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


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.

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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


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.  
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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


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!
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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


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! 
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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.)


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.
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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


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.

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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


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.

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!

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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


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!
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Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Book Tour: A Guarded Love by: Adelia Burke

Author name: Adelia Burke
Book name: A Guarded Love- The Unassuming Billionaire Series-Book 1
Book genre: Suspense/Romance/Clean Romance
Book available in which formats: eBook and print, KDP

Book description:

An unsuspecting college student is inadvertently thrust into the paparazzi spotlight when a country music star mingles at a local karaoke club. After an unexpected photo surfaces online, the power of clickbait media sends two people from different worlds on a collision course with destiny.
A break from touring proves to be anything but relaxing, as Landon Ross navigates a whirlwind of tabloid manipulation, crazed fans and heightened security protocol. Each detail of his life is carefully structured and scheduled. But the unexpected arrival of a talented local music major makes him re-evaluate everything.

Themes & issues addressed in the book:
* Trust
* Abuse
* Romance

Positive messages in the book:
*learning to trust again
*having a deep relationship
* unconditional love

Page count:122


Fun facts about the book:
·         Taryn goes to her high school reunion and sees the man who used to bully her. They are set up on a blind date that leads to a crazy adventure.
  The author was in a terrible car accident and, after 3 years, is finally writing her fun romance novels again!

·         Adelia Burke is a pen name.  The author’s real name is Deb Earl.

Author bio:

Adelia Burke (Deb Earl) was born in Reno, Nevada. She is married and has three married daughters and two grandchildren. She has been an avid reader all of her life with a vivid imagination.

She has been involved in family history research for many years and decided to incorporate that into her writing in some of her books. It makes for some interesting stories.  She absolutely loves to throw in twists in her books.
Her interests include running, gardening, and traveling. She is a home-schooling expert!

Interview questions:

1.      Why did you want to write this book? 
I don’t like the standard romance novels. I love plot twists.

2.      What inspires you when you’re writing?
Life and humor. Somethings are so good in real life that you can’t make them up.

3.      What other authors have influenced your writing? 
Anita Stansfield, Marcia Lynn McClure

4.      What book are you reading right now? 
The Gable Faces East

5.      What is your favorite book of all time and why? 
The Uglies And the Pretties It is futuristic and such a different view of life.

6.      Are your fictional characters based on real people you know? 

7.       How did you come up with your plot?   
Everywhere we go, we are bombarded with celebrities and paparazzi. While there is some truth in the articles, even if there is picture evidence, it’s usually not the full truth. A lot get twisted to make a good story and bring in money.

8.      What was the most difficult thing about writing a book? 
Making sure there aren’t too many plot twists. Also, making sure each character is clearly defined.

9.      What advice would you give for someone who thinks they want to write a book? 
Map out your story. Make sure you know your audience.

10.  What's the next book you'll begin writing?   
It’s Billionaire Series

12.  What do your fans mean to you?  
I love meeting them in my Facebook group and chatting.

13.  When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time? 

Gardening, travel, painting, movies

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