Monday, January 22, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 183 - His Sinful Touch by Candace Camp, Interference and Insurgency by Michelle Diener

His Sinful Touch (The Mad Morelands, #5)His Sinful Touch by Candace Camp
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A perfect fit for the Mad Morelands. Sabrina shows up at Alexander Moreland's office dressed as a man, does not remember her name or her past, and knows she is running for someone. Of course, Alexander takes her to stay with his family who join with Alex to help her find the answers she needs. This is a fun rump with all of the Morelands adding to the fun. Sabrina and Alex are great together and so another Moreland finds his HEA.

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


Interference & InsurgencyInterference & Insurgency by Michelle Diener
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read Interference in the Orphans in the Black Anthology and loved the world building, backstory, plot and character development. Insurgency takes all of that to a higher level. Both had tension filled story lines that fit their titles. There is interference in one and insurgents in the other. The backstory is fleshed out more in Insurgency. Both are full of danger and wonderful characters. This is a lead up to a new series by Diener. What I love about her SFR books are the very different worlds she builds while telling her stories. The Verdant String is a new unique and interesting setting for stories. These two are rather short but a full length novel set in the Verdant String is due out in June. I am looking forward to more adventures in this new setting.

View all my reviews

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 182 - Beyond Danger by Kat Martin, The Alpha's Mate by Eve Langlais

Beyond Danger (The Texas Trilogy)Beyond Danger by Kat Martin
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Another exciting story in The Texas Trilogy. Beau and Cassidy start out on the wrong foot but have to start working together when Stewart, Beau's Father is killed. Seems something just does not make sense. There does not seem to be a reason for the murder. Stewart is a wheeler dealer who has made some enemies but all of the obvious ones are cleared. There is a exciting twist to the story line. Martin builds a large amount of tension as the plot continues to develop. Beau and Cassidy are both interesting and well developed characters. Fast paced and hard to put down are both qualities in Beyond Danger.

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


The Alpha's Mate (Fabian Garoux #3)The Alpha's Mate by Eve Langlais
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A short and fun read in the Eve Langlois tradition. Fabian just does not know what to do with the woman he saved and she does know who she is. That does not keep her from letting him know she is not a push over. It was great watching Fabian try to protect her while she tries to do her own thing. Add in the fact that she is his mate and you have almost more fun than you can stand.

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

View all my reviews

Friday, January 19, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 181 - Elysium Fire by Alastair Reynolds, Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery

Elysium Fire (Prefect Dreyfus Emergency, #2)Elysium Fire by Alastair Reynolds
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Prefect Tom Dreyfus is at the heart of this story. This is listed as Perfect Dreyfus Emergency #2. I did not read #1 but had no trouble following the story. I loved the world building. The Gilder Ring is made up of ten thousand city-state habitats that orbit the planet Yellowstone. On the surface is a large city under a lifesaving dome. This is a perfect world with a perfect democracy but something is going wrong. People are dying and the number is increasing. Drefus is the one who must find out who is next and why. This is a mystery with the solution found in both the present and the past. I loved the story, wished I had more of the back story from book one, and through the characters were as impressive as the plot.

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


Sisters Like Us (Mischief Bay, #4)Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is trademark Susan Mallery. The likable female characters span the age from teenage to very mature adults. The males come in several varieties. Some are just plain horrible, some are almost too good to be true, and some are in-between. The plot runs from teenage betrayals to reformed playboys with the life and relationship between the two sisters always at the heart of the story. One of the sisters seemed very familiar and I finally realized she was very like another very smart but socially clue less character from one of the Fool's Gold stories. She made for a lot of fun in many of the scenes as she did not realize the impact she was having on others. Like all of Mallory's stories this was a fun book to read.

