Friday, December 7, 2018

G1064 Tammy the little cat with a big attitude

Title of the book: Tammy the little cat with a big attitude

Author: LIANE CARTER

Publisher: Self published

Publishing Date: 2018

ISBN: 9781720189190

Summary:

I was snatched from my mum when I was only two weeks old, and what happened next was bigger than any kitten could imagine.

"A gently witty and charming story which draws the reader in from the word 'go' to a truly entrancing feline perspective on human well-intentioned but frequently misguided behaviour when taking on a new pet." Mary Ashton, retired veterinary surgeon

"A heart-warming story that really has unique perspective on the ever-important animal-human bond (and how our pets really feel about us)." Sommer Pari, licensed veterinary technician

Author Info:
(From iRead Book Tours)

Buy the Book:
Amazon.com ~ Amazon.ca ~ Amazon.co.uk
Add to Goodreads
Meet the Author:

Devoted to giving her readers smiles, tears and tension in both her poignant non-fiction and fast-paced fantasy adventures, Liane Carter bares her soul. Author of The Chronicles of Joya, The Dream Devils, Darcy: The Dog Who Talked and Tammy: The Little Cat With A Big Attitude, she has written features and a weekly column for Costa Blanca News, articles for Writing Magazine, and has taught over 150 writing workshops. She pours her innate joy into her books and also expresses it in nature, playing instruments, creating art and dancing.

Connect with Liane: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest
Personal Opinion:

With beautiful gusto and a touching tribute, the author truly writes an amazing tale of how Tammy entered into her life and changed it in numerous ways. I haven't owned a cat before, therefore I wasn't able to relate to Tammy, but I still found it a beautiful tale, and its a book I will share with my little boy when he gets to be older. (He's only 2.5 years...) I also enjoyed reading about Tammy's quirks and seeing into her personality as well as some motivations behind her actions. For a short and amazing read, this book is highly recommended.

This is for iRead Book Tours

BOOK REVIEW TOUR SCHEDULE: 

Nov 26 - Mochas, Mysteries and Meows - review of Tammy / giveaway
Nov 26 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review of Tammy / guest post / giveaway
Nov 27 - Library of Clean Reads - review of Tammy / giveaway
Nov 27 - The Autistic Gamer - review of Tammy / giveaway
Nov 28 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review of Darcy / giveaway
Nov 28 - Reading is My Passion - review of Tammy / giveaway
Nov 29 - Laura's Interests - review of Tammy / guest post / giveaway
Nov 29 - The Avid Reader - review of Tammy / guest post / giveaway
Nov 30 - The Autistic Gamer - review of Darcy / giveaway
Dec 3   - Mochas, Mysteries and Meows - review of Darcy / giveaway
Dec 4   - Kristin’s Novel Café - review of Tammy / giveaway
Dec 5   - 
Library of Clean Reads - review of Darcy / giveaway
Dec 7   - Laura's Interests - review of Darcy / giveaway
Dec 7   - 
NorthernMSW - review of Tammy / author interview
Dec 7   - 
NorthernMSW - review of Darcy
Dec 10 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review of Tammy / giveaway
Dec 10 - 15AndMeowing.com - review of Tammy / author interview
Dec 11 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review of Darcy / giveaway
Dec 11 - 
Books for Books - review of Tammy / guest post
Dec 12 - JBronder Book Reviews - review of Tammy / guest post / giveaway
Dec 13 -JBronder Book Reviews - review of Darcy / giveaway
Dec 14 - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of Darcy / giveaway
Dec 14 - Fur Everywhere - review of Tammy / giveaway

Dec 17 - Locks, Hooks and Books - review of Tammy / author interview / giveaway
Dec 18 - Books for Books - review of Darcy
Dec 18 - 
Fur Everywhere - review of Darcy / giveaway
Dec 19 - The Avid Reader - review of Darcy / giveaway
Dec 20 - Locks, Hooks and Books - review of Darcy / giveaway
Dec 21 - KC Beanie Boos Collection - review of Darcy / giveaway
TBD      - Books and Readers - review of Tammy / guest post / giveaway
TBD      - Books and Readers - review of Darcy / giveaway
TBD      - 
Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of Tammy / giveaway

Click here for a giveaway

5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Monday, December 3, 2018

FF55. Book Review of BLACK sugar by Miguel BONNEFOY

Name of Book: Black Sugar

Author: Miguel Bonnefoy

ISBN: 9781910477526

Publisher: Gallic Books

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

Miguel Bonnefoy’s colourful tale of a family’s changing fortunes is also the fascinating story of Venezuela’s development over the course of the 20th century.

On the edge of the Latin American rainforest, the Oteros family farm sugar cane in their remote corner of the earth.

Cut off entirely from the modern world, life is peaceful, uneventful. Until, that is, a succession of ships arrive in search of Henry Morgan’s legendary lost treasure, said to be buried deep beneath the forest floor.

Soon, the isolated villagers are exposed to all the trappings of modernity, while the travellers’ search for booty unearths more than anybody could have anticipated…

And so it was that the treasure lay buried amid scraps of sail and a pirate’s corpse, preserved within the belly of the Caribbean…

Link for Review

4 out of 5

(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

FF7 Book Review of The sworn virgin by Kristopher Dukes

Name of Book: The Sworn Virgin

Author: Kristopher DUkes

ISBN: 9780062660749

Publisher: William Morrow

Year it was published: 2017

Summary:

Dukes's gripping historical novel tells the tale of a desperate Albanian woman who will do whatever it takes to keep her independence and seize control of her future...even if it means swearing to remain a virgin for her entire life.

When eighteen-year-old Eleanora’s father is shot dead on the cobblestone streets of 1910 Albania, Eleanora must abandon her dream of studying art in Italy as she struggles to survive in a remote mountain village with her stepmother Meria.

Nearing starvation, Meria secretly sells Eleanora into marriage with the cruel heir of a powerful clan. Intent on keeping her freedom, Eleanora takes an oath to remain a virgin for the rest of her life—a tradition that gives her the right to live as a man: she is now head of her household and can work for a living as well as carry a gun. Eleanora can also participate in the vengeful blood feuds that consume the mountain tribes, but she may not be killed—unless she forsakes her vow, which she has no intention of ever doing.

But when an injured stranger stumbles into her life, Eleanora nurses him back to health, saving his life—yet risking her own as she falls in love with him...

Link for Review

4 out of 5

(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

FFE54 Book Review of The Wild Inside by Jamey Bradbury

Name of Book: The Wild Inside

Author:  Jamey Bradbury

ISBN: B072HLSF56

Publisher: William Morrow

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

A promising talent makes her electrifying debut with this unforgettable novel, set in the Alaskan wilderness, that is a fusion of psychological thriller and coming-of-age tale in the vein of Jennifer McMahon, Chris Bohjalian, and Mary Kubica.

A natural born trapper and hunter raised in the Alaskan wilderness, Tracy Petrikoff spends her days tracking animals and running with her dogs in the remote forests surrounding her family’s home. Though she feels safe in this untamed land, Tracy still follows her late mother’s rules: Never Lose Sight of the House. Never Come Home with Dirty Hands. And, above all else, Never Make a Person Bleed.

But these precautions aren’t enough to protect Tracy when a stranger attacks her in the woods and knocks her unconscious. The next day, she glimpses an eerily familiar man emerge from the tree line, gravely injured from a vicious knife wound—a wound from a hunting knife similar to the one she carries in her pocket. Was this the man who attacked her and did she almost kill him? With her memories of the events jumbled, Tracy can’t be sure.

Helping her father cope with her mother’s death and prepare for the approaching Iditarod, she doesn’t have time to think about what she may have done. Then a mysterious wanderer appears, looking for a job. Tracy senses that Jesse Goodwin is hiding something, but she can’t warn her father without explaining about the attack —or why she’s kept it to herself.

It soon becomes clear that something dangerous is going on . . . the way Jesse has wormed his way into the family . . . the threatening face of the stranger in a crowd . . . the boot-prints she finds at the forest’s edge.

Her family is in trouble. Will uncovering the truth protect them—or is the threat closer than Tracy suspects?

Link for Review

1 out of 5

(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

FFE75. Book Review of The ROMANOV EMPRESS by C.W. GORTNER

Name of Book: The Romanov Empress

Author: C.W. Gortner

ISBN: B076GQKBCD

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

For readers of Philippa Gregory and Alison Weir comes a dramatic novel of the beloved Empress Maria, the Danish girl who became the mother of the last Russian tsar.

Even from behind the throne, a woman can rule.

Narrated by the mother of Russia’s last tsar, this vivid, historically authentic novel brings to life the courageous story of Maria Feodorovna, one of Imperial Russia’s most compelling women, who witnessed the splendor and tragic downfall of the Romanovs as she fought to save her dynasty in its final years.

Barely nineteen, Minnie knows that her station in life as a Danish princess is to leave her family and enter into a royal marriage—as her older sister Alix has done, moving to England to wed Queen Victoria’s eldest son. The winds of fortune bring Minnie to Russia, where she marries the Romanov heir, Alexander, and once he ascends the throne, becomes empress. When resistance to his reign strikes at the heart of her family and the tsar sets out to crush all who oppose him, Minnie—now called Maria—must tread a perilous path of compromise in a country she has come to love.

Her husband’s death leaves their son Nicholas as the inexperienced ruler of a deeply divided and crumbling empire. Determined to guide him to reforms that will bring Russia into the modern age, Maria faces implacable opposition from Nicholas’s strong-willed wife, Alexandra, whose fervor has led her into a disturbing relationship with a mystic named Rasputin. As the unstoppable wave of revolution rises anew to engulf Russia, Maria will face her most dangerous challenge and her greatest heartache.

From the opulent palaces of St. Petersburg and the intrigue-laced salons of the aristocracy to the World War I battlefields and the bloodied countryside occupied by the Bolsheviks, C. W. Gortner sweeps us into the anarchic fall of an empire and the complex, bold heart of the woman who tried to save it.

Link for Review

Was a Fresh Pick for August 4th, 2018

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

FF57 Book Review of Trouble the water by JACQUELINE FRIEDLAND

Name of Book: Trouble the Water

Author:  Jacqueline Friedland

ISBN: 9781943006540

Publisher: Spark Press

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

Abigail Milton was born into the British middle class, but her family has landed in unthinkable debt. To ease their burdens, Abby’s parents send her to America to live off the charity of their old friend, Douglas Elling. When she arrives in Charleston at the age of seventeen, Abigail discovers that the man her parents raved about is a disagreeable widower who wants little to do with her. To her relief, he relegates her care to a governess, leaving her to settle into his enormous estate with little interference. But just as she begins to grow comfortable in her new life, she overhears her benefactor planning the escape of a local slave—and suddenly, everything she thought she knew about Douglas Elling is turned on its head.

