Friday, July 10, 2020

Book Spotlight: The Summoned Ones by: Darryl A. Woods





THE SUMMONED ONES: BOOK 1 OF FLIGHT TO BERICEA SERIES
Darryl A. Woods
Adult Epic Fantasy

Can a group of college-aged friends from a small Kentucky town actually be the Summoned Ones of prophecy, called to a strange world filled with magic and devastated by war? Can they save the lives of the desperate inhabitants and help them defeat a wicked tyrant? Their epic journey will push them to the limits of their endurance. This unlikely group will discover truths about themselves and experience another world beyond their imagination.

During their journey, they will explore this new world, discover new talents and previously hidden abilities, develop friendships with people they couldn’t have dreamed possible, and will be forced to take actions they would have never considered in any less dire circumstances.

ORDER YOUR COPY

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Prologue

 “Rally to the general! Rally to the general!” shouted the tall, lanky soldier as he fought his way toward Darnon.
Kail thought to himself that if they survived this battle, General Darnon would likely discipline him for issuing commands. What he did not know is that Darnon greatly admired his skill with a sword, and regarded Kail as the best he had seen in his long military career.
Over the last nine years of war, the two had engaged in an odd sort of dance. Darnon was keenly aware of the respect his troops had for Kail. A respect not only for his individual prowess in battle, but for his uncanny understanding of the battlefield. As he was now demonstrating, Kail instinctively knew where he and the others were most needed at critical junctures in a battle.
In the beginning, when Kail first joined his army’s ranks and began to positively affect the outcomes of battles, General Darnon decided to reward his new soldier with a promotion. But each time he prepared to issue Kail a field commission, the rogue would do something that forced the general’s hand and demanded reprimand. Darnon came to realize that these altercations were no accident. Over time, he learned what Kail already knew: that he could serve best as a rank-and-file soldier in the thick of battle. So, the two played out their game. Darnon would dole out light punishment and Kail would act indignant, then reluctantly accept his penalty.
“Fight your way to the general!” Kail bellowed again and again over the din of battle.
His general was indeed in trouble, as was the army’s position in the overall battle. Only minutes earlier, Darnon’s command post had been overrun. The enemy was countering in near-perfect fashion the battleplan drawn up that very morning. The general now found himself surrounded on three sides. His skillful use of his massive two-handed sword was the only thing keeping him from being overwhelmed. Three of his officers fought frantically to protect his back, but two were so slowed by wounds, they could barely defend themselves, let alone their commanding officer.
“The general, the general,” Kail continued to scream, as enemy after enemy fell to the savagery of his blades.
Kail fought as he often did, with a medium-length sword in one hand and a long dagger in the other. His blades were literally a blur, the speed and uncanny accuracy of their wielding unmatched. A wedge of soldiers followed in the wake of Kail’s lethal blades. Many of the men owed their lives to the fighter as he mercilessly dispatched the enemies that came toward them. Those not killed outright by Kail were quickly dealt with by the throng of soldiers growing behind him.
“To the general, to the general!” Kail heard his entreaty taken up by soldiers across the battlefield.
The shouts took on a cadence that seemed to cause Kail to intensify his frantic fight to reach the general he respected and admired. Darnon had been so intent on his own fight for survival, it was only now that Kail’s shouts began to register. Allowing himself a quick glance, Darnon made eye contact with his tall soldier. That brief exchange gave both the exhausted warriors the boost they needed to close the gap.
Kail finally reached the ring of enemy soldiers surrounding Darnon. As the skillful swordsman attacked them from behind, each foe quickly fell in turn. The last two made the mistake of wheeling to face their new threat, only to be cleaved nearly in two by the wide arc of the general’s long sword.
The shouts imploring the men to rally to their general continued unabated even though Darnon was temporarily out of harm’s way, surrounded now by dozens of his men. The shouts persisted in no small part because of Kail. Darnon couldn’t comprehend why his usually astute tactician continued to encourage the troops to rally to their general. The only affect apparent to Darnon was that his troops were collapsing into the center of the battlefield, now completely surrounded by the enemy with little hope of escape.
“To the general, to the general!” continued the shouts from Kail and the mass of troops surrounding Darnon. Such conduct exasperated their leader, and he began to second-guess the man he had once trusted implicitly. In this moment of despair, when Darnon thought the lives of the troops he commanded and his own forfeit, he heard the sudden thunder of hooves and the clash of steel. The Jerimassian cavalry exploded into the enemy with such force, the sounds of new battle drowned out the localized fighting. Darnon’s army began cheering as they realized help had arrived, seemingly from nowhere.
