Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Review: A Soldier Finds His Way by Irene Onorato


After a painful youth spent in foster homes, Special Forces soldier Edward Giordano has all but given up on love. Returning to New York from a dangerous mission in Costa Rica with no one to welcome him home, he knows he must find a way through his bitterness and embrace faith, or he’s destined for misery and loneliness. But he never expects that saving someone else’s life might help him save his own…

Audra Lorenzo is a first-year school teacher with a bright future. All she’s missing is a man to share her happiness. Her father wants her to rekindle her relationship with her ex-boyfriend, but she can’t stop thinking about the handsome, kind, and courageous soldier who rescued her from a near-deadly car accident…

Edward too, has not stopped not thinking of Audra. After making peace with God and with his difficult past, he’s ready to re-connect with her and reveal his feelings. Edward knows that opening his heart will mean risking pain, but he’s prepared for whatever comes—from a perilous deployment to Audra’s meddling father…

ebook, 200 pages
Expected publication: October 11th 2016 by Lyrical Shine

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is October 11th, 2016.

Disclaimer:  This book is in the Christian fiction genre which I was not aware before starting.  While I have read several stories in this genre, I do tend to struggle with this genre if it has too much religion, spirituality or religious references.  This book has it all so for others who feel as I do, this may not be a good choice.

This book started out strong for me.  I can't go in to details as it is not outlined in the synopsis but how Audra and Edward come to meet was exciting and somewhat original.  It is clear that this meeting will set Edward on an emotional journey that you want to be a part of.  The attraction is gradual and believable.

Where the story turned for me was after Audra and Edward cam e back to the real world.  This is where I found there was too much reference to God.  When Audra started her days reading the bible, I knew that the fine line between spirituality and preaching was being crossed.  I lean towards the side that it was preachy, as it seemed random compared to the beginning of the story.  Almost like it was making up for only fleeting references to faith prior to that.  The rest of the story continued this way for me.

As I do not want to knock this genre, I do feel I have to add my two cents.  In order to appeal to the masses, and not just the niche market of Christian fiction, I feel stories need to be very careful in how they balance the religious aspect.  Too many bible references can alienate the audience and distract from an otherwise good story.  This is how I felt when I read this story.

This leaves me in a predicament on how I should rate this story.  I do not want my personal opinion to negatively impact a story that was good without the religious references.  With that in mind, I will base my opinion on the story without taking this in to account.  Fans of Christian fiction should enjoy this story.




About the Author


Irene Onorato was born and raised in Bronx, New York. Her father, a first-generation American whose parents were born in Italy, was an Army veteran who had served with the 178th combat engineers during WWII. He told numerous stories of battles, hardships, tragedies and triumphs. The glimpses he gave into the hearts of many American warriors would later become the inspiration for much of Irene’s writings.

In 1972, a few months after graduating high school, Irene met James Onorato, a soldier who had just returned from Vietnam. After dating two weeks, they married, raised three children, and are still happily married today.

Irene and James, both radiation protection technicians, retired from the nuclear power industry in 2014 and now reside in Louisiana.


Book Blitz: The Rock Star's Wedding by Demelza Carlton

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Buy now on Amazon. Only $3.99!

The Rock Star’s Wedding (Romance Island Resort #6), the final book in Demelza Carlton’s Romance Island Resort series about a romance-novel-reading rock star looking for love, is out now! She’s celebrating the release with a very special giveaway – The Rock Star’s Wedding RING. A gold and pearl ring valued at $300 that’s a custom made replica of the ring Jay gives to his bride in the book. You can enter the giveaway HERE: http://blog.ravenpublicity.com/giveaways/demelzacarlton/ Five women. One rock star. Who will be the bride in the celebrity wedding of the year? Audra is back from Antarctica. Phuong the email-order bride is free, acquitted of all charges. Flavia's forgiven Jay, now she knows who's really responsible. Gaia the billionaire is determined to get what she wants. And Penelope's sporting a pink diamond engagement ring. The weather may be as hot as Hell with the mother of all storms brewing off the coast, but Xan knows one thing for certain: come fire or flood or ex-fiancés, there will be a rock star wedding at Romance Island Resort. But the question on everyone's lips is…who will be Jay Felix's bride?

18

You can get your copy of The Rock Star’s Wedding at the following retailers: 
 Amazon: http://www.smarturl.it/rir6
 iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/the-rock-stars-wedding/id1118040623?mt=11
 Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-rock-stars-wedding-demelza-carlton/1123854438?ean=2940153041445
Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Demelza_Carlton_The_Rock_Star_s_Wedding?id=tqvhDAAAQBAJ
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/the-rock-star-s-wedding-1  

Would you like a sneak peek of what’s to come? If you haven’t read the series yet, there might be a spoiler or two in there for the earlier books in the series – you have been warned. wedding-ring-giveaway

