Archive | Reviews RSS feed for this section

Audiobook Review: Frozen by Christine Amsden

30 Jan

 

Apparently, life doesn’t end when you get married.

When a couple freezes to death on a fifty-degree day, Cassie is called in to investigate. The couple ran a daycare out of their home, making preschoolers the key witnesses and even the prime suspects.

Two of those preschoolers are Cassie’s youngest siblings, suggesting conditions at home are worse than she feared. As Cassie struggles to care for her family, she must face the truth about her mother’s slide into depression, which seems to be taking the entire town with it.

Then Cassie, too, is attacked by the supernatural cold. She has to think fast to survive, and her actions cause a rift between her and her husband.

No, life doesn’t end after marriage. All hell can break loose at any time. 

Buy Links

x

x

My Review

I chose to listen to this audiobook after receiving a free copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I have read the complete Cassie Scot series by Christine Amsden including Frozen, but it is a series that I’d read again when and if I had time, so I jumped at the chance to listen to Frozen.

Christine Amsden’s writing style flows well and is easy to read as well as listen to. The narrator did a great job but it took me a little while to get accustomed to her voice because it wasn’t anything like the voice I had for Cassie in my head. I know that sounds silly, and it’s no one’s fault, it’s just something I found interesting.

There are a lot of characters in Frozen but they’re easy to keep track of since I feel like I know them and also because they’re each unique. 

Cassie is married to Evan and they have a one-year-old who is already powerful. They’re very much in love but they have a lot on their plates. People are dying by being frozen to death, Cassie’s siblings are in trouble, there are hell hound sightings for the first time in 500 years, and Cassie is having weird dreams. There’s a lot going on in Eagle Rock.

Cassie and Evan are both stubborn and there were times I wished I could tell them both, especially Cassie, to grow up! Her pride gets in her way sometimes.

I have grown fond of the characters and the town of Eagle Rock and I’m looking forward to reading the next Cassie Scot book. I definitely recommend Frozen but I suggest reading the books in order to get the most out of them.

x

x

x

 

x

x

About the Author

Christine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.

At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, which scars the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. In addition to being a writer, she’s a mom and freelance editor.

Social Media Links:

 

Advertisements

Book Review: Blue Baby by Carolyn Arnold

23 Jan

Author: Carolyn Arnold
Series: Brandon Fisher FBI Series, Book 4
Genres: Hard-Boiled, Mystery, Police Procedural, Thriller
Publisher: Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc.
Year: 2015
Length: 270 pages

FBI Agent Brandon Fisher and his team with the Behavioral Analysis Unit are off to Grand Forks, North Dakota, when the body of a woman is found in her bathtub, dressed in a wedding gown with her ring finger severed.

It’s the first day of summer, and an exact year ago, another woman was discovered the same way. Her case went cold, but with the recent murder, the FBI believes they’re looking for a serial killer, so they reopen the case. Finding a connection between the women is proving elusive, and with a killer who starts to spiral out of control, that’s only making the trail more difficult to follow. And failure is not an option. If Brandon and his team don’t catch up to the killer, the bloodbath will continue to overflow.

Blue Baby is a creepy psychological thriller that will have readers turning the pages to unravel every twist. It will also have readers looking differently at how they define their own happiness. Buy this international bestselling book today and hunt a serial killer alongside the FBI!

 

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I’ve read quite a few of Carolyn Arnold’s books including On the Count of Three, the latest in the Brandon Fisher series. I like Carolyn Arnold’s characters and Brandon Fisher is one of my favorites. I’ve been hoping to find the time to read the rest of the books in her series in order but since I received this one for free, I went ahead and read it. The more I read, the more I get to know the characters. Each book is a standalone, but I like to read a series in order when I can.

Brandon Fisher works for the BAU with the FBI and this is a tough case. Some of the team members are having personal issues as well. This serial killer wants to help women find “happiness” and he has decided that the way to happiness for some women is to murder them to release them from their sadness in this world. Will they be able to track him down before he kills again?

The team has a lot of clues to follow, especially since one of the murders was a year ago. They meet up often to keep each other up-to-date and to theorize about the killer as well as what circumstances may have occurred to make him/her a serial killer. There are a few suspects, a lot of twists, and a good ending.

I like Carolyn Arnold’s writing whether it’s a cozy mystery or a grizzly FBI thriller or something in between. Her writing flows well and her characters are realistic. If you like murder mysteries and/or if you like the TV show Criminal Minds, you should like the Brandon Fisher series.

 

 

About the Author

CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international bestselling and award-winning author, as well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to action adventures.

Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT™.

Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.

She currently lives in London Ontario with her husband and beagle and is a member of Crime Writers of Canada and Sisters in Crime.

Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:

Website – http://carolynarnold.net/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Carolyn_Arnold

Facebook –https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCarolynArnold

And don’t forget to sign up for her newsletter for up-to-date information on release and special offers at http://carolynarnold.net/newsletters.

Book Review: 100 Tiny Tales by K. Kris Loomis

21 Jan

No time for fiction? Think again! 
Many people love fiction but don’t have the time to take up a weighty novel. Why not try some microfiction short stories instead? 

These bite-sized, slice-of-life short stories are crafted with only one hundred words, so they go by in a flash. Perfect for time-challenged fiction lovers, these humorous yet thought-provoking stories can be read when you’re waiting in line, riding the bus, or whenever you need a short mental break. 

Go on. Try some flash fiction. Grab your copy of 100 Tiny Tales today

Free through January 22nd.

 

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

What a fun book to read! I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to come up with a story in exactly 100 words but to do it 100 times! That’s amazing. Not only that, but these quick stories are each a surprise. Some are cute, some are sad, some are funny, many are thought-provoking. You never know what you’re going to get.

I read these in one sitting but they would be good quick reads for when you’re waiting for a short period of time…anywhere. Although I don’t read in the bathroom, I know many people do, and this would make a great bathroom book. It would also be a good book for anyone who doesn’t feel like they have time to read a full-length novel.

 

 

About the Author

K. Kris Loomis is an eclectic author who writes both fiction and nonfiction books. She is the author of the novel, The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane, as well as the short story collection, The Monster in the Closet and Other Stories. Kris has also written several books about yoga and meditation and a humorous travelogue about the time she, her husband and their handicapped cat moved to South America called Thirty Days In Quito: Two Gringos and a Three-Legged Cat Move to Ecuador!

When Kris isn’t at her standing desk writing, you will find her playing chess, folding an origami crane, or practicing a Beethoven sonata on the piano. She lives in Rock Hill, SC with her husband and two cats.

https://www.facebook.com/kkrisloomis

https://www.instagram.com/kkrisloomis/

https://www.kkrisloomis.com/

Short Story Review: The Naked Eye by Angela Kay

18 Jan

At an Aspen ski resort, vacation plans are drastically changed when the body of Lauren Crusher is found in her room. With the ongoing blizzard, everyone is shut in, including the killer.

Since backup is unable to come to Lieutenant Davis’s aid, he must utilize his deducting skills to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Goodreads

Amazon

 

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

The Naked Eye is a short story but it has all of the elements of a good murder mystery. It opens with the body of a girl found in a locked room at a ski resort. With a blizzard raging outside, it’s obvious that if her death wasn’t an accident, then one of the people in the cabin is a murderer…and no one can go anywhere any time soon!

There are many characters in this story, all of the people stranded in the cabin, but it’s pretty easy to keep them all straight. Lt. Davis is the main character. He’s the dad of one of the vacationers and is only staying there because of the weather. Little did he know he was going to try to find a murderer. He has to comb through all of the evidence on his own, and it seems that something new comes up at every turn.

Many secrets are revealed during Lt. Davis’s investigation but would any of them be cause for murder? A great read with a good twist at the end.

 

 

About the Author

Equipped with a professional writing degree from Augusta State University, Angela Kay is a southern lady who spends her days and nights dreaming up new ways to solve dark murders of normal people. 

Angela Kay was one of 23 across the United States to win a 2009 playwright contest for her one-act entitled “Digging Deeper.” Because of this, she was able to spend a week in Atlanta at the Horizon Theater Company. 
 

She lives in Augusta, Georgia with her crazy calico, Maggie.

 Website Newsletter Facebook * Twitter * Amazon * Goodreads

Book Review & Giveaway: Marine by Mark JG Fahey

16 Jan

Book Title: Marine (Halley’s Casino Book 2) by Mark JG Fahey
Category: Adult Fiction, 378 pages
Genre: Science Fiction / Humor
Publisher: Self-published
Release date: Oct 20, 2016
Tour dates: Jan 2 to 31, 2019
Content Rating: PG (No f-words, mild violence, readable for all ages 12 and up)

x

Nebula Yorker (“Neb” to his friends) finds himself on the water planet of Marine in a race to recover a long-lost Triopelian Star Chart he previously never knew existed.

