Review: Rejected Writers Take the Stage

Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

Review: No One But You



Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: The Man Who Walked Out of the Jungle




Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

Review: Mr. Either Or 

Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: The Darkness 

Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

Review: The Glorious Heresies 





Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

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



Synopsis:
LOVE TO THE RESCUE



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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: White Fur




Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

Review: The Evaporation of Sofi Snow



Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Rites of Azathoth




Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

Author Interview with Kristi Saare Duarte about Her Novel The Transmigrant






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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sly, spiritual, and sexy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Review: Whispering Winds




Synopsis:

Healing is a power that fifteen-year-old, Brenna Finlayson, has fought long and hard to subdue. When a harebrained idea suddenly occurs to her, she risks losing everything by revealing herself to the one person she fears losing the most. 

  

Brenna’s spontaneous unveiling brings about the revealing of other truths. She, and her twin sister, Keely, have destinies to fulfill. Destinies that require them to fight. maybe even kill. As an innate healer, violence is the last thing Brenna wants.  
In an attempt to live a normal, peaceful life, Brenna rejects her heritage, choosing a different path. But the path she chooses doesn’t bring her the normalcy she was hoping for. 

Not even close. 

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Whispering Winds Unveiled by Tiffany Garnett is another great YA read. For fans of the paranormal genre this needs to be added to your list. Two sisters, twins, have destinies to fulfill. Like most charcaters in this environment one of them isn’t too thrilled about her destiny. Avoiding her path, Brenna still faces the life she tries to avoid. The plot was intriguing. A bit slow at first but worthy of reading. A new adventure full of drama and twists. Brenna is a charcater that is easy to relate to…her life isn’t easy and tough choices have to be made. Overall, I recommend Whispering Winds Unveiled by Tiffany Garnett.

New Release: For Love or Freedom by Lili Mahoney

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

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

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

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

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

#Giveawayhttp://bit.ly/2r7s06P

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Review: Threads of Supsicion

Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review

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

Review: Dragonsoul

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Train to the Edges of the Moon





Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

Review: Under a Desert Sky


Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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





Synopsis:

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

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

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



Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

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

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

Review: Despair to Deliverance 





Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review

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

Review: Chocolate Cake and Chaos





Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Doughnuts and Deception





Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: The House on Sagamore Road

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4 stars

Review

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

Review: Rik’s





Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Turn Me Loose





Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: The Beloved Hope Chest 

Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Upon A Spring Breeze 

Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: The Chocolate Touch

Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

Review: Finding Our Forever




Synopsis:

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Spring Fever



Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Luxe 2

Synopsis

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

Review: The Gay Preacher’s Wife





Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

Review: Why Am I Still Single?





Synopsis:

Have you been asking yourself the question, Why am I still single? Do you find yourself repeatedly dating the same types of men over and over again? Have you felt like giving up on love and happily ever after? Are you tired of settling for less than you what you truly want and deserve in your relationships? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you cant afford NOT to read Why Am I Still Single by author, life coach, speaker, and therapist, Giovanna Burgess Geathers. Discover what may be holding you back from finding the love you want and learn how to identify your unhealthy relationship patterns and how your past issues and experiences may be directing and determining your current behaviors and decisions. Written from a practical, spiritual and psychological perspective, it is a combination of the author’s experiences, theoretical knowledge and insight as she seeks to help women gain a deeper understanding of their relationships with men, with others, but most importantly, with themselves. 

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Why Am I Still Single by Giovanna Burgess Geathers, LPC is a great self-help read. Inside, I found well-written book by a woman expert. Many relationships fail. Due to that people feel hopeless in finding love…and even go as far as to believe love doesn’t exist. Questions pop up when one is in this situation. Giovanna Burgess Geathers, LPC is experienced in giving mental, emotional, and behavioral health services. After reading her book, I can tell that she knows what she writes. This book helps guide readers like myself to better understanding ourselves and our relationships. There are many thought provoking questions that made me really think…as well as scenarios to look through and find insights as to what is happening. Exploring, understanding, and learning…can be done by following the writer through every page. I highly recommend Why I Am Still Single to readers everywhere.

Review: Daddy’s Gone A Hunting





Synopsis:

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

Review:

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

Review: Sitting Pretty (Break Away)

Synopsis:

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

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

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

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

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

Review: How to Design a Duke




Synopsis:

He’s charming. She’s skeptical. 

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

It’ll never work. Or will it? 

Lady Laura Abbey has much adjusting to do. 

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

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

Fighting his past will be Oakley’s biggest obstacle. 

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

Review: The Streets have No King

Synopsis:

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

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

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

Review: The Bridal Squad






Synopsis:

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

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

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

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: Love Happens

Synopsis:

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

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

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

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

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

Review: 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.