Friday, October 24, 2014

The Heart of Christmas Release News

I am so excited about the release of The Heart of Christmas by Brenda Novak  in just 4 days


You can already pre-order this fabulous book on Amazon.com .

Brenda Novak is also offering a $1.00 coupon 

Click over to Amazon if you want to pre-order or clip out the coupon and take it to your favorite store. Be sure to tell your friends about the latest installment from the Whiskey Creek series. 

THE HEART OF CHRISTMAS

Just call her Christmas Eve… Eve Harmon has always enjoyed Christmas, but this year it reminds her of everything she doesn’t have. Almost all her friends are married now, and that’s what Eve wants, too. Love. A husband and kids of her own. But the B and B she manages, and even Whiskey Creek, the small Gold Country town where she was born and raised, suddenly seem…confining. Eve’s worried that her future will simply a reflection of her past. There’s no one in the area she could even imagine as a husband – until a handsome stranger comes to town. Eve’s definitely attracted to him, and he seems to have the same reaction to her. But his darkly mysterious past could ruin Eve’s happily ever after – just when it finally seems within reach. And just when she’s counting on the best Christmas of her life!


For all the exciting news about The Heart of Christmas, The Whiskey Creek Series or any of Brenda Novak's books please go to 


While visiting her website be sure to check out the contest for your chance to win awesome prizes and the freebies page for fun items. 


Saturday, October 11, 2014

After The End by Bonnie Dee

After the EndAfter the End by Bonnie Dee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Wow. I really wasn't expecting a lot when I requested to review this book. I had never heard of the author and it was listed as a zombie romance type, (romance during the apocalypse not zombies in love - there would be a book: "oh I love you so much because you are so smart. Just let me have one taste of your brains. I promise I'll still love you in the morning and I will stop if you say to." Haha). So I was really surprised to find that I really enjoyed it. Yes the editing could have been better but quite honestly I have read some books lately by the big names and guess what? The editing could have been better. I don't know what is going on with that but it seems to be the start of an issue that is no longer limited to self publishing. I did not find the editing mistakes in this book to hamper my enjoyment of the book. The book is pretty much basic zombie fare - the hero, the female who starts out weak but turns out strong, the ditz, the geek, the guy with the antidote who needs to be kept safe,the older wealthy female, the strong black female and the lesbian couple. The author added in a couple of children, one teen and one younger. I thought she did a good job with getting me to care about the characters. I like the way she pulled them together to help each other but also wasn't afraid to tear them apart. This book delves into the thoughts of our hero. We see the way he is thinking and feeling. I like that the author made him a human hero. He has bad thoughts. He has realistic thoughts. He has tired thoughts and he has typical sexual thoughts. I know a lot of people think sex isn't going to happen in a zombie outbreak, (unless it is rape - which seems to be expected), but the reality is it will. People are people. Attractions will be there and sexual release will happen. I thought Bonnie Dee did a good job with the people she chose as the romantic interests. The timing of the unfolding was paced well. It is a z outbreak. Things happen fast because death is waiting. There is also plenty of action. The zombies were a bit different in that they seem smarter than usual. Also they do decompose. That was a huge change. I think that, along with the physiological aspect, makes this a book that could go to series very easily. The author has a good grip on what changes the survivors are going through mentally. The ending of the book had me on edge and still does. I want to know more. I want to find out what happens next for the survivors. I want to know ...well, I don't want to give spoilers, so, I just want to know. Check it out. It is on the intense side but also has it's moments of humor and hope. I am looking forward to reading other books by this author.

* I received a copy of the Kindle version of this book for review purposes. All opinions and thoughts are my honest feelings about the book. *

View all my reviews

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

ZBurbia Review

Z-Burbia: A Zombie NovelZ-Burbia: A Zombie Novel by Jake Bible
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I found this to be an entertaining gem in the Z genre. While it is not a truly realistic portrait of what the zombie apocalypse should look like it is a highly entertaining one. (Actually who really knows what a realistic portrait would be? Who has survived one?) I found this book to have realistic settings and plots that were presented with the dark humor I would expect may be found in an event like this. I know most people wouldn't expect that but I do. I think people are people and after the shock wears off the dark humor and sarcasm would set in. What wasn't realistic is the super human survival and/or skills of some characters. I, fortunately, am a reader who understands the concept of fantasy so this does not bother me. I mention it only because I know some people want only reality in this genre. I enjoy the mix and love humor so this book works well for me. There were some minor flaws in editing but those did not greatly affect me. I had fun with the book and am reading book 2 now. The cannibal family was absolutely brilliant. I just love Elsbeth! She is my female Darryl (from the Walking Dead TV Series). No this book isn't the Walking dead or World War Z. But it is an enjoyable read. If you are looking at a fun, fast, action packed, irreverent Zbook try this one.

Two favorite moments from the book, (to give you an idea of the writing):

“I hate clowns,” I say. “Why’d you have to bring up clowns? Zs aren’t enough? Gotta talk about the smiley creepy guys too?”
(Kindle Location 1414)

Holy shit, I think I brought home some cannibal savant or something. Rain Man with a taste for people.
(Kindle Locations 2158-2159)

I would recommend this book to the older crowd for language, sexual references and violence. I would think most adults would investigate a little if they are looking in the z genre for a book for their child but you never know. I think clowns should read it too. Yeah they should read them all. Holy cow I just had a thought...there will be clowns who become zombies!! I just know that will the zombie chasing me!





View all my reviews

The other books in the series:

Z-Burbia 2: Parkway To Hell  Z-Burbia 3: Estate Of The Dead  

Other books by this author:

One Foggy Night: A DEAD MECH Prequel Short  Dead Mech (Apex Trilogy, #1)  The Americans (Apex Trilogy, #2)

Mega: A Deep Sea Thriller  AntiBio: A Post Apocalyptic Thriller  Metal and Ash (Apex Trilogy) Dead Team Alpha

Connect with the author on his website where you will see even more books. 

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Matter of Grave Concern

A Matter of Grave ConcernA Matter of Grave Concern by Brenda Novak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am not a huge lover of historical romance though I love history. Maybe it is because I feel like the story sometimes goes insane with the romance part and the historical part is dropped off. A Matter of Grave Concern though entertained me on both levels. The story starts with Abigail trying to buy a dead body. What woman does this? A woman whose father is her world and only parent. A woman who grew up at the Royal College of Surgeons where her father was head surgeon. A woman who desperately wants to follow in her father's footsteps in an era where woman married and ran households; if they were forced to work it was mostly frisky business they were doing. Abigail understands the human body but isn't so well informed of the human emotions. When the purchase of a dead body goes badly Abigail meets Max. Max is one of the men who stole from her. A Resurrectionist. Or is he something entirely different?
I love the story. As a teen I loved Frankenstein. Up until I read that story I had not thought much about how doctors learned so much about the human body. Then I was fascinated by the fact that they used deceased people as "live" samples to learn from. The thought of selling someone, deceased or not, made me queasy. I wonder at the desperation of the people who sold them. I had not given as much thought into people who bought them. Having a female character who buys dead bodies was extremely interesting. I assumed men did the buying and selling of them. I hate to say it but it was not only the era and the fact that not much was expected of women outside the home that made me think that way. It just seemed to me something men would do. (haha) Because of this Abigail fascinated me. That she would do so much for her father's love kind of saddened me. That she did it in part because of her own curiosity heartened me. It is good to know that woman who truly wanted to learn and experience had the courage to step out of bounds and find ways to do it. Max has his own demons. He is participating in some heavy evil as a resurrectionist with the gang of men he is with. That he sees Abigail and accepts her as is was awesome. I enjoyed his tug of war with doing what was right and doing what felt right. I also loved the chemistry between Abigail and Max. I think the demons that chased each of them are what brought them so close.
The author, Brenda Novak, is known to me. I have read her Whiskey Creek series, (which I love!), and a few other of her books. She has written 50+. That, to me, is amazing. The fact that the ones I have read are high quality astounds me and speaks of her talent and devotion. A devotion not only to her writing but to her fans. Some authors who have written that many books lose something in a few of them. Over time they seem to become the same thing using different names and words. I have not read all of Brenda's books. The ones I have read are fresh. Each has a story all its own. Since most of what I have read from her are her more recent books I believe she is an author with much to offer. Her characters are well written, not always the most likable people, but then when have you liked everyone you met? Her stories are researched and care is given for them to be "real". I like that more than I normally say. It is not so much that I want my stories to be realistic, (I read a lot of zombie books - so far not grounded in reality). I enjoy fantasy a lot. I just don't want to be taken so far away it is ridiculous. Brenda Novak has the line between reality and fantasy firmly in check and has the ability to blur them in an enjoyable mix. A Matter of Grave Concern shows off this ability with drama, intrigue, romance and heat. I enjoyed reading it. I hope you will too.

*I was given a review copy of this book. I appreciate the opportunity to review books and would not diminish this opportunity by providing a review that was not honest. A book is only as good as the author who is only as good as their reviewer who is only valuable through honesty.*

View all my reviews

* A MATTER OF GRAVE CONCERN IS ON SALE NOW ON AMAZON FOR $3.99

BRENDA NOVAK IS HAVING A RELEASE PARTY ON FACEBOOK TONIGHT 5-7 PM PST. PLEASE JOIN HER. MORE INFORMATION IS AVAILABLE ON HER WEBSITE.

http://www.brendanovak.com/


  

For The Love Of Mercy Review

For the Love of Mercy (The Bluegrass Country Series, Book 2)For the Love of Mercy by Leta Gail Doerr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love the Bluegrass Country series. It is set in one of my favorite states. For the Love of Mercy picks up where For the Love of Big Orange left off yet it is its own book. That means if you didn't read big Orange you can still enjoy Mercy, (though I recommend you read Big Orange - good story and has good background for this book).
In Mercy we meet Jax. He was adopted. He has some issues from that and also from just being spoiled. He is what I would call the typical spoiled, rich BOOK kid. I know plenty of "rich" kids in real life who are not typically spoiled. Jax accidentally finds out that he has a birth sister he did not know about, (or actually does not remember). He is angry that he was not told about her and sets off to find her. This brings him to Kentucky and Mercy Lynn.
Mercy is a down to earth, kind and compassionate woman who takes Jax under her wing. She knows he is searching for something and needs help desperately. What she doesn't know is that he has a diagnosis for a mental issue stemming from his childhood or that she will fall in love with him. The diagnosis could destroy her chances at love.
Both Jax and Mercy Lynn are likable characters. The story revolves around them but also around Emma, Jax's sister. Emma is from the first book For the Love of Big Orange. It was wonderful to see her and Lacie Jo again. I think the author did a phenomenal job continuing Emma's story without letting it overtake Jax and Mercy Lynn's story.
I would recommend this book to readers of romance. It has drama, humor and love. I found it to be an enjoyable, down to earth, home style book. I was easily able to read it in a day. I can't wait for, "For The Love of Justice", to come out!

View all my reviews


For the Love of Big Orange

First book in the Bluegrass Country Series

Connect with Leta Gail Doerr on her website where you can read the first chapter free:


Please also take a look at Random Moon Books. This site provides links and other interesting posts. 

 and is the moderator of Random Moon Books Group.


Monday, October 6, 2014

Guest Christine Amsden with a Giveaway

Hi. On the blog today we have Christine Amsden the author of the Cassie Scot Series. She has brought along Cassie and a GIVEAWAY! Yay!! Thank you for stopping by today Christine and for the awesome giveaway. 

If you know Cassie then you know how crazy her life has been lately. Stress, stress and more stress. We all deal with stress in our lives, though not the same as Cassie. I am always looking for ways to chill. I am always interested in what people do to just relax. Since Cassie has gone through so much I thought it would be cool to find out how she lets go of all the craziness. Here is Christine with the scoop. 

Top 10 Ways Cassie likes to Relax

With so much going on in Cassie's life, it can be hard for her to sit back and relax! But her life isn't all about solving mysteries, escaping from evil sorcerers, or even falling in love. She has hobbies, some of which made it into the pages of the book. Others were overlooked due to time constraints, but I hope they follow from what I revealed of her character. 

10. Shopping – Cassie does love pretty clothes so it follows that she also enjoys shopping for them. Shopping is low on the list because after her parents kicked her out of the house in book one, she didn't have much money. Shopping is a lot more fun when your parents are rich. 

9. Boating – Cassie only gets a chance to take a boat onto Table Rock Lake once during the series, but it is something she enjoys doing. The lake is like home to her. She will also sometimes swim or water ski. 

8. Archery – This was important in the first book. Cassie was actually a junior champion in archery during high school. She doesn't actually hunt, but she enjoys the challenge of hitting the bullseye. She can shoot a gun too, but she doesn't enjoy it nearly as much as the bow. As a point of interest, she first decided to start shooting archery after watching Robin Hood when she was 8 or 9.

7. Meditation – This is part of Cassie's spirituality. It's also an underlying part of the magic system that she can't access, but meditation comes with its own rewards.

6. Yoga – Mind/body connectedness is very soothing. Cassie doesn't do this often enough to be freakishly bendy or anything, but it helps keep her in shape.

5. Eating – Especially chocolate. Not the healthiest way to relieve stress, but I'm afraid she and I have this vice in common. Cassie also likes to cook. 

4. Running/walking – It's important to stay in shape when you do what Cassie does, and it also relieves stress. Cassie likes to run/walk in intervals, although she can run for quite a while if she wants to or needs to. There was an emotional scene in Mind Games where she just ran and ran, trying to escape the horror of a certain self-discovery. 

3. Reading – Cassie's genre of choice is mystery. Unlike me, she doesn't enjoy fantasy. I think it reminds her of what she doesn't have (magic).

2. Play with the kids – Cassie loves her family and she loves kids. She didn't have much of a chance to do this during the books, but I hope her love for her family came through well enough for you to imagine this. As the oldest of seven kids, she looked out for her younger siblings often. And she's still happy to look after them, especially the young ones with more innocent troubles. 

1. Cuddle with Evan – This means of relaxation wasn't available to Cassie early in the series, but by the end it is her favorite method. She enjoys doing other things with him too, but they're not relaxing. :)

Rafflecopter Giveaway ($100 Amazon Gift Card) a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Stolen Dreams - the final book in the Cassie Scot Series



Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot #4)
Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot #4)Edward Scot and Victor Blackwood have despised one another for nearly a quarter of a century, but now their simmering hatred is about to erupt.
When Cassie Scot returns home from her sojourn in Pennsylvania, she finds that her family has taken a hostage. Desperate to end the fighting before someone dies, Cassie seeks help from local seer Abigail Hastings, Evan Blackwood’s grandmother. But Abigail has seen her own death, and when it comes at the hand of Cassie’s father, Victor Blackwood kills Edward Scot.
But things may not be precisely as they appear.
Evan persuades Cassie to help him learn the truth, teaming them up once again in their darkest hour. New revelations about Evan and his family make it difficult for Cassie to cling to a shield of anger, but can Evan and Cassie stop a feud that has taken on a life of its own? Conclusion to the Cassie Scot series.

Buy Links



About The Cassie Scot Series:

Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.

Author Bio

Christine AmsdenChristine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.
At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that affects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams.
In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.
Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.

Social Media Links:


Friday, October 3, 2014

Stolen Dreams - My review

Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot #4)
Stolen Dreams (Cassie Scot #4)Edward Scot and Victor Blackwood have despised one another for nearly a quarter of a century, but now their simmering hatred is about to erupt.
When Cassie Scot returns home from her sojourn in Pennsylvania, she finds that her family has taken a hostage. Desperate to end the fighting before someone dies, Cassie seeks help from local seer Abigail Hastings, Evan Blackwood’s grandmother. But Abigail has seen her own death, and when it comes at the hand of Cassie’s father, Victor Blackwood kills Edward Scot.
But things may not be precisely as they appear.
Evan persuades Cassie to help him learn the truth, teaming them up once again in their darkest hour. New revelations about Evan and his family make it difficult for Cassie to cling to a shield of anger, but can Evan and Cassie stop a feud that has taken on a life of its own? Conclusion to the Cassie Scot series.

Buy Links


My Review 

Stolen Dreams is the final book in the Cassie Scot series. We have watched Cassie grow so much throughout the series. I had invested so much in my friendship with Cassie that this book was both anticipated and dreaded. The author did a masterful job with this book. I usually do not like the last book in a series. Too often it does not end the way I hoped for. A few times, in the final book, the characters did not even resemble the characters in the first few books. Stolen Dreams did not have either of those issues. 

In the beginning we met Cassie, a young girl, in a magical family, who had no magic. She was trying to find herself and where she fit in to things. We watched her grow, stumbling along through some difficult situations. In Stolen Dreams we see her come into her own. I was so freaking proud of her! 
Evan is back and is another character we have watched grow and come into himself. That was a surprise for me. I am not use to getting to watch two main characters grow up so much. We know from the first book in the series that Cassie and Evan were friends who were attracted to each other. We also know that both their families hated each other. With reason. From the start I knew Cassie and Evan belonged together but just because you belong together doesn't mean you get to be together.
Cassie went through some very tough times and Evan was at the heart of them...not always in a good way. Most writers would have focused on Cassie, after all the story is hers, but not Ms Amsden. She did an outstanding job with the character development of Cassie and Evan. I really loved that she devoted time to us really getting to know Evan. Do Evan and Cassie finally get together? When Stolen Dreams opens she is engaged to Alexander and the feud between the families of Cassie and Evan is at an all time high. Not only that but with all that Cassie has found out, her love for Evan has turned to hate. I have always said you cannot truly hate someone unless you loved them first. The line is fine and once you cross it the road back is long and pain filled. Most never recover the loss of trust needed in order for love to survive. I will leave it to you to discover if Cassie marries Alexander, Evan, someone else or no one else. 

The other part I truly loved with this series deals with all the "minor" characters. Ms Amsden wrote them in such a way that we know they are minor but yet they are major. I love Kaitlyn and Madison. They each have a story to tell, (in this book we find out just how much Madison has to tell! Bomb goes off with her). I definitely want to read the spin offs that tell their stories. The situations they each are in combined with Ms Amsden talent for character development make those books a must read when they come out. I am suspecting we will see Cassie and Evan a time or two in those books which makes saying farewell a bit easier. 

Stolen Dreams is the final chapter for Cassandra. I really loved the wrap up. Each book contains a main case that Cassie works on but has all these mini plots going on. With Stolen Dreams we get the answers to questions we have had since book one. I enjoyed how the author wove this series with its main plot and sub plots. It was truly magical. Nothing was really lost in the wrap up. I think that was an amazing feat. With so much going on it would have been easy to lose a sub plot. Ms Amsden handled it masterfully. 

I am so sad to see the end come to Cassandra Scot. I have loved this series so much. I was so excited to receive my copy of Stolen Dreams but at the same time dreaded reading it because of the goodbye. This was a hard review to write. I didn't want to give away spoilers and at the same time I wanted to talk about it. This entire series was such a delightful surprise to read. I loved reading Nancy Drew when I was a child. This series is my magical grown up Nancy Drew series. Matter of fact the books share space with my old Nancy Drew books. I would like to extend a huge thank you to Christine Amsden for providing me with review copies of her books. My reviews of each of them are my honest feelings about the books. I enjoyed them so much that I also purchased Kindle copies of each book. I would recommend this series be read in the order written. The books are not stand alones. It is a series I would recommend to teens and adults. There are some situations that may not be suitable for younger children. This entire series is a five star series. 

The Cassie Scot Series:

Cassie Scot is the ungifted daughter of powerful sorcerers, born between worlds but belonging to neither. At 21, all she wants is to find a place for herself, but earning a living as a private investigator in the shadow of her family’s reputation isn’t easy. When she is pulled into a paranormal investigation, and tempted by a powerful and handsome sorcerer, she will have to decide where she truly belongs.

Author Bio

Christine AmsdenChristine Amsden has been writing fantasy and science fiction for as long as she can remember. She loves to write and it is her dream that others will be inspired by this love and by her stories. Speculative fiction is fun, magical, and imaginative but great speculative fiction is about real people defining themselves through extraordinary situations. Christine writes primarily about people and relationships, and it is in this way that she strives to make science fiction and fantasy meaningful for everyone.
At the age of 16, Christine was diagnosed with Stargardt’s Disease, a condition that affects the retina and causes a loss of central vision. She is now legally blind, but has not let this slow her down or get in the way of her dreams.
In addition to writing, Christine teaches workshops on writing at Savvy Authors. She also does some freelance editing work.
Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.

Social Media Links:

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Review: Starboard Secrets

Starboard Secrets by Hope Callaghan My rating: 5 of 5 stars I really had fun with this book. I thought i...