Wednesday, December 30, 2015

"Try Not To Breathe" by Holly Seddon







"Amy, I'm a journalist. I saw you in here awhile ago when I was speaking to Dr. Haynes and I wanted to get to know you better. I grew up in Tunbridge Wells and we probably went to a lot of the same places because we're about the same age. I've spoken to Bob and read a lot about you and I sort of feel like I know you. I know that you can't answer me, but I was hoping to ask you some questions, as I don't know really what else to try. Did Alex just imagine the tiniest flutter of an eyelid?..."

Taking place in England this suspense story starts with a teen aged Amy and her secret love and the day Amy went off alone with him. The day Amy disappeared and became national news. The day her beaten body was discovered, comatose. 

Alex is working on a freelance writing project. She's looking into the work Dr. Haynes does with patients believed to be brain dead. While visiting the hospital ward she sees a comatose Amy. Alex and Amy are the same age and look alike. Intrigued by Amy's story, Alex takes an interest in this 15 year old case.

Alex's life is a carousel of alcohol and work and a disintegrated marriage. Her new found interest in what happened to Amy gives her life a purpose. The story parallels  between 1995 and Amy, and the life for people she knew, and Alex's present life.  Can Alex spread some new light on this mystery? Who attacked Amy? Perhaps this person is closer than anyone realized and still around 15 years later.

I found the characters intriguing and the story line unique. Alex pursues old clues on the premise she's writing this follow up article. Old habits are hard to break though. Can Alex discover the truth? Can it change Amy's life or her own?  Is she ever going to stop drinking?

Alex manages to piece together enough with the help of Amy's friends and family to get somewhere. Can she see it through? Can she find justice for Amy? Can she find balance in her own life? With the help of Amy's high school boyfriend Jacob, Alex finds a way through the maze that was Amy's past.

Thank you Netgalley and Random House Publishing Group-Ballantine Books


Tuesday, December 29, 2015

"Falling Back Together: A Military Romance Book Two" by Kristen Hope Mazzola


                                        



"This was for the best. Being out of Margret McManus's life for good was something that needed to happen. Not for my sake, but for hers. I'd destroyed her. The one person I truly loved and who truly loved me back..Her pain was completely my fault....."  


I'm back with the "Crashing" series. This is "Book Two" in that military romance series. As with the first book and the novella, I love this story. I love these characters. You're really best served by reading the first book in this series before this one. While you could read it alone, you'll have a better understanding of the characters and story line by starting with book one- "  Crashing Back Down."

Mags is devastated again. If Randy's death wasn't hard enough, something came to light at the end of the last book that sets off this one. Heartbreaking doesn't begin to describe what Mags, Cali, and Mitch are going through. Walker is in his own kind of hell. Cali is dealing with a devastating life event.  Thank goodness for friends. They're going to need each other if they're going to survive. Without them there would be nothing to hold onto.

Such an emotional story. So realistic. The characters are written so well, you'll feel as if you know them. While the theme is not strictly military, that is the back story as part of the series. There were things in both books that were shocking and painful. Can Mags and Cali find their way through the horrors that life has thrown them? Can Mitch be there for his friends? Walker has his own issues to contend with. Can he turn it around? There are no issues here that in real life we don't go through. Things have a way of " Crashing Back Down" and then "Falling Back Together."

There are things in here that you can take away into your own life. If you're going through something, or grieving in any way, this book can show you that there is a way to find a light in that darkness. Sometimes you come out of the darkness to find a happy ending.

Thank you Kristen Hope Mazzola. You're always going to be one of my all time favorite authors. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

"Crashing Back Down: A Military Romance" by Kristen Hope Mazzola






                                          Buy "Crashing Back Down" on Amazon: click here!


"The feeling of helplessness washed over me, settling in, becoming overwhelmed by my own thoughts. I melted into a puddle of tears and wine, throwing yet another pity party for myself. there hadn't been a handbook given to me at Randy's funeral. Being the widow of a soldier hadn't been something I was prepared to be, especially so young."


I read the first book called Crashing the Wedding. After that I knew I had to read everything else in this series. This is where I begin. The Crashing Series. Book 1.

Mags is a widow. The kind that is too young to be one. Not the kind that comes with time and age. Randy left for his army deployment right after the wedding. He never came home. Now she's left to deal with the aftermath of being a young widow, and trying to pick up the pieces and move on. So are his family and friends.

Love, loss, beginnings and endings. This is the story of how Mags tries to pick up the pieces. Her friends and Randy's friends are by her side. Cali, Mitch, Walker and Randy's parents. At times even her mom is there for her. There are some shocking, jaw dropping situations. There are some sweet, beautiful ones as well. Can Mags ever find comfort in moving on? Is Randy ever going to be in her past or will she always think of him? How will her friends play into her future?


Mags seeks help with some surprising consequences. I love these people. They feel like someone you would know. They're so well written. Such an emotional read. I was just blown away and couldn't put this down. Just like the first book I read by this author, this one was even better. It reached out and grabbed me and I'll not forget this story. I'm already dying to read the next book in this series, "Falling Back Together Book Two."

Thank you to Kristen Hope Mazzola. You are without a doubt one of the most gifted writers I've had the pleasure to read. 

Friday, December 25, 2015

"Petrocelli" by John Rachel



                                     

                                   Buy "Petrocelli" by John Rachel on Amazon: click here


"Wait. He gently took her arm. " It's very simple, Christine. I just thought you should see where some of your young girls end up. " If incredulity were ice, then Christine instantly turned into a mountain size glacier. Her mouth dropped open as if she had been shot full of animal tranquilizer. Her eyes were as big as saucers, as her thoughts tossed about in the blizzard of disbelief and shock Roger's last statement had unleashed in her head."........

Lenny Petrocelli was living what he thought was the "good life" in the world of the gangsters. Someone has decided to set him up for a child trafficking and prostitution ring. Reeling him in against his wishes and better judgement. Based on actual stories regarding these kind of crimes. This author brings you a glimpse into this horror. He's well researched and well informed in this area, having traveled and gained information from areas of the world where this accepted behavior.

The story begins with his friends turning on him. Not who you're going to expect is in charge of this little raid on Lenny. You almost feel sorry for him. But Lenny isn't the only story here. Tale of corruption and greed in the selling of children. Foreign lands with evil people and evil intentions. Stealing and selling of the innocents.

Christine is in Thailand on a humanitarian meeting. She meets up with an old friend and gets a firsthand look at what happens to the young children in that country. It is his intention to show her what her humanitarian mission has done with the children she thought she helped. Shocking to say the least. Is this is what is really happening in our world? I don't doubt it after reading this book.

There were several of these kinds of stories. Taking place in various countries. This book ended up feeling like it was more a story on child trafficking rather than a story about Lenny. Lenny was kind of the back story to the real story. The real story being where these children come from and what happens to them. It's not a criticism though, you needed this other information to get a feel for the severity of the situation. All stories are actually brought together. This was an unusual book.

Gritty, dark, street like. Frightening because it's so realistic. Lenny reminds me of someone from the "Sopranos." It wasn't just a story. It was a lesson in what is happening in this world. Can Lenny find a way out of this mess? You'll have to read it and find out.

Thank you John Rachel

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

"The Doll's House" by M. J. Arlidge



Expected Publication Feb. 2, 2016


"Ruby pulled off the pillow and sat up. Her mouth fell open, but only a weak gasp came out-her body frozen in breathless panic. She had gone to sleep in her nice, cozy bed. But, had woken up in a cold dark cellar".......

Taking place in Southampton, this story brings you a terror filled ride of abduction and murder. This is the third book in the "Helen Grace Detective" series. I have not read the previous two, but I definitely want to. This book can be read alone and made perfect sense without any prior knowledge of the previous books.

Detective Helen Grace is called to the scene of a dead girl. Buried in the sand and probably there for years. No one know she's dead. There is another case of a girl, named Ruby, who is abducted. But her family thinks while she may have just run off, there might be more to it. She left without something important that she'd never leave behind. The major issue is that the victims still seem to be in touch with their families through text messaging. What kind of sick mind would play such a game?

It's now up to Helen to figure out the puzzle and the missing pieces. Can she capture this mad man? Her hard working investigative co-workers are her support and slightly jealous of her. She's very good at what she does. Notoriety from past cases seems to rub some the wrong way. Some very dark story lines in their lives. Still they'll need each other if they're going to solve this.

A clue and a connection give Helen something to go on. The families of all involved are suffering. Ruby's mom and the dead girl's father are both struggling-one with death, the other with the unknown. Even Helen is struggling with her missing nephew and the fact of how his mother, her sister, ended up dead. (previous book story line)

With the help of her team and breaking a few rules she is determined to find this serial killer before he takes anymore girls, and save the life of the one he has. Sometimes breaking the rules is the only way to find out what you need to know. Can she? Will it be too late? Exciting and fast paced in the race against time.

I enjoyed this crime book. A little creepy for sure, my favorite kind. I think it would be good to read more of this series. I'd like a better idea of the depth of these characters. A page turner until the very end.


Thank you to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

"Homewrecker Incorporated" by S. Simone Chavous

                                      




"Too bad all the contracts and nondisclosure agreements we signed for our clients didn't apply when she was talking to us; us being me, Grace, Lydia and Bridget, the co-owners of "Homewrecker Incorporated." Yes, the name was right on the nose, a sort of joke amongst us girls since we didn't exactly pass out business cards or have a storefront. Our work was by referral only but for official purposes, like our tax returns, we were Mason, Dawson, & Associates, LLP Private Investigators. "......... Claudia

Claudia Mason has her own business. The kind, a woman who doesn't want to think about love, thrives at.  Her unique business make rich woman able to break their prenuptial contracts by catching their cheating husbands. When these cheating men are discovered, the wives are willing to pay her  well for her services.  Since she's so successful at what she does, she's pretty convinced all men are of the lying, cheating kind, if so tempted.

Patty is the person who sets them up between clients and the lawyers. She has a big offer and if it works out  this new client is going to make all her dreams come true. If she can catch this cheater she can surely live out her life in luxury and comfort, finally buying that vineyard she'd always dreamed of.  It will require her to break a big rule- not working where they live so that can maintain their undercover identities.

 A chance meeting brings Greyston into her life. This could be the man who changes everything if she'd let him.  He's interfering in her job.  Grey could make her see love in a different way, and could just make her change her mind about a lot of things.  Is Claudia willing to risk everything she's worked for, and possibly destroy her business? Can she walk away from this man since his brother is her intended mark, or is she going to take a chance? How can she get around the lies that she told to begin with? Is there a way to do this job and keep Grey from discovering the truth? Lies have a way of revealing themselves.

You'll have to pick this one up and find out! Sometimes you just can't fight the real thing. A nice fun romantic  read with just enough drama.  I couldn't wait to see how this turned out for Claudia and her friends-and Grey. I love how it ended and how things were resolved.  I love when a book is so good I can't put it down. Mature audiences only.


Thank you to Netgalley and S. Simone Chavous. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

"Angels Burning" by Tawni O'Dell


                                       

                             Angels Burning on sale January 5th 2016 on Amazon: click here!


"Once I'm outside, I take a deep breath away from the eyes and wonder what life was like for Camio as a member of this family. Zane said she was just like them whenever she was here, but she was a different person away from them. Surely this other person slipped out occasionally while she was inside this house. I understand her desire to leave. I had the same one.... "    Dove

The horrific murder of a teenage girl gives Chief of Police Carnahan a heavy responsibility to find out what happened to her. Dove Carnahan knows what its like to come from the kind of family the deceased girl , Camio Truly,  comes from. The family isn't taking the news as you'd expect. Perhaps their unsavory reputation prevents them from getting too friendly with the local police.

But Dove has secrets of her own. Her own mother was murdered 35 years before. The man held responsible is now back in town. Lucky was a family friend, and now  he's the man who reminds her of something she'd rather not think about. Dove's family is at odds. Champ contacts her and her sister Neely once a year but otherwise its Neely and Dove together to face their past.

A few twists and a jaw dropping surprise or two.  The pressure is definitely on. Can Dove put her past to rest? Can she help her family? Can she solve Camio's murder? Lots of potential suspects, but can Dove unravel it down to the real one? Suddenly tired of the way people are reacting, maybe its time  she takes them head on and gets the answers she needs. With the help of Nolan, a state trooper, and her own crew the story takes some very unique twists.

Well written characters. Dove has a flair for humor that makes you laugh out loud as she goes from one thing to the next. Her dealings  with most  people are quite amusing. Her interaction with 8 year old Derk Truly will leave you smiling. A steady drama that will have you wondering and guessing. I enjoyed it right from the start. I like that the protagonist is a woman. More often than not our crime stories usually carry a male in the leading role. Dove is someone I could come to like in a series. While the story is put to a rest and with a great ending, the people in this story are ones you'd like to know more about.

Thank you Netgalley and Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books.

 


 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

"Hannah's Heartache: A Master of Whitehall Novelette" by Rick H. Veal

                                   

                                Buy "Hannah's Heartache" now on Amazon: click here!


"She walked me over to a full length mirror and stood back while I examined myself. I almost couldn't believe what I saw looking back. I saw me of course, but I didn't look anything like the high school cheerleader that left Waycross Georgia last week. Instead I looked like a young woman from a big city. I almost couldn't believe how pretty I was now..not that I had been any kind of plain before..." Hannah


Georgia native Hannah Richards has her whole life in front of her.  Her life is going in so many great and wonderful places and she's excited for her future. As captain of her cheer leading squad she's off to Savannah for the state finals competition.
.
Only things don't go as planned. Hannah awakens to find herself in the care of Gale, an immortal. Without remembering even her own name she must now figure out how she got there along with what  happened to her. She appears different even to herself. Gale and her immortal family are there to provide the details and guide her into the unknown life ahead.  Not exactly thrilled or accepting what has happened will be a journey for Hannah to find peace with her new life.

This novelette was a lovely taste of the "Master of Whitehall" series. If only for a brief time, it was wonderful to step back into these books and the character's, There are 4 books in that wonderful immortal/vampire story. If you ever wanted to believe in vampires -this is your series. Mr. Veal is currently at work on the 5th in this saga. Your fans await!


Thank you Rick H. Veal

"Jennifer's Ghost: A Tale of Ghostly Love by Rick H. Veal


                                     

                                      Buy "Jennifer's Ghost" on Amazon: Click here!



"Leave...you expect me to leave my home, just because you're here..you must remember Miss Jennifer, I was here first...and will be long after you've been gone. I've lived with every occupant of this house for the last one hundred and fifty years....

The beautiful setting for this short story begins in Beaufort South Carolina. Jennifer is called to a lawyer's office where she find she's been left a beautiful old cottage by her aunt. With certain wonderful stipulations, Jennifer accepts immediately and is ready to take over the cottage. Her very own cottage on a beach, what else could a girl ask for? How about her very own ghost?

Strange happenings bring Jennifer face to face with the cottages original owner. New friends, a new life, a new place to live- and a ghost. Jennifer's life has just taken a wondrous turn. What kind of friendship shall this be? There were a few nice surprises as well. What a lovely bittersweet story!

This was in the classy style that Mr. Veal is known for in his previous work. With a touch of the holiday season as part of the story line this will make a great holiday read for you. I really enjoyed "Jennifer's Ghost."


Thank you Rick H. Veal. 

" 4 Weeks To Live" by Don McGraw


                                    

                            "4 Weeks To Live" by Don McGraw buy now on Amazon: click here!


" My chosen work has brought suffering to our doorstep on two separate occasions, yet I continue along the same path. It's all I've ever known and it's my only means of providing for my family. I hold fast to the belief that time is the great healer-I pray that it can heal before all is lost...." Will Hogarth

Virginia Crowley has been dead for nine years. Her ex husband is convicted of throwing her off the 47th floor of her penthouse suite. Karl Dutton had every reason to kill her. She wasn't satisfied with her divorce settlement from him and threatened to expose his hidden millions. What better way to protect his money and get out of giving her another cent than by getting rid of her. What if he went to prison and wasn't guilty after all? What if he is guilty and willing to do whatever it takes to escape the death penalty? In four weeks he's scheduled to be executed unless he can change the course of his future and quickly.

Karl has hired a reluctant Will Hogarth, a former FBI agent. It is his last attempt to save himself. Can Will prove he's innocent? Is he? A past connection between the two doesn't make Will fond of Karl, or overly eager to prove him innocent. Being a firm believer in justice, Will is the kind of guy you can trust and the kind that Karl needs.

Will and his family are still dealing with the aftermath of an attack. A story from a previous book. Dealing with Karl is just one more thing Will doesn't want or need. Karl has something to trade though. If Will can help him he will track down the man who previously terrorized Will's family and put an end to the fear that still rules his home.  Someone from the past is actively plotting against Will and his family.  They may be on borrowed time. Can Will find the threat before it finds him?  

Will goes after the truth. Everyone involved in the case to begin with, including Karl's family, are suspects. I like Will's character and his reasoning skills. The methodical way he goes after this case, putting personal feelings where he needs to, makes Will the guy you want to help you if you need it. With his wife's help Will is doing everything he can to find out who is responsible, even if it leads back to Karl.  The intensity picks up as Will puts the pieces in place. I couldn't wait for it play out and read way into the night so I could find out. It is not just Karl's situation at hand, but the threat against Will and his family as it comes to a head.

Was Karl the only one with "4 Weeks To Live?"...maybe not.

Very easy to get involved in this book right away. Some very interesting twists as you go along will keep you turning the pages. This is the third book in the Will Hogarth series. Since I've not read the others I found these teasers to be very intriguing and makes me want to go see what the rest are about. I enjoy a book that has the ability to unexpectedly grab your attention and hold you to the last page. As a matter of fact, it would also make an excellent movie. 


Thank you Don McGraw." 

Friday, December 11, 2015

"Holiday's Presence" by Angel L. Woodz





                                     
                            Buy "Holiday Presence" by Angel L. Woodz on Amazon: click here

"This is the best thing that has happened to me. I've had nothing but heartache for a better portion of my life. Now that I'm dying, something good finally happens..."

Holiday (Holli) Brooks is just coming from her doctor's office where she has received tragic news. Coming from a lifelong series of tragic events she vows to make the most of her time, whatever little of it that is left.

Then some good luck finally comes into her life. She decides to spend what times she has left somewhere besides her hometown. She's going to a place where no one will know her or realize she's dying. She decides to move to Aspen, to a beautiful cabin near a resort.

Then another good thing enters her life. Something she didn't think possible. She has never had true love in her life. When she arrives in Aspen she meets a man by the name of Parker. A man with money and a desire to give her whatever she wants in her final days. Anything he says. Will they have to accept what fate has in store or can they alter the future?

A sweet, short novella written in the spirit of the holiday. A Christmas miracle perhaps? I loved this story. Well worth reading. Appreciate the simple things in life this holiday season. You never realize the things you will do or the chances you will take when you find out that you're going to be out of time and there is no future for you. The future is right now, today. I really like where she gets to experience new things for the first time. It is never too late really, unless you just never take a chance.


Thank you Angel L. Woodz for the Kindle Edition copy to review. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

"Charlotte Ann's Coven: The Beginning (The Master of Whitehall, Book 4)" by Rick H. Veal



                                       



"My name is Charlotte Ann Erickson, I'm a vampire, and this is the story of my life. It's a story that began before the first English settlers ever set foot in America, while James the First was the King of England. It is a journey that has taken me across nearly four hundred years thus far and there's an eternity yet to go. During that time I have loved, been loved, and experienced happiness and heartbreak more than once. My life has bridged the centuries and included escapades and exploits second to none..."


The fourth book in the "Master of Whitehall" series and I couldn't wait to read it. The first three were so well written, with wonderful characters and beautiful scenery. A timely tale with history woven in to show us how these immortals came to be in our time. This story was also of the same quality as the others and did not disappoint. Charlotte Ann has decided it's time to tell the story of how she came to be an immortal and the real history of immortals over time.

Her story begins in London in 1625. The daughter of a captain whose boat leaves one day never to return. Charlotte Ann shows us her life from where it began to where she was reborn immortal. We get to hear her tales of her life over the last 400 years or so. You will meet the people she has loved and lost and befriended, and the ones who will stay forever. You will see how she met James, "The Master of Whitehall."  and how their lives weaved in and out of time.

Being around ships and sailors, listening to their tales of travels far away gave her a desire to see the world. Still despondent over her father's probable death she sets out on her own to see the unknown world around her. A chance meeting with a man named Ferdinand changes her life forever. Together they see the world, amass their fortunes and drink all the blood they can sink their teeth into. They change with the world in order to fit in and continue to grow their wealth. The bodies do stack up. I like how they choose their victims. Sounds crazy right? Well if they're going to rid the world of pedophiles, robbers and murderers I see no issue with that.

Something I found fascinating was the way that Charlotte Ann adapted as the times changed. From the way of dress to the way of living, from inn keeper to bottling her own wine. The way that she originally made money robbing the robbers who robbed graves to the investments later on, and residing in New York City of all places. She watched war after war and moved from place to place to avoid it. Extremely interesting historical facts throughout her story.

This is one of those books I refer to as a "comfort book." You know when you finish the very first one in a series and how much you know you're going to enjoy the others? Each book after is just a good fit. You know when you open the cover you're going to be swept away to another place and time where you'll believe vampires really walk this earth. This author is pretty convincing on this aspect. I'm pretty sure he knows something and he may very well be the real "Master of Whitehall."

"when I began this wonderful journey I never imagined myself as a coven maker...just a young girl in love with a very special man. He gave me a life I never thought possible and taught me to be strong and independent. Now I have a family, a coven if you prefer, and one that gives me great joy to know that all of them share my strength and independence..." ....Charlotte Ann

While this is the fourth book in this series its thankfully not the last! Mr. Veal is currently at work on the 5th book in the "Master of Whitehall" series. This is also a standalone but I really recommend reading the others in the series as it ties everything together and fills in the little spaces.

Thank you to Rick H. Veal for the A.R.C. 

                                                                                        A pleasure as always sir. 

Sunday, December 6, 2015

"Ask Him Why" by Catherine Ryan Hyde

                                          
                                                                          


"I was fifteen when our brother Joseph was shipped overseas to fight, and I was fifteen when he came home, uninjured, three and a half months later. Yeah, I know what you're thinking. The army doesn't tend to have deployments that last only three and a half months. That was the heart of our problem right there..."

From the bestselling author of "Pay it Forward" comes a tale of family dysfunction and the love between siblings that bond  them together, even when there are things tearing them apart. Ruth and her brother Aubrey are barely teenagers when their older brother Joseph is deployed to Iraq. Joseph returns though in just a few months, dishonorably discharged, with a story that the press is jumping on and the family can't comprehend.

Ruth and Aubrey are struggling to understand secrets that are being uncovered and things that are left unsaid. Then and ten years down the road. They tell the story of what it's like to be a part of a family that is torn apart by their brothers actions. A family that was already on the edge of the abyss to begin with. Such a total lack in communication between family members make it so they kids have to find out on their own exactly what happened to their family before and after Joseph's discharge.

The story goes back and forth between the time of the incident when Joseph came home that day to ten years later as they look back over what happened. The press was merciless, as the press would be. Soldiers died and people blamed Joseph. How did the family of a soldier cope when the world has already judged his guilt?

An emotional drama. Ruth and Aubrey take refuge with their aunt and go in search of answers. Joseph and his parents are leaving these kids to dangle with no explanation. Something I think adults tend to do in a crisis. They think they're protecting the children by not talking about something, but it is still shaking their world as much as the adults.

Sometimes we do a very wrong thing for the very right reasons.  Can these siblings find the way back to each other? There is a beacon in the darkness in the form of an elderly stranger named Hammish. One whose knowledge of human nature can help bridge the gaps. We should all be so lucky to know such a person.

The key to unraveling everything is if someone, anyone will just "Ask Him Why" he did what he did. There were times I was reading that I yelled at the book that very thing! Do they ever ask him? You'll have to read the book to find out. Anger definitely holds a person back from many things. Anger at Joseph is like Aubrey's blood, and runs through him deep and strong.

I do like the way this book flowed and the way it ended. It was wrapped in a way that was both touching and realistic. A thought provoking journey through the pages. Being a soldier you do as you are told. What if you make a decision that is against orders? It happens. People can die. This is the story of a family who suffers the consequences of that one decision. 

Thank you to Netgalley and Lake Union Publishing for the A.R. C.


Friday, December 4, 2015

"Not Dead and Not For Sale: A Memoir" by Scott Weiland




                            




I have this book but have not read it yet. With Scott's death last night I thought it was fitting to post the link to his book. Such a shame to be 48 years old and be gone already. There is something to people who aren't like everyone else and drugs. Not saying drugs killed him.. just the life he lead up until his death that made it hard for him to cope. Some people don't get that.. Just a personal observation..but since there is a book out by him I thought I'd share it with you today.




                                                                     


                                                 




Thursday, December 3, 2015

"Monsterland" by Michael Phillip Cash

                               




"The gate loomed before them. The first thing he noticed was the "Monsterland" logo, a large M in the center of the vampire teeth. Wyatt looked up, spying iron letters barely visible in an arc overhead, the letters shaped with black metal. Wyatt stared up at the entrance, his mouth dry. He had wanted so badly to go, all these months, plotting and planning a way to be able to attend, yet the sign pulled at a distant memory. The giant lettering cast an awesome shadow. The iron gate was surrounded by twenty -foot high finely sloped concrete walls that made the place look like Hoover Dam...."


As far as theme parks go here is one you'll want to visit, that is if you want to go to the scariest place you could ever imagine. What if you were able to see real vampires and other supernatural  creatures? Well Wyatt Baldwin is about to get that chance.

Vincent Conrad saved the town after a disease outbreak. He rejuvenated the area and used the people who were infected as the attraction for his theme park.  He named it "Monsterland." Everyone thinks he's wonderful, except Wyatt's step dad Carter White.

Werewolves, zombies and vampires roam the park. You wear protective gear. You're totally safe as you wander through their home. What is there to be afraid of? Seven parks opening on six continents all on the same day. Conrad is convinced he can find the answers and protect the inhabitants of the park by keeping them in these controlled areas. He also thinks he can restart the world economy through them. Conrad may not be the most honest person.

Wyatt and his friends, coworkers at a fast food place have a chance run in with Conrad that leads to them getting VIP treatment to the grand opening. Conrad's catch is that he wants them to spread it on social media, how wonderful his theme parks are. So Wyatt takes his brother Josh, along with Howard and Melvin to opening night. Wyatt is hoping to run into Jade, even though she is the girlfriend of another friend.

The story goes back and forth with chapters about the zombies, vampires and werewolves from their point of view. The horrors they've been going through since the outbreak. Not the usual horror story that we're used to. Rarely do we see this side of a monster tale. Not everyone in the world agrees that this is the best way to house the plague victims. Some feel it's unethical. Fear becomes reality on opening night. Ulterior motives revealed.

Wyatt's belief in Conrad is about to be shaken to the core. It's going to be a night that no one forgets.  If they make it out alive that is. This was a pretty creepy story. There were things that will put you on edge, like when Wyatt figures out what the entrance sign reminds him of. This was a unique horror story that combined the three monsters we're afraid of.


Thank you to Netgalley and Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), Members Titles for the A.R.C.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

"Sleighed at Castle Rock: An Amelia Grace Mystery" by Anne Marie Stoddard



                                                               Sleighed at Castle Rock

                                                                      On sale December 3, 2015


 "We were hosting a Christmas-themed Battle of the Bands competition, and I was stuck catering to the needs of all the musicians, as well as our three celebrity judges. I use the term "celebrity" loosely. We'd booked a local radio personality, a popular local music blogger and critic, and the owner of one of the city's other rock venues....."

Bronwyn Sinclair is filling in while her boss, Amelia Grace, is out of town. She's trying to get a music festival up and running for a "Christmas in July" at their Castle Rock venue in Atlanta. They're having a Battle of The Bands competition when someone tries to take out a judge.

Bronwyn is strong willed and on top of things and is not about to let someone get away with messing things up. A couple surprises and some cute humor throughout.  Can she find out who, what and where in time to save the music festival and possibly the future of Castle Rock's business? You'll have to pick this one up and find out!

This is a holiday short story to go with the "Amelia Grace Rock n' Roll Mysteries"  that feature the Castle Rock venue. This is a standalone but would be fun to read the rest in the series. I really liked the tattooed, purple and pink haired, pierced characters featured here. They were fun and interesting.  Kick off your festivities with this entertaining Christmas story this holiday season!


Thank you to Gemma Halliday Publishing for the A.R.C. 

"Dale's Descent: A Journey Into Darkness" (The Master of Whitehall Book 3) By Rick H. Veal



                                                   


" I have killed thousands of times since that first awful night. Just like my maker ended my life so abruptly, killing my hopes and dreams, I too have killed a lot of hopes and dreams. In the beginning I tried to keep count because I wanted to remember the face of every individual whose life I had taken. I wanted it to stay with me and remind me of what I had become and what I had done. I gave up that endeavor years ago...."


So we journey into Dale's story. The 16 year old boy stolen from his life, his future, his family, by a wandering vampire. Dragged around, unsure and untrained to his new life, Dale finally ends up in Charleston S.C. alone and wishing for death. There he meets Charlotte Ann, Katelyn and James. Feeling his pain, they take him in and educate him and give him a new life.

Used to burying himself underground during the day light hours, and committing murders everywhere, can Dale's dark side be retrained? Can he adjust to love and friendship and find new meaning to the word family? Will Dale learn to live the life of an immortal among human life?

At times such a sad story of a teenager with so many plans stolen from his life by a lost and selfish vampire. Then the sweet part of the story came for him to find happiness among a group who welcome him with open arms. 

This is a standalone but well explained, an excellent addition to the "Masters of Whitehall" series. It's the story of growth as Dale's life stopped mentally at the age of sixteen,  but then picked up many years later. So now he must catch up to where he should be now.  Will he finally find the love and happiness he was seeking all along? Dale's story of his journey into darkness is also into one of a journey into the light.

Charlotte Ann brings him into her fold and shows him the kindness and love he's been missing since the day he was turned.  He learns what it means to be an immortal rather than just the human term of vampire. Whitehall, the home of James and Katelyn, but is open always to the others in the group. Its where they learn to be who they are and how to survive. 

This is called a "paranormal young adult vampire series."  I always hesitate to put labels on books like this. Sometimes that will cause someone to say, " I don't read that genre"..  This story is written current with the times and with over tones of history. You are taken on a journey through the lives of these vampires and is to be enjoyed by any one. With elegant writing and both male and female characters so well developed. It catches your attention and your heart and makes you want to know more. Set in a beautiful area, with writing so descriptive it makes you feel like you have been there, or will remind you of it if you have. 


This left me still wishing vampires were real, as did the first two books in the series. I think I need to talk to the author Rick H. Veal a little more about this.  I think he might know more than he's telling us. I love this series! Up next is the story of "Charlotte Ann's Coven" and how she came to be part of the " Master of Whitehall " story.

Thank you to Rick H. Veal for the A.R.C. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!





 I'm thankful for all books.. ones I've read and ones I'm going to read. These are just a small grain of sand in a sea of the thousands of books and authors I've read over my life time. I can't imagine a life without books. If someone tells me they don't read or "its boring" - I can't even begin to understand them. I want to shake them and tell them "do you even know what you're missing?" Assault with good intentions is still frowned upon I suppose. I'm also thankful for you my readers for encouraging my blog, for reading it and for your friendship and support.


                                                 Happy Thanksgiving from my house to yours! 



   


       




                                                                         and I'm thankful for Snoopy.. I love Snoopy...





Monday, November 23, 2015

"Man Made Murder: Book One of the Blood Road Trilogy" by Z. Rider

                                                            
                                       Buy "Man Made Murder" by Z. Rider on Amazon: click here!


"Dean swept his gaze toward the ceiling. Exposed wires dangled from a fixture. An uneasy sensation prickled, but what was the worst that was going to happen-the biker robs and steals his guitar? That'd be a sight, the bike racing away with the beat up Sears special strapped to his back...."

This horror trilogy begins in Oct of 1978 with "Man Made Murder,"  a rock band where Dean Thibodeaux is their lead guitarist. Along with his fellow musicians Shawn, Jessie and Nick -the band is hoping to get away from their label. Dean figures they'll be dead before they ever see any royalties from their music. With the music scene floundering for them, Dean decides, after another annoying night doing a radio show, to find somewhere to score some weed. Coming upon some bikers, one leads Dean, now alone. to a place where things will never be the same again. I felt the anxiety in the pit of my stomach the minute I got to this scene early on in the book. It will hold you from the very first page without a doubt. I love a good scary story don't you?

Carl Delacroix has traveled across the country to New Hampshire, where Dean and the boys are currently on the road traveling to shows. He comes to the place he's looking for, the bar where the bikers known as the "Black Sun Riders" are at. This is where Carl plans to avenge his sister Sophie's death, as he believes one of these bikers is responsible.

Dean struggling to go on with his life after his bad night, gets on the tour bus with his buddies. Carl finds himself following the tour bus in search of a lead. While one is hunting a killer another is becoming something that everyone is going to be afraid of.

While Carl is in pursuit of the biker that killed his sister, the biker leads him straight to Dean. Not sure of the connection between the biker and Dean, he tries to observe Dean and locate the now unseen biker. Meanwhile Dean realizes that he can hear blood flowing through a person's body. He has no idea what that biker did to him that night, but he knows he is not well. Carl thinks maybe Dean has the answers to his questions,  but has no clue what the biker wants with Dean.

This story was scary from the beginning. A contemporary vampire adventure that is frightening from beginning until the end. The guys in this story are so frightened that you actually believe this story could be real. But, this is just the first part of the story.  There are some surprises and a few creepy heart stopping turns you won't expect. Carl needs to make plans. Take his life in a new direction. Maybe investigative journalism. Maybe investigate if vampires are real or not.  Will Dean and Carl finally meet and find out the truth or maybe the one night they do intersect it will change both their lives.

I like the way it ended and the way it set up for the next book. I've been reading a lot of vampire stories lately and have been pleasantly surprised that the concept has been developed into quite entertaining stories, including this one! I will definitely want to read the next two books in this series. Next up is "Dead to the World: Book Two of the Blood Road Trilogy"

"Maybe this was the last of them. Maybe they'd gotten Dean. He stared across the swaying reeds, all the way to the dark tangle of trees a hundred yards off. If Dean had gotten to those trees, he could be anywhere..."

                               Thank you to Netgalley and Dark Ride Publishing for the A.R.C.