Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Sunday, September 25, 2016
Renting out the small cottage on her property seems an obvious choice, but it won’t be enough. When entrepreneur Drake Newham shows up looking not only for a place to rent but also for a nanny for his two nieces, it’s almost too good to be true. And maybe it is—because Drake brings with him dangerous questions about who might be out to kill his family.
The more time Kate spends with Drake and the girls, the more difficult it becomes to hide her attraction to him. But a family crisis isn’t exactly the ideal time to pursue a romance.
Meanwhile, Kate learns that her uncle—in prison for murder—has escaped. Add to that a local stalker who won’t leave her alone, and Kate is looking over her shoulder at every turn. With threats swirling from multiple directions, she wonders if her blueberry fields will ever flourish again . . . or if this twilight is her last.
I received an ARC of this book from the author's publicist in exchange for an honest review.
I was aware, when I agreed to review this book, that it was both religious and the author's first attempt at writing a thriller. I'm going to talk about the good first, because there is a fair amount of "good" in this book. Ms. Coble can create really wonderful, three-dimensional characters you can see and hear in your mind. She creates great emotion and real depth. I will, in the future, read some of her non-thriller books.
Now with the bad. As mentioned, this is her first thriller and you can tell. The romantic aspect of the story flows beautifully, in contrast to the thriller elements, which seem a bit all over the place. I usually love books with multiple POV, but I think we could have done with just Kate and Drake's. Claire, Luke, and the killer's POVs just make the book jump around too much for my liking. And we get all these POVs in the first five chapters.
I found the plot to be wonderful, but it wasn't executed as well as it could have been. It was less "suspense" and more "plodding along". Her descriptive nature is excellent, but for some reason it fell short of describing the suspenseful scenes that could have been exacerbated.
The last thing I disliked comes from a more personal perspective rather than a professional one (as the ones above did). Within the first forty pages, we hear Kate talk about how she can't have children four times. Four times in forty pages. She feels anger over it, she feels worthless to men because of it. I realize that God made women to have children to repopulate the world, but that is not all a woman is good for. At all. I'd really like to see "women's fiction" be about EMPOWERING women, instead of catering to archaic ideals that are no longer relevant. Kate helps with her church, helping dozens of children in worship. She has skills to do a lot of things with her life. She is in no way worthless, and I found that the mentions of her being barren over and over were disheartening. I know barren women, and they are valuable in multiple ways in life. A woman is no longer only worthy of being a wife and mother. We're on the verge of having our first woman as a President, and yet people are out there saying the only thing a woman is good for is having kids. It's ridiculous, and I think that a barren woman reading this book would be extremely depressed.
I see how "the blueberries not producing fruit" anymore is a metaphor, and it's a great one, but it's highly misused.
3/5--a decent book that could have been great.
Purchase Twilight At Blueberry Barrens
Saturday, September 24, 2016
Friday, September 23, 2016
To learn how dangerous it was to care about him.
Reaper 99 cents!
The Sebastian Chronicles is a series of 5 Erotic Paranormal Novelettes that will take you through each century since Sebastian Benoit’s Vampiric inception.
In book two My servant, my lover Sebastian embarks upon a forbidden romance with a member of his staff in Isabel’s home. This cardinal rule was one Isabel was adamant it never be broken and with good reason. But is the crime worth the potential punishment?
In this novelette you will live vicariously through our beloved Vampire Sebastian and his sexual escapades from the 18th century.
I received an ARC of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Book two picks up two centuries where book one left off, but what happened in those two centuries is a bit shocking as we find out--as the teasers say--what happened to Isabel. No spoilers, but I will say that IT BETTER NOT BE TRUE. Okay, back to being a professional.
Despite these stories being so short, you really come to care about the characters. Sebastian is still not my favorite, but his story does keep momentum flowing.
Out of the two new characters, I love Lorenzo. He's hot as Hell, no pun intended. Nicolette I found to be a lying you-know-what, but I can't deny her scenes are also hot as Hell.
This book is written and edited better than the first; I only found one error in the entire thing (expresso instead of espresso). You can see an improvement in the short time between releases, and I can't wait for book three!
5/5--emotional and very, very hot.
Purchase My Servant, My Lover via Amazon.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
The Sebastian Chronicles is a series of 5 Erotic Paranormal Novelettes that will take you through each century since Sebastian Benoit’s Vampiric inception.
In book one Sebastian, the beginning you learn why his maker Isabel chose him to be her mate.
Isabel stalked Sebastian even going so far as to watch him satisfy his many lovers. He had a death wish, one that an angry husband would surely have carried out had Isabel not turned him in time.
Sebastian’s hatred for Isabel overshadows the gift she’s given him causing her to doubt her decision. Will he ever learn to love her as much as she loves him?
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Sebastian is a fast read, barely half an hour tops. I'm that half hour, you'll be taken on a thrilling ride of love, vampirism, and, of course, sex. Let's start with the bad.
Two things made this a four star review instead of five. One is the POV change; it frequently goes inside the heads of both main characters. While I usually love those, when the POV changes multiple times per chapter with no warning, it can be difficult to read. The second thing is that the author repeatedly says the phrase "my love"in two languages, sometimes four times per page. It is so repetitive, it can be comical.
Despite having some language issues (they live in the sixteenth century, but occasionally use modern phrases), this story is filled with action and romance at every step. I really love Isabel, and can't wait to see where her story goes. I am dying to know more about her and Marcus.
I did like Sebastian, he's sexy as Hell, but a bit needy and too trusting.
I'm excited to see where this story takes both. Onto the next novella now...
4/5--sexy as Hell!
Purchase Sebastian on Amazon!
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Ensnarled in a cover-up that puts her in an assassin’s crosshairs, Rita must unravel a web of lies and connections that date back to Jared’s service in the Iraq war – before a mysterious kidnapper returns Rita’s daughter Zoe one body part at a time.
This fast-paced thriller is one you won’t want to put down from beginning to end.
After a short stint working in a psychiatric hospital, when she wrote three self-help books, Karen joined an international relief and development organization to use her skills to help people struggling with extreme poverty. She has traveled to numerous developing countries, witnessing famines, violence, and hopeful people working to overcome a generational cycle of poverty.
She loves to read and write fast-paced mysteries and thrillers, especially those with intricate plots, lots of action, and rollercoaster-like twists and turns.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
1. Ghengis Khan (originally performed by Miike Snow)
2. Mad World (originally performed by Tears For Fears)
3. Leave A Trace (originally performed by Chvrches)
4. Hallelujah (originally performed by Leonard Cohen)
5. Pineapple Expression (instrumental)
(Bonus song Nothing Compares 2 U by Sinead O'Connor, written by Prince, available for FREE by clicking here.)
I'm going to go in order of the track listing for my review to try and keep myself in line. Those of you who read my previous reviews for Matt's music know I tend to get overexcited and go off on tangents, which is something no reviewer likes to do, but his music is just so good!
I've been listening to Matt for what will be seven years this year, I've watched his music grow from Heaven Is Where to different solo projects, each one more delicately composed and beautifully written than the last.
I already knew, getting this EP, that Matt has the voice of an angel and one Hell of a talent on guitar, and I was pretty convinced that he could sing anything. I remember the days on MySpace (yes, I said MySpace) when he had covers of Cheap Trick and others listed, which were great even back then.
Okay, starting track one, the only track I was unfamiliar with. Matt really did an amazing job of transforming this song. I didn't liken it whatsoever to the original an a listener would think that this was one of Matt's originals at first. This song plays to Matt's higher range, which is really stunning. It makes you stop what you're doing to listen.
Track two is a sad song by a group I really enjoy. Matt's voice, usually filled with such beauty, is so low and melancholic you can feel your heart twist as you listen. It evokes the emotional response from a listener that great music is supposed to. This one is by far my favorite and I have played it over and over in the past couple of days.
Track three is a band I am not a big fan of, but I knew the song from hearing it in different places in the past year. You can really hear Matt's acoustic skills on this one. His voice takes on a slightly smoke quality that made me picture a darkened club, a haze of smoke, and Matt on a stage with limited lighting while patrons danced on the floor. It's another song that you could think was one of his originals.
Track four I think everyone is familiar with, and we have all heard many covers of it as well. In fact, I heard a new one just tonight! However, whenever he touches something, he turns it into pure gold. This is another song you have to stop just to listen, to take it all in. Despite it not being my favorite on the album, this one shows Matt's vocal abilities the very best.
Track five is a quick instrumental, just thirty seconds, but still enjoyable as a comedown from the rest to the album.
The bonus track is another song we all know. It's a piece of music history, now more so than ever with Prince's passing. I'm very critical of songs I grew up with being covered, and I remember my mother saying, "Kelly, if he screwed this up, I'm going to have to tell him." Well, he didn't. What he did was make a perfect cover of musical and vocal beauty It's almost as if it was written for him to sing, not O'Connor.
In all, I think you can tell what my opinion on this EP is. It's gorgeously performed, has great production value, a cover that could be on a T-shirt, and created with care. Matt is a brilliant musician, and as I have been telling my readers for years, he is someone you NEED to listen to.
Purchase Covered Vol. 1 on iTunes or Amazon.
Friday, September 16, 2016
Three years after the War of the Lotus, alliances have already begun to unravel. As Rowen Locke struggles to maintain peace, troubling news reaches him from every corner. Persecution of the Shel'ai has reignited in the south, spurred on by a fanatical priest. To the north, the Isle Knights are withering under the leadership of mad Crovis Ammerhel. Old friends fight each other when not drowning their sorrows in taverns.
A new threat emerges from across the sea, dispatched by the same exiled Dragonkin who have been plotting their revenge for centuries. Rowen and his companions soon realize that the target is the Dragonward itself: their one and only defense against an evil so vast even Knightswrath could not vanquish it.
(Note, read the Dragonkin Trilogy before picking this up--you won't regret it!)
Continuing the story we thought we finished in the Dragonkin Trilogy, we find Rowen facing new troubles, alongside some other familiar faces.
While many times in fantasy stories can come to be repetitive, these books just keep growing and becoming more and more intricate. By now, I feel like I'm fighting alongside friends. This story is a lot more dangerous, you feel the tension at times in your bones. Meyerhofer has a gift of making you feel what the characters feel at any given moment.
He also created very real characters. You don't often see many different races and sexual orientations in fantasy, but that didn't stop him from creating wonderfully diverse characters. As a member of the LGBT+ community, I really appreciate that touch.
Another great story by a fantastic writer.
5/5--his world just keeps getting better!
Purchase The Dragonward on Amazon.
What if you can’t help but hurt the person you love?
Kat Cullen has it all—a staff writer position at the New York Times, beauty, independence—until she finds herself alone on the subway at night with a rapist. Saved by Alex Summer, a democratic candidate running for mayor of New York, she develops an unexpected friendship with him.
Alex’s chaotic past is the kind of juicy scoop every political reporter dreams of—which is why he keeps it hidden. But as he starts falling in love with Kat, he opens up to her about his darkest secrets. What he doesn’t know is that Kat already knows all about him, and she’s on an assignment to expose his history.
Caught between truth, love and ambition, two people must figure out the politics of the heart.
In every book I read, especially in a general romance genre, I try to look for something different, outstanding, something that makes me sit back and say, "This book will stay with me forever". Unfortunately, I did not get much of that with this book, and I am sorry to say.
Let's start with the good, and that is that Sasha Clinton is a great writer. Her dialogue and prose are nearly perfect, and I loved reading the raw emotion she put into this narrative. She's got so much potential it isn't even funny. And that's why this book is getting three stars.
Here's the other reasons why, and please remember that this is my personal opinion and nothing more: it's unbelievable. It's two characters who are very hard for anyone to relate to. I think that the sexual assault Kat suffers was more than necessary: at least that gives some readers something to sympathize/empathize with. Otherwise, she's very unrelatable.
And while Alex is the type of man we fantasize about, his character was lacking somehow. Despite her best efforts, Clinton didn't realize his full potential.
The story and characters fell flat for me. It was a bit too predictable, too Lifetime movie for me.
3/5--A lot of potential.
Purchase In My Arms Tonight on Amazon.
Safe in the Emperor's Tower, Kirshta has finally achieved the rank and recognition that
he's craved for so long. But intrigues of the imperial court give him no time to enjoy his
position. The new Emperor descends into paranoia and sends Kirshta chasing a phantasmal
conspiracy, forcing him to choose between betraying his friends and losing everything he's
Meanwhile, Sadja arrives in the capital city to find that his schemes have come to
naught. Determined to take the Seven-Stepped Throne for himself, he must seek out new allies
inside the imperial palace. Fortunately, the new Emperor needs a great many advisors, and
Sadja is very pleased to help.
Having read the two previous books in this series, I can safely say that Pride of Empires is the absolute best yet. In this book, not only to we get a deeper look inside the psyche of the characters, we also go further into the politics of the story. It's intricately weaved to wrap around your mind and draw you in.
I want to say a lot, but with this being a third book, I am afraid to give spoilers.
I will say that I love how these characters grow and change in each book, becoming more themselves and revealing themselves to us. These books always have great plots, but I believe it is the characters that really drive the story here.
5/5--an excellent book!
Purchase Pride Of Empires via Amazon.