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

View all my reviews

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Exiled Otherkin by D. Lieber - Virtual Tour and Giveaway



The Exiled Otherkin
by D. Lieber

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Fantasy Romance

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Exiled from Faerie when her father dies, half-Fae Ember is surprised by how much the human realm has changed since she was there last. She takes a dangerous job on a merchant airship, hoping a life on the move will keep her well-hidden. Sure, she misses her brother, but years of apathy have numbed her emotions.
When the optimistic and naïve Reilley follows her, it’s annoying to say the least. But when she starts feeling responsible for him, long-stifled emotions crack the ice around her heart.
Faeries, pirates, and traveling players meet in this steampunk fantasy adventure as Ember tries to cope with feelings long forgotten and a past that pursues her.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT

I scanned the crowd, but there was no sign of them. My stomach lurched, and I swallowed my panic. I moved as quickly as I could to the place where Reilley had just stood.

To the right was a dim alley with curtained doors lining the sides. I shot into the shady street.

“Reilley?” I called and received no answer.

Up ahead, a curtain covered the light that spilled into the alley. I rushed for that doorway. Ripping open the curtain, I lunged inside.

In the small room, two men sat on crates playing cards on a box in between them. They looked up as I entered.

“Where is he?”

Neither responded as they returned to their game. I spotted a door at the back of the room and barreled toward it. The two men moved to stop me.

“I don’t have time for this,” I told them as they blocked my way.

The one closest to the door I wanted to get through crossed his thick arms over his chest and lifted his chin, looking down at me with a smirk. His wirier friend stepped toward me and pointed the way I’d come.

“This party is closed,” he said with a heavy accent. “If you don’t have an invitation, leave.”

“I just need to get my friend. Then, I’ll leave.”

He shook his head and grabbed my upper arm to escort me out. “You will leave now.”

I rotated my elbow and broke his grip then pulled back and drove the heel of my hand into his nose.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I asked D. were she would go for inspiration and here are her answers.

Almost every place I have ever been outside the USA has influenced my writing, especially in The Exiled Otherkin because the characters travel a lot. Among others, they go to London, Paris, Strasbourg, and Rome, all places I have been.

I have only traveled once with the purpose of researching/experiencing a place specifically for writing, and that was Alberta, Canada. It was truly inspirational, and I can’t wait to start the novel set there.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

D. writes stories she wants to read. Her love of the worlds of fiction led her to earn a Bachelor’s in English from Wright State University.

When she isn’t reading or writing, she’s probably hiking, crafting, watching anime, Korean television, Bollywood, or old movies. She may also be getting her geek on while planning her next steampunk cosplay with friends.

She lives in Wisconsin with her husband (John), retired guide dog (Samwise), and cat (Yin).

Links
Website: www.dlieber.com
Google+: www.google.com/+DLieber    
Book Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zM2fewELAj0


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

D. Lieber will be awarding a fancy homemade bookmark (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 180, Texas-Sized Trouble by Delores Fossen, Lucky in Love by Carolyn Brown

Texas-Sized Trouble (Wrangler's Creek #4)Texas-Sized Trouble by Delores Fossen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Lawson Granger and Eve Cooper were teenaged sweethearts but that all ended when a good friend died of alcohol poisoning on a night when they were all together. Sure Lawson and Eve were upstairs and the friend downstairs but that death still haunts both. Now Eve has returned and old feeling are coming back up. This is a nice story with some interesting twists. There are two children involved, one a baby and one a teenager. It was fun to watch how everything turned out.

After finishing the story I found a really fun novella was at the back of the book. This one was fun and had some very nice characters. A good bonus.

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

Lucky in Love (Lucky, #1)Lucky in Love by Carolyn Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Beau Luckadeau and Milli Torres have a history but Beau does not remember what that history is. This is a second chance story full of humor and romance. It was fun watching Beau make a very big mistake with his love life. Also fun seeing Millie get the better of him time after time. A fun story that was also fun to listen too. I like Brian Hutchinson's voice when he reads an audio book.

View all my reviews

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 179 - Hunted by the Cyborg by Cara Bristol, A Cowboy's Kiss by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Hunted by the Cyborg (Cy-Ops Sci-fi Romance #6)Hunted by the Cyborg by Cara Bristol
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a mystery and an enigma all wrapped up in a great story. Carter Aymes wants to find and destroy Lamani, the alien terrorist mastermind. Lamani is just on the brink of realizing the final steps of a years long plot. Beth O’Shea is part of that plot. Both Carter and Beth are great characters. Beth is strong and working hard to make a life for herself. Carter is attracted but doubtful. There are plenty of twists and turns in the story. I had a hard time putting this down as the plot continued to unfold. A very nice addition to the series.