 But if you’d like to start reading the series, the first book, Maid for the Rock Star, is FREE.   A hot Aussie rock star looking for love. Why did he have to pick HER hotel? A maid at the exclusive Romance Island Resort, Audra knows how to handle rock stars, billionaires and celebrities. She keeps their secrets, cleans up their mess and makes sure their holiday is a memorable one. There's just one rule: no relationships with guests. And Audra never breaks the rules. Jay Felix is rock royalty and he knows it. When one of his bandmates threatens to break up the band, he goes into hiding at the Romance Island Resort. Looking for a distraction, he sets his sights on the unattainable Audra. But what's a rock star to do when the girl he wants is the one woman he can't have? Welcome to paradise, where the romance is as hot as the weather and the

tides aren't all that's surging beneath the surface.   maid-v3-3d
You can download your FREE copy from the following retailers:
 Amazon: http://smarturl.it/B00Y9MUCEO iBooks: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/maid-for-the-rock-star/id1011715116?mt=11
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/maid-for-the-rock-star-demelza-carlton/1122195054?ean=2940151990455
 Google Play: http://play.google.com/store/books/details/Demelza_Carlton_Maid_for_the_Rock_Star?id=nXL1CQAAQBAJ
Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/maid-for-the-rock-star  

Okay…now for the sneak peek! Here goes:   Xan took a moment to stop herself from laughing. How much had Jay had to drink this time? "Why are you so set on getting married?" she asked carefully. "The mail order bride, the virginity auction, the reality TV show…and now an old friend who worked here before Meier hired me. If you ask me, it smacks of desperation. Which is pretty strange, considering how easily you seem to charm the women you want. What am I missing, Jay?" "Angel's wedding," he mumbled, so quietly she barely caught the words. "Your bandmate, right? But if it's her wedding, she's the one getting married, not you." "The invitation said to bring a partner." Xan waved her hand. "But you know that's just a courtesy, right? If you don't know the name of your guest's partner when you write the invitation, which can be printed a year in advance, that's what you put on it, so they can still bring a partner along if they want, and she or he still has an invitation." "Not this time. Not when it's from Angel. It's her telling me to bring a partner because she thinks I need one." He eyed the jetty boards, avoiding her gaze. "And you always do what she says?" Xan asked. He looked up. "Fuck yes! I like living, with all my bits attached, thanks." "But it didn't say wife, did it? Your invitation? It just said partner, right?" Xan pressed. "Yeah. The wife bit…that bit…that was me." He kicked a rock off the jetty. "I said I'd come with my wife, and we'd be so in love we'd put the other couple in the shade." Tempting fate, of course. The beginning of a true Greek tragedy. Or a Roman farce, seeing as this involved Jay Felix. "You could just bring a partner for the night. You don't seem to have a problem keeping a girl interested that long. I'm sure there are hundreds of girls who'd kill for the chance to attend a wedding with you." "Bring a fangirl to Angel's wedding?" Jay's eyes widened in horror. "She'd crucify me. Once Jo was done with me, because she'd never forgive me, either. This won't be a public wedding. You'll see. Angel won't allow any media on the island. Shit, she'll probably have armed security guards stationed along the beaches, ready to shoot down any aircraft within range, drone or manned." Xan still didn't understand what passed for logic in Jay's mind. "But she'd be happy have a reality TV show starlet or some girl whose virginity you bought in an online auction at her wedding." She almost added something about his black widow mail order bride, but stopped herself in time. Phuong's betrayal was a low blow that still had the power to upset him. Xan might not like Jay, but she wasn't that cruel. "She wouldn't have known," Jay said. Xan snorted. "That reality TV show aired its first episode last week. The whole country knows about your very public search for a wife. Paige told me the studio is in talks to sell the rights to this season to one of the big networks in the US. Everyone wants to watch the music world's hottest bachelor find a wife, live in their living room. Your Angel would have to be living under a rock in a bunker with no access to the outside world not to know about THAT." Jay sighed heavily. "She's not my angel. Never was, never will be." His shoulders slumped and all the fight went out of him. Finally, Xan understood. "How long
have you been in love with her?"06 "What's it matter?" Angrily, Jay swept the remaining rocks off the jetty with his foot. "She's marrying that psycho, not me. And Audra says cheaters never get a happily ever after, so I'm fucked on all sides now. Doesn't matter who I go to her wedding with, because whoever she is, we won't be happy." He laughed bitterly. "Because if I cheated on Audra by getting with fangirls on just that one farewell tour, I've cheated on Angel hundreds, maybe thousands of times. Doesn't matter that there was no love or relationship involved with any of them. She'll never want me." "Sometimes the one person we want is the one we can't have," Xan said. That was the whole bit about the hero's quest in all the ancient stories, right? A hero haring off after some impossible goal? "Would you get back with a guy who cheated on you?" Jay challenged. Xan hesitated. Would she get back with Jerome? "No," she answered finally. "It's too big a betrayal. I hope his dick shrivels up and no one ever loves him again." Jay plucked at his shorts. "You want my dick to do what? Hey, there's nothing about that in any of the books. Never being loved is enough, don't you think?" Yes. Maybe it was. Xan would settle for never seeing Jerome again, to be honest, let alone any shrivelling. Except….there was the problem of the reopening of the Mangrove Hotel. Maybe she and Jay could help each other out. "You know what?" Xan said. "If you come with me to an official function in town next month, I'll make a deal with you. If you still can't find an acceptable partner to attend your bandmate's wedding with, I'll go with you." "And marry me, too?" Jay realised his mistake as soon as the words left his lips. "Okay, sorry. I shouldn't have said that. Forget I said it. She'll already know you're the hotel manager here, and she won't believe…" "That's right," Xan interrupted. "What do you say? Is it a deal?" "Yeah." Jay eyed her with what Xan might have called relief. "Thanks, Xan. I guess that makes us friends, doesn't it?" Xan nodded, biting her tongue before she blurted out the bit about her friendship coming with an absolute lack of benefits. Instead, she wished him a nice evening, and headed back to her house, vowing to help him find a better date for the wedding than her. Whatever it took. And she had to meet this Angel, who had the power to both terrify and enthral a man like Jay Felix.    

