Thursday, April 19, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 224 - One Way by S.J. Morden, The Sixth Day by Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison

One WayOne Way by S.J. Morden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Frank Kittridge is given a way out of his life sentence. He can go to Mars as part of a construction crew made up of other convicts. Seems a great choice but: 1. it is a one way journey; 2. Using convicts is a way to cut costs; 3. Once the job is done they are no longer needed and 4. Accidents just keep happening. I liked the premise but knew from the first who was guilty and how he covered his tracks. I found that the bo0k dragged along until the finish - a finish that only set up the next book in the series. I will continue the series just to see what happens to Frank. I do think fans of the Martian would like this as it has some of the same problems that need to be solved.

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


The Sixth Day (A Brit in the FBI, #5)The Sixth Day by Catherine Coulter
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the fifth book in the series but worked OK for me as a stand alone. The characters were interesting. For me there was not that much in the plot. Told from various character's point of view there was little mystery left. The story did move along and I found that the use of the Dracula trope did give some interesting history. All in all an average read.

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

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 222 - Vegas Baby by Amy Brent, Tarnished Remains by Paty Jager

Vegas Baby: A Bad Boy's Accidental Marriage RomanceVegas Baby: A Bad Boy's Accidental Marriage Romance by Amy Brent
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What I liked - The switch between the two main characters point of view. What I did not like was the number of misplaced and wrong words in the story. It looked like it was typed and sent without any one checking to see if the grammar was correct. There was also baby that came very early and went home the next day. The story line was interesting and I kept reading just to see how and when the HEA would occur. I would have been upset if I had paid for this instead of it being on Kindle Unlimited.


Tarnished Remains: Shandra Higheagle MysteryTarnished Remains: Shandra Higheagle Mystery by Paty Jager
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the second book in the Shandra Higheagle Mystery series. It worked well as a stand-alone. I liked the characters but did not like the voice of the reader. While the story was well planned the writing was a bit uneven at times.   Those two things kept me from enjoying the story as much as I should have. I did like the set up for a mystery in one of the next books.  It was very well done.  Even with my two dislikes it is a series worth listening too.

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

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Out of Hiding by John Feldman - Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway



Out of Hiding
by John Feldman

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GENRE: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

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BLURB:

Charles Dampor was supposed to be a blessing, but instead turned out to be a curse. A family torn by deception and greed now saw Emily for what she was, and a co-worker with a vicious past of his own now has his own personal vendetta against her. If Emily doesn't open her eyes and see the doors she's unlocked, she'll find herself at the bottom of Lake Bermin...with Charles's ex-wife.

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EXCERPT

Maybe it was the push-up bra she’d worn in combination with her ultra-deep v-neck shirt. Or maybe it was her constant smile and flirtatious laugh. Maybe she’d batted her eyelashes just the right amount. Whatever it was, it worked. Because Charles invited her to have dinner with him. Not a weeknight date. Not an afternoon date or a group dinner or coffee. A Saturday night date. 

“And what brought you to us?” Charles asks. 

Us. He isn’t an arrogant man. He isn’t egocentric. He’d created his own empire, yes, but he doesn’t think he’s better than everyone else. Us, he said. Not me or my company. It’s hard to find people like this these days. A business owner out to dinner with a factory worker? Very atypical. 

“I saw an ad online,” she responds. 

“Oh,” Charles says with a smirk. 

“Why?” Emily asks.

“I feel old,” he says. “I always placed my ads for employment in the newspaper. That was back before I had Mary.”

“I wouldn’t have found it if it was in the paper,” Emily jokes. “Good thing for Mary.”

“Good thing for Mary,” he laughs. 

The laugh from the comment carries them into talk about work, about people at work. Charles tells her about some of the people who work upstairs, the management team. He tells her more about Mary, and about what Mary had to say about Emily when discussing their job opening with Charles after her round of interviews had commenced. 

“All good things,” he jokes. “No worries.”

“I’d assume so,” she replies. “I got the job.” 

They share a smile and after a brief pause, he says, “I’m glad.” 

The drinks continue to come and conversation carries on. The topic of work remains, but only briefly. Emily points out the pissed-off old guy who works in Station A and Charles laughs. 

“That’s just Herb,” he says. “He’s been here for a while. He’s a good worker.”


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GUEST POST:

I asked John where he goes for inspiration.  Here are the top five places:

Where are five places I go for inspiration?

Short answer: I wish I could bundle all five into one, and have that one place be somewhere easily accessible.

But that’s a pretty boring answer, isn’t it? So I’ll elaborate.

As a married man, father of two, and full-time worker of a job that makes me want to drive a nail through my skull, it’s tough for me to find an abundance of time to sit in silence and let the voices in my head escape. So my writing sessions usually only come in short bursts. With my schedule, there’s no such thing as hiking up to the top of a mountain to find creativity. Or going on a retreat to find writing time. Between changing diapers and picking the kids up from school, here are my five places for inspiration:

#5 The Car

There’s something about driving with the windows down and the music loud that makes me happy. And even though I write some pretty psychotic stuff, those times of blissful sunshine usually bring out the best in me.

