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. 

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: Mr. Make Believe






Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

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

Review: Remnants 

Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

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

Review: Spring at Blueberry Bay




Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

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

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

Review: The Chocolate Comeback 




Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Beyond Justice





Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

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

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

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

Review: The Blue Hour




Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

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

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

Author Interview with Vicki Righettini

Author Interview with Vicki Righettini


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vivid, visual, and heart-centered.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ULM: What else besides writing do you enjoy doing?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please take a moment to sign up! 

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

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

I look forward to hearing from your readers soon! 

Review: You’ll Think of Me



Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

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

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

Review: Cozzi Cove (New Beginnings)




Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: The Prophecy

Synopsis:

A powerful wizard threatens the Chosen from beyond the grave. Can they unravel The Prophecy in time to save their world!
Chosen have walked the earth for time immemorial. Tasia is a very special Chosen. Warned to keep her distance from her brethren, she makes a fateful decision one night to assist an injured Shape-shifter. Suddenly, Tasia finds herself in the cross-hairs of Shifter mercenaries encroaching on San Francisco. Forced out of the shadows, Tasia has little choice but to ally herself with the local Shifter Pack led by a formidable and dangerous Alpha Protector. In the cut-throat world of a Shifter Pack, Tasia must fight to protect her secrets while struggling to negotiate with the enigmatic Alpha who holds his violent Pack together with a ruthless hand on its reins.
Grave danger threatens their world as a powerful wizard exploits an old prophecy to divide the Chosen. When the Pack is asked to investigate the twenty-five year old mystery, Tasia is drawn deeper into a past that risks raising the suspicions of the very Chosen she hides from. As danger closes in on her, Tasia must decide who to trust with the deadly secrets she guards.
Author’s Note:

The Prophecy is the first book of Saga of the Chosen, an urban fantasy series sprinkled with action, adventure, an unfolding mystery and a dose of romance. Set in contemporary San Francisco in the fantastical and intrigue-ridden world of Chosen where factions of Wizards, Shape-shifters, Vampires and others vie for power and influence over their kind, it introduces Tasia Armstrong, a Magick with dangerous secrets and powers.

Circumstances propel Tasia from a nondescript life on the fringes of Chosen society to a crucial role in an investigation to decode a mysterious plot from the past that threatens her people. Along the way, she gains new friends and allies while struggling to maintain a tempestuous alliance with the local Shape-shifter Pack. Thrust into a world where the line between friend and foe is often hard to decipher, Tasia must figure out the rules quickly even as danger stalks ever closer to her.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

The Prophecy by Petra Landon is an urban fantasy readers don’t want to miss. I found myself deeply engaged page after page. The plot is intriguing. It has action, adventure, and romance. Inside, readers will find charcaters that vary from vampires to shape shifters. There’s a great cast of paranormal beings to love. The mystery was well-done. Kept me on my toes constantly.

Petra Landon has phenomenal skills. Her characters dragged me out of this world and straight into theirs. I loved it. The Prophecy is the first novel to this new series. I can’t wait to read the next book. Here, there’s a prophecy that will divide the main character’s people apart. This prophecy, causes competition among the paranormal beings for power. A wizard informs Tasia Armstrong of it. It’s up to her to solve this 25-year-old mystery before things get worse. Deadly secrets and a fantasy that will keep readers entertained. I couldn’t stop reading it. The beginning is a tad bit slow but other than that it speed up quickly. Overall, I recommend The Prophecy to readers worldwide.

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: White Heat

Synopsis:

A dangerous cult has recently taken over the desert ghost town of Paradise, Arizona. Members worship at the feet—and in the bed—of its charismatic leader, Ethan Wycliff, and obey his orders blindly. They’ve already tried to murder one woman and they’re implicated in the disappearance of another.
Nate Ferrentino, who works for private security contractor Department 6, has been assigned to infiltrate this group. It’s a challenge he welcomes—until he learns that colleague Rachel Jessop will be going undercover with him. Thanks to their shared history, he’d much rather go alone….
The problem is, only married couples can participate in cult rituals. So, like it or not—and they don’t—Rachel and Nate must pretend to be husband and wife.
There’s no choice. Because if Wycliff isn’t exposed, if he isn’t stopped, more people will die. And Rachel might be one of them.
Rating: 5-stars

Review

White Heat by Brenda Novak is an intense yet stunning FBI read. Two FBI agents have to go undercover to catch the bad guy(s). Nate was the guy the wouldn’t let loose…and Rachel is the FBI agent who is beautiful as she is smart. She thought Nate liked her…so, she goes to surprise him…in the way most men wished. But it turns out that was ruined. Nate handled that situation horribly. Seeing Rachel there waiting for him, had him set on fire. But she’s a fellow co-worker. Rachel however feels hurt, embraased and ready to move forward from that situation. But a part of her still yearns for Nate. And Nate can’t stop his feelings toward her…especially now, with a new job where both have to be in close quarters as husband and wife. Rachel takes the drastic measures to get inside the compound they are needing to get into…but the danger is one neither could have imagined. Hearts, lives, and and their jobs are on the line. I loved following both charcaters as the tale unfolded. The heat was hot enough to light a forrest on fire. The suspense made me sit on the edge of my chair waiting as the intensity grew with every passing page. Fast-paced, thrilling and engaging to read. Overall, I highly recommend White Heat to readers everywhere. 

Review: The Memory of You

Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Wild Ideas

Synopsis:

Wild Ideas: Creativity from the Inside Out takes you on an intimate journey through the seven stages of the creative process. All along the way, counselor, artist, and writer Cathy Wild interweaves her own deeply personal story as well as provocative insights gleaned from her many years in private practice. Discover your authentic voice while exploring timeless themes that compel creative expression—curiosity and imagination, mystery and mourning, chaos and clarity, suffering and gratitude and many more. 

A feast for the heart, mind, and soul, Wild Ideas is designed for both artists and non-artists alike who are drawn to their inner world of thought and feeling. Whether you are already a working artist, struggling to become one — and especially if you want to feel more alive and engaged—this wise and thought-provoking book has the power to revitalize your thinking and renew your spirit of adventure. 

Wild Ideas can help you build a resilient foundation for engaging creative challenges in your life and work: 1) You will understand how to make the journey from inspiration to realization of a vision. 2) You will find clarity and comfort while learning to navigate the daunting emotional challenges that frequently block creators. 3) You will reclaim what is richest and most authentic about your own life. 4) You will feel inspired to replace apprehension about your creative capabilities with self-knowledge, trust, and a passionate spirit of adventure. 5) You will feel deeply supported as you unlock the mysteries of your own creative power! 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Wild Ideas by Cathy Wild is a great guide for building creativity. The writer has a lot to offer inside her book. A wonderful emotional yet inspiring journey to follow. Taking ones thoughts and placing them in a way that proves positive. I can’t see how anyone reading this book won’t be changed. It certainly drove me deeper into my life and changed how I felt. I read this book that led me out of my norm and it personally challenged myself. It is well-written and organized in a way that makes flipping through the pages easy. Wild Ideas is a self-help book that anyone and any age could read. Overall, I recommend it. 

Review: Simplify Your Life from Inside Out




Synopsis:

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

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

A Unified Plan to Address Your Problems At Their Core

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Some Small Magic

Synopsis:

She whispers, “I’m supposed to take you home.”
“Not yet,” Abel says. “Please, just not yet.”
All Abel wants is a little bit of magic in his life. Enough money so his mom doesn’t cry at night. Healing for his broken body. And maybe a few answers about his past.
When Abel discovers letters to him from the dad he believed dead, he wonders if magic has come to the hills of Mattingly, Virginia, after all. But not everything is as it seems.
With a lot of questions and a little bit of hope, Abel decides to run away to find the truth. But danger follows him from the moment he jumps his first boxcar, forcing Abel to rely upon his simpleminded friend Willie—a man wanted for murder who knows more about truth than most—and a beautiful young woman who was already on the train. 
From Appalachia to the Tennessee wilds and through the Carolina mountains, the name of a single small town beckons: Fairhope. That is where Abel believes his magic lays. But will it be the sort that will bring a broken boy healing? And is that the magic that will one day lead him home? 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Some Small Magic by Billy Coffey is a heart breaking read. I wanted to cry and hug the characters. I felt the need to help, sympathize, and care. The entire read was an emotionally deep story. One that takes readers into its core and never lets go. Captivating, well-written, and stunning. Each character had an issue that pulled at my heart. I would love to see this book on the big screens everywhere. 

Billy Coffey has a talent for providing a fictional world that drags readers instantly inside and change everything they feel. A mother who is single and ones what she cans for her and her son.  A son who has a condition that makes readers like myself connect immediately with him. Then there’s others with other conditions that are just as sad. Some Some Magic is about a boy looking for the magic he believes exists. It’s up to readers to find out if he finds it or not. Once I picked up this book and read it, there was no returning from the tragic tale. Brilliantly woven for readers’ entertainment…Some Small Magic is a must read for all. I highly recommend it. 

Review: Losing the Light




Synopsis:

A smart, obsessive debut novel about a young woman studying abroad who becomes caught up in a seductive French world—and a complex web of love and lust.

When thirty-year-old Brooke Thompson unexpectedly runs into a man from her past, she’s plunged headlong into memories she’s long tried to forget about the year she spent in France following a disastrous affair with a professor.

As a newly arrived exchange student in the picturesque city of Nantes, young Brooke develops a deep and complicated friendship with Sophie, a fellow American and stunning blonde, whose golden girl façade hides a precarious emotional fragility. Sophie and Brooke soon become inseparable and find themselves intoxicated by their new surroundings—and each other.

But their lives are forever changed when they meet a sly, stylish French student, Veronique, and her impossibly sexy older cousin, Alex. The cousins draw Sophie and Brooke into an irresistible world of art, money, decadence, and ultimately, a disastrous love triangle that consumes them both. And of the two of them, only one will make it home. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Losing the Light by Andrea Dunlop is an interesting tale that takes readers to France. Here, I met a variety of characters. Their personalities are different as night and day. Two girls with troubles of their own, soon become friends. Not too long afterwards they meet two others. One is a guy and a cousin to the new girl that they meet. Life appears fun, fast, and exciting at first. Then, things happen…by the time it ends, everything will have changed forever. 

Andrea Dunlop created a suspense yet engaging tale. Young women exploring the world and taking each day as it comes and goes. Adulthood is both a fascinating and terrible thing. Losing the Light is full of adventure, romance, and mystery. The charcaters are unforgettable. Their sorrows, joys, and troubles can be felt with every page. I was intrigued from beginning to end. Friends who are opposites, a rich and mysterious man, and a journey of travel and fun ahead. Overall, I enjoyed reading this novel. The words spoke to me and dragged me along with the characters. I recommend Losing the Light to all. 

Review: Grace and the Preacher




Synopsis:

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

 

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

 

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Trout Run



Synopsis:

Eddy Trout, part-time bartender, and pot-grower had a troubled heart. In this, the second novel of the Eddy Trout Series, Eddy has left his wife and buried his father in a gone-to-seed garden, and now he’s running hard toward what he hopes is a new, brighter tomorrow. His sister, Em, has disappeared, and he’s got to find and “save” her. She turns up where they both swore they’d never return—Oak Creek, the small Oregon logging town of their childhood, where dark memories threaten … and may possibly free them.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Trout Run by Paul Allen Dage is a fascinating read. Dark, emotional, and haunting. This second novel in the Eddy Trout Series was engaging, suspenseful, and well-developed. I found the main character, Eddy Trout, as a man with many flaws. His past haunts him. His present seems to drag onward in a way that readers, like myself can feel he’s not happy with…a lot of interesting moments happen inside this book. Eddy Trout drifts further away from his wife. A good woman he doesn’t love anymore. Then, there’s his sister, whom he loves very much. She goes missing and Eddy is determined to find her. Last, Eddy finds himself in trouble. He went and did something deadly…like dumping his father in a garden. Anger, loss, grief and determination can be found on every page. The character’s journey is definitely like that of a rollercoaster. One never knows what to expect next. Paul Allen Dage’s writing is superb. His words have a way of dragging me deeper into Eddy’s life. The further I went, the more I found an explosive destiny ahead. The ending leaves my mind wondering what will come after this. Overall, I recommend this stunning piece to readers everywhere.

Review: Reflections of a Soul



Synopsis:

Inspired by the journey of life, June Marie Davis has developed an anthology that has captured the essence of her soul by discovering the power of words. Words have flowed ever so freely from a mind to create the divine art form of poetry. In this collection, you will feel the sentiments of a young woman’s soul. The experiences of growing within a world of urban decay and life’s situations have built this young poet’s persona. Living in the midst of confusion and reality created this young woman’s inner discovery of life, love, soul and heartache. These are thoughtfully captured by this writer’s irony, as is the journey in developing self-pride by embracing the beauty and richness of her Latin/Boricua (Puerto Rican) and Afro-American heritages. Her surroundings and experiences made her find a channel of self-expression to record her life, thus far, in a simple yet powerful way. The way that only poetry can provide! “Through My Mothers Eyes” captures the value of lessons learned. Emotions are expressed through a young woman’s void and are heartfelt in “Daddy’s Little Girl.” “Mi Hombre Latino” rages of fury and the passion of love. “Snapshots” depicts the irony of physical and mental reflection. This short collection will allow you to smile, cry, think or reminisce as you become wrapped in emotions on a journey to discover a young woman’s life and Reflections of a Soul.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Reflections of a Soul by June Marie Davis is a beautifully told collection of poetry. Each poem has an issue that lies with most of us. One that can utterly break us apart or bind us together. I got to travel through the writer’s journey as every piece took hold of my heart and captured my attention. Immediately, I was drawn into the book like a moth to a flame. The words echoed in my heart. The pain, struggles, and other emotions held me like a prisoner. June Marie Davis brought up topics like racism, growing up without a father, and love. I was thoroughly impressed. I felt each word as though it were my own thoughts and feelings. Sadness, anger, betrayal, hatred, and others can be felt as readers move through the collection. Reflections of a Soul by June Marie Davis was pleasant to read. Overall, I recommend it to readers worldwide.

Review: The Legacy Family (Father, Son, and Holy Coach)




Synopsis:

You’ve seen it, heard the stories, and maybe it has happened in your family–the dissension, fighting, greed, and legal actions when an inheritance is up for grabs. You’re thinking, “That won’t happen in our family.” Think again! It has been statistically proven that 70 percent of wealth is lost each time it transitions to the next generation and is completely gone when the third generation passes. Two primary factors are loss of trust and breakdown in communications. Working with families of all sizes and levels of wealth, but especially with high net-worth families, for almost twenty-five years, we learned the only way to overcome this deterioration is through a holistic, combined, and integrated financial and personal coaching program that builds a cohesive team of all living generations.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Legacy Family: Father, Son, and Holy Coach by Kip Kolson is a great read. His book is a nonfiction guide that can help save many families from financial situations. Wealth is passed on to generation to generation. However, the family’s wealth can be lost within this process. Kip Kolson provides this read to help others prevent that loss from happening. He has the experience as banker, real estate developer, financial advisor and as a personal coach to back up his writing. The Legacy: Father, Son, and Holy Coach addresses wealth for families and family businesses. It’s also good for young and older couples. Learning how to manage many, life, and the estate is not easy. But reading this book helped me. It was like having a mentor, who walked me through each step with examples and tools along the way. Overall, I highly recommend this writer’s book to readers worldwide. It’s definitely a must have for all. 

Review: The Thought Readers 




Synopsis:

A new series about mind readers from USA Today bestselling author… 

Everyone thinks I’m a genius. 

Everyone is wrong. 

Sure, I finished Harvard at eighteen and now make crazy money at a hedge fund. But that’s not because I’m unusually smart or hard-working. 

It’s because I cheat. 

You see, I have a unique ability. I can go outside time into my own personal version of reality—the place I call “the Quiet”—where I can explore my surroundings while the rest of the world stands still. 

I thought I was the only one who could do this—until I met her. 

My name is Darren, and this is how I became entangled with all the Russians and learned that I’m a Reader. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Thought Readers by Dima Zales is an outstanding first novel to a new series. For those who love fantasy, sci-fi, and a puzzling plot, than this is definitely the book for you.

I haven’t read any other novels by the talented writer, Dima Zales, however, I am going to after reading this book. His writing is fascinating. I was taken straight into the main character’s story. Told from his point of view. He has a unique ability and doesn’t know the  reasons why or how. I found that prickling my curiosity and glad it did. There was plenty of action, mystery, and craziness to keep me hooked. I didn’t know what to expect…and when another person liked the protagonist popped up on scene…I was instantly pulled in further. The Thought Readers is quite intriguing. I recommend it to readers everywhere. 