I received a free copy from the author in return for an honest review.


A Cowboy's Kiss (The McGavin Brothers Book 7)A Cowboy's Kiss by Vicki Lewis Thompson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a nice sweet story with likable characters. Both Luke Bennett and Abigail Summers have appeared in previous books as side characters. They get their story while sharing it with a very cute four legged heart stealer. Delilah steals the show and provides some of the tension in the story. Found on the side of the road both Luke and Abigail hope that they can keep her. The other cause of tension; Abigail's love of baking but dislike of paperwork. Will they keep Delilah and will Abigail keep her bakery open. Read to find out.

View all my reviews

Friday, January 12, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 176 - Boxcar Christmas by Lindsay McKenna, Lake Silence by Anne Bishop

Boxcar Christmas (Delos #8)Boxcar Christmas by Lindsay McKenna
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Travis Ramsey and Jesse Myres are both military veterans and both have left the military with PTSD. McKenna has crafted a nice romance around the two, a red Caboose and a Australian shepherd dog and her six puppies. Jesse has not been out of the military for long and is not that far into her recovery. I loved all the characters. Travis was almost too good to be sure and Jesse was so honest and up front you had to like a admire her. My one complaint: PTSD is a very real and very debilitating condition and is at the heart of the story. That was apparent at the first mention but then it was pounded and pounded into the dialog in a way that seemed to be a overkill. Even so it was a very good story.


Lake Silence (The Others, #6)Lake Silence by Anne Bishop
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Meg, Simon and the Courtyard at Lakeside and was both sad and glad when book five came out. Glad as Meg and Simon's story came to a nice ending and sad because there would be no more. Then Anne Bishop said she would continue to write stories set in the Other's universe. Lake Silence is the next story in the series. It will not come out for two more months so no spoilers. It is different and has a different tone from the first five. There are mentions of Lakeside and some of the characters who reside there but only mentions. The characters in this story and the setting in the story are all new. The main character is female and she is backed up with some really interesting characters; some who support her and some who are out to get her. The action moves smoothly, the backstory is woven into the story line and the plot well thought out. The others are varied and dangerous to the humans who do not listen. A interesting addition to the Other series.

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

View all my reviews

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Once Upon a Christmas Moon by Christine Young, Genie Gabriel, C.L. Kramer - Review Tour and Giveaway


Once Upon a Christmas Moon
by Christine Young, Genie Gabriel, C. L. Kraemer

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE: Fantasy/Romance/Antology  

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Blurb Twelve Days to Love

When Archer Steele showed up at Calanthe Durand's failing plantation with an alligator over his shoulder, Cali thought she'd never seen a more handsome man. During the war she'd had to defend herself and her servants from both union and confederate soldiers. Independent and self-sufficient, she'd vowed to never marry.

But Archer Steele has different ideas. The first time Archer had seen Cali in town, he felt an instant attraction. He decided he'd do everything and anything to convince the beautiful Miss Durand he was worthy of her love. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, he gave her twelve gifts to in hopes she'd fall in love with him.




EXCERPT

Twelve Days to Love
Christine Young

“Enough love talk.” His grin spoke of the devil is disguise. “Let’s go for a walk. Call it a feeble attempt to court the woman of my dreams, the woman I want to convince she can’t live without me.”

Laughing softly, she cocked her head to one side, studying Archer Steel. “I’d like that. Let me grab a shawl. You’re not afraid of Mr. Lawson popping up.”

“No, not while I’m with you. He’s a sly and manipulative person, a man of no courage. He won’t battle me, but he will wait until you’re vulnerable.”

They walked down the stairs and along a path skirting the bayou. A soft breeze sifted through the cypress trees, stirring the hanging moss. The quiet time spent without conversation left a peaceful feeling within. This moment could last forever, if she had her way and if she admitted the truth, she could get used to having Archer by her side.