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Book Blast & Giveaway: Unbound Pursuit by Lindsay McKenna


As Wyatt plans a dangerous operation to catch the drug dealers, 
Tal fears she could lose the man she loves.


UNBOUND PURSUIT
DELOS Series 2B1
Lindsay McKenna
Releasing Sept 29, 2016
Blue Turtle Publishing


You met Tal and Wyatt's in Tangled Pursuit, book 2 in the Delos Series. Read their continued story.

Captain Talia Culver risked her heart again for Navy SEAL Wyatt Lockwood. The brave, cocky Texan was worth the risk and Talia couldn’t be happier. Still recovering from injuries she received from her last mission in Afghanistan, Wyatt whisks her away to meet his family on their sprawling Texas ranch. But things don’t go as planned when Wyatt hears the local gossip that his drug dealing ex-friend is out of prison and planning a drug run across the Lockwood ranch. Wyatt wants to enjoy some hard-earned down time with Tal, but he can’t ignore the danger at his backdoor.

As Wyatt plans a dangerous operation to catch the drug dealers, Tal fears she could lose the man she loves.


“There they are, darlin’—my family is waiting for you,” Wyatt Lockwood said, his hand resting lightly against the small of Tal Culver’s back. It was the day after Christmas, and the bright blue December sky was a wide vault above them, showing the flat, arid Texas landscape below it. The Culberson County Airport was located three miles outside of Van Horn, Texas. It had just a couple of runways; as airports went, it wasn’t much to write home about.
 

Tal smiled, taking her time because her broken ankle was in a special supportive boot and she refused to use her cane in front of his family. That was just beneath her Marine Corps pride. She might limp a little, but she’d be damned if she were meeting her fiancé’s family with  a cane in her hand.
 

Wyatt, six feet tall, his shoulders as broad as the state he was born in, was a former SEAL and the man she loved. She felt his large hand on the small of her back, monitoring her movement, the depth of her limp, and he cut his stride to remain at her side. As an ex-SEAL and a naturally badass Texan, he was protective of her whether she needed it or not, even more so lately because she wasn’t fully mobile. She was a bit like a bird with a broken wing right now, but Tal was working hard on a daily basis in the gym at Artemis Security to restrengthen that shattered ankle of hers.
 

Tal saw a whole passel of people behind the cyclone fence between the control tower building and the asphalt apron where the Delos Gulfstream jet had just landed. The copilot was out the door, opening up a side panel to retrieve their luggage. “Your family looks nice,” she murmured to Wyatt, catching his glinting gray gaze. The man was impossibly, ruggedly handsome, his brown hair cut military-short and topped by a gray Stetson.

“They’re much nicer than I am,” he drawled, winking at her, his hand moving more surely against her back. 

“Take your time. You can’t hit your normal stride with that boot on, Ms. Culver. They’ll wait patiently for us to get to the gate.”
 

She snorted softly, glad that she’d worn a black wool pantsuit and a white angora turtleneck sweater beneath it. The temperature was in the forties, the wind sharp and gusting at times. “You’re right. I hate being like this, Wyatt. I wish my ankle would get over itself so I could be a hundred percent again.”
 

Wyatt gave her a sympathetic glance. Tal looked good enough to eat, her black hair curling down below her shoulders, the sun sparking blue highlights here and there in it as she walked. “You’ll get there,” he told her gruffly. Tal was the CEO of Artemis, the Delos charities’ in-house security company. He worked with her as the head of mission planning at Artemis. As a captain in the Marine Corps, she’d run one of the two sniper units out of Bagram in Afghanistan for five years. And she’d been damn good at it. He’d chased her for three of those years while he was stationed there with his SEAL team, trying to get the time of day from her.
 

“I feel like whining,” Tal admitted, ashamed, holding his gaze for a moment. 

 
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See how it all began in Tangled Pursuit



Lindsay McKenna lives her life as a risk taker, and it shines through the books she loves to write: romance, adventure and suspense. She started writing at age thirteen and continues to hone her writing skills to this day. She sold her first romance novel in 1981. The rest is history.

Because she went into the military, this experience became the backbone of her writing—she is credited with writing the first military romance novel (Captive of Fate, 1983, Silhouette Special Edition) and has created a thriving sub-genre within the romance field! As a New York Times Best Selling author, she has sold 23 million books and in 32 foreign languages in her career thus far. Her many experiences in the U.S. Navy are backdrop for her understanding of the military in general, and also her very successful Morgan’s Mercenaries, which is an ongoing series in Silhouette to this day! Forty-five books strong!

Lindsay has gone Indie in 2015 and has created a new family saga on par with Morgan’s Mercenaries It is known as the DELOS SERIES. There will be paperback and eBooks created under Blue Turtle Publishing, her company for her fans. Readers who love Morgan and his family are bound to fall in love with the Culver family. Delos is romantic suspense, which Lindsay is well known for. It took her five years to create and bring DELOS to her readers. It was worth the wait, but we’ll let you decide that.