Abby’s attempts to learn more about Douglas and his involvement in abolition initiate a circuitous dance of secrets and trust. As Abby and Douglas each attempt to manage their complicated interior lives, readers can’t help but hope that their meandering will lead them straight to each other. Set against the vivid backdrop of Charleston twenty years before the Civil War, Trouble the Water is a captivating tale replete with authentic details about Charleston’s aristocratic planter class, American slavery, and the Underground Railroad.

Link for Review

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

FFE73 Book Review of The myth of perpetual summer by Susan Crandall

Name of Book: The Myth of Perpetual Summer

Author: Susan Crandall

ISBN: B075RT5P7T

Publisher:Gallery Books

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

From the national bestselling author of Whistling Past the Graveyard comes a moving coming-of-age tale set in the tumultuous sixties that harkens to both Ordinary Grace and The Secret Life of Bees.

Tallulah James’s parents’ volatile relationship, erratic behavior, and hands-off approach to child rearing set tongues to wagging in their staid Mississippi town, complicating her already uncertain life. She takes the responsibility of shielding her family’s reputation and raising her younger twin siblings onto her youthful shoulders.

If not for the emotional constants of her older brother, Griff, and her old guard Southern grandmother, she would be lost. When betrayal and death arrive hand in hand, she takes to the road, headed to what turns out to be the not-so-promised land of Southern California. The dysfunction of her childhood still echoes throughout her scattered family, sending her brother on a disastrous path and drawing her home again. There she uncovers the secrets and lies that set her family on the road to destruction.

Link for Review

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

FF61 Book Review of My mother's son by David HIRSHBERG

Name of Book: My Mother's Son

Author: David Hirshberg

ISBN: 9781941493229

Publisher: Fig Tree Books

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

In the spirit of Philip Roth’s The Plot Against America and Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay comes MY MOTHER’S SON, the meticulously-crafted debut novel from David Hirshberg.

The story is told by a radio raconteur revisiting his past in post-World War II Boston, the playground and battleground for two brothers whose lives are transformed by discoveries they never could have imagined. From the opening line of the book, “When you’re a kid, they don’t always tell you the truth,” the stage is set for this riveting coming-of-age story that plays out against the backdrop of the Korean War, the aftermath of the Holocaust, the polio epidemic, the relocation of a baseball team, and the shenanigans of politicians and businessmen. Hirshberg deftly weaves together events, characters, and clues and creates a rich tapestry of betrayal, persecution, death, loyalty, and unconditional love that resonates with today’s America.

Link for Review

5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

FFE69 and FF79 Book Review of Little big love by Katy Regan

Name of Book: Little big love

Author: Katy Regan

ISBN: 9780451490346

Publisher: Berkley

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

About a Boy meets Parenthood in this smart, big-hearted love story about a family for whom everything changed one night, a decade ago, and the young boy who unites them all.

Ten-year-old Zac Hutchinson collects facts: octopuses have three hearts, Usain Bolt is the fastest man on earth. But no one will tell him the one thing he wants to know most: who his father is and where he went.

When Zac’s mother, Juliet, inadvertently admits that his dad is the only man she’s ever loved, Zac decides he is going to find him and deliver his mom the happily ever after she deserves.

But Liam Jones left for a reason, and as Zac searches for clues of his father, Juliet begins to rebuild what shattered on the day that was at once the happiest and most heartbreaking of her life.

Told through the eyes of Zac, Juliet, and grandfather Mick, Little Big Love is a layered, heartfelt, utterly satisfying story about family, love, and the secrets that can define who we are.

Link for Review

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

FF56 Book Review of The Perfect Mother by Aimee MOLLOY

Name of Book: The Perfect Mother

Author: Aimee MOLLOY

ISBN: 9780062696793

Publisher: Harper

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

They call themselves the May Mothers—a collection of new moms who gave birth in the same month. Twice a week, with strollers in tow, they get together in Prospect Park, seeking refuge from the isolation of new motherhood; sharing the fears, joys, and anxieties of their new child- centered lives.

When the group’s members agree to meet for drinks at a hip local bar, they have in mind a casual evening of fun, a brief break from their daily routine. But on this sultry Fourth of July night during the hottest summer in Brooklyn’s history, something goes terrifyingly wrong: one of the babies is taken from his crib. Winnie, a single mom, was reluctant to leave six-week-old Midas with a babysitter, but the May Mothers insisted that everything would be fine. Now Midas is missing, the police are asking disturbing questions, and Winnie’s very private life has become fodder for a ravenous media.

Though none of the other members in the group is close to the reserved Winnie, three of them will go to increasingly risky lengths to help her find her son. And as the police bungle the investigation and the media begin to scrutinize the mothers in the days after Midas goes missing, damaging secrets are exposed, marriages are tested, and friendships are formed and fractured.

Unfolding over the course of thirteen fraught days and culminating in an exquisite and unexpected twist, The Perfect Mother is the perfect book for our times—a nuanced and addictively readable story that exposes the truth of modern mothers’ lives as it explores the power of an ideal that is based on a lie.

Link for Review

4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G1076 Book Review of Crimes Past by Lauren Carr

Name of Book: Crimes Past

Author: Lauren Carr

ISBN: 9781724776808

Publisher: Acorn Book Services

Part of a Series: Mac Faraday Mysteries

Type of book: Wedding, family secrets, suspects, pets, dogs, cats, humor, hotel, wealth, marriage, history, past

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

It’s a bittersweet reunion for Mac Faraday when members of his former homicide squad arrive at the Spencer Inn. While it is sweet to attend the wedding of a late colleague’s daughter, it is a bitter reminder that the mother of the bride had been the victim of a double homicide.

The brutal slaying weighing heavy on his mind, Mac is anxious to explore every avenue for a break in the cold case—even a suggestion from disgraced former detective Louis Gannon that one of their former friends is the killer.

When the investigator is brutally slain, Mac Faraday rips open the cold case with a ruthless determination to reveal which of his friends is a cold-blooded murderer.

Characters:

The characters include Mac Faraday, a determined former cop who is trying to solve a mystery of a double murder of police to make up to the victims' family. There is also the Mayor of Spencer, Gnarly, a German Shepherd and David O'Callaghan, Mac's half-brother. The tale is also based more on solving a mystery which means that characters' personality change was minimal. (One of the characters did find out a shocking secret about his past and I was sad that another character broke up with him and might not be coming back anytime soon...)

Theme:

Nothing can be hidden forever

Plot:

The story is written in third person narrative from a lot of characters' points of view, although the primary ones would be Mac and Tonya. At one point, one of the villains also has a point of view, which is something I wasn't used to in a Lauren Carr novel, but nothing major was given away. The mystery flowed smoothly and there is constant tension as to who and why the murders were done. The ultimate villains are hard to figure out. CRIMES PAST is a novel one definitely wants to keep on reading no matter if you are a new or old fan to Lauren Carr. CRIMES PAST is a bit different than the previous novels by Lauren Carr I have read. How? Normally family members from one or the other side join in solving the mysteries. (I have only read The Thorny Lovers and a Chris Matheson as well as Twofer Murder,) but this one doesn't have neither Jessica nor Murphy nor Tristan nor Murphy's father Joshua Thornton.While these characters aren't in CRIMES PAST, I do get to see more of David as well as find out an interesting family secret about him.

Author Information:
(From iRead Book Tours)


Buy Crimes Past:
Amazon
Add to Goodreads
Meet the Author:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Now, Lauren has added one more hit series to her list with the Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries. Set in the quaint West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry, Ice introduces Chris Matheson, a retired FBI agent, who joins forces with other law enforcement retirees to heat up those cold cases that keep them up at night.

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

​Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

​Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram
Opinion:

Series wise, this is the first Mac Faraday Mystery I have read; author-wise, CRIMES PAST is the sixth Lauren Carr novel I read. While previous novels were good and are designed as a bait to keep people reading in figuring out what's going on, its very clear that a lot of excitement went into writing CRIMES PAST, which makes me want to read the prequels in learning about Mac's previous years. There are at least three mysteries going on, and how they are tied together as well as solved is designed to knock one's socks off.

This is for iRead Book Tours


BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

Nov 12 - Working Mommy Journal - review of Crimes Past / giveaway
Nov 12 - Corinne Rodrigues - book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 12 - Viviana MacKade - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 13 - Paulette's Papers - book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 13 - Olio By Marilyn - review of Crimes Past / giveaway
Nov 14 - Elizabeth McKenna Romance Author - book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 14 - My Reading Journeys - review of Crimes Past / guest post / giveaway
Nov 15 - Christa Reads and Writes - review of Crimes Past
Nov 15 - Library of Clean Reads - review of Crimes Past / giveaway
Nov 16 - ebook addicts - book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 16 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review of Crimes Past / guest post / giveaway
Nov 16 - Stormy Vixen's Book Reviews - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 19 - Working Mommy Journal - review of Spring Thaw / giveaway
Nov 20 - Olio By Marilyn - review of Spring Thaw / giveaway
Nov 21 - Words And Peace - book spotlight / giveaway
Nov 21 - Truly Trendy - review of Crimes Past
Nov 22 - My Reading Journeys - review of Spring Thaw / giveaway
Nov 22 - Library of Clean Reads - review of Spring Thaw / giveaway
Nov 22 - FUONLYKNEW - review of Spring Thaw / giveaway
Nov 23 - Pause for Tales - review of Crimes Past / guest post
Nov 23 - FUONLYKNEW - review of Crimes Past / giveaway
Nov 26 - The Avid Reader - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Nov 28 - fundinmental - review of Crimes Past / author interview / giveaway
Nov 30 - fundinmental - review of Spring Thaw / giveaway
TBD - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review of Crimes Past
TBD - Read and Review - book spotlight / guest post

AUDIOBOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

Dec 3 - Library of Clean Reads - kickoff of Spring Thaw audiobook tour / giveaway
Dec 4 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review of Spring Thaw / giveaway
Dec 6 - Kristin’s Novel Café - review of Spring Thaw
Dec 10 - Hall Ways Blog - review of Spring Thaw / giveaway
Dec 10 - Mystery Suspense Reviews - review of Spring Thaw / guest post / giveaway
Dec 10 - Dab of Darkness Book Reviews - review of Spring Thaw / guest post /giveaway
Dec 11 - Locks, Hooks and Books - review of Spring Thaw / author interview / giveaway
Dec 11 - Laura's Interests - review of Spring Thaw / guest post / giveaway
Dec 12 - JBronder Book Reviews - review of Spring Thaw / guest post
Dec 12 - Amy’s Booket List - review of Spring Thaw / giveaway
Dec 12 - Sefina Hawke's Books - review of Spring Thaw
Dec 13 - Kai's Goodread Page - review of Spring Thaw
Dec 13 - Cheryl's Book Nook - review of Spring Thaw / giveaway
Dec 13 - Books for Books - review of Spring Thaw
Dec 14 - Rocksprings Crafts - review of Spring Thaw / guest post / giveaway
Dec 14 - Bound 4 Escape - review of Spring Thaw / giveaway
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Saturday, December 1, 2018