The enemy, so sure of complete victory only moments before, now found themselves caught in a vice. Darnon’s surging troops pressed them from the inside out, and they were completely surrounded by the formidable Jerimassian cavalry. The skillful horsemen darted in and out of the enemy’s ranks, inflicting heavy casualties then disappearing before any defense could be marshaled.
As they had done in several prior battles, the enemy troops now turned their aggression on their leaders. Darnon’s troops aided these common soldiers as they attacked their superiors. Darnon and his men knew that the bulk of the enemy fighting force was made up of men coerced into fighting to keep their families alive.
For the last nine years, their foes had served under an evil entity named Zybaro. He overran villages and captured their inhabitants, forcing anyone capable of serving into his army and enslaving the rest. The new soldiers were forced to fight or witness the murders of their loved ones. Enforcing his brutal siege with the aid of powerful, mutated magicians called nollax, Zybaro swept across Malabrim, amassing an immense army. Malabrim was the country General Darnon and Commander Namir now fought, hoping to free as many souls as they could and disrupt Zybaro’s methodical march to total domination.
When the conflict was at last over, the remaining enemy troops dropped their weapons and placed their hands, fingers interlocked, on their heads. Over the years, Darnon and his men had seen this scene play out many times. Without waiting for orders, the soldiers began corralling their now-placid enemy towards an empty area of the field. They would next begin the long process of removing their enemy’s armor and searching for hidden weapons.
Kail set out to help the troops with their task, but made it a point to pass close by the general en route. He spoke softly so that only Darnon could hear.
“I’m sorry for the confusion back there. I saw Commander Namir’s scouts on the ridge. I thought it best to get everyone away from the perimeter.”
Darnon couldn’t help but return the soldier’s unrepentant grin.
The general heard a commotion and turned to see Namir reining in his horse a short distance away. The commander dismounted in the fluid motion of one who has spent a lifetime in the saddle. Leading his well-disciplined steed forward, the reins slack between them, Namir approached
 Without offering a formal greeting, the commander got right to the point. “My scouts reported they saw you having a hard time.” Not waiting for a reply, Namir pressed on, genuinely concerned.
 “Darnon, you know I was ordered north. We stumbled across a mine being worked by the most wretched souls. We couldn’t allow their agony to continue. If we hadn’t taken the time to liberate them, we would have been well over a league from here.”
Darnon face reflected his regret but not shame. He inclined his head, indicating acceptance of just how dire the situation would have been without his friend’s aid.
“The state of those miners was the worst I’ve seen yet. Children as young as four or five years, piled like cordwood, dead of malnutrition and exhaustion. The condition of the ones left alive was so deplorable it made the dead seem like the lucky ones.” Namir paused as he struggled to deliver his dark narrative.
When he continued, contempt edged his voice. “When the guards saw the overwhelming odds and realized they had no hope, they turned on their captives. If not for some of the stronger miners defending themselves, the slaughter would have been far worse.”
Darnon’s pained look and glistening eyes were reflected in Namir’s countenance.
“Between the captured soldiers and those you rescued, at least we saved a few,” Darnon all but whispered.
Namir gestured to the surrounding battlefield. “I agree my friend, but at an ever-increasing price. How long can we keep this up?”
“What alternative do we have? We can’t just leave these people to their own fate. Besides, how long will it be before those miners are replaced by our own families?” Darnon demanded.
“I know how you feel about the prophecies, Darnon, but if the clerics of Hinloose really have found the means to bring the Summoned Ones to our aid, don’t you think we should at least try?” Namir asked, expecting the same skeptical response he had heard so many times before.
Darnon replied in a matter-of-fact tone, “The air has grown cold. This will be the last of this year’s campaigns. Let’s get these people healthy enough for travel and back to Bericea. Once there, we can make plans for the summoning as we await the spring.”













Darryl Woods is a storyteller who hones his craft entertaining coworkers. He also enjoys regaling family and friends with stories of his upbringing in rural Ohio, of the motorized contraptions his father fabricated, and of the timber cutting and sawmill work he did with his father-in-law. With an appetite for reading fantasy, it was inevitable he would choose to write about an epic journey in a world dominated by magic and sword fighting.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

Website Address: http://darrylawoods.com/
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Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Excerpt: No One Saw by: Beverly Long


One


With a week’s worth of mail in one hand, A.L. McKittridge unlocked his apartment door with the other. Then he dragged his carry-on suitcase inside, almost tripping over Felix, who had uncharacteristically left his spot by the window where the late afternoon sun poured in. He tossed the collection of envelopes and free weekly newspapers onto his kitchen table and bent down to scratch his cat. “You must have missed me,” he said. “Wasn’t Rena nice to you?”