#4 The Shower

Don’t we all do our best thinking in the shower? I once met a fellow writer who said she has washable markers—you know, the kind we give to our kids?—that she has with her in the shower. And when inspiration strikes? Well she just writes that down on the tiles.

#3 Lying in Bed Late at Night When I Don’t Feel like Moving

It always works that way, doesn’t it? Whenever you’re somewhere without a pen and paper or anything else to take notes, inspiration comes at you in a tidal wave.

#2 My Email/Newsletters

I feel like anyone in any field should read. The more you know in any field or line of work, the better you’ll be a what you do. So I follow many blogs and newsletters, and I spend about an hour each morning reading and retaining. (Side note: Elon Musk has this same ritual, and it seems to be working out just fine for him.)

#1 My Laptop

Can’t get any ideas out without the handy-dandy word processor, right? As has been said so many times before, the water doesn’t flow until you turn on the faucet. Well, start slamming away on that keyboard a

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

John Feldman was born and raised in southern New Jersey, but has since moved to Florida at the request (demand) of his beautiful wife. He has written several short stories and novels, including his newest release, OUT OF HIDING. He writes a lot, thinks a lot more, and is currently wondering why he’s writing this in the third person. 

For more information, visit www.johnfeldman.com, or email him directly at askjohn@johnfeldman.com. 

Twitter: @johnfeldman_

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION


John Feldman will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, April 16, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 221 - Shattered Roads by Alice Henderson, Mornings on Main by Jodi Thomas

Shattered Roads (The Skyfire Saga)Shattered Roads by Alice Henderson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

H124 is just a clog in a very big machine until she makes a disturbing discovery. The book started like it would be a did not finish but I was glad I read a few more pages before stopping. After a slow start it got much more interesting. I love H124 and how strong she turned out to be. The world building and back story were very well presented and the action kept getting more and more tense. While H124 finished the journey she started the problem was far from solved. That left me wanting to read the next book in the Saga.

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


Mornings on MainMornings on Main by Jodi Thomas
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a Small Town Texas novel so maybe it is the first in a new series. I really enjoyed watching Jillian James as she struggled to find her place in life. Was it to roam without ties or had she finally come to the place that felt like home. Like all Thomas novels there are the two main characters Jillian and Connor Larady; Jillian the wander and Connor with roots deep in the small town of Laurel Springs. They are surrounded with a great cast of supporting characters. I wonderful story of hope and love.

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

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Sunday, April 15, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 220 - Cyborg by Anna Hackett, Sit Stay, Love by Debbie Burns

Cyborg (Galactic Gladiators, #10)Cyborg by Anna Hackett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ever Haynes has an implant and Magnus Rone of the House of Rone is the one to find a way to get it out. Seems they have a history as Ever is carrying his child from a night he does not remember. I liked the story as it gave Ever her HEA. What made it a four star instead of five was how closely Magnus echoed a character from a previous SFR novel. The made to be a warrior, emotion blockers and other things about Magnus seemed less than original. Don't think he was a deliberate copy just that the original might has come though without it being a conscious thing. There is one more rescue in the wind and I look forward to that one and how it plays out.


Sit, Stay, Love (Rescue Me #2)Sit, Stay, Love by Debbie Burns
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Kurt and Kelsey are great characters and they are aided by some awesome dogs. A older house left to the shelter becomes on of the characters as well. This is a very well plotted story with two character who have to overcome their past to move on to their future. There is great dialog, interesting side characters and a multilayered story line. Great addition to the Rescue Me series.

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

View all my reviews

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 219 - Though Hell Should Bar the Way by David Drake, Always a Lawman by Delores Fossen

Though Hell Should Bar the Way (Lt. Leary, #12)Though Hell Should Bar the Way by David Drake
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This may be Lt. Leary # 12 but it is really about Roy Olfetrie. Roy wanted to be in the RNC but his father's action changed his life and not in a good way. Knowing Daniel Leary's wife gets him an offer to go with Daniel and crew on a civilian mission. Of course there is more to the mission than meets the eye and Roy gets caught in the middle of it all. There is a saying out of the frying pan and into the fire and Roy's life is just like the saying. Captured and waking up on a tramp freighter, sold as a slave, making a daring escape, rescuing a lovely lady, and then fighting to save a planet keep our hero very busy. Watching Roy's interaction with Mundy and her shadow adds another dimension to those two characters. Another fun book in the series. I hated to get to the end as I was invested in the characters and wanted more of their stories.

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

Always a Lawman (Blue River Ranch)Always a Lawman by Delores Fossen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Always a Lawman starts with what seems to be one crime but at the end finds that there were two separate crimes done by two different people. One is solved and one is left hanging. As always Fossen built two very interesting and strong main characters. Jodi Canton and Gabriel