Review: A Thousand Letters





Synopsis:

Sometimes your life is split by a single decision. 
I’ve spent every day of the last seven years regretting mine: he left, and I didn’t follow. A thousand letters went unanswered, my words like petals in the wind, spinning away into nothing, taking me with them. 
But now he’s back.
I barely recognize the man he’s become, but I can still see a glimmer of the boy who asked me to be his forever, the boy I walked away from when I was young and afraid. 
Maybe if he’d come home under better circumstances, he could speak to me without anger in his voice. Maybe if I’d said yes all those years ago, he’d look at me without the weight of rejection in his eyes. Maybe if things were different, we would have had a chance. 
One regretted decision sent him away. One painful journey brought him back to me. I only wish I could keep him.
*A contemporary romance inspired by Jane Austen’s Persuasion*

Rating: 5-stars

Review

Wow! Staci Hart knows how to write well. Her story immediately dragged me deeper into the lives of her characters. A Thousand Letters is about an engaging tale of loss, love, and new beginnings. Deeply emotional…readers beware you will cry and fall in love. 

A love so strong that it literally digs into your soul and doesn’t release you until the ending. Epic. I found myself feeling the raw but bold desire radiating off the two main characters. Their sparks are electrifying. Zapping me each time they were near each other. 

Death can do a lot. Elliot has her reasons and so did Wade. But what tears them apart can also bind them. Family life is complex that is can take a toll on who the characters become and how they live their lives. The book almost had a Dear John kind of vibe but more spectacular. Heartfelt, realistic, and a romance that I couldn’t ignore. My heart tore and stretched throughout the piece. Overall, A Thousand Letters is a must read for all. 

Review: Book of Summer 



Synopsis:

Physician Bess Codman has returned to her family’s Nantucket compound, Cliff House, for the first time in four years. Her great-grandparents built Cliff House almost a century before, but due to erosion, the once-grand home will soon fall into the sea. Though she’s purposefully avoided the island, Bess must now pack up the house and deal with her mother, a notorious town rabble-rouser, who refuses to leave.

The Book of Summer unravels the power and secrets of Cliff House as told through the voices of Ruby Packard, a bright-eyed and idealistic newlywed on the eve of WWII, the home’s definitive guestbook, and Bess herself. Bess’s grandmother always said it was a house of women, and by the very last day of the very last summer at Cliff House, Bess will understand the truth of her grandmother’s words in ways she never contemplated.
The bestselling author of The Paris Apartment and I’ll See You in Paris, Michelle Gable now transports readers to Nantucket.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Book of Summer by Michelle Gable is a beautiful tale. Memories that won’t ever fade. History and secrets are found as the main character, Bess Codman, goes to her mom. She must convince her mother to leave the house on the cliff. Her father persuades her to do so. When she reaches there, so many things come unraveling. Emotions spills across the pages. Michell Gable created a crazy, hilarious, yet engaging story of a family. Their lives may not be perfect but they care. 

The Book of Summer is centered around a house that has seen its days. Erosion is happening and it’s only time when it collapses. One woman determined to keep it standing and another to help get her out before it’s too late. I found the history colorful and interesting. My imagination went wild with all the what happened back then. Anything with a historical moment attached captured my undivided attention.  Michelle Gable has once again, brought another women’s fiction piece to my heart. I’ll ever forget the journey that trapped me inside…

Review: Red As Blood



Synopsis:

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo meets Six of Crows—this international bestseller is an edge-of-your-seat thriller that chills to the bone, and not just because of the icy winter setting. 

Lumikki Andersson has made it a rule to stay out of things that do not involve her. She knows all too well that trouble comes to those who stick their nose where it doesn’t belong. But Lumikki’s rule is put to the test when she uncovers thousands of washed Euro notes hung to dry in her school’s darkroom and three of her classmates with blood on their hands. Literally. 

 A web of lies and deception now has Lumikki on the run from those determined to get the money back—no matter the cost. At the center of the chaos: Polar Bear, the mythical drug lord who has managed to remain anonymous despite his lavish parties and notorious reputation. If Lumikki hopes to make it out alive, she’ll have to uncover the entire operation.

 Even the cold Finnish winter can’t hide a culprit determined to stain the streets red.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

As Red As Blood by Salla Simukka is a striking new YA thriller. I was drawn into the dark adventure ahead of me. The character, Lumikki Andersson, is a phenomenal protagonist. Her past experiences help her in her current situation. Deadly, frightening, and suspenseful. Lumikki ends up involved in something no other other would want to be involved within…death lies on the future. Hanging in the air like a heavy blanket that one can’t shake off. Only time will tell, if Lumikki can get the answers before something ends up happening to her. 

Salla Simukka has enticed me into her world of fiction. I have read many fantasy novels but this was definitely one that caught my attention. The plot showed potential. Needs a bit of kinking out…otherwise it was brilliant. The main character seems to have skills that are too good for this first piece in the series. I would have liked to see her struggle a bit more with her abilities aka skills versus her being perfectly skilled. Although her past seems to make her perfect skills believable yet…still. She’s young yet and shouldn’t have it well-tuned.  She should learn what flaws are in her best skills and get them sharper as each book comes out…instead of already being perfect in book one. All in all, the character intrigues me. She’s determined and brace enough to risk her own life. That,are me really connect and like her a lot. Overall, I recommend this dangerous tale, As Red As Blood, to all. 

Review: The Price of Valor 


Synopsis:

In the latest Shadow Campaigns novel, Django Wexler continues his “epic fantasy of military might and magical conflict”* following The Shadow Throne and The Thousand Names, as the realm of Vordan faces imminent threats from without and within.
In the wake of the King’s death, war has come to Vordan.

The Deputies-General has precarious control of the city, but it is led by a zealot who sees traitors in every shadow. Executions have become a grim public spectacle. The new queen, Raesinia Orboan, finds herself nearly powerless as the government tightens its grip and assassins threaten her life. But she did not help free the country from one sort of tyranny to see it fall into another. Placing her trust with the steadfast soldier Marcus D’Ivoire, she sets out to turn the tide of history.

As the hidden hand of the Sworn Church brings all the powers of the continent to war against Vordan, the enigmatic and brilliant general Janus bet Vhalnich offers a path to victory. Winter Ihernglass, newly promoted to command a regiment, has reunited with her lover and her friends, only to face the prospect of leading them into bloody battle.
And the enemy is not just armed with muskets and cannon. Dark priests of an ancient order, wielding forbidden magic, have infiltrated Vordan to stop Janus by whatever means necessary…

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Price of Valor by Django Wexler is the fascinating tale. There’s everything a reader needs…action, suspense, war, magic, fantasy, and a bit of romance. I loved it. The pages were brought to life. I have never read a novel by Django Wexler but I will most definitely start. This was an engaging, dark, and intense read. Each character added to the plot…creating a build that only grew. The ending….has only left me with more need to read the next book by this talented writer. The Price of Valor has a lot to offer. A Queen, secrets, and enemies …danger hanging around everywhere. Overall, I recommend this brilliant masterpiece to readers worldwide. 

Review: The Weight of Him




Synopsis:

In The Weight of Him Billy Brennan undergoes an unforgettable journey in a startling attempt to resurrect his family and reignite hearts, his own most of all.

At four hundred pounds, Billy can always count on food. From his earliest memories, he has loved food’s colors, textures and tastes. The way flavors go off in his mouth. How food keeps his mind still and his bad feelings quiet. Food has always made everything better, until the day Billy’s beloved son Michael takes his own life.

Billy determines to make a difference in Michael’s memory and undertakes a public weight-loss campaign, to raise money for suicide prevention–his first step in an ambitious plan to save himself, and to save others. However, Billy’s dramatic crusade appalls his family, who want to simply try to go on, quietly, privately.

Despite his crushing detractors, Billy gains welcome allies: his community-at-large; a co-worker who lost his father to suicide; a filmmaker with his own dubious agenda; and a secret, miniature kingdom that Billy populates with the sub-quality dolls and soldiers he saves from disposal at the toy factory where he works. But it is only if Billy can confront the truth of the suffering and brokenness within and around him that he and others will be able to realize the recovery they need.

Told against the picturesque yet haunting backdrop of rural, contemporary Ireland, The Weight of Him is a big-hearted novel about loss and reliance that moves from tragedy to recrimination to what can be achieved when we take the stand of our lives.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review

The Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan was a heartfelt read. I felt the deep connection to the characters pain. An overweight father stressing over the loss and pain of losing his son. His wife seems to have pulled away from him completely. No touching her for pain of her moving away from his touch. The father is determined to lose weight and make it a memorable thing for his dead son. There are others who have lost someone due to suicide. The father isn’t alone. The tale carries the heavy weight of the dead son on every page. Loss, grief, blame, denial, and then finally admitting the feelings of having lost the child. His wife opens up…his other son is still alive. Life will move forward. Slowly but memory of their son stays with them forever. The loss of a child is something we all can relate to as well as losing a loved one to suicide.  Eating ourselves up for the death of that loved one. Thinking we could have done something different to stop it. Then, the question as to why the son killed himself plagued the father. Why…

The Weight of Him is a steady paced novel. Full of darkness overshadowing a family. They’re struggling with the death of a son and brother. The father’s journey of overcoming the darkness was powerfully told. I enjoyed watching him take on the pain and trying to keep his family together. Death has a way of breaking things. Hearts are broken. Readers take on a rollercoaster ride of emotions. Ethel Rohan has masterfully created a realistic telling of the sad reality of life. It’s not always picture perfect not a happily ever after. It’s a scale whose bad days sometimes out weigh the good ones. Overall, I recommend the book to all. 

Review: A Harvest of Thorns

Synopsis:

A beloved American corporation with an explosive secret. A disgraced former journalist looking for redemption. A corporate executive with nothing left to lose.

In Dhaka, Bangladesh, a garment factory burns to the ground, claiming the lives of hundreds of workers, mostly young women. Amid the rubble, a bystander captures a heart-stopping photograph—a teenage girl lying in the dirt, her body broken by a multi-story fall, and over her mouth a mask of fabric bearing the label of one of America’s largest retailers, Presto Omnishops Corporation.

Eight thousand miles away, at Presto’s headquarters in Virginia, Cameron Alexander, the company’s long-time general counsel, watches the media coverage of the fire in horror, wondering if the damage can be contained. When the photo goes viral, fanning the flames of a decades old controversy about sweatshops, labor rights, and the ethics of globalization, he launches an investigation into the disaster that will reach farther than he could ever imagine—and threaten everything he has left in the world.

A year later, in Washington, D.C., Joshua Griswold, a disgraced former journalist from the Washington Post, receives an anonymous summons from a corporate whistleblower who offers him confidential information about Presto and the fire. For Griswold, the challenge of exposing Presto’s culpability is irresistible, as is the chance, however slight, at redemption. Deploying his old journalistic skills, he builds a historic case against Presto, setting the stage for a war in the courtroom and in the media that Griswold is determined to win—both to salvage his reputation and to provoke a revolution of conscience in Presto’s boardroom that could transform the fashion industry across the globe. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

A Harvest of Thorns by Corban Addison is an amazing book. It captures the reality and fear of corruption. From CEOs to the slave trade, readers will get the experience as thought they were actually there or a part of it. The frightening discovery leads a strong willed battle to a company stationed back in the U.S. Secrets leaks. An unraveling of events will shine light to the darkness that is very much a reality in our own world. Corporations think they rule the world. But they can only get away with it for so long…and that’s when all goes to light. Court room battles, an investigation, and one determined journalist make this an interesting read. I was hooked. Many popular yet ugly topics come alive within the pages. Readers will dig through them as the content is released. Absolutely stunning…Corban Addison has captured the dark side of live and world we live within and turned it into one of the most heated moments in the fictional world. The ending was just as epic as the beginning. Fast-paced, intriguing, and a great story. Overall, I recommend it to readers everywhere. 