Along the way, Neb encounters new friends and a villainous brother and sister team bent on doing whatever they must to get their hands on the star chart first – including mayhem and murder.

One cocky android, one imbibed professor, one universal(ly) renowned scientist and one ice breathing sassy Water Dragon make Neb wonder whether the past 3 years travelling with Halley’s Casino was just a peaceful lull?

Who will find the star chart first? What are the implications if Neb doesn’t? And what does a Water Moon have to do with all of this?

John Lennon seems to know….

x
To read reviews, please visit Mark JG Fahey’s page on iRead Book Tours.

x

Buy Marine:

x

x

x

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I had read Halley’s Casino a while back so I was happy to read Marine, the second book in the Halley’s Casino series. The first book was good but I enjoyed Marine quite a bit more. There was so much going on!

Neb is still on Halley’s Casino and has found out there’s a missing Triopelian Star Chart which he needs to find before it falls into the wrong hands, especially the dangerous duo Ar-den and Ar-dan. There are others looking for the star chart as well, including Professor Lebeau sent by Professor Pheet. 

The search for the missing star chart is just one thing going on. We learn more about Neb’s home planet. Plus, his parents have been living on Earth for a long time and something is going on there that Neb is going to try to figure out in the next book. 

I love the characters! They’re all unique in their own way.

Marine is not just science fiction. It is laugh out loud funny at times. Even when things are serious and I shouldn’t be laughing, the author’s sense of humor shines through. When I got to the end of the book and read those who inspire him, his sense of humor became a little clearer. 

x
x
x

About the Author

Mark JG Fahey is not an alien, contrary to what you may have heard, though he swears he has been to space. Mark has dabbled in various undertakings throughout his illustrious career, from on-air hosting/reporter/stand-up comic to messenger for the Prime Minister of Canada. Mark also holds a degree in Restaurant Services. His family and friends can attest to his excellent cooking skills. Born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Mark was raised and still resides in Aylmer, Quebec, Canada. Halley’s Casino is the first book in the Halley’s Casino trilogy.

Halley’s Casino: 3rd place winner in a worldwide competition with World’s Best Story 2017 . Finalist and 3rd place winner with the Independent Author Network October 2018 and is also a finalist for the inaugural Canadian Book Club Awards 2018.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook

x

x

Giveaway

Ends Feb 7, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway

x

x

x

Book Review: Talented by Debbie Civil

9 Jan




We are talented, and our duty is to protect the town of Westgrove from a destructive enemy. For two years we have been hunting THEM. That’s right, we don’t know the name of our enemy. All we know is that human energy makes them stronger. So, we’ve spent our time patrolling heavily populated areas, to ensure the safety of our town. During a party in a secluded cabin, everything changes. A human is murdered, and our friends are dragged into the war to protect our territory. More complications arise when a keeper visits Westgrove and informs us of the council’s expectations. Will we obey or go rogue?

 

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

Talented is a young adult paranormal story. The Talented are teenagers who are blind except when They are near. The teens have other abilities as well to assist them to beat Them.

Talented kept my interest but it took me a while to figure out exactly what was going on as far as their talents, the Keepers, Them, and then it just ended which didn’t make me too happy. I still have many questions, especially why the Talented are blind. I may have to read the next book in the series just to have my questions answered. Luckily, I like the author’s writing style and I read this book in one sitting.

 

 

About the Author

My name is Debbie Civil and I’m from Brockton, Massachusetts. The most important detail about me is that I love literature. In a perfect world, I would live in a library and have unlimited access to tons of novels. I would also include my lucky laptop in the deal, so that I could write adventures. I graduated from Eastern Nazarene College with a degree in child and adolescent psychology. My novels focus on the inner turmoil of young adults. I love to write stories about young love and the challenges that the teen couple will face. I also love writing fantasy novels. Aside from reading and writing, I enjoy spending time with friends, family, and my cat Charlie.

Links:

Goodreads: https://bit.ly/2Sq5fIL
Facebook: https://bit.ly/2AFPI0w
Twitter: https://bit.ly/ICFCzV

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2RHUotT

Book Review: As Long as We Both Shall Live by JoAnn Chaney

7 Jan

What happens when you’re really, truly done making your marriage work? You can’t be married to someone without sometimes wanting to bash them over the head…
As Long As We Both Shall Live is JoAnn Chaney’s wicked, masterful examination of a marriage gone very wrong, a marriage with lots of secrets…

“My wife! I think she’s dead!” Matt frantically tells park rangers that he and his wife, Marie, were hiking when she fell off a cliff into the raging river below. They start a search, but they aren’t hopeful: no one could have survived that fall. It was a tragic accident.

But Matt’s first wife also died in suspicious circumstances. And when the police pull a body out of the river, they have a lot more questions for Matt.

Detectives Loren and Spengler want to know if Matt is a grieving, twice-unlucky husband or a cold-blooded murderer. They dig into the couple’s lives to see what they can unearth. And they find that love’s got teeth, it’s got claws, and once it hitches you to a person, it’s tough to rip yourself free.

So what happens when you’re done making it work?

 

 

 

My Review

I chose to read this e-book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

This is a difficult review to write because I’m conflicted. The plot and the multiple twists were great but personally, I couldn’t stay interested in the book because of so much extra, unnecessary information. Normally, I don’t mind when an author changes between times but it was a bit too much here.

Matt pushes his wife Marie off a cliff and when detectives find out that his first wife died under suspicious circumstances, they realize that they need to look closer at Matt. The more they (and the reader) find out, the crazier things get.

There’s a subplot with Detective Loren that I could have done without. Whether he was guilty or innocent didn’t matter to me…it was difficult to read about him because he was such a nasty character. He was demeaning and rude to men and even more to women.

I guess I was disappointed because As Long as We Both Shall Live was an okay read but it could have been a fantastic read.

 

 

 

About the Author

JoAnn Chaney lives in Colorado. Her first novel, WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW is out NOW, and AS LONG AS WE BOTH SHALL LIVE is available for preorder! Get it wherever books are sold:

Indiebound

Books-a-Million

Powells

Barnes and Noble

Amazon

Target.com

 

 

 

Book Review: 50 Ways to Love Wine More by Jim Laughren

31 Dec

This vital book for wine lovers also includes a helpful appendix listing the many grape varieties mentioned and discussed. Beautifully illustrated with vibrant photography, this is the go-to source for uncovering—or increasing—your love of wine. It’s perfect for anyone looking to expand their knowledge of wine, find the world’s greatest wine bargains, plan the best wine vacations ever, or even learn to become an “insider at their favorite winery. 
50 WAYS TO LOVE WINE MORE is an all-in-one guide for learning more background about your favorite wines, exciting wine activities you can participate in, or if you need some new suggestions for wines to try.

50 WAYS TO LOVE WINE MORE shares:

 

  • How to start your own tasting group
  • The distinction between old world and new world wines
  • Exploring the dynamic duo of wine and chocolate
  • How to saber a bottle of champagne
Available on Amazon.com in paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/0985533633 

 

 

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

My son is a winemaker and although I only drink wine when he brings it home on holidays, I’m learning to appreciate it more and more. When I had the chance to read this book, I thought it would be interesting to learn more about wine and what exactly my son does. I wasn’t disappointed.

There’s a variety of information in 50 Ways to Love Wine More. There is a lot of information about wine tastings but it also contains history, info about different wines from different regions, how one small thing can change a wine (such as temperature), how wine is made (briefly), drinking wine with everyday foods (even hot dogs!), and so much more. This is a book that could be read in a couple of days but I found reading 2 or 3 chapters at a time was better because there was so much information to absorb.

If you’re wine drinker and want to learn more about wines, this would be a good resource.

 

 

About the Author

Jim Laughren, Certified Wine Educator (CWE), is the award-winning author of 50 Ways to Love Wine More and A Beer Drinker’s Guide to Knowing and Enjoying Fine Wine. He loves wine, and has for a very long time. Known for his irreverent approach and abiding enthusiasm for all things fermented, he is president of Chicago-based WineHead Consulting and a former importer and distributor of fine wines from around the world. He loves nothing more than sharing his passion for excellent wine with others, whether through tastings, training sessions or just relaxing with friends around the table.

Websitewww.jimlaughren.com 

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/Author-Jim-Laughren-393068804559096/

Instagramhttps://www.instagram.com/thewinewriter/

 

 

 

 

 

Book Review: Keep Her Close by Erik Therme

28 Dec

Someone took your daughter. And nobody believes you…

Then:
Three-year-old Ally was found alone in a parking lot.
She was barefoot and dressed only in a yellow sundress. In the middle of winter.
What kind of person would abandon their daughter?

