Review: The Hideaway

Synopsis:

When her grandmother’s will wrenches Sara back home from New Orleans, she learns more about Margaret Van Buren in the wake of her death than she ever did in life.
After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags’s ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay, Alabama. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed her The Hideaway and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering Mags’s best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there.
Rather than hurrying back to New Orleans, Sara stays in Sweet Bay and begins the biggest house-rehabbing project of her career. Amid Sheetrock dust, old memories, and a charming contractor, she discovers that slipping back into life at The Hideaway is easier than she expected.
Then she discovers a box Mags left in the attic with clues to a life Sara never imagined for her grandmother. With help from Mags’s friends, Sara begins to piece together the mysterious life of bravery, passion, and choices that changed Mags’s destiny in both marvelous and devastating ways.
When an opportunistic land developer threatens to seize The Hideaway, Sara is forced to make a choice—stay in Sweet Bay and fight for the house and the people she’s grown to love or leave again and return to her successful but solitary life in New Orleans.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton is a great read for women everywhere. The tale is easy to relate to and connect with the main characters. The writing was well-done. Readers like me will travel to New Orleans. There the story takes place. This book was an eye opener. It laid out choices. Choices that readers like me have to make in life. It’s never easy to make a decision. It just get harder as the time gets closer and places the pressure onto the charcater’s shoulders. Here, I got to explore topics such as family, love, and career. The plot goes further in showing that despite being happy in a successful life that there were things missing that only the life inNew Orleans could provide. I found it inspiring.

Lauren K. Denton’s main character, Sara Jenkins,  returns back to The Hideaway. A place where her grandmother lived. Now, her grandmother is gone and the place needs major repairs before selling it and heading back to her previous life. There Sara finds things belonging to her grandmother that affects her decision on life and whether she stays or not. Plus, there’s the people around her that she has come to love and know that will make saying goodbye that much harder. Nothing’s easy or predicatable in this read. The charcater can take either route and the intrigue is powerful enough to have kept me reading. But there’s also a danger. A land developer threatens to take The Hideaway…and only Sara can stop it. Choices…

The Hideaway is a fascinating read. The charming charcaters, the realistic lives they live, and their believable situations have hooked me. Southern way of life is sweet, memorable, and enchanting. Overall, I recommend Lauren K. Denton’s novel to all. 

Review: Home on the Range


Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Almost Human

Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

Book Review: A Question of Devotion





Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

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

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

Author Interview with Anita Kulina




Interview With Anita Kulina 

ULM: How would you describe your main character, Mrs. B?

Mrs. B has lived in Burchfield since she and her late husband Albert bought their little house when they first got married. She has two children, but both of them livethousands of miles away. Every morning Mrs. B plays pinochle at the Senior Center in the basement of St. Mary’s Church, where she gets to see her closest friends, Myrtle, Anne and Rose. Dinner used to be a quiet meal watching the classic movie channel, but Mrs. B sometimes has company now that her new neighbors moved in across the street. Burchfield is a city neighborhood that feels like a small town. It’s a very rooted neighborhood, where people live in the same house for generations. Mrs. B and herfriends sometimes struggle to get by, but they have each other and, to them, that’s the most important thing.

ULM: What inspired you to write, A Question of Devotion?

I write what I know. The character of Mrs. B came first, based on the strong women I knew growing up. Then I developed the town of Burchfield, which I based on the world I knew as a child. Most of the characters in A Question of Devotion are based on people I knew, or are composites of people I knew. After I had the characters and the town, I knew right away it would be a series. Theidea for the plot of A Question of Devotion was based on a newspaper article I ran across a long time ago. I had set it aside, thinking, “I might want to do something with this someday.” When Mrs. B was born, that someday had come.

ULM: What other hobbies do you have besides writing?

I love writing, it’s lots of fun for me. Other than being with family and friends, it’s really the way I like to spend my time. I do have to take a break once in a while, though! When I do, you can usually find me walking through my city neighborhood, or in my kitchen baking scones.

ULM: Will there be another Mrs. B novel?

I’m halfway through the second novel and have an outline for the third. So the answer is yes!

ULM: How would you describe your writing?

If you’re looking for a serious, dark book full of dead bodies and mayhem, you need to look elsewhere. But if you want to curl up in a comfortable chair on a cold afternoon with a cup of cocoa and a cozy read, A Question of Devotion might be just what you’re looking for.

ULM: What other books have you written, if any?

A Question of Devotion is my first mystery. I also have a nonfiction book, a historyof Western Pennsylvania. Now that may sound dull, but I assure you Millhunks and Renegades is not a typical history book. It’s told through the lives of the residents of Greenfield, which was once part of Squirrel Hill, home of the notorious Girty family. There are lots of scandals and the book is chock full of tidbits of fascinating information. Did you know Andrew Carnegie once belonged to a street gang, and that he dated Stephen Foster’s wife? 

You can read excerpts of Millhunks and Renegades at: http://www.brandtstreetpress.com/millhunks.html. 

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

A Question of Devotion is available online at Amazon and Barnes and Noble, or you can ask for it at your local bookstore. 

I probably should learn more about social media, but the truth is I’d rather be writing. If you’d like to contact me, I’d be happy to hear from you. 

Send me an old-fashioned email at: anita@brandtstreetpress.com

Brandt Street Press is my publishing company. http://www.brandtstreetpress.com/ 

Review: The Significant Other by Nicole Strycharz 

Synopsis:

Adam: I swore off men years ago to protect myself. I don’t trust guys. Guys break hearts, they take, and they don’t give like women do. That’s why for the past ten years I’ve entrusted my heart to a tattooed, multi-hair colored, vixen named Trix. Trixie is my safe haven. She doesn’t just back up my voice in our band she backs me in life. 
Sadly, I don’t reciprocate like I should. My phobia of PDA and my over-protectiveness are hard to put up with. It might be because I need more than I let on. More than I would dare to admit to. 
We moved to NY to grow as a band but then I met ‘him’…our boss; a sexy as hell, bad boy with a convict’s past and a talent for breaking men and women’s hearts alike. He’s bad news… An urban beast with too much edge and he’s prowling around my comfort-zone relationship. 
Now I’m not sure who my significant other is… my girl or the man determined to remind me who I really am and what I truly want. 

Trixie: Coming to the city was our ticket to fame. It was me and Adam against the odds of notoriety but since we arrived in the Big Apple, we’ve also been made aware how small our bubble of safe love is. 
I know what my boyfriend probably hasn’t admitted to himself… that I’m not enough for him. We both are just too chicken to do anything about it. 
New York is changing us. The people we meet here, the emotions we face, even our music… and if there is anything you learn from these streets, it’s this… 
Traffic and life, they both wait for no one. You have to go with the flow, ride the current, and keep up the pace. Both Adam’s love and mine is being tested, or it’s about to end. 
Hopefully we can figure it all out. Oh and add that to my list of to do’s like keeping my twin away from a dangerous drug lord, struggling not to fall from a stranger, keeping the band from falling apart and not becoming a bumbling idiot in front of our criminally hot boss. Yeah…criminal…

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Significant Other by Nicole Strycharz is another brilliant masterpiece. Striaght and the LGBT community will love this book. Once more, I got another taste of the heart and soul the writer puts into her words. Emotionally, tugging on my heart strings. I cried, I laughed, and I fell in love. Frustrating, stunning, and well-told. The entire tale was nothing but epic. 

Nicole Strycharz created her first novel featuring a gay couple. A man who likes other men. That was until he had his heart broken. Then, he went and fell for Trixie. A female singer. But despite her loving him…something just was missing. Both knew it. Adam just didn’t want to face it and neither did Trixie. Adam is a sexy hot alpha male who easily gets under readers skin, like he did to me. His has a big heart. I noticed that from the beginning. Adam hid himself with Trixie…keeping his heart guarded. Until, they meet their new boss. A boss that is more alpha than Adam, sexy hot too, and has a thing for Adam…

Trixie is a submissive kind of woman. Made her great for Adam. But she wasn’t meant for him. That’s thought love. She knew Adam’s real love and it wasn’t for her. Trixie too, has the biggest heart anyone has read in fiction. Despite her sexy tough looks, lies a sweet engaging woman looking for love. Trixie finds love but it fails…then she has a sister that made me want to hug Trixie. Trixie goes out and beyond for her sister. A sister who will never change…

Overall, The Significant Other is a book I can easily see made into a movie for 18-year-olds and above due to its content. Sex, drugs, and other things. Life is messy, complicated, and unfair. I really enjoyed this novel, because it brought out real life issues that people battle with each day. Believable, intriguing, and well-written. Nicole Strycharz has done it again with her latest piece. I applaud Nicole for her astounding job in creating three-dimensional characters whose stories I’ll never forget. So readers, yes, I highly recommend this talented writer’s book, The Significant Other to all. 

Review: The Chapel Car Bride

Synopsis:

Intriguing Glimpse into the Past by Bestselling Historical Author Judith Miller
With her penchant for seeing the best in everyone, Hope Irvine sees a world full of good people in hard places. When her father accepts a position traveling in a chapel car as an on-the-rail missionary, she is determined to join him in his efforts and put her musical skills to good use by serving the mining families of West Virginia, saving their souls, and bettering their lives.
Luke Hughes shares Hope’s love of music and her love of God, but as a poor miner he knows he can offer her no future. Still, the notes she sings resonate in his heart. When she begins to travel with a young mine manager to neighboring counties, Luke can hardly suppress his jealousy. It isn’t until he begins to suspect these missions of mercy might be the mine manager’s cover for illegal purposes, though, that Luke feels justified in speaking up. But how can he discover the truth without hurting Hope or, worse, putting her in danger?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Chapel Car Bride by Judith Miller is a beautifull woven Christian tale. Here, I got to follow two charcaters as they went about God’s calling. Faith, hope, and trust are themes inside this book. Without any of these the charcaters wouldn’t have made it to where they did. Engaging, sweet, and entertaining read. 

Inside, The Chapel Car Bride, there’s a young woman who travels with her father. A preacher’s daughter. Together, they go about spreading the Word and deed of God to many. Soon, they arrive to a town they turns out to need them most. There they stay giving the people hope, kindness, and faith. Hope Irvine soon is led by a man who hides his real intentions…and then, there’s Luke Hughes. A good man who is excited to see what Hope and her father have to share with his people. Luke takes an instant liking to Hope and so does the other man. Luke has to find a way to caution her without causing her to turn away from him. Proceeding to warn her off, will prove most difficult. But with a lot of prayer, faith and guidance from God, anything is possible. Even love. 

Judith Miller’s latest novel, shows readers what kindness can do. Prayer helps. Times are tough and life can be hard…but with some faith, things can turn around for the best. The Chapel Car Bride offers, intrigue, suspense, and some danger too. I was fascinated with this clean Christian book. The plot was believable. The pacing apwas perfect. Overall, I recommend it to all. 

Review: Brambleberry House





Synopsis:

Come stay awhile at Brambleberry House, a place infused with acceptance, healing and heart–as only RaeAnne Thayne can imagine it.

 
His Second-Chance Family 



Julia Blair spent many happy summers at Cannon Beach and fell hard for sweet local boy Will Garrett. Now the for-rent sign at Brambleberry House seems like a wonderful omen for widowed Julia and her young children. She craves the warmth she once felt in Brambleberry House–and in Will’s arms. But before he can embrace his first love, he’ll have to lay down the burden of the past and open his heart again.

 
A Soldier’s Secret 



Struggling to rebuild her business and her life, Anna Galvez knows she’s fortunate to have inherited Brambleberry House as her rock-solid base. When she finds a handsome new tenant in injured army pilot Harry Maxwell, Anna thinks her luck–in love, at least–might be changing. Until the lieutenant’s story begins to unravel…

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

RaeAnne Thayne is a mastermind when it comes to creating the perfect contemporary romance tales. Her latest book, Brambleberry House, contains two short novellas. Each one has its way of pulling me deep into its journey. Epic, heartfelt, and well-written. The characters are to die for…

Inside, His Second-Chance Family, I got to two old sweethearts. Traveling back to their sweet moment of being 16-years-old and in love. A brief sweet kiss from a first love.  Their memory of that has stayed with them even now, as adults. One stayed and the other left. Now, many years later, fate has brought them together. Both have lost a loved one two. Their shared experience in pain, grief, loss, and love has a way of making a new path. Maybe, love and healing is in the air…

Next, is A Soldier’s Secret. Here, I got to meet a nephew of a deceased woman. His aunt gave her home to two ladies. One such lady was Anna Galvez. Her luck in love was bad. Her finance ran off with another woman and left her on their wedding day…

Now, she appears stiff as a board but there’s more to Anna than beats the human eye. With some help from a dog and the spirit of the deceased aunt…Anna and Harry might have a chance at a happily ever after. But they must overcome their fears and find courage to move forward. Love is in the air. It’s up to the charcaters to brace enoughto accept it.

Troubled hearts filled with pain, loss, and grief. RaeAnne Thayne has brought two unique tales that teach lessons of life as well as showing me that anything is possible. Love can happen when we least expect it to…overall, I highly recommend Brambleberry House to readers worldwide. The plot was enticing from the first page. Charming charcaters and tales that steal readers’ hearts.

Review: Still Well





Synopsis:

Paul Russo’s wife just died. While trying to get his family’s life back in order, Paul is being tormented by a demon who is holding his wife’s spirit hostage on the other side. His fate is intertwined with an old haunted mansion on the north shore of Long Island called Stillwell Manor. Paul must find clues dating back hundreds of years to set his wife’s soul free.
“Cash makes the pain of a man who lost the love of his life palpable in this supernatural thriller with a genuinely surprising resolution.” 