His partner had sent a text every day. Always a picture. Felix eating. Felix taking a dump. Felix giving himself a bath. No messages. Just visual confirmation that all was well while he was off in sunny California, taking a vacation for the first time in four years.

I can take care of your damn cat, she’d insisted. And while he hadn’t wanted to bother her because she’d have plenty to do picking up the slack at work, she was the only one he felt he could ask. His ex-wife Jacqui would have said no. His just turned seventeen-year-old daughter, Traci, would have been willing but he hadn’t liked the idea of her coming round to an empty apartment on her own.

Baywood, Wisconsin—population fifty thousand and change—was generally pretty safe but he didn’t believe in taking chances. Not with Traci’s safety. She’d been back in school for just a week. Her senior year. How the hell was that even possible? College was less than a year away.

No wonder his knees ached. He was getting old.

Or maybe it was flying coach for four hours. But the trip had been worth it. Tess had wanted to see the ocean. Wanted to face her nemesis, she’d claimed. And she’d been a champ. Had stood on the beach where less than a year earlier, she’d almost died after a shark had ripped off a sizable portion of her left arm. Had lifted her pretty face to the wind and stared out into the vast Pacific.

She hadn’t surfed. Said she wasn’t ready for that yet. But he was pretty confident that she’d gotten the closure that she’d been looking for. She’d slept almost the entire flight home, her head resting on A.L.’s shoulder. On the hour-plus drive from Madison to Baywood, she’d been awake but quiet. When he’d dropped her off at her house, she hadn’t asked him in.

He wasn’t offended. He’d have said no anyway. After a week together, they could probably both benefit from a little space. Their relationship was just months old and while the sex was great and the conversation even better, neither of them wanted to screw it up by jumping in too fast or too deep.

Now he had groceries to buy and laundry to do. It was back to work tomorrow. He grabbed the handle of his suitcase and was halfway down the hall when his cell rang. He looked at the number. Rena. Probably wanted to make sure he was home and Felix-watch was over. “McKittridge,” he answered.

“Where are you?”

“Home.”

“Oh, thank God.”

He let go of his suitcase handle. Something was wrong. “What’s up?” he asked.

“We’ve got a missing kid. Five-year-old female. Lakeside Learning Center.”

Missing kid. Fuck. He glanced at his watch. Just after 6:00. That meant they had less than two hours of daylight left. “I’ll be there in ten minutes.”



The Lakeside Learning Center on Oak Avenue had a fancier name than building. It was a two-story building with brown clapboard siding on the first floor and tan vinyl siding on the second. There wasn’t a lake in sight.

The backyard was fenced with something a bit nicer than chain link but not much. Inside the fence was standard playground equipment: several small plastic playhouses, a sandbox on legs and a swing set. The building was located at the end of the block in a mixed-use zone. Across from the front door and on the left were single-person homes. To the right, directly across Wacker Avenue, was a sandwich shop, and kitty-corner was a psychic who could only see the future on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

A.L. took all this in as he beached his SUV in a no parking zone. Stepped over the yellow tape and made a quick stop to sign in with the cop who was at the door.

everybody who entered and exited the crime scene.

Once he was inside, his first impression was that the inside was much better than the outside. The interior had been gutted, erasing all signs that this had once been the downstairs of a 1960s two-story home. There was a large open space to his right. On the far wall hung a big-screen television and on the wall directly opposite the front door were rows of shelves, four high, stacked with books, games and small toys.

It was painted in a cheery yellow and white and the floor was a light gray tile. There was plenty of natural light coming through the front windows. The hallway he was standing in ran the entire length of the building and ended in a back door.

There was a small office area to his left. The door was open and there was a desk with a couple guest chairs. The space looked no bigger than ten feet by ten feet and was currently empty.

He sent Rena a text. Here.

A door at the far end of the hallway opened and Rena and a woman, middle-aged and white, dressed in khaki pants and a dark green button-down shirt, appeared. Rena waved at him and led the woman in his direction. “This is my partner, Detective McKittridge,” she said to the woman. She looked at A.L. “Alice Quest. Owner and director of Lakeside Learning Center.”

A.L. extended a hand to the woman. She shook it without saying anything.

