Monday, June 18, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 255 - Breakaway by Michelle Diener, Wool by Hugh Howey

BreakawayBreakaway by Michelle Diener
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Talk about twists and turns. Diener does a great job using the world building and back story to introduce the known and the unknown. This all started with the two novellas about the Verdant String giving some background for the story. Now we arrive at Felicitos--the tethered way station built by Sophie's father. It is full of surprises. Sophie and Leo are two interesting main characters. Both have a hint of mystery about them and when someone tries to kill Leo the two are drawn into a intense tension filled adventure. I loved Sophie. She is full of surprises. This is a very good start to the new Verdant String series.

Wool Omnibus (Silo, #1)Wool Omnibus by Hugh Howey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is both interesting and depressing. I started with the first story and decided I might not what to continue. Then read the second. It was interesting and I continued. Then it started to drag and I was skimming. Then interesting. Then skimming. I did find the concept different and was left at the end of the Omnibus wondering about what was going to happen next. Much was revealed and most of it was a surprise to the people in Silo 18. Wondered how they would react when they found out what was really going on. This was our Science Fiction Book Club book for June and we all had similar reactions.

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Saturday, June 16, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 254 - Mira's Last Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold, The Cottages on Silver Beach by RaeAnne Thayne

Mira's Last Dance (Penric and Desdemona, #4)Mira's Last Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An intersting novella that follows the action in Penric’s Mission. Great for fans of the Penric and Desdemona series. It was fun to see what Mira could get up to if turned loose.

I received an ARC of the story.

The Cottages on Silver Beach (Haven Point, #8)The Cottages on Silver Beach by RaeAnne Thayne
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

We are back at the inn that burned down in the first Haven Point book. It has been rebuilt and Megan Hamilton is managing it. Elliot Bailey is an unexpected guest. While we know the two will eventually have a HEA there are two things we do not know. What will Megan decide about the inn and what will Elliot decide about his career in the FBI. Both decisions are important in the story line and both add a bit of tension. There is also Luke, Megan's bother, whose wife disappeared 7 years ago. What will Megan and Elliot find when they try to discover what really happened. Great ending and great set up for the next book in the series.

I received a free copy of the book.

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Friday, June 15, 2018

Nothing is Predictable by Adalina Mae - Blurb Blitz and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Adalina Mae will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Zara is eight years old, her father, in a drunken rampage, accidentally shoots himself dead.

Her childhood memories leave her struggling with romantic attachments and hinder her from developing healthy relationships.

Seeking answers, She meets a monk for wisdom, and a gypsy for insight.

The journeys Adalina Mae takes us on are interspersed with heartbreaking moments as well as hilarious escapades.

This is life and nothing is predictable. The story keeps you on your toes and offers mysteries to solve.

Why does Zara have recurrent nightmares of her last night with her father?

Why does she struggle with love?

Read an Excerpt:

“Run sweetheart, hurry, run! We will hide in the neighbor’s storeroom, he can’t find us there,” Mom whispered as we ran for our lives away from home hoping Dad would not find us. We entered the storeroom beside our neighbor’s old cottage. It was dark and moldy and infested with rats. From a distance, we could hear him following us and approaching.

I cried silently with my eyes shut, fearful about what was going to happen. That dreadful monster is back, what damage is he going to cause tonight?

“Shhh, don’t cry, he won’t find us here, we’ll be okay darling, don’t worry,” Mom whispered as she held me tight to comfort me, yet I could see in her eyes she was not convinced.

“Where are you? You think you can hide from me! I’ll show you who the man of the house is! You’re taking my daughter away from me, I’ll show you woman!” Dad shouted, his voice approaching closer and closer.

He was so drunk he didn’t realize Mom was only running to safety. He thought she was taking me away from him. How on earth do you come to that conclusion? His footsteps stomped louder, as he walked toward the storeroom where we were hiding.

“Where are you? How dare you run away!” his voice projected from outside the room.

And then, BANG! The wooden door was flung open and it bounced off the wall.

“Aaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” I screamed so loudly I can still hear the echo of my voice.

I was eight years old.

About the Author:
Adalina Mae is the author of the published novel Nothing Is Predictable and soon to be released Nothing Can Last Forever.