A gator slipped into the water as a crane flew by. Cali leaned her head against Archer’s arm, wishing for the past, for easier times. Her father would have made sure the chaperone was a few feet behind. Now there was no one guarding her or her virtue. She didn’t know if she cared. Maybe she wanted Archer to make love to her.

But she didn’t want to ever marry.

He turned her. Their gazes met and she licked her lips, wanting the kiss that now seemed inevitable. Slowly bending toward her, his lips met hers. They were warm and soft, so gentle she almost swooned. Swooning was in the past when women wore corsets. A corset had not molded her shape since the war began and her father left the plantation. Leaving the garment in the wardrobe not only freed her body but also her mind.

With her eyes closed she felt heat sweep within, knew the longing for a man. Fire enveloped her body and the small groan emanating was coupled with the same sound from Archer.

Did he feel the same way? They were doomed. No coherent thoughts made their way inside her head.

His hand touched her neck, one thumb on her jaw. She felt his tongue against her lips. Without thought she opened for him, acknowledged the touch inside her mouth. He deepened the kiss, exploring her, his hand running the length of her arm. She pushed into him, enjoying the hard muscles protecting her, enfolding her in his strength. She realized while she didn’t need protection, she loved the closeness. This was an intimacy she’d never understood or known, deeper than the bond between parents and daughter.

One hand on the small of her back pulled her closer, his kiss deepened. She slipped her tongue inside his mouth, teeth, tongue, a primal dual.

He pulled away, a grim expression on his face. “We need to stop.”

Licking her lips, “I’m not sure I want this to end.”

She heard his groan. “This kiss has to end or Sam will be out here defending your honor. I don’t want him to have to do that.”

“No one but me needs to defend my honor.” She bristled, wishing for one more kiss.

REVIEW:

This was not your usual mix of Christmas stories.  Each had its own distinct flavor.  I enjoyed the mix of places and times as well as the unusual characters.  A nice book to pick up when you are pressed for time and want something novella length to read.


  

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Christine Young Bio

Born in Medford, Oregon, novelist Christine Young has lived in Oregon all of her life. After graduating from Oregon State University with a BS in science, she spent another year at Southern Oregon State University working on her teaching certificate, and a few years later received her Master's degree in secondary education and counseling. Now the long, hot days of summer provide the perfect setting for creating romance. She sold her first book, Dakota's Bride, the summer of 1998 and her second book, My Angel to Kensington. Her teaching and writing careers have intertwined with raising three children.  Christine's newest venture is the creation of Rogue Phoenix Press. Christine is the founder, editor and co-owner with her husband. They live in Salem, Oregon.


Links




Christie L. Kraemer Bio

A traveler for most of her life, C. L. Kraemer has settled in the Northwest with her husband and two cats. When not creating a new world or entity, she likes riding next to her husband on their Harleys.



Genie Gabriel Bio

I'm an optimist whose rose-colored glasses have bent frames and cracked lenses. When life kicks me in the teeth, I find miracles and lessons I refused to learn an easier way. In fact, I live with a small herd of miracles in the furry forms of dogs, who are constantly trying to teach me to forgive, to play more, and to love without limits.

I write about people who find courage and integrity in the darkest times of their lives, who rescue stray dogs and kittens, who find a person they would willingly give their lives for, and who make their little corners of the world a better place.
People have remarked my stories "aren't what they expected." With rose-colored glasses firmly in place, I take that as a compliment.

Links



~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

Christine Young, Genie Gabriel, C. L. Kraemer will be awarding one digital copy of Once Upon a Christmas Moon to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Visit the other blogs on the tour, comment for additional changes to win.

December 14Emily Carrington
December 21books are love
December 21Sharing Links and Wisdom
January 4Laurie's Thoughts and Reviews
January 4Locks, Hooks and Books
January 11The Reading Addict
January 11Mixed Book Bag

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 177 - Through a Dark Glass by Barb Hendee, Persepolis Rising by James S.A. Corey

Through a Dark GlassThrough a Dark Glass by Barb Hendee
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is the first book in a new series by Barb Hendee and it is the first book I have read by Barb Hendee. I found it fascinating and very hard to put down. This is three stories about three different brothers and the one woman who must choose which one to wed. Part of each story starts with the trip after the wedding and each one features a different brother as the chosen husband. All of this happens when Megan of Chaumont finds a magic mirror that shows her life with each bother. I really interesting concept and a wonderfully fun read. I stayed up late to finish the book and see which brother she chose. I can't wait to see who uses the mirror in the next book.

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


Persepolis Rising (The Expanse, #7)Persepolis Rising by James S.A. Corey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the voice Jefferson Mays used in leading Persepolis Rising. As the book started I though it was going to be the best story yet. Then it slowed down as Corey built the framework for the next chapter in the continuing story. The lost colony world of Laconia comes through the gate with new and dangerous technology and a plan for the human race. Danger and death follow and the crew of the Rocinante are drawn into the struggle. Nothing is solved and the crew seem to be in more trouble than ever before as the book ends. This is the set up for the next part of the series

View all my reviews

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 176 - A Conspiracy of Whispers by Ada Harper, Points of Impact by Marko Kloos

A Conspiracy of WhispersA Conspiracy of Whispers by Ada Harper
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I started out fascinated by the story line as Olivia captures the Red Wolf, Galen De Corvus. Their journey is a story in itself. When that journey ended the story seemed to blog down. I kept reading and it picked up but the action was a little uneven. There was some interesting world building and back story making up the plot. It could have used a little more editing but was still interesting. Olivia wants to change the world and it will be interesting to see if the story continues in future books.

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


Points of ImpactPoints of Impact by Marko Kloos
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Andrew and his wife, Halley, are still doing battle with the Lankys. They have moved the battle from Earth and they have new and better battlecruiser. Other than that this is just more battle with some new characters and some from the past. It is a fun space opera and Andrew and Halley are really great characters. Time will tell if they continue with this fight. Losing someone from the past is giving Andrew pause. This is a series but each book works well as a stand alone.

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

View all my reviews

Friday, January 5, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 175 - The Crown Prince's Bride by Donna Alward, A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Rayburn

The Crown Prince's Bride (Royal Duology #2)The Crown Prince's Bride by Donna Alward
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stephane and Raoul’s have a long history. Stephane is his office manager and his late wife's cousin. Raoul has been Stephane's secret love for years. This is a nice tale where two people who have known each other for years suddenly find love but the path is not easy. In the end there is a nice HEA.

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


A Treacherous Curse (Veronica Speedwell, #3)A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Veronica Speedwell, secrets and all. Stoker is as enigmatic as always but he does give up a few of his secrets. Both are outside the pale in Victorian England but they seem to have found a good base to operate from. This time something from Stoker's past comes up to haunt him and he and Veronica try to solve the disappearance of someone from his past before it destroys his present. There are plenty of twists and turns. Danger seems to be around every corner. I missed clues that would have explained much of what was happening and the end was a big surprise. I hope these two continue to surprise and thrill me.

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

View all my reviews

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Saving Nary by Carol DeMent - NBTM and Giveaway


Saving Nary
by Carol DeMent

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
GENRE: Fictional

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

A Finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Saving Nary explores the losses, loyalties and secrets held within families broken by war and genocide. This compelling novel presents a palette of unique characters who struggle to make sense of the events that led them to America, even as they ponder the bewildering culture and lifestyle of their new homeland.

Refugee Khath Sophal lost everything when the Khmer Rouge swept into power in Cambodia: his livelihood gone, his family dead or missing; his sanity barely intact from the brutality he has been forced to witness.

Now resettled in the Pacific Northwest, Khath treads a narrow path between the horrors of his past and the uncertainties of the present. His nights are filled with twisted dreams of torture and death. By day he must guard constantly against the flashbacks triggered by the simple acts of daily living, made strange in a culture he does not understand.

Then Khath meets Nary, a mysterious and troubled Cambodian girl whose presence is both an aching reminder of the daughters he has lost, and living proof that his girls, too, could still be alive. Nary’s mother Phally, however, is another matter. A terrible suspicion grows in Khath’s mind that Phally is not who or what she claims to be. A split develops in the community between those who believe Phally and those who believe Khath. And those, it seems, who don’t really care who is right but just want to stir up trouble for their own personal gain.

