Review: Running Scared

Running Scared

 

 

 

Synopsis:

#1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Jackson draws readers into a tension-filled story of suspense, as a woman’s secret past returns with a vengeance . . .

Kate Summers’ teenage son, Jon, has been having nightmares. Someone is chasing him, the footsteps drawing relentlessly nearer. Jon can’t see the man’s face. He only senses that danger is coming–and there’s no way to stop it.

“Never tell anyone he’s not your boy,” was the warning. And Kate hasn’t. Not since the day fifteen years ago when she was offered what she most wanted–a healthy newborn baby. He was hers to keep, provided she moved far away, for good. She’s kept her word, raising Jon in a small Oregon town, lying to him for both their sakes. Despite his gift–or curse–of premonition, Jon hasn’t divined that he was adopted illegally. But now Kate’s long-ago choices are engulfing the life she’s tried to build.

Daegan O’Rourke has come to this remote corner of the Pacific Northwest to find answers only Kate can give. He understands why she’s wary of him, but there’s a far greater threat at hand. Someone is tracking Jon down–ready to kill him and anyone who gets in the way. And convincing Kate to trust him, even once she knows the whole shocking truth, is Daegan’s only hope of keeping them alive . . .

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Running Scared by Lisa Jackson is the perfect romantic suspense novel. I loved the air of mystery surrounding the quick adoption of Jon Summers. A baby boy born with no one wanting him. His real father was supposedly this no good man, yet it turns out even that wasn’t true. Jon Summers is a kid with a special gift that made this an interesting book full of twists and turns. The woman who adopted the Jon lost everyone she cared about…she always wanted a child of her own. Taking the child she left and built them a new life. Only danger was following them. Jon starts to have nightmares and the results are terrifying. The intensity of this read built up with every page.  I was hanging in suspense wondering what would happen next. Then the unexpected would occur and shake up everything I knew…

Lisa Jackson is a talented writer with a gift for creating the best suspense novels I have ever read. The first few pages hooked me instantly. I knew then that I was lost. Overall, I highly recommend this book to all.

 

Review: Vendetta

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen comes a new explosive, compelling thriller.

With his dying breath, Carl Venable, head of the CIA task force on terrorism and Jude Brandon’s final link to terrorist ringleader Max Huber, gives Brandon a mandate: keep his daughter, Rachel, safe at any cost. But Rachel Venable has a shocking, twisted past of her own, one that comes rushing back after her medical clinic in Guyana is attacked by Huber—the same man who murdered her father and kept her imprisoned for months.
Brandon and Catherine Ling, Rachel’s longtime ally and fierce protector, are determined to keep Rachel out of danger, but she knows that it’s impossible to stay hidden when Max Huber wants you dead.

As Rachel and Brandon race against the clock to bring Huber down before he can orchestrate a disaster that will lay waste to half the country, they also fight a growing attraction to each other – an attraction that could prove just as dangerous as Huber himself.

In this gripping, fast-paced novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author Iris Johansen, one thing is clear: everyone has a vendetta, and no one will rest until they get their revenge.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Vendetta by Iris Johansen is an action-packed thrilling journey. However for the main characters it’s just starting. Their intense deadly cat-and-mouse game with a killer is entertaining to follow. Never a dull moment, especially between the protagonists. They are both experts in their fields and sexy as sin. Attraction develops and blossoms as the danger escalates. I was tossed from one high end death scene to another. I could not predict what would occur next. I kept waiting for one or both characters to be killed at times. The suspense was great. A man with a vendetta is out to catch a killer. Only the killer has plans and that involves catching a particular woman. One that is in the current hands of his protection. But her stubbornness and I-can-do-anything attitude only up the flames in this novel. Iris Johansen held my full-attention from the first page. I cannot say that about most novels. Overall, I recommend this book to action, suspense, and romance lovers. This one story had it all.

Review: Is Your Dream Really Worth It?

Is Your Dream Really Worth It?: Discover Your Passion, Purpose, and Plan

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

THIS IS NOT JUST ANOTHER SELF- HELP BOOK! This is an experience, and one that will compel you to finally take action in your life. Let’s face it, it’s not enough to read about personal development hacks, or how to achieve your dreams. You have to take the first step, and Is Your Dream Really Worth It? is the companion you need for your journey! Tony Shavers III has done all the hard work for you by consolidating his knowledge of transformation and action. You’re ultimately the one who gets to decide if your dream is really worth it, but Tony is going to do his best to fight for your dreams on your behalf. It’s his gift to the world, and it’s your turn to receive it.

This book will take you on a path of self-exploration to investigate what you’re passionate about, learn how this passion can be built into your character and everyday life, and finally will help you unlock your infinite potential.

It’s a compelling book of self-realization through an inspired and motivating voice. It’s a work that locates your TRUE identity, reveals it, and then gives you the confidence to take it to where it is needed within your community. Your journey of transformation begins today! You owe it to yourself to stop playing small. The world is waiting for your gifts.

Grab the paperback version for yourself and a friend and go through this workbook together. You’ll have the opportunity to create a Vision Board, a Gratitude Journal, and write a Letter To Yourself following the book… AND MORE! Allow yourself the opportunity to be vulnerable because by the end of this book, I guarantee you, life is going to change for the better. It’s time for you to step into your greatness! I’ll be waiting for you at the end!

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Is Your Dream Really Worth It? by Tony Shavers III is concise, informative, and inspiring. It encourages the readers to take that step to change their lives. Nothing will change if there is not a new direction or step taken. This book helps the reader find their passion, purpose, and plan. I liked that I did not need to read a really thick self-help book to discover the same steps that are in this one. Plus, there are places to question yourself, evaluate what’s going on, and to find what works. I will definitely recommend this guide book to readers everywhere.

 

Review: Tree

Tree

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Tree is a novel about a tree written from a unique point of view: the chief narrator is a tree. Tree uses magical realism as a key to access the interrelated emotional realities of the many species that share one pristine valley in Topanga, California. Grass, birds, other trees and animals come to life on the pages, while one 19th century Mexican woman and one 20th century school boy, hearts opened by grief and loneliness, come to know one California live oak whose 229 years span the evolution of four human civilizations, Chumash, Spanish/Mexican, Yankee and new money Hollywood, which each leave their mark upon the landscape and upon Tree. The author’s obsessive botanical, scientific and historical research give substance to a world that feels both as real as last weekend’s dust on hiking boots and as mind altering as a fully fledged mystical experience. Take a journey into the heart of the woods where every plant shines: Tree will change how you see nature.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

I have never found a novel that brought to life the world of nature. In this case, Tree, is a journey in which it tells us what happened to life around it. Everything comes, goes, or changes around Tree. Tree gives us a deeper more realistic feeling of being there experiencing all the life, loss, and change as it happened. I absolutely loved the perspectives that the writer,  Melina Sempill Watts gave. Each non-person thing came to life. Giving this book more depth and character. It was hard not to become emotionally attached while reading through the pages. I loved this book, and the ending had me not wanting to let it go. The raw emotion and new look into plants like Tree, had me hooked. Overall, I recommend this wonderful story to all.

 

Review: An Amish Homecoming

An Amish Homecoming

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Four brand new Amish stories of coming home.

No Place Like Home  by Amy Clipston

Estranged daughter Eva Dienner has been staying with her in-laws, the Riehls, since her husband was killed in a fire, but now she wants her son to meet his maternal grandparents. Upon her return, Eva finds that the man her parents always intended for her is living in their daadihaus and running the dairy farm for them for free, despite her suspicions of him taking advantage of her family. Eva knows she should put the past behind her, but is she ready to move into the future?

When Love Returns  by Beth Wiseman

Hurricane Harvey forces Sarah Zook to return to the home she fled six years ago when she couldn’t face her stern parents’ reaction to her unplanned pregnancy. Upon her return, Abram King can think of nothing but the pain she caused him—until he meets Sarah’s daughter and realizes that he never really stopped loving Sarah. Sarah and Abram must find a way to face the truth of their past so they can rekindle their first love.

The Courage to Love  by Shelley Shepard Gray

After the death of her Englisch husband, Irene Keim seeks a fresh start by staying with her new friends Mary Ruth and Henry Wengerd in exchange for helping them around the house. But when Mary Ruth and Henry’s son Marcus comes around, he isn’t pleased with the woman they’ve taken in and is determined to push her out. Misunderstandings abound, but both Irene and Marcus learn that people aren’t always what they seem.

What Love Built by Kathleen Fuller

Independent and headstrong, Carolyn is determined to forge ahead with the opening of her bakery, a lifelong dream, in the Birch Creek home she left ten years ago. But she’s in over her head and needs help with the cleaning, shopping, and deliveries. Carpenter Atlee Shetler is visiting Birch Creek to escape the memories of his late wife. He takes a job renovating the new bakery and finds the project—and its owner—to be much more than he bargained for. Both Carolyn and Atlee must face pains of the past if they want to have the bright future God has planned for them.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

An Amish Homecoming is a wonderful collection of four novellas. These Amish stories have captured my heart and soul. Each writer has infused a different lesson to be learned in her story. It was entertaining to follow the characters as the followed their hearts and dreams. Challenges were presented in a way that felt real. I also felt like I was a member of the Amish communities inside this collection. There is plenty of humor, faith, and love to explore here. The writers have brought the lost, the grieving, and the hurt together. It was an awe inspiring journey in each part of this book. Overall, I enjoyed reading An Amish Homecoming and recommend it to all.

 

Review & Excerpt for Freefall: A Divine Comedy

Freefall: A Divine Comedy

 

Excerpt:

Tillie confronts the past

Sibyl Pitt offered her funky cabin at Whistler for the Muskrateers’ reunion. Tillie had visited the ski resort in her early twenties—before it became yuppified; before it was a resort. A tiny village in the cradle of two mountains, it wasn’t named Whistler yet, and the houses were funky. So she expected Sibyl’s place to be rustic and quaint. Made of logs. They would use candles and kerosene lanterns, cook on a wood stove, rough it. She came prepared, her rolled-up sleeping bag and stuffed backpack sitting on the seat beside her. Tillie also brought dried food. A tarot deck. Even a candle or two.

A sign said “Whistler,” and she slowed down, watching for Ridge Road. Tillie’s stomach gurgled, and it wasn’t hunger. Fear, her old friend, was never far away. She was afraid to see these women again. What would they think of her? Tillie’s life had taken a one-hundred-eighty degree turn from theirs. She didn’t have a big house to show off. Or rings. Or a husband. What did she have to show for the last forty years? Most of her installations only existed in videos and photos. Nothing tangible. Nothing real. She was driving a ’67 VW van, held together by faith and a mechanic who loved working on old vehicles. What would she have in common with the others except for their shared histories?

Tillie almost made a U-turn in the middle of the road, but then she recalled the empty apartment in San Francisco. It was still filled with unpleasant memories of Frank, her latest live-in, so she quickly shut that door. She needed a break so she could get her bearings again. Find a new direction.

On the radio, Peter, Paul and Mary were singing “I’m just a poor wayfaring stranger.” Tillie joined in, her voice off-key: “I’m going there to me-et my maker, I’m going there no mo-re to-o roam.”

Folk songs were a welcome break from the hip-hop music that had taken over the airwaves, plaguing her since she left San Francisco. Tillie had tried listening to rap, wanting to be “with it.” But she felt beaten-up by the words and blunt, monotonous rhythms. Though she hated to admit it, she knew she must be getting old when she couldn’t relate to the new generation’s music.

When Tillie pulled into Sibyl’s driveway, her jaw dropped. The cozy, rustic cabin she had imagined, nestled among the pines, turned out to be a bloody three-story mansion, clinging to the side of a mountain. Definitely not what she’d expected. Feeling out of place already in her old van, her home away from home, she parked under some evergreens, between a new SUV and a Chrysler Jeep Liberty.