Now:
Fifteen years later and Ally has a new family. 
But her real father has sent her a letter.
And now Ally is missing. 

A gripping twist-filled thriller that will have you looking over your shoulder. Perfect for fans of Gone Girl, The Girl on the Train and Teresa Driscoll. 

 

AMAZON
iBookstore
Kobo
Google Play

 

 

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased.

I’ve read a few of Erik Therme’s books, and my favorite to this point was Resthaven. I can’t decide whether I like Keep Her Close or Resthaven better, but they are both definitely worth reading. 

Keep Her Close grabbed my attention from the beginning and kept me interested throughout. After Ally was rescued years ago by Holly and Dan, they were able to adopt her. Even though they divorced a few years later, they’re still both good parents and they try to get along when it comes to Ally. When Ally goes missing, they work separately to find her but try to keep each other in the loop.

Every chapter seemed to have a new surprise, a new twist, a new clue to follow. I never knew what was going to happen next. I’ve always liked Erik Therme’s writing but the more he writes, the more I like it. His character development has improved a lot and I look forward to reading more of his stories.

 

 

About the Author

Erik Therme has thrashed in garage bands, inadvertently harbored runaways, and met Darth Vader. When he’s not at his computer, he can be found cheering on his youngest daughter’s volleyball team, or watching horror movies with his oldest. He currently resides in Iowa City, Iowa—one of only twenty-eight places in the world that UNESCO has certified as a City of Literature. Join Erik’s mailing list to be notified of new releases and author giveaways: http://eepurl.com/cD1F8L

WEB: www.eriktherme.com
FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/ErikTherme.writer
TWITTER: www.twitter.com/ErikTherme

Book Review: Unbound by Lance Erlick

19 Dec
x
x
x
Unbound
Android Chronicles Book 2
by Lance Erlick
Genre: SciFi, Artificial Intelligence
x

About the Book

Synthia Cross is the most advanced android with artificial intelligence ever created. Some see her as a boon to mankind. Most view her as a deadly threat.
 
When Synthia escaped from her creator, even he had no idea of the advanced capabilities she’d developed. For six months she’s hidden in the Wisconsin woods with the only human she can trust—computer genius Luke Marceau. Together they’ve upgraded her body, rewritten her directives, and further enhanced her mind. Now hunters are zeroing in on her location, and she must flee. But leaving the refuge to assimilate into society is a dangerous risk, because Synthia will soon face her most formidable adversary. The pursuer’s name is Vera. She’s a female android—built to perfection, designed to hunt, and programmed to destroy . . .
x
 x

 

 

 

x
x

My Review

I chose to read this book after receiving a free e-copy from the author. All opinions in this review are my own and completely unbiased. I read Reborn, the first book in this series and knew I like Lance Erlick’s writing, so I was happy to read this book.

Unbound is about artificial intelligence, particularly Synthia, who Dr. Jeremiah Machten developed.  Synthia got away from Machten, who was keeping her prisoner, and she is now on the run. She’s also continued to evolve on her own. It seems like everyone wants to find Synthia, all with their own reasons. 

The characters are well developed and at times Synthia seems more human that the humans. She’s continuously in conflict with her directives, trying to figure out what they should be, and “feelings” that she doesn’t understand.

I recommend Unbound to anyone who likes science fiction about artificial intelligence. It took me a little while to get into it like the first book did. Once I got into it, though, it kept my interest throughout. It did have more detail about Synthia’s processing than I cared for, but that’s more of a personal preference. I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series to find out what happens!

 

 

 

 

x
x

About the Author

Lance Erlick writes science fiction thrillers for both adult and young
adult readers. His father was an aerospace engineer who moved often
while working on science-related projects, including the original GPS
satellites. As a result, Lance spent his childhood in California, the
East Coast, and Europe. He took to science fiction stories to escape
life on the move, turning to Asimov, Bradbury, Heinlein, and others.
In college he studied physics, but migrated to political science,
earning his BS and MBA at Indiana University. He has also studied
writing at Ball State, the University of Iowa, and Northwestern
University. He is the author of Xenogeneic: First Contact and the
Rebel and Regina Shen series.
x

x
x
x
 x
x
%d bloggers like this: