Book Review & Giveaway: Shadows in the Fog by Greg Messel

28 Jan

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Shadows in the Fog 2Title: Shadows in the Fog
Author: Greg Messel
Publisher: Sunbreaks Publishing
Pages: 353
Genre: Mystery Thriller
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

About the Book

The story begins on a stormy morning in February of 1959. The front page of the morning paper is dominated by news of the plane crash which killed rock ’n roll stars Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper and Richie Valens. 

 Private Eye Sam Slater is hired to perform what he thinks is a routine two-day job as a favor for a friend. However, it all goes terribly wrong when a young San Francisco policeman is gunned down while sitting in a parked car with Sam. 

 The murder sets off a chain of events which will pull Sam and his wife and partner, Amelia, into a dangerous web of intrigue in the dark, shadowy alleys and back rooms of San Francisco’s Chinatown. 

 In the winter of 1959, Amelia resigns as a TWA stewardess and is now Sam’s full time partner in the private eye business. 

 Sam and Amelia inadvertently come in conflict with the San Francisco mob boss after helping a crusading newspaper reporter who is working to expose corruption in Chinatown. Now a mysterious dark car follows the Slaters every where they go. Sam and Amelia discover a hidden world of corrupt cops, gambling parlors, brothels and human trafficking exists right under their noses. 

 At the same time, a rising California politician hires Sam and Amelia to find his daughter who disappeared without a trace three years earlier. The search is prompted by the sudden appearance of a letter from the woman, who was presumed dead. 

 As Sam and Amelia pursue these cases, they discover that all the clues lead them back to Chinatown. The Slaters want to avoid taking on the San Francisco crime lords head-on. However, when Amelia is kidnapped in an alley during the Chinese New Year’s celebration, Sam plunges himself into danger desperately searching Chinatown to find her before it’s too late. 

 The reader will be drawn into fast moving events which culminate in a harrowing conclusion as Sam Slater races against the clock on a foggy night in Chinatown.

 “Shadows In The Fog” is the fifth book in the the award winning Sam Slater Mysteries Series but is a stand-alone thriller in the tradition of great whodunits.


My Review

I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

Shadows in the Fog is the fifth book in the Sam Slater mysteries. I read book #4, The Fog City Strangler, so I had an idea what I was in for but I sure didn’t expect things to start out with a bang like they did.

Sam’s wife, Amelia, finally resigns as a stewardess and she becomes his full time partner as a private eye. They are both thrilled to be together more than 3 days a week. She has always been involved in his cases but now she can officially be his partner. 

Sam takes on a routine case as a favor to a friend but it soon turns into a murder case. He and Amelia also take on another case to search for a politician’s missing daughter. These two cases cause a lot of suspense and there is nonstop action.

Greg Messel is good at incorporating historical information into his stories. For example, at the beginning of the book, Sam has just gotten done working on a movie set starring Lana Turner, Sandra Dee, and Anthony Quinn. There are also black and white pictures from 1959 in between some of the chapters.

If you like a good private eye mystery with a lot of action and suspense, I definitely recommend Shadows in the Fog.



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Book Review: Almost Perfect by Diane Daniels Manning

28 Jan

Almost Perfect audiobookTitle: Almost Perfect

Author: Diane Daniels Manning

Genre: Young Adult, General Fiction

Publication Date: October 14, 2014



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About the Book

Two unlikely friends, an old woman and a boy with special needs, take an aging champion to Westminster Dog Show, and heal their troubled families.

Seventy year-old Bess Rutledge has fantasized about winning the Westminster Dog Show all her life, but now she has decided she is too old to follow her dream. She meets Benny, an angry fourteen year-old with mild autism and ADHD, who has a dream of his own: to impress his self-absorbed mother. He becomes convinced that winning Westminster with McCreery, Bess’ aging champion standard poodle, will finally make his mother proud of him. Getting Bess to go along with his plan, however, is not going to be so easy.


Where to buy the book




My Review

I received a free audio version of this book for an honest review.

This is a sweet story about friendship, dreams, and dogs.

Benny is a mildly autistic teen from a dysfunctional family. He becomes friends with his elderly neighbor, Bess, who has given up on her dream to win at Westminster.

A friendship between Benny and Bess blossoms as she helps Benny learn how to be a dog trainer. Benny learns a lot from Bess but she learns a lot from him too. Speaking of relationships, McCreery and Breaker, two champion standard poodles, are a big part of this story and I enjoyed listening about them the most.

The narrator of Almost Perfect did a good job for the most part. I have listened to books in the past that I could tell who was talking by the change in the narrator’s voice but that wasn’t always the case in this book.

Although the book gets a little slow at times, the end at the Westminster Dog show is emotional and exciting. I think dog lovers would like this book, especially those who enjoy watching dog shows.

FYI: the Westminster Dog Show takes place from February 16-17 this year!




About the Author

Diane Daniel ManningDiane Daniels Manning is the co-founder and director of The New School in the Heights, a therapeutic school in Houston, Texas which helps children dealing with social-emotional challenges find success in school and life. She has a Ph.D. in Education and a post-doctoral M.P.H from Harvard and is a practicing child psychoanalyst certified by the American Psychoanalytic Association. Formerly, she was the Director of the Reading and Learning Disabilities Clinic at Tufts University, Lecturer and Research Associate in the Department of Behavioral Sciences at Harvard, and Chair of the Department of Education at Tulane University. She learned the inner workings of dog show kennels by writing an authorized oral history of a lifetime President of the Poodle of Club of America. Her writing awards include the Faulkner-Wisdom Novella Prize and the Women in Film and Television Short Script Competition.

When not at The New School, Diane and her writing partners, a Standard Poodle named Misty and a rescue cat named Elvira, convene at the keyboard to share great thoughts and plan the dinner menu.

Connect with her:  Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook

You can win one $50, $25 or $10 Amazon Gift Card on the author’s website.

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Spotlight & Giveaway: Get Deals on e-Book Bestsellers

28 Jan
Since so many of my readers are avid readers, I thought some of you might be interested in this site.
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Book Tank

27 Jan

Talk about a unique library!2015-01-27_12-00-02thanks JH

Have You Ever Been in Love?

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Literary Devices

27 Jan


Book Review: Broken Trust by Thomas Maurin

27 Jan

Broken TrustTitle: Broken Trust (The Three Musketeers #1)

Author: Thomas Maurin

Genre: Mystery, Suspense

Publication Date: October 2014

About the Book:

This is a story about three smart, successful people who were once fast friends in college and have now been thrust together again in an unlikely, multi-layered investigation with far-reaching international implications and billions of dollars at stake. One is a forensic accountant for the SEC, one beta tests hardware and software for the US Department of Defense and the UK Ministry of Defense, and the third is a wildly successful entrepreneur, software developer and venture capitalist in Silicon Valley.

They get caught up in the hunt for a corrupt Swiss banker intent on finally unloading the last of the gold stolen by his father in World War II; a violent, narcissist leader of a Mexican drug cartel making his move to take over as the head of all cartels in Central America; and the daughter of a murdered Bulgarian arms dealer making the deal that will give her mother financial stability and get them both out of the increasingly unstable arms business.

The plot unfolds as financial crimes committed by insiders put common criminal activities to shame in a world where technology has increasingly insinuated itself into our lives to good and bad effects.


My Review:

I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.

Broken Trust grabbed my interest from the beginning and it was nonstop action and suspense until the very end.

When a colleague of Mary Catherine “Fitz” Fitzsimmons is run down by an SUV, saving her from the same fate, she is determined to find out what is going on. She is in way over her head and ends up working with friends she had gone to Harvard with. In fact, they had been so close they called themselves The Three Musketeers.

There are so many twists and turns and surprises that it was hard to put Broken Trust down and I like how it ended. There was a definite end to the story but the reader is left with an indication that there will be more stories to follow. I absolutely recommend this page turner and I can’t wait to read the next book in The Three Musketeers series.


Where to buy the book:


Barnes and Noble


About the Author:

Bonnie B and Michael T HartleyThomas Maurin is the pen name of husband and wife writing team Bonnie B. Hartley, Ph.D., and Michael T. Hartley, CFP®. They both write non-fiction books and articles regarding financial and family business topics and have delivered talks on those subjects internationally over the last thirty years.

Connect with them:  Website  ~  Twitter


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Book Review & Giveaway: Shifter’s Heart by Desiree Williams

27 Jan

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Heart Song Trilogy – Book 2

1-21-2015-2-32-13-PM-199x300As the flames of Varkadon spread, war rips through the Shifter Territory…

With the Aldonnian kingdom celebrating the news of her brother’s soul bonding, Laelynn seizes every opportunity to drive herself to the brink of exhaustion. If her body is worn, then her brain would be too tired to dream. Laelynn knew the men who’d captured her were gone from this world, but that didn’t stop the haunting images from plaguing her mind. Not even the pesky thorn-in-her-side Shifter Prince could keep the dreams at bay. Though Dustan’s commentary through their mental bond had kept a lingering smile on her lips, despite the battles that rage within her.

Yet when Dustan distances himself Laelynn questions the connection between them. Those fears rise when her own talents begin to morph and grow into the unexpected. Torn between love and faith, Laelynn strives to find the purpose behind the evolving gifts. What she discovers is far more than she ever imagined.

As tragedy befalls the Shifter Territory and brother battles against brother, Laelynn knows what must be done. Face her demons and triumph, or she’ll never claim the song of her heart.


My Review:

I received a free ecopy of this book for an honest review.

I read the first book in this series, Heart Song, and was looking forward to reading Shifter’s Heart. I thought it was even better than the first book!

Desiree Williams’ writing style flows well and is easy to read. Her descriptions put vivid pictures in my mind but she doesn’t give so much detail that I got bored (I tend to skip paragraphs if there’s too much detail).

The characters are well developed and continue to grow in Shifter’s Heart. The focus is on Laelynn and Dustan but Alanna and Jerric, who were the main characters in the first book, play a big part in their lives. I like how, although Laelynn and Dustan are insecure about their love, they learn quickly to trust one another and their bond.

There’s a lot going on in this book. Once Laelynn and Dustan bond, they receive new powers that they must come to terms with just as Alanna and Jerric did in the the previous book. Alanna is training so that she’ll be ready when they have to fight the Varkadons. And the war with the Varkadons is always in the back of everyone’s mind.

I definitely recommend Shifter’s Heart. It is a stand alone book but I would read Heart Song first.


Book Links


Ebooks available for purchase at: Amazon; iBooks; Barnes & Nobel; Smashwords


Author Bio

1-21-2015-2-33-13-PM-150x150Desiree Williams is a dreamer by day and chocoholic by night. She lives in the beautiful state of Kentucky with her husband and daughter, where she juggles life as a wannabe supermom. Desiree is a lover of food and avoider of dirty dishes. She delights in making people laugh and strives to bring hope and love with her wherever she goes.

You can find out more about Desiree and her books at


Author Links

Blog / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Newsletter



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