Saturday, 3 December 2016

Saving Lord Whitton's Daughter Review





Lady Bethany would rather die a spinster than submit to marriage—and thus reveal the horrible secret she has harbored for more than a year
Lord Locke is far too immersed in his service to the Crown for romance, but Lady Bethany is in dire circumstances.
Indebted to Bethany’s late father and his close friend, the earl offers a perfect solution for both of them: a marriage in name only.
Perfect, if only they weren’t so irresistibly drawn to each other—and if Bethany hadn’t found herself falling in love with a man even more mysterious than his reputation. Perfect, until she unwittingly learns he’s protecting her from a threat to her life.
To Mark, Bethany is just another assignment, a woman he’s convinced is hiding something. His offer of marriage was meant only to make it easier to safeguard her.
But when the simple threat turns to attempted murder and treason, Mark realizes that Bethany has stolen his heart and he can do nothing less than throw himself into a race against time to save her, whatever the price.





Susan was born and raised a California girl but is grateful to have lived on the Oregon coast and in the Rocky Mountains of northern Utah. She’s now enjoying living with her husband in the incomparable beauty of the Redwood forest, nestled against the rugged coast of Northern California.
Susan raised a tribe of children, making ends meet as a registered nurse and lactation consultant, and now her tribe members have tribes of their own and she just doesn’t get to see enough of them. She loves to travel and is thrilled with a good movie or a great book, but writing is her passion. She writes almost anything, especially epic fantasy and romance. Saving Lord Whitton’s Daughter is her first Regency Romance.
Susan would love to hear your comments. Please review her book at your favorite retailer, and at Goodreads, and/ or drop her a note at: stietjen.author@gmail.com.



Connect with the Author here: 




4 out of 5 Stars

This was a nice story with intrigue, deception, mystery and or course romance. The Characters were complex and likeable. Certain parts of the story line did get me thinking and I found myself aching for women in that time period; when, if a situation was forced upon a women it was concerted she alone was to blame.  Also considering the time and way of thinking it is admirable that the close family stands by her. I enjoy that familial aspect of this story. As well, the two main character have great chemistry together and the author does a great job showing that without getting to wordy or making it sound forced.

The main problem I really ran up against was the constant use of formal titles (Lord and Lady) When a first given name was thrown in I honestly didn't know whom they were talking to. It was a little distracting but not detrimental. 

Over all I enjoyed this story. Notwithstanding some of the subject manner it still managed to be completely clean and sensitive. Bravo for managing this feat, as this can be a extremely difficult balance to achieve. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys their romance full of mystery and a lot of clean sexual tension.


Snippet:

“Oh no! My skirt. It’s caught between the stirrup leather and the saddle and it’s tearing.”
“I’ll hold you up,” Locke said, raising her enough to tug it free.
She weighed almost nothing, but he was more than overwhelmed by the sweet lemony smell of her. When he at last lowered her to the ground, he found himself unable to let go, at least until she turned to face him.
Emerald eyes opened wide, Lady Bethany’s cheeks flushed prettily. Was that wonderment on her features? He didn’t see the slightest hint of fear in her. He felt her gaze admire him, drifting from his brows to his nose and arriving at last at his mouth. Her hands, so small and delicate against the firm muscles of his chest, gave no hint of the resistance she’d shown last night.
She stood perfectly still, obviously aware that his breath had faltered. Did she realize what she did to him? Had she any idea how much he wanted to kiss her? And then he saw it, the glimmer of desire in her eyes that battered at his resolve. He raised a hand to brush a stray hair from her cheek and her eyelids fluttered shut, a tremble sweeping over her. His resistance melted and he traced her jaw to her chin and lifted it, leaning towards the soft pillow of her lips, wanting more than anything to taste their sweetness.




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Wednesday, 30 November 2016

The Soulstealer's Child




Brandon Gray is the pen name of Braden Bell (Brandon writes YA fiction; Braden writes for middle grades). Braden holds a Ph.D. from New York University. He and his family live on a quiet, wooded lot in Tennessee, where he teaches middle school theatre and music. An experienced performer, Braden enjoys reading, gardening, and long summer afternoons writing in his hammock. His most notable skill is being able to eat a full rack of BBQ ribs with one hand on long drives.



Connect with the Author here: 
~ Facebook ~ Website
 ~ Amazon ~ Twitter
 ~ Goodreads ~




Can a human heart overcome a demon soul?



When soul-eating demons overrun his world, Kaelis, a young seraph warrior, uses the Queen’s ring to open a portal in space and flee with the infant heir to the throne, landing on earth. Unbeknownst to him, the demon leader, Nsark, follows through the portal, determined to devour the soul of every last seraph, especially the Queen’s heir. After Kaelis hides the baby, Nsark creates the ultimate weapon by fathering a half-human, half-demon: a soul-stealer’s child. 



Sixteen years later, an awkward teen named James struggles to fit in with his peers. In a last-ditch effort, he joins the school play, where he meets Lucy. Something deep draws them together, and their friendship reveals their hidden pasts: one is an angel, one is half-demon. Lucy and James find themselves pulled into an age-old war between their peoples. Hunted by relentless enemies, and grappling with deep-seated instincts and strange new powers, they must fight for their lives, their souls, and each other.






Top Ten List:

1. My wife
2. My kids
3. My students
4. Dr. Pepper
5. BBQ ribs
6. Amazon gift cards
7. Old Christmas movies
8. Turner Classic Movies
9. My new Amazon Firestick (love this!!!)
10. My job--teaching choir and theatre at a middle school.



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Thursday, 17 November 2016

The Wrong Side of Magic Review





Hudson Brown stopped believing in magic long ago. That is, until the day he is whisked away to the magical land of Logos by a curious compass given to him by his off-beat neighbor, Charlotte.

Hudson discovers that Logos is a land ruled by words, thoughts, and memories. A fairy might ferry you across the river for the price of one memory. But be sure to look out for snarky unicorns, as they will see through those who are not pure of heart.

Not understanding the many rules of Logos, Hudson is quickly saddled with a troll curse. Charlotte, who, along with her father, was banished from Logos, can help get rid of the curse--but only if he agrees to find the lost Princess of Logos in return.











Janette Rallison/ CJ Hill writes books because writing is much more fun than cleaning bathrooms.  Her avoidance of housework has led her to writing 26 novels that have sold over 1,000,000 print copies and have been on many reading and state lists. Her books are fantasy, sci-fi, and romantic comedy because hey, there is enough angst in real life, but there’s a drastic shortage of humor, romance and hot guys who fight dragons. She lives in Arizona with her husband, kids, and enough cats to classify her as eccentric. 

Connect with the Author here: 
~ Goodreads ~ Website ~
 ~ Amazon ~

5 out of 5 stars 
(+ an extra star for making me laugh so much)

This book was brilliant from the get go! I laughed quite hard at the opening paragraph (see below in the extra's section) and didn't stop laughing for the whole book! The word play was quite clever and even though I know I am no literacy expert (I can't even spell to save my life) I really enjoyed it. The comedy reminded me a bit of the styling of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams; completely bizarre and an immense amount of fun!

I loved this book. I loved the strange world Janette Rallison has created. I also love that even though it is completely off kilter there are things that tie into real life so well it makes it believable, such as why you can't remember early childhood memories. Basically I now have to search out every book this brilliant author has written.

While this book was written technically for Middle Grade I wouldn't hesitate recommending it to anyone who has even a remote sense of humour. This book is clean, fun and a great adventure! Thank you Janette Rallison for brightening my day!


Snippet:

SOMETIMES MAGIC SNEAKS up on a person like a sudden rainstorm, or bad news, or a mugger wearing really quiet shoes. That’s what happened to Hudson Brown. He was an average eighth grader, with average brown hair that usually needed to be cut and average brown eyes that didn’t always pay attention to his teachers. He lived in an average bedroom that needed to be cleaned and had average friends— many of whom also needed to be cleaned.
In short, Hudson was the type who hadn’t believed in magic for years. Truth be told, magic hadn’t believed in Hudson for even longer, but boys are often getting tangled in trouble, and Hudson was no exception. Except his trouble involved trolls, wizards, and several other things that wanted to kill him.
It started with a cat. Many problems do, which is why dogs, mice, and grumpy old men don’t like them. 


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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Doorway to Murder Review




Secrets lurk in a small New York town and betrayal is just around the corner. The morning after the worst blizzard of 1934, Detective Steven Blackwell takes on a highly charged murder case. The investigation starts badly: one clue, lots of lies and alibis. To make things worse, Steven is seeing visions of a woman in his house.

One night, she speaks. Her name is Olivia Watson and she lives in 2014. She believes time has folded over in the house they share. As their relationship deepens, Steven’s investigation intensifies. Soon he can no longer trust anyone in his own time. Can Olivia help crack the case—and catch a killer?




Reviews:
The past collides with the present in DOORWAY TO MURDER, an exciting new mystery by debut author Carol Pouliot.

With its fresh premise covering two eras that crackle off the page, Carol Pouliot introduces compelling characters to lead her series forward. Add a sharply written mystery with clever plot twists, and you have all the elements that make DOORWAY TO MURDER an accomplished debut.
Marni Graff, award-winning author, The Nora Tierney series and Death Unscripted
Mystery. Romance. Time-travel adventure. DOORWAY TO MURDER is the total package. Carol Pouliot interweaves the past and present as easily as I turned the pages. I highly recommend this fun read.
Betsy Bitner, award-winning humor columnist, Times Union (Albany, NY)
There's nothing I like more than a time-travel tale, but how much better to get a crisp, fair-play police procedural, too. The atmosphere grabbed me. The ending surprised me. I'm already looking forward to Steven and Olivia's next adventure.
Catriona McPherson, multi-award-winning author of the Edgar-shortlisted The Day She Died
Steven and Olivia make a great couple of crime busters in this era-jumping romance and hard-boiled police procedural. Join them. You’ll be glad you did!
Steve Axelrod, author of the Henry Kennis Nantucket mysteries





4.5 out of 5

I really enjoy time travel and murder mystery books so I jumped at the chance to read this book which combines the two. It was a nice escape from the stress of life and I enjoyed that it was written well enough to pull me away from my reality and sink me into another. I really liked the way the window between the two times shifts and expands through the book, making it almost a living entity.

The murder mystery part of it was really well thought through as well. It leaves you guessing and, the fact that the modern time frame does not give away the person behind the historical crime also keeps you in suspense, if not in a little bit of disbelief that the information isn’t found. This does however make the reveal a bit more climatic.

There were a few things that felt inconsistent, but I will admit that could have been caused by my own stress of moving house.


Overall this is a enjoyable read and a nice escape. I don’t recall anything to warn about. Extramarital affairs are part of the plot but not discussed in any detail. The relationship between the two character is extremely clean almost to the point of a platonic relationship, but you can feel an underlying attraction between the two. There may have been language but I didn’t notice any. I think anyone who enjoys a good murder mystery will love this book. If you like time travel this book would also be great. And of course anyone looking for a clean read this book should be on your list.


Hi! I’m Carol Pouliot. (French pronunciation the “t” is silent.)            


I’ve always loved books and learning. I can still picture the library my family went to when I was little. I remember my excitement picking out books. Now, the bookshelves lining the walls of my house are stuffed to over-flowing mysteries, political thrillers, time-travel, ancient Egypt, French literature, biographies of British kings and queens, and favorites from my childhood. I guess it was inevitable I’d want to write.

I fell in love with France and all things French at age 11. Throughout high school, I dreamed of getting my passport, packing my suitcase, and going to Paris. I graduated from SUNY Oswego with a BA in French and Spanish and got my MA in French at Stony Brook University. Then, I headed to France for my first teaching job.

After returning home to upstate New York, I taught French and Spanish for over 30 years. I also started my own business an agency that provided translations in over 24 languages.

I’ve always felt very much a part of the world and at home everywhere I’ve ever been 5 continents so far. I did volunteer work for a couple of international organizations. I loved getting to know people from all over the world. A friend from Kenya taught me some Swahili; a woman from Japan showed me how to make her mother’s favorite chicken recipe; a friend from Panama taught me to salsa. All these wonderful experiences have enriched my life beyond measure.

I currently live on several acres of woods in the lake-effect zone. This means I get about 10 feet of snow every year thanks to the strong winds off Lake Ontario. I enjoy seeing the deer, chipmunks, and foxes. I also love watching the birds at my kitchen-window feeders over 25 different kinds at the latest count.   

Connect with the Author here: 
~ Website



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Thursday, 27 October 2016

Book Review: Crossing Lines




Just before their B-17 bomber crashes in German-occupied Austria, two of the three remaining crewmen manage to parachute out of the aircraft. Captain Charlie Banks and Corporal Samuel Aldridge find shelter in a barn, where they are discovered by a beautiful young Austrian woman. Despite the danger to herself and her family, Marianne Leichtner decides to help the two Americans. Her courage and character soon win Charlie’s heart.
When the Nazis come to investigate the plane crash, Charlie and Sam must escape through enemy territory. Just steps from freedom, they are captured by Italian fascists. Survival takes on a new meaning for the airmen, and Charlie begins to questions everything, including his faith. Only the hope of seeing Marianne again keeps him going over the long months in prison. But if he survives, will she still care for him? And will Charlie learn to trust in the Lord’s promises?






Melanie Mason is an author, designer, and ight attendant all rolled into one. She graduated from utah State university with a degree in communications. She has told stories all her life and  her passion in sharing the plots that spin through her head. She hopes to be on an airplane one day and see someone reading one of her books. Melanie lives in Portland, oregon—with her two dachshund Chihuahua dogs—where the beauty of the Paci c Northwest feeds her imagination, and the rainy winter evenings encourage her to curl up with hot chocolate and a good book.
Melanie’s rst book, The Line That Divides (2014), is a historical romance set against the stunning backdrop of World War II Austria. Her second book, The Ring of Remaliha (2015), is a romantic suspense novel about an archaeologist who must solve the puzzle of an ancient egyptian ring.
For more information, please visit the author’s website,  www.MelanieMasonAuthor.com
Connect with the Author here: 


 4 Out of 5 Stars

Melanie Mason was the author that first peeked my interest enough that I decided to start doing reviews (see that review here) So when I was given the option to read and review another book by her I jumped at the chance. 

This book was very enjoyable to read and it moves quite quickly, to the point I almost felt like I was reading a short story. I enjoyed the plot line and the romance is sweet. The are references to the airmen's religion which if you do not belong to their religion might be a bit confusing, but not detrimental to the story line in any way. This book is very clean, so there isn't any strong language and the romance goes as far as a simple kiss. There is one scene where the main girls is attacked by a Nazi intent on raping her, she is saved in time, and the scene is not graphically written at all. As it is a war story there are also elements of killing, and torture, again they are quite mild and almost everything is left to the imagination.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good historical romance, or anyone looking to broaden their genre base and wants a good clean book to start with. 



Snippet:

The yoke shook like an earthquake, and Charlie struggled to keep the bomber steady. “Just a little farther, Baby. Just get us across the border. Please.”

“Fuel’s at ten percent!” Corporal Hinks shouted past the deafening roar of the quadruple-engine aircraft. “We just lost engine three.”

“We’re almost there!” Charlie called as the plane convulsed and groaned beneath his hands.

From the copilot seat, Lieutenant Anderson said, “This doesn’t look good, Captain.”

“Are we across?”

“If we aren’t, we are close enough to foot it,” answered Technician Jenson, the navigator.

The plane shuddered again. They had taken too much damage to do more than stumble to the border. Hopefully no enemy aircraft were nearby to mark their location.

After another loud rumble from the bomber, reality settled on Charlie’s shoulders. He checked the instruments. “Sam, is it safe enough to send a distress call?”

 “I wouldn’t chance it, Captain,” replied Corporal Aldridge. “We don’t want to send them right to us.”

“All right, men,” Charlie said. “You know the plan. Meet in Trento if you can. Head south if you can’t.”

“Yes, sir.” The cries of the remaining six crew members sounded through the damaged aircraft.
regardless if Charlie could land the plane or not— and it was unlikely—they had to get out. “Bail out!”

The call rang through the plane, followed by the noise of the men moving to their evacuation points.

Seconds later, Hinks yelled, “Jenson’s out.”

“I’m gone,” Anderson shouted just before he jumped.

“Go, Hinks,” Charlie ordered.

“I’ll see you in Italy, Captain.” Hinks clipped on his chute and followed the others.“You ready, Sam?”

“Sure as shootin’, Captain.” Sam’s Texas drawl came over the interphone.

Charlie’s face dripped with sweat despite the frigid temperatures at twenty thousand feet. “What about Peter?”

“I thought he jumped already,” Sam replied.

Panic surged through Charlie. The hit they took over Germany had blown a hole the size of Vermont in the back of the aircraft. Was his brother hurt? unconscious? Dead? Charlie pressed the interphone switch. “Peter, can you hear me? Peter?”



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