Glancing at herself in the rearview mirror, Tillie wondered how she would appear to these women, sorry now she’d never invested in a face-lift. Her short spiked hair gave her a startled appearance, like an aging Orphan Annie. She had trouble reconciling how she appeared in the mirror—somewhat of a ruin—with how she felt, not much older than when the Muskrateers lived together in Toronto all those years ago.

Time and reality check. It wasn’t the ’50s. It was almost four o’clock PM on a Friday in August, near the end of the millennium. Reluctantly, Tillie left her van, approached the double front door, and rang the bell.

Sibyl appeared, wearing tight-fitting jeans and a skimpy red top, holding a glass of white wine in one hand, a cigarette in the other. Tiny breasts and not much meat on her bones. More waif-like than how Tillie remembered her. Short brown hair a thatched hut perched on top of Sibyl’s head. Eyelids drooped, and the skin sagged under her eyes. Tillie noticed that one eye still wandered. Sibyl always appeared to be half-gazing at something just to the right.

She wasn’t a pretty sight.

Smoke poured from her lips and nostrils—one long stream of it—and into Tillie’s mouth, making her gag. When Sibyl saw the backpack and sleeping bag, she laughed, which started her hacking. She stood there, partly bent over, coughing and laughing and choking, wine spilling over her hand and onto the floor. She finally straightened up.

“You look like a refugee. You bring a tent, too?”

Tillie smiled, gritting her teeth, practicing restraint. She had to get through the next few days with Sibyl, her hostess. Like her mother, Sibyl had been drawn to Tillie’s men. Believing sisterhood was powerful, Tillie had decided her relationship with women was more important than the men in her life. Still, it even puzzled Tillie at times that she hadn’t severed her bond with her mother or with Sibyl. Over the years, she certainly had reason to. But May was her mother. She couldn’t just dump her. It wasn’t Canadian. And she grudgingly admired Sibyl’s chutzpah. She always did what she damn well pleased, unconcerned about the consequences.

Tillie needed all the friends she could get, especially at her age, so she said, “No, dear, my pig refuses to sleep in a tent. Pink satin sheets. Nothing else.”

Sibyl was smiling, too, lipstick smeared, her lips pulled taut against her teeth, stretched to their limit. Her mouth had always been small, and Tillie remembered that smile. Cocky. Daring. A little angry tilt to it. But Sibyl’s teeth seemed more widely spaced than Tillie remembered, and she hadn’t seen a dental hygienist for a while. Nicotine gave her choppers an antique look.

Review:

Freefall: Divine Comedy by Lily Iona Mackenzie

Review by Betty B.

Tillie is an installation artist who is just about to turn 60.  Her friend Daddy, who just got out of jail, ends up at Tillie’s.  They drive Tillie’s old 60’s VW camper van to Whistler, British Columbia in Canada to have a reunion with two friends.  Tillie packs the van for roughing it.  She remembers the last time she was in Whistler, before it became a big ski resort.

They pull up to their friend Sybil’s house and when they get out of the van they are greeted by their old friend.  Sybil laughs as Tillie unpacks the van and takes out her sleeping bag.  She asks if they brought a tent too.  Her house is a large 5 bedroom.  As we get to know Sybil, we learn that she is a chain smoker and owns a property in Venice.  We are then introduced to Mol, a mother of 3 and housewife who loves the Canadian outdoors.

The four women are referred to as the “Muskrateers.  They decide to meet in Venice to continue their reunion and reconnect at Sybil’s place. Tillie has an ulterior motive in wanting to go to Venice that she doesn’t tell her friends about.  She is hoping to crash the Biennale, an art extravaganza.  While in Venice, Tillie also falls for a lewd priest who is a half-Ethiopian dwarf.

I can see why the subtitle to the book is ‘A Divine Comedy’.  It has so many laugh out loud moments.  At times I was in tears, I laughed so hard.  It also has its serious moments as we learn more about the four women and their lives.  “Freefall’ is hard to put down and kept me up into the wee hours of the morning.  It’s a great book for women, especially and would make a great book club book.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review: Shelter for the Most High

Shelter of the Most High (Cities of Refuge, #2)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The daughter of a pagan high priest, Sofea finds solace from her troubles in the freedom of the ocean. But when marauders attack her village on the island of Sicily, she and her cousin are taken across the sea to the shores of Canaan.

Eitan has lived in Kedesh, a City of Refuge, for the last eleven years, haunted by a tragedy in his childhood and chafing at the boundaries placed on him. He is immediately captivated by Sofea, but revealing his most guarded secret could mean drawing her into the danger of his past.

As threats from outside the walls loom and traitors are uncovered within, Sofea and Eitan are plunged into the midst of a murder plot. Will they break free from the shackles of the past in time to uncover the betrayal and save their lives and the lives of those they love?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Shelter for the Most High by Connilyn Cossette is an interesting yet inspiring Biblical fiction story. I enjoyed following the characters as they struggled and fought back for what they believe in and love. Themes like family, faith, and love were throughout this book. My favorite characters were Sofea and Eitan. They made for a good couple. Strong characters. They had me rooting for them the whole way through…their struggles felt real. Connilyn Cossette has a way of making her world of fiction come to life. I loved exploring the Christian faith. Overall, this was a must read for all Bible and Christian fiction lovers.

Review: The Math Kids (The Prime-Time Burglars)

The Math Kids: The Prime-Time Burglars

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Jordan and Justin are best friends and the only two kids in their class’s advanced math group. So it isn’t until Stephanie Lewis marches into their classroom that they meet someone who’s as good with numbers as they are. Their shared interest in math quickly draws them together, and the three soon form The Math Kids.

Unfortunately, life as math club kids isn’t always easy. In addition to extra homework, the three friends have two new problems. First, a string of mysterious burglaries has the whole neighbourhood on edge, including their parents. Then, they manage to earn unwanted attention from Robbie, the class bully. Luckily, Jordan, Justin, and Stephanie soon learn that their new club may give them the skills they need to solve both problems.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Math Kids: The Prime-Time Burglars by David Cole is a very entertaining story about a group of eight-year-olds who solve crime and math problems along the way. I was completely swept into the tale. Intrigue, mystery, and the troubles that followed kept me reading. This was a fun way to teach math. The kids math club were cool.  They were smart and fun to follow. Nobody likes homework. However, they did just as much work as their homework, if not more. I loved the book’s layout and organized ways. Overall, this is a must read for all.

 

Review: Beautiful Sinner

Beautiful Sinner (Devil's Rock #5)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Locked in with the town bad boy . . .

Most women would be scared, but Gabriella’s only worried about resisting Cruz Walsh, who’s even hotter than he was back in high school. Cruz was wrongly accused of the high-profile crime for which he was imprisoned; Gabriella’s desperate for the scoop that will get her career off the ground and get her out of Sweet Hill, where everyone still remembers her as “Flabby Gabby.” Being stuck in a supply closet with Cruz is the perfect opportunity to land an interview. What Bri doesn’t count on is Cruz taking “up-close and personal” to a whole new level.

If there’s a silver lining to the hell Cruz went through, it’s that losing his freedom put everything in perspective. Maybe starting over someplace new would be easier, but after years locked up, Cruz values his family—and his true friends—more than ever. So he’s back home, facing the gossip, dodging reporters . . . and face-to-face with Gabriella Rossi. They’ve both changed: Bri wants a story and Cruz just wants her. Another thing he’s learned? Don’t let a good thing slip away.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Beautiful Sinner by Sophie Jordan is hot, sexy, and emotionally charged. The characters had this back and forth tension that only bubbled over as the pages flew by…

A young man is home again. Ready to face everything, including the one woman he has always wanted, Gaberiella. But she only wants his story. Then she wants out of the place they call home. Can he break down all her walls before it’s too late?

Gaberiella is not afraid the man coming back. Nothing scares her more than the way she’s falling for him. Hot body, check. Strong willed, check. Good man,  double check. But she doesn’t want him at all. Or does she?

Sophie Jordan’s novel is irresistible. I could not stop reading this steamy romantic tale. The protagonists have a way of luring me deeper into their world. The scenes were vivid. I felt more like a spectator witnessing it all first hand rather than reading words off a page. Overall, I highly recommend this contemporary romance to all.

Review: The Christmas Heirloom

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In Kristi Ann Hunter’s “Legacy of Love,” Sarah Gooding never suspected returning a brooch to an elderly woman would lead to a job . . . and introduce her to the woman’s grandson, a man far above her station.

In Karen Witemeyer’s “Gift of the Heart,” widow Ruth Albright uses the family brooch as collateral for a loan from the local banker. But the more she comes to know the man behind the stern businessman, the more she hopes for a second chance at love.

In Sarah Loudin Thomas’s “A Shot at Love,” Fleeta Brady’s rough-and-tumble childhood means she prefers hunting to more feminine activities. She never expected her family’s brooch might be how a fellow hunter turns her attention from competition to romance.

In Becky Wade’s “Because of You,” Maddie Winslow has spent years in love with a man whose heart was already spoken for. When a church Christmas project brings them together and she stumbles upon an old family brooch, might it finally be her turn for love?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Christmas Heirloom is a collection of four fantastic novellas told by some of the best writers in Christian romance. I was in love with this book. Each story captured my full attention. Stealing pieces of my heart as the journeys lured deep into the characters’ lives. Struggles come in all shapes and sizes. This was a heartfelt group of stories. Engaging from the the beginning, each writer hooked me right in…I could not stop reading. These pieces remind me what really is important in life. Things like love, faith, and family. There were times I both laughed and cried so hard. Overall, I recommend The Christmas Heirloom to all readers.

 

Review: A Secret to Die For

A Secret to Die For

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Psychologist Grace Callahan has no idea that she has a secret–one worth killing for. But when she finds out one of her clients has been murdered, she quickly realizes that the computer security specialist wasn’t simply suffering from paranoia.

Detective Nate Quinn has just been cleared for active duty after a bombing killed eighteen people, including his partner, and left him dealing with PTSD. His first case back on the job involves the murder of Stephen Shaw, and his only lead turns out to be an old friend, Grace Callahan–and her life is in grave danger. Someone believes Shaw gave his psychologist information before he died. Information they are willing to kill for.

With her signature pulse-pounding suspense, Lisa Harris takes readers deep into the heart of fear in this race against the clock.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Secret to Die For by Lisa Harris is outstanding romantic suspense novel. I felt the immediate danger from the first page. The risks were already being calculated in my mind. Grace is a strong character. She fights back with determination and every strength she has. A killer is out there hunting her down for a piece of information. Yet Grace has no idea what that information is that’s worth killing her for…then, to add more spice and complications is the lead detective, Nate. He and Grace are old friends. This case, her, and his past add a mixture of risks. Overall, I loved the mystery and unforeseen events that only triggered my interest with every page.

Review: Delayed Justice

Delayed Justice (Hidden Justice #3)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

She had long given up the desire to be loved. Now she only needed to be heard.

Jaime Nichols went to law school to find the voice she never had as a child, and her determination to protect girls and women in the path of harm drives her in ways both spoken and unspoken. As Jaime, now a criminal defense attorney, prepares to press charges against someone who wronged her long ago, she must face not only her demons but also the unimaginable forces that protect the powerful man who tore her childhood apart.

Chandler Bolton, a retired veteran, is tasked with helping a young victim who must testify in court—and along with his therapy dog, Aslan, he’s up for the task. When he first meets Jaime, all brains, beauty, and brashness, he can’t help but be intrigued. As Chandler works to break through the wall Jaime has built around herself, the two of them discover that they may have more to offer one another than they ever could have guessed—and that together, they may be able to help this endangered child.