Review: One Wild Night



Synopsis:

Return to beautiful Briscoe Ranch Resort in Melissa Cutler’s next steamy installment of the One and Only Texas series, One Wild Night.

Get ready for the ride of your life…

A cowgirl at heart, Skye Martinez has a rebellious streak she’s determined to shake. Especially since she’s poised to take the reins of her family’s business at Briscoe Ranch Resort. It’s time for her to settle down and get serious about her future…right after one last night of fun with a handsome stranger she meets in the resort’s stable. But when a midnight horseback ride turns into a red-hot weekend with one of country music’s biggest stars, Skye’s world is rocked beyond her wildest dreams…

Gentry Wells rode his bad boy image all the way to the top of the country music charts. But churning out hits has dried up his creativity, and he can’t remember the last time his life was his own. Skye is a sexy distraction he can’t resist, especially since she breathes new life into his music. They bring out the wild side in each other, which is great for Gentry’s career—but a major threat to Skye’s. Too bad he’s fallen in love with her. With their hearts and futures on the line, can Gentry convince Skye to turn their joyride into a real chance to ride off into the sunset together?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Melissa Cutler has done it again! With her latest novel, One Wild Night, I was hooked. She always creates a beautifully told story. One that engages readers. Emotionally stunning. I loved reading it. Wild indeed. A young Hispanic woman is looking to settle down…yet all her dates have gone bad. Then, one dark night, she meets a sexy cowboy. Their horseback riding leads them both to a breathless night full of want, desires, and need. Something about him being so not what she’s looking for makes him perfect for her. Then, attraction comes into play. 

Gentry Wells is a bad boy aka country music singer. A cowboy at heart. He needs inspiration. When, he meets Skye at night in a barn, his fate has been sealed. So, has Skye’s. Neither one can ignore the instant chemistry. The heat comes off the pages. Raw, possessive, and addictive. One Wild Night is exactly as the title states. Melissa Cutler wrote a tale that not only brings a fiery passion but two sould desperately needing each other. Maybe they will find love after all…I enjoyed reading this contemporary romance. True love is the theme and it is masterfully shown on every last page. Overall, I highly recommend Melissa Cutler’s novel to all. 

Review: How to Mend a Broken Heart


Synopsis:

A compelling, heartbreaking tale that will make you laugh, cry and believe in the kindness of strangers. Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes, Lucy Dillon and Miranda Dickinson.

Life is good for nurse Kat. That is until the man she intended to marry legs it, she’s unexpectedly promoted to a position with too much responsibility, and a patient arrives on her ward under strange circumstances.

Susan is a mystery. She refuses to speak or interact with anyone, she’s obsessed with a book of fairy tales, and the only name in her diary is that of Rhys – a plumber she barely knows.

Down-to-earth Rhys is trying to get his life back on track after the death of his beloved brother. His mum is his priority, and she needs him as much as he needs her. Or at least she did, until she starts disappearing, leaving him to find comfort in the form of his brother’s girlfriend.

Complicated is an understatement.

As the lives of these three lost strangers intertwine, will they find a way to lay ghosts past, present and future to rest? And when the chance comes to mend their broken hearts, will they be brave enough to take it?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

How to Mend a Broken Heart by Anna Mansell is a tale for all. It’s about three people who dig through their lives finding a way to mend what’s broken. Happiness can only be found if determined to find it. Life is complicated and messy. Women everywhere can easily relate to the characters and their issues. Real world issues masterfully told in an entertaining way. Deeply emotional and thought-provoking. Mysterious, intriguing, and highly engaging to read. It was easy to follow along as the plot unfolded. Everything felt real. The pacing of the story is slightly slow but good. I haven’t read anything by Anna Mansell before, until now. I recommend her nove to all. Healing is an important themes that needs to be read and explored by everyone. 

Review: Checkmate (This is War)


Synopsis:

Introducing The Checkmate Duet from a secret duo of bestselling authors! Checkmate: This is War is an enemies to lovers romance that will have you crying with laughter one moment and screaming in frustration the next… but you’ll be begging to play the game with The King. 

Game on.
*** 
Travis King is the worst kind of a**hole.

He taunts me for being a good girl and mocks my high standards.

He’s cruel, crass, and has enough confidence to last two lifetimes.

And I hate him.
It wouldn’t matter so much if he were avoidable.

But considering he’s my older brother’s best friend and roommate, I see him more than I’d ever want to.

His sculpted abs and gorgeous eyes are wasted on such an arrogant man, which makes me hate him even more.
Even though I’ve had a crush on him since I was ten, the feelings weren’t mutual and he’s made that very clear.

He’s always loved getting under my skin and one night against my better judgment, I let him in my bed.

I’ve succumbed to his manw**re ways, but that doesn’t change a thing.

