Monthly Archives: April 2017

For the Love of Katie (The Katie Chronicles Book 2) by Erica Lucke Dean

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For the Love of Katie (The Katie Chronicles Book 2)For the Love of Katie by Erica Lucke Dean
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Katie Maxwell is newly married when her husband’s job takes them on a trip to Europe where she finds herself returning to her sleuthing ways when the project is surrounded in secrecy. Unfortunately Katie’s amateur detective work lands her in hot water and forces her to try to talk her way out of a Parisian jail cell.

When the French detective asks Katie to start at the beginning and what brought her to his city and the unfortunate circumstances Katie couldn’t help but tell the tale of what led up to her wedding and time in the city. Katie had been ready to give up her sleuthing on the days leading to her wedding but she just couldn’t help herself taking her on the overseas adventure.

For the Love of Katie is the second book in the Katie Chronicles. While this is the second book in the series and we did meet Katie and her husband in the first I do believe if one wanted to read just this adventure it would still read OK by itself. You get to know Katie and her quirky personality along with all the other characters quite well in just this edition.

For me with this installment of the story I found myself beginning to question Katie and her constant worry over her relationship. At some point Katie will need to trust her partner or the relationship will be doomed but Katie’s antics also lead to some hilarious adventures so I also can’t see reading her story without them. As with the first book I found myself laughing quite often and just loving the story but hopefully Katie’s brush with a jail cell with calm her trust issues in her relationship in the future.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

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It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell

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It's Always the HusbandIt’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny met in college when the three were paired together as roommates. The girls were as different as different can be but despite that they still formed a bond that has lasted into their adult lives. Bonded together all those years ago the trio could best be described as having a love hate relationship between them much of the time.

Now twenty years later the trio finds themselves back in the same town yet again with one of them standing on the edge of a bridge and someone else urging her to jump. Just how did things go this far and end up where it has? What secrets did the girls share that brought them to this place in there lives?

It’s Always the Husband is told switching the timeline back and forth between Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny meeting back in college and how their friendship forms along with what the girls endured during those years and now in the present with them coming back together. The three of them couldn’t be any more different from one another with one being the spoiled rich girl, one the local townie and then the other coming from a rough family background.

The story is one that I was on the fence throughout reading this book as to whether I was enjoying it or not. Quite honestly I never did really care for any of the three main characters at any point during the read, they’ve all got their issues and weren’t really appealing to me at all. There’s also some other issues like a sheriff that wasn’t a bit realistic and a few other things here and there I didn’t care for either. But that being said the story did rather engage me wanting to know was it the husband? Or even just what had happened in the past and present before it was revealed so I decided to rate this one right down the middle since I was still interested in answers while reading.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

The Devil’s Whisper by T.H. Moore blitz with giveaway

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The Devil’s Whisper
T.H. Moore
Publication date: May 1st 2017
Genres: Adult, Dystopian, Suspense

Take a moment and imagine your history books devoid of war. Envision entire civilizations absent of heinous crimes against humanity. A planet spared from the plagues of slavery, cultural genocides, and the colonization of indigenous nations by foreigners. Would you dare make the choices necessary to maintain this Utopia in which universal peace existed? Could you ignore the Devil whispering in your ear, luring you away from a world in which loving your fellow man was the expectation, not the exception?

In a state of reverie, an impractical idea of world peace has given birth to a culture in which the human race has chosen to live free of violent criminals. Instead, criminals have been systematically exiled to the lone prison city, Katingal, constructed in a far corner of Earth. Sentenced for the remainder of their natural lives, the wicked pit themselves against their soulless brethren. Exposure, disease, and starvation claim their victims daily. Those who survive nature’s wrath negotiate the perils of the prison city through murder and cannibalism. All the while, this inimitable death sentence satisfies civilization’s aim to punish the world’s irretrievable outcasts.

Charles “Yäbälay” Gravo is the criminal mastermind behind the world’s largest human trafficking network. As a prime most-wanted fugitive, he sets into motion events that will forever alter the realities of both civilization’s Utopia and Katingal’s Hell.

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EXCERPT:

Though Charles felt relieved to have discovered Kristoff’s lair, he could see that the savage was surrounded by his men. Nevertheless, Charles surged ahead, his heart racing in tempo with his legs as he moved closer to his objective.

As Charles drew near, a commotion broke out on the balcony. The group of men were drinking, dancing, and fighting as if the balcony were a mosh pit. One reveler grabbed another, while a third man struck the unfortunate chap with a pipe. He buckled, and with one swift movement, the two men flung their victim from the balcony. His limp body fell twenty floors to the hard pavement below. Charles heard the thump when it hit, and the cheers from a group of men who had been waiting for it on the street.

“The king is offering sacrifices tonight,” one maniac on the balcony cheered, hooting down at the dead man sprawled on the pavement.

Charles quickened his pace, staying close to the edges of the road. He ducked into a nearby building and crouched down in a dark corner, using his hands to gather a pile of dirt. He took a mouthful of the water from his satchel and pushed it around his mouth to alleviate his thirst before releasing a thin, controlled stream onto the dirt pile. After mixing the water and dirt into a dark paste, he covered his pale face until all that remained visible were his green eyes.

As he continued his trek toward the epicenter of the city, Charles heard the faint symphony of suffering. Angry yells of men coming from the east and bloodcurdling screams of women pierced the night to the west. Moments later, he slid past a band of filthy men vying for ownership of a corpse like a pack of wolves.

Another ruckus was followed by another violent assault. Just like the one before him, the beaten man was thrown from the balcony. He screamed the entire way down while the maniacs rejoiced from above. Scavengers sprinted past Charles to the man’s broken body and started ripping him apart.

Kristoff’s acolytes leaned over the balcony railing and waved their arms in the air, chanting, “Kris-toff! Kris-toff! Kris-toff! The king of K-City!”

Charles was fifty yards from the barbed wire courtyard that secured the front entrance to the Apex building. Another scream of fear, followed by another thud, a pitched body, and the scurry of the scavengers. This time, Charles was close enough to hear bones snapping against the pavement. He took cover to avoid the scavengers, and waited while they butchered the latest sacrifice with their homemade weapons.

Charles darted along the side of the building until he spotted four men guarding the back doorway.

“Four offerings so far tonight,” one of the guards warned the other three. “Two more before it’s safe to go back up there.”

“You sound like a woman, Manta,” the smallest guard said.

“Fuck you, Hiro!” He laughed. “You look like a woman. Now give me some pussy, you dwarf!”

“Curse me again and I’ll take your tongue,” Hiro seethed, pulling a short knife from his belt.

The other three guards erupted into laughter. “You call that a knife?” said one. “The only thing that knife is good for is picking your rotting teeth.”


Author Bio:

T.H. Moore is a Southwest Philadelphia native who relocated to Camden, New Jersey at the age of ten. He’s an active member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Morgan State University. His career as an Information Technology Consultant and Real-Estate investor has afforded him the opportunity to travel to many countries all over the world as well as the majority of the United States. Blending experience with imagination helped formulate the basis of, and inspired him to write his first novel, ‘The End Justifies the Means’.

His second novel, The Devil’s Whisper, is uniquely creative fiction that ventures away from the inspiration of his own life experiences. In The Devil’s Whisper, he dives into a darker set of dual protagonists whose sole objective is to survive the circumstances of the world they live in. T.H. Moore is the proud father of one son, Jason, and currently resides in Virginia, where he is working on the next two installments of The Devil’s Whisper trilogy.

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Cover Reveal: Colorless by Rita Stradling

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Colorless
Rita Stradling
Publication date: August 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

In Domengrad, there are rules all must live by: Fear the Gods. Worship the Magicians. Forsake the Iconoclasts.

To Annabelle Klein, the rules laid down by the Magicians are the mere ramblings of stuffy old men. As far as she’s concerned, the historic Iconoclasts, heretics who nearly destroyed the Magicians so long ago, are nothing but myth. She has much more important matters to worry about.

Heiress to a manor mortgaged down to its candlesticks and betrothed to her loathsome, lecherous cousin, sixteen-year-old Annabelle doubts the gods could forsake her more.

