Nov 27, 2016

Book Review: Follow Me




Brilliant, quirky twenty-three-year-old China Mack is totally satisfied with her carefully ordered, data-driven life. A computer prodigy who landed a coveted programming job at the cutting-edge tech company Cysnet before even graduating from MIT, China is happiest when following her routine: shower before coffee, pizza only on Mondays, bedtime at ten thirty sharp.

But then things start to get a little…unpredictable.

First Jackson Cooper—Cysnet’s rich, gorgeous, genius CEO—assigns China to a dangerous and highly classified project for a government defense contractor. Her sixteen-year-old runaway niece suddenly arrives in town, begging to move in with China. And then there’s her sexy but oddly unsettling new neighbor, Clark…

Quickly the Cysnet assignment becomes disconcerting—and then downright scary—as key staffers turn up dead. China suspects she’s being followed and isn’t sure whom she can trust. For the first time ever, she’ll have to follow her instincts, rather than logic, if she’s going to survive.


* * * * *

 FOLLOW ME was a quick read because it was one of those books that the pacing was so spot on that I couldn't bear to set the book aside.  It has a lot of yummy men, hot cars, deaths that are easy explained and poor China Mack.

I really like China Mack.  She is brilliant but ranks really low on social skills.  I am sure that she would show up on the autism scale but I feel that a good part of her social ineptness is the fact that she just isn't sure how to communicate with 'normal' people.  Actually she reminds me of friends and people I have met at various cons.  Luckily she has her niece Mia to help her navigate the world of dating.

The characters in this book are all well developed.  Both Clark and Jackson are men that I wouldn't have minded meeting when I was single.  Oh and much younger.  Still I get the chance to know them thru Ms. Snow's deft touch with her characters.

I do recommend FOLLOW ME to any of my readers who enjoy a well written romantic suspense set in the world of corporations, governments and terrorists.  I am really crossing my fingers that this is only the first book in China's story. 

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Nov 26, 2016

Book Review: The Return of Sir Percival





Seven years after the death of Arthur Pendragon, Sir Percival, the last surviving knight of the Round Table, returns to Albion after a long and futile quest for the Holy Grail. The peaceful and prosperous home that he left a decade earlier is no more. Camelot has fallen, and much of the Pendragon’s kingdom has been subjugated by the evil Morgana and the Norse invaders who once served under her banner.

Although the knight desires only to return to his ancestral lands and to live in peace, he vows to pursue one last quest before he rests—to find Guinevere, the Queen of the Britons. This journey will force the knight to travel the length and breadth of Albion, to overcome the most fearsome and cunning of enemies, and to embrace a past that is both painful and magnificent.

The Return of Sir Percival is the tale of a knight who seeks peace, but finds only war, of a Queen who has borne sorrow and defeat, but who will not yield, and of a valiant people determined to cast of the yoke of their oppressors. It is also a tale of tragedy and triumph, and of romance lost and then found.

The unique vision of the Arthurian world brought to life in S. Alexander O’Keefe’s The Return of Sir Percival takes readers on a journey that is as enthralling as it is memorable.


* * * * *

I have always loved the tales of King Arthur and the Round Table and have read many different variations.  This book however is the first time I have been able to see what happened after that final battle.  

THE RETURN OF SIR PERCIVAL has a slower pace then most of the ones that I read but it allows the reader to fully immerse themselves in the story.   At no time does the story seem to lag or stall.  It's all beautifully paced and as it is told from the viewpoints of  the different characters, the reader really gets a chance to know all of them.

This really is a beautiful story filled with all the joy and the pain of the time.  It is also one that I highly recommend to any of my readers who also enjoy the Arthurian legends.  I am glad to see that this is only the first book and can hardly wait for the next one to show up on my radar.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Nov 25, 2016

Alchemee of Black Friday




Now I normally avoid Black Friday like a plaque ever since a little old senior citizen ran me down with a shopping cart.  Of course the growing ease of shopping online has definitely helped out there.  After all, who wants to get up in the middle of the night to camp out in from a store when you can do your shopping online?



If you are taking the time to read my post you either feel the same or you are done with that madness so I wanted to bring you a little eye candy.  I haven't been posting a lot of jewelry lately so I wanted to play a bit of catch up and introduce my readers to my new store Alchemee Designs.



Now this shop is a work in progress as I am much better at making jewelry then uploading it to my website.  I do take pictures of everything and post them through Instagram as Shais3D  so be sure to follow me there also and if you see something that you like, let me know.  There will always be a discount for saving me from uploading the designs to my shop.



Alchemee Designs is an effort to combine two of my loves, designing jewelry and rescuing animals.  I will be donating 25% of the purchase price to Old Dog Haven to help with the medical expenses of the senior dogs that they rescue.



 You would be able to find all of these designs on the website along with others.  I will be adding more every couple days so be sure to check back often.  Also for my readers, I am having a holiday sale.  Enter the code HAPPYHOLIDAYS for a 20% discount.  It will be good until the end of the 2016.



Nov 23, 2016

Ramblings




  • My dog Pooka is seriously a thief.  I have always known that he would steal food if he could get to it but I discovered that he will also steal beads.  I received some beads in when I was down sick with the flu so after I looked at them, I put them back on the box and left them on the bed.  I figured that since they weren't edible that they would be safe.  Not so!  When I went to get them, I discovered that he had taken the bag out of the box and tried to stash them.  I was able to find most of them but the Goddess knows when the rest will reappear.

  •  BeiJing is getting old and finally starting to show it.  She loves to come to work with me but is starting to have trouble making it up the stairs.  I think  that it is time that I start looking for another puppy so that she will have time to train her.  Another younger dog will also keep Pooka occupied.
  • We are undergoing another shift bid at work and I am not a bit happy about the choices.  I have worked 4 10s for years and the only ones they offer this time around don't offer the days off I need.  And I am not that picky.  I just need to be sure that I have a Saturday off so I can host our monthly potluck but it looks like the only way I will be able to get that is if I go back to working Monday thru Friday.  The shorter shifts might work as I am starting to get exhausted after about 8 hours at work but it will make it difficult to manage my and Saje's doctor appointments. Guess it is time that I update my FMLA to also cover my massages and other medical needs.

  • I love Overdrive. I have been getting quite a few audio books through them for free.  Seriously if you like e-books or audio books, it is worth checking out to see if your library has  a membership as they are free and you check them out just like any other library book.
  • I know that you would think that I get enough books through my reviewing but another place that I have found to get some really nice book is Prime Reading.  If you have an Amazon Prime account, this is a free benefit of the membership.

  • I went out and got a perm.  I just wanted to add a bit of curl to my wavy hair but I ended up with almost a spiral perm.  Oh well.  It will relax and make my hair care easy for the next year or so.  I also managed to catch the flu when I got my curls.  Not such a good thing.
Nov 21, 2016

Book Review: The Pick, The Spade and the Crow




When the body of a man is discovered in woodlands outside Manchester, a ten-year missing-persons investigation can finally be filed away. But this was no ordinary death: gagged, bound and buried alive, he was the victim of a sophisticated and sadistic killer. And there is something else that has the National Crime Agency puzzled. A single character carved into a nearby tree.

Newly promoted to the NCA's Behavioural Sciences Unit, Senior Investigator Joanne Stuart is determined to hunt down the perpetrator. Just as Jo's investigation begins to reveal links with other disappearances, there is another murder. This is no longer a cold case; she is dealing with the escalating violence of a chilling serial killer.

Stepping into a sinister world of secrets, symbols and rituals, Jo will have to confront the legacy of her own past and the violent memories that lurk there if she is going to solve this case. But at what cost?


* * * * *

I feel like celebrating because I managed to stumble into an enjoyable crime series at the beginning.  It seems that I always manage to find them after multiple books have been published and then I end up playing catch up.  Not this time around though and it is a definite bonus that this appears to be a series that I will be following.

This series is set in England and seeing the differences between their police department and the one we have here in the States was quite interesting.  You can tell that their focus is more on the keeping the peace while avoiding violence whereas we are seeing more and more cases of police brutality here.  Heck Jo isn't even armed with a handgun while she is on duty.

While there are definite differences, people are people no matter where they live. As a woman, she has to deal with the old guard who don't feel that females can do the job.  And killer exist everywhere.  I really enjoyed getting to know Jo who is a strong woman and a great character.  Just watching her investigation was enough to keep me glued to the pages until the very end.

I also very much enjoyed a peek into the world of the Masons.  Of course it was just a peek since they are such a secretive society as far as their rituals are concerned.

I do recommend this book to any of my readers who enjoy police procedural books as well as anyone who enjoys books set in England.  I can't wait to read the next book in this series.
Nov 20, 2016

Book Review: And Then She Was Gone




What’s done in the dark will be brought to the light…

The silhouette stood at the edge of the woods like a spider watching a fly enter its carefully crafted web. Only a few more steps and she’d be within its grasp.

Stacy Shaw has her whole life ahead of her. New job, new house and now a baby on the way—everything she’s ever hoped for is finally coming true. But on a warm summer night on the way home from work, she vanishes. The police race to find her, but the clues don’t add up. Conflicting facts emerge as her story twists and turns, sending the trail spiraling in all directions.

A hometown hero with a heart of gold, Jack Stratton was raised in a whorehouse by his prostitute mother. Jack seemed destined to become another statistic, but now his life has taken a turn for the better. Determined to escape his past, he's headed for a career in law enforcement. When his foster mother asks him to look into the girl’s disappearance, Jack quickly gets drawn into a baffling mystery. As Jack digs deeper, everyone becomes a suspect—including himself. Caught between the criminals and the cops, can Jack discover the truth in time to save the girl? Or will he become the next victim?

And Then She Was Gone is the prequel of the Detective Jack Stratton Mystery Series.


* * * * * 

I seem to be blessed when it comes to reading prequels.  I usually stumble upon them when the series has a few books out so that if I love them, I can look forward to grabbing the series and binge reading until I am caught up.  And the  Detective Jack Stratton Mystery Series looks like it is going to be one of those series.  

 AND THEN SHE WAS GONE is a wonderful introduction to Jack and his sidekick Chandler.  The book starts out with him stopping a purse snatcher and just keeps getting better from there.  When Stacy Shaw disappears, Jack is positive that the police have gotten the wrong man and he is determined to prove it.  

The story line is fast paced yet there is time for the reader to really get to know Jack and his background.   The dialogue is witty and sometimes amusing and the characters are a real treat.  They are so realistic that I can picture some of them popping up for my monthly potluck.

I do recommend this prequel to any of my readers who enjoy reading police procedurals and I tend to search out the rest of the series.   There's no sex in this book but there is violence.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own. 
Nov 18, 2016

Book Review: Tied To His Betrayal





Darius Bennett can’t live without supreme control. A self-made billionaire, he’s rich enough to get anything—and any woman—he wants, yet he’s still haunted by a broken relationship. Five years ago, Darius let Taylor Erikson go because he knew he could never give her what she truly wanted: his heart. But the moment Taylor walks back into his life, bruised and beaten, Darius blames himself. To make good on his betrayal, he vows to help her heal—in and out of the sheets.

Once upon a time, Darius was Taylor’s world. Now his fierce embrace is exactly what she needs to get back on her feet. But Taylor pays a heavy price for her sizzling nights with Darius. As the emotional ties become stronger than ever and the paparazzi hunt her down for their next juicy story, Taylor must face some hard truths. They can’t go back. And to move forward, the key to loving Darius isn’t about keeping his secrets—it’s about exposing them.


* * * * *

I want to say this right up front,  this book is for mature audiences only.  It contains some rather hot and explicit sex scenes so no children allowed.  That is unless their parents approve.

This is a rather fast read with pacing that just flows from one page to the next.  The dialogue is also also snappy and at time rather amusing.  My problem was the characters themselves.   I actually found more connected to one of the secondary characters, Allie, and I am going to have go back and read her story.

I enjoyed TIED TO HIS BETRAYAL but it almost felt as though I was reading a fairy tale where the rich prince comes along, rescues the damsel and they live happily ever after.  The characters just didn't seem that real to me even though Ms. Kennedy tries to take her reader inside of their thoughts and emotions.  There's a lot of passion between them but I just didn't feel that there was enough solid ties to build a relationship on or to pine for five years about a past relationship.


I can recommend this to my readers who enjoy very sensual books just don't expect a lot of emotional depth to the story.  This book does have sexual encounters with Dominant man and also deal with domestic abuse.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.

Book Review: A Moving Screen






On June 16, 2005 the body of a female is discovered in the smoking shell of a house fire in Atlanta, Georgia. Without clues to identify the victim or the person responsible for what is ruled arson and murder, Dennis Cane, lead detective, decides to take one last look at the crime scene. He finds a single black thread. On June 24 another female victim is found in a neighboring county. Through his resourcefulness, Dennis learns that a black thread was found at the site of this crime, but the cases go cold due to lack of evidence and bodies that cannot be identified. Two jurisdictions. Two separate cases. Two brutal and horrifying murders.

Over the next three years, literally clinging to threads, he begins to see a pattern: women are dying twice a year on June 16 and 24 at the hands of a serial killer. A murderer with knowledge of forensics and the foresight to choose a different police jurisdiction for each of his crimes, who is escaping punishment. Only Dennis is paying attention. Waiting for the killer to make a mistake. On June 16, 2008 a woman is discovered in the city limits of Peach Grove, Georgia, where Dennis now works. The woman survives, but is unable to identify her assailant because of heavy sedation as she fights for her life. But Dennis knows that this is the break he’s been waiting for. Racing against time, Dennis joins forces with Merlot Candy, a private investigator and the two set out on a quest that will bring them in contact with more evil than they could have ever imagined.


* * * * *

As I have gotten older, I have become more and more a fan of police procedurals and thrillers.   There is just something about getting the chance to get inside the mind of a killer.  From a safe distance, of course.

A MOVING SCREEN starts out with a great plot and interesting main characters however I didn't find that it lived up to its promise.  It got bogged down with details that were repeated over and over.  There are just so many times that I need to be told just what Merlot is wearing or just what protective equipment the nurse needs to wear when working with a severely burned victim.  

I also found that the dialogue was stilted in places to the extent that the editor in me wanted to highlight it and send it back to the author.  Another thing that slowed down the story was an overabundance of the details on the backgrounds of unimportant secondary characters.

The ending was great as I didn't see it coming which does make reading this book worthwhile in the end though I don't feel right recommending it to my readers without pointing out the issues.  Now mind you that everyone's take on a book differs so always take my opinions with a grain of salt.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Nov 16, 2016

Ramblings




  • I find it sad that when I complimented a gentleman on his beautiful Jamaican accent that he was surprised and grew defensive until he figured out that I didn't mean anything but that it was a beautiful accent.
Nov 15, 2016

Book Review: The Dollmaker





Dr. Tessa McGowan had never seen anything quite like it. But the mutilated bodies on her exam table tell a stunningly macabre tale: someone with a twisted mind is kidnapping women and altering their faces to resemble real, life-size dolls. As a forensic pathologist, it’s her job to aid the agent leading the case—even if that agent is her estranged husband.

Twelve years ago an unspeakable tragedy destroyed Dakota Sharp’s world. Haunted by the ghosts of his past, he’s devoted himself to capturing killers. His only regret is that it cost him Tessa. Now, as the Dollmaker case brings them together—and raises his suspicions that he’s crossed paths with this deranged psychopath before—they may just have their second chance. But it seems Dakota’s not the only one who wants to make Tessa his own…

She may be the Dollmaker’s next target, but Tessa has no intention of winding up as another toy on his shelf. Can she and Dakota stop this ghastly killer before his next deadly playdate?

                                                                      * * * * *

When Tessa came back she knew that it wouldn't be easy but she is determined to save her marriage.  Last time she had ran away but she had learned that life is much better with Dakota then without and maybe, just maybe, she can help him get to the bottom of his sister's death.  Of course, she might have to catch him between cases as right now all of his energy is being directed to capturing this Dollmaker.

What little girl doesn't play with dolls?  This is something that most grow out of though so being turned into a doll once you are an adult can be truly terrifying.   I think that it is that 'otherness' that allows dolls and clowns to be objects of terror.  I found this book to be particularly chilling especially with the clown scare going on right now as I can see making dolls becoming the next step.

THE DOLLMAKER is actually the second book in the The Forgotten Files series which began with THE SHARK.  Readers will get a chance to catch up with both Riley and Clay which I enjoyed.  It's not necessary to have read the first book to enjoy THE DOLLMAKER though it does add a bit of depth to the story.

I highly recommend this book to my readers who enjoy a well written romantic suspense that will send shivers down your spine.  There is a bit of sex in the book and some violence.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.


Nov 13, 2016

Book Review: Arena





A fast-paced and gripping near-future science fiction debut about the gritty world of competitive gaming...
 
Every week, Kali Ling fights to the death on national TV.
She’s died hundreds of times. And it never gets easier...
 
The RAGE tournaments—the Virtual Gaming League’s elite competition where the best gamers in the world compete in a no-holds-barred fight to the digital death. Every bloody kill is broadcast to millions. Every player is a modern gladiator—leading a life of ultimate fame, responsible only for entertaining the masses.

And though their weapons and armor are digital, the pain is real.

Chosen to be the first female captain in RAGE tournament history, Kali Ling is at the top of the world—until one of her teammates overdoses. Now, she must confront the truth about the tournament. Because it is much more than a game—and even in the real world, not everything is as it seems.

The VGL hides dark secrets. And the only way to change the rules is to fight from the inside..


* * * * *

This book definitely fits into the sci-fi genre with the virtual gaming but to me it is more of a coming of age tale.   To achieve her dreams, Kali has to learn to accept herself and reality.

Kali has always wanted to be a gamer and not happy unless she was in VR.  Unfortunately once she lost one of her teammates to a drug overdose, she started having problems with blackouts and not being able to sleep without drugs.   Another teammate tells her about the Virtual Gaming League's dark little secret of addiction and abuse.  

I really enjoyed ARENA.  I enjoyed watching Kali and her team discover their strengths and how to work as a real team, as a family.  The book goes to show how one person or one team can make a difference in the world.

I highly recommend ARENA to any of my readers who enjoy character based sci-fi or who enjoy gaming.  This book is sure to keep you entranced from the very first page to the very satisfying conclusion.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.
Nov 11, 2016

Book Review: Red Death




Every child of Eden fears the Red Death. All those afflicted with the plague die young, their souls stripped away as punishment for ancient sins long forgotten. For centuries, Guardians have protected Eden from the Red Death by killing outsiders who stray too close. They must keep Eden a secret if they are to survive.

Seventeen-year-old Aaliss is a highly-trained and dedicated Guardian, but when her rather odd thirteen-year-old brother discovers a cure to the plague, her world is turned upside down. The discovery is a miracle, yet miracles are dangerous in Eden.

The corrupt, all-powerful High Priest brands Aaliss and her brother Wilky as traitors, forcing them to run. They seek refuge in the last place Aaliss thought she’d ever go—beyond the boundaries of Eden, and into the land of the Soulless. Here they must navigate a medieval world filled with witches, magic, and warrior kingdoms run by Elders who are only a few years older than her.

Aaliss yearns to return home to Eden, but she must protect Wilky at all costs. And when her heart tugs her deeper into the world of the Soulless, she questions everything she once believed, everything the Priests had taught her about those who live outside Eden—they are forever cursed, savage, soulless.

Has her soul been taken? Will she and Wilky fall victim to the Red Death, or might they die sooner in the center of a battle that threatens to tear apart the Soulless world? Or... might Aaliss finally find, against all odds, what her heart has yearned for all along?


* * * * *

My first thought when I read the blurb for this book is that it is either going to be really good or a complete washout.  I am happy to say that it is really good.  The characters just seem to come to life off of the pages.  

I found myself rooting for Aaliss and her brother Wilky almost from the very beginning.  She is so grounded in reality while Wilky is a bit different.  He is brilliant but not too good on communicating.  He reminds me of some autistic kids I have met.  

We also get a chance to meet the people from two different 'Soulless' villages and I am really impressed by how far their culture has grown considering that people tend to die really early from the Red Death.

I did run across some editing errors but they weren't enough to pull me from the story.  I do recommend this book to any of my readers who enjoy reading dystopian storylines.

*** I received this book at no charge from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.

 
Nov 9, 2016

Ramblings




  • Despite all evidence to the contrary, I am still still alive.  Just not a lot going on to post about.  I have been devouring a lot of books though so that is why the reviews are still coming.
  • I can't believe how old BeiJing is.  She was rescue so I don't know exactly when she was born but I have had her over eleven years and she is just now starting to show her age.  She's an excellent reason for getting a primitive breed as most dogs her age wouldn't be as healthy and active as she is.

  • I have been on a quest to find Lifetime's series Blood Ties.  I had assumed that I would be able to find it on Netflix but they have really been letting me down lately.  I have been able to find it at Amazon if I wanted to get the DVDs but I tend to watch everything on my tablet so no DVD drive.  I have started listening to the series in audio but I really want to watch Henry as he happens to be one of the sexiest vampires around.

  • Started working on a necklace for a contest where the deadline is coming up way too fast.  I decided to make a hand-forged chain using 18 gauge wire.and boy did my hands object.  I haven't tried this in a while but I remember the days when I could make multiple chains in a day.
  • I seriously need a marketing guru.  The holidays are coming and I have the new website for my artisan jewelry.  I have a lot of it made but I absolutely hate writing up descriptions and posting my designs.  Wish that my beloved author husband could help out but we tried that and it just didn't work out.  Oh well I need to get on it as my finished designs are starting to overflow.
  • I voted!  Spend Sunday filling out my ballot and it went out on Monday.  I hope that all of my readers also voted as I don't feel that anyone has a right to complain if they don't bother to vote.
  • I finally found my show at YouTube.  Guess that is the sign of my age that I didn't think to look there first but to me, YouTube is where you find short clips and music videos not complete tv episodes. Oh well.  Now I know.
Nov 8, 2016

Book Review: Maggie Dove's Detective Agency




As Susan Breen’s compelling cozy mystery series continues, Maggie Dove’s budding detective agency has given her a new lease on life. Only one thing stands in the way of success: her clients—or lack of them.

After catching the killer who shook her small Hudson River town, former Sunday School teacher Maggie Dove stumbled onto an exciting new career and found a way to take her mind off her own tragic past. Now, despite her best efforts to promote the agency, Maggie can’t seem to land any new cases—until Racine Stern, one of the village’s wealthiest residents, offers her a thousand dollars to convince her “evil” sister, Domino, to stay out of town.

While Maggie’s business partner thinks she’s crazy for turning down a potential client, she doesn’t want her agency to get a reputation for accommodating bizarre requests. However, Maggie is soon caught up in the family drama anyway. Racine may fear for her life—and her inheritance—but it’s Domino who takes the fall when she plunges to her death from a tower at Stern Manor. Was it an accident or something more sinister? Maggie’s investigation will test her faith—and her ability to survive.

* * * * *
 
I have never been a huge fan of cozy mysteries but I do have to say that Maggie Dove has gone a long way towards me changing my tune.  I really enjoy the character and the escapades that she manages to get herself into.
 
Maggie is a Sunday School teacher and her faith definitely supports her in all that she does but what really impressed me was the fact that she didn't immediately jump to the conclusion that everyone that practices Wicca is evil.  She is also taking her new job as an investigator seriously even though her client can't seem to make up her mind as to whether Maggie is hired or fired.  
 
We also get to revisit the town characters that we met in Maggie Dove.  I found that MAGGIE DOVE'S DETECTIVE AGENCY was a great way to while away a rainy afternoon and I do recommend it to my readers.  It doesn't seem to lean as heavily on the Christian Mythos as the first book which is another plus in my eyes.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.

Nov 7, 2016

Fears





It's amazing how our fears grow and change as we get older.  I have never been afraid of spiders no matter how big they are or bees even though I am allergic to them.  What gave me a heart attack and would have me running screaming when I was younger was the lowly earwig. 

Though it can be difficult to track down just what causes the fear, in this case I am pretty sure that I know exactly where the phobia started.  I used to love Night Gallery with Rod Sterling.  There was one particular episode where one form of torture was putting an earwig in someone's ear where they would burrow into the brain to lay eggs.  It stuck somewhere in my mind.  I remember jumping out of a moving car when I was in my twenties because one of those buggers hid in a bouquet of flowers that someone gave me.

Sometime, and I am not even sure when, this fear faded away.  Now when one of those pesky buggers crawls into the dog dish, I don't feel the need to call my husband to get rid of it.  And spiders still don't phase me.  But now I am afraid of heights. 

I discovered this new fear last year when I needed to get up on my roof.  I couldn't do it.  And I used to enjoy rappelling.  Now if I could just figure out what caused this fear.

Have you been able to overcome one fear to find that another had taken its place?
Nov 5, 2016

Book Review: The Ill-Kept Oath




Two cousins. A dark family secret. A looming rebellion.

In Regency England, a mysterious inheritance draws Prudence Fairfeather and Lady Josephine Weston out of candlelit ballrooms and into the shadows of insurrection.

A newcomer to London society, Prudence longs for the enchantment of love and instead finds real magic in her late mother's ring. But power brings peril, and strange mishaps culminate in an assassin's bullet. Ensnared by the web of a malevolent socialite, Prudence forsakes romance to fight for her freedom.

Josephine fears an eternity of confined country life until rampaging trolls, a gang of drunken vigilantes, and a flirtatious officer bring her all the adventure she craves. Compelled by birthright to take up arms, she embraces her newfound, unladylike abilities to shield her loved ones from harm.

As danger drives a wedge through their friendship, Josephine and Prudence must face their magical legacy and the enemy who will kill to control them.


* * * * * 

This book really tickled me.  It reads like a historical romance with bits of the paranormal painted around the edges.  

The reader really gets to know the cousins through their correspondence they send back and forth.  Yes this was back in the days where a person would write long letters to keep in touch.  Along with the letters, we are privileged to see what is really happening in their lives.  I enjoyed being able to see what they did and did not share.  

There is enough going on with these cousins that there is never a dull moment in the story.  The dialogue is witty and the writing is elegant.  There is just enough hinted about on the paranormal side to keep the reader entranced.  

I do highly recommend THE ILL-KEPT OATH to any reader who enjoys historical romances as well as the paranormal.  Personally I am hoping that another book will come out in this series as I still have questions.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.

Nov 3, 2016

Book Review: Glimmer





GLIMMER
The Black Swan Files begin…

At certain moments in history, when several impossible-to-predict events collide, they create what’s known as a Black Swan—an event that can change how we look at science, technology, even our history. Jocelyn Albrecht is one such Black Swan. Infected by the biotechnology her parents sought to develop, she has become human enhanced—an H+.

The accident that gave Jocelyn new powers also killed her family. In their place she is raised at Camp Holliwell by her "uncle”—a government funded scientist—and his league of doctors who study and test Jocelyn daily in the hopes of learning how to replicate her. The military has another goal in mind—to make her an asset.

After losing one family and the home where she belonged, Jocelyn strives to keep her Holliwell family happy, as odd as they might be. That is until she finds out the truth…Uncle Laurence is using her as a guinea pig, her brother and sister are still alive, and she doesn’t have long to live.

Now Jocelyn only cares about finding her real family. The problem—breaking out of a highly classified, military facility before the next experiment kills her.

Seth Johnson had nothing left to lose when he volunteered to go to Camp Holliwell. Now he would do anything to get out. He wants to help Jocelyn escape, but with a target on both of them, survival means he needs to look out for number one.

Georgie Washington is a straight A student and only child of middle class Virginians. Raised on civil rights and the horrors of American slavery, Georgie has a keen sense of what’s right and what’s not. She secretly befriends Jocelyn, and when no one else will help, commits to breaking her out of Camp Holliwell.

Graeme Rochester knows something is wrong, he just hasn’t figured out the connection to his family. One thing he does know—he would do anything to keep them safe. When the world at Camp Holliwell threatens that safety, Graeme wants to know why, even if it means a collision course with the government’s best-kept secret.

These four people, from vastly different worlds, learn the true meaning of friendship and sacrifice when unpredictable events once again collide, and create the possibility of another Black Swan.


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I used to think that the young adult genre was only for kids.  I am glad that I have had that preconceived notion blown out of the water as some of the freshest ideas and best stories I have found in the last few years are considered to be young adult.  I will never turn my nose up at this genre again.

Now the idea behind GLIMMER of a super soldier is one that has been around for a while.  What makes this book really shine is the superb job that Ms. Cerrone  has done with characterization.  She really takes her readers inside of these teens.

Jocelyn Albrecht, or Sunny as she is known at Holliwell, has always been easy going and appreciative of the care that her 'uncle' takes of her.  It isn't until she meets Seth that she starts to questions her life and it doesn't add up.  She might have been trained as a super soldier but her inner goodness is what draws people like Georgie, Seth and Graeme to her cause. 

I shudder when I think of some of the training methods that Sunny is forced to undergo.  Her uncle truly is a master at manipulating people and to subject a young girl to such is so beyond wrong that I can't put it into words. GLIMMER really highlights the fact that we do allow sociopaths into positions of authority where they can abuse their power.

I would recommend GLIMMER to any of my readers who enjoy sci-fi that is based more of the people rather than the science and to any of my readers who enjoy young adult.  And if you haven't checked out the young adult genre, why not?  Great stories without all the sex.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.

Nov 1, 2016

Book Review: Burned by Her Devotion




When Chase Ryan, a popular crime TV star, turns up dead, the entire town of Solitude is shaken—but the show isn’t over yet. The confessed murderer is violently abducted on the way to the county jail, and now Detective Seth Harding must find both the killer and the kidnapper.

Seth’s investigation unearths unsavory secrets from the celebrity’s life that incriminate a cast of suspects: Chase’s family, his sleazy agent, and a fanatical stalker with a troubled thirteen-year-old daughter. When that same teen disappears from her temporary foster home, Seth’s wife, social worker Carly Taylor, is drawn into the search.

Dodging paparazzi and peril, Seth and Carly track the girl. But as they get closer to uncovering the truth, the abductor sets the stage for a chilling finale…


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Another novella set in Solitude, BURNED BY HER DEVOTION follows up on the events that start in DEATH AND HER DEVOTION when Chase Ryan is killed so if you haven't read DEATH AND HER DEVOTION yet I would suggest that you do so first.

This novella focuses on Seth and his wife Carly as they are trying to track down a missing girl and a missing murderer.  It's fast paced and the reader never knows what is right around the corner.  I also really enjoyed getting the chance to know Seth and Carly better.

I do recommend this novella to anyone that has been following the Solitude saga and if you aren't, well why not?  I have found this entire saga to be  really enjoyable reads.  There isn't any graphic sex so readers of all ages would be entertained.

*** I received this book at no charge from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.  All opinions expressed within are my own.