After leaving the corporate world of management, she decided to pursue her lifelong passion to write.

She's also a lover of movies and hopes that her novels become a motion picture.

Adalina wrote Nothing Is Predictable to inspire optimism and positive thoughts, reminding us we are strong and can overcome life’s challenges. Particularly those who suffered childhood trauma like she has.

She is determined to spread the inspirational message of her story.

Her life's incidents have taught her that Nothing Is Predictable and Nothing Can Last Forever.

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Amazon only link:
Book Trailer:

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 253 - Artificial Condition by Martha Wells, Lord of Secrets by Erica Ridley

Artificial Condition (The Murderbot Diaries, #2)Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I cannot get enough of Murderbot. Still wanting to know how and what he did when people died he is returning to the scene of the crime. Seems he cannot help himself on the way he is takes a job protecting some you people who have been robbed of their research. Of course they are in danger. He is mixed guarding them with finding his answers. His past action are part of a mystery as there is no mention of the place the deaths took place or that there were even deaths. This is a complete story wrapped up in just 95 pages. Now I am ready to see where Murderbot goes next and what he does when he gets there.

Lord of Secrets (Rogues to Riches, #5)Lord of Secrets by Erica Ridley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Heath is know for protecting the secrets of the ton and now he want to reveal a secret. Who is the person drawing the caricatures. Eleanora Winfield is only helping out her family. When the two meet it is attraction for both but they know nothing can come of it. A nice outing with both characters yearning but looking like nothing can come of it. I liked both and was glad when Heath finally started thinking about his happiness instead of trying to be something he was not. Now if they can just get over Eleanora's art.

I received an ARC of the book.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 252 - Prisoner of the Crown by Jeffe Kennedy, Alien Mate by Eve Langlais

Prisoner of the Crown (The Chronicles of Dasnaria #1)Prisoner of the Crown by Jeffe Kennedy
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Parts of this can be very disturbing as Kennedy sets the stage for the next books in the series. We see Jenna as a pampered Princess who has learned the meaning of fear and we follow her as she has to break free of her upbringing to save her life. It is hard to read everything that happens to her and know how unprepared she is to break free. Everything is set up for what will happen after Jenna breaks free and we see her on her way to a new life. The next books should be very interesting.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

Alien Mate (Alien Mate, #1)Alien Mate by Eve Langlais
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a cute start to a series with a familiar trope. Tor is from a planet with a shortage of women. This means they have to go outside to find mates. The Oracle tells him his mate is Diana, an Earth woman. Seems that Diana has a different idea and gives Tor a run for his money. Their problems continue after they mate as someone is out to get Tor and have Diana for his own. A nice mix of romance, sex, and danger. I loved how women's lib get worked into the story. I wonder if Diana changes things in future stories.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 251 - The Last Rodeo by Delores Fossen, The Darwin Variant by Kenneth C. Johnson

The Last Rodeo (A Wrangler's Creek Novel)The Last Rodeo by Delores Fossen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lucian Granger finally meets his match in more ways than one. Karlee O’Malley is part of that meeting his match. I really loved the interaction between the two even as I wanted to hit Lucian over the head to make him realize what his feeling meant. There is some mystery and some danger as the two work to get the family out of a very bad situation. Great story with a nice ending. Sometimes something you think you want for years turns out to be not that important.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

The Darwin VariantThe Darwin Variant by Kenneth C. Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There were times when I wondered where this was going. What starts out as a comet heading to Earth turns into a race to find a cure for a infection brought by the comet. The story line is very complex. The list of characters is very diverse and the story often changes points of view using all in the plot line. The world building and backstory are very well done. This is a tension filled story with danger at every corner. The solution and the person who finds it are both a surprise. More a thriller than just science fiction.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

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Monday, June 11, 2018

Beachboy Murder by Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffend - Book Blast and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The authors will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Just as travel agent turned reluctant sleuth Gabby LeClair is starting to gain some of the Aloha spirit, a business consortium from Chicago breezes into the Aloha Lagoon resort and offers to buy her business. The offer is tempting...but so is hot helicopter pilot Rick Dawson, making it a difficult decision. One that becomes even more complicated when a dead body is discovered in Gabby's backyard, and she's suddenly thrust in the middle of a murder investigation!