Then Annabelle is informed of her parents’ sudden and simultaneous deaths, and all of the pigment drips out of her skin and hair, leaving her colorless. Within moments, Annabelle is invisible and forgotten by all who know her.

Living like a wraith in her own home, Annabelle discovers that to regain her color she must solve the mystery behind her parents’ murders and her strange transformation.

Meanwhile, hundreds of the Magicians’ monks, with their all-black eyes and conjoined minds, have usurped control of Annabelle’s family manor. An Iconoclast is rumored to be about—a person who they claim goes unseen, unheard, and lost to memory, yet is the greatest threat to all of Domengrad. For the first time in a hundred years, the monks plan to unleash the dire wolves of old.

Their only target: Annabelle.

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Author Bio:

Rita Stradling is the author of The Deception Dance series, the Dakota Kekoa series and The Fourteen Day Soul Detox Novella Serial. She has a BA in Art History and a particular love for modern and medieval art.

Rita lives with her husband and son in Northern California.

She has an insatiable novel addiction and mostly reads young adult and adult: romance, paranormal, urban fantasy and high fantasy.

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Mason Dixon – Monster Hunter by Eric R. Asher blitz with giveaway

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Mason Dixon – Monster Hunter Episode 1
Eric R. Asher
Publication date: April 21st 2017
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

They are the first line of defense against the things that go bump in the night.

They are the keepers of a centuries-old legacy of The Church defending the world against the forces of darkness.

They are a bunch of highly armed rednecks, internet video celebrities, soccer moms, and assorted broken nutjobs.

They are the new Templars, and things are about to get weird.

From the pages of Bubba the Monster Hunter comes a new series featuring the Hunters from around the United States hunting down monsters, fighting off supernatural baddies, and making life really, really bad for the things that hunt people.

He’s Mason Dixon, and he’s a bona fide internet celebrity. He has his own video series, a pistol that deserves its own area code, and a high definition video camera, and he’s not afraid to use any of them.

In this introductory urban fantasy novella, we meet Mason, his right hand Emma, his “handler” Noah, his anime-styled hacker friend Himari, and more monsters than you can shake a stick at. Unless it’s a really big stick.

With Mason, it’s always a big stick. This first novella in the series follows Mason through the wilds of Missouri as he hunts down monsters that hunt men, monsters that eat chewing tobacco, and monsters that make pancakes. And there’s moonshine.

And then Bubba the Monster Hunter shows up.

The New Templars novella series is a new series of short novels, similar to BookShots. Mason Dixon – Monster Hunter is the first in the series by popular urban fantasy and steampunk author Eric R. Asher.

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EXCERPT:

“Out,” I said. “Get out of the pit. Safeties off.” I raised the stock to my shoulder and swept the area around us again.

Emma slipped and crashed into the pit, sending a cascade of stained white bones over the edge to clatter down into the limestone depression. We waited, and I could hear my own heartbeat pounding in my ears.

Boom.

We both froze. I don’t care how many times you’ve encountered something in the wild, you still freeze for a split second.

Boom.

“Move!” I hissed, backpedaling while keeping my tranquilizer aimed around Emma. She was almost out. We could get back on the ATVs and come back with bigger guns. 10cc darts? I should have brought the 50cc cannon. This was a mistake. The old man wasn’t crazy at all.

Boom. Boom. Boom. BoomBoomBoom.

The gowrow erupted from its lair like it had been spit forth by an angry god. Its stubby, bulbous body might have been humorous paired with its long scaly neck if not for the tusks fit for a mammoth gleaming in the dying sun. It would take that creature zero effort to kill us in one charge.

Its movements seemed awkward, but its attacks were practiced. The gowrow swiped at Emma with a four-toed webbed foot, a lethal claw extending from each digit. She fell backwards and rolled away, barely avoiding the attack.

Any doubt this gowrow was a maneater fled in a heartbeat.

I cranked the air pressure as high as it would go on the tranquilizer gun and fired. The dart rose slightly in a wind disturbance created by the massive creature and pinged harmlessly off the field of spiky scales lining its back. I cursed, flipped the butt of the rifle open, and loaded another dart.