– Publisher’s Weekly 
“Cash easily draws readers into the story by creating three-dimensional characters who are easy to care about.” – ForeWord Reviews

“With strong characters and a twist unexepected in a thriller, this book is an enjoyable beach read.” – ForeWord Reviews
“A horror tale with well-developed characters…” – Kirkus Review 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Still Well by Michael Phillip Cash is a dark intriguing tale. The characters have a way of dragging readers straight into the book. I was immediately drawn into the story. Captivated by the mystery and danger. Goosebumps crawling out on my arms as I dug further into the plot. 

Still Well is definitely a page-turner. A fast-paced, yet edgy ghost-story that nailed my attention from the first page to the last. Frightening tale that holds themes of loss, grief, love and death. A husband who loses his wife due to an illness. Paul has a job of selling places. The most interesting place up for him to sell is a haunted mansion. It’s here where all the darkness comes.  Creating a phenomenal paranormal novel. Buried pasts and a love that doesn’t end…Paul has to rescue his wife’s soul. 

Here, Michael Phillip Cash has masterfully woven a book that engaged me with every page. I was addicted. The action, suspense, and thrill of what lies ahead held me like a prisoner. Still Well’s hero, Paul Russo, is a man that is easy to relate to as well like. I instantly connected with him. His pain of losing his wife and now, having to save her from evil spirits is hard. Paul is a strong character. He grows as the plot unfolded. Overall, I was entertained with this read. I highly recommend this paranormal thriller to all. 

Review: Back in the Saddle

Synopsis:

The Prodigal Is Coming Home 
It’s been a long time since Colt Stafford shrugged off his cowboy legacy for shiny Manhattan loafers and a promising career on Wall Street. But when stock market manipulations leave him financially strapped, the oldest son of legendary rancher Sam Stafford decides to return to the sprawling Double S ranch in Gray’s Glen, Washington. He’s broke, but not broken, and it’s time to check in with his ailing father, and get his legs back under him by climbing into the saddle again.

 

He doesn’t expect to come home to a stranger pointing a loaded gun at his chest— a tough yet beautiful woman that Sam hired as the house manager. Colt senses there’s more to Angelina Morales than meets the eye and he’s determined to find out what she’s hiding…and why. 

 

Colt’s return brings new challenges. Younger brother Nick has been Sam’s right-hand man at the ranch for years and isn’t thrilled at having Colt insert himself into Double S affairs. And the ranch’s contentious relationship with the citizens of Gray’s Glen asks all the Stafford men to examine their hearts about what it truly means to be a neighbor. And as Wall Street recovers, will Colt succumb to the call of the financial district’s wealth and power—or finally the courage to stay in the saddle for good? 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Back in the Saddle by Ruth Logan Herne is a clean romantic tale that swept me off my feet. I love anything featuring sexy cowboys, horses, and unexpected romances. This book has it all. Past that continues to haunt the charcaters, faith, and forgiveness. Anything impossible is possible after all. 

Ruth Logan Herne brings readers Colt Stanford. A cowboy returning to his family’s ranch after his career in the city plunges. Returning home seems like a good idea until he finds himself between a gorgeous woman and her gun. Talk about surprises! Getting back in the saddle may prove harder than Colt thought. Then, there’s Angelina Morales who intrigues the cowboy. There is a lot more to her than she lets off…

Back in the Saddle is exciting, intriguing, and sweet. I loved reading it. Ruth Logan Herne created three-dimensional characters that pulled at my heart. I felt like I was transported straight into their world. Believable, engaging, and well-written. This writer, is indeed talented. I couldn’t stop reading this book. Overall, I highly recommend it to readers everywhere. 

Review: Mr. Make Believe






Synopsis:

Marnie Martin’s formerly perfect life is not quite going to plan. 
Hard-hitting newspaper journalist turned stay at home mum slash part-time (terrible) cookery columnist slash full-time day dreamer, she’s not entirely sure when it all went wrong… 
She suspects it was at exactly the moment she gave up writing the front page for the apparent bliss of perfect motherhood. But while her (tall, handsome, lawyer) husband Matt’s career is taking off, she is left behind with the impossible task of pairing socks. His late nights at the office are turning into late nights who knows where else. They haven’t had a proper conversation in weeks, sex in months, and a full night’s sleep in what must be years. Love has taken a back seat to the laundry pile and Marnie is feeling a little lost. 
So when an extended fantasy about movie star Maddox Wolfe leads to a missed deadline, a very high profile case of food poisoning, the loss of her job and potentially her husband… Marnie becomes Mrs Make Believe: Anonymous blogger, secret spiller and voice of fantasy-life spinning imperfect mums everywhere. 
Mrs Make Believe knows the bedtime battles, the marriage screw ups and the shrinking clothing (she remains a size 10, what are her clothes playing at?) only too well. She also knows that it’s ok to let your mind wander into make believe… What she didn’t know was that a movie star crush could walk off the screen and into her life, turning her already muddled world (with a husband with one foot out the door) totally on its head. 
Will Marnie be sucked back into the world of uncomfortable cocktail dresses and Botox-frozen smiles? Will she find happiness in her infuriatingly imperfect marriage or in the arms of the (literal) man of her dreams? Or will Marnie find that true love is just make believe? 

This laugh out loud romantic comedy will have you glued to your sofa. Journalist turned author, Beezy Marsh, is perfect for fans of Helen Fielding’s Bridget Jones, Tracy Bloom and The Bad Mother’s Diary. The battle through love, life and laundry should never be a one woman struggle. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Mr. Make Believe by Beezy Marsh is a hilarious women’s fictional tale. A romantic comedy about life and marriage. Inside this book, readers will find a strong woman whose life changes after becoming a mother. Her fashion writing career comes to a halt as well as the romance in her marriage. Her career comes to a haunt, while her husband is to busy with his. Lately, he becomes more interested in his work and other things than in the woman he loved and married. 

Marriage has its ups and downs. Beezy Marsh clearly shows readers just that withevery page. However, its more complicated than just a marriage suffering. The main charcater, Marnie finds a way to combat her dead end life. She creates a column about fantasy life. Her readers become so engaged in her that she ends up selling a book. By that time, Marine will have had a romance with her fantasy crush, experienced being cheated upon,and come to realize that her love for her husband is greater than what she thought. Whether she leaves her crush for her husband is for readers to figure out for themselves. I loved following this emotional journey. 

Mr. Make Believe is the type of novel, that pulls in readers like myself. I became addicted. Page after page, the fun never stopped. The ending was just as brilliant as the beginning. Love, marriage, betrayal, and second chances are all inside this book. Beezy Marsh has a way with brining her charcaters and words to life. Over, I was satisfied with reading it. Highly recommend it to all. 

Review: Remnants 

Synopsis:

“If you are a fan of murder mysteries, tense crimes, and a great team, then this series is perfect for you.” 

—The Reading Café on Violated (Brandon Fisher FBI series) 
All that remains are whispers of the past…
When multiple body parts are recovered from the Little Ogeechee River in Savannah, Georgia, local law enforcement calls in FBI agent and profiler Brandon Fisher and his team to investigate. But with the remains pointing to three separate victims, this isn’t proving to be an open-and-shut case.
With no quick means of identifying the deceased, building a profile of this serial killer is more challenging than usual. How are these targets being selected? Why are their limbs being severed and their bodies mutilated? And what is it about them that is triggering this person to murder?
The questions compound as the body count continues to rise, and when a torso painted blue and missing its heart is found, the case takes an even darker turn. But this is only the beginning, and these new leads draw the FBI into a creepy psychological nightmare. One thing is clear, though: The killing isn’t going to stop until they figure it all out. And they are running out of time…

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

After reading Remnants by Carolyn Arnold, I can definitely see how she is an international bestselling writer. Her writing is impressive. This latest novel of hers, is the sixth book within the FBI series. I haven’t read any of her previous books, yet I was able to connect easily with her charcaters. Plus, The plot had me deeply engrossed. 

Remnants is a thrilling yet suspenseful crime novel. Similar to popular programs like Criminal Minds and NCIS. Police procedurals, hard-boiled mystery, and tons of action. Every page left me guessing as to who was behind the murders. Dead body parts start popping up everywhere and then a full body. Police and the FBI profiler, Brandon Fisher, are puzzled. The count climbs, the intensity of the situation can be felt throughout the book. I loved the dark and edgy vibe as I dug further into the novel. The scenes felt real. It was like I was there investigating with Brandon Fisher. Carolyn Arnold is a mastermind in creating this stunning, clever, and engaging tale. 

Remnants is a suspenseful journey that will keep readers frightened once they finished reading. For those who love solving crime and chasing serial killers, this edge of your seat title is just for you. Overall, I highly recommend it. Looking forward to reading more, by Carolyn Arnold. 

Review: Spring at Blueberry Bay




Synopsis:

Welcome to beautiful Hope Island where the sea sparkles, the daffodils are blooming and a blossoming romance is just around the corner… 
Bella has always had a sunny outlook and caring nature, despite recently falling on hard times. When she finds a handsome homeless man on her doorstep, her kind heart tells her she must help him. So, she invites Isaac into her cottage and into her life in ways she could never have imagined… 
But Isaac is not what he seems. He’s keeping a huge secret from Bella, yet he never expected to fall for this open, generous and charming woman. 
Bella can’t ignore the chemistry between her and Isaac, but she’s had her trust badly broken in her past. Will she run when she learns the truth about Isaac, or will he be the one man who can help Bella believe in love again? 
A gorgeously romantic and heartwarming story to completely lose yourself in. Perfect for fans of Sarah Morgan, Jane Costello and Miranda Dickinson. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Spring at Blueberry Bay by Holly Martin is the best novel written by her thus far. I was instantly taken by the themes presented inside this book. Homelessness is not something to overlook yet most do. The homeless suffer from a lack of shelter, food, and other things most of us don’t take for granted. I was amazed by this writer incorporating this issue into her novel. The way Holly Martin presented the theme was believable. Not many remember or know what it’s like to be homeless. Because of my parents, I was able to understand and easily connect with it all. The other themes were of kindness, generosity, and second chances.  Beautifully woven together. 

Spring at Blueberry Bay is an exciting romantic comedy. The charcaters are charming, realistic, and hilarious. From awkward moments to heated ones…I fell in love with both Bella and Issac. Bella was left abandoned by her parents. She was then raised by her aunt and uncle. To Bella, they became her real parents. From there, I got to follow her journey as she lost a job due to her boss embezzling only from the fundraiser organization. After that, she can’t find a job. Bella applies to work for a major well-known corporation that fundraisers for the poor. This where the plot gets more exciting by the second. 

Issac then enters the story. He’s the CEO of the major corporation that Bella applied to work for…only he goes about meeeting future employees in an interesting way. Issac’s way of finding out more by his employees has always worked for him. Until, he met Bella. Everything gets messy, complicated, and heated. Something about Bella has Issac wanting more of her. But if she works for him, their relationship has to be professional only…

Holly Martin creates sizzling reads. I was deeply engaged and emotional hooked. Fast plot, intriguing scenes, and irresistible charcaters. I loved it. Overall, I highly recommend Spring at Blueberry Bay to readers everywhere. 

Review: The Chocolate Comeback 




Synopsis:

Fame, fortune and fashion: that’s aspiring model Deirdre Cash’s ideal life. But when her splashy New York career dries up, she swallows her pride and returns to Marietta, Montana, desperate for any work she can find.
Isaac Litton doesn’t want the intrusion of a home care aide for his brother, Mark. But when the young man takes a shine to DeeDee, Isaac decides to give her a chance. He can’t help but be impressed when DeeDee changes his brother’s life around, by rewarding his healthy habits and exercising with treats from the Copper Mountain Chocolate Shop. Gorgeous and opinionated, DeeDee stirs everything up in the Litton household, including an attraction that Isaac can’t deny.
As DeeDee and Isaac start to fall for each other, an unexpected opportunity arises that could launch DeeDee back into the modeling scene. It’s her chance to achieve everything she’s ever wanted. But taking it would mean letting down her friends at the chocolate shop, her family who believes in her, a boy who adores her, and a man who thinks she’s already perfect, just the way she is. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Chocolate Comeback by Roxanne Snopek is another brilliant masterpiece by this talented writer. I highly recommend this to all. There’s humor, romance, and and chocolate. I loved this deadly combo. I was enchanted throughout the book. The main character, DeeDee, is fascinating. She doubts herself when a new challenge arises yetshe goes about doing it anyway. I really liked that about DeeDee. It made her real. Plus, her personality is a bubbly one. It would be hard not to smile when DeeDee is around…

Roxanne Snopek created a beautiful enriching story. Here, inside her seventh novel, we meet Issac who has a brother, Mark. Mark has a learning disability. This part of the novel caught my attention and snagged me further into the fictional tale. I loved how the main charcater interacted with Issac’s brother, Mark. She ends up helping Mark improve himself and his life. A positive and heart felt journey. The Chocolate Comeback is exciting, entertaining, and well-written. Overall, I highly recommend it. 

Review: Beyond Justice





Synopsis:

Hayden McCarthy is on track to become the youngest partner in her prestigious D.C. law firm…if the case she’s just been handed doesn’t destroy her first.