This thrilling installment of the Hidden Justice series explores the healing power of resolution and the weight of words given voice. And as Jaime pursues delayed justice of her own, she unearths eternal truths that will change the course of her life.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Delayed Justice by Cara Putman is a crime fiction novel that focuses on women’s voice in the world of justice. The heroine works to defend and protect these women. Yet this woman has a long road ahead of her. She is working on pursuing charges against someone in her past. Jamie will need all the courage and help to move forward. Then there’s Chandler and his dog who are up to the task of helping Jamie. Jamie brings  an unexpected outcome to Chandler’s world. He cannot help but to feel more towards this strong heroine.

Cara Putman crafted a beautiful engaging tale. I could not help but to feel sympathy and love for the protagonists. They had me rooting for them all the way. There were both emotional and physical boundaries that they had to work through…it made for an entertaining yet suspenseful story. Overall, I highly recommend this novel to all readers.

Review: White Hot

White Hot

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When she hears that her younger brother Danny has committed suicide, Sayre Lynch relents from her vow never to return to Destiny, the small Louisiana town in which she grew up. She plans to leave immediately after the funeral, but instead soon finds herself drawn into the web cast by Huff Hoyle, her controlling and tyrannical father, the man who owns the town’s sole industry, an iron foundry, and in effect runs the lives of everyone who lives there.

As she feared, Sayre learns that nothing has changed. Her father and older brother, Chris, are as devious as ever, and now they have a new partner-in-crime, a canny and disarming lawyer named Beck Merchant, who appears to be their equal in corruption.

Soon, Sayre is thrown in closer contact with Beck and becomes convinced that something more sinister is at play than her father’s usual need to dominate people and events. As she sets out to learn just what did happen to Danny, she comes to realize that there are many secrets in Destiny—secrets that hide decades of pain and anger, and that threaten at any moment to erupt and destroy not only her father and brother, but perhaps Sayre herself.

Underneath the rigid control that the Hoyles exert over the town, trouble is brewing. Old hatreds foster plans for revenge, past crimes resurface, and a maverick deputy sheriff determines that Danny Hoyle’s death was not suicide, but murder.

As tensions mount, threatening to ignite a powder keg of long-held hostility, Sayre finds herself inextricably drawn into a struggle with striking laborers, her unscrupulous father, and her own emotions over the love/hate relationship that is growing with Beck, a man apparently with his own agenda, and mysteries of his own.

As she has shown in the dozens of bestselling novels in which she has combined hard-edged suspense with intense emotion, Sandra Brown is a master storyteller, and in her new novel she is at her very best.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Bestselling writer, Sandra Brown caught my attention with this novel, White Hot. I love romantic suspense novels. The cast of characters gave this a realistic approach which I greatly appreciated. However, something was just not giving me that OMG, WOW, factor. There was enough mystery to peak my interest. I kept reading and loved the romance that occurred between the mysterious Beck and the heroine, Sayre.

The plot was all about a small-town surrounded by a demanding clan who talons dug deeper than one would think. Sayre’s father and brother made for great evil characters. A death once ruled as suicide is now, seen as a murder. So many suspects and secrets for discovery. The story overall, was entertaining. It just didn’t hit home. I needed something more. It had a dash of everything I enjoyed, romance, danger, and mystery. But it felt more like a dragged out drama at times.

 

Review: New

New: Stolen from the jungle, they are brilliant, lost...and here! by [Strieber, Whitley]

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Found in a dying jungle, six strange babies ae spirited off to the United States where a fantastic discovery is made.
Like us, they are hominids. They don’t share our DNA but they’re highly intelligent.
So they’re animals–less than slaves, but as smart as us.
They are incredibly valuable and the company that discovered them sees a fortune in the making by selling their offspring. But not if primate expert Beth Cooke, brought in to get them to breed, and her Army Ranger husband Charlie have anything to say about it.
Will these brilliant captives get their chance to discover themselves, to look up at the stars, to be free…or will they become an animal commodity, bought and sold like cattle?

Get this extraordinary novel today and find out!

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

New by Whitley Strieber is an exciting novel that explores slavery and the extent to how far drug companies will go. Primates are found that peak the interest of a drug company. They use them to breed and sell since they’re not considered humans. Slavery of any kind is inhumane. Especially, with the intentions of this evil group. Money goes far when needed. But even then, a shine of humanity comes through…It was to see how long humanity took over…civilized can be taken many ways. The drug company completely lost their civilized ways and humanity. Morals disappeared. Danger, risks, and evil lurked on every page. Whitley Strieber created a fast-paced tale. One that grabbed my attention from the get go.

New is a frightening read that lingers long after the last page.

 

Review: Texas on My Mind

Texas on My Mind (The McCord Brothers, #1)

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The McCord Brothers are the most eligible bachelors in Spring Hill, Texas. But these cowboys are about to get wrangled by the love of some very special women—the kind who can melt hearts and lay it all on the line.

Air force Captain Riley McCord has come home on medical leave to find one heck of a welcome reception. Every unattached woman in Spring Hill, Texas, wants to nurse him back to health. That includes his childhood friend Claire Davidson—the only person who understands how damaged he really feels. In high school, she chose his best friend over him. According to Riley’s rules, that should make her off-limits forever. But when Claire suggests a no-strings fling, he can’t refuse.

Claire always wanted Riley—but she also craved the safety and stability he couldn’t offer. So she chose another path, only to end up crazier about him than ever. She’s even convinced herself that this time she won’t be devastated when he leaves. Yet once Riley realizes the depth of Claire’s feelings—and his own—he’ll have to make the ultimate choice: return to the job he loves or stay home for the woman who’s always lived in his heart.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Texas on My Mind by Delores Fossen is a steamy romantic read. Plenty of emotions to make one cry, laugh, and fall in love. The story was entertaining from the beginning. A playboy like cowboy comes back home. Suffering from PTSD, he’s ready to get back into action. But his body just won’t cooperate with him. Then there’s the woman he has loved since they were kids. She still holds a place in his heart that no other will. Surprises are sprung on these pages, making the story pop to life. I loved reading it. Texas on My Mind was hard to stop reading. Characters were believable and charming. Overall, I recommend this cowboy contemporary romance to all.

 

Review: When Winter Comes

When Winter Comes: An Amish Gathering Novella

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Follow one year in an Amish community with three heartwarming tales of old friends and new beginnings. “When Winter Comes” is one novella from this collection.

It’s been too long since Rebecca has done what she loves—put on her skates and fly across the ice. Five years have passed since a winter accident took her twin Lizzie and left Rebecca heartbroken. And Ben has waited for her all that time. At last she’s starting to heal. But has too much time passed for their hearts to reconnect?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

When Winter Comes by Barbara Cameron is a young love that started but never got to fully blossom before tragedy happened. A young woman is stuck in grieving. Reliving the loss of her twin sister. The pain and fear consume her. In the background, a young man, her best friend still carries a torch for her. He knows she is still suffering from that painful day. But he does not want to rush anything. So, he waits. Waiting so long his family tells him he’s crazy. But they see how serious he is and how kind he is in waiting for her to heal. Every time winter comes, the pain engulfs Rebecca. Rebecca tries being the best daughter her parents have. Making up for the daughter they lost, Rebecca holds on to the past. The burden is heavy, yet with a lot of prayer, faith, and encouragement, Rebecca may find the strength after all. Ben and Rebecca have a lot of trials to go through before they can find their peace and happiness. Sometimes patience does pay off in the end. Overall, I found this story sad, funny, and enjoyable. The cast was wonderful to follow. I loved the lessons learned. Forgiveness, faith, and hope will always win.

Review: A Change of Heart

A Change of Heart (An Amish Gathering)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Follow one year in an Amish community with three heartwarming tales of old friends and new beginnings. “A Change of Heart” is one novella from this collection.

Leah is no good at cooking, cleaning, sewing, gardening—the skills that young women need to make a proper Amish wife. All she wants to do is write stories, but she’s sincerely tired of being a disappointment. Will she ever find someone who accepts her just as she is?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Change of Heart by Beth Wiseman is a heartfelt story. It is full of faith, family, love, and humor. The main characters have a lot to learn yet but they also ended up teaching me a few lessons. Differences can make the community better and not worse. A young Amish woman is a great story writer. Yet it’s not looked upon as a something to achieve. Yet she somehow continues to inspire her readers and spread the love of her faith. I was amazed at the young woman’s strength.

Then, there is the young Amish man who has loved her ever since school days. He never gave up hope. Overcoming his shy ways, he is determined to make her notice him. He starts by making a deal with her. I’ll read your book if you attend events with me. Simple, friendly, and charming…the events and book talk only bring the two closer.

Both blossom into an unknown territory of love and friendship. Sometimes, being a friend can help grow the foundation of a relationship. I loved how clean and entertaining this Amish fiction novel was. I could not stop reading it. Beth Wiseman has once again, cleverly caught my full attention. Overall, I recommend it to all.

 

Review: Under My Skin

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From New York Times bestselling author and master of suspense Lisa Unger comes an addictive psychological thriller about a woman on the hunt for her husband’s killer 

What if the nightmares are actually memories?

It’s been a year since Poppy’s husband, Jack, was brutally murdered during his morning run through Manhattan’s Riverside Park. In the immediate aftermath, Poppy spiraled into an oblivion of grief, disappearing for several days only to turn up ragged and confused wearing a tight red dress she didn’t recognize. What happened to Poppy during those lost days? And more importantly, what happened to Jack?

The case was never solved, and Poppy has finally begun to move on. But those lost days have never stopped haunting her. Poppy starts having nightmares and blackouts–there are periods of time she can’t remember, and she’s unable to tell the difference between what is real and what she’s imagining. When she begins to sense that someone is following her, Poppy is plunged into a game of cat and mouse, determined to unravel the mystery around her husband’s death. But can she handle the truth about what really happened?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Under My Skin by Lisa Unger is a dark haunting read. It made my skin crawl. Imagine not remembering what happened to you…and showing up without a memory in a red tight dress. So many questions came to mind. Yet the plot held more questions than  answers. I felt lost within Poppy’s mind and the writer’s words. Confusion took over and the rest just pushed me away. I was peaked enough to want to find the answers. But reading the story just became a giant fog without any light to it. Under My Skin held a promising read, but just didn’t cut it for me.

 

Review: The Coloring Crook

The Coloring Crook (Pen & Ink Mysteries #2)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Includes A Front and Back Cover for You to Color!

Life is looking rosy for Florrie Fox, manager of the Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. She’s working on an adult coloring book of gardens, her romance with Sergeant Eric Jonquille has entered a new chapter, and the bookstore’s weekly coloring club is a source of friendship and entertainment. No member is more vibrant than Dolly Cavanaugh. Dolly likes to say she was blessed with beauty and cursed with lousy husbands, but at least she has a grown daughter and a stunning brownstone to show for it!

When Dolly’s love of garage sales results in her showing up at Color Me Read with a rare book in hand, Florrie is astounded. The Florist, the earliest known coloring book, was first published in 1760. An original copy would be worth a fortune–and someone else knows it. That same evening, Florrie finds Dolly dead on the floor of her apartment, a corner of a coloring book page clutched in her hand. As Florrie delves into Dolly’s past and her personal effects, she discovers a skeleton in the closet–literally–and a whole lot of shady suspects. One of them is an expert in the fine art of murder, but can Florrie draw the right conclusion?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Coloring Crook by Krista Davis is a cozy mystery that I got lost within…the pages came to life. The characters are entertaining. A charming book club/bookstore crime fiction tale. I am a huge bookworm and this just satisfied my appetite. Action, mystery, murder, and mayhem all in one book. Some of the characters were not charming but the rest were funny. I could almost hear and see some the characters and scenes as if I were there witnessing them all in action.

Krista Davis brings another book murder mystery to read. In this one a woman obtains a rare edition of a book. One that is worth a lot of money. However, someone knows and is willing to kill for it. And then there’s the woman’s own dark past to sort though. It seems the main protagonist is going to have her hands full…overall, I recommend this well-written novel to all readers.