Because the King is about to get played at his own game–and lose.
Checkmate.
**Recommend for ages 18+ due to sexual content and adult language.**

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Checkmate: This is War by Kennedy Fox deserves 5-stars for the heat, action, and sexy plot. However, I give it the 4-stars due to the main characters. King is a grown man whose too sexy for his own good. His cocky arrogant ways make him a dick. Especially the way he treats Viola. What kind of man has sex with women when the one he wants is so close to where he’s sleeping with other women? I can see a man having sex with as many women as possible trying to get the one woman he can’t have out of his system…but for some fated reason, King can’t get Viola out of his system. Viola can’t ignore him either. She’s ticked off at him. She should hate him…plus, she should move as far away from that man. But she doesn’t. That’s what gets me. Women heroines would try to get as far away as possible and most men wouldn’t be like King. Their world is so messed up…that it almost reminds me of Romeo and Juliet in a way. But a lot more crazy. And stupid. The writing is fabulous. Other than the way the characters act, I’d say this would be a fascinating romance. If readers are just looking for a hot read sexy read than, yes, this is it. But if you’re like me and need that emotional attachment and understanding connection to the characters as well as the heat then, this is where it lacks some. The banter between characters is great. But the King’s treatment of Viola was great. I felt like Viola succumbed to his bad treatment of her due to pure desires distracting her. Overall, Checkmate: This is War was okay. 

Review: He Said She Said

Synopsis:

Joshua Adams is a Harvard-trained Philadelphia lawyer and managing partner of White & Marks, a prestigious 300-plus-person law firm. The story revolves around a disputed charge of sexual harassment by a former white female associate against a prominent black senior partner. In addition, crafty European interests seek to wrest control of the firm’s largest real estate client. Meanwhile, Joshua must contend with difficult personal issues: marital problems, a young daughter with an eating disorder and two beautiful but confusing women.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

He Said She Said by Frederick Blumberg is a novel completely focused on lawyers and the law work they do. Tons of terminology, that relates to law that I wasn’t familiar with…made it a little less easy for me to be swept up into the story. The drama on the other hand was quite a rollercoaster ride. The main character, Joshua Adams has his hands full. A wife who makes marriage less like marriage, a daughter with issues, and a major case at hand. I didn’t like Joshua Adams wife at all. I felt sympahty for the man throughout the book. The pages went by fast. They were filled with a lot of dialogue and action. Never a boring moment. Stressful for the main character but engaging for readers once the terminology is put behind them. I liked getting an insiders view and tour into a lawyer’s way of life both at work and personal too. It truly helped in showing what Joshua Adams was really like. Four amazing things happen inside this fictional piece. I woos happy with the way the story ended. There was some humor woven into the tale. It revolved around how women were a mystery to the main character. Some are hard to deal with while others are not. Trying to figure women out…is tough. Those moments made me laugh. Men will never understand women fully. Overall, He Said She Said is an entertaining read. I recommend to readers everywhere. 

Review: The R.E.M. Effect




Synopsis:

One pill. Countless side effects.
From J.M. Lanham comes a heart-pumping thrill ride that puts a science-fiction twist on the future of medicine, technology, and philosophy.
It’s 2021 and Paul Freeman just landed a job with Asteria Pharmaceuticals, a world leader in revolutionary drug development. Paul knows the company’s future is riding on the success of their latest product – a sleeping pill designed to interact with the human genome to deliver the perfect eight-hour sleep cycle.
Just a few blocks from Asteria’s Atlanta headquarters, troubled self-help guru Donny Ford is selling a different kind of drug, empowering followers to take control of their lives using a sacred meditation technique skeptics believe may have already taken his mind to a dangerous place.
3,000 miles away, war-hardened journalist, Claire Connor sits captive in a top-secret facility hidden deep in the Costa Rican jungle, guilty of two offenses: seeking help for a sleep disorder, and asking too many questions.
When these worlds collide, the three will discover just how far some companies are willing to go to protect the bottom line.
—————————

Be on the lookout for The R.E.M. Project (The Ocula Series Book 2) coming spring 2017.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The R.E.M. Effect by J.M. Lanham is one brilliant science fiction thriller. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The writing style blew me away. Every pages adds to the intense situations. Danger, medical science, and more. J.M Lanham has created characters that make this a fascinating read. Each one adds to the plot. Making it build up into one explosive book. Those interested in pharmaceuticals, technology and action…then this is definitely a recommended read. Despite the topics introduced the material was super easy to read and follow along. I personally love anything that deals with corruption and the government doing things it shouldn’t. The R.E.M. Effect has all of that. The human brain, is a great topic and it’s used in dark way. Humans are always experimenting on and for something…how far it goes can be deadly and frightening. Overall, I recommend this book to readers everywhere and look forward to reading The R.E.M. Project. 

Review: The Oarsman




Synopsis:

In the novel, The Oarsman, a magical river begins singing out, and a dying man suddenly aches to know if the paradise at its end is real enough to fill his heart. He hires an oarsman to take him upstream, but a twisted encounter sends them back to revisit every role the man has played in his long life.

A merchant hoarding, an artist trying to capture love with a brush, a warrior looking for peace in war, and a dreamer imagining himself a knight to fight a dragon — these, and more, were faces of the man.

As forces try to derail their quest, and as they row further back into the man’s past, the man begins to suspect that the oarsman is more than he seems.
The Oarsman, with its combination of adventure, fantasy, and spiritual inspiration will delight any reader, and also excite the currents of the river flowing through all our hearts.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Oarsman by Zubin Mathai is one of the most fascinating reads I have read. It begins with a man set on a journey. A journey to finding that peace he so desperately yearns for…yet resides within him the whole time. Peaceful, engaging, and inspiring. Readers will enjoy this tale.  A fantasy that allows readers to explore the character’s deep soul. As the story unfolds the man has a lot to learn before his journey is complete. Man struggles. Life is complex and difficult. But if we truly allow ourselves time to discover, we can find what we search for inside ourselves. I loved the deep meanings found on the pages. Rich, entertaining, and beautifully told. The book almost makes life look like a maze. We all must find our way to the end (opening). Overall, I highly recommend The Oarsman to all. 

Review: The Mortifications

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Synopsis:

Derek Palacio’s stunning, mythic novel marks the arrival of a fresh voice and a new chapter in the history of 21st century Cuban-American literature.

In 1980, a rural Cuban family is torn apart during the Mariel Boatlift. Uxbal Encarnación—father, husband, political insurgent—refuses to leave behind the revolutionary ideals and lush tomato farms of his sun-soaked homeland. His wife Soledad takes young Isabel and Ulises hostage and flees with them to America, leaving behind Uxbal for the promise of a better life. But instead of settling with fellow Cuban immigrants in Miami’s familiar heat, Soledad pushes further north into the stark, wintry landscape of Hartford, Connecticut. There, in the long shadow of their estranged patriarch, now just a distant memory, the exiled mother and her children begin a process of growth and transformation.

Each struggles and flourishes in their own way: Isabel, spiritually hungry and desperate for higher purpose, finds herself tethered to death and the dying in uncanny ways. Ulises is bookish and awkwardly tall, like his father, whose memory haunts and shapes the boy’s thoughts and desires. Presiding over them both is Soledad. Once consumed by her love for her husband, she begins a tempestuous new relationship with a Dutch tobacco farmer. But just as the Encarnacións begin to cultivate their strange new way of life, Cuba calls them back. Uxbal is alive, and waiting.

Breathtaking, soulful, and profound, The Mortifications is an intoxicating family saga and a timely, urgent expression of longing for one’s true homeland.

— The Millions – 2nd half of the 2016 book preview
— New York Times Book Review, 100 Notable Books of 2016

 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Mortifications by Derek Palacio is a fascinating debut novel. This Cuban-American literature takes readers deep into the lives of immigrants. Human needs and wants are explored throughout the story. Home, faith, family and survival are just several themes readers can find. I found it enchanting. Derek Palacio has brilliantly created a Read that will shutter readers’ hearts everywhere. The novel provokes strong emotions and realistic attachments from readers to the characters. Each character presents his or her life to readers openly. The struggles are believable. I found that the title, The Mortifications was indeed a perfect name for this book. There were shameful moments…within the pages. However, this novel showed me the hardness the immigrants like the Cuban Americans faced while trying to create their new lives. It was a refreshing reading experience from what I usually read. The journey is worthy of reader’s attention. The Ecarnacions are a dysfunctional family that experience all the trials life brings and takes from us. Vibrant, entertaining, and bold. Overall, I recommend this writer’s novel to readers worldwide.

Review: The Key to Cabo (A Rock Pounder Novel)


Synopsis:

Danger is a way of life for Rock Pounder, so when the DEA asks him to recover $250 million in drug money hidden somewhere in Mexico, the 10% finder s fee makes the risk worthwhile for Rock and his team. The money comes from an Asian drug lord for the purchase of drug routes into the United States from a Mexican cartel, which makes twice as much danger for Rock and his team. When his beautiful publisher Penelope Dickens Frost finds herself in possession of a key that leads to the drug money, Rock finds trouble on more levels than he ever expected. 

Penelope is one of the only women who hasn’t immediately fallen for Rock s charms, but things heat up as the two of them race across the Mexican desert on Rock s dirt bike, with Mexican drug lord El Raton in hot pursuit.

 From Dallas to Cabo San Lucas and into mainland Mexico, Rock and Penelope follow the money trail, with Rock s unique team aiding in the escapade. But someone on the inside is betraying them. And publisher Penelope Dickens Frost proves to be almost more than even Rock Pounder can handle in this high-octane thriller, the second book in the Rock Pounder series.”

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

A Key to Cabo (A Rock Pounder Novel) by Dave Harrold is a great adventure. The story kicks off with danger, a cat and mouse chase, and escaping death. There are tough female characters as well as male characters. The plot is fast-paced and immediately appeals to me. I was intrigued by what was to come next. The words were easy to read and follow along to…the scenes buzzed with excitement. There was always some kind of action happening whether it was fighting the bad guys or hot and heavy scenes between the main character and women. 

Rock Pounder works for the government. His assignments send him to dangerous regions with life and death hanging over him. There were times he could have died easily but was then rescued. The almost dying with his kind of career is beleivable. However, being in that kind of business, Rock should have been more alert as an active agent. If he was more alert and paying attention there would have been no sloppiness. His sloppiness caused him to be in situations where his life could have been forfeited. But somehow, there was a woman with a gun saving his butt or a former enemy holding a gun at him…then telling him that they were going to be partners. That was the unexpected part. 

A Key to Carbo was suspenseful. Dave Harrold kept in guessing. Rock Ponder, the main character has a way of doing things that are spontaneous and last minute. Readers will never know what direction Rock’s jobs will take him. From doing assignments to finding out at the last minute a hit has been put on his head, to weathering a dusty dessert that gets freezing at night, readers will keep turning the pages. 

Then, there the romance bits. Rock has a fantasy thing for his publisher. Penelope. She likes Rock too. However, she keeps him off limits. Strictly business only…until she’s taken into his world of danger, guns, and violence. Penelope discovers she can’t ignore Rock but she doesn’t want a life of looking over her shoulder every time. This puts their relationship at the make it or break it point. Rock is a man who has to be doing some kind of action thrilling assignment. There’s only a matter of time until his next assignment pops up…and that leaves readers like myself wondering where and what Rock will be doing next time. Until then, the suspense and intrigue is worth reading this tale. Overall, I recommend it to all.