Hayden McCarthy knows firsthand the pain when justice is not served. It’s why she became an attorney and why she’s so driven in her career. When she’s handed a wrongful death case against the government, she isn’t sure if it’s the lucky break she needs to secure a partnership—or an attempt to make sure she never gets there. She keeps the case alive through sheer determination and more than a little creativity, but then she’s fired by a partner with a vendetta.

Further complicating matters, Hayden keeps finding herself completely distracted by Andrew, her roommate’s cousin. But his father is a Congressman and she’s currently taking on the government. Could the timing be any worse?

The longer she keeps the case active, the higher the stakes become. Unknown enemies seem determined to see either the case—or her—die. Should she fight alone for the dead young man by launching her own unfinanced firm, or abandon the case in order to save her own life? 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Beyond Justice by Cara Putman has brilliantly spun a romantic suspense read. One that brings forth legal matter that could make or break the heroine’s life career. I loved the fact that despite what pressure there was…the heroine went digging for the truth. That alone made this novel a winner. 

Cara Putman’s main charcater, Hayden McCarthy is believable. She’s strong, independent, and very determined to make herlatest case the best case ever. It’s a tough one, but I felt that Hayden could handle anything that came her way. Her personality is likable. Hayden chose the legal life for personal reasons. After reading reading this book, I admit she was indeed the best at what she does. 

Next, there’s the love interest in Hayden McCarthy’s life. A young man who feels the instant connection between them. Hot, sizzling, and romantic. But the complications are there just like real life. Andrew Weasley has a father in politics and with Hayden’s current case against the government, things are going to be intense. The plot heats up with every page. 

Beyond Justice is a thrilling adventure. Danger, risks, and a career are on the line. Hanging loosely by a thread. Hayden McCarthy will have to juggle it all until the outcomes are released. Finding truth, working hard, and doing what’s right are just some themes from this novel that hooked me. I was deeply engaged. The charcaters were great. Overall, I highly recommend Cara Putman’s book, Beyond Justice, to all. 

Review: The Blue Hour




Synopsis:

Sometimes you get a second chance to live the life you’ve always wanted…if you’re brave enough to take the chance.
In this epic tale of love, loss, and redemption, the year is 1861, a time when women are expected to be married by a certain age. At 26, spinster Emily Wainwright has no reason to believe her sheltered life will ever change — until the charming Samuel Todd unexpectedly crosses her path.
Samuel yearns to homestead and start a family in Oregon, but he first needs to find a wife. Blinded by Samuel’s good looks, and grasping at her final chance to have a husband and children, Emily accepts his marriage proposal. However, Samuel is not the man she thought he was, and her marriage becomes a cold, cruel prison, offering her no solace amidst the hardships of farm life. 
When Samuel dies and a second chance at love and happiness arrives in the form of farmhand Cole Walker, Emily must overcome her bitter past—or risk losing Cole and the life she has always dreamed of having. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Blue Hour by Vicki Righettini is a historical read that will inspire many. Inside, readers will find out how women lived, what was expected of them by society, and the difficulty of marriage. Marriage is scary especially, during this time period. If stuck in a bad marriage, there was any escape. I easily connected with the main charcater. A pioneer woman. Stronger than most women I know. 

The Blue Hour presents readers with the journey of one woman. Emily Wainright. She wasn’t married yet but the pressure of it caused her some serious issues. Then, marrying lead her to a man who looked good outside but was rotten inside…the marriage was a disaster. No escape. But Emily spores her best to survive. Soon, fate gives her a second chance in life. Her husband dies leaving her free. Only Emily isn’t sure of what to make of the new man in her life. Life is hard and having already made one mistake, Emily is weary of making another one. 

Next there’s the male protagonist. Cole Walker. A decent man who is a farmhand. Good looking and kind. He is good for Emily. However, due to her past, Cole may not have a chance with her. Their futures are set on whether Emily can overcome her fears and let go of the past. Otherwise, she may lose her chance at happiness. Real happiness. 

The Blue Hour is an unforgettable tale. Detailing the hardships and life of women out west. I was fascinated from the beginning to end. Here, I experienced hard work, society’s rules and expectation, romance, love, loss, and kindness. The emotional journey was believable and stunning. Overall, I highly recommend Vicki Righettini’s novel to readers everywhere. 

Author Interview with Vicki Righettini

Author Interview with Vicki Righettini


ULM: What inspired you to write your debut novel, The Blue Hour?

As a kid I was fascinated by stories of the pioneers. In fact, there’s a history of pioneering in my family: my mother’s side came to Pennsylvania from Germany in the 1700s, then moved to Kentucky and Illinois, then finally to California by train in the 1940s. Growing up I always imagined myself as one of those hardy pioneers. But after researching The Blue Hour, I’m not so sure! But the idea for The Blue Hour started with a trip my husband and I made to Eastern Oregon in the late 1990s, where we visited the newly-opened Oregon Trail Interpretive Center outside Baker City at Flagstaff Hill. Nothing brought the Oregon Trail to life for me like that exhibit. I didn’t just learn about the Trail, I were there. During that same trip, we drove around the spectacular Blue Mountain area, seeingthe wagon ruts that still exist, and exploring old homesteads and settlements. 

That got my mental wheels turning: why did people settle here? Why not go the rest of the way to the Willamette Valley, where farming is easier and the weather is much milder? They’d already traveled nearly 2,000 miles; the worst of the trip was over. So why did they stop at the Blue Mountains, instead of going all the way to the endof the Trail at Oregon City?I wanted to know the answers, so I wrote – and researched – the book to find out.

ULM: What lead you to use Oregon as your book’s setting?

In 2002, after twenty-odd years living in Oregon, my husband was offered a job in the Boston area. He’d been out of work for a while, a casualty of the dot-bomb, andmy acting career had stalled, so we said “Why not?” and moved lock, stock, and barrel to New England. I was prepared for it to be different, but I couldn’t have predicted the culture shock: the unfamiliar food in the stores; the thick North Shoreaccent which I could barely make sense of; the crazy weather; and the even crazier,hard-to-navigate roads, all of which made me feel as if we’d made a wrong turn and landed in a foreign country. I was so confused by the winding streets in our neighborhood, I didn’t leave our driveway for the first two months!

Once the unpacking was done, I found myself terribly homesick for Oregon. I’d started the novel before we left, and since I had no job yet, and no prospects of one, I went back to the manuscript, and spent a good portion of every day with the state I loved and deeply missed. It was a wonderful year of writing and research, and a great feeling when it was done.

ULM: You mentioned that you love the land of Oregon. What is there to love?

First and foremost, it’s a beautiful state. Oregon is sparsely populated with spectacular natural scenery; there are mountains, desert, and coastline all within driving distance of the major cities. And Oregonians seem to have an almost innaterespect for the land. Practically every person I knew had a serious vegetable garden, and for years I was an avid gardener myself (which came in handy the yearmy husband was out of work). The great outdoors is simply a part of life, whether you’re a hiker, bicyclist, or walker. 

Not every Oregonian is an eco-warrior, but pretty much everyone loves the state they live in. Of course, there’s the rain, but the gorgeous summers more than make up for the nine months of drizzly, gray weather (which is why Oregonians drink so much coffee). Add to that a dedication to fresh, local food, and a growing number of local breweries, and you have a winning combination. If the winter weather weren’ta migraine trigger for me, we would have happily gone back when we left New England. Though I know for certain we’re not the only former Oregonians to have headed for sun-drenched San Diego!

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

Vivid, visual, and heart-centered.

ULM: The Blue Hour is a historical romance tale. Why choose the historical route for writing it?

The historical part was easy. As I said above, I’ve always been interested in the Oregon Trail and the pioneers who traversed it. What wasn’t clear was the romancepart, which I never set out to write. But once I started asking myself the story questions of who, what, when, where, and why, I immediately saw two characters (who turned out to be Emily and Cole), in two different scenes. Which sparked the final question: how did they get there? Answering that question brought the romance aspect into play.

I could probably have told the story of Emily and Cole in any era, but by choosing the 1860s and the Oregon Trail, I was able to introduce conflicts and hardships thatwouldn’t have been available to me had I set it in modern times. Setting the story in the Victorian era allowed me to explore current issues (women’s rights and gender roles, for example), from a friendly distance. Historical perspective filters current issues and events in a way that makes them accessible to modern readers. I’m interested in how we’ve progressed as a society – where we began, and where we’ve come to. By following the journey of an individual from the past, we can seethose issues more clearly than if we viewed them through the muddied lens of our own time.

ULM: Which of your characters was the hardest to create?

It’s a tie between Samuel and Emily. They were both challenges, but in different ways. Samuel is based largely on my father, which made his behavior familiar to me, painfully so, but it also made him fairly easy to write. After all, I’d had years ofdirect experience and observation to draw from. But I’d never tried to understand his actions; to me, like it or not, that’s just the way he was. Not until my editor told me she had a tough time understanding his actions, did I go back and look at his motivations. She pushed me to show the reader why Samuel did what he did; not tomake him more likeable, but to make him more believable. Justifying and understanding my father’s behavior wasn’t a place I necessarily wanted to go, but itwas good that she made me do it. As a result I understood my father better, and it improved the book enormously. 

My problem with Emily was that she was too internal. I knew what she wanted andwhat she was thinking, but it didn’t come across on the page. She was absent in her own story. I realized if I didn’t communicate her thoughts and desires to the reader, the story would be dead in the water. In the process of bringing Emily’s inner self to light, she evolved into a stronger, more sympathetic character than the one I’d originally imagined, someone with toughness and heart. She was still a reluctant heroine, but much more relatable. And those qualities have resonated with readers. 

ULM: What would you like readers to take from reading The Blue Hour?

Having been a teacher, I rejoice when readers say they learned something they didn’t know before, especially if it’s some tiny detail I geeked-out over! But I didn’tset out to educate anyone other than myself. I like sharing stories, and in this case Iwanted to tell a readable tale about one woman and the obstacles she had to overcome, both imposed from the outside, and coming from within. Of course, I hoped that readers would be inspired by Emily’s story, just as I was by the pioneer accounts I read, but I also know you can’t inspire someone who isn’t engaged. I did my best to tell a gripping story that keeps the reader turning pages, wondering whathappens next to the characters they’ve come to care about. In other words, I wrote the kind of book I like to read.

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

Readers have been clamoring for a sequel to The Blue Hour, and it thrills me that they care enough about the characters to want more. I made a stab at it, and have about forty manuscript pages, but the story wasn’t grabbing me. If I’m going to spend five or more years on a book, it has to be something I’m obsessed and in lovewith. 

Also, in writing The Blue Hour, I set many family and personal issues to rest.Now that I’ve battled those ghosts, I feel the need to move on. Perhaps with the passing of time, I’ll miss Griffin Gulch and its denizens enough to revisit it.So…I’m doing the unthinkable and switching genres. I’ve always loved mysteries, and I’m working on a cozy mystery series that takes place in Portland, Oregon, a quirky, beautiful city, and a great place to set a story. 

My amateur sleuth is Camilla Reed, a free-lance singer and voice teacher. Camilla is a transplanted Texan: funny,earthy, and smart, with a heart as big as her home state. But she can’t get her love life together, and she repeatedly falls for the wrong men. 

Her next-door neighbor, Ted Sullivan, a retired Boston cop and fellow transplant, would like to be more than a friend, but he mainly ends up helping her with espionage and house repairs. 

An added detail is that Camilla is prone to migraine headaches. This puts her at a disadvantage, but it also grants her unusual powers of perception. Her heightened sense of smell, hearing, and other sensitivities, especially right before an attack, turn out to be remarkable sleuthing tools. This fits into the category of “write what you know.” As a chronic migraineur myself, I have years of personal experience at my disposal. It’s a pleasure turning this affliction around and showing it in a positive light. 

In all, I’m planning a series of three books. The first manuscript is finished, and thesecond is underway. I’m having a blast writing these stories, so stay tuned…

ULM: What else besides writing do you enjoy doing?

I love reading! I read approximately a book a week, plus I subscribe to a number ofwriting and arts journals. I also love to cook: I’m the weeknight chef at our house, and I find it relaxing and creative. Then, I’ve also started my first vegetable garden in a good long while; my seedlings must be tired of seeing my face peering at them. I still love theatre and music, even though I’m no longer performing, and my husband and I are avid theatre-goers, taking in about three shows a month. I’m also a rabid Red Sox fan. Following the team was the best thing about living in New England; in a word, the Red Sox are habit-forming!

ULM: You have mentioned being an actress. What was that like? 

Also, did that career influence your writing?As a performing artist and teacher, I was lucky to work in a field I’m deeply passionate about. I’ve traveled to places and met people I would never have been incontact with any other way, and who deeply influenced my work and my career. I was beyond fortunate to be able to make a career doing something I loved. But after forty years, with the onset of early menopause, I developed devastating, chronic migraines. 

Because they could strike at any time without warning, I was suddenly no longer reliable. I tried gutting it out, and I did everything I could thinkof to continue to work. But the performing life is chaotic and unpredictable at the best of times; it’s a recipe for constant pain. Eventually it was clear: I had to let thatlife go. I’d had a forty year run, and a good one. I did pretty much everything I’d wanted to do – played coveted roles, traveled, made some great friends, and grew tremendously as an artist. I left without regrets. Acting influenced my writing without question. 

One of my favorite exercises for character development was to write a biography or a journal as the character I was playing. It was my favorite part of the process, and it wasn’t unusual to find me stillwriting on closing night! That process taught me how to step into the shoes of any character, no matter how evil or unsympathetic, and see the world through their eyes, an invaluable tool for any writer. But beyond that, I learned about scene structure, language, and story line. I developed the ability to create huge desires for my characters, devising ways to getthose desires met, and to deal with the success or failure of the pursuit. I learned to look beneath the text for secret desires, to fill in the blanks in the script. And I learned invaluable lessons about dialog, rhythm, and pacing. Without a doubt, my writing would not be what it is today had I not learned those lessons in the theatre. 

ULM: Where can readers find you and your debut novel online? 

Excellent question! I love hearing from readers, and I personally respond to every message I receive. I can be reached through my website and blog  http://vickirighettini.com/

Please take a moment to sign up! 

 There is also an order page for the book on my website: http://vickirighettini.com/buy-the-book/; or you can purchase the book online at Amazon http://amzn.to/2i7Gn6M; Barnes & Noble http://bit.ly/2mKgX2j; or order it from any bookseller of your choice.

I also have author pages at: Facebook: http://bit.ly/2lHPUqZ; Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1UtgcEu; and Twitter: https://twitter.com/VRighettini 

I look forward to hearing from your readers soon! 

Review: Royally Roma





Synopsis:

In this charming, modern retelling of the classic Audrey Hepburn film Roman Holiday, a royal prince tries to escape his hectic and rigid life and ends up leading a young graduate student on a chase through the Eternal City.

Julia Costa is too busy trying to complete her PhD while also holding down a full-time job as a private tour guide in Rome to keep up with celebrity gossip. So when she crosses paths with a real, actual prince, she mistakes him for a client and takes him on a daylong tour of the city.
Intrigued by the idea of spending time with someone who obviously has no idea who he is, and delighted at the prospect of a day free of royal obligations, Niccolo La Torre, Crown Prince of Lazaretto, acts on impulse and assumes the role of Julia’s client. He swears to himself that he’ll return to his royal duties after only half a day…but he’s having the time of his life.
Until Julia presents him with the bill. Since he snuck out of the hotel without so much as a dime, he tries to escape, only to discover that she won’t let him out of her sight until he can pay her back. She’s determined to get her money…and perhaps more from the handsome stranger she’s fallen for. 
Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Royally Roma by Teri Wilson was a terrific read. Hot romance with unexpected outcomes. I was excited and deeply engaged from the first page to the last. The first book to a new series. A young woman who is intelligent but taken abuse of in situations had lead her to not trusting some people. Especially, one good looking man that oozes all sex and lust. He lies to her about who he really is. But then knowing who he really was, the whole situation was easy to understand. Both charcaters were easy to relate to as well as love. An older prince wanting to escape his duties for a bit. All the pressure caused by his younger brother and his all demanding grandfather make his job less appealing. Out for some space…he runs into a gorgeous but brilliant woman. From there Rome has them bothenchanted and falling in love little by little. Funny, sweet, and one amazing adventure that readers don’t want to miss. Overall, I recommend this contemporary romance novel, Royally Roma, to all. 

Review: You’ll Think of Me



Synopsis:

In a small town in Idaho’s idyllic wine country where the past looms large, can two people realize their individual dreams for the future … together?
Abandoned once too often, Brooklyn Myers never intended to return to Thunder Creek, Idaho. Her hometown holds too many memories of heartache and rejection. But when her estranged husband Chad Hallston dies and leaves his family home and acreage to her and their ten-year-old daughter Alycia, it’s an opportunity to change their lives for the better—a chance Brooklyn can’t pass up, for Alycia’s sake if not her own.
Derek Johnson, Chad’s best friend since boyhood, isn’t keen on the return of Brooklyn Myers to Thunder Creek. He still blames her for leading his friend astray. And now she has ruined his chance to buy the neighboring ten acres which would have allowed him to expand his organic farm. To add insult to injury, Chad’s dying request was that Derek become the father to Alycia that Chad never was. How can he keep that promise without also spending time with the girl’s mother?
Brought together by unexpected circumstances, Derek and Brooklyn must both confront challenges to their dreams and expectations. He must overcome long held misconceptions about Brooklyn while she must learn to trust someone other than herself. And if they can do it, they just might discover that God has something better in mind than either of them ever imagined.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

You’ll Think of Me by Robin Hatcher is a heartfelt yet a good Christian tale. I loved how the characters spoke to God in prayer. Life is difficult and never easy. Praying helps lift the burdens, doubts, and fears off their shoulders. Another great part of this wonderfully woven novel, was how the writer spun the characters’ past and present moments together. I thought it might make it harder to follow along. But it didn’t. It gave me more understanding into the characters. 

Robin Hatcher’s leading female protagonist, Brooklyn Myers, returns back home. She came back due to her husband’s death and his will staying the house goes to both her and their daughter. Pain is easily felt as Brooklyn moves through these scenes. My heart ached for her. Death, loss, and grief will consume readers instantly like it did for me. 

Next, there’s Derek Johnson, Robin Hatcher’s lead male protagonist. He was best of friends with  Brooklyn Myers’ husband. He too, returns back to Thunder Creek, Idaho. Unlike Brooklyn, Derek is full of anger. Especially, at her for what she did to her husband, Chad. Then, there’s the  promise from Chad about being a father to Alycia. That proves most difficult when her mom is the one woman he doesn’t want to be near. Derek also wanted to expand his land but now, he can’t…

Fate has brought both Brooklyn and Derek together. Each one is facing their own personal issues. Trust and letting go of the past will prove hard for these two characters. However, there’s hope and where there’s hope there’s a possibility. Dreams might just be on the horizon. I loved following the characters. Their emotions took over me. Engulfing me into their hearts as the pages speed by…I highly recommend this well-written tale to readers everywhere. You’ll Think of Me is right…after reading it, I’m still thinking about the plot, characters and all. 

Review: Cozzi Cove (New Beginnings)




Synopsis:

Cozzi Cove, Book 4
Welcome back to the romantic and magical place called Cozzi Cove, seven guest bungalows on the New Jersey Shore.
This summer, Cal and his new husband, Michael, along with sister, Taylor, and her wife, Carla, prepare for the first in the next generation of Cozzis. To add to the action: Cal finds his great-grandfather’s diary, exposing a shocking surprise; Michael and Taylor weigh new job opportunities that could take them far away from Cozzi Cove; red-letter Christian and new houseboy, Billy Dean, gets his wish when meeting Jesus and John at the cove; summer guest, Nijad, can’t decide which sibling he prefers—Annabel or Andrew; and Jonathan, an occult enthusiast, encounters a sexy vampire.
As usual, nothing is as it seems when romance blossoms once again at Cozzi Cove. What secrets, mysteries, and passions lie waiting to unfold? Find out in Book Four of the Cozzi Cove series.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings by Joe Cosentino is the fourth best gay romantic comedy I have read. The entire Cozzi Cove Series is perfect thus far. Each book represents new events, political agendas, sexy characters, and happy endings. Plus, Joe Cosentino has once more added his brand of humor to this book. I can’t decide which book within the series is the best. Because each one is unique and ties together. The writer has a flare for creating the juiciest plots, unexpected twists, and a romance that sizzles with passion. The heat is a amazing…

Inside this latest novel, readers will find out just how close Cal’s family is and how it’s growing. A baby to come. Michael is once again having some sad moments where he feels like an outsider. He Issue of finding a job has him feeling out of sorts. But he and his husband Cal are close. Their romance made me blush. So bold and strong…felt believable. They each compliment the other. Joe Cosentino has sprung an interesting plot with the new title. Of course, the story follows as the title suggests, new beginnings. I loved how the woman carrying Cal’s and Micheal’s baby was while pregnant. Her comments made me laugh so hard. The struggles women go through while carrying a baby for nine months…can be crazy. Then, the interesting set of charcaters add spice and variety to Cozzi Cove. There’s never a boring moment at the Cozzi Cove place. Buzzing with cool people, new budding romances, and more surprises lie ahead. I have read many gay fictional pieces, but none of them have as much life to them as Joe Cosentino’s Cozzi Cove Series and Nicky and Noah Series have. It’s like Joe pours his whole heart, soul, and mind into each character, scene, and plot. I feel an array of emotions from the pages that hit me hard and good. It a book doesn’t provoke an emotional response than it’s not worth reading. I could feel and almost see the charcaters as they went about their lives. Cozzi Cove: New Beginnings is a definite must read. I know with a doubt that readers worldwide will fall in love with this book as much as I have. Overall, I highly recommend it. 

Review: Tell Me How This Ends Well




Synopsis:

Why is tonight different from all other nights?

Tonight we kill dad. 

In 2022, American Jews face an increasingly unsafe and anti-Semitic landscape at home. Against this backdrop, the Jacobson family gathers for Passover in Los Angeles. But their immediate problems are more personal than political, with the three adult children, Mo, Edith, and Jacob, in various states of crisis, the result, each claims, of a lifetime of mistreatment by their father, Julian. The siblings have begun to suspect that Julian is hastening their mother Roz’s demise, and years of resentment boil over as they debate whether to go through with the real reason for their reunion: an ill-considered plot to end their father’s iron rule for good. That is, if they can put their bickering, grudges, festering relationships, and distrust of one another aside long enough to act. 

And God help them if their mother finds out . . . 

Tell Me How This Ends Well presents a blistering and prescient vision of the near future, turning the exploits of one very funny, very troubled family into a rare and compelling exploration of the state of America, and what it could become. (less)

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Tell Me How This Ends Well by David Samuel Levinson is a dark read. A dysfunctional Jewish family that has more problems than most. Each family member has struggles. These struggles create the craziness and intensity that becomes frightening. Three adult kids each one hates their father in more ways than I can count. Their hatred is so strong that it sends chills over my arms and down my back. Despite hating their father, they all love their mother. They see her a the victim against their father’s terrible iron clad rule. As the pages unfold, I also learned what the father felt and thought of his kids and wife. There was never a good moment between all members. Sad, edgy, and unexpected twits. Tell Me How This Ends Well is a bold telling of one family. Their lives are far from perfection. The family’s pain will stay with readers for a long time. Overall, David Samuel Levinson’s book was a great read. 

Review: A Gleam of Light

Synopsis

In 1995, at the age of eight, Una Waters survived a terrifying encounter at 30,000 feet aboard Flight 564 from Dallas to Las Vegas. It changed her forever. After 21 years, and a decade away from the Hopi Reservation where she grew up as a child, a surprise plea for help brings Una back, to solve a mystery that threatens their traditional way of life. The U.S. Army’s sudden interest regarding a cave discovery in the Sacred Peaks has triggered alarm, leading to violence. With the help of friends, new and old, Una must confront her painful past, seek proof to qualify the ancient site for protection under law, and stand up to a stiff-necked general, whose agenda is more concerned with retrieving a mysterious power source. 

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

A Gleam of Light holds a promising adventure ahead. The characters’ struggles were realistic. The plot itself held some suspense over me. I was instantly intrigued as to what was going on that was so interesting that the army wanted to find. Then both Jack and Una have fears. Una’s fear is the greatest. Her fear of planes is one that I could definitely relate to. The writers, T.J. & M.L. Wolf both combined multiple words within this one read. The Native Americans and that of the white Americans worlds. Loneliness, survival, and violence break out on the pages. The journey was good. However, I felt someething was missing. The pace seemed to be at a constant steady walk. A cave discovery held the entire interest. I felt that Una got her peace that she was searching for too soon. The ending itself didn’t feel complete. As for characters like Jack, I didn’t really get to connect with him as much as I did with Una. I would have liked to have explored more on him and Colin as well. Other than that, I liked reading A Gleam of Light. 

Review: Three Little Words 




Synopsis:

“Sunshine, you’re my baby and I’m your only mother. You must mind the one taking care of you, but she’s not your mama.” Ashley Rhodes-Courter spent nine years of her life in fourteen different foster homes, living by those words. As her mother spirals out of control, Ashley is left clinging to an unpredictable, dissolving relationship, all the while getting pulled deeper and deeper into the foster care system. 

Painful memories of being taken away from her home quickly become consumed by real-life horrors, where Ashley is juggled between caseworkers, shuffled from school to school, and forced to endure manipulative,humiliating treatment from a very abusive foster family. In this inspiring, unforgettable memoir, Ashley finds the courage to succeed – and in doing so, discovers the power of her own voice. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Three Little Words by Ashley Rhodes-Courter is a biography that readers everywhere need to read. It gives readers a deep insider’s view to the foster care system. Sure we all think that it’s great the kids will be taken care of and all. But not all foster homes are perfect. Just like the fact that Americans are forced to believe about a 1950’s ‘ideal American family image’ that no family actually lived up to…society isn’t always that great. Inside this nonfiction book, I got to journey through the writer’s life as a foster kid and how she overcame the obstacles. I was deeply troubled by what occurred to her while in foster care and my heart tore in a million pieces. No child should have it worse when being taken care of…yet this woman did. I spent some time in foster care myself due to both my parents; however, my time in there was okay. But not all are lucky. I knew what happens. I remember seeing my day taken away from us kids the day before foster care picked us, kids, up…thus, relating to Ashley Rhodes-Courter’s memoir was easy and sad. Bad memories…Three Little Words is a well-written book. I highly recommend it to readers worldwide. 

Review: Unraveling MS





Synopsis:

Many autoimmune diseases are quite common, and any one of them may significantly affect your health. These diseases can be further identified and pointed out as multiple sclerosis (MS), diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, celiac sprue, and even some types of coronary atherosclerosis. Altogether, there are over 80 diseases that have been associated with an autoimmune origin. Each autoimmune disease involves the immune system, they differ in that each affects a different organ or tissue.

 In this book, Unraveling MS, multiple sclerosis is used as the “model” to explain how the immune system actually is harming your own body rather than defending and rejuvenating it. This is accomplished by describing the immune system in simple, easy-to-understand language for the average lay person. 

In addition, the fascinating way that white blood cells are communicating with each other, and the dreadful role that viruses are playing in inciting an autoimmune disease are similarly discussed. Since the process underlying all autoimmune diseases is inflammatory, the good news is that a correct diet surprisingly is one way to minimize inflammation and improve an autoimmune disease. 

Overall, providing information about MS and other autoimmune diseases, this book should be very helpful to those individuals seeking to understand the importance of the immune system and the significant role that both diet and infection play in health and longevity. Although the adverse effect of infections on health is well-known, poor dietary habits also are a significant cause for ill health and a shortened life expectancy. So, if you, a relative or a friend have an autoimmune disease, or if you’re looking for more answers on understanding and managing a healthy life, you’ve come to the right place!”

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Unraveling MS by Robert W. Soll, M.D., Ph.D. is a must have for all. It has everything readers worldwide need to know about autoimmune disorders. From what causes to how to help those diagnosed with it. There’s also a glossary to help go over the terminology defined within the pages. Diagrams with beautiful colors are found as well. Plus, it goes over the important question on whether one has an autoimmune disorder. Topics like inflammation, revolution, and a diet that can help reduce the inflammation caused by this disease are also discussed. Excellent nonfiction guidebook that tells us, readers, everything needed to know. I found the words detailed in great depth. The organization and layout are amazing. Overall, I highly recommend Unraveling MS by Robert W. Soll, M.D., Ph.D. to all. 

Review: Pray for Justice 

Synopsis:

At the core of the Christian message lies a deep and fundamental commitment to issues of peace and social justice. At the core of a Christian’s spiritual life lies a deep and fundamental commitment to a robust cycle of prayer and contemplation. Pray for Justice links the two in a masterful re-working of the Liturgy of Hours. A welcome resource for anyone who takes the intersection of prayer and social justice seriously.

Bro. Mark Elliott Newman, OC

Servant Leader Emeritus, Ecumenical Order of Charity
Lou Bordisso’s new book is a helpful guide to accompany one’s prayer life. Reading Lou’s powerful quotes from saints and holy figures throughout history will no doubt inspire you, and his inclusion of a journal will challenge you to model your life on these great figures.

Ryan Hall from Pace e Bene Nonviolence Service
Lou Bordisso’s short book takes the very traditional prayers of Catholic monastics and partners them with nuggets from the great saints on the issues of peace and justice, creates a morning and evening ritual that, when followed as he instructs, amounts to a mini thirty day retreat in the world. It offers a disciple, a routine, a ritual that can re-focus and dedicate our days, pointing them in the direction that we would have them go. Having witnessed the happiness and presence of mind that Lou brings to his ministry at The Gubbio Project and the joy that he exudes among our homeless guests, I can say that, if in this book he is sharing his daily prayer practice, we can’t go wrong seeing how these prayer practices might help draw us closer to God and the people that we want to be in the world. 

Laura Slattery, Executive Director of The Gubbio Project.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Pray for Justice by Lou A. Bordisso, O.C. is a spiritual journey all must read. What I loved most about this book was that it was setup for everyone regardless of their religious background. I found the materials inside inspiring and well-done. I was truly amazed by Lou A. Bordisso, O.C. Inside this nonfiction book full of prayers, are thirty-days of morning and night prayers, quotes, and journal questions for the reader to reflect upon as he or she continues this journey. Absolutely, a beautifully written book for all. This guide book, will always stay on my shelf to be used daily. I can’t believe the value found within every page. Pray for Justice challenges readers worldwide. It speaks heavily on and of prayer for justice. Overall, I highly recommend it. Don’t believe me, then, dive into it and see for yourself! 

Review: Plain Jane Volume 1

Synopsis:

Plain Jane is a fictitious character that transitions from humblings beginnings into a Multi Millionaire. Along the journey she meets a special person; whom she thinks is truly for her, but is he or is he just an opportunist? Jane realizes that the top can, not only be lonely, but troublesome. Plain Jane allows you to follow the life of a rap star. This is a series that continues and continues. Guarantees you’ll be well entertain through every page.

Rating:  5-stars

Review:

Plain Jane Volume 1 by Danielle Bouying is an interesting perspective on life. Here, I got to follow a young woman who went from nothing to something. As readers will see, the life of the rich is not all that glamours. People, even the rich, get used. No one really knows if one is a true friend or friend for a specific reason. Same thing happens when romance begins. Is a lover really into the character her or not…and how she handles it all. I was intrigued. This book gives an inside peek into a rapper’s life and the things that could break her or make her better. Overall, I recommend Plain Jane Volume 1 to readers everywhere. The plot is different than my normal reading and proved worthy of my time. Easy to read and follow along. 

Review: The Memory of You

Synopsis:

Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?
When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.
And Natalie never says no to her father.
Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.
But finding freedom from the past means facing it.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Memory of You by Catherine West is a haunting read. One that breaks my heart. Losing a sister is like losing half of oneself. Readers can easily relate to the main character’s pain. Now, that same character has to return home. It is there that I followed Natalie Mitchell to where she grew up…her grandfather needs her. Despite all the dark and nightmarish memories of what home brings to Natalie she still makes her way back there. I loved that about the main character. She was brave and loyal. My heart tore at her pain as the story continued. Mesmerizing and engaging to read.

The Memory of You takes readers to California. There I got to visit a family owned winery. That’s the full focus of Natalie’s pain. Loss, grief, and heartbroken. Complex, intriguing, and entertaining. This was the first novel I have read by Catherine West. I definitely recommend it to readers worldwide. Adventure, family, and an emotional journey waiting to be read by all. 

Review: Madisonville 

Synopsis

Something isn’t right at Madisonville, Idaho’s most secluded penitentiary for its hardened criminals, and prisoners keep disappearing. 

Six college students are sentenced to Madisonville after almost getting away with the perfect crime. After a few short weeks behind bars, the six men awake in a meadow with no recollection of how they got there. These convicts are left with only meager supplies and a note: “You are being hunted.” So begins this epic battle in the mountains of Idaho and the ultimate game of survival. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review

Madisonville by J. A. Huff is a terrifying thriller. Every page is full of danger, action, and consequences. Six college boys will soon find out that Madisonville isn’t what it looks to be. There’s something sinister happening, and the truth slowly unravels. 

Madisonville is a prison for those who break the law. Prisoners are to serve their sentence. But then prisoners are missing and fear creeps in…

Imagine being held in a prison then to be hunted by the prison guards. Death is everywhere. It will take everything these college boys have to out number the odds. Then, even then, the danger is still looming ahead…

Madisonville is a stunning novel. One that will forever haunt readers’ minds even long after they finish it. The ending was a major cliffhanger. I can’t wait to see what happens next to the college boys that have survived. The writing was intense. Suspenseful, engaging, and dark. J. A. Huff has masterfully woven a book that will ever be forgotten. Overall, I highly recommend it to all. 

Review: Follow Me Back



Synopsis:

Told through tweets, direct messages, and police transcripts Follow Me Back is the first book of a new duology. Written for the online generation this thriller will keep you guessing right up to the shocking end.

Tessa Hart’s world feels very small. Confined to her bedroom with agoraphobia, her one escape is the online fandom for pop sensation Eric Thorn. When he tweets to his fans, it’s like his speaking directly to her…

Eric Thorn is frightened by his obsessive fans. They take their devotion way too far. It doesn’t help that his PR team keeps posting to encourage their fantasies.

When a fellow pop star is murder at the hands of a fan, Eric knows he has to do something to shatter his online image fast—like take down one of his top Twitter followers. But Eric’s plan to troll @TessaHeartsEric unexpectedly evolves into an online relationship deeper than either could have imagined. And when the two arrange to meet IRL, what should have made for the world’s best episode of Catfish takes a deadly turn…

Rating: 3-stars

Review

Follow Me Back by A. V. Geiger is an intriguing YA read. Dark, sinister, and crazy. There’s a few moments of sweetness by both characters. But their actions are spontaneous. Readers won’t know what to expect especially towards the end. So, there’s this popular guy who wants to escape his current life and then there’s this girl who suffered greatly. She puts her energy into writing about the popular guy, Eric. Tessa seems normal but she’s really not what readers think she is. Major plot twists are everywhere. Surprises are found throughout this read. 

I love being in suspense and being kept on my toes at all times but this novel left me more confused than anything. These two characters communicate via Twitter. Eric falls for Tessa whom he has never met before…and Tessa is obsessed with him. Eric has a fear he’ll be next in line for death…and that to me seemed like a foreshadowing insight. Because the unexpected and totally not fully played out ending was an outcome of his greatest fear. 

At first, I was like, wait did she really kill him or injure him enough that he’s almost dead but still alive…but I guess someone has died at this horrible ending. One moment they’re in the car talking, Eric loves Tessa, but she pushes him away. Then out of nowhere she’s like, okay,  come on in with me, everything is okay. The next scene…the ending was shocking and cut too short. However, many have found this perfect. I have never read a novel where I was so confused…and this book, Follow Me Back did just that. Other than that, I think the plot sounds great, just needs to be rewritten. Has a promising ring to it. Overall, I was disappointed…as a reader. 

Review: Never Trust A Pirate


Synopsis
The rules of engagement were never so scandalous. . .

A rumored pirate and the scurrilous black sheep of his well-to- do family, Cade Cavendish relishes his world of rebellion, deception, and seduction. Nothing and no one can hold him to be the duty-bound, honorable man he is expected to be. But when an unexpected run-in at his twin brother’s estate with a ravishing, raven-haired maid leads her to believe he’s actually a viscount, Cade’s renegade life is thrown wildly off-kilter. And even though a case of mistaken identity can be quickly set to rights, matters of the heart are quite different…

Miss Danielle LaCrosse is startled to learn that the handsome gentleman who radiates sin and has the devil in his eyes is not her employer the Viscount, but rather his infamous brother. A former heiress, orphaned and left penniless, Danielle has more than a few secrets of her own. Cade may be skilled at coaxing even the most hidden desires out of Danielle but can he earn her trust—and win her heart—as they embark on an adventure to confront a dangerous enemy from both of their pasts . . . and uncover the identity of the so-called Black Fox along the way?

Never Trust a Pirate
is part of the Regency-set Playful Brides series by Valerie Bowman.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Never Trust A Pirate by Valerie Bowman is a scandalous read. An English rogue who has a twin brother that’s a spy. But little does the spy know his twin, Cade, also works for the government. Cade goes about life feeling like a black sheep due to his mother. However, his life gets shaken when a so called lady’s maid, Danielle, walks into his life. She’s not what she seems. A spy plus more. She’s sent to spy on Cade because he leaves the English government suspicious of his absences. No one knows what his plans are or how long he plans to stay home. Danielle’s life has never been easy. Her mother is thrown in jail, and now, her mother’s health isn’t good. Danielle works as a spy in order to take care of her mother.  But now, danger is rising…both physical and emotional. Love might just hit both Cade and the mysterious lady, Danielle. I loved the humor and the brewing romance. The scenes were engaging and hot. Danielle is taught never to trust a pirate but then again, Cade isn’t a pirate. The suspense and heat is powerfully displayed on every page. I found Never Trust A Pirate very entertaining and well worth reading. Overall, I highly recommend it to all. 

Review: The Bad Luck Bride




Synopsis:

All were shocked at the announcement of the “cursed” Lady Claire Cavensham to Lord Alexander Hallworth, the Marquess of Pembrooke, especially since she is already engaged to another unfortunate Lord. Perhaps she will make it to the altar this time with one of these fine gentlemen! Could her run of bad luck finally be at an end? It’s highly doubtful in this writer’s humble opinion. —Midnight Cryer
No one is left breathless at the imperious pronouncement of her engagement to Lord Pembrooke more than Claire. She hardly knows the dangerously outrageous man! But after three engagements gone awry and a fourth going up in glorious flames, she isn’t in a position to refuse…especially once she realizes that Lord Pembrooke makes her want to believe she’s not a bad luck bride anymore…
Alexander requires the hand of his enemy’s fiancée in marriage in order to complete his plans for revenge. It’s his good fortune that the “cursed” woman is desperate. However, what begins as a sham turns into something scandalously deeper. The beguiling lady has no business laying claim to his heart. But as a mission of revenge turns into fiery passion, Alexander wants nothing more than to break Claire’s curse…and lead them both to their hearts’ desire.
“The Bad Luck Bride is a stroke of good luck for readers—the intricate plot, arresting characters,and rich emotional resonance will leave you swooning.”—New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries


The Bad
Luck Bride is the first in a new Regency romance series from Janna MacGregor!

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Bad Luck Bride by Janna MacGregor is a fascinating historical. Immediately readers are drawn deep into the tale. It lured me further by pure curiosity. The suspense of one charcater’s plan…and what will actually come of it got me excited. The Bad Luck Bride is about one man getting back at another by using his enemy’s fiancé. But little will both the bride and husband to be know that real love will play into the equation. I found it hilarious, enticing, and ful, of drama. Th action was never disappointing. Janna MacGregor has a flare for writinga romance that beckons and captivates readers whole. My heart was with the charcaters as their troubles unfolded. Society has a way of drawing the characters out…and pulling them closer than they thought they would ever be. Revenge is not to be toyed with…emotions ran strong within the book. I was highly entertained. Both Alexander and Claire are characters that readers like myself will always remember. Overall, I highly recommend this well-written plot to all. 