 

Review: Fashions Fade, Haunted Is Eternal

Fashions Fade, Haunted Is Eternal (A Haunted Vintage Mystery #7)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A photo shoot in a graveyard ends in a grave shooting . . .

Cookie Chanel–owner of the chic clothing store It’s Vintage Y’All in Sugar Creek, Georgia–has been hired to dress models for a fashion shoot. The spread will be featured in Fashion and Style magazine’s October issue–so the models are posing in a cemetery. As someone who can see and talk to ghosts, Cookie’s not spooked by the location. But she is surprised when a new ghost appears, decked out in 1920s couture. And she’s shocked when she hears a gunshot. Then a model runs toward her, saying the grumpy photographer has been edited out of the picture – for good. With help from her ghostly pals, Cookie must zoom in on the truth before she’s the next to strike a final pose . . .

Don’t Miss Cookie Chanel’s Shopping Tips

Praise for the Haunted Vintage Mysteries

“Rose Pressey’s books are fun!”–Janet Evanovich

“An appealing protagonist who is as sweet as a Southern accent.”– Library Journal 

Chic and quirky heroine Cookie Chanel and a supporting cast of small-town Southern characters are sure to charm lovers of high fashion and murderous hi-jinks alike.”              —Jennie Bentley

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Fashions Fade, Haunted Is Eternal by Rose Pressey is an exciting ghost mystery. The characters are amusing to follow. I loved how the main protagonist can both see and talk to ghosts. Just when she’s used to having one as a friend, another one appears. And then, shortly after that, a photographer is murdered on the scene. The who done it theme pops up and it is up to Cookie to solve the murder. A fashionista with two helpful ghosts and a paramedic boyfriend, makes for an entertaining tale. I couldn’t help but to love the story and laugh along the way. For fans of Angie Fox and Pamela Kopfler this is a must read! Overall, I highly recommend it. Humor, action, and mystery all in one perfect bundle.

Review: Becoming Mrs. Lewis

Becoming Mrs. Lewis

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In a most improbable friendship, she found love. In a world where women were silenced, she found her voice.

From New York Times bestselling author Patti Callahan comes an exquisite novel of Joy Davidman, the woman C. S. Lewis called “my whole world.” When poet and writer Joy Davidman began writing letters to C. S. Lewis—known as Jack—she was looking for spiritual answers, not love. Love, after all, wasn’t holding together her crumbling marriage. Everything about New Yorker Joy seemed ill-matched for an Oxford don and the beloved writer of Narnia, yet their minds bonded over their letters. Embarking on the adventure of her life, Joy traveled from America to England and back again, facing heartbreak and poverty, discovering friendship and faith, and against all odds, finding a love that even the threat of death couldn’t destroy.

In this masterful exploration of one of the greatest love stories of modern times, we meet a brilliant writer, a fiercely independent mother, and a passionate woman who changed the life of this respected author and inspired books that still enchant us and change us. Joy lived at a time when women weren’t meant to have a voice—and yet her love for Jack gave them both voices they didn’t know they had.

At once a fascinating historical novel and a glimpse into a writer’s life, Becoming Mrs. Lewis is above all a love story—a love of literature and ideas and a love between a husband and wife that, in the end, was not impossible at all.

Rating: 5-stars

Review: 

Becoming Mrs. Lewis by Patti Callahan is a heartwarming tale. I instantly felt the connection between the characters. It was blossoming as the pages turned. I couldn’t rad their journey of friendship fast enough. From friends to lovers, this pair of protagonists have captured my heart and soul.

Patti Callahan expertly laid out the joys and triumphs of the relationship between writers, C.S. Lewis, and Joy Davidman. Many hardships and obstacles got in their way. Yet despite all of them, they kept together and weathered the storms. I felt relief and joy. Both characters had me rooting all the way. Becoming Mrs. Lewis is a tale of an unlikely yet not impossible love match between to adults. Their way of communication snatched each other like a moth to a flame. In the same way, did Patti Callahan sweep me into her plot. So addictive…I was excited. The scenes kept me engaged from beginning to end. Overall, I recommend this novel to all readers.

 

Review: Murder on Cape Cod

Murder on Cap Cod (Cozy Capers Book Group Mystery, #1)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A Cape Cod shop owner and her book club must find a crafty killer in this charming new series from the Agatha-nominated author of the Country Store Mystery series.

Summer is busy season for Mackenzie “Mac” Almeida’s bicycle shop, nestled in the quaint, seaside hamlet of Westham, Massachusetts. She’s expecting an influx of tourists at Mac’s Bikes; instead she discovers the body of Jake Lacey. Mac can’t imagine anyone stabbing the down-on-his-luck handyman. However, the authorities seem to think Mac is a strong suspect after she was spotted arguing with Jake just hours before his death. Mac knows she didn’t do it, but she does recognize the weapon—her brother Derrick’s fishing knife.

Mac’s only experience with murder investigations is limited to the cozy mysteries she reads with her local book group, the Cozy Capers. So to clear her name—and maybe her brother’s too—Mac will have to summon help from her Cozy Capers co-investigators and a library’s worth of detectives’ tips and tricks. For a small town, Westham is teeming with possible killers, and this is one mystery where Mac is hoping for anything but a surprise ending…

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Murder on Cape Cod by Maddie Day is an interesting cozy murder mystery. I love book book clubs and this one had a liking for murder mysteries. What the leading protagonist does not expect is for a murder to happen in her safe small-town area. Yet it does. In fact, she accidentally runs over the dead handyman in the fog. It appears he was stabbed with her brother’s knife. All Mac can think about is how Jake died and why. And more importantly who would murder him…

Maddie Day created a mysterious murder mystery with a lot of humor. I couldn’t help from laughing especially, when Mac’s parrot wants a kiss from her boyfriend. It was a perfect blend of action, humor, and danger. The characters made this story come to life. The chief of police and Mac seem to have a history that makes communicating not so much fun. But it was interesting to follow them. Overall, I highly recommend this novel to all. I cannot wait to read the next mystery in this series.

 

Review: Downright Dead

Downright Dead (A B&B Spirits Mystery #2)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Holly Davis never imagined having a haunted bed and breakfast would be the secret to her success—or that a secret might leave her B&B DOA . . .

After the syndicated TV show, Inquiring Minds, airs footage of their resident ghost at Holly Grove, a converted antebellum plantation house, it seems like half the state of Louisiana wants to book a room. There’s only one small problem: the ghost of her not-so-dearly-departed ex Burl has . . . departed. For the sake of business, Holly’s willing to keep up the pretense of still being haunted. But after an outspoken debunker challenges the show’s credibility, the TV crew returns to Holly Grove to prove the ghost is real.

Following a disastrous séance, Holly is sure she’ll be exposed as a charlatan. Surprisingly, the debunker suddenly becomes a believer—after he’s pushed off the Widow’s Walk to his death and rises as a ghost. Now his inquiring mind wants to know—who murdered him? When he asks for Holly’s help, she can’t say no. But this time it’s her turn to watch her step, because if the killer gets spooked, the next ghost haunting the B&B may well be its owner . . .

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Downright Dead by Pamela Kopfler is one of the best paranormal cozy mysteries I have read. Its style is similar to Angie Fox’s paranormal 1920’s ghost solving mysteries. There’s plenty of humor, action, and suspects to explore. Just like one of my other favorite sleuthing heroines, the business owner in this novel, is believed to be a suspect. Her slipper was found where the dead man was pushed. But the police still haven’t decided if it is murder or a suicide yet. However, Holly sees the ghost of the newest victim. He was her worst critic and now, even in ghost form he doesn’t want to believe. But if he wants to stay away from hell, they have to work together to solve his murder. Plenty of interesting scenes and funny moments. Overall, I highly recommend this story and the rest of the series to readers everywhere.

 

 

 

 

Review: Steamed Open

Steamed Open (A Maine Clambake Mystery #7)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

It’s summertime in Busman’s Harbor, Maine, and the clamming is easy—or it was until a mysterious new neighbor blocks access to the beach, cutting off the Snowden Family Clambake’s supply. Julia Snowden is just one of many townspeople angered by Bartholomew Frick’s decision. But which one of them was angry enough to kill?

Beachcombers, lighthouse buffs, and clammers are outraged after Frick puts up a gate in front of his newly inherited mansion. When Julia urges him to reconsider, she’s the last to see him alive—except the person who stabs him in the neck with a clam rake. As she pores through a long list of suspects, Julia meets disgruntled employees, rival heirs, and a pair of tourists determined to visit every lighthouse in America. They all have secrets, and Julia will have to work fast to expose the guilty party—or see this season’s clam harvest dry up for good.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Steamed Open by Barbara Ross is an interesting cozy mystery. One that takes place in Maine. A lot of people require access for their livelihood. And it appears that the heir of a deceased town member is blocking it off. All the citizens are angry. But who would kill out of anger? There are many suspects and the murder is one that I wouldn’t have guessed. I liked that it was not predictable like most murder mysteries are.

Barbara Ross creates a tale that sweeps readers into a family like community in Maine. Everyone knows each other. However, one them is about to become a killer. The question of how well do we really know the people in our area pops into mind. One woman works to solve the case. Her family owned business relies heavily on access to clams. And the events lead to a chill that never leaves. One person is killed and another is spared. Mystery, intrigue, and entertaining characters made Steamed Open a good read. I did not read the previous novels in the series and was able to follow along just fine. Overall, it was well-written.

Review: Pecan Pies and Dead Guys

Pecan Pies and Dead Guys (Southern Ghost Hunter Mysteries, #7)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Sometimes Verity Long would like to forget that she lives with the ghost of a 1920s gangster. But the reluctant housemates must once again work together when a dead detective blackmails Frankie into helping him solve a Great Gatsby-era cold case. Before she can say “bathtub gin,” Verity is dragged straight into a raging, otherworldly house party. Worse, every guest is hiding something.

Meanwhile, Ellis Wydell, Verity’s living, breathing boyfriend needs Verity’s help with a police case of his own. After a dead body is discovered near the pecan orchard, Verity gives her insights, thinking her job is done. But when mysterious pecan pies start arriving at her house, she wonders who might be thanking her… or stalking her.

Between hard-living ghosts and sugar-laden desserts, Verity has her work cut out for her. But will she uncover the secrets behind the pecan pies and dead guys? Or has she stumbled upon a recipe for disaster?

A warm and witty paranormal cozy mystery!

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Pecan Pies and Dead Guys by Angie Fox is another brilliant cozy mystery. I was swept back up into Verity Long’s ghost solving mystery series. Joining her, I was again introduced to the 1920’s ghost gangster that makes me laugh so hard. I cannot help from laughing where, Frankie is concerned. Then, there’s Verity’s handsome copy boyfriend who is still at her side despite his mother’s attempts to separate them. And last but not least, is the newest cast member. A new ghost, who is a detective. He still treats Verity like a stupid female human being. But she’s really the mastermind behind solving the crimes of murder. With Frankie’s help, Verity should solve the new murders with an ease. However, one crime scene is missing a ghost. The other is from the past and needs solving quick before it disappears again. Overall, I love the cast of characters. The ghosts add spice and humor. The humans are a mystery and keep things interesting. Angie Fox sure knows how to create a stunning mystery novel.

 

Review: Freedom’s Light

Freedom's Light

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble explores the mystery and the romance of the Revolutionary War.

A young lighthouse keeper must navigate the dangerous waters of revolution and one man’s obsession with her to find safe harbor with the sea captain she loves.

Hannah Thomas believes she’s escaped Galen Wright’s evil intentions by marrying an older lighthouse keeper. Seemingly safe in faraway Massachusetts, her world is upended when John is killed in one of the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Hannah is allowed to continue the difficult task of tending the twin lighthouses in John’s place, though she faces daily disapproval from John’s family. She thinks her loneliness will subside when her younger sister arrives, but she finds Lydia’s obsession with Galen only escalates the dangerous tides swirling around her.

A stormy night brings a shipwrecked sea captain to Hannah’s door, and though he is a Tory, her heart is as traitorous as the dark-eyed captain. Even though she discovers Birch Meredith isn’t the enemy he seemed at first, Hannah isn’t sure their love will ever see the light of freedom.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Freedom’s Light by Colleen Coble is an adventurous historical journey. Many risks are involved. Fighting from one danger, leads to another. Before Hannah realizes so is her heart. Physically and emotionally gripping, Freedom’s Light offers a peek into the revolutionary war and the life of women back then.

I was immediately drawn into the plot. A quickly escalating tale, with danger rising from every side. Safety seems to disappear once Hannah’s husband dies in the war. After that, she is busying trying to manage the lighthouses and her life. But with a creep after her, her sister’s crazy obsession, and her dead husband’s family giving her a hard time, it seems impossible. Then an unexpected stranger shows up, and whatever strength was holding up is coming undone. Despite the trouble and her own fears, Hannah still goes strong. It was difficult not to be impressed. Overall, I enjoyed reading this story.

Review: Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake

Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake (A Death by Chocolate Mystery #2)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The island fishing village of Eastport, Maine, has plenty of salty local character. It also has a sweet side, thanks to Jacobia “Jake” Tiptree, her best friend Ellie, and their waterfront bake shop, The Chocolate Moose. But when island life is disrupted by the occasional killer, Jake and Ellie put their chocolate treats aside to make sure justice is served.

This summer, Eastport’s favorite lovebirds, kindergarten teacher Sharon Sweetwater and Coast Guard Captain Andy Devine, are getting married. The gala reception is sure to be the fête of the season, especially with a wedding-cake-sized whoopie pie courtesy of The Chocolate Moose. For Jake and Ellie, the custom-ordered confection will finally reel in some much-needed profits. But the celebratory air, and sweet smell of success, are ruined by foul murder.

When Sharon’s bitter ex-boyfriend Toby is poisoned with an arsenic-laced milkshake, Andy is jailed as the prime suspect and the wedding is cancelled, whoopie pie and all. Then Sharon makes a shocking confession—one that sounds like a fishy attempt to get Andy off the hook. Now both the bride and groom are behind bars. And with the fate of The Chocolate Moose at stake, it’s up to Jake and Ellie to catch a poisonous predator before someone else sips their last dessert.

Includes a Recipe!

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Death by Chocolate Malted Milkshake is a fun cozy mystery. Two ladies with bakery think a milkshake of theirs was the murder weapon. Yet as it turns out…it really wasn’t. But they won’t know that until much later. A man nobody liked is killed. Leaving the main characters worried and in a much bigger hole…than they started with. Jake feels like giving up on their business, while Ellie is still hopeful. But with a local murder to solve things quickly escalate out of control.

The characters were realistic. There was no emotional attachment where I felt like cheering for them. I did feel bad about their sinking business. The plot had mystery. It was entertaining. Just not the omg, I have to finish this tonight or else. Sarah Graves brought themes of family, friends, and intrigue to her novel. It had enough to spark an interest of whodunit and why.

 

 

Review: Everything She Didn’t Say

Everything She Didn't Say

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In 1911, Carrie Strahorn wrote a memoir entitled Fifteen Thousand Miles by Stage, which shared some of the most exciting events of 25 years of traveling and shaping the American West with her husband, Robert Strahorn, a railroad promoter, investor, and writer. That is all fact. Everything She Didn’t Say imagines Carrie nearly ten years later as she decides to write down what was really on her mind during those adventurous nomadic years.

Certain that her husband will not read it, and in fact that it will only be found after her death, Carrie is finally willing to explore the lessons she learned along the way, including the danger a woman faces of losing herself within a relationship with a strong-willed man and the courage it takes to accept her own God-given worth apart from him. Carrie discovers that wealth doesn’t insulate a soul from pain and disappointment, family is essential, pioneering is a challenge, and western landscapes are both demanding and nourishing. Most of all, she discovers that home can be found, even in a rootless life.

With a deft hand, New York Times bestselling author Jane Kirkpatrick draws out the emotions of living–the laughter and pain, the love and loss–to give readers a window not only into the past, but into their own conflicted hearts. Based on a true story.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Everything She Didn’t Say by Jane Kirkpatrick is one of the most engaging historical novels I have read. It’s based on a true woman’s story. A journey out west. That back then, was both dangerous and risky. Yet, Carrie still went with her husband. A strong man trying to make a living for him and his wife. I really liked this couple. However, I felt sympathy towards Carrie constantly. Her husband, Robert, always failed to notice how he fails her. Lack of affection, deeper affection than what he gives is not there. Carrie swore to love him through bad, good, rich and poor. Her strength to move forward was admirable. Jane Kirkpatrick’s writing brought to life this memoir of a story and made it engaging to follow. I wanted to learn all there was to Carrie and her journey. It was a sad read. Overall, I would recommend this to readers everywhere.

Review: Stretched Too Thin by Jessica N. Turner

Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter, and Thrive by [Turner, Jessica N.]

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Working mothers constantly battle the pull to do all the things well. From managing work and home responsibilities to being impacted by a lack of self-care and time for deep friendships, the struggle is real. At the end of each day, many working moms are exhausted and stretched too thin. But this does not have to be the norm.

In her latest practical and inspiring book, Jessica Turner shows the working mom how to

– work and parent guilt-free
– establish clear work boundaries
– set achievable goals
– discover more flexibility
– develop home management solutions
– prioritize self-care
– invest in her marriage
– cultivate deeper friendships
– feel like a good mom, even while working

Full of compassion and encouragement, Stretched Too Thin will empower women with useful insights and tools to thrive as working moms.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Stretched Too Thin by Jessica N. Turner is a great book. It walks mothers through a journey of finding what works. The pages also tell what they can do to help improve their busy schedules so as not to feel overwhelmed. I liked how it had discover, practice, and evaluate sections. Then there were finding, creating, and reflecting sections that were just as reinforcing as the previous sections. In the beginning, there are good questions to reflect upon. This allowed me to think and add to those questions as I dug further into the book. Jessica N. Turner’s Stretched Too Thin guide book for mothers is both encouraging and educational. A must have practical self-help journey for all moms.

Review: Kill Devil by Mike Dellosso

Kill Devil

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Jed Patrick is convinced he’s doing all it takes to keep his family safe–new names, new location, new identity. But just when he thinks he finally has his life back, trained men claiming to be CIA agents break in and threaten his wife and daughter, proving once and for all his family will never truly be safe until he eliminates the agency dead set on hunting him down.Not knowing if Karen and Lilly are better off by his side or in hiding, Jed is determined to protect them while finding a way to use the classified information that he possesses to dismantle the Centralia Project. But he soon learns that eliminating Centralia may require compromising his own values. As danger escalates, Jed isn’t sure whether there’s anyone or anything he can trust–including his own senses.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Kill Devil by Mike Dellosso is a fascinating thriller. There was plenty of fast-paced action to keep the pages turning. I liked the main character, Jed a lot. He has tough choices with high risks involved. The plot has many ways it could have ended. I was intrigued and filled with suspense. This writer had my full-attention from the beginning. It reminded me of The Bourne Series with its dark and complicated scenes. There isn’t a moment where I felt bored. I was amazed at this writer’s talent. Overall, I recommend it to all  readers.

Review: Secret of the Stones by Olivia Swift

The Secret of the Stones (Blooms, Bones & Stones, #6)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Katarina Jones’ sensible exterior and strong practical streak often masks her real feelings.

Ben Carruthers is terrified to ask Kat out but when he buys a piece of land, and enlists Kat’s help with his vision, it gives him the opportunity to spend some time with her.

When Ben has a load of landscaping stones delivered, Kat seemingly has a sixth sense about some of the stones. Will danger draw them together or pull them apart especially when Kat has trouble acknowledging that she has a sixth sense?

Their group of friends from Chestnut Hall join Kat and Ben in the search to solve the mystery of the stones.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Secret of the Stones by Olivia Swift is an interesting mystery. A man is getting set to build and his stones have a dark history behind them. Kat senses this and together with their friends they find out the answers. There is a romantic interest happening between Kat and Ben. It was told in a way that excited me but still kept it clean. Kat is by far my favorite character. I loved her personality. It felt like I knew her for years. She has a knack for peaking my curiosity. Just when something is found, there’s more than beats the eyes. I enjoyed the suspense and intrigue. Overall, I would recommend this novel to all readers.

 

Review: The Prize by Geoffrey M. Cooper

The Prize

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Winner of National Indie Excellence Award for medical thrillers.
Silver Medal in Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Contest.

What does it take to win a Nobel Prize? Deceit, fraud, even murder? Set in the competitive world of cutting-edge medical research, The Prize is a science thriller in which jealousy over the discovery of a treatment for Alzheimer’s disease leads to fraud, betrayal and violence.

Pam Weller makes the discovery of a lifetime when she finds a drug with the potential for treating Alzheimer’s. But her success threatens the supremacy of Eric Prescott, a leading figure in Alzheimer’s research. Lusting relentlessly for the Nobel Prize, Prescott fears that Pam’s work will derail his ambitions. He seduces one of Pam’s research fellows and enlists her in a plot to brand Pam a fraud and steal her discovery. Leading Pam into a world where nothing is real, except threats to her career, her freedom and even her life.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Prize by Geoffrey M. Cooper is an exciting medical thriller. One that brings the most exciting yet deadly game of all. A woman finds what could change her career only to have another one want to steal it. Even worse, kill her for the chance to win a prize over her discovery. This novel brought to life the sinister dark moments of medical discovery, drugs, and threats from people who should be lifting each other up…

I was deeply engaged. This plot was fast. Held my attention from the beginning to end. It also left me hoping a cure could someday be created or found. Overall, I would highly recommend this suspenseful novel to all readers.

Review: What Ales the Earl by Sally MacKenzie

What Ales the Earl (Widow's Brew, #1)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Scandal does not define the “fallen” ladies of Puddledon Manor’s Benevolent Home. Instead, it’s a recipe for an intoxicating new future as the women combine their talents—to operate their own brewery and alehouse…

When Penelope Barnes arrived at the Home with her young daughter, she discovered a knack for horticulture—and for cultivating the hops needed to produce a superlative pint. She put her scandalous affair with Harry Graham firmly in the past, along with the wrenching pain she felt when he went off to war. After all, she’d always known a farmer’s daughter had no future with an earl’s son. Now she has the pleasant memory of their passion, and she has little Harriet, for whom she would do anything—even marry a boring country vicar.

Harry went off to fight for the Crown, unaware that his delightful interlude with his childhood friend had permanent consequences. Now he’s back in England, catapulted into the title by his brother’s untimely death. He sorely misses his former life of unfettered adventure, so when he has reason to explore Little Puddleton, he jumps at the chance. But what he finds there is something—and someone—he never knew he’d lost, and a once forbidden love whose time has come, if only he can persuade Pen he’s home to stay.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

What Ales the Earl by Sally MacKenzie is an interesting twist for a historical romance tale. I never once heard of a young lady creating and maintaining her own brewery. Yet that’s exactly what happens here. A farmer’s daughter fell in love with an Earl’s son. They had shared one romantic moment together before he left for war. But what he left behind was more than just the woman who consumes his thoughts…a surprise awaits him. Harry’s mother wants her son to marry and settle down asap. But Harry is experiencing seconds thought to that marriage promise. The lady is he supposed to marry, talks nonstop. A beauty that she is…but not very good company.

While Harry struggles with his new responsibilities, Pen struggles with her own problems. Pen still loves Harry. But she knows deep that a tenant like could not marry an Earl. Harry is above her station. Accepting that, Pen tries to move forward. Marriage to the vicarage is her option. However, her daughter dismisses that notion. She wants her father and mother to marry…but can a union from opposites classes happen? Or will that only tear down the world she has fought to build up for her herself and her daughter?

What Ales the Earl is entertaining, fresh, and full of good humor. I loved the intensity of the character’s situations. It made for a fun read.  I got to explore rules of society and rules of the heart. When mixed it created a heedy and complicated mixture. One that was worth reading.

 

Review: Wedding the Widow by Jenna Jaxon

Wedding the Widow (The Widows' Club, #2)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Widowed by the Battle of Waterloo, the ladies of Lyttlefield Park are reentering London society, where they’ll learn how to live—and love—again…

Of all the widows of Lyttlefield Park, Elizabeth Easton seems least likely to remarry. Though many gentlemen would love to get to know the charming Mrs. Easton better, she is devoted to the memory of her late husband. Which is why she’s so shocked to be overtaken by passion during a harvest festival, succumbing to an unforgettable interlude with the handsome Lord Brack.

After enduring years of war, Jemmy, Lord Brack, plans to defer matrimony in favor of carefree pleasure. But who could resist a lifetime with Elizabeth Easton, a woman as marvelously sensual as she is sweet? Yet despite their mutual desire, she refuses to consider his proposal. With scandal looming, and their families bitterly opposed to the match, Jemmy must find a way to convince Elizabeth to risk her wary heart on him—and turn one infamous night into forever.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Wedding the Widow by Jenna Jaxon is a hot historical romance. From the first page, Jenna Jaxon swept me into the plot. A young widow is not in a rush to remarry. But when she met Jem at an event, he never once left her side. She felt an instant pull towards Jem. He was completely a gentleman and never pushed her to far. Elizabeth’s heart still belongs to her former husband. That loss hasn’t left her yet. Jem understood. I liked how well they treated each other and others around them. There were plenty of sexy scenes. Scenes that made me blush as red as a beet and melt to my toes.

However, Jem and Elizabeth seem to always be in company or in a situation that didn’t allow them as much alone time. I was a tad disappointed there. But I could still feel the lust coming off the pages. Instant heat, attraction, and love at first meeting. Neither one planned to marry but it just happened. There are some obstacles that were different than most. I wasn’t expecting the big obstacle but loved how they all bounded together as a group. Truth, anger, love, and a strong HEA are all found, here. Absolutely one of the best romances, I have read.

Review: A Catered Cat Wedding by Isis Crawford

A Catered Cat Wedding

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Sisters Bernie and Libby Simmons run a catering business in their upstate New York town, and they’re ready and willing to handle any wedding–even one where the bride and groom have tails . . .

Susie Katz is known as the crazy cat lady of Longely, New York, and goes out of her way to earn the title, right down to her cat T-shirts and porcelain Hello Kitties. She’s a fanatic for anything feline. Humans, not so much.

So when she decides to put up a tent on her property and hold an extravagant wedding ceremony for her two Russian blues, she makes sure to include a few two-legged guests–primarily to raise some hackles. All her favorite enemies will be there: her bird-loving neighbor, a rival cat breeder, a local animal rights activist, and the niece and nephew who stand to inherit her considerable fortune . . . if she doesn’t spend it all on cat tchotchkes first. Susie can’t wait for them all to watch as Boris and Natasha slink up the aisle in their very expensive diamond-studded collars, before everyone starts digging in to the poached salmon and caviar provided for the occasion by Bernie and Libby.

But chaos erupts when a wedding gift is unwrapped and a mischief of mice jump out of the box–followed by the disappearance of all the pampered partygoers. Just a few hours later, Susie is stabbed in the back while searching for her missing kitties near the now-empty tent–and it’s up to the Simmons sisters to sniff out the killer . . .

Includes Original Recipes for You to Try!

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

A Catered Cat Wedding by Isis Crawford is a novel filled with humor, cats, and murder. An older woman is obsessed with her cats. She ends up spending a fortune on a cat wedding for two of her most prized cats. Yet just as the weirdest wedding is about to unfold, everything goes wrong. From there, the two sisters catering the wedding are taking care of a mice problem only to find the cat owner stabbed to death. This novel was full of laughs and utter chaos. I found the cat owner strange and her murder interesting. I loved the niece and nephew of the crazy cat lover. And the two main cats made this story even more fun to follow. I did not like Suzie, the cat owner, at all. Her personality and way with spending made me dislike her. The sisters catering the wedding, Bernie and Libby were kind even to Suzie. The plot was crazy but the murder inside caught my full attention. I enjoyed reading this new mystery.

 

 

 

Review: Santa’s on His Way by Lisa Jackson, Maisey Yates, Stacy Finz, and Nicole Helm

Santa's on His Way

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Open your heart to the holidays with these stories of unexpected love . . . 
 
A BABY FOR CHRISTMAS * Lisa Jackson
The uneventful Christmas Annie McFarlane expected is suddenly anything but. First, there’s the adorable baby left on the snowy doorstep of her Oregon cabin. Second, there’s the extremely attractive, yet extremely angry man claiming to be the father. Liam O’Shaughnessy may be intimidating, but this is one precious gift Annie isn’t giving up so easily . . .

WHAT THE COWBOY WANTS FOR CHRISTMAS * Maisey Yates
When Meg O’Neill’s longtime boyfriend lets her down, again, on Christmas no less, she braves an Oregon blizzard to get to her best friend Noah’s comforting arms. But this time Noah’s not telling her what she wants to hear—he’s telling her the truth, from his heart. And his words just might be the gift Meg’s been wishing for all along.

SNOWED IN * Stacy Finz
Rachel Johnson has found the perfect spot for her second Tart Me Up bakery in Glory Junction, California. Except she’s in fierce competition with hunky bar owner Boden Farmer. Worse, while the icy rivals await the city’s decision, they end up catering the same Christmas Eve mountaintop wedding—and getting snowed in. But sometimes a loss of electricity generates a different kind of heat . . .

A COWBOY WEDDING FOR CHRISTMAS * Nicole Helm
Big city art teacher Lindsay Tyler isn’t just back home in Colorado for her brother’s wedding at the Barton Christmas Tree Farm and Ranch. She’s back for good. She just hasn’t told anyone yet—including Cal Barton, the ex-boyfriend she left behind. Will it take a Christmas miracle for him to welcome her back with open arms? . . .

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Santa on His Way is a heartfelt collection of four romantic stories. Christmas has that magical feeling…and these characters have captured my heart.

In one story, I found a young, brave, yet broken hearted woman. Her one love, aka boyfriend, has let her down for the last time. She immediately goes to her best friend, Noah. Noah has loved Meg since he was seventeen. Nothing has ever stopped his feelings for her. He pushed them aside every time, because Meg was so wrapped up in the other guy. But now, they have a chance at forever. But will the always there Noah be brave enough to accept Meg as his?

The next story, presented me with two rivals. Each one wanting the old saw mill for a restaurant of sorts. One currently owns the town’s brewery and the other is the town’s baker. Then, they get stuck at a wedding reception during a snowstorm.  The cold has a way of bringing out the truth and romance. Can either one settle aside their anger and accept a partnership in both love and business?

The third tale, was about the youngest sibling of a cowboy family wanting to leave her ever demanding family. Lindsey wanted to find herself. But she never once thought how her leaving town affected the one man she loved and left behind. All those years, and Cal still loved her. His anger makes it hard for either one to move forward. But Lindsey isn’t backing down now. Love is worth fighting for…but only if Cal lets her back inside his heart.

The last story, is a about a woman whose husband divorced her. She went through a lot of miscarriages. It’s Christmas time, and Annie is feeling lonely with her dog. Until a noise brings her to her door where she finds a baby left behind. Puzzled, she finds a note addressed to her. The baby belonged to her sister who, couldn’t raise it. And the father didn’t want it. Then, there’s the other man who comes barging onto her doorstep. Liam thinks the baby is his. Nola set him for for murder and then recanted it. But he’s still a suspect to the police. Only Nola knows the absolute truth of the crimes committed. But it will take everything to trace her down and ask the questions. Liam won’t leave without the newborn baby. However, Annie isn’t sure it’s his and won’t let him take the baby away. Both want the baby. Christmas around the corner, a snowstorm, and a baby in the cabin leave for funny ideas. Romance, marriage, and creating a family…but can the characters find the truth and happiness before they lose everything that matters?

Overall, Santa’s on His Way is an amazing collection. I loved each of these romantic stories. Forgiveness, family, and finding love…are major themes. I highly recommend this contemporary set to all readers.

 

 

Book Giveaway: The Girl From Spaceship Earth by Patricia Ravasio

The Girl from Spaceship Earth

Synopsis:

The true story of a life intertwined with the utopian ideas of an American genius.

A mind-blowing two-day interview with iconic futurist Buckminster Fuller in 1982 Chicago leads an overeager advertising copywriter to promise she’ll share his urgent messages with the world. She has no idea what she is getting herself into, scarcely understanding what he is talking about.

When his dire predictions come true on America’s worst day (9/11) she must face up to her commitment, which morphs into a fiery obsession thanks to unsettling discoveries about Bucky’s archives further confirming the truth of his warnings. Her outsized passions threaten her relationships and her sanity as she grapples furiously to bring his ideas back into the world.

This heartrending karmic tell-all memoir is about climbing out of comfort zones to find your own voice and make a difference in the world. It also gives readers a charming introduction to the ideas of a long lost genius you’ve probably never heard of.

Enter Giveaway Here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: The Girl From Spaceship Earth by Patricia Ravasio

The Girl from Spaceship Earth

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The true story of a life intertwined with the utopian ideas of an American genius.

A mind-blowing two-day interview with iconic futurist Buckminster Fuller in 1982 Chicago leads an overeager advertising copywriter to promise she’ll share his urgent messages with the world. She has no idea what she is getting herself into, scarcely understanding what he is talking about.

When his dire predictions come true on America’s worst day (9/11) she must face up to her commitment, which morphs into a fiery obsession thanks to unsettling discoveries about Bucky’s archives further confirming the truth of his warnings. Her outsized passions threaten her relationships and her sanity as she grapples furiously to bring his ideas back into the world.

This heartrending karmic tell-all memoir is about climbing out of comfort zones to find your own voice and make a difference in the world. It also gives readers a charming introduction to the ideas of a long lost genius you’ve probably never heard of.

Rating: 5-stars

Review: 

The Girl From Spaceship Earth is a true story. One that is rare. A man with things to share with the planet ends up giving only one live interview. The young female journalist, ends up breaking her promise. But when what he predicts comes true, she rushes to tell the world. By then, was it too late? Could life be saved? The story held a sad, heartbreaking, yet dangerous outcome. And still we see evidence of those predictions becoming reality. I was deeply engaged with this book. The pages made it impossible to stop reading. These are things our planet needs to hear. Read it, now!

Guest Post from Author Patricia Ravasio on Inspiration for Her Book

The Inspiration

By Patricia Ravasio

The inspiration for my book The Girl from Spaceship Earth is the wisdom of a genius who has been called the Leonardo da Vinci of the twentieth century.

I was an eleven-year-old freckle-faced kid in 1969 when I first encountered Buckminster Fuller at one of his famous World Game lectures at Southern Illinois University.  Having just watched the Apollo moon landing, my young brain was primed for “Bucky’s” revolutionary ideas about how we could make the world work for everyone without ecological harm, and about how humans could evolve into something better.  At one point, his eyes locked onto mine and he said women like me would save the world. I knew my life was forever changed.

Then, in 1982, as an aspiring journalist, I landed an interview with the iconic genius, now 86 years old. We talked for several hours high atop Chicago on the sky deck of the John Hancock Center. He told me his remarkable life story and imparted his wisdom about what was happening in the world and what we needed to do to assure a better future. He said the oil industry’s derailing of Jimmy Carter’s renewable energy plan was the greatest crime ever committed against humanity, that we were entering a dark age, and that the collusion between our government and our corporations was undermining the planet. Once again he predicted women like me would make the difference, and elicited my promise that I would share his thinking with the world.

As inspired as I was, belief is not action. Much of my book is about my struggle to do something with what I knew. I wrote and submitted an essay about Bucky’s ideas, but with no luck. A year later, he died. Life went on. I fell in love, got married, and had a couple of babies, relegating Bucky’s ideas to my back burner until 9/11/2001, when his voice came roaring back.

Bucky pretty much predicted 9/11 when he said that future wars would not be started by countries, but by rogue groups of individuals seeking revenge for past aggressions. He said America risked failure due to our over-amped nationalism and our global bullying. He warned that pride could be our undoing.

9/11 was a wake up call. I returned to my reading and thinking and became so obsessed with politics and climate change that my husband thought I was losing my grip on reality. I went to therapy for help, but my counselor believed in me, and in the importance of Bucky’s ideas, so I kept going.

I spent time at Stanford digging through Bucky’s archives. This conservative private school, owned in part by fossil fuel interests, had bought Bucky’s archives in 1999, and yet did not offer a single class about the vast accomplishments of the genius whom their own creative guru, Steve Jobs, had many times called the Leonardo da Vinci of the twentieth century.  Nine out of ten of the students I spoke to had never heard of Buckminster Fuller.

Bucky was not only a visionary futurist. He was also a mathematician, architect and designer who had set out to decipher the design principles of nature, in order to help us realign with the natural world so we could avoid environmental collapse.

Obviously, this didn’t happen, and now we are seeing climate change manifest, with historic fires, floods, melting ice, and sea level rise. By now we know Bucky was right about the fossil fuel industry. These oil executives not only understood and accepted the reality of climate change but were secretly preparing for it, all while they dismissed it as a hoax. So it seems pretty likely that Stanford was merely keeping its friends close and its enemies closer when it bought Bucky’s archives and then did nothing to share them with its students.

Over the years, I came to understand just how heavily the odds were stacked against Bucky’s ideas. A few years ago, I was invited to speak at the first Fuller Future Festival in Carbondale, Illinois, where I was confronted by coal industry advocates accusing me of fabricating Bucky’s warnings about fossil fuels. As Bucky had said, people have a hard time believing something when their paycheck depends on their not believing it.

But he also insisted that the future of humanity depended on our individual integrity, so I kept going. He said he worked fifty years in advance. If that was the case, then what he was talking about in the 1960’s and 1970’s would be gaining relevance right about now, which is exactly what is happening.  

People today are rightfully frustrated about the state of the world. It’s understandable why young people blame baby boomers for making such a mess of things. We did. We let things slide for too long. But maybe it’s not too late.

As life on earth becomes more difficult, we become more ready for ideas we once thought outlandish, like Bucky’s quote about how there would be “an emergence through emergency.” I think that emergency is upon us. Increasing political and social strife, combined with frequent climate catastrophes, are waking people up.

Bucky’s eight inspirational ideas for helping humanity through this next step are summed up in the back of my book. There are also recommendations for further reading, because once you get hooked on Bucky’s ideas, there is no turning back. It’s like finding a new engine under the hood of your car.

Review: The Whispered Word by Ellery Adams

The Whispered Word (Secret, Book & Scone Society)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“In New York Times bestselling author Ellery Adams’ intriguing new Secret, Book, and Scone Society novel, Nora Pennington and her fiction loving friends in small-town Miracle Springs, North Carolina, encounter a young woman desperately in need of a new beginning…”
 
Nora Pennington, owner of Miracle Books, believes that a well-chosen novel can bring healing and hope. But she and the other members of the Secret, Book, and Scone Society know that sometimes, practical help is needed too. Such is the case with the reed-thin girl hiding in the fiction section of Nora’s store, wearing a hospital ID and a patchwork of faded bruises. She calls herself Abilene, and though Nora and her friends offer work, shelter, and a supportive ear, their guest isn’t ready to divulge her secrets. But when a customer is found dead in an assumed suicide, Nora uncovers a connection that points to Abilene as either a
suspect—or another target.

Summer’s end has brought other new arrivals to Miracle Springs too. Entrepreneur Griffin Kingsley opens Virtual Genie, a cyber business that unloads people’s unwanted goods for cash. With the town in an economic slump and folks hurting for money, Virtual Genie and its owner are both instantly popular. A patient listener, Griffin dispenses candy to children and strong coffee to adults, and seems like a bona fide gentleman. But Nora’s not inclined to judge a book by its cover. And when a second death hits town, Nora and her intrepid friends must help the new, greenhorn sheriff discern fact from fiction—and stop a killer intent on bringing another victim’s story to a close . . .

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Whispered Word by Ellery Adams sets off on another mystery. One that is deeper and more surprising than the previous one.  Nora owns a bookstore and hosts a book club. They gather together as friends and share their secrets. One new addition has secrets that lead to a case. Getting all the details, will cause for more patience than Nora has ever used. Then, there’s the shocking turn of events that made me gasp. Nora ends up doing something to the sheriff to land herself in a cell. Even Nora was surprised she went through with the act. Humor, suspense, and entertainment follow on these pages. I was thrilled with this new journey. Ellery Adams creates a tale to behold. It has just enough to peak my curiosity and send forth in the thickness of the plot. Bold, secretive, and romantic, I recommend this new cozy to all readers.

 

 

Review: Forever Fudge by Nancy Coco

Forever Fudge

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“Memorable characters, a charming locale, and a satisfying mystery.”–Barbara Allan

When a film crew comes to Mackinac Island, the last thing fudge shop owner Allie McMurphy expects to find is a murder victim . . .

SHOT ON LOCATION

It’s Labor Day weekend, the official end of tourist season, and the beginning of a whole batch of trouble. First, the island is invaded by a TV crew filming a murder mystery pilot, and handsome Hollywood heartthrob Dirk Benjamin needs Allie’s help to prep for his role as local cop Rex Manning. Then, Allie’s bichonpoo Mal sniffs out a real murder in the alley behind the Historic McMurphy Hotel and Fudge Shop, a man shot in the head–with a note challenging amateur sleuth Allie to catch the culprit. Like it or not, the fudge maker has to square off against a crazy killer–but this time she may have bitten off more than she can chew . . .

Praise for Nancy Coco and the Candy-Coated Mysteries

“It’s probably best not to read this while you’re too hungry, as the assorted fudge recipes may send you right to the kitchen.” 
The Oakland Tribune 

“The characters are fun and well-developed, the setting is quaint and beautiful.”
RT Book Reviews

“I really enjoyed this cozy mystery and look forward to reading more in this series.”
Fresh Fiction

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Forever Fudge by Nancy Coco is has all the mystery, suspense, and humor that readers could want. I love Allie. She is the perfect sleuth. Right now, she’s focusing on her crazy busy schedule deflating. But what happens is a movie production causing her all kinds of trouble. Two murders, a deadly killer playing cat-and-mouse games with her, and two men wanting her affection can keep any woman busy.

Nancy Coco is superb with creating a variety of cast members. Her characters are as different as night and day are. I love the quirky, smart, and strong crew. Allie has become my new all time favorite. Her predicament for finding new murder cases to solve is cute. As with each new case, there is bound to be danger, romance, and a lot of funny moments too. I cannot wait to read the next upcoming novel.

 

Review: Final Roasting Place by Devon Delaney

Final Roasting Place

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Sherry Frazzelle is back to being Sherry Oliveri, her divorce all but final and her new life in full swing. Her part-time job is helping her father with his hooked-rug business, and her full-time passion is competitive cooking. But murder is about to rock their little Connecticut town . . .

Erno Oliveri made sure to be on set for his daughter’s cook-off appearance on Sunny Side Up with Brett and Carmell. Or as it’s now known, Sunny Side Up with Carmell and Brett–since the ambitious young Carmell seems to have the producer and station owner eating out of her hand. But the important news is that Sherry has bested the competition with her Spicy Toasted Chickpea and Almond appetizer and clinched the spatula-shaped trophy. It’s her shining moment–until everything goes dark.

A quick-moving storm has knocked out power to the studio–and when the lights come back up, Carmell is at her desk with a sharp object lodged in her neck. The weapon is an unusual tool, used by craftsmen who make hooked rugs. Has someone taken corporate backstabbing to a new level, and framed Erno in the process? If Sherry’s going to protect her dad and their family name, she has to find out where he was when the lights went out . . .

Includes Recipes from Sherry’s Kitchen!

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Final Roasting Place by Devon Delaney delivers both mystery and humor. I love the way the characters bristle and fight between each other. Each one takes their opinion seriously. Then, there is the father daughter relationship on the pages. Sherry and her father seem to get along. I find it funny how he kept eating other foods except for his daughter’s own dishes. Despite that, Sherry and her dad were charming characters. Sherry is a smart, quick, and talented sleuth. Her fast thinking and observations help solve the murder case.

News worthy stories are just about to get deadly. It might even get worse for Sherry Frazzelle and her father. A cookout show, containing contestants and delicious meals, starts off okay but ends with a big bang. Jealousy, greed, and a fear of change bring out a murderer. The suspects list grows with each page, just as all evidence points to Sherry’s father, another clue proves someone else is the murderer. But who? A race to investigate and find the real killer keeps Sherry’s hands full.

Final Roasting Place offers a lot of entertainment. Action, intrigue, and a bunch of clues as to who may or may not have committed the crime. The cast is enjoyable to follow along. Reminds me of the Murder She Wrote TV show.

 

Review: Vampires like It Hot by Lynsay Sands

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands brings the heat in this new Argeneau novel, as one woman is rescued by an irresistible immortal

“Vampires…”

When Raffaele Notte pulls a barely dressed disoriented woman from the ocean, the last thing he expects is for her to utter that word. The immortal has come to the island resort to help his cousin, but now, it seems there are rogue vampires dining on unsuspecting tourists. And he soon realizes that not only is Jess a target, she’s also the life mate he’s been waiting for…

Vampires are real. Jess would’ve never believed it until she saw them with her own eyes. She knows she has to get off the island, and her gallant rescuer has offered to help. There’s something about Raffaele that’s unlike any man she has ever met, and his touch sends pleasure through her that is beyond all imagining. But when Jess discovers who he really is, will she risk life as she knows it for a chance of forever by his side?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Vampires like It Hot by Lynsay Sands is another great adventure. Hot, spicy, and hilarious. The Argeneau vampire family get another fun journey to enjoy. A young woman goes to a foreign tropical island as a wedding retreat with her unlikable cousin. What starts out normal ends up going into a dark and fearful territory.

Jess is and her cousin are lured by pirates. Not just actors dressed up as pirates but vampires needing a blood snack. Jess is overcome by desire that is set from one greasy haired vampire who may be her life mate. But she ends up witnessing a horror scene that leaves her swimming in shark infested waters.  That’s where her other possible vampire life mate finds her. Struggling to swim any further, Raffaele rescues the beautiful human. Only he finds out that she’s running from vampirates and is his life mate. Talk about complex situations and tons of heat. Lynsay Sands delivers an outstanding emotional journey and one packed with action to entertain. I was both laughing and falling in love with the characters, even the greasy haired vampirate with his silly vocabulary.  Overall, I highly recommend this paranormal romance to all.

 

Review: The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The second unforgettable novel in USA Today bestselling author Tessa Dare’s Girl Meets Duke series.

He’s been a bad, bad rake—and it takes a governess to teach him a lesson.

The accidental governess…

After her livelihood slips through her fingers, Alexandra Mountbatten takes on an impossible post: transforming a pair of wild orphans into proper young ladies. However, the girls don’t need discipline. They need a loving home. Try telling that to their guardian, Chase Reynaud: duke’s heir in the streets and devil in the sheets. The ladies of London have tried—and failed—to make him settle down. Somehow, Alexandra must reach his heart… without risking her own.

The infamous rake…

Like any self-respecting libertine, Chase lives by one rule: no attachments. When a stubborn little governess tries to reform him, he decides to give her an education—in pleasure. That should prove he can’t be tamed. But Alexandra is more than he bargained for: clever, perceptive, passionate. She refuses to see him as a lost cause. Soon the walls around Chase’s heart are crumbling… and he’s in danger of falling, hard.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Tessa Dare has captured my whole heart and soul with this read. I was swept up by the bad guy rep who cares more than he admits about his two little wards. I was amazed that such a playboy could be so sweet. I felt myself melt into puddles every time! Chase thought his was not responsible enough for the girls. Two family members lost their mother was were moved from place to place. No one wanting them. Until Chase…He takes them in despite their bad behavior. There’s more to their behavior than Chase can see. When a sexy clock worker is taken under his care to be the governess, Chase cannot resist her. Alex met Chase in a bookstore. He obviously doesn’t remember her at all. Despite feeling so invisible, Alex takes care of her charges. Both little girls managed to wrap their ways around Alex’s, Chase’s, and my heart. Trouble, mischief, humor, action, and love are filled in this heart melting book. I could not stop reading, The Governess Game. 

 

Review: Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas by Maisey Yates

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

It’s Christmas in Gold Valley, and this wounded widower is about to get another shot at love…

Grant Dodge didn’t expect to find a woman sleeping in an abandoned cabin on his family ranch. Or to find her so intriguing. Unlike every other woman in town, McKenna Tate doesn’t know Grant’s a widower. There’s no pity in the looks she gives him. McKenna wants him, and Grant has forgotten what it’s like to feel like a man. A no-strings fling for Christmas might be the kind of holiday cheer Grant needs…

With only a suitcase to her name, McKenna came to Gold Valley to confront her birth father. She didn’t plan to work at the Dodge ranch or fall for the gorgeous cowboy who keeps his heart roped off. But there’s no denying the way their broken pieces fit together. Hope brought her to Gold Valley—but will it be the gift that could finally heal Grant, and McKenna’s own wounded heart?

Also includes a bonus Gold Valley novella, Snowed in with the Cowboy!

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas by Maisey Yates is a book that grabbed my whole heart and soul. A young woman is sent off to live in the fosters homes at the age of two. From there, she goes back and forth with no one loving her. She has no family. Just as she leaves the foster system, they give her a birth certificate. One that led her to her birth father. Now, she has the opportunity of a lifetime. Meet her family. But she’s afraid. Then, upon her way there, she sleeps in a broken down cabin where a tall, dark cowboy found her.

Grant Dodge has lost his mother. And then his young wife. She died of cancer. His heart has never been the same. Until he found a young tiny woman sleeping away in a cabin. That’s when his world got turned upside down. Utter chaos, complicated, and hot sex…make Grant feel again. Things he never wanted to feel yet he does. All because of McKenna. A lost woman searching for family.

Maisey Yates created a beautifully written novel about family, hope, and love. Letting go of the past is harder to than others say. Grief, loss, and unexpected love found its way into my heart. I cried. Their loss and pain felt like it was my own. The characters were downright charming. Irresistible banters and plenty of humor to keep my interest. Overall, this sexy contemporary is a must read for all.

Review: Vox by Christina Dalcher

Vox

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Set in an America where half the population has been silenced, VOX is the harrowing, unforgettable story of what one woman will do to protect herself and her daughter.

On the day the government decrees that women are no longer allowed more than 100 words daily, Dr. Jean McClellan is in denial–this can’t happen here. Not in America. Not to her.

This is just the beginning.

Soon women can no longer hold jobs. Girls are no longer taught to read or write. Females no longer have a voice. Before, the average person spoke sixteen thousand words a day, but now women only have one hundred to make themselves heard.

But this is not the end. 

For herself, her daughter, and every woman silenced, Jean will reclaim her voice.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Vox by Christina Dalcher is one of the saddest yet most intense novellas I have read. A quick read that kept me interested. Intriguing and dark, this book held my full attention. It started off with a woman and her young daughter are wearing devices. These devices count the number of words they say. Reach over 101 words, and they go through a shock system from the device. It was a hell hole that the women and young girls couldn’t control. A law went into act and they’re forced to being just housewifes. No voice. No opinion. I felt the tears that ran down my cheeks. The pages created a rage unlike anything I have felt. This story is one that must be read. The warning for women, is to never let your voice by controlled. Fight back!

Review: Face Off by Brenda Novak

Face Off (The Evelyn Talbot Chronicles, #3)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Tortured and left for dead at sixteen, Evelyn Talbot turned her personal nightmare into her life’s work—studying the disturbing psychopathy of some of the world’s most vicious serial killers. Now a leading psychiatrist at Hanover House in a small Alaskan town, she tries to believe the past will never come back to haunt her—until a woman goes missing from a cabin nearby, and every clue points to the man who once brutalized her…

As her boyfriend, who is the area’s only police, begins to investigate—and finds not one but two bodies—Evelyn can’t forget that her would-be killer, Jasper Moore, was never caught. But there are no new faces in tiny Hilltop, no one who seems suspicious or potentially violent. In this twisted game of cat and mouse, Evelyn is certain of only one thing—Jasper must be hiding in plain sight. And if she can’t find him before he comes for her, she won’t be lucky enough to survive twice…

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Face Off by Brenda Novak is another brilliant installment to this series. I was intrigued. The entire time, I was waiting for Evelyn’s past killer to attack her. Yet each moment never seemed like the right time for Jasper. Jasper like any other serial killer, ended up making many mistakes. He became careless and it took him spiraling out of control. Everything he worked for, was doomed. The intensity of the big moment, kept me on edge. I was expecting a dark, creepy, and deadly read.

Brenda Novak provided me with just that. The characters were funny, entertaining, and added to the flavor of this read. I had to roll my eyes and bite my tongue at the humiliation that Jasper put up with as he planned his future killings. He hated the men who told him what to do and when to do his work. It was interesting to watch as his temper was pushed and how he barely reined it all in…I kept expecting him to lose his patience at the facility every time. Yet, he surprised me. So many turns and twists…Even knowing the background, I was still kept in the dark as to what would happen. The ending was epic. I would have wanted a bit more darker satisfying end with Jasper. But I will have to wait for the next tale to see what happens next. Overall, I recommend this thriller to all.

Review: Mutts and Mistletoe by Natalie Cox

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Thirty-one-year-old Charlie isn’t in the mood for Christmas cheer.

Her boyfriend has left her for his personal trainer, her mother has absconded with her latest husband for the holidays, and—adding insult to (literal) injury—her London apartment has just been destroyed by a gas leak. Single, mildly concussed and temporarily homeless, Charlie realizes there’s only one place to go: Cozy Canine Cottages, where she’ll spend the season looking after her cousin Jez’s doggy day care center. And if she’s not exactly a dog person, well, no one has to know…

But her plans for a quiet Christmas in a quaint country village are quickly dashed. Peggy the pregnant beagle and Malcolm the anxious Great Dane seem determined to keep her up all night. A strange man has been casing her cousin’s house. And where is Cal, the unbearably patronizing but disturbingly handsome local vet, when she needs him?

As the days tick down to Christmas, Charlie’s life has never felt so out of control—but with some help from her new four-legged friends, she just might learn a thing or two about living in the moment, embracing the unexpected and opening herself up to love…

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Mutts and Mistletoe by Natalie Cox is an amusing read. Instantly, I was swept in its charm, humor, and quirky settings. Christmas is a magical time. It is also time for moving forward, healing, and falling in love. That is exactly what I discovered here. Young people finding a direction and battling their inner struggles. Struggles of the heart. Attraction flares and their encounters are entertaining. But there’s more than to them than the hot vet and the wild city lady. Risks are taken. Time will only tell if the characters found what their hearts seek.

This novel brought out a bunch of crazy situations. Like a city lady trying to take care of animals for the first time. She loves the fur balls but isn’t really sure what they need nor how to care for them. That’s where she and the vet butt heads constantly. I found those banters enjoyable. The way they are with each other and the animals made me root for them. I kept hoping. Deliciously sweet, hilarious,  and heartfelt, Mutts and Mistletoe is a winner. The character grew and their hearts unfroze.

 

Review: Dare to Love a Duke by Eva Leigh

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The third and final book in Eva Leigh’s seductive, sexy, and exciting London Underground series features the proprietress of a secret, sensual club where London’s rich and powerful can explore their deepest desires

For a dashing duke and the proprietress of a secret, sensual club in the London Underground, passion could lead to love… if they dare

Thomas Powell, the new Duke of Northfield, knows he should be proper and principled, like his father. No more dueling, or carousing, or frequenting masked parties where Londoners indulge their wildest desires. But he’s not ready to give up his freedom just yet. The club is an escape, a place where he can forget about society and the weight of his title… and see her, the woman he’s wanted forever.

Lucia—known as Amina—manages the Orchid Club, a secret society where fantasies become reality. But for Lucia, it’s strictly business, profitable enough to finance her dream: a home for the lost girls of the streets. Surrounded by lovers, she only observes, unwilling risk her future for any man. No member has ever intrigued her…until him, the masked stranger whose heated looks sear her skin. After months of suppressed longing, they dare to give in to temptation…

But the late duke’s legacy comes with a shocking secret and the scandal threatens to destroy everything Tom loves… his family, the Orchid Club, and even Lucia.

Rating: 4-stars

Review: 

Dare to Love a Duke by Eva Leigh is a sexy yet scandalous read. There were so many unexpected turns. The characters depicted their time period perfectly. However, they were rebellious against society’s rules in ways that mattered. The pages were filled with vivid adult scenes. Sex, passion, trust, and love were themes explored here. The title fit the novel well. If a young woman let herself dare to love a Duke, she may lose everything she has built for herself and others. A lot of women count on her to keep them hired, feed, and housed. Without the business running, they will all be homeless. But then, one very bold Duke dares to break down her walls and turns her world upside down…from there it was utter chaos. Beautifully written and highly entertaining, this was a breath of fresh air in historical romances.

Review: The Wrong Highlander by Lynsay Sands

The Wrong Highlander (Highland Brides, #7)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A laird’s daughter kidnaps a Highlander—and loses her heart… in New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands’ new historical romance…

Lady Evina Maclean has heard much about Rory Buchanan’s skill as a healer. What she hasn’t heard is how good the brawny Highlander looks bathing in a waterfall. But Evina can’t afford the distraction, for her ailing father urgently needs care. Only when she’s rendered Buchanan unconscious and dragged him back to her family’s castle does the truth emerge—it’s not Rory she’s kidnapped but his brother Conran.

Other ladies try to ensnare Conran with flattery. Evina hits him over the head with the hilt of her sword to save her kin—and Conran likes the spirited redhead all the more for it. He’s learned enough from his brother to heal Evina’s father, but there are other dangers swirling around the Maclean clan. And while the beautiful, independent lady has sworn not to marry, this wrong Highlander may be just the right man for her.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Wrong Highlander by Lynsay Sands is an incredible Scottish adventure. From kidnapping a handsome Highlander to saving family, these Highlanders have their hands full. A young unmarried woman thought she kidnapped the right man. Turned out, it was his brother who also knew how to act in as a healer. Saved her da’s life and then, working to save hers, Conran falls helplessly in love with the red hair beauty. Lady Evina is quick with a sword, a good horse rider, and clever as she is beautiful. It didn’t surprise me that the two would eventually fall in love. But getting to that point was difficult with a murderer running somewhere around the castle. Family and trust were strong themes found on these pages. They tied in well with the plot. Plenty of action, heat, and mystery to keep my interest. Overall, I recommend this novel to all.

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