December 2018

A House Divided-Pearl S Buck
SR: March 11th, 2016
FR: N/A
Crimes Past- Lauren Carr
SR: November 9th, 2018
FR: December 1st, 2018
Daughter of Destiny-Nicole Evelina
SR: December 1st, 2018
FR:
The Ghost-Henry Kellerman
SR: December 1st, 2018
FR:
From Across the Room-Gina L Mulligan
SR: November 1st, 2018
FR: December 1st, 2018
THE Jinnis last wish- Zenobia Neil
SR: November 23rd, 2018
FR: December 11th, 2018
Amnesia nights- QUINTON SKINNER
SR: November 13th, 2018
FR: December 1st, 2018
The End of Loneliness-Benedict Wells
SR: December 2nd, 2018
FR:
Alvar the kingmaker by Annie Whitehead
SR: October 13th, 2018
FR: November 10th, 2018
The girls at 17 SWANN street- Yara Zgheib
SR: December 11th, 2018
FR:

Nonfiction:
Tree of Souls-Howard Schwartz
SR: February 10th, 2014
FR: N/A
Darcy the Dog who talked-Lianne Carter
SR: December 1st, 2018
FR: December 2nd, 2018
Lookig to the stars from old algiers- Jan Richer
SR: November 24th, 2018
FR:

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

G1055 Book Review of The Consultant by TJ O'Connor

Name of Book: The Consultant

Author: TJ O'Connor

ISBN: 978-1-60809-283-3

Publisher: Oceanview Publishing

Type of book: Spying, thrillers, CIA, terrorism, Middle East, family, fragmented relationships, Maryland, government, secrets, operatives, deaths

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

When a rogue CIA consultant goes AWOL from his Middle Eastern post in response to his brother’s plea for help, he arrives just in time to witness his brother’s murder. For years, Jonathan Hunter and his brother Kevin Mallory had not spoken―until Kevin’s final words, “… Khalifah … Not Them … Maya.”

Pursuing his brother’s killer, Hunter stumbles into a nest of horrifying terrorist activity by Middle Eastern refugees, which sparks a backlash across America. In the shadows, Hunter’s mentor, the omnipotent Oscar LaRue, is playing a dangerous game with Russian Intelligence. Neither Hunter nor LaRue realizes that a new threat―the Iranian threat―has entered the game. Stakes rise as two shadowy players are one step ahead of Hunter and LaRue―Khalifah, a terrorist mastermind, and Caine, a nomadic assassin who dances with the highest bidder.

As attacks escalate and the country drifts toward another Middle East conflict, innocent refugees become trapped between the terrorists and the terrorized. Prejudice, hate, and fear vent everywhere. Is this who we’ve become? Before the country explodes, Hunter must find Khalifah, learn the next terror target, and pray he’s in time to stop further annihilation.

Characters:

Main character includes Jonathan Hunter who has spent considerable time in Middle East acting as a spy, but then he returned to America when his brother asked him. Jonathan doesn't do things by The book, but instead is best described as a loner and someone who isn't afraid. Other characters didn't have much of personalities that the reader can get to know, but instead were there just to be there.
Theme:

Nothing is at it seems

Plot:

THE story is in first and third person narrative point of view. First person is Jonathan talking, while third person are other characters, including the villains. I think because a lot of characters played a lot of roles and neither the readers nor the audience knew whom was who, or which side was playing, the characters had a hard time sticking to me. I also felt distanced from the characters. The narrative itself is best described as octane powered, and I am not quite sure how much was real and how much it's played up to The audience, but the tale seemed to lack the human perspective or roles. That is, if someone is to ask me about the characters, I would be hard pressed to describe them.

Author Information:
(From iRead Book Tours

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
Books-a-Million ~ IndieBound
Add to Goodreads
Tj O’Connor is the author of The Consultant, the first of The Jonathan Hunter Thriller series from Oceanview Publishing, and four paranormal mysteries from Midnight Ink and Black Opal Books.

Tj is an international security consultant specializing in anti-terrorism, investigations, and threat analysis—life experiences that drive his novels. With his former life as a government agent and years as a consultant, he has lived and worked around the world in places like Greece, Turkey, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom, and throughout the Americas—among others. He was raised in New York's Hudson Valley and lives with his wife and Labrador companions in Virginia where they raised five children.

Dying to Know, Tj’s first published novel, won the 2015 Gold Medal from the Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPY) for mysteries and was a Finalist for both a 2015 Silver Falchion Award and the 2014 Foreword Reviews’ INDIEFAB Mystery Book of the Year.

Connect with Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook
Opinion:

Imagine that one is going out on a book date where it seems that the date and the chemistry should four or five stars, but instead neither the book nor you could connect, which is what happened to me when I read THE CONSULTANT. The writing and the story are addictive and it's written very well, but i just couldn't connect to the story nor the characters nor the plot. I imagine that part of my issue is the fact that a lot of women desire Jonathan, and I couldn't see the attraction he had over them. Also I had some trouble in remembering the characters and whos who in the story.   

This was given for an honest review





BOOK REVIEW TOUR SCHEDULE:

Nov 5 - Rocksprings Crafts - review / guest post / giveaway
Nov 6 - Life as Leels - review
Nov 6 - Syllables of Swathi - review / author interview / giveaway
Nov 8 - Olio By Marilyn - review / author interview / giveaway
Nov 9 - Locks, Hooks and Books - review / guest post / giveaway
Nov 12 - Cheryl's Book Nook - review / guest post / giveaway
Nov 13 - Library of Clean Reads - review / giveaway
Nov 14 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review / giveaway
Nov 15 - Truly Trendy - review
Nov 16 - Adventurous Jessy - review / giveaway
TBD - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review
TBD - Writers N Authors - review / author interview / giveaway3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Monday, November 5, 2018

G1052 Book Review of Lullaby Road by James Anderson

Name of Book: Lullaby Road

Author: James Anderson

ISBN: 978-1-101-90654-5

Publisher: Crown

Part of a Series: Never Open Desert Diner is a prequel

Type of book: Utah. Highway 117, mysteries, secrets, desert rats, truck driver, thriller, intriguing background, mysterious family members

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

Ben Jones, protagonist of the glowingly reviewed Never-Open Desert Diner, returns in a devastatingly powerful literary crime novel about parenthood, loss, and the desert in winter.

Winter has come to Highway 117, a remote road through the Utah desert trafficked only by oddballs, fugitives, and those looking to escape the world. So when local truck driver Ben Jones finds an abandoned, mute Hispanic child at a lonely gas station along his route, far from any semblance of proper civilization, he knows something has gone terribly awry. With the help of his eccentric neighbors, Ben sets out to help the kid and learn the truth. In the process he makes new friends and loses old ones, finds himself in mortal danger, and uncovers buried secrets far more painful than he could have imagined.

Characters:

Main character includes Ben Jones, a half Native-American half Jewish truck driver who seems to be either picking up pieces or else seems to shut off from the world due to a tragedy alluded to in the previous book. He simply wants to survive and seems to not be interested in his customers' secret lives, often rejecting information that could help reader put facts together. He is a survivor, resourceful and closed off as well as loyal and someone whose scars run too deep. Other memorable characters include a preacher on the run who is carrying a cross across the desert, then other numerable desert rats and different visitors who make a stop in Ben's life then they are on their way.

Theme:

One never knows the path they will end up at

Plot:

The story is in first person narrative from Ben Jones' point of view. While the characters were quirky and memorable, as well as the setting, there is something that seemed to lack in the book or something that didn't really grab me. I'm really not sure how to explain. Maybe its because I wanted to know more about Ben's background, especially the half-Native American half-Jewish and how he ended up the way he did. I also wonder why I didn't feel tense at tense moments and why the story had a dreamy sort of quality when in fact there are a lot of moments that would classify it as a mystery/thriller. Basically also, the whole action takes place in several days.

Author Information:
(From the book)

James Anderson was born in Seattle, Washington, and grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a graduate of Reed College and received his MFA  in creative writing from Pine Manor College. His first novel was THE NEVER OPEN DESERT DINER. His short fiction, essays, poetry, and reviews have appeared in many magazines, including The Bloomsbury Review, New Letters. Solstice magazine and others. He currently divides his time between Colorado and Oregon.

Buy the Book:
Amazon ~ Barnes & Noble
IndieBound ~ Books-a-Million
Add to Goodreads
Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook
Opinion:

Here are some elements I really enjoyed reading when it comes to LULLABY ROAD by James Anderson. One is the intimate knowledge of the highway 117 and lives of Desert Rats that live in there. There is flair for memorable characterization, and I think its one of the first times that I actually read a book that takes place in Utah. I also enjoyed the setting and getting to know Ben Jones, a half Jewish half Native American truck driver as well as people who surround him. What I didn't enjoy is the fact that Ben doesn't seem to be interessted in getting to know the residents that he delivers goods for, and I also wasn't aware that this book is a sequel to NEVER OPEN DESERT DINER, which is referenced a lot in this story. From reading LULLABY ROAD by James Anderson, I imagine that this is not a stand-alone book. 

This is for iRead Book Tours

BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

Oct 22 - Bound 4 Escape - review / giveaway
Oct 23 - Olio by Marilyn - review / author interview / giveaway
Oct 25 - Cheryl's Book Nook - review / giveaway
Oct 26 - Locks, Hooks and Books - review / giveaway
Oct 29 - JBronder Book Reviews - review
Oct 29 - A Mama's Corner of the World - review / giveaway
Oct 31 - Truly Trendy - review
Oct 31 - Corinne Rodrigues - review / author interview /giveaway
Nov 1 - Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus - review / giveaway
Nov 1 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review / giveaway
Nov 2 - Library of Clean Reads - review / giveaway
Nov 2 - Books for Books - review
Nov 2 - Jessica Cassidy - review / giveaway
​​TBD - Writers N Authors - review / giveaway
TBD - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review / giveaway
TBD - Rainy Day Reviews - review / author interview / giveaway
3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G1053 Book Review of Murder by Perfection by Lauren Carr

Name of Book: Murder by Perfection

Author: Lauren Carr

ISBN: 97891718620230

Publisher: Acorn publishing

Part of a Series: Thorny Rose Mystery

Type of book: Perfection, marriage, mystery, navy, cooking, relationships, hidden secrets, dark side of organ exchange, family secrets, addiction, nothing is at it seems

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

Beware! Perfection has a dark side!

Frustrated with their busy schedules, Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday attempt to find togetherness by scheduling a weekly date night. The last thing Jessica expected for her date night was a couple's gourmet cooking course at the Stepford Kitchen Studio, owned by Chef Natalie Stepford--the embodiment of feminine perfection.

When Natalie ends up dead and Murphy goes missing, the Thorny Rose detectives must peel back the layers of Natalie Stepford's flawless life to discover that perfection has a very sinister dark side.

Characters:

Main characters include Jessica and Murphy as well as their family and siblings. I was pretty happy to see Joshua Thornton back in the novel and was glad to meet Murphy's twin brother J.J. There is also Tristan, Jessica's younger brother and yes, the dogs. Jessica is the resourceful and beautiful young woman who desires to attain a PhD degree and seems to be a complete opposite of her husband Murphy. Murphy is very interesting in that he is in the Navy as well as in special forces and cares deeply for eating healthy (vegan) and doing yoga. Joshua and J.J are best described as determined and loyal to their family. Tristan, despite him teasing Jessica constantly is also there for her during tough times.

Theme:

Perfection is a state of mind, it takes a village to save a family member and solve the crime

Plot:

The story is in third person narrative primarily from Jessica's point of view, although Murphy's father, Joshua and his twin brother J.J also make an appearance. (I do wonder if J.J might be getting his own spin-off series.) The struggles of marriage and of one partner going to school are realistic in my opinion because with college its more of survival and tryign to get through the day rather than focusing on the house. Let's hope that I will see more of my favorite couple soon in another book.

Author Information:
(From the book)

Buy the Book:
Amazon
Add to Goodreads
Meet the Author:

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Now, Lauren has added one more hit series to her list with the Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries. Set in the quaint West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry, Ice introduces Chris Matheson, a retired FBI agent, who joins forces with other law enforcement retirees to heat up those cold cases that keep them up at night.

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

​Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

​Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram
​​​
Opinion:

Wow, 2018 will definitely be remembered by me as "Lauren Carr" year because by the end of the year, I should have reviewed four of her books, MURDER BY PERFECTION is both third in the series and third I have read and finished this year. Just like her previous books, this is an addictive and enjoyable read that is far more than just its label of mystery. There is focus on family, romance, and on being there for one another. Really makes me regret that I hadn't read the previous seventeen novels... I do wish that I could have spent more time with Natalie Stepford (Reference to Stepford Wives, I assume?) aside from just one night, and I also liked the message, that there is no such thing as perfection.  Really top notch storytelling and mystery solving.


This is for iRead Book Tours

BOOK and AUDIOBOOK TOUR SCHEDULE:

Oct 8 - Working Mommy Journal - review / giveaway
Oct 8 - Hall Ways Blog - audiobook review
Oct 8 - TFaulc Book Reviews - book spotlight
Oct 9 - Rockin' Book Reviews - review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 9 - Kristin's Novel Cafe - audiobook review
Oct 10 - Bound 4 Escape - audiobook review / giveaway
Oct 10 - The Autistic Gamer - book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 11 - Locks, Hooks and Books - audiobook review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 11 - Seaside Book Nook - audiobook review / giveaway
Oct 12 - fundinmental - review / giveaway
Oct 12 - Read and Review - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Oct 15 - The World As I See It - audiobook review / giveaway
Oct 15 - Laura's Interests - audiobook review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 16 - Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 17 - StoreyBook Reviews - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
Oct 17 - Dab of Darkness Book Reviews - audiobook review / giveaway
Oct 18 - Books for Books - review
Oct 18 - Truly Trendy - review
Oct 19 - Stormy Vixen's Book Reviews - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 19 - Two Points of Interest - review / giveaway
Oct 22 - T's Stuff - audiobook review / author interview / giveaway
Oct 22 - Cheryl's Book Nook - audiobook review / giveaway
Oct 23 - Mystery Suspense Reviews - audiobook review / giveaway
Oct 24 - Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 24 - #redhead.with.book - book spotlight / giveaway
Oct 25 - Writers and Authors - book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
Oct 26 - Pause for Tales - review / guest post
Oct 26 - Nighttime Reading Center - review / giveaway
Oct 29 - Olio by Marilyn - review / giveaway
Oct 30 - JBronder Book Reviews - audiobook review / guest post / giveaway
Oct 30 - Library of Clean Reads - review / giveaway
Oct 30 - FUONLYKNEW - review / giveaway
Oct 31 - My Reading Journeys - review / giveaway
Nov 1 - books are love - review / author interview
Nov 2 - Jessica Cassidy - review / giveaway
Nov 2 - Rocksprings Crafts - review / author interview / giveaway
TBD - Svetlana's Reads and Views - review
TBD - Writers N Authors - audiobook review / author interview / giveaway4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

G1062 Book Review of The Splendor before the dark by Margaret George

Name of Book: The Splendor Before the Dark

Author: Margaret George

ISBN: 978-0-399-58461-9

Publisher: Berkley

Part of a Series: The Confessions of Young Nero is the prequel

Type of book: 64-68 ME, The great Roman fire, politics, marriage, survival, artist, glory, building, Emperor Nero, royalty, losing control,

Year it was published: 2018

Summary:

Ascending to the throne was only the beginning... Now Margaret George, the author of The Confessions of Young Nero, weaves a web of politics and passion, as ancient Rome's most infamous emperor cements his place in history.

With the beautiful and cunning Poppaea at his side, Nero Augustus commands the Roman empire, ushering in an unprecedented era of artistic and cultural splendor. Although he has yet to produce an heir, his power is unquestioned.

But in the tenth year of his reign, a terrifying prophecy comes to pass and a fire engulfs Rome, reducing entire swaths of the city to rubble. Rumors of Nero's complicity in the blaze start to sow unrest among the populace--and the politicians...

For better or worse, Nero knows that his fate is now tied to Rome's--and he vows to rebuild it as a city that will stun the world. But there are those who find his rampant quest for glory dangerous. Throughout the empire, false friends and spies conspire against him, not understanding what drives him to undertake the impossible.

Nero will either survive and be the first in his family to escape the web of betrayals that is the Roman court, or be ensnared and remembered as the last radiance of the greatest dynasty the world had ever known.

Characters:

There are a lot of characters, but the main ones would be Nero, his beautiful wife Poppaea, as well as Acte and Poppaea's male servant that looks way too much like her. Nero gained a lot of complexity as well as notoriety in the last half of the tale; it seems that the best he is remembered for are the last four years rather than years that come before them. In this book he seems to be far more ruthless and far more desperate to make a mark on the world rather, and he no longer seems to be like his old self from THE CONFESSIONS OF YOUNG NERO. The events that he had to struggle and survive through are far more lethal than that of his mother, so I cannot blame him for changing and trying to hold on to his old self of curiosity and artist. Each character is seen from Nero's point of view and just like Nero, we are often surprised by the betrayals and being blindsided by them. Poppaea and others are also drawn well, although we see them from Nero's point of view. Poppaea is a clever and resourceful woman who seems to have made quite an impression on Nero's heart and its obvious that they loved one another greatly. Acte is also resourceful and clever and a bit naive.

Theme:

Don't trust what one reads

Plot:

The story is in first person narrative, primarily from Nero's point of view, although from time to time Acte and Locusta also make an appearance, much more so than in the first book. I honestly wish I could have read this book right after her first one, THE CONFESSIONS OF YOUNG NERO, so that way I can witness the changes that Nero undergoes through as the life he knows has slipped away from his grasp. Unlike the first book which covers his childhood to the year prior to the fire. THE SPLENDOR BEFORE THE DARK, (a very apt title if one is to mask me,) only covers four years, but they are quite a roller-coaster ride and not once will the reader be bored, although I assume that many might find Nero's actions frustrating, especially the lack of political acumen in a lot of cases.

Author Information:
(From the book)

Margaret George, who lives in Madison Wisconsin, comes from a Southern basckground and has traveled extensively. After reading numerous novels that viewed Henry VIII through the eyes of his enemies and victims, she became determined to let Henry speak for himself, and it took fifteen years, about three hundred books of background reading, three visits to England to see every extant building associated with Henry, and five handwritten drafts for her to answer the question: what was Henry really like?

She is also the author of two other highly acclaimed novels, Mary Queen of Soctland and the Isle and The Memoirs of Cleopatra.

Opinion:

It's rare to discover a book where my heart seems to break on every page, but it seems that THE SPLENDOR BEFORE THE DARK does a good job. I have previously taken Roman Empire class and we did study times from Julius Caesar up to 6th century and time of Justinian and his infamous wife Theodora. All I recall was that Nero was the more salacious and bad emperor, at least as Suetonius paints him. A lesson I have learned as a historian is to question the source and the how and whys. Just like with its predecessor, THE CONFESSIONS OF YOUNG NERO, Margaret George dared to go back to the last four years of Nero's life and reign and she dared to sketch out a heartbreaking tale of a man who wanted to be good but is only remembered for the bad. She de-mythologizes the man behind the costume and knowing what was to come for Nero makes it a heart breaking read. Nero isn't painted as a complete saint but he is not completely a bad guy. without conscience. In my opinion, this book is better than the first one, and in a rare instance, can be read as a stand-alone tale. And yes, sometime next year, MEMOIRS OF CLEOPATRA as well as the tale of Mary Queen of Scots, will definitely be on my to-read list.

This was given to me for a review

5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Coming Attractions for November 2018...

Wow, only two months away from the end of 2018...can't believe it myself. In October I began to read ALVAR THE KINGMAKER by Annie Whitehead, and yes, it's a beautiful book. The last G-d knows how many years, I tend to accrue some patterns that I tend to repeat in my book reading: my first pattern, as I recall, was reading a tragic fantasy tale of a vampire elf named Jander Sunstar by Christie Golden; then THE FOREIGN STUDENT by Susan Choi as well as NORTH CHINESE LOVER by Marguerite Duras. Last month, around the same time, I read and reviewed TO BE A QUEEN by Annie Whitehead. Wonder if anyone else has these types of book habits.

Book Spotlights and Tours

The Splendor Before the Dark by Margaret George (November 5th 2018)

The Consultant by Tj O'Connor (November 13th, 2018)

Crimes past by Lauren Carr (November 27th, 2018)

Planned Reads:

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Tamara Jenkins Reid

The Last Outlaws: The Lives and Legends of Butch Cassidy and teh Sundance Kid by Thom Hatch

The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children by Wendy Mogel

A Different Mirror; A History of Multicultural America by Ronald Takaki

Amnesia Nights by Quinton Skinner

A Knife in the Fog by Bradley Harper

The End of Loneliness by  Benedict Wells

For Fresh Fiction:

The Abbot's Tale by Conn Iggulden

Lady be Good by Amber Brock

The Way of Beauty by Camille di Maio

The Lighthouse Keeper's Daughter by Hazel Gaynor

Crimson Lake by Candice Fox

The Life Lucy Knew by Karma Brown 
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