Author Bio:

Eric is a former bookseller, cellist, and comic seller currently living in Saint Louis, Missouri. A lifelong enthusiast of books, music, toys, and games, he discovered a love for the written word after being dragged to the library by his parents at a young age. When he is not writing, you can usually find him reading, gaming, or buried beneath a small avalanche of Transformers.

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The Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite

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The Darkest LiesThe Darkest Lies by Barbara Copperthwaite
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Melanie Oak is a mother that gets the news that every parent out there dreads the most, that her little girl Beth has been hurt and is in the hospital hanging onto life. Melanie had walked her daughter most of the way to a friends house but as typical of a young teen Beth convinced her mother she could make it on her own but the next morning they find the girl had never arrived having lied to her parents her plans for the night.

Melanie being the distraught mother makes it her mission to make sure that the truth is revealed about what really happened to her daughter that night. Being a small community someone somewhere must have seen something and knows how her daughter ended up broken and beaten alone in the marshes and Melanie is determined she will get to the truth no matter the cost.

The Darkest Lies is a psychological thriller that takes a reader on quite a journey to get to just what happened to a young girl who is now hanging onto life. A lot of the story is told from the point of view of Melanie, the mother, who is doing a lot of internal talking to her injured daughter Beth about how she is going to find what happened that night. Now I’ve read books of this nature before but for some reason at times in this story Melanie would irritate me a bit with her internal monologue to Beth, perhaps because I questioned that her child is still alive why isn’t she spending time with her?

However, putting aside my doubts of Melanie and her character I found the story within this book quite compelling. There were a lot of twists and turns to keep a reader’s interest along the way in the story. I had my different guesses at the outcome in here and one of my suspicions happened to be true but then the author throws another twists at the reader and completely adds more to the story I don’t think anyone would expect. In the end I thought this one was a pretty good read even with questioning my liking the main character in parts of the book.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Cover Reveal: Keeping Claudia by Suzanne McKenna Link

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Keeping Claudia
Suzanne McKenna Link
(Toby & Claudia #2)
Publication date: May 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Back home in a town she once fled, headstrong Claudia Chiametti returns to the arms of the only guy ever to awaken her heart. Everything about Toby Faye contradicts her family’s traditions and values, but she’s ready to take a chance on love.

Toby finally has the girl he’s long dreamed of within his reach. But, it’s only a matter of time before light will be cast on the dark corners of a secreted past.

Can Claudia love him unconditionally …or will the truth cost Toby what he wants most?

Falling in love is easy. Staying in love is hard.

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Author Bio:

Suzanne McKenna Link works for a family of newspapers that cover events in and around the South Shore of Long Island, New York. She lives in the town of Sayville with her husband and two children.

SAVING TOBY is her debut novel. The literary love story follows the moving journey of a damaged young man and his love for a girl who might just save him. An avid interest in psychology has Suzanne digging deep into the reasons for her characters’ behaviors. The native Long Islander is fascinated by the how and why of people’s actions. As a result, her characters come to life on the pages.

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Shopping for a CEO’s Wife by Julia Kent blitz with giveaway

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Shopping for a CEO’s Wife
Julia Kent
(Shopping for a Billionaire, #12)
Publication date: April 25th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance

Snowbound. Sounds so romantic, with visions of cuddling before a roaring fire, hot chocolate spiked with brandy, and a secret elopement.

Wait. What?

My fiancé’s father won’t stop trying to turn our pending wedding into a three-ring media circus so he can get free publicity for his family’s Fortune 500 company. My mother has decided she’s done with All Things Wedding and asks her teacup Chihuahua for mother-of-the-bride advice.

They’ve all gone certifiably mad.

Then the stress from the wedding puts my mother in the hospital, I scream at my future father-in-law in front of a camera crew and the video goes viral, and the romantic wedding that started with Andrew’s grand Pride and Prejudice proposal looks less like Jane Austen and more like Dostoyevsky.

So what do you do when you’re a fixer and you can’t fix something?

You give up on it.

Not on Andrew, silly.

The wedding.