Lindsay loves to hear from her readers and loves to know what they’d like to see her write next. Stay up with the latest on the Delos Series here. Please visit her Web site at www.lindsaymckenna.com. And be sure to sign up for her free quarterly newsletter. It contains exclusive content found nowhere else on the Net. Plus, giveaways and other surprises, to her loyal and faithful subscribers!




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Release Blast & Giveaway: A Sister's Wish by Shelley Shepard Gray



A respectable young woman finds herself falling for 
an Amish man from the wrong side of the tracks.


A SISTER'S WISH
The Charmed Amish Life #3
Shelley Shepard Gray
Releasing on Sept 27th, 2016
Avon Inspire


In Shelley Shepard Gray’s third book in her Charmed Amish Life series, a respectable young woman finds herself falling for an Amish man from the wrong side of the tracks.

Amelia Kinsinger is the perfect Amish woman—at least according to her neighbors. And while Amelia takes pride in her role as homemaker, she’s also harboring a secret: She’s been in love with bad boy Simon Hochstetler for as long as she can remember. Too bad he’s about as far from “perfect” as an Amish man could get… but that’s exactly why she’s so drawn to him.

Life hasn’t been kind to Simon. He ran away from an abusive home at fifteen and things went downhill from there. Eventually, Simon landed in prison. But the experience changed him. Now back in Charm as a grown man, he’s determined to make a new life for himself and not think too much about his wild past…unless it pertains to Amelia.

He’s loved Amelia for years. To him, she represents everything good and kind in the world. When he realizes that she returns his affections, he starts calling on her in secret, even though her older brother Lukas—who just happens to be Simon’s best friend—has made it perfectly clear that Amelia deserves better. Simon disagrees and believes he’s the only one who can truly make her happy.

But when Amelia gets hurt, it sets off a chain of events that forces them to consider their future together—and face their past mistakes. There’s a chance for love… but only if Simon dares to trust Amelia with the secrets of his past.






Prologue

Thirteen years ago

He had almost made it.
 

All he had to do was make it another two miles, then he’d be able to catch the bus to New Philly and eventually Mansfield. After that? Simon Hochstetler reckoned it didn’t really matter. He would be free and that was good enough.
 

But for now, all he had to do was ignore the pain in his side, make it over the next bend, then finally hike through the northern edge of the Kinsingers’ property. Once he did all that, the road would be flat. A whole lot easier to walk on.
 

He winced as he shifted his stuffed army-green backpack on his left shoulder, wishing that his right one wasn’t as bruised as it was. ’Course, if he was making wishes, he should probably start with wishing that he didn’t have a black eye or cut lip. From there he could wish his ribs weren’t hurting, either.
His father had been in fine form tonight.
 

He walked on, patting his pocket, feeling for the wad of money he’d been saving for the last year and kept hidden in an old coffee can near the woods. How long was it going to last? He had no idea how far eighty-eight dollars lasted in the city, but he was fairly sure it wouldn’t be far enough. He was going to need to figure out a way to make some cash, quick.
 

Feeling panicked, he stopped to readjust his backpack.
 

“Simon? Hey! I thought that was you,” Amelia Kinsinger called out, her voice ringing through the empty field like a bright, merry cowbell. “Whatcha doing?”
 

He froze. Then, attempting to gather himself, he turned to watch her trot closer. A bright smile was on her face. She looked really pleased to have spied him.
 

Though he knew better than to stay, he remained where he was. Even at only nine years old, little Amelia was the prettiest thing he’d ever seen. White-blond hair, crystal-blue eyes, and pale skin that never seemed to tan, she was everything delicate and perfect. She was also sheltered and his best friend’s baby sister—and the only person who seemed to think he was worth something. Both of her brothers had confided that Amelia had a terrible crush on him. They’d thought it was embarrassing. Levi had even apologized for her.
He hadn’t needed an apology, though. Simon had always thought Amelia’s infatuation made him something special. He’d never let on that he noticed the way she always looked at him. He never acted annoyed when she rushed over to tell him about her day. Instead of making fun of her, he’d been patient and often sat with her when her older siblings were too busy.
 

But that said, he’d always taken care for her not to see him like this. He wanted to look worthy in her eyes. Not beaten and bruised.
 

“Can’t talk right now, Amy,” he bit out as he started forward. He took care to keep his gaze fixated on the ground in front of him. Maybe then she wouldn’t catch sight of his eye.
 

But, as usual, she didn’t listen to his warning. Instead, she picked up her pace. “Did you know that the sun is almost set? Where you going? It’s going to be dark soon.”
 

“Ain’t none of your business.”
 

She stumbled, then caught herself before he reached out to steady her.
 

“Slow down, wouldja?” she said.
 

“Can’t.”
 

She sighed. “Why are ya being like this?” she asked, hurt in her tone. “All I asked is—”
 

“Simon! What happened to you?”
 

Unable to help himself, he drew to a stop. Then, because he probably was never going to see her again anyway, he allowed himself to lift his chin and let her look her fill. As he’d expected, she was staring at him in concern, her pale pink lips parted in wonder. And, he suspected, pity.
 

“Go on home, Amelia.”
 

“Did you . . . did your daed do that?” she whispered, letting him know that his secret had never actually been one. “Do you need something? Do ya need some help? ’Cause my daed’s home. If we went to him, I bet he’d help ya.”
 

That was why she meant so much to him. Here he was, bruised and battered, running away from home, and she thought he could still be saved. “Your daed can’t help.”
 

Tentatively, she held out a hand. Then, to his shock, she swiped at a patch of skin just to the side of his lip. When he flinched at her touch, she looked at him with sad eyes. “Sorry, but your lip is bleeding.” She held up her finger to show the stain.
 

Seeing his blood on her hand was one of the worst things he’d ever experienced. It symbolized everything that was his life . . . and everything he didn’t want it to be. Unable to help himself, he grabbed her hand and roughly swiped it on his shirt. “Wash your hands when you get home, hear me?”
 

“Oh. All right. But . . . but, Simon, won’t you come with me? You could wash up, too.”
 

“Nee. I’ve gotta go.”
 

“You’re leaving, aren’t you?” she asked softly. “Just like your brother and sister did.”
 

He couldn’t lie to her. “Jah. I’m leaving. Just like Jeremy and Tess did.”
 

“Please, don’t.”
 

As much as he would have liked to do anything she asked, he couldn’t do that. “Listen, do me a favor, wouldja? Don’t tell nobody you saw me.”
 

Her bottom lip trembled. “But—”
 

“They’ll find out soon enough. Just . . . just let me go, okay?” Then he did what he’d sworn he’d never do. He looked at her directly in the eyes and let her see his pain. “I have to do this, Amy.”
 

Around a ragged sigh, looking so very sad, she nodded.
 

“Okay.”
 

“Bye, Amelia. You take care of yourself.”
 

He started walking before she could reply. Before he did something stupid and followed her to her house. Before he thought about staying just a little longer so he could see her again.
 

He started walking because no matter how difficult and scary it was to leave, he knew for certain it was always going to be a whole lot worse at home.
 



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Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time Hold Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.



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Monday, 26 September 2016

Review: By Firelight by Janice Maynard


Hot Arctic Nights
In North Pole, Alaska, Christmas spirit is everywhere—except in Hallie Prentiss’s heart. At least her
two-week stint managing the Dancing Elves B&B will pay the bills. Then she gets a look at long-term guest Daniel Reynolds. Whether dressed as Santa or (even better) wearing next to nothing, the man is gorgeous, charming, and sexy as hell. Workaholic Hallie is tempted to take a walk on the naughty side for once. But when she does, will she ever want to leave?

By Firelight
There’s nothing like nearly freezing to death on the Appalachian Trail to make a woman want to live a little. And when Madison Tierney stumbles upon Grant Monroe’s mountain cabin during a blizzard, she’s gripped by something more than gratitude. Soon, the glow of firelight sparks hot, sweet kisses…and the start of a Christmas adventure she’ll never forget.

ebook, 200 pages
Expected publication: October 11th 2016 by Lyrical Shine

Terri's Thoughts

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  The expected publication date is October 11th, 2016.

I must admit I was slightly confused regarding this book at first.  When I initially requested it from Netgalley, it gave no indication that it was not one but two books.  Perhaps I didn't look closely enough as it is clear on Goodreads.

Sometimes I feel like a scrooge (Christmas themed stories here) when I am not fussy on a book.  That is the case with this one.  I feel like it is not necessarily the writing, Maynard's style was fine, but the formula of these stories. This may be exactly what others are looking for however I was looking for more depth.

Essentially there was no plot.  These stories seemed to have only one goal and that was the sex and the plot took a back burner.  When the entire story revolves around when the characters are going to stop taking samples of each other sexually and finally do the deed, I get bored very quickly.  As mentioned previously, I am sure there are plenty who love this formula as this is a highly popular genre.  While I am not opposed to the bedroom scenes in my book, I want there to be more to the story.  Give me some depth and heaven forbid, don't be talking about the L word when the characters are complete strangers.  I do not buy in to that philosophy.

While I would not be recommending this stories, I remind everyone that it simply is not my cup of tea.  If you want to read about lust and sexual exploration without substance (an is a sort read), then this could be what you are looking for.


About the Author


Janice Maynard came to the writing life early! When her third grade short story, “The Princess and the Robbers”, won a red ribbon in a school arts fair, Janice was hooked. She followed up that early success with a more commercial piece in the sixth grade… “Why My Mom Loves To Drink Coke”. No advance for that one, but she won a six-pack of Coke… remember those great little bottles?

In junior high Janice began circulating her work to a wider audience. A dozen or so notebook pages stapled together made the rounds in some particularly boring classes, with the riveting tales carefully hidden behind textbooks.

High school meant the big time… editor of the school newspaper, the Maroon and White. Janice used her insightful editorials to delve into such meaty subjects as “locker room odor” and “why we need two-ply tissue in the student bathrooms”.

College brought lots of writing, but very little of it creative… four years later, Janice stepped into the adult world as a fully certified elementary teacher.

Despite motherhood, full-time employment, and keeping up with an “always into something” husband, Janice never lost her love of writing or the desire to be published. In 1996 she realized her long-time dream when Kensington Publishing bought her first book, Sweetheart. That exciting moment was followed by the sales of two more books in the Precious Gem line.

In the fall of 2002, Janice left the classroom to pursue writing full-time.


Excerpt Reveal: A Fool For You by Katee Robert


It’s just a belated goodbye, right? No harm, no foul.


A FOOL FOR YOU
Foolproof Love #3
Katee Robert
Releasing Oct 3rd, 2016
Entangled: Brazen


It’s been thirteen years since Hope Moore left Devil’s Falls, land of sexy cowboys and bad memories. Back for the weekend, she has no intention of seeing the man she never got over…or the two of them getting down and dirty. It’s just a belated goodbye, right? No harm, no foul.

Until six weeks later, when her pregnancy test comes back positive…

Daniel Rodriguez hasn’t forgiven himself for how things went down with Hope all those years ago. He knows she’s better off without him, but when she shows up on his doorstep, panicking because she’s pregnant with his baby, he can’t help seeing it as a chance to make up for the past.

Too bad Hope has no intention of going along with his plans.

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 Chapter One
Hope Moore held her breath as she passed the sign declaring Welcome to Devil’s Falls. She hadn’t crossed the town boundary in thirteen years, not since she sat next to an open grave as they lowered her brother into the ground. Not since she turned her back on her entire life here, whisked away by her parents to the best medical facilities Texas had to offer.
She touched her knee. She’d never cheered again, never run track, never done any of the things she’d had planned when she was eighteen and had graduated high school with stars in her eyes.
Stars in her eyes, and love in her heart.
Neither had lasted past that car crash.
Oh, it had taken the love a lot longer to die than it had her knee, but Daniel Rodriguez made sure she knew where she stood with him.
She caught herself taking her foot off the gas and picked up speed again. There was no telling if she’d see him while she was here, but it couldn’t matter. She’d moved past what happened that night, moved past the disappointment that she’d almost let sour everything else about her life. It might not have happened like she planned, but she’d made the best of her college experience, and she’d gone on to create a successful little niche for herself, helping people and institutions with too much money on their hands create trusts and scholarships for those in need.
And now Hope was back in town to finally do that in her brother’s memory.
She pulled onto Main Street, heading for the only lodgings someone out of town with no relatives to stay with would consider—Sara Jane’s B&B. It was a nice little place, but Sara Jane was nosy to a criminal degree and gossiped more than anyone Hope had ever come across. The second she checked in and went up to her room, everyone with a phone would be getting a call letting them know that she was back in town.
It wasn’t that it was a secret, but she couldn’t help but feel that she’d always be John Moore’s little sister, the one who survived when her older brother—her better in a lot of ways—didn’t. She knew that was her own insecurity. She’d had too many years of therapy to believe anything else, except in her darkest heart of hearts, the place she didn’t let see the light any more than strictly necessary.
But it was hard to ignore that little voice when driving through Devil’s Falls. No, not through. To. This was her destination.
Her parents hadn’t been too thrilled about her coming back, even for a limited time, but even they couldn’t deny that this scholarship she was here to set up was a good thing—the right way to honor John. He’d been in the middle of a full ride at the University of Texas when he was killed, and it made sense to set it up to allow other kids the opportunity he’d never be able to realize.
She pressed a hand to her chest and pulled into the nearest parking spot against the curb. God, even after all this time, it still hurts. Most days it didn’t. He’d been gone long enough that she’d processed her grief as much as one person could process grief, and she was able to focus on the good memories.
Most days.
Her eyes focused on the sign she’d been staring blindly at, and she frowned. Cups and Kittens. That was new. In a town as mired in the past as Devil’s Falls, change was something of a novelty. Or maybe she was biased in a negative way, because the only thing this town held for her was memories. Some bad, mostly good, all dust now.
Pathetically grateful for something external to focus on, she climbed out of her car and looked at the cheery window painting depicting kittens frolicking in between flowers.
The B&B could wait a little while longer. Her meeting with the town board wasn’t until tomorrow, so there was no reason she couldn’t do a little poking around in the meantime. Thirteen years was a long time. If anyone had asked her, she would have joked that she hadn’t expected anything about Devil’s Falls to change while she was gone.
Apparently she’d been wrong.
She pushed through the door and froze in the face of a pair of cats staring at her from their perch on a table overlooking the big window in the front. The sight surprised a laugh out of her. “Cups and Kittens, indeed.”
“In the most literal sense.”
She glanced over at the woman behind the counter, a third cat lounging near the register. Familiarity rolled over Hope. “Jules Rodriguez.” Daniel’s little cousin. Not so little anymore. Last time she’d seen Jules, the girl had been lanky to an almost awkward degree and had braces with bright green bands. She’d grown up pretty, and there was more of Daniel about her now than there had been when she was a kid.
Or maybe I’m just back in Devil’s Falls and seeing Daniel wherever I look.
Jules’s dark eyes cleared. “Hope? What are you doing back in town?” She hesitated. “I don’t suppose you’re here to sweep my brooding cousin off his feet and shove him back into real life?”
Her mind tripped over itself trying to keep up with the other woman’s verbal gymnastics. Jules had always been like that, now that she thought about it—a bright and bubbly steamroller. She tried to weed her way through what the woman had just said, but there was only one thing she could focus on. Daniel. Always Daniel. “What do you mean, back into real life?”
“Well, you know.”
No, she really didn’t. She studied Jules’s face, the way she wouldn’t quite meet her eyes. “Is he okay?” She hadn’t missed the way Quinn Baldwyn had frozen up when she’d asked that same question a few weeks ago at his sister’s wedding, and worry had been simmering in the back of her mind ever since, no matter how many times she told herself it wasn’t any of her business. Daniel was a grown man, and he had always been more than capable of taking care of himself—and everyone else around him. Things changed, but she couldn’t see that changing.
Jules shifted, her hand darting out to pet the calico on the counter and then darting away when the cat swiped at her. “Define okay.”
It was none of her business. It stopped being her business a very long time ago.
But that didn’t stop her from clearing her throat and asking, “Is he…is he married?” Did he build the house we always talked about and have those two wild boys and one sweet girl? Does he bring his wife waffles for breakfast in bed on the weekends?
Oh my God, stop.
But Jules was already shaking her head, her mouth turning down. “Nope. No wife, no kids, no serious relationship in, well, thirteen years.”
Hope blinked. “You’re joking.”
“I wish I was.” A calculating look came into her eyes, but then she shook herself and it was all guileless enthusiasm. “What are you doing for dinner?” She rushed on without waiting for a response. “We’re having a little thing with Quinn and my friend Aubry, and, well, I kind of went and married Adam Meyers.”
Some things really do change. She remembered Adam, the wild-eyed boy who’d grown into a wild-eyed man, better than she remembered Jules. No one had expected him to come back to Devil’s Falls after he blew out of town that last time, let alone to settle here and…get married. “Wow. What’s Daniel have to say about that?”
“He was best man at our wedding.” Jules laughed. “Though he was pretty furious at the beginning. Here, sit down. You look like you could use a coffee, and I’ll tell you the story since we’re generally pretty dead Thursday nights. Then I’ll close up and we can go to dinner. The boys will love to see you. Quinn was just talking about you the other day.”
Hope wasn’t sure she actually agreed to any of it, but the next thing she knew, she was drinking coffee while a cat curled up in her lap and listening to Jules’s wild tale about a fake relationship that turned into a real relationship. Somehow in the middle of that, she was bundled up into Jules’s truck, and by then it was too late to change her mind.
She settled into her seat, consoling herself with the fact that Jules had very specifically not mentioned Daniel’s name. There was no reason to think he’d be there, but it would be nice to reconnect with some of her old friends. As much as it had hurt when things went south with Daniel, knowing that she’d lost Quinn and Adam, too, had just been salt in the wound. She’d chased them around since she could toddle after her big brother and his friends, and they’d turned into true friends over the years. She understood why they hadn’t reached out, but she wasn’t going to turn down a chance to catch up with them.
It would probably be the only nice thing about being back in Devil’s Falls.
“Not interested.”
“You haven’t even heard what I’m asking.”
“Don’t need to.” Daniel Rodriguez leaned down and unbuckled Rita’s saddle and hefted it off the horse’s back. They’d had a good run today, the hot sun making it impossible to think too hard about anything other than whether a human being could roast alive in Texas in August. He hadn’t yet, so that put the odds ever so slightly in his favor.
All he wanted was to finish here and head back to his place for a cold shower and an even colder beer.
It would just fucking figure that the universe had other ideas. He glanced up, but Aubry Kaiser hadn’t moved. In fact, with her arms crossed over her chest and her chin up, all signs pointed to this adding up to an argument he couldn’t possibly win.
Damn it.
“No.”
She frowned harder. “It’s your birthday. You can’t just sit at home by yourself.”
“Since it’s my birthday, this is the one day a year I should be able to do exactly that with no one bitching at me.” He regretted the harsh words almost as soon as they were out of his mouth, but Aubry wasn’t like his little cousin. She was meaner than a rattler and twice as likely to bite.
She narrowed her amber eyes at him. “Your cousin misses you.”
That explained why she was out here when he knew for a fact she thought horses were akin to goats—as in, the devil’s own creatures. Hell, she was giving poor Rita a suspicious look even while guilt-tripping him using the one person in his life he couldn’t say no to.
Which doesn’t explain why Jules herself isn’t here.
“She sees me on a regular basis.”
“This is your birthday.” Aubry sighed and rolled her eyes, looking put-upon. “Look, it goes like this—Jules has worked really hard to put together a surprise birthday party for you, and if you don’t show up to be surprised, she’s going to be crushed.”
He stared. “I don’t want a surprise birthday party.” The fact that it was no longer a surprise said a whole lot about Aubry’s priorities, and he couldn’t blame her for that.
“Look at my face. This is the face of a woman who doesn’t give two fucks what you care about. What I care about is Jules, and that means you’re going to go shower off the smell of that animal and show up at their house in an hour, right on time.” She paused, her brows slanting down in an expression that was downright forbidding. “You helped me out not too long ago, so I’m going to do you a solid and give you the lowdown. Ready?”
Fuck, no. “Sure.”
“Jules is worried about you. Really worried. If you don’t show up tonight, she’s going to take that as a sign to go forward with plan B.”
He knew he was going to regret it, but he still asked, “What’s plan B?”
Aubry gave a tight smile. “A full-scale intervention with everyone in your life, including your parents. The kind where they sit you down in a circle and each speak their mind in the most uncomfortable way possible until you’re ready to beg the ground to swallow you whole.” Her smile dimmed. “She’s worried about you, Daniel.”
Everyone seemed worried about him, though they usually did him the courtesy of at least trying to hide the looks exchanged when they thought he wasn’t looking. The whispered conversations with his various cousins and his parents. The never-ending work that was only there because they were throwing him a goddamn bone. It didn’t seem to matter that he hadn’t done anything requiring an intervention. He’d just stopped enjoying the company of people, mostly because he was such shitty company these days. But try telling that to the family, and they acted like he had just confessed to being an ax murderer.
At least Jules had mostly stayed out of it. Up until today.
He grabbed the curry brush and went over Rita’s back. Aubry was right. Showing up to a party he didn’t want on a day he sure as fuck didn’t feel like celebrating was vastly preferable to the alternative. “Explain to me what the plan is.”
She gave a grin that did nothing to reassure him. “Dinner and drinks. It’ll be nice. Adam and Quinn miss you.”
“I see those assholes every day.” Kind of hard not to when they worked the ranch alongside him. It felt right to have Adam back, to have Quinn there, but at the same time it was a constant reminder that they were a man short.
And it was his fault.
“It’s different and you know it,” Aubry continued, obviously enjoying how miserable he was. She’d always been a mean one, which never failed to amuse him because Jules was her polar opposite—as bright and happy as a spring day. Rita shifted in her stall, and Aubry went even paler than she was normally. “Dinner starts at six. Don’t be late.” Then she was gone, moving at a clip fast enough that a less cautious man than Daniel would call it running.
He waited a good five minutes before he followed, hauling the saddle into the tack room and sorting out the bridle. He didn’t begrudge Quinn his happiness—or Adam, for that matter—but sometimes it sure as fuck was hard to be around them and their women. The fact that one of those women was his little cousin barely entered into it.
He headed for his truck and took the pitted dirt road leading around the edge of his parents’ property to the little house he’d built a few years ago. It wasn’t anything fancy, but it got the job done, and it was far enough outside town that most people thought twice before stopping by unannounced.
Most people not including his family.
The shower did nothing to ward off the feeling of pending doom. It wasn’t that he didn’t like Jules or Adam or Quinn or whoever the fuck else was going to be at this damn party, but he wasn’t in the partying sort of mood. Truth be told, he hadn’t been in that mood for over a decade. It was almost enough to make him call the whole thing off, but the knowledge that Jules would have no problem bringing the party to him got him moving again. Not to mention the potential intervention he needed like he needed a hole in the head.
At least if he went there, he could hang out for the appropriate amount of time, make his excuses, and slip out while everyone else was occupied. Two hours, tops.
Feeling significantly better, he pulled on a pair of his favorite old jeans and a T-shirt and grabbed his keys. It struck him as he walked out the door that he was thirty-fucking-four years old. How the hell did that happen? He shook his head. He knew damn well how that happened. One day turned into a week, a month, a year, a decade. All while he kept on keeping, the world changing around him, but never changing enough.
He glanced at his watch. “Two hours starts when I get there.”



New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. She found romance novels at age twelve and they changed her life. When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.


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Sunday, 25 September 2016

Review: Rise of the Chosen by Anna Kopp

In Sam's world there are two rules. Rule #1: Nobody dies. Protect the living at all costs. Rule #2: Everybody dies. At least once.

The Waking was a global event in which a force called the Lifeblood invaded all humans who died. The few strong enough to control it came back as powerful immortals. The rest let the bloodlust take over and awoke with one goal - to kill.

Newly appointed Watch Guard Samantha Shields has a legacy to uphold. Her father died a hero defending their city and now she wants to follow in his footsteps. Except for the dying part, of course. Unfortunately, fate has other plans as she discovers deep dark secrets that make her choose between her loyalties and the lives of everyone in her city. Both rules are in play as Sam is forced to make hard decisions that could cost her everything - including the person she cares about most.


ebook, 210 pages
Expected publication: October 4th 2016 by Blue Moon Publishers
Series: Lifeblood #1
Genre: Young Adult/Sci-Fi/Dystopia

Kristine's Thoughts:

** I received an advanced readers copy from Blue Moon Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!**

I'm not sure where to begin with this book. I should probably mention that this is a genre that I often struggle with and I tend to either love or hate with no in between.

This book took place in a post apocalyptic world where there were basically three types of people. There were humans and undead which consisted of Woken who would immediately kill and Chosen who were special and could live among the humans. Basically whenever a person died they would automatically turn into a Woken or a Chosen if they were lucky.

Rise of the Chosen centred around Samantha who started the book as a human. I felt like Sam was a little underdeveloped as a character and I had a hard time getting to know and like her. Perhaps it was because the story moved so quickly but I felt she lacked a bit of a personality. I actually felt that way about most of the characters. If I had to pick one character that intrigued me I guess it would have to be David. He was a Chosen that worked along side Sam. My impression is that perhaps the two of them will get pushed together in future instalments. All signs point to it anyway. I wouldn't have a problem with that except Sam already had a love interest in Lena. Although I could take or leave her, how it is plays out might be tricky. I'm not sure I like the way that I think it might happen.

This story moved really fast and at times I would get confused. A fast moving plot with many characters will do that to me. However, the pace did keep it from getting dull. This is the beginning of a series and as such, it has definitely piqued my interest. I do feel like there are some bumps or hiccups in the story but I still want to know how it plays out. It provided me with enough of a plot that I want to know more and will make sure to follow the rest of the story.




About the Author
I am a writer from Ohio, though I was born and raised in Russia. As a child, reading and writing for me was basically like breathing. My parents’ idea of “grounding” me was kicking me outside to play. That passion hasn’t waned even after having to learn a new language.

I’m a US Army veteran, a wife and business partner to a software developer, and a mom to two rambunctious boys.

I love reading, writing, and playing World of Warcraft. I'm a true geek at heart and would love nothing more than to see my imagination become a part of something greater.

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