Review: The Dangerous Billionaire 




Synopsis:

Money doesn’t always change the man in this new standalone romance from Jackie Ashenden.
Navy SEAL Sullivan “Van” Tate has been called home to reluctantly inherit an empire and finds himself facing the most difficult mission of all: love.
“Sinfully sexy.”–Opal Carew on Mine to Take
Nothing about Sullivan “Van” Tate is what it seems. A Navy SEAL raised among the New York City elite, Van prefers heart-pounding action over a Wall Street corner office. But when his adoptive father dies and his business rivals move in to overtake his empire, Van must suit up to save the company and protect the one woman most forbidden to him…and the object of Van’s most dangerous desires.
Chloe Tate is as ambitious as she is gorgeous. With a newfound independence, Chloe is no longer a prisoner on her father’s ranch. But everything changes when losing her father may also mean losing her life. Even with her survival on the line, Chloe can’t deny the burning attraction she feels the moment she locks eyes with Van, her rich, rough and ready, foster brother and the new head of her father’s company. Tall, dark, and muscled, he’s the one man who she has no business being with. But how can she resist a Navy Seal Warrior when he’ll do anything to protect her?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Dangerous Billionaire by Jackie Ashenden was brilliant. A family torn apart by a dead father’s secrets. A man who couldn’t have kids adopted and accepted four children to raise as his own. His heirs. The father is a rich man who made his money from oil. After his death he wrote a will. Stating that his eldest adoptiveson, Van Tate, is the sole heir of both the Tate oil company and the ranch. But there lies the problem…the ranch was to go to the youngest. Chloe Tate was told by her father that’s she would inherit the ranch. However, he’s dead now, and he left behind more problems than promises kept. 

Chloe is called out to New York by Tate. She soon learns that he has inherited everything…including the family ranch. Chloe is frustrated at how Tate makes her feel. Tate, too, has deep feelings for his adoptive sister, Chloe. They both try to push the feelings away. But neither succeed and now, the stakes are high as well as the danger. Secrets…Chloe and Tate both find out her real parentage. Shock isn’t the only emotional released after the news. The emotional journey from beginning to end was intense. Powerfully written and engaging in every way possible. Tate soon becomes exactly as the title suggests, The Dangerous Billionaire. Jackie Ashenden has thoroughly impressed me with her applause male heroes and stubborn heroine. The plot twists were unexpected but very good. Enticing, hot, and sweet. I loved reading this contemporary romance novel. Overall, I highly recommend it to all. 

Review: Cake Spell Disaster




Synopsis:

Mistmoor Point has a new dirty word… poison! 

Welcome to Mistmoor Point… 

A small town on a small island where magic is standard practice and witches rule. 

Felicity Redfern has a lot of jobs. 

Baker, girlfriend, novice witch… and… worst of all, private investigator. 

When the mayor’s anniversary party goes wrong, disaster happened! 
1. Half the town is sick. 

2. The mayor’s in a coma. 

3. The most disastrous part… One person’s dead. 
And someone will take the blame. 

Felicity’s mother and her supernatural bakery. 

Is this a case of magic accidentally gone wrong, or is something more sinister at bay? 

Felicity’s counting on her boyfriend, master warlock and sheriff of Mistmoor Point, Lincoln Maxwell, to help her solve the crime.

But … Lincoln thinks he already knows who the culprit is—Felicity’s mother! 

With no one on her side, Felicity has no choice but to use her novice witchy powers to investigate on her own. 

But the job proves too big for one witch alone… or one amateur witch to be exact! 

When her own life gets threatened, there’s only one friend Felicity can turn to for help… 

Her mother’s familiar, a fuzzy feline named Sunny. 
But can they fix this mess before someone else gets killed? 

What if Felicity’s mother really is to blame? 

GRAB YOUR COPY NOW … 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Cake Spell Disaster by Zoe Arden is phenomenal. Imagine ring the best baker on your side of town and landing a huge bake job, only to fall sick as well as everyone else. One person dies…others severely ill. Felicity doesn’t believe that her mother ‘accidentally’ added the wrong ingredients to her bake goods. Plus, Felicity’s brother is acting strange and a threat is left in the form of a note on her car. The who done it vibeis set perfectly. Two cats are involved. One is a spy for the enemy and the other is a detective for his owners. However, it takes for a deep investigation and for Felicity to get hurt before the final clues are set. From there things get out of hand…literary. I enjoyed reading this paranormal novella. It was sweet, hilarious and dangerous. The mystery of the Cake Spell Disaster kept me intrigued from the beginning to end. I loved the characters. Both the good and bad characters were brilliant. Each added to the story.  Overall, I highly recommend Zoe Arden’s novella, Cake Spell Disaster, to readers everywhere. 

Review: Excel Chinese Cooking



Synopsis

LEARN THE CULINARY ART OF CHINESE COOKING 

Ni hao! 

As the most prevalent ethnic restaurants anywhere you go, Chinese food is one of the most popular cuisines in the world. 

Succulent sauces and spices with your many favorite choices of colorful vegetables and protein-enriched meats – is there any wonder why people love Chinese food? But do you know just how much goes into preparing the perfect Chinese dish? 

Most people think about Chinese food as something for lunch or dinner. But it’s so much more! Did you know that there are certain Chinese recipes that you can make for breakfast? 

What if you could cook your own Chinese food the next time you want to take a trip down to your favorite Chinese restaurant or order Chinese food delivery, and save the money that you would have spent on it? With “Excel Chinese Cooking,” that’s a reality. 

Here’s a sample taste of what you’ll get: 
– The ingredients basis that comprises of the different types of condiments, spices, noodles, rice, and prepackaged items. 

– The cooking utensils you’ll need and where to find them, including the wok, steamers, knives, ladles and spatulas. 

– The traditional breakfast serving style called “dim sum” and how to make each meal item, such as dumplings, spring rolls, and baozi. 
– The all-time favorites and most popular Chinese food dishes for lunch and dinner. (Do you know who General Tso really was?) 

– The exotic treats and desserts from China that will surely give you a serious sweet tooth. (Ever heard of the Red Dragon’s Beard Candy?) 

…and that’s just for starters. 

In “Excel Chinese Cooking,” you’ll learn how to start making your own delicious Chinese food at home with easy-to-follow and comprehensive instructions. 

We tell you everything that you need to know and give you the recipes that you love to really excel at Chinese cooking to cook up the food you want, anytime you want. 
Sihk faahn!

Rating: 5-stars

Review

Excel Chinese Cooking by Excel Cooking is indeed a great tool to have. This nonfiction cooking guide has everything Chinese food lovers want to know. From the basics of foods to preparation, Chinese food lovers will enjoy this cook book. Tasty yet beautiful Chinese meals all inside. Ever wonder how to prepare a Chinese meal that was a favorite? Well, Excel Cooking has done the work for readers. Every page is full of recipes, cooking tools, and much more. This book was carefully organized in a way that made following the instructions easy. Simple to use. Understanding it went smoothly. I felt excited. Chinese food is definitely my favorite and this book was just what I needed. Cooking at home saves money, time spent in restaurants, and is healthier. Overall, I would highly recommend Excel Chinese Cooking to readers worldwide. 

Author Interview with Shirley Rose Webb



ULM: What was like writing this memoir?
It was fun but extremely painful and at the same time very therapeutic.
ULM: How would you describe My Sister, My Daighter, and Me using only three words?

Crazy, fun, ridiculous.

 

ULM: Which scene from your memoir would say was the best time shared among the three of you, ladies?

Our cruise to Ensenada, Mexico, It was crazy fun from the beginning to the end. We all laughed and laughed until we could laugh no more.

 

ULM: How did finishing the memoir feel?

It was a comforting feeling of letting go, leaving some anger and pain behind as well as finding some closure after five years of suffering.
ULM: What advice would you give to others who went through similar situations? 

Seek the assistance of a professional therapist to help you take one step at a time. Keep a sense of humor, a positive attitude with friends and family and, most of all, laugh all you can!
ULM: Did you ever think your memoir would be published by a publisher?

I always knew I had a great story to tell.
ULM: Are their any other future writing projects that you can share with us, readers?

A future writing project will be about a troubled teenager living with the HIV virus.

ULM: What would you say to someone who is struggling?

Don’t give up. Stay strong and positive and follow your dreams.
ULM: Where can readers find you and your memoir online?

inkwaterbooks.com/shirleyrosewebb 

Review: Simplify Your Life from Inside Out




Synopsis:

Simplify Your Life from the INSIDE OUT: The 7 Keys to Finding Inner Peace

“I just wish things could be simpler!” If that has been your lament, and if you still haven’t found anything that really helps…or lasts…you are not alone.
As the world gets busier and faster, your life can easily become more complicated, but it doesn’t have to be that way. In Simplify Your Life from THE INSIDE OUT: The 7 Keys to Finding Inner Peace, you will find the practical and effective advice that you’ve been seeking:
✔ How to rediscover the peaceful way to live.
✔ How to recognize and overcome the barriers to a life of simplicity.
✔ The 7 Keys that will guide you in your journey and help you stay on your path.

A Unified Plan to Address Your Problems At Their Core

Most approaches to simplifying your life focus on the tangible and visible ‘stuff’ in your life, which although important, is just not enough.
The real issues lie beneath the surface: In the false beliefs and assumptions you hold about the way life works. What you’re looking for are real solutions to your real problems, not band aids.
Discover the Way to Inner Peace – Solutions Found In Life, Not In the Textbook
Have you tried following the advice of ‘experts’ in the field, but it seemed distant and disconnected from your reality? In this book you will:
✔ Read real stories about real people…just like you.
✔ Learn how each problem was faced… and solved.
✔ Discover simple rules to apply in your daily life that work.
Unlock the Doors and Overcome the Barriers That Stand Between You and the Life of Simplicity That You Want.
Author Mark Wayne Smith shares with you the powerful, life changing lessons he learned when confronted with his own personal moment of awakening and found a way to a simpler life. The essence of that life is this:
Living in simplicity and peace is your natural state; it’s how you were created to live.
You don’t have to learn or master anything new: you only need to unlearn the years of complexity that the world has taught you, one layer at a time.
A New Look At Recovery from Drug and Alcohol Addiction with Promising Results
Based on the real-life experiences of the author, a recovering alcoholic himself, this book offers invaluable help to those in recovery.
The lessons of the 7 Keys will work for everyone, but if you or your loved one are in recovery, these lessons will provide invaluable help in building better relationships.

A Book That You Should Read At Least Once In Your Lifetime

· Written in simple and straightforward language.
· Real life examples of how each key has been applied, and the results achieved.
· Practical ‘first steps to take’ for each key to help you get started today.
· A Christian perspective to everyday problems, found in the Scriptures.
· A clear plan for you to return to the simple and peaceful life you once enjoyed.
As you learn the lessons of the 7 Keys and follow the steps in the plan, you will discover a whole new way of living your life by discarding old beliefs and questioning the rules that never really were true.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Simplify Your Life from Inside Out by Mark Wayne Smith is a great tool. A must have for all. This book was wonderfully woven in a way that walks readers through different situations. It’s like getting a sneak peak into what’s really going on in spcertain circumstances as well as how to see the whole picture. It’s hard when the reader is the one in those situations but when reading the stories, it gives a clear idea. Like not being able to see and then suddenly, wham, lights are on…Simplify Your Life makes understanding easy. I felt myself connecting to both the writer and the stories he has cleverly written for me. Real world issues defined with real world situations. I loved that about this book the most. Step-by-step readers can become closer to facing their problems and overcoming them. Finding that balance that takes all the weight off one’s shoulders. Overall, I enjoyed reading the 7 keys and following the writer inside this book. I highly recommend it to all. 

Review: Knight Takes Pawn (Happy Release Day!)

Synopsis:

Jagger rules everything. The cities from the elite districts, to the slums, and everything in between are his domain in one of three sovereigns on the planet Jaru. The only law is Jagger Law which can change at any moment. One wrong look or word can get a body part chopped off or have you killed.
Since the beginning of the war, which was almost over three decades ago, the air has had been stale and musty, still smelling of burnt metal. All resources needed to survive are severely limited, causing many Jaruians to pillage one another just to get a single meal for the day.
There are some who wish to end Jagger’s power and they’ve started to infiltrate his organization. Money, amongst other things, are just a farce that Jagger uses to dangle in front of his subjects to keep the population in line and distracted. Those who want to see the end of Jagger’s reign want to take control over the depleting natural resources in order to save the planet and the Jaruian species.
Natalie gets caught up in Jagger’s twisted game of power and control when she’s taken from her sovereign. Against her will, like all women who are caught, Natalie is thrown into the Jaruian sex trade. With her new, unwanted job responsibilities, Natalie takes a stand, willing to die fighting for her life rather than be used. When an opportunity presents itself, is Natalie willing to do whatever it takes to free herself or remain only a pawn?

WARNING: This series contains sensitive material. Reader discretion is advised. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Knight Takes Pawn by Martha Sweeney is her 5th novel. I have read everything published by this talented woman. Unlike her previous fictional worlds, Knight Takes Pawn heads in a new genre direction. This one is a psychological thriller. All previous books were contemporary romance. I can honestly say, that Martha Sweeney has a knack for writing the best reads. Whether they are short or full-length novels.  Instantly, I was intrigued wondering how this writer was going to do with her new direction. But I was amazed once again. She totally blew me out of this world and deeeply into her new one. Thrilling, engaging, and dark. Knight Takes Pawn is a must read for all. 

Inside this latest book, Knight Takes Pawn, Martha Sweeney take us, readers to a new place. Themes like slavery, cruelty, and trust are incorporated throughout the piece. Trust is greatly lacking due to the spies. Martha Sweeney has created a world that no one can trust someone else. If trust is placed in the wrong person…everything is lost. Gone forever. Death hangs in the air. The suspense of what is to come on every page will leave readers on the edge of their seats. Absolutely, a compelling yet frightening read. One woman is tired of what happens to her and fights back. I love the daring, and boldness of the characters. Evil versus good. I was addicted from beginning to end. Overall, I highly recommend Knight Takes Pawn to readers worldwide. 

Review: Jorie and the Magic Stones




Synopsis:

When Marjorie went to live with her frosty maiden aunt, she couldn’t imagine the adventures she would have with dragons — good and bad — and all the strange creatures that live in a mysterious land beneath the Tarn. The spunky 9-year-old redhead forges an unlikely friendship with an insecure young boy named Rufus who lives with his crusty grandfather next door. When Jorie — for that is what she prefers to be called — finds a dusty ancient book about dragons, she learns four strange words that will send the two of them into a mysterious land beneath the Tarn, riddled with enchantment and danger. Hungry for adventure, the children take the plunge, quite literally, and find themselves in the magic land of Cabrynthius. 

Upon meeting the good dragon, the Great Grootmonya, Jorie and Rufus are given a quest to find the three Stones of Maalog — stones of enormous power — and return them to their rightful place in Cabrynthius. Their mission is neither easy nor safe, and is peppered with perils in the form of the evil black half-dragon who rules the shadowy side of the land. They have to deal with a wicked and greedy professor, the tragic daughter of the bad dragon, caves of fire, rocky mountainous climbs, and a deadly poisonous butterfly. 

Jorie must rely on her wits and courage to win the day? Can she do this? Can she find all three Stones? Can she save Rufus when disaster befalls him? Can she emerge victorious? She and Rufus have some hair-raising challenges, in which they learn valuable lessons about loyalty, bravery, and friendship. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Jorie and the Magic Stones by A. H. Richardson is a children’s fantasy full of magic. Adventure, friendship, and danger can be found within the these pages. I was immediately drawn into the tale. A. H. Richardson has a way with leading readers further into her world of fiction. As an adult, I was fascinated with the journey. Dragons, magic, and tons of action to keep me entertained all night long. The charcaters are three-dimensional. It’s easy to relate to them and get lost within the scenes. Traveling a magical land, completing a challenge, and finding oneself is a lot of fun. Rich, engaging, and well-told. Jorie is a brave girl who journeys far to help find three stones and return them. Along the way, things happen. Danger is close by and the suspense was phenomenal. I can this book being loved by both adults and children alike. The story elements are appealing to all ages. Overall, I highly recommend Jorie and the Magic Stones to readers worldwide. 

Review: Electric Souk



Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Pillowtalk 




Synopsis:

In this heartfelt romance from the author of the All About Love series, two people who thought they’d given up on passion turn to each other for emotional support—and maybe something a little more physical.

 

Kennedy Walters has had a tough year. Now she’s come to the lakeside town of Lyra Valley to finally say goodbye to the memory of her first love. But while she’s staying at his sister’s B&B, Kennedy is shocked to find herself undeniably drawn to a handsome local heartthrob—especially since she isn’t sure if she’s ready to move on.

 

Aaron Sheppard returned to Lyra Valley because he was fed up with the big city and everything it didn’t have to offer—like the beautiful, down-to-earth girl staying at the B&B. Aaron’s enjoying a little flirtation until he realizes that she’s Kennedy Walters, the girl who was dating his best friend. But after a power outage strands them together, Aaron and Kennedy wind up sharing some intimate conversation. And over the course of a night that neither will ever forget, they learn just how compatible they could be—if only they knew how to let go and fall into each other’s arms.

Rating: 5-stars

Review

Pillowtalk by Cassie Mae is a beautifully told romance. A young woman deeply in love with a man ends up losing him…he was a man who didn’t believe in marriage yet even until the end he didn’t want to let go of Kennedy. He loved her. She loved him so much. A year after losing her first love, readers follow her back to a small-town. The small-town her love was from…to spread his ashes. From loss to sorrow, then to love and happiness…I was instantly impressed with Cassie Mae’s writing. Her charcaters carried a heavy burden, a load that weighed them down from moving forward. Kennedy would hold the silver canister filled with her love’s ashes. She proved to be a strong character. Aaron was strong too. He felt like he wasn’t a good man and that he didn’t deserve love. Then, Kennedy comes and instantly something about her fills him with joy. But first they both need to let go, and love again. Pillowtalk is a heartfelt, sweet, and sexy tale. I couldn’t stop reading it. The plot was engaging and the characters were believable. Their pain was easy to relate to as well as understand. I can see this novel being a big screen picture. Beware, readers will cry just as much as they laugh when following Cassie Mae’s latest story. Overall, I highly recommend it to all. 

Review: Nothing Like a Duke

Synopsis:

A Georgette Heyer-esque tale of high society in the glittering Regency
Lord Robert Gresham has given up all hope that the beautiful Flora Jennings will ever take him seriously. He heads to an exclusive country house party to forget about Flora, but his plans are thwarted when she suddenly arrives.
Their attraction flares, but their romance becomes complicated when the sinister Anthony Durand shows up and threatens Flora. Every bone in Robert’s body says to save her…but he’ll have to learn that some damsels in distress can save themselves if he truly wants to win her heart. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Nothing Like a Duke by Jane Ashford is a hilarious yet romantic historical read. I loved the main characters. Their arguements were amusing. The sparks that flew between was fun to follow as the clever plot unfolded. Fast-paced, exciting, and one that will keep readers constantly on their toes. I didn’t know what to expect next. From a woman trying for a Duke’s attention when his heart is set on another to…a cheater found at the card table. Then, more danger is soon discovered. The unique part about Jane Ashford’s latest title, was how intelligent and stubborn her heroine was in wanting to save herself. The restrain of any man to hold back as he watched the danger unfold to a woman he loves…was amazing. Suspenseful but good. I cant imagine any man being able to ho,d back because he knows how important it was to the woman for her to ‘save herself’. Sacrifice, determination, and a love to light up my night. This was definitely a fascinating story. A real page turner. Addictive plot lines and charming characters. Overall, I highly recommend Nothing Like a Duke to readers worldwide. 

Review: Best of Luck 

Synopsis:

Amber has only ever wanted one thing in life. To be a star. When that dream has finally come true, an old friend ends up getting in the way and friendships may end up jeopardizing everything. Now in a time when privacy is a thing of her past, where paparazzi follow her every move, she’ll need to decide what’s more important to her, because it’s more than just her career on the line. 
Tom has struggled for years with his feelings towards Amber, his best friend’s little sister. The woman has been driving him crazy since… well, forever. Now that she’s on every TV set, every movie poster in the country, it’s even harder to avoid looking into those sexy blue eyes and not remembering her passion. Especially when she’ll be spending the next few months back in Denver filming her latest movie. This time, Tom may not be able to hold back the sparks that fly between them.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Best of Luck by Jill Sanders is another sensational hit by this talented writer. It’s no wonder her books are stunning. The romance brewing inside this latest novel was heartfelt. I fell deeply in love with the plot. Fast, engaging, and hilarious. A bit of suspense and danger but mostly a sweet entertaining read from beginning to end. 

Jill Sanders has once again, written a superb contemporary romance. I love her writing style. The words are written in a way that entices readers like myself further into the plot. Love…is powerful. Imagine holding onto a love thatnever really gotto begin and then that person comes back…the old feelings come back hitting harder than before. Especially, for Tom. He’s had a thing for Amber for a long time. Her career has made it impossible for Tom to forget how much he likes her…and then when she came back…it was a breaking point. Tom wasn’t going to do nothing…he was going to show Amber. But not all is well in Amber’s world. Threats are happening and Tom isn’t letting it slide. He’s going to do all he can to protect her. Best of Luck is  a romance that shows dreams can come true. Amber made her dream career work but now she doubts it. I felt like that characters were real and their issues were easily believable. This tale was enjoyable to read. Overall, I highly recommend it to all.

Review: The Ebb Tide


Synopsis:

A Heartwarming Tale of Courage and Love from Amish Fiction’s #1 Author

When a well-to-do family asks Sallie Riehl to be their daughter’s nanny for the summer at their Cape May, New Jersey, vacation home, she jumps at the chance to broaden her horizons beyond the Lancaster County Amish community where she grew up. Sallie has long dreamed of seeing more of the world, but her parents are reluctant for her to put off baptism yet another summer, and the timing is unfortunate for Perry Zook, who has renewed interest in courting her. 

Though she loves nannying, Sallie has free time on the weekends to enjoy the shore. It is there that she meets Kevin Kreider, a marine biology student who talks freely about all he’s learning and asks about her interests, unlike most of the guys she grew up with. Time with Kevin is invigorating, and Sallie realizes she’s never felt quite this alive around Perry. Then again, Kevin is Mennonite, not Amish. 

Sallie tries to brush aside her growing feelings for Kevin, but she fears what her parents would think about her new friendship. Just as concerning, however, is Sallie’s realization that her time in Cape May is increasing her desire to see the world, challenging her plans for the future. Has she been too hasty with her promises, or will Sallie only find what her heart is longing for back home in Paradise Township?

Rating: 5-stars

Review

The Ebb Tide by Beverly Lewis is a sweet Christian tale. A young Amish woman has had a heart for traveling the world in which God created. Her family wishes to see her baptized as an Amaish soon, but they start realizing it may not be what is good for their daughter. Sallie has a good Amish man back home who cares about her…yet her heart is constantly drifting back to Kevin. His family is Mennonite, not Amish. Sallie never once gives up trying to be a good Amish woman. She tries her best. But her heart is being pulled into another direction. Kevin and exploring the world. Beverly Lewis’s novel is heartfelt. The words carry a deep meaning and captivate me as I went through them. I felt sad and then happy for Sallie. Despite what our families want for us, we have to go find what it is that we want. Happiness is by falling our hearts. A deep and beautifully told story. The Ebb Tide is one that I recommend to readers worldwide. It’s relates to everything we all go through…each day. Finding ourselves. 

Author Interview with Paul Allen Dage


 
 

 
 

ULM: What led you to creating the main character, Eddy Trout?

During the summer of 2005 I experienced a harmonic convergence of life-changing events. I’d just retired from teaching high school English and, after a long hiatus, I wanted to resume writing fiction. So I journeyed to Canon Beach, Oregon, and attended a week-long Dangerous Writing workshop, taught by Tom Spanbauer, a well-known writer who lives in Portland. Tom’s teaching and my introduction to Dangerous Writing reignited my writing passions. A year later I found myself divorced, and I’d met the love of my life, Debra, a beautiful person and artist. These events changed me, opened my eyes to see the world a bit differently, and they inspired a story idea about a man’s mid-life renewal. Eddy is the character I chose to tell that story. He’s fallen out of love and he’s down on his luck, but soon enough events conspire to make his simple life very difficult, and over the course of three novels those events forge a brand new Eddy.  

 

ULM: Did you always want to write a book?

Heck no! I grew up very poor, and we didn’t have access to many books. I remember reading a cheap set of Encyclopedia Britannica and the occasional National Geographic magazine that my grandparents had lying about their home. And I certainly was not a stellar English student in grade or high school. Straight out of high school I majored in Forestry, and my Comp I prof took notice of a story I’d written about tracking down a wounded deer. That I could string a bunch of mostly fragments and run-ons into a somewhat coherent story, and that warm feeling I got when my prof uttered a bit of praise—those revelations planted a fruitful seed in my little, non-literary brain. Wanting to see some of the world, I quit school and joined the Army. One dark, rainy night while on guard duty in Vietnam I decided I wanted to teach social studies, so after I got out of the Army I got a teaching degree in Social Science/Language Arts. I ended up teaching high school English, and teaching writing and literature began to nourish the feeling that, maybe, someday I could write a story myself. Largely self-taught, I began writing short stories in the basement of my home. A few were published. It wasn’t long before I set to work on my first novel, Perimeters, a story about an American soldier who falls in love with a Vietnamese woman. It’s unpublished, but I hope to change that someday. That seed my Comp I prof planted has, so far, grown into four novels.

 

ULM: How would you describe your writing?

I aim for the gritty and existential, with spare use of adjectives and adverbs. I like well-paced, noirish plots and characters with flaws. I’m a student of Dangerous Writing and a disciple of Tom Spanbauer’s. DW basically means going to a painful place in your past, dredging those images and feelings up from the past and casting them into stories, often in a first-person voice. For me, it’s therapeutic, cathartic. In the Eddy Trout Novels, Eddy is my first-person voice, and there’s a hell of a lot of his past to dredge up and deal with before he can find the new heart he seeks.

 

ULM: Was it difficult or easy to write Trout Run?

Easy, in the sense it’s a continuation of the Trout Kill story line, the first novel of the Eddy Trout Series. From the beginning, I had a narrative arc in mind that covered three novels: #1, Eddy kills his old heart; #2, Eddy runs after a new heart; and, #3, Eddy finds love and a new heart. The arc narrates Eddy’s transformation from ashes to resurrection. I don’t write from a pre-conceived outline, but rather by feeling my way along from scene to scene, taking notes and editing as I go, and trusting that this rather messy process will keep the story immediate and fresh.

