhere. 

Review: Chocolate Cake and Chaos





Synopsis:

The 4th book in the BESTSELLING Peridale Cafe Cozy Mystery series is 28th April 2017!
A funeral wreath is delivered to Barker’s cottage. Is it a prank, or a grim warning? Julia’s fears that somebody is trying to kill Barker are confirmed when a dead body with a striking resemblance to him is found on his doorstep the very next day, just as their romance is deepening. 

Barker might be on temporary suspension from his role as Detective Inspector at the village police station, but that doesn’t mean he’s short of enemies in Peridale, especially when a dark face from his past arrives in the small village to stir up painful memories. 

With an unclear list of suspects and motives, Julia vows to keep Barker safe, but can they figure out the puzzle as they work outside of the law in a race against time to stop Barker paying the ultimate price? 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Chocolate Cake and Chaos by Agatha Frost is the fourth masterpiece in this series. I absolutely loved it. Once again, I was following the heroine, Julia, and her boyfriend, the suspended inspector. Here, I learned a lot of surprising twists. Inspector Barker finds that a man he put away for a murder case, has been released due to false charges…and that same man is now, in the same town as him. Talk about suspense, intrigue, and fear! As always there’s a new murder investigation happening where Julia is involved. This time, it hits closer to home. A personal case that has everyone nervous and scared. The brewing romance between Julia and Inspector Barker is sweet as sugar. A man who loves chocolate as much as I do is a keeper. Chocolate Cake and Chaos is a hilarious, romantic, and engaging read. I was intrigued throughout the piece. Again, Agatha Forst has created another favorite book for me to always remember. I love her charcaters and sticky plots. Overall, I highly recommend this cozy mystery to all. 

Review: Doughnuts and Deception





Synopsis:

The 3rd book in the BESTSELLING Peridale Cafe Cozy Mystery series! 
Julia never expected to be caught up in another murder investigation, but when she discovers that homeless people are dying suspiciously and the police aren’t investigating, she can’t sit back and do nothing. After promising her young lodger, Jessie, that she will do everything she can to help, Julia finds herself diving headfirst into the case, aided by her new Detective Inspector boyfriend, Barker. Sure there is a serial killer preying on the vulnerable residents of an old burnout warehouse, Julia must act quickly to get to the bottom of the mystery, but can she crack the case before more bodies turn up? 
Book 3 in the Peridale Cafe Mystery series! Can be read as a standalone but will be enjoyed more as part of the series. A light, cozy mystery read with a cat loving and cafe owning female amateur sleuth, in a small village setting with quirky characters. No cliffhanger, swearing, gore or graphic scenes! 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Doughnuts and Deception by Agatha Frost is another brilliant masterpiece. Julia is a baker but also one of the best ameature sleuths ever. She practically does the entire police force’s work for them. And not a single officer believes her when she’s informing them about a new case and why they should investigate it. However, there’s one investigator on her side…Barker. He’s completely fallen in love with the stubborn, brace, and smart Julia. Julia also likes Barker just as much. Julia’s gran is crazy but hilarious as well. She ‘spies’ on Julia and Barker as they do things and speaks her mind like no one else I know. Caring, sweet, but crazy older lady. Then, there’s the adoptive teenager, Jessie. Jessie was homeless until Julia took her under her own roof. Both Jessie and Julia are good bakers. 

In this latest piece, the main characters are taken into a string of murders deemed as ‘not murdered’ and the police won’t take interest. These murders involve mostly homeless men. Men that Jessie knew when she was homeless. Jessie takes the murders to heart….and Julia can’t help but to dig into the mystery. Then, there’s Barker who will have to stick with Julia if he wants her to be safe…but his career and everything else might be jeopardized…overall, Doughnuts and Deception is another highly engaging and well-told story. Agatha Frost has once more caught my full attention and my heart with her new book. I highly recommend this read to all. 

Review: Balmy Darlings and Deaths






Synopsis:

Raina Sun is cashing in a gift certificate for a free hairstyle from the town’s premier beauty salon and day spa. No more walking dandelion head, thank you very much. Life is on the up-and-up—until she finds an attacker holding her best friend in a headlock outside the treatment rooms. 
She never thought she would spend her birthday pinned against a sweaty armpit, gagging on a mouthful of seaweed, with the attacker plucking at her best friend’s weave like a farmwife de-feathering a chicken. 
When the attacker ends up six feet under, her best friend becomes the prime suspect. Raina summons her sleuthing skills to jump full-tilt into this murder investigation to clear her best friend’s name. With her stink-bomb-toting grandma and the geriatric posse, she soon discovers death is easy, and it’s the living that kills to protect the dead. 
For readers who like fun cozy mysteries, quirky characters, and a dash of humor. 
Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Balmy Darlings and Deaths by Anne R. Tan is a fun cozy mystery. This novel has plenty of action to keep readers intrigued. I enjoyed following Raina as she worked as a sleuth to solve the mystery. Imagine going into a hair salon only for an elderly lady to hit the salon, a jealous woman to attack a worker of the salon, and for the jealous attacker to be found dead. So many things happen and it’s only time to find out if Raina’s best friend is a murderer or not. Raina has a lot on her sleeve. A crazy grandmother, an ex, and a best friend who isn’t acting like a friend at all. Emotionally troubling…and full of drama. The elderly ladies make this tale sweet and hilarious. Balmy Darlings and Deaths is one adventure after another. A murderer is on the loose and situations keep getting more intense…Anne R. Tan has woven an entertaining tale. I recommend it to all. 