Shopping for a CEO’s Wife is the 12th book in Julia Kent’s New York Times bestselling Shopping series. As Shannon and Declan enjoy their newlywed bliss, Andrew’s father wants to exploit Amanda and Andrew’s nuptials, much to Amanda’s chagrin. Can she learn to stand up to her future father-in-law and fight for what’s right? But the real question is: will Spritzy the teacup Chihuahua end up being a flower girl?

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EXCERPT:

“You have a remarkable capacity for imagining the strangest worst-case scenarios, Amanda.”

“I have to. I’m in love with you.”

“Hey!”

“Did I or did I not walk miles in an 1800s Regency-era costume after you lost your car keys AND a three-carat diamond ring in Walden Pond?”

“Yes, but — ”

“Did you or did you not have to rescue me, half clothed, from a pool at your brother’s wedding?”

“I am sensing a trend.”

“And did you, or did you not, wake up with me in a Vegas hotel room, thinking for a few hours that somehow we’d both married more than one man?”

Now he just sighs.

Ah.

Victory.


Author Bio:

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Julia Kent writes romantic comedy with an edge. From billionaires to BBWs to new adult rock stars, Julia finds a sensual, goofy joy in every contemporary romance she writes. Unlike Shannon from Shopping for a Billionaire, she did not meet her husband after dropping her phone in a men’s room toilet (and he isn’t a billionaire). She lives in New England with her husband and three sons in a household where the toilet seat is never, ever, down.

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All Darling Children by Katrina Monroe

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All Darling ChildrenAll Darling Children by Katrina Monroe
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fourteen year old Madge Darling has been living with her grandmother Wendy for the last ten years since her mother’s death. But Madge doesn’t believe that her mother actually died fourteen years ago, she believes that her mother is alive and well and living in Chicago. Madge has the idea to try to run away to find her mother but gets caught and brought back to her grandmother.

Grandma Wendy however ends up having a heart attack and staying in the hospital. While her grandmother is away Madge again tries to head to the Windy City to find her mother but ends up meeting a boy named Peter Pan who lures her to a place called Neverland. While in Neverland Madge uncovers some disturbing secrets about the place, the family and Peter Pan.

All Darling Children is a twisted retelling of the classic story of Peter Pan. This version is a bit more horror and as some others before it centers around a more evil version of Peter than the one in the original tale. There are all the characters that you are used to knowing from Peter Pan but with a more horror twist to the story.

I have to say I’m a sucker for anything Peter Pan and have read quite a lot of different versions. While a more evil Peter isn’t new the author did an OK job coming up with her own story in this version. However I didn’t rate this one very high due to it having a lot of inconsistencies involved with not only the characters descriptions/personalites but even some of the action in the story. If a huge fan of retellings or Peter Pan I’d still say give it a shot but don’t pay too close attention to the details or it may leave you scratching your head.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

Ward Against Death (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer, #1) by Melanie Card

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Ward Against Death (Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer, #1)Ward Against Death by Melanie Card
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars

Ward de’Ath is a necromancer whose latest job is to bring the daughter of a nobleman back to life for fifteen minutes to be able to say goodbye to her since she had been taken quickly. However when Ward awakens Celia Carlyle she has plans of her own even after death giving Ward a bit more than he expected from this simple job.

Celia when awakening claims that she was murdered and immediately takes off on Ward in a quest to find her killer. All Ward really wanted was to become a surgeon but when he wasn’t able to do so he thought being a necromancer would be simple but now unable to abandoned Celia, Ward finds himself in danger as she takes on the quest to find her killer.

Ward Against Death is the first book in the Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer series by Melanie Card. I have to say that for me this would be one of those reads that sounded a lot better than it turned out being for me. The book started off rather well grabbing my attention but at some point it just seemed to start to drag and get a bit redundant maybe.

One of the things in here that I really didn’t care too much for is when the characters are attracted towards one another. It’s a book about raising the dead and a teenage assassin that had been murdered so I really didn’t find it necessary to toss in the young adult book needs a romance of some sort plot line. As far as the rest of the plot too it just seemed to stall out in the excitement department for me leaving me with rating this one at 2.5 stars.

I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley.