Review: A Sky Full of Stars




Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

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

Review: Drama Luau (A Nicky and Noah Mystery)

Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Rejected Writers Take the Stage

Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

Review: The Man Who Walked Out of the Jungle




Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

Review: Jellybeaners

Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

Review: Mr. Either Or 

Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: The Darkness 

Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

Review: The Glorious Heresies 





Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

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



Synopsis:
LOVE TO THE RESCUE



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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: The Prada Plan 5 

Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

Review: White Fur




Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

Review: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow



Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Rites of Azathoth




Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

Author Interview with Kristi Saare Duarte about Her Novel The Transmigrant






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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sly, spiritual, and sexy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review: Threads of Supsicion

Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review

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

Review: Dragonsoul

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Blog Tour: Play for Me by Celine Keating


Interview with Celine Keating

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

emotional, intelligent, honest 

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

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

ULM: What advice would you give to other writers?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 ULM: How did you become a music Reviewer?

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

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

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


Synopsis:

International Book Award finalist in literary fiction

Indie Excellence Award finalist in fiction

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Chocolate Cake and Chaos





Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Doughnuts and Deception





Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: The House on Sagamore Road

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4 stars

Review

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

Review: Rik’s





Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Turn Me Loose





Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: The Beloved Hope Chest 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Upon A Spring Breeze 

Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Goodbye Days

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Perfect Pleasures




Synopsis:

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

 

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

 

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

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Spring Fever



Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Luxe 2

Synopsis

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Dear Yvette 

Synopsis:

All sixteen year old Yvette Simmons wanted was to disappear. Problem is: she has too many demons for that. Yvette’s life changed forever after a street fight over a boy ended in a second degree murder charge. Forced to start all over again, she’s sentenced to live in a group home far from anything or anyone she’s ever known. She manages to keep her past hidden, until a local cutie, known as Brooklyn, steps in. Slowly, Yvette lets him into her heart and he gives her the summer of her dreams…

 

But in Yvette’s world things are never as they seem. 

 

Brooklyn has a few secrets of his own and Yvette’s past comes back with a vengeance. Will she face life head-on? Will she return to her old ways? Or will an unexpected letter decide her fate?
“Simone’s story is reminiscent of Sistah Souljah’s groundbreaking The Coldest Winter Ever…a hard hitting tale of the inner city’s unforgiving streets.” —Library Journal 

 

“Simone knows how to tell a story…and she can also bring the drama.” —RT Book Reviews

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Dear Yvette by Ni-Ni Simone is an interesting YA novel. An urban fiction read that has all of the drama, action, and stakes readers want. Criminal activity, past murder charge, and the difficulty of restarting a life. Yvette Simons will have a challenge at every corner. Staying away from everything she knew will prove hard. Then to add to the intensity of the plot, she finds herself attracted to a good looking guy. But whether he will break or make her new life is for readers to see…

Ni-Ni Simone has a way of capturing the street life of young adults inside of her books. The teens come to life. Their choices are scary and drastic. I was left to holding my breath waiting for anything to tilt Yvette’s life. A life that felt like is was hanging onto a thin thread. Intriguing, exciting, and believable. The plot was like a rollercoaster ride. Overall, I recommend this to readers. 

Review: Heels, Heartache, & Headlines

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Daddy’s Gone A Hunting





Synopsis:

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

Review:

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

Review: The Streets have No King

Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

Review: The Bridal Squad






Synopsis:

The Friday Night Brides are back! And this time, it’s their first season running the business! It was one thing to just model in a weekly fashion show, it’s quite another to be the ones calling the shots and making future brides’ dreams come true. Their first client has them wondering if they’re really prepared for their new roles! 

The Bride: Julianne is big on fitness, small on patience. And planning her wedding is grating on her every last nerve. As a Zumba instructor, she loves the freedom to create and choreograph her routines and help others achieve their goals, but having to stand back and let others choreograph her big day has her wanting to hip-hop toward eloping! 

The Matron of Honor: As the only married member of the bridal party, Natalie considers herself the aficionado on all-things weddings. And even though her time in the spotlight is over, that doesn’t mean she isn’t full of ideas on how her best friend’s wedding should look and feel and be! And it doesn’t take long for her to realize that maybe it’s not so much that she’s wanting to help as it is that she’s afraid of her own honeymoon ending. 

The Bride’s Sister: Nothing screams unwanted relationship advice than when your younger sister gets married before you. It’s not that Harper doesn’t want to get married, after three failed engagements she really does! But finding the right man to walk down the aisle with is proving harder than she thought. And it gets even harder when constantly being compared to the perfect couple! 

The Reluctant Bridesmaid: There is nothing Kayla wants more than to see one of her best friend’s get married…if only the whole process wasn’t so exhausting! Travel and adventure and being on the go fuels her. Having to stay in one place for an extended period of time while wearing taffeta? Not so much. Her job tends to take her away on a moment’s notice and this is one time she may have to pass up the trip of a lifetime in the name of friendship. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Bridal Squad by Samantha Chase is another brilliant contemporary romance read. It’s crazy, hilarious, and emotionally addictive. This novel contains four romances that wrap up into one beautifully engaging title. Each of the couples mentioned have their own issues. Similar yet so different from each other. I loved the variety of personalities from both the male and female characters. Samantha Chase always has a way of dragging me into her charcaters’ lives. A reader will never doubt this writer’s talent after reading her latest novel, The Bridal Squad. I’m a huge fan of Samantha Chase’s books but readers will soon see why after reading this story. 

The Bridal Squad offers four couples. Each at different areas in their lives. Romance that has either happened, just begun, or will be happening. I got a taste of what it was like to be each woman of the Bridal Squad. The female friends are an interesting group to follow as the plot unfolds. Marriage, commitment, happily ever after may just be there for all of the ladies…or maybe not. It depends if they can take the leap of courage and be brave enough to love. Love isn’t easy. Nor does it happen over night. It can be messy as hell or super complicated. No matter what it is, Samantha Chase brings it to life on every page. I highly recommend it to all. 

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: 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 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: 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: Dangerous Liars





Synopsis:

Jaxon has a mission. Retrieve a valuable emerald for an entry fee and join Maxime, the most prestigious club in the Secure States of America. No problem, if his ex-thief, super-hacker friend Riley can lower the shield around an island where the stone is hidden. And when he discovers a purple-eyed woman who can make herself invisible, he adjusts his plans to include her skills.

But Violet has plans of her own, and a guy who can knock down a shield will fit in nicely. To get her disfiguring scars repaired, she needs access to another island, so when opportunity knocks, she grabs it. Even if it means telling a few lies. Or stealing. Or putting herself in the crosshairs of a pissed-off drug dealer.

Working with Riley again on the other side of the law fires up cravings Jaxon thought he’d suppressed. While he struggles to escape the shadow of his notorious family and unlawful past, Violet faces old demons she’d rather keep buried. Focusing on their goals and keeping their agendas hidden, they travel from Maine to Florida, fighting each other, and a losing battle with lust and love.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Dangerous Liars by Naomi Bellina is a thrilling romantic tale. Suspense, intrigue, and adventure. Readers will be sucked in from the start. I definitely was. The charcaters are three-dimensional. Realistic with real world issues. Romance can’t happen just when both needs to focus on their goals. Goals that involve lying and stealing to get to where they want to be. Each has a past that is full of darkness. Their present moments have a way of keeping readers, like myself, on the edge of our seats. Waiting to see what happen next…

Dangerous Liars is intense. The pacing is good. The troubles leave so many what if moments. I was constantly guessing as the plot kept moving. Romance full of risks. Naomi Bellina has talent in creating fictional worlds full of entertainment. Overall, I recommend this book to readers everywhere. 

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: 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: Weave A Murderous Web





Synopsis:

No good deed goes unpunished. When Jane Larson—a hot-shot litigator for a large firm in New York City—helps out a friend, she is sucked into the unfamiliar world of divorce and child support. 

Jane’s discovery of the deadbeat dad’s hidden assets soon unravels a web of lies, drugs, and murder that keeps getting more dangerous. 

Soon, Jane is involved in a high stakes race to recover a missing suitcase of cash and catch the murderer before she becomes the next victim.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Weave A Murdeous Web by Anne Rothman-Hicks & Ken Hicks is an entertaining thriller. One that kept me on the edge of my seat. Suspense oozed all over the pages. The threat and danger followed one New York litigator very closely. Jane Larson is well-known in her career. But soon her upcoming case, will bring not only chaos but deadly consequences. The opponent is one that sent chills down my back. I kept guessing as the plot swirled past me. Divorce, child support, and murder. Not just one but many. Little by little, each person involved is being killed. It’s only time before, Jane Larson becomes the next victim. But there’s still a case to solve…can she do it in time?

I was immediately taken with Weave A Murdeous Web. The pacing was fast. Not boring. Always  waiting for what may lie ahead. The main character, Jane Larson, is a strong determined woman. She’s a character readers can easily like and connect with…plus, the darkness that engulfs her due to the current case is thrilling. Drugs, murder, lies. Absolutely, crazy and dangerous. Just enough action to keeps things moving along. As each page went by, the plot got stickier like a spider’s web. The book’s setting was in New York, and it felt so real to me. I’ve been there once, and I got to revisit it again by reading this novel. Unexpected twists, the search for truth, and finding the killer was an adventure I enjoyed. Overall, I recommend this crime piece to readers everywhere. 

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.