“If you can excuse us,” Rena said to the woman. “I’d like to take a minute and bring Detective McKittridge up to speed.”

Alice nodded and stepped into the office. She pulled the door shut but not all the way. Rena motioned for A.L. to follow her. She crossed the big room and stopped under the television.

“What do we have?” he asked.

“Emma Whitman is a five-year-old female who has attended Lakeside Learning Center for the last two years. Her grandmother, Elaine Broadstreet, drops her off on Mondays and Wednesdays between 7:15 and 7:30.”

Today was Wednesday. “Did that happen today?”

“I have this secondhand, via her son-in-law who spoke to her minutes before I got here. It did.”

The hair on the back of A.L.’s neck stood up. When Traci had been little, she’d gone to day care. Not at Lakeside Learning Center. Her place had been bigger. “How many kids are here?” he asked.

“Forty. No one younger than three. No one older than five. They have two rooms, twenty kids to a room. Threes and early fours in one room. Older fours and fives in the other. Two staff members in each room. So four teachers. And a cook who works a few hours midday. And then there’s Alice. She fills in when a staff member needs a break or if someone is ill.”

Small operation. That didn’t mean bad. “Where are the other staff?”

“Majority of the kids get picked up by 5:30. According to Alice, she covers the center by herself from 5:30 to 6:00 most days to save on payroll costs. Emma Whitman is generally one of the last ones to be picked up. Everybody else was gone tonight and she’d already locked the outside door around 5:45 when the father pulled up and pounded on the door. At first, she assumed that somebody else had already picked up Emma. But once Troy called his wife and the grandmother, the only other people allowed to pick her up, she called Kara Wiese, one of Emma’s teachers, who said that Emma hadn’t been there all day. That was the first time Alice had thought about the fact that the parents had not reported an absence. She’d been covering for an ill staff member in the classroom that Emma is not assigned to.”

Perfect fucking storm.



NO ONE SAW

Author: Beverly Long

ISBN: 9780778309659

Publication Date: June 30, 2020

Publisher: MIRA Books


Buy Links: 

Harlequin 

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Books-A-Million

Powell’s


Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @BevLongBooks

Instagram: #BeverlyLong

Facebook: @BeverlyLong.Romance

Goodreads


Author Bio: 

Beverly Long’s writing career has spanned more than two decades and twenty novels, including TEN DAYS GONE, the first book of her A.L. McKittridge series. She writes romantic suspense with sexy heroes and smart heroines. She can often be found with her laptop in a coffee shop with a cafe au lait and anything made with dark chocolate by her side. 

Book Summary:

Detective team A.L. McKittridge and Rena Morgan are back on their beat after solving the brutal Baywood serial killings, but crime doesn’t rest for long in their small Wisconsin town. In book two of Beverly Long’s electrifying A.L. McKittridge series, NO ONE SAW (MIRA Mass Market Paperback; June 30, 2020; $7.99), a child seemingly vanishes from a day care into thin air and A.L. and Rena must race to bring her home before time runs out.

Baywood police department detective A.L. McKittridge is no stranger to tough cases, but when five-year-old Emma Whitman disappears from her day care, there isn’t a single shred of evidence to go on. There are no witnesses, no trace of where she might have gone. There’s only one thing A.L. and his partner, Rena Morgan, are sure of—somebody is lying.


With the clock ticking, A.L. and Rena discover their instincts are correct: all is not as it seems. The Whitmans are a family with many secrets, and A.L. and Rena must untangle a growing web of lies if they’re going to find the thread that leads them to Emma… before it’s too late.



Excerpted from No One Saw by Beverly Long, Copyright © 2020 by Beverly Long. 

Published by MIRA Books



Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Review: Brewed Awakening by: Cleo Coyle

Title: Brewed Awakening
Author: Cleo Coyle
Publisher: Berkley
Series: Coffeehouse Mystery #18
Format: Hardcover (368 p.)
Source: NetGalley/Library

Description:


From Cleo Coyle, the New York Times bestselling author of Shot in the Dark and Dead Cold Brew, comes a delicious new entry in the "fun and gripping" (Huffington Post) Coffeehouse Mysteries.

When coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi awakens on a bench in Washington Square Park, she has no idea she's been missing for days, or that her friends and family have been frantic with worry. Now that she's back, everyone is overjoyed, including a handsome NYPD detective who claims to be her fiance. But to Mike Quinn's crushing distress, Clare doesn't remember him, or much of anything about the last fifteen years of her life.

Clare's missing memory is tied to a crime she witnessed. An acquaintance of Clare's elegant employer--and fellow member of an exclusive Gotham circle known as "The Ladies Who Brunch"--invited Clare to her posh hotel to sample gourmet wedding cakes. After their indulgent tasting, they headed to the parking garage, where a camera captured a masked figure with a gun confronting the hotel heiress with Clare looking on. Did the kidnapper take Clare, too? The camera went dark, just like Clare's memory. Soon authorities grow suspicious. Is Clare really a victim? Or merely acting like one? Evidence is mounting that she set the woman up.

To clear her name, Clare must find a way to reclaim her memories and rescue the heiress before this high-stakes crime ends in tragedy. Otherwise, instead of walking down the aisle, Clare may find herself perp-walking to prison as an accomplice to kidnapping and murder.

My Thoughts:

This book finds our beloved Clare Cosi who has no idea why she is in New York to her she should be in NJ.  She knows only one place to go which is the Village Blend what she doesn't realize is she's been missing for days and no one. knows what happened except Clare.  Add to the mystery a crime was committed infront of her and she has no idea what it is or where she was before showing up in the park.

This book was such a delightful adventure watching Clare try to piece her life together, and watching her ex-husband try to come to terms with the fact they weren't going to get back together even in her diminished state.

I can't wait to see what is next at the Village Blend it's such a great thrill to read this series it's like visiting old friends every time you open a book seeing what Tucker, Dante, Madam, Matt, Clare and everyone else is up to!

Saturday, June 27, 2020

Review: The Menu by: Steven Manchester

Title: The Menu
Author: Steven Manchester
Publisher: Luna Bella Press
Pages: 318
Format: e-book
Source: Author Request

Description:

Blessed with a high emotional IQ, Phinn Reed enters the world with the promise of finding his soul mate. With heaven’s memories erased, his romantic quest teaches him that the heart often sees clearer than the eyes—and that not everyone has ordered the same items from The Menu. Evidence that love stories come in many different forms, The Menu is a spiritual journey involving more than just a man and a woman; it is a modern-day tale that reaches far beyond the boundaries of reason.

My Thoughts: 


Steven Manchester has delivered once again; this time, in The Menu, a fabulous story that teaches us that love and death aren't to be feared, but to be treasured. Manchester’s books are always so well written, but this one takes his skills to a whole new level—causing us to wonder about our own lives and beliefs.


Friday, June 26, 2020

Review: Crossing Danger by: Colleen Helme

Title: Crossing Danger
Author: Colleen Helme
Publisher: Kindle Edition
Series: Shelby Nichols #7
Pages: 317
Format: Kindle e-book
Source: Kindle Unlimited

Description:

Shelby Nichols isn’t your average soccer-mom turned private investigator. She’s more on the quirky side with a little wild thrown in. That’s because a near-fatal gunshot violent drug ring. Add to that a stranger in town with ties to the mob-boss she works for, along with a known assassin out to kill him, and Shelby is crossing danger at every turn. Will she find the answers in time? Or will this be her last adventure?

My Thoughts: 

This book follows our wonderful Shelby Nichols as she finds herself investigating the disappearance of a friend of her's niece whose hasn't shown up anywhere.  Where could Chloe be and what happened to her.  The deeper she investigates the more she learns that lead to a bigger crime going on. Why is Chloe hiding and why?  Is it related to Uncle Joey or something worse?

I love this series it's such fun to see what is going on with Shelby and where trouble will lead her to and whether her husband will figure it out or will it remain a close secret.  This one didn't disappoint I loved watching Shelby weave her magic will trying to keep it downlow.  

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Cover Reveal: The Proposal by: Maya Hughes


The Proposal
Maya Hughes
(Cupcakes & Cocktails #1)
Publication date: July 16th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
When I envisioned Zara Logan dropping to her knees in front of me, this wasn’t what I had in mind…
I was expecting a lot less glaring and a lot more moaning.
Instead, she’s proposing an enticing deal that I can’t bear to walk away from.
To land one of the city’s biggest clients, she wants us to put our differences aside and play fake fiancés for the next thirty days.
So, I slip the diamond ring onto her finger and agree to play the perfect fiancé. How hard can this be?
A hell of a lot harder than I thought…
She’s infuriatingly stubborn and she thinks I’m a cocky jerk with an enormous ego. (She’s right, but I can definitely back it up…)
As our long days stretch into even later nights, it’s getting harder to remember we’re only playing pretend, which means one thing.
She won’t be faking it for long…

Author Bio:
Maya Hughes, that's me!, can often be found sneaking in another chapter while hiding in the bathroom from her kids! :-) I'm a romance writer who loves taking inspiration from everyday life, namely my husband and biggest fan. Inspiration also strikes when I hear a song, meet someone new or daydream while at soccer practice.
I'm the mom of three little ones, the wife to an amazing husband and also work full time. Some of my favorite things are cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, white wine, laughing until I can't breathe, traveling with my family and Jeff Goldblum.
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Review: Run For Your Life by: James Patterson

Title: Run For Your Life
Author: James Patterson
Publisher: Little Brown & Co.
Series: Michael Bennett #2
Pages: 373
Format: e-book
Source: Personal Purchase

Description:

A calculating killer who calls himself The Teacher is taking on New York City, killing the powerful and the arrogant. His message is clear: remember your manners or suffer the consequences! For some, it seems that the rich are finally getting what they deserve. For New York's elite, it is a call to terror.
Only one man can tackle such a high-profile case: Detective Mike Bennett. The pressure is enough for anyone, but Mike also has to care for his 10 children-all of whom have come down with virulent flu at once!

Discovering a secret pattern in The Teacher's lessons, Detective Bennett realizes he has just hours to save New York from the greatest disaster in its history. From the #1 bestselling author comes Run For Your Life, the continuation of his newest, electrifying series.

My Review: 

Michael Bennett has his plate full when his kids are sick with the flu and he's stuck investigating a murder spree by someone called The Teacher whose trying to punish people who lack manners.  As the kids get sicker Michael is dragging trying to get to the bottom of the murder spree.  Will he solve it in time or will he wind up with the flu too?

I love Michael Bennet he's such a contrast to Alex Cross.  He fights through everything going on and is fast on his feet when he needs to be this book definitely calls for it!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Review: Something Read, Something Dead by: Eva Gates

Title: Something Read, Something Dead
Author: Eva Gates
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Series: Lighthouse Library #5
Pages: 320
Format: e-book ARC
Source: NetGalley

Description:

Dark deeds in the Lighthouse Library threaten to send Lucy Richardson's soon-to-be-wed cousin Josie to an early 'til-death-do-us-part in national bestselling author Eva Gates' fifth Lighthouse Library mystery.

My Review: 

This book follows Lucy Richardson as she is helping her cousin Josie plan her wedding when Josie’s grandmother and other cousin show up. When her cousin winds up dead the heat is all over Josie? Did she kill her cousin and if she didn’t who did?

This book was full of so much including the library’s structure failing and having to play peacemaker with Josie’s relatives. One Josie has the most problem with is Mirabelle who is trying to turn Josie’s wedding into a three ring circus. Add to the fact that an ex of Josie’s fiancé Jake shows up determined to win her man back which adds more conflict to the situation of whether someone was aiming for Mirebelle or Josie herself?

I love this series so much following Lucy and her friends and family is so much fun you never know what is going to happen next at the lighthouse? Definitely worth checking into the series if you haven’t already. Can’t wait to read the next book! 

Monday, June 22, 2020

Review: The Wrong Bachelor by: Alexandra Moody

Title: The Wrong Bachelor
Author: Alexandra Moody
Publisher: Createspace Independent
Series: The Wrong Match #1
Format: e-book (282 p.)

Description:

Bachelor: A desirable potential boyfriend. AKA not Cole Kingston.

Seventeen-year-old Madison (Madi) Matthews wants nothing to do with the dating competition her school is holding to raise money for charity. She's never been interested in chasing a guy before and she certainly isn't interested in competing for one in front of the whole school.

But, when Madi is voted as one of the ten "lucky" contestants, she's given no choice but to vie for the heart of Lincoln High's most eligible bachelor. The problem is, they've chosen the wrong guy.

Cole Kingston might be good looking, great with a football and practically the king of Lincoln High, but he's also cocky, arrogant, a serial flirt and Madi's sworn enemy.

Will she be able to resist him though when the competition heats up and he turns his charms on her?

My Review: 

Madi Matthews wants a normal life with her boyfriend but when she finds herself on a reality television show with her neighbor Cole Kingston who seems to do everything to drive her nuts.  How will she ever get off this show and keep her current boyfriend in tact.  

Cole Kingston wants nothing more than to have Madi by his side unfortunately her boyfriend has made that impossible and Cole figures he's one chance is being on the reality tv show.  What he didn't count on were the other contestants causing more trouble than should be. 

Will this reality show blow up in everyone's face or will a couple emerge strong than before?   If you like young adult angst, drama and some heavy teasing then you in for a bumpy ride.  I know I thoroughly enjoyed this adventure.

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Review: Hickville Confessions by: Mary Karlik

Title: Hickville Confessions
Author: Mary Karlik
Publisher: GPK Publication LLC
Format: e-book ( 338 p.)
Source: Personal Purchase

Description:

New town. New look. New beginning. High school junior Ryan Quinn has a past. She will do just about anything to keep it hidden, even if means joining the ultra-conservative, no fun allowed, Purity Club. But secrets are hard to keep in a small town and when the Purity Club girls discover the truth, they viciously attack Ryan.

Justin is the kind of guy who can make Ryan forget her vow to change. He’s the kind of guy she should avoid at all costs. But he knows her soul secrets. He understands her and it is torture when she is away from him. But as she deals with the outward scars on her face and the inward shame of her past and Justin’s home life continues to spiral out of control, their relationship becomes as convoluted as their home life. Will they find the courage to open their hearts to each other in spite of their family drama?

My Review: 

This book follows Ryan Quinn who has suffered a horrorable blow from the Purity Club girls who've taken it upon themselves to attack Ryan.  They leave her bloodied and beat up when Justin saves her from it.  He has some heavy home issues that he'd rather ignore and Ryan seems like the kind of girl who'd be great at ignoring family issues.  Ryan needs help in alot of ways when it comes to what the girls did.  She even goes further to try to turn the group into anti-bad behavior and tells her story about what brought them back.

I really enjoyed reading about Ryan and curious to see what is up with the youngest Quinn girl who seems deeply troubled by something.  Mary Karlik is definitely onto something in this fabulous series.  Great for people who love Sarah Dessen, and Sarah Ockler.


Monday, June 15, 2020

Review: Red Sky Over Hawaii by: Sara Ackerman


Red Sky Over Hawaii: A Novel
Sara Ackerman
On Sale Date: June 9, 2020
9780778309673, 0778309673
Trade Paperback
$17.99 USD, $22.99 CAD
Fiction / Historical / World War II
352 pages
MIRA Books

BUY LINKS:



ABOUT THE BOOK:
For fans of Chanel Cleeton and Beatriz Williams, RED SKY OVER HAWAII is historical women's fiction set in the islands during WWII. It's the story of a woman who has to put her safety and her heart on the line when she becomes the unexpected guardian of a misfit group and decides to hide with them in a secret home in the forest on Kilauea Volcano.

The attack on Pearl Harbor changes everything for Lana Hitchcock. Arriving home on the Big Island too late to reconcile with her estranged father, all she can do is untangle the clues of his legacy, which lead to a secret property in the forest on Kilauea Volcano. America has been drawn into WWII, and amid rumors of impending invasion, the army places the islands under martial law. When they start taking away neighbors as possible sympathizers, Lana finds herself suddenly guardian to two girls, as well as accomplice to an old family friend who is Japanese, along with his son. In a heartbeat, she makes the decision to go into hiding with them all.

The hideaway house is not what Lana expected, revealing its secrets slowly, and things become even more complicated by the interest of Major Grant Bailey, a soldier from the nearby internment camp. Lana is drawn to him, too, but needs to protect her little group. With a little help from the magic on the volcano, Lana finds she can open her bruised heart to the children--and maybe to Grant.

A lush and evocative novel about doing what is right against the odds, following your heart, and what makes a family.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Sara Ackerman is the USA Today bestselling author of The Lieutenant's Nurse and Island of Sweet Pies and Soldiers. Born and raised in Hawaii, she studied journalism and earned graduate degrees in psychology and Chinese medicine. She blames Hawaii for her addiction to writing, and sees no end to its untapped stories. When she's not writing or teaching, you'll find her in the mountains or in the ocean. She currently lives on the Big Island with her boyfriend and a houseful of bossy animals. Find out more about Sara and her books at:


My Thoughts: 

In this book we meet Lana whose having a bad time with a failed marriage and her father suddenly ill she finds herself rushing to side unfortunately it's too late for him.  He leaves her a letter and suddenly Lana finds herself fostering two kids and two Japanese Americans.  As we know in WWII in Hawaii that's not a good thing. Add to the mix a curious character of Major Grant Bailey from the local internment camp and Lana has her hands full.  Trying to keep everyone happy and safe and learn what is so special about the property her father left her that isn't even finished being built but has a bunker area according to the blue prints.  Will Grant figure out her secret?  Will the kids she's fostering ever find their parents or will she have to keep them forever?

This book had so much going on I especially loved it taking place in Hawaii during World War II not many books talk about what it was like there during that time.  We get pulled into Lana's world and you find you don't want to leave it.  It's a captivating story about life in Hawaii and how some people did hide others not because they were evil but because sometimes people make the wrong assumptions.  

I also enjoyed how Lana was willing to sacrifice her own freedom for the girls who needed someone to help them so they wouldn't be taking care of but someone not caring about them.  There was alot of intrigue with this story.  Would Lana get caught and what would happen to her if she did?  Was this the plan her father had for her that he never told her about?  If you like World War II books and romance and action/adventure then this book is definitely for you!
Q&A with Sara Ackerman

Q: Would you tell us what inspired you to write Red Sky Over Hawaii?
A: I’ll start with saying that Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (the setting) is one of my favorite places. There is a vast and unearthly beauty there, with a unique rainforest and ecosystem. I spend a lot of time exploring the backcountry and lava flows in the area. One day several years ago, I came upon a rustic old house tucked away in a remote part of the park. You would never even know it’s there. Needless to say, I was intrigued. When I dug deeper and found the house was originally built as a hideaway house in 1941 in case of a Japanese invasion, I knew I had to write a book about it someday. A year or so later, I met a woman who told me about her friend’s mother, who had been a little girl during the attack on Pearl Harbor and how her parents had been taken away and held for over a year by the FBI because they were German. I tracked down that story, which broke my heart, and decided I would merge the two and loosely base my story on them. Also, I’ve always been fascinated at how ordinary people band together during crises, and at the human capacity for resilience, so I wanted to explore this in my novel.

Q: Which character in this novel do you most relate to and why?
A: I would have to say Lana, though Coco might come in a close second. Lana was at one of those difficult crossroads in life, where everything seems to fall apart at once. Though the events of her life are different than mine, I’ve been through these periods where everything looks bleak and you have to pull it together just to survive.

Q: What challenged you the most while writing this story?
A: In terms of life, I had recently lost my father, and so writing about Lana’s father Jack and the house felt very parallel (my father was an architect who built his own house) to my own experience. It was a very emotional book for me to write, and yet I think it also helped me to work through my own grief. In terms of the writing, I didn’t have a whole lot to go on in terms of books or resources of what it was like at Volcano during the war. I’d had the opposite problem with The Lieutenant’s Nurse, since that was about Pearl Harbor. Luckily, I found one publication put out by the National Parks Service that saved me. I also had a few kupuna (elders) here that shared their memories with me. We are running out of living references from WWII, so I feel honored to get to talk story with them.
Q: You must do a lot of research for your writing. What was something interesting you learned while compiling research for this book?
A: When I set out to write it, I knew about the detainment camp at KMC (Kilauea Military Camp) but I had no idea that there was so much military activity up there. In early 1942 the Army 27th Infantry Division set up headquarters there and patrolled coastlines and trained for  another anticipated invasion. When researching, there are always so many unexpected things that turn up. I love it!



Saturday, June 6, 2020

Review: Black Swan of Paris by: Karen Robards

Title: Black Swan of Paris
Author: Karen Robards
Publisher: MIRA
Format: e-book (480 p.)
Source: NetGalley

Description:

A world at war. A beautiful young star. A mission no one expected. 

Paris, 1944

Celebrated singer Genevieve Dumont is both a star and a smokescreen. An unwilling darling of the Nazis, the chanteuse’s position of privilege allows her to go undetected as an ally to the resistance.

When her estranged mother, Lillian de Rocheford, is captured by Nazis, Genevieve knows it won’t be long before the Gestapo succeeds in torturing information out of Lillian that will derail the upcoming allied invasion. The resistance movement is tasked with silencing her by any means necessary—including assassination. But Genevieve refuses to let her mother become yet one more victim of the war. Reuniting with her long-lost sister, she must find a way to navigate the perilous cross-currents of Occupied France undetected—and in time to save Lillian’s life.

My Thoughts: 

This book follows Genevieve Dumont whose a celebrated artist, but her handler is using her celebrity status to sneak things to the resistance.  What she doesn't know her parents are part of the resistance as well.  When she finds out her mother is being held she is determined to save her mother.  Will she save her in time?

I loved this version of World War II I've read a few and this one definitely had a different spin on it. One that pulled you in so you were vested in the story until it's ending.  Waiting to see how it all plays out! Definitely a huge page turner can't wait to see what is next by this thrilling author!