Review: The House on Sagamore Road

Synopsis:

Still recovering from the fire at Sagamore Road, and what she witnessed there, Robin Hanley’s daughter, Tess, is the one speaking to the ghost of Fryderyk Chopin now. Having inherited the abilities shared by her rock musician father and her witch stepmother, Tess must discover what started the long history of witches culminating in her family, and why they have the abilities they do. To accomplish this, she must delve back to pre-Dynastic Egypt, and the very first incarnation.

As Tess struggles to convince them that they might still be in danger, Robin and his wife, Suze, face the loss of a loved one and seek to counsel the troubled spirit of Suze’s cousin, Angie, an unwilling accomplice to the family secret.

Desperate to carry on the archaeological research of Suze’s late father, Tess must find the only person capable of giving her the missing facts to discover the cause of the phenomenon before it returns to strike at them again.

The second in Cary Marc Grossman’s three-part Chopin’s Family series, The House on Sagamore Road takes the reader back 26,000 years, to the birth of civilization. 

Rating: 4 stars

Review

The House on Sagamore Road by Cary Marc Gross an is an impressive piece. The pacing drags a little but the action soon takes over and carried me through it. The tale is about a family of witches….in danger. Danger in the present is related to the past. Father, step-mother, and daughter work together in uncovering the answers before they’re facing troubleonce more. A ghost musician added to the plot was fascinating. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Research, archaeology, and family secrets are the three areas that move this tale into a suspenseful read. What they find, if they find, may or may not help them with their struggles. Loss and time racing against them, readers will be captivated just like I was. Tess is a teen who intrigues me. Believable…it was easy to get lost in her story.  Dark, entertaining, and different. The House on Sagamore Road just the second part to a grand adventure. I dare readers to pick it up…(there are some adult content within this book, therefore I advise those 18 and older to read this book). Overall, I recommend it to others. 

Review: Rik’s





Synopsis:

Rik Bogart built the ‘In’ Club in lower Manhattan with his separation check from the CIA and the anguish of a lost true love; at least it was in his mind. Ingrid Johanssen, an international news correspondent living in Baghdad, did not show up at the airport to accompany Rik when Saddam Hussein instructed him to leave in 1991, just before Desert Storm. Rik spent nineteen months in prison after going back in a failed attempt to get Ingrid out safely. But on a September evening a decade later, she walks into his club seeking his help. Understanding he cannot resurrect the love that has haunted him, Rik refuses, but comes face-to-face with his continuing love for her. Rik must overcome a decade of emptiness, and feelings of betrayal to react when he realizes she is in the New York World Trade Towers on the morning of the terrorist attack. That night he finally learns what happened a decade before and why; decides to undertake a dangerous mission that will not bring her back to him, and will make their reunion impossible. Resigned to his fate, he draws on relationships and talents unused for more than a decade knowing that even if successful he must let her go.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Rik’s by dhtreichler is an amazing alternate history tale. War, realistic events like 9/11, and a romance that seems impossible to have all brilliantly woven, here. The main character, Rik Bogart is an interesting man. His training is impressive, but he leaves it. All it takes is for one woman to snatch his heart and all he thinks about is her. A journalist who is entangled with the dangerous events. Rik riskshis life to stay behind to find her and get her out…but she was already gone. Years have gone by and she shows up once more. Intense, intriguing, and well-told. Rik’s is a clandestine relationship that is crazy, powerful, and addictive. Despite all odds, they keep it going. Overall, dhtreichler’s writing was wonderful to follow. Every page added to the suspenseful plot. I enjoyed reading this and recommend it to others. 

Review: Coping with Death and Destruction 

Synopsis:

This is a collection of twelve, high concept, multi-part short stories reflecting on and inspired by the death and transformation of the year 2016. It serves as an elegy for that period of time, submerging into its dark themes of loss, extracting what irreverence and hopefulness it can, and reflecting it through a prism of an eternal universe. Sorted astrologically, the stories sometimes span generations, depicting conflict based around such themes as apocalypse, dreams, aging, dying, ghosts, the afterlife, animals, nature, global politics and pop culture. Location also varies, taking the reader through several American states to North Korea, Africa, the Philippines and beyond – often peppered with heavy doses of Southern Gothic sensibility. Here you can read about religion based on science fiction and fantasy, a 1960’s lounge singer marginalized by the Beatles, or a mixture of drugs that allows the user to summon the dead. Several of the tales blend fact into the fiction, nodding to the cultural giants whose deaths loomed over the year 2016: David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Prince, Carrie Fisher and others. These are detailed and developed stories, intended to instill within the reader a sense of timelessness and a comfort in the notion of infinity. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Coping with Death and Destruction by Arrison Kirby is an epic collection of short stories. Each one has a different plot. Every plot gives off another emotion. One that takes my heart and pulls and tugs until it sets me free. Sad, haunting, and dark. The tales told, captivated my attention with every page. I wasn’t sure what to expect when I opened this book. However, I am thrilled to have done so. This was a path full of multiple journeys that I won’t be forgetting. There’s a variety of unique characters and stories to suit the taste of readers everywhere. The emotions hit me hard and square. I loved it. Coping with Death and Destruction not only entertained me but left me to feel things…that’s when I knew this was a book I would recommend to all. One fantasy after another can be experienced by each story told. Well-written. 

Review: Turn Me Loose





Synopsis:

CRIMES OF PASSION
When she was on the verge of adulthood, Riva Henneman committed a crime and got caught red-handed. Luckily, she was busted by a HOT young cop…who also had a big heart. A one-time SEAL candidate, Officer Ian Hawthorn knew how it felt to have your dreams derailed. So he gave Riva a choice: face prison time or work for him as a confidential informant. But even a get-out-of-jail-free card comes with a cost. . .
Years later, Ian still remembers beautiful, innocent Riva–and the smoldering attraction they shared but both tried to ignore. Will they have a second chance, now that they’re back in each other’s lives? Riva’s work with inner-city children has led to a surprise run-in with Ian, who has his own agenda–one that could put them both in grave danger. Is their desire worth the risk this time?
The high octane suspense and super sizzling romance continues with Turn Me Loose, the third novel in the Alpha Ops series by Anne Calhoun. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Turn Me Loose by Anne Calhoun is a novel to die for. The heat is massive. Raw chemistry increases with every page. The lust has the two main characters locked on each other. But there is more than just lust going on between Ian and Riva. History that brought them together is now, repeating itself. Placing Riva into a difficult spot. One that could endanger all the people she loves as well as her own life. Themes of drugs, violence, abuse, and hope are found within these pages. I was hooked from the beginning. 

Turn Me Loose is exactly as the title suggests. A police officer, Ian Hawthorn, turns himself loose from his career to keep the one woman he loves, safe. He also, turns loose the woman he loved in the past ofor his career. Then, we see that a young guy is turned loose for a second chance at life. Anne Calhoun has once more drugged me with her powerful plot and irresistible charcaters. It was hard not to love both Ian and Riva. Their story pulled at my heart, made me laugh and cry. The ending was just as satisfactory as the rest of the book. Overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere. 

Review: The Beloved Hope Chest 

Synopsis:

In the final installment of the Amish Heirloom series, the Fisher sisters learn the mystery behind their parents’ marriage—and about the sibling who has never been spoken of.

Mattie Fisher’s three daughters know that she’s been keeping a secret from them. With each item pulled from the beloved family hope chest, they’ve discovered a new clue about their mother’s past.

But there’s a reason Mattie has been keeping her history hidden, and she’s not sure she’s ready to reopen old wounds. Will dredging up the past change the way her children view her? Or her marriage to their father? And can she handle the pain of revisiting the memories that preceded the last few happy decades?

Mattie’s story is one of grief and learning to love again. But like the best things preserved in a hope chest, it’s a story of love and redemption born out of heartache—and it’s past time to share it. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Beloved Hope Chest by Amy Clipston was a wonderful Amish heirloom read. This novel, was a journey down memory lane for Mattie. Memories that might change the present. Doubt, fear, and worry fill Mattie’s mind. Her daughters know something…but not enough. Imagine keeping a secret for so long…and finally it’s about to be revealed. Choices have to be made. For better or for worse. I loved reading this charming, engaging, and emotionally powered book. The family life tugged at my heart strings. Suspense of what might happen kept me intrigued. Every page was entertaining. The Beloved Hope Chest is another brilliant piece featuring strong female heroines. Amy Clipston has once more captivated my full attention with her latest novel. Overall, this heartfelt read is one that I would recommend to readers everywhere. The story is full of both woe and happiness. 

Review: Upon A Spring Breeze 

Synopsis:

After a devastating winter, a spring breeze promises more than new flowers.… It promises a new chance at love.
Bess Weaver, twenty and expecting her first child, is in the kitchen making stew for her beloved mann, Caleb, one minute, and the next she’s burying him after a tragic accident. Facing life as a young widow, Bess finds comfort only in tending the garden at an Englisch-owned bed and breakfast—even as she doubts that new growth could ever come after such a long winter.
Aidan tries to repress his guilt over his best friend Caleb’s death and his long-standing feelings for Bess by working harder than ever. But as he spends time with the young son his friend left behind, he seems to be growing closer to the boy’s beautiful mother as well.
When a close-knit group of widows in her Amish community step in to help Bess find her way back to hope, she begins to wonder if Gott has a future for her after all. Will she ever believe that life can still hold joy and the possibility of love? 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Upon A Spring Breeze by Kelly Irvin is a Christian tale full of tragedy, loss, and new beginnings. A young woman loses her husband and faces life as a single mother. Beth buries herself into work. Keeping busy. Aidan is facing internal struggles over his friend’s death and the growing attraction towards his friend’s wife. The child seems to be pulling the two adults closer but Aidan and Beth have to overcome their obstacles and fears before love can set in…

Kelly Irvin’s writing is easy to follow. Intriguing, clean, and charming. The charcaters are believable. Their life situations are realistic. I was able to connect with both characters. Loss, grief, love, and faith are themes commonly found on every page. Overall, I recommend Upon A Spring Breeze to all. 

Review: The Chocolate Touch

Synopsis:

Chocolate expert Chantelle Cummings arrives in Marietta, Montana with two goals—sign copies of her new book and research a quaint local chocolate shop. When she meets a gorgeous guy passing out chocolate samples, her visit turns sweeter than she ever imagined. The man melts her heart, but her dream of working in France with her family makes her hesitant to pursue a romance. 
Former Air Force captain York Parker has one month before embarking upon a consulting career. He never expected to be selling chocolates, but he’s happy to help his sister and her boss. He also likes spending time with sassy, pretty Chantelle. His new co-worker may have the chocolate touch, but he’d rather taste her decadent kisses… That is, until he learns the real reason she’s in town. 
Will the truth harden his heart, or will love pave the way to a sweet future? 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Chocolate Touch by Melissa McClone is another exciting journey that involves chocolates, romances, and hearts on the line. I love chocolate and this book like the others in it’s series have been heart melting. Sweet, decadent, and intriguing. The suspense of what will come between an Air Force captain and a book writer is one that stole my heart. The characters were believable. The scenes made me feel like I was watching them unfold. The writer has a way of engaging her readers like me into her plot. Two alphas working together, fall in love…but can they keep what they have or will their differences set them apart? Truth can set them free or break them into a million pieces. Chantelle and York will both be tested and tempted. I liked the duo combination as it sparked chemistry, heat, and an HEA possibility. Overall, The Chocolate Touch was entertaining to follow. I recommend it to others. 

Review: Goodbye Days

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

What if you could spend one last day with someone you lost?

One day Carver Briggs had it all—three best friends, a supportive family, and a reputation as a talented writer at his high school, Nashville Academy for the Arts.

The next day he lost it all when he sent a simple text to his friend Mars, right before Mars, Eli, and Blake were killed in a car crash.

Now Carver can’t stop blaming himself for the accident, and he’s not the only one. Eli’s twin sister is trying to freeze him out of school with her death-ray stare. And Mars’s father, a powerful judge, is pressuring the district attorney to open a criminal investigation into Carver’s actions.

Luckily, Carver has some unexpected allies: Eli’s girlfriend, the only person to stand by him at school; Dr. Mendez, his new therapist; and Blake’s grandmother, who asks Carver to spend a Goodbye Day with her to share their memories and say a proper goodbye to his friend.

Soon the other families are asking for a Goodbye Day with Carver, but he’s unsure of their motives. Will they all be able to make peace with their losses, or will these Goodbye Days bring Carver one step closer to a complete breakdown or—even worse—prison? (less)

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner is a stunning YA novel. Instantly, the plot dragged me into its depth. Deep, emotional, and troubling. As I read further, I wasn’t sure of what the outcome would be. Intrigue, sheer curiosity, and the intensity of the tale hooked me. Friends, death, loss, and uncertainty are major themes found on every page. The main character, Carver Briggs, has a way of luring me further into his life journey. Blame, angry, and heated moments are sure to follow…overall, Goodbye Days has the effect of breaking me into a million pieces and pulling me back together. That kind of epic adventure is truly one worth reading. I recommend this title by Jeff Zentner to readers worldwide. Whether one is a teen or an adult, the pages will send you falling into the book.

Review: Finding Our Forever




Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Brenda Novak welcomes readers to the town of Silver Springs, where surprises wait around every corner!
The search for her birth mother brought Cora Kelly to the New Horizons Boys Ranch. Getting a job there was easy enough, but confiding in Aiyana, the ranch’s owner, that she’s really her daughter? Cora’s not sure she can do that, not unless she’s confident the news will be welcomed. And once she gets to know Elijah Turner, Aiyana’s adopted son and ranch manager, that decision becomes even more difficult.
Although Elijah can’t deny his deep attraction to Cora, he’s always struggled with trust. Anyone with his past would, and there’s something about the ranch’s newest employee that isn’t exactly as it seems. But if the feelings she awakes in his guarded heart are any indication, she might be just what he’s long been waiting for. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Finding Our Forever by Brenda Novak is the beginning to a new series. Talk about a starter…this novella is packed full of emotional journeys. In this tale, I met a young woman who was adopted. Luckily for her, her adoptive mother and father were good people. That doesn’t happen much for orphans. Yet, Cora lucked out and she’s about to luck out further. Cora is a twenty-eight year old woman who hired an investigation into who her birth mom was and where she could find her. Finally, she has her answers. Little did she know that she would not only met her mom but her future husband, too. I was ecstatic. Neverous, happy, and sad. The intensity of the story kept building up to where it could end badly…I wasn’t sure which way the news would swing. 

Brenda Novak has once more impressed me with her writing. This writer is a pro at coming up with plots that are engaging. From the beginning to end, I was tailing after Cora every second. Left in suspense as to what will happen next and what Cora might decide to do. I was happy to have read this new novella by Brenda Novak. She truly, knows what her readers want and expect. I have read many of her books….and I love them all. There’s always some form of an emotional attachment that has me connecting immediately with the main charcaters. There’s either a dilemma that has me on edge of my seat guessing or a romance that has me hooked. Either way, I’m always left feeling satisfied having read each of her works. Finding Our Forever had a theme of adoption and family. I thought it was brilliant. A believable tale with all its craziness just like the real world brings. Overall, I highly recommend this book to readers worldwide. 

Review: Perfect Pleasures




Synopsis:

World famous MMA champion Zachary Barrett has returned to his home in Phuket, Thailand, and his elite training camp, Revolution. Thanks to his twin brother, a renowned pro trainer in Colorado, Zachary is primed and ready for his next title bout—but his toughest match may be with the sports journalist assigned to write an exposé on him. Not only is she gorgeous, she’s after a well-guarded secret that Zach soon realizes makes her off limits in every way…

 

It’s true that Kenzie Monroe has an ulterior motive for pursuing Zachary. The half-Asian beauty believes he’s connected to her estranged father, a former MMA fighter who disappeared years ago. And the more Zachary avoids her, the more determined she is—and the hotter their game of cat and mouse becomes…until they both surrender. But as lust, love, and friendship combine, Zachary knows he has to answer all of Kenzie’s questions—because outside of the ring, the heart makes the rules… 

 

“Mello hits all the right notes…A smart heroine, a sensual hero, witty repartee, and complex family dynamics.” – Publishers Weekly on Playing for Keeps 

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

Perefect Pleasures by Deborah Fletcher Mello is a contemporary African American novel. It’s heat level is packed full. The charcaters’ chemistry ignites with every page. Lighting a fiery passion within them. One is after the other for answers. She won’t stop until she gets what she wants. However, neither charcater expected the raw desires to flare up…

This novel looked good. It’s written fine. But there’s really no personal connection from the reader to the charcaters. The story is all sexual which is fine, since the title suggests that. It just felt like the emotional connection between characters wasn’t really developed. They struggle with their issues. It’s like they are hiding from reality by having sex. Other than those issues, the book was fine. Entertaining read overall. I haven’t read any previous novels by Deborah Fletcher Mello so, I can’t compare how her writing fell from the others. But her novel holds promise, just needs more work. 

Review: Spring Fever



Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author of Summer Rental delivers her delicious new escapist novel about small towns, old flames, and deep secrets

Annajane Hudgens truly believes she is over her ex-husband, Mason Bayless. They’ve been divorced for four years, she’s engaged to a new, terrific guy, and she’s ready to leave the small town where she and Mason had so much history. She is so over Mason that she has absolutely no problem attending his wedding to the beautiful, intelligent, delightful Celia. But when fate intervenes and the wedding is called to a halt as the bride is literally walking down the aisle, Annajane begins to realize that maybe she’s been given a second chance. Maybe everything happens for a reason. And maybe, just maybe, she wants Mason back. But there are secrets afoot in this small southern town. On the peaceful surface of Hideaway Lake, Annajane discovers that the past is never really gone. Even if there are people determined to keep Annajane from getting what she wants, happiness might be hers for the taking, and the life she once had with Mason in this sleepy lake town might be in her future. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Spring Fever by Mary Kay Andrews is a contemporary romance worthy of reading. The raw chemistry that flares between characters is great. Two families that have a controlling mother. A father who slept around…and fathered a child outside his marriage. An older son who takes responsibility far greater than he should. Another son who takes no responsibility at all. Two former lovers have had a lot on their plates…and their love for each other hasn’t died. But where their lives are headed is one intense journey. Love conquers all. Other themes like marriage, faith, and family are popular throughout this book. Another interesting twist was the rich and poor charcaters intermingled on every page. Friendship lasts a lifetime. 

Mary Kay Andrews brought to life a real world inside her novel, Spring Fever. The characters’ lives were troubled from day one. Drama, money, and family always got in the way. In the real world those same things change and alter people’s lives. I was addicted. The plot wasn’t a fairy tale. It was rough around the edges. Entertaining, well-told, and fascinating to follow. Spring Fever was believable in every way possible. Overall, I recommend to readers everywhere. 

Review: Luxe 2

Synopsis

In Luxe Two: A LaLa Land Addiction by New York Times bestselling author Ashley Antoinette, there is only one thing more powerful than anything…the love of the high…
Bleu is addicted…addicted to the luxe life and it has led her down a road of self-destruction. She knows what it feels like to be turned out by the game. With a crack cocaine addiction that she can’t seem to escape, she is desperate for a savior. Her problem is she has two great loves that want to come to her rescue. When her best friend, Noah comes searching for her she is faced with a dilemma. Will she let him save her? Or will she stick with the kingpin, Iman, who has loved her since their first encounter? Or will both men lose her to a love she can’t get rid of…one that abuses her…and one that will be the death of her… 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Luxe 2 by Ashley Antoinette is an urban fiction tale that nailed my attention. Immediately, the main charcater’s life was hitting rock bottom. The life of drugs over taking her. Luckily, Bleu had two men in her life and several friends to help her. One man is a kingpin the other is a best friend who wants to rescue her. But only if Blue lets him. Noah is the man that is good for the main charcater. I can’t say too much without giving away the plot…next, there’s Iman. He loves Bleu but her heart says Noah. Yet he’s still a major part of life in more than one way. Bleu is a strong heroine that will need to make major decisions soon before it’s too late for her. Surprises and plot twists are ahead for readers. I enjoyed reading this African American novel. It portrayed real lives in a fictional sense. Everything was believable. Overall, I recommend Luxe 2 to readers. 

Review: Heels, Heartache, & Headlines

Synopsis:

It’s a showdown for the spotlight as Hollywood’s elite Pampered Princesses scramble to outshine each other for the ultimate crown. But being on top is never what it seems…

Heartbroken and humiliated, teen supermodel London Phillips is done with her pity party and ready to move on. But between the mean-spirited media, a shocking realization about her billionaire ex, and a vengeful obsession, London’s discovering that while confessions are good for the soul, deception is so much sweeter… 
When it comes to juggling her cuties, Rich Montgomery is the queen. But now she’s fallen for a bad boy who comes with more drama than she ever did–and her fairytale love affair soon turns into a nightmare. Will she find a way out, or will pride get the best of her? 

Spencer Ellington could teach an advanced class in revenge. So when she’s shunned by her frenemy, Heather Cummings, again, backstabbed by her bestie, Rich, and sucked into her parents’ sordid antics, she’s ready to roll up her designer sleeves and pull out all the stops. After all, frenemies fight. Divas wage war… 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Heels, Heartache, & Headlines by Ni-Ni Simone Amir Abrams is a juicy YA read. A Comtemporary African American piece of literature that speaks real teenage language. The drama is high and the risks…make this a hot read. Nobody likes a diva. After reading this tale, I saw why. All the trouble that comes a diva’s way can turn her faster than a blink of an eye. The three divas inside were different but similar in ways. 

Ni-Ni Simone Amir Abrams has created three realistic queen bees. All trying to win the top place. However, that will prove most difficult as each girl has a secret. That could make or break them. Love enters their worlds and complications arise. Matters will need solving or they’ll escalate further than the girls thought. Betrayal, romance, and frenemies are popular themes found in this entertaining novel. Exes, bad boys, and revenge…are in the air. Heels, Heartache, & Headlines is full of action, drama, and some adult like material. I was fascinated with London’s, Rich’s and Spencer’s lives. One big emotionally exciting ride from beginning to end. Overall, I recommend it to readers. 

Review: The Gay Preacher’s Wife





Synopsis:

The deeply personal memoir of Lydia Meredith, a woman who spent almost thirty years married to a preacher—only to have her husband leave her for a MAN —and how her life becomes a testimony of tolerance and a theology of love and acceptance.
After being married to Reverend Dennis A. Meredith for almost thirty years, Lydia Meredith discovers a shocking truth: the love of her life left her for a MAN. Now, Lydia opens up for the first time about how that revelation shattered her world—and strengthened her faith.
With her life turned upside down, Lydia struggled to put the pieces of her broken heart back together and that led her to pursue understanding through an accredited theological education. She wanted a way to put her family back together and she found Jesus’ ministry and teachings were “actually” about teaching tolerance and love for people who are labeled different.
Candid, honest, and incredibly touching, Lydia Meredith shows that faith and perseverance can get you through any challenge life throws your way.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Gay Preacher’s Wife by Lydia Meredith is a deep memoir. Inside, I followed her journey as an African American women. Just being in that category is hard enough. Then, to add to the fact her husband had lied to her for the past 30-years. Well, it was easy to sympathize with her. I can only imagine how hard that was to deal with after finding out. Having a man lineage his wife for an reason is hard on the soul and heart. Lydia Meredith’s husband left her for another man. Wow. I wouldn’t know how to handle that scenario myself, if placed in the same situation. Her journey was emotional and interesting. I believe the writer dealt with the situation in the best ways possible. I can’t judge her nor her husband. Life is complicated, messy, and hear shattering. Readers can easily connect with Lydia as her words engage them further into her life. Overall, this personal memoir took great faith and courage to share. I recommend it to others. 

Review: Daddy’s Gone A Hunting





Synopsis:

In her latest novel Mary Higgins Clark, the beloved, bestselling “Queen of Suspense,” exposes a dark secret from a family’s past that threatens the lives of two sisters, Kate and Hannah Connelly, when the family-owned furniture firm in Long Island City, founded by their grandfather and famous for its fine reproductions of antiques, explodes into flames in the middle of the night, leveling the buildings to the ground, including the museum where priceless antiques have been on permanent display for years.
The ashes reveal a startling and grisly discovery, and provoke a host of suspicions and questions. Was the explosion deliberately set? What was Kate—tall, gorgeous, blond, a CPA for one of the biggest accounting firms in the country, and sister of a rising fashion designer—doing in the museum when it burst into flames? Why was Gus, a retired and disgruntled craftsman, with her at that time of night? What if someone isn’t who he claims to be?
Now Gus is dead, and Kate lies in the hospital badly injured and in a coma, so neither can tell what drew them there, or what the tragedy may have to do with the hunt for a young woman missing for many years, nor can they warn that somebody may be covering his tracks, willing to kill to save himself . . .
Step by step, in a novel of dazzling suspense and excitement, Mary Higgins Clark once again demonstrates the mastery of her craft that has made her books international bestsellers for years. She presents the reader with a perplexing mystery, a puzzling question of identity, and a fascinating cast of characters—one of whom may just be a ruthless killer . . . 
Rating: 5-stars

Review:

In Mary Higgins Clark’s novel, Daddy’s Gone A Hunting, I was terrified. A young woman realizes the man that is playing as her father really isn’t her father after all. Then, there’s someone stealing from her real father’s company. Murder is just around the corner…and soon, the young woman will find herself in a deadly situation. The mystery was great. I was guessing all along. The suspense and intrigue was there like always. Once more, I was impressed with Mary Higgins Clark’s writing. Her novels never disappoint me. Overall, I highly recommend Daddy’s Gone A Hunting to all. 

Review: Sitting Pretty (Break Away)

Synopsis:

Break Away is the first installment in the Sittin Pretty book series. 

Cousins, Morgan and Dakota, are bored with their suburban lifestyle. They aren’t looking for adventure, but soon find it when Beck and Jason enter their lives. From cat rats to kidnapping, this group is in for a wild ride. Join them on their premiere adventure…Break Away. 

The Sittin Pretty series is designed for young people to be a quick read in their busy lives. 
Look for book #2 in the series: Puerto Rico, Paris, Perfect.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Break Away by Lavendar Jade is a great YA read. The journey has a lot to offer. Plenty of ups and downs…and the scenes went by fast. The story way believable. Just like the writer mentioned, it is a quick read. Emotional and entertaining. I got this book from the author. 

Review: How to Design a Duke




Synopsis:

He’s charming. She’s skeptical. 

He’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and she sees straight through to his heart. 

It’ll never work. Or will it? 

Lady Laura Abbey has much adjusting to do. 

In a matter of one year she went from being a little seamstress … to a widow … to the heiress of the Season. 
She knows nothing about London and Society, but she’ll have to learn quickly if she plans to survive among the Ton’s casual cruelty. 

Ironically, the most charming rogue and scandalous gentleman of London lends her his aid. 
And like everything else in her life, it’ll come with a price. 
Albion Kay IV, the Duke of Oakley, has never been known to play the part of gentleman until he meets her- a lady he finds to be so different than other ladies. 
Lady Laura. 
Everyone knows him to be a rake, but in one night, everything changes. 

Fighting his past will be Oakley’s biggest obstacle. 

And Laura’s will come in the form of fighting her attraction for him. 
Can the duke change from his old ways? 

Will the lady find love or heartbreak? 
Page Count: around 330 pages 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

How to Design a Duke by Eleanor Meyers is a thrilling regency romance. This novel was addictive from the start. I couldn’t stop reading it. The brewing romance, the raw chemistry, and society’s pressure made for one brilliant tale. Plus, adding a man’s dark past just added to the tension that has me on edge. Explosive, well-told, and dramatic. These main charcaters have stolen my heart. Believable life scenarios and charming seductive characters made for an interesting read. I’ll never forget Lady Laura nor the Duke of Oakley. Overall, I recommend this talented writer’s latest masterpiece to all. 

Review: The Streets have No King

Synopsis:

A street thriller of kidnapping, murder, trickery, and love that will have you at the edge of your seat.
After 7 years of prison, multi-millionaire drug mogul Kane Garrett is back on the streets. But instead of diving back into the drug game, he’s teaching a college class, infusing business principles with his signature ruthless edge he developed in the streets. When a student–and heavy heroin dealer–named Basil catches Kane’s eye, Kane takes him on as a protege and together, they build the biggest, smartest drug trafficking business the state has ever seen.
But when Basil meets Moriah, Kane’s only daughter, lines get crossed and their dominant business union becomes a deadly rivalry. Welcome to a world where the kings meet their end and no one stays at the top for long. The crown always lies heavy on he who commands the streets–and Kane and Basil will fight to claim their rule, before power is toppled again, in The Streets Have No King by New York Times bestselling author JaQuavis Coleman. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Streets have No King by JaQuavis Coleman is a thrilling read. Dark, gritty, and intense. The plot caught my attention instantly. Here, I met a main charcater who doesn’t go back to his old lifestyle. I would have thought he would, but he didn’t. At least, not right away. Then, he meets a young man who he sees something in and together they go to the main character’s bad way of life. To them, it wasn’t bad…until stakes were involved. Like the previous street king’s daughter. Then, from there…things quickly escalated and heated. Danger, suspense, and intrigue has tied itself around me. Taking me hostage within the book. JaQuavis Coleman’s writing has a way of planting me deep inside a different world. A world where there are no friends and only risks to take. A non ending game of life, death, and chances of the high life. But as with the real world criminal activity always had a way of pulling one down under…and destroying what was once good. Overall, I enjoyed exploring this urban street fiction. I would recommend this novel to adults only due to the high volume of drugs and violence. Interesting read…that contains real life scenarios. I got this copy from the publisher and this is my honest review.

Review: Love Happens

Synopsis:

In this must-have short-story collection, Melanie Moreland introduces us to Ethan Thomas in When Love Blooms. Melanie Harlow shares her novel, Some Kind of Love. Molly McLain and Rhonda James share Luke and Mia’s no strings weekend that could lead to love. Claudia Burgoa visits New York City in How We Met. Leap with Dylan Allen to London where we meet Cara’s dream man. Emery Jacobs revisits the Beautiful Torture Duet. Go on vacation with the beloved characters of the Unspoken Series by Gabbie Duran. I See You is based on secondary characters in Ginger Scott’s How We Deal With Gravity. Fall in love with Jeanne McDonald’s Shadow Kingsley in All Of Me. Lisa Kamps takes us to the ice arena with First Shot At Love (A Baltimore Banners Story). Bad girl Delilah meets Lance, her total opposite, in Wild Pumpkin by Martha Sweeney. Mia Kayla brings us Kent and Beth from Marry Me for Money, a couple with different views in All Work And No Play. In Love on The Edge, Molly Lee’s Dash and Blake from the Edge of Chaos spend their honeymoon chasing storms. Rockstar Silas Palmer finds love on the side of the road in Hitch by S.M. West. 
Fifteen authors come together to celebrate Autism Awareness month with proceeds benefitting SARRC and Myles-A-Part. 
Love Happens features stories about finding love, falling in love and being in love.

**Includes Some Kind of Love By Melanie Harlow** 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Love Happpens is anthology by many authors. Each one with their own unique talent. They have come together to put this collection for readers and to raise funds for Autism. I love when talented writers get together to help others. It nails my attention immediately. 

After reading these stories, I got to go on a lot of adventures. Different experiences of love, life, and meaning. Each tale was deep. Emotionally, I was swept up in its great wave after wave of stories. Another amazing thing about this anthology, I got to taste other writer’s work, whom I never heard of until now…their stories are not only entertaining but inspiring too. Love Happens is romantic, hopeful, and well-told. Sexy, realistic, and contains a lot of real life issues. That’s what really had me hooked. I was able to connect to the charcaters because of that. Overall, I recommend this collection to readers worldwide. There’s a little of everything inside…I have received this free copy for an honest review. 

Review: Home on the Range


Synopsis:

A cowboy romance with a heart of gold, in Home on the Range author Ruth Logan Herne returns readers to the Double S Ranch where God and family are first, but love is certain to follow the Stafford menfolk. Nick made all the wrong choices for all the wrong reasons. His father had failed at marriage and fatherhood. Nick was determined to show him up. He’d be a better husband, better father and a better ranch manager than Sam Stafford ever hoped to be. But Nick’s wife Whitney hated the ranch and she walked out on Nick and their two beautiful daughters three years ago. 

For a long time Nick pretended everything was fine and when his stubborn nature is finally challenged by trouble with his young girls, he’s faced with the changes he should have made long ago. Psychologist Dr. Elsa Andreas had a thriving family therapy practice, a school commission, a good life, but tragedy pushes Elsa to walk away from her life. Three years later, she’s tucked herself in the backwoods of Gray’s Glen. When her sister encourages her to help Nick Stafford’s daughters, Elsa takes a chance. But Nick’s ex-wife comes back to town, threatening the girls’ newfound stability. Can Nick find the forgiveness and Else the courage to build their own “Home on the Range”? 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Home on the Range by Ruth Logan Herne is the second novel in the Double S Ranch series. A Christian fictional piece that warms my heart immediately. Love, family, and letting go of the past are just a few themes found within the pages. I was inspired. The reality of the charcaters’ situations plus, their past keep them from moving forward. Their struggles are wonderful to watch as the story unfolds. One of the brothers featured at the Double S Ranch thought he could make for a better father than the one he had. But then, life throws him lemons. His wife leaves him and his daughters are struggling in school. Then, comes a woman who can help him and his daughters. Her magic touch and his hope may bind them closer together than they ever expected…

Home on the Range shows readers that despite the obstacles life can move on…miracles, love, and hope can exist. Heartfelt, charming, and beleivable. Ruth Logan has once again, caught my attention with her beautifully written novel. I recommend it to all.

Review: Almost Human

Synopsis:

Almost Human is a thriller where creatures with the enormous strength and power of a chimpanzee and the intelligence and size of a human are sought out and discovered in a remote compound in equatorial Africa. The special bond between trainers and their animals is central to the story. Drs. Ken Turner and Fred Savage follow rumors of chimp-human hybrids. The scientists want to study the hybrids, but government operatives want to exploit them. The resulting conflicts threaten Turner and Savage’s research and their lives, as well as the lives of many others. Can they stop the murderous onslaught in time?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Almost Human by Kenneth L. Decroo is a fascinating thriller. The entire plot hangs onto the theme of: what happens when the line between ape and man is blurred? That question lingers in my mind long after this read. I keep thinking what if…and what will happen if that were indeed a reality. We are already hearing about robots taking over humans in the workforce…what is to say that scientists won’t go so far as to blur the lines between ape and man. 

Almost Human is exciting and terrifying at the same time. The impossible comes possible. Scientists working on experiments that no one really wants to know about…and soon, it will hit the papers. Secrets will come out…and the fear of the unknown will conquer those involved. The plot takes readers to Africa were these experiments occur. Ape-human hybrids…danger is just lurking on every page. The intensity of this wild situation will send readers with nightmares and chills as they explore what happens when the lines become blurred. Kenneth L. Decroo is a talented writer. I was awed and chilled by what his words showed. Interesting scenarios. The characters were brilliant. Both the good and the bad made it believably real. Overall, I recommend Almost Human to readers worldwide. 

Book Review: A Question of Devotion





Synopsis:

Then she saw it – a sheet of paper in the mailbox, underneath the mail. It was white with large black letters and said LEAVE IT ALONE. 
Mrs. B has a quiet life, and she likes it that way. Morning pinochle games at St. Mary’s Senior Center. Afternoon lunches with Myrtle, Anne and Rose. Peaceful evenings with a cup of coffee and the classic movie channel. 
But one day she wakes to a phone call, which leads to consequences she could never have foreseen. Secrets snowball and threaten to change the neighborhood of Burchfield forever. Someone has to make things right. It’s up to Mrs. B.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

A Question of Devotion by Anita Kulina is one novel that zeroed in on my full attention. An older Polish woman takes it upon herself to solve a case. One that involves her neighborhood. Changes are coming…as well as danger and threats. 

A debut novel, A Question of Devotion, is indeed an interesting mystery. Secrets come to light. Notes with threats are left and phone calls, too. Mrs. B. has a lot to juggle as the heroine of this book. Computer technology is one thing. I found it captivating and funny how one elderly lady’s typical life changes from doing games at a senior center to investigating a crime. 

The characters including Mrs. B are beleivable. For fans of The Murder She Wrote, Piriot, and Columbo, readers will love this book. I was engaged, entertained, and can’t wait for the next installment. Mrs. B is my new favorite lady detective. Smart, brave, and funny. Overall, I recommend A Question of Devotion to all.