Khath’s search for the truth leads him to the brink of the brutality he so despises in the Khmer Rouge. His struggle to wrest a confession from Phally ultimately forces him to face his own past and unravel the mystery of his missing daughters.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT

As the sun rose, Khath sat cross-legged in a lotus position in the small Buddhist temple nestled below Khao I Dang Mountain. The barbed wire perimeter fence separated the mountain from the refugee camp, but the mountain lent its power to the area nonetheless. Pra Chhay and two other monks chanted the Heart Sutra, a prayer of enlightenment, the rhythmic drone rising and falling in a soothing and familiar hum as the scent of incense hung heavily in the hot, humid air. About thirty refugees sat on the straw mats covering the wooden floor of the bamboo temple. The lips of many were moving as they softly chanted along with the monks.
Khath’s lips remained still, his heart empty. If asked, he would not disavow the teachings. He believed the teachings, yet the words of the Buddha had lost the power to move or to comfort him. He felt somehow distant from the teachings, as though they controlled behavior on a different world from the one he inhabited. It was a very lonely feeling.
The monks chanted on, a background hum that began to irritate Khath. He might as well be listening to the drone of mosquitoes as he toiled on the dikes under the watchful eyes of the Khmer Rouge, their guns aimed and ready, afraid to brush the insects away from his face lest he be beaten for not putting full attention into his work.
Observing the others in the temple, Khath envied them their faith. Pra Chhay often said there were two levels of Buddhism, one being the simple devotions taught to uneducated villagers; the other consisting of the higher practices and theories studied by the scholar monks.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I asked Carol about how she did her world building and here is her answer.


To build a world that feels authentic to readers, I try to climb into the skin of my characters and experience that world through their senses and emotions. What do they experience and what is their reaction to it?  In Saving Nary, the world inhabited by the protagonist, Khath, ranges from a refugee camp in Thailand – hot, dry, dusty, crowded, primitive – to the cool conifer forests of the Pacific Northwest.  I use my own experience with these environments to help describe them, and also look at pictures and watch movies if I am unable to physically go to those environs. I close my eyes and remember:  the hot prickly feel of humid, tropical heat pressing against my body…the astringent smell of a pine or fir forest, the scratch of blackberry vines against my skin, the taste and sensation of eating of fresh pineapple dipped in a mix of sugar, salt and hot chili pepper, the call of a blue jay or crow flapping overhead.  Remembering to represent and engage all the senses makes a setting feel whole.  Being able to contrast familiar worlds and unfamiliar worlds for the reader adds even more depth. Using metaphors and similes can be a great technique to employ here.

For Khath, there is yet a third world that he navigates throughout the book – the world of flashbacks, mental images so strong that his body reacts physically to them.  To build this world, I visited Cambodia’s sites of torture and took many pictures so that I could remember and describe them accurately.  I sat quietly in these locations and imagined the horror and felt shivers crawl across my skin and bile creep up my throat.  I read historical accounts and first person narratives so the scenes would be rendered accurately.  And I imagined times in my own life when I had been frightened, in pain or bullied to bring to mind the sensations that can accompany those situations: the pounding heart, the clenched fists, the acrid taste of fear. 

As an author, planned immersion in a certain amount of sensory and emotional stimulation related to our story will enliven the words we put on the page. Much like an actor often learns a new skill to be able to perform a scene realistically, so does an author get his or her hands dirty at times to be able to describe a world authentically.  Submitting to this process (within reason, of course!) is essential to writing scenes and describing a world that the reader can enter into and experience.  Having a good set of beta readers with experience in the situation can be very useful, too, as they give a thumbs up or thumbs down to settings and events.

Readers can send me emails about their experience in reading Saving Nary through my website, www.caroldement.com or at caroldement@comcast.net.

Thank you for inviting me to post on the Mixed Bag Blog! 

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Carol DeMent worked in the field of South East Asian refugee resettlement for seven years, and completed master's level research into international refugee resettlement policy. She lived for two years in Thailand as a Peace Corps volunteer and has traveled extensively in South East Asia. Her first novel, Saving Nary, was a  Finalist in the 2017 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

Carol DeMent will be awarding $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Reel Love by Elizabeth Hartey - Review Tour and Giveaway



Reel Love
by Elizabeth Hartey

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GENRE:   romance/women's fiction/fantasy

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Annie Caslo is a successful, young doctor, but when she begins rethinking the career choices she’s made, she makes a decision to find a way to stay focused and achieve her true ambitions – that is until fate steps in and she is thunderstruck by Colt Ballard. He’s six foot three inches of heart-stopping hotness, an adept, roguish soccer star and also one of her interns. But he’s a player – on and off the field – and Annie has better things to do. Still, the combustible chemistry between them is impossible to resist – Colt brings out feelings she never knew existed and Annie’s swept off her reluctant feet.

When she continues to second-guess her life choices, opportunities and obstacles begin piling up higher than the greasy Mexican food stacks she hates to admit loving. While in a state of emotional turmoil, she gets a celestial visit from a hunky, Hollywood heartthrob, lookalike, who claims to be her guardian angel. He takes her on a magical road trip to self-discovery with the help of several, dearly departed film icons.

Drawn into the excitement of a life she’s always dreamed of, this new life threatens to shatter the LIFE and love she already has—unless her quirky angel can help her find a way to have it all.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPT

Annie heaved another huge sigh. Her knuckles blanched to white as she clenched the top of the podium. Confused thoughts were doing a Cortés flamenco dance through her head. This prestigious position—although quite an honor—felt wrong. It wasn’t the life she wanted. It wasn’t the life for a girl who loved to be creative and write until the wee hours of the morning—a girl who loved to express every emotion and feeling both with the click of her keyboard and her performances on stage. It wasn’t the life she’d planned for. It was just the life her parents had wanted for her. Their daughter—the doctor.

“It’s fine. This is what I do. I calculate. I figure things out. That’s what I’ve been doing my whole life.” Hell, that’s why they offered her this job. She could do this, take a few months, a year at the most, get things running efficiently. Then someone else could take over. It was all good. At least she wouldn’t have to move back to her parents’ home. She grimaced. It was way better having her own apartment, and Philly was awesome. It would be a great experience. In a few months—a year at the most—she’d move to L.A. She pursed her lips and blew out a puff of air to sweep the stubborn strand of hair off her face again. “Okay, right now … first things first.” She pulled her shoulders back again and tried to stand taller than her petite five-foot-four-inch frame would allow.

Turning toward the door in anticipation of the first student, she saw him leaning against the wall outside her classroom. Annie forgot all her self-instruction to breathe, and instead gasped. Actually gasped!

Ho-ly mother of God! Please don’t let him be one of my students.

REVIEW:

This story started out in a way that seemed backward.  Here was a very young woman who was already a doctor and she dreamed about being an actress.  Of course there is a love interest and a search for what was right for her.  This is a romance with some interesting scenes.  I kept wondering how someone so young could have come so far and still be unhappy with her choices.  As the story progresses I found out.  This has a plot that is very well developed, interesting characters and a fun setting.  All in all a fun read.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

As a lover of the northeast US, Elizabeth moved with her husband to the Poconos several years ago to open a Chiropractic Clinic. Four children and a menagerie of animals later, she has finally found time to fulfill her lifelong dream of writing novels. A dreamer at heart, romance is the genre she spends most of her time writing and reading into the wee hours of the morning. When not juggling work responsibilities and writing, she enjoys hiking the beautiful hills and woods around her home, swimming, knitting, travelling, and spending time with her family.


FB              www.facebook.com/EHarteyauthor
Twitter       @drliz5


Barnes and Noble http://bit.ly/2vnjPJt
Kobo                        http://bit.ly/2vncc5C
Smashwords:         http://bit.ly/2wqY5ZU
Crimson Cloak Publishing  http://bit.ly/2w7HtqG

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

GIVEAWAY INFORMATION
  
Elizabeth Hartey will be awarding $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit and comment at the other blogs on the tour for additional chances to win.

December 13Long and Short Reviews
December 20Kimmi Love
January 3Mixed Book Bag
January 10Notes From a Romantic's Heart
January 10Harlie's Books