And difficult, too, in the sense that TR took 4 years to complete. But the main difficulty for me was figuring out how to build a bridge between novels #1 and #3. I was challenged to find the right balance between keeping the plot moving forward in a hopefully interesting way, and with bringing in just the right amount of backstory from novel #1 to provide the reader with the necessary context. And then there’s the “meta-fiction” aspect, a novel within a novel, using a book Eddy’s father wrote to help Eddy understand and come to grips with his unknown past. 

 

ULM: How many novels do you have planned for the Eddy Trout Series?

Three. Trout Kill was published in 2013, and I was very pleased with the reviews. Trout Run is just out, and so far the reviews are very positive, too. I’m currently working on the third, and last, novel, Trout Love.

 

ULM: What other books have you written, if any?

 I’ve written a couple unpublished Vietnam novellas and, as I mentioned, the full-length novel Perimeters. After completing the Eddy Trout Series I’ll probably get to work on another Vietnam novel.

  

ULM: Besides writing an entertaining series, what other hobbies can you share with us, readers?

I build stuff. Right now I’m converting an above-garage storage area into a guest room. I’ve been playing poker with the same guys for over 35 years; they’re very slow learners and keep giving me their hard-earned quarters. My wife and I love attending music festivals, and our favorite thus far is The Red Ants Pants Music Festival in White Sulphur Springs, Montana. What a hoot! I fish. I walk. I read. I cook. I’m teaching a memoir-writing class this summer.

 

ULM: What advice would you give to other writers?

Swill good coffee. Find a mentor. Read books and join or start a book group. Build your passion however you can and nourish it. Write every day, all the while knowing you can’t. Attend workshops. Keep your day job. I’m basically a self-taught writer, and that’s worked for me mostly because I’m a fierce, ruthless self-editor and not afraid to hit the delete key a million times.

  

ULM: When will the third novel to the Eddy Trout Series be released?

I hope to complete Trout Love in about two years … but my wife might think this a bit optimistic.

   

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

Printed and Kindle versions of Trout Kill and Trout Run are available at my author’s website at pauldage.com and through Amazon. Trout Kill is also available through the online bookstore at Outskirts Press, and Trout Run through the online bookstore at Inkwater Press. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review: The Archbishop 




Synopsis:

The Archbishop by Monk Tihon is a famous book in Russia. Written before the Bolshevik revolution, it came under the steamroller of the communist censorship along with other extraordinary books of Orthodoxy.

The Archbishop is a book that provokes, a literary work, o novella, not a treaty of ecclesiology, continuing to be a cry against the ecclesiastical conformity. At the beginning of the 20th century, the author, Hieromonk Tihon, is unsatisfied with the lukewarm general atmosphere that rules inside the Church. He devises an ideal shepherd in the person of the main character of the book – the Archbishop – who tries to bring the apostolic spirit among priests and believers. 

Although the book is somehow meant to be a spiritual deployment program, it is read as an interesting, realistic, maybe too honest sometimes, chronicle of the ecclesial life. The characters are vivid, honest, uninvented. Nothing stops us from believing that this ‘Archbishop’ existed for real and that, maybe, he himself wrote this book.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Archbishop by Monk Tohin is a great read. I highly recommend it to all. Inside, reader will find a journey full of emotions that we all go through in our lives. The characters play an important part that show readers what is really happening and what we can do. A priest finds himself with nothing but trouble when he takes pity on a young couple. His burdens keep adding to the point that he loses his way…until he meets another priest. One that by looks would seem to act much above the poorer priest. Yet, Monk Tihon surprises me when the exact opposite happened. I was just as surprised as the  poorer priest. Sympathy was instantly felt for the priest with all the troubles. His heart laced with fear, anger, and sadness. The Archbishop is engaging, compelling, and brilliantly written. A spiritual guidance that was raw, honest, interesting. I found it captivating. Readers can easily relate to the charcaters and their troubles. Overall, I highly recommend this literary title to all. 

Review: Love’s Dark Door 

Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review

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

Review: Dark Ties




Synopsis:

Two years after being attacked by a psychotic fan, Ken Simmons has finally released a new novel. It’s the biggest commercial success of his career and Ken should be ecstatic. But happiness is hard to come by with the killer he created haunting his dreams.

Meanwhile, a thousand miles away, Sheriff Allen James is investigating a series of murders. 

Murders seemingly detailed by Ken’s book.

When Allen seeks Ken’s help, they discover that Ken’s book may be more than just a simple crime novel, and Ken’s connection to the killer more than just fantasy.

Ken knows better than anyone how dangerous this killer is and is not eager to get involved. However, the burden of knowledge means Ken can’t quite commit himself to the sidelines, and he finds himself reluctantly agreeing to help Allen bring him to justice.

But when the killer discovers Ken and his new bestseller, all bets are off. Ken must decide whether to run…or face a monster he once thought only existed in his mind. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Imagine being a writer who writes bone chilling thrillers with a crazy murder. A murderer that is hard to catch, if caught at all. That’s where this story takes readers. Ken Simmons writes a book.  A killer who haunts him all the time. The local authorities are having trouble with the crimes and ask Ken to help. Ken knows that the killer is one he doesn’t want to play with…yet, he knows more than the police and can help them. As the plot explodes the scenes get more intense. People are dying…and Ken feels awful. He thinks giving up writing would be best for all…or would that only give the killer a satisfaction of winning?

Dark Ties is a superb thriller. Dark, engaging, and fast-paced. I loved it. Mark Dane did a brilliant job in create the perfect read. I was both horrified yet entertained. I felt chills going down my spine yet I couldn’t stop reading…murder and fiction combo was perfect. It leaves readers with a spooky feeling of what if something like that actually happens. This book has the effect to leave many with a nightmare. Some will die…but catching the murderer is key. Overall, I would highly recommend this novel to all. Mark Dane is a talented writer, and I can’t wait to read what he comes up with next.

Review: Marry Me (A Wedding Romance Duet)




Synopsis:

What could be more romantic than a wedding… unless you’re stuck in a fake relationship with a hot man you don’t like. Warm up after a long winter with two fun, romantic wedding romances available together for a limited time.

Hired Bride by Noelle Adams – For years, Deanna’s eccentric grandmother has been trying to marry her off to a rich man, and she’s finally managed to do it. Sexy, obnoxious Mitchell Graves needs a wife to finalize a business deal, and he thinks she’ll be easy enough to manage as a wife. He couldn’t be more wrong.

The Wedding Season by Samantha Chase – To get through the six weddings she has to attend this summer, Tricia plans to pretend her best friend, Sean, is her boyfriend. But then Sean sends his brother, Ryan, in his place. Now Tricia has to go to all these weddings with her best friend’s brother, who is stirring up feelings she never expected. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review

Marry Me: A Wedding Romance Duet by both Noelle Adams and Samantha Chase is a collection of two stories. Tales that hold readers like myself in captivity. Romance whether the characters want it or not comes knocking down their lives and changing them forever…

Hired Bride by Noelle Adams is full of sweet, addictive, and hot scenes. Deanna is a young woman taking care of her family. A family that comprises of her two younger sisters and one eccentric grandmother. Deanna always does what her grandmother wants for her. She knows she should say no but the look in her grandmother’s eyes makes her go soft. She loves her grandmother. Thinking she wouldn’t have to go to a ball…her grandmother reinforces her to go get ready…little did she know her life would dramatically change with the meeting of one new man. A sexy rich man…in fact. Life just got more complicated and messy by the minute. Then there’s the sexy hot man, Mitchell, who needs a contract to go through…for his mother. Yet, the one woman who can make the deal go through has the hots for him. However, he doesn’t want her…and afraid he’ll lose the deal…he makes up a story of being engaged to a stranger. That stranger just happens to be Deanna…can a fake romance turn real within their time together or will one of them get hurt? Overall, I loved reading this story by Noelle Adams. It was a first time for me to read her work. I was instantly hooked with her charcaters and stunning plot. I recommend her tale to readers everywhere. 

The Wedding Season by Samantha Chase is a hilarious yet emotional tug of war. Tricia is a woman who gets the pity looks from others due to her still being single. So when her best friend, Sean, calls her with a plan…they make it a date. Yet, something goes terribly wrong…Sean is seriously injured. That ends up brining his older brother, Ryan, and his best friend, Tricia, closer together than they have ever been. Staying in the same house waiting for news on Sean’s health has put both Ryan and Tricia at odds. Emotions start playing at their hearts and it’s not long before things get more complicated and messy. Ryan has noticed how beautiful Tricia has become…and something about their situation makes him more protective of her. Then, his injured brother has him promising to go to six weddings with Tricia…and that’s when things begin to get hot, sticky, and complex…can there be a happy ending or will both have their hearts broken? Overall, Samantha Chase has once more entertained me with her writing. Real feelings, three-dimensional characters, and a sexy plot that had me falling in love. I highly recommend this tale to readers everywhere. 

Review: Grace and the Preacher




Synopsis:

At the age of twenty-three, postmistress Grace Cristler has all but given up hope of finding a husband among the narrowing group of eligible men in her town of Fairland, Kansas. But when her uncle decides to retire from the pulpit, Grace is responsible for corresponding with the new preacher set to take his place. She can’t deny the affection growing in her heart for Reverend Rufus Dille—a man she deeply admires but has only met through his letters.

 

Theophil Garrison is on the run from his past. Ten years ago his outlaw cousins convinced him to take part in a train robbery, but Theo fled the scene, leaving his cousins to face imprisonment. Now they’ve finished their sentences, but the plan for vengeance has just begun. Branded a coward and running for his life, Theo has aa chance encounter that could provide him with the escape he needs.  

 

But the young man’s desperate con might come at an enormous price for the tenderhearted Grace—and the entire town. Will Grace’s undeserved affection and God’s mercy make something beautiful from the ashes of Theo’s past?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Grace and the Preacher by Kim Sawyer is a wonderful story about forgiveness. I was hooked. The story told of a man running from his past life that soon caught up with him. An offer as a preacher for a new town gave him a chance to leave and start new. But soon, the past came tumbling down his present life. A young woman writes to the new preacher. She soon grew attached to the man in the letters. Once he comes to her town, secrets come out and betrayal will take over…it will be up to both characters to face their situations and decide the results. 

Kim Sawyer’s writing is superb. The emotional attachment happens quickly. Each character faces real life issues that helped me relate easily to them. I could understand what they went through and why. Clean, intriguing, and well-written. Grace and the Preacher is a satisfying Christian historical tale. Love, sacrifice, and redemption can be found inside…I loved it. This is definitely a book that I recommend to all. 

Author Interview with Michael Scott Curnes






COPING WITH ASH by Michael Scott Curnes

Inkwater Press, January 26, 2017

(Reviewed and given 5 stars by Danielle Urban)

Author Interview

 

ULM: What would you like readers to take from reading your book, Coping with Ash

MSC: Loss and grief are universal human elements but how we cope with these is uniquely individualized. There isn’t a handbook for this. This story is meant to be a gift from the narrator (the deceased) to the survivors he leaves behind and a guide to helping them cope with the loss of their lover, brother, son and friend, who was a gay man they loved, named Ashton Taylor. This story is a reminder to not take a day, a person, or moment for granted. Our breathing days are finite and our chances to love and be loved are brief.
 

ULM: The emotional journey of your book was powerful. What did it feel like as your wrote it?

MSC: This story is personal for me and so I wrote it to be personal for the reader. There were many moments when I would write a passage through tears as I put myself in that vulnerable place of someone suffering from loss and abandonment and unspeakable loneliness. Every other page asks the question: how would I cope with this if I were the one left behind?

 

ULM: Coping with Ash is written through the dead character’s point of view. Why did you choose Ashton’s point of view versus his lover’s?

MSC: The overly detailed plan to distribute the cremated remains (cremains) of the deceased is a plot the deceased put into motion. In other words, he started it. It just made sense to me that he should be the one to tell the story he started, posthumously. The deceased was a novelist—a storyteller, in fact had his third novel set to be published and then he died in the middle of his morning shave, unexpectedly. He believed he understood how the news of his death would be received and his cremains managed by those around him so I made him the narrator so that he could witness the execution of his instructions.
ULM: I noticed your book held a racial and LGBT theme. What was your purpose for inserting these into your novel?
MSC: For me, the novel’s main characters just happen to be Native American and gay. I didn’t construct this to be thematic or to make any particular statement. I suppose I could say I made a point of using these characteristics as a reminder that Native Americans and gay men have life experiences and stories to tell and that they love, they mourn and they figure out how to overcome unfathomable loss—just like everyone else. My previous novels, Val and For the Love of Mother also both featured central characters that were gay. Is this because I am a gay writer or that I have a duty to increase the number of gay characters in modern, published literature? Sure.  

 

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

MSC: Intentional. Personal. Exploratory.

 

ULM: What other books have you written besides Coping with Ash?

MSC: ​Val, 1996 Brownell and Carroll Publishers

For the Love of Mother, 2011 Inkwater Press

My writing also appears in two published anthologies:

Writing the West Coast: In Love with Place, 2008

Living Artfully: Reflections from the Far West Coast, 2011

 

ULM: Any future works that you can share with us, readers?

MSC: I always have a novel or two percolating. Stay tuned.

 

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

MSC: ​www.copingwithash.com 

​www.Amazon.com