The dead man is a former beachboy attendant from the island. With a trail of broken hearts—not to mention jealous rivals—leading up to the beachboy, Gabby tries to uncover just who had it in for the late lothario. Is the female of the species really more deadly than the male? Or has the beachboy scorned one too many women for some other man's liking?

Read an Excerpt:

"Buy what?" Rick Dawson, the reason my heart fluttered on occasion, stood leaning against the wall by the door to Gabby's Island Adventures. He was dressed in his signature uniform—jeans, boat shoes, and the royal blue polo shirt with his logo hummingbird and Rick's Air Paradise embroidered above the pocket. He must have gotten some recent sun. His skin was golden, making his eyes shine like blue ice. He straightened away from the wall as we walked up, and slipped an arm around my waist, pulling me against him and kissing the top of my head. His scent, Old Spice and fresh island breeze, and the irresistible combination of his golden good looks and unmistakable virility definitely kept a girl on her toes but in a good way.

Inside the phone was ringing, and Lana went to answer it.

"Buy the travel agency. Lana was just asking me if I was really going to sell out to Janet's bosses."

While the shift wasn't overt enough for me to be sure, I thought I felt a hint of his pulling back a little. "And what did you tell her?"

"That it was all up in the air, that I didn't know if they'd even want the place."

"Why wouldn't they want it? Gabby's Island Adventures is aces. You're the tops, Toots." His tone was frank, matter-of-fact. "You've even made my business profitable since you took over my bookings."

"You're biased, Dawson. You do have a business interest here yourself."


I have always enjoyed the books that Gemma Halliday Publishing puts out and Beachboy Murder was no exception. There are interesting characters, many who have a reason to kill the victim. All of the action revolves around the people who want to buy Gabby LeClair's travel agency. Gabby is on the fence about selling but it was not hard to decide what she was going to do. There is a little romance of the sweet variety to go with the mystery. Also a little history of island is incorporated into the story. Gabby just cannot leave the mystery alone and ends up in a very dangerous situation. Look to see who the shoe fits for a solution.

About the Author:
The USA Today best-selling writing team of Sally J. Smith (right brain) and Jean Steffens (left brain) make up equal halves of one totally functional writer’s mind. Creative and intuitive and organized and systematic? What could be better than that?

The two desert dwellers work together side-by-side, literally finishing each other’s sentences, putting together their novels faster and more efficiently than they ever could individually.

When their heads aren’t together over a manuscript, you’ll find them with their families, at a movie, the mall, or out-to-lunch—in the food sense, not the spaced-out sense, well…most of the time. Their current series include Jordan Welsh Mysteries, Mystic Isle Mysteries, Danger Cove Pet Sitter Mysteries, Aloha Lagoon Gabby LeClair Mysteries, and Digby Sloan Mysteries.

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Sunday, June 10, 2018

SHort and Sweet Book Reviews # 250 - Space Carrier Avalon by Glynn Stewart, A Study in Treason by Leonard Goldberg

Space Carrier Avalon (Castle Federation #1)Space Carrier Avalon by Glynn Stewart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Avalon is getting ready to start her last tour of duty, one that is just showing the flag on the border of Federation space. Sounds simple but as new crew arrives they find that things are not what they should be. From start to finish this military space opera keeps popping surprises. What should have been a simple cruise starts finding surprises at the first stop. I loved the action. Stewart gave this a different twist from other ministry science fiction stories. The story needed minimum world building and back story but what was needed was there. The characters are pretty standard with a nice mix of main and side ones, just what again are needed to keep the plot going. It was a hard book to put down. A very nice start to the Castle Federation series.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

A Study in Treason (The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes Mystery #2)A Study in Treason by Leonard Goldberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Who else besides Joanna Blalock, the daughter of Sherlock Holmes, and of course Watson, both father and son could find the answer to this very baffling mystery. Goldberg really knows his Sherlock Holmes as throughout the story incidents keep coming back to his actions. That did add interest but also slowed the story down. Joanna is just as good as her father in finding clues. It was fun watching here in action. Some of the clues was a surprise but I did know about one character before Joanna. A good story for Sherlock Holmes fans.

I received a free copy of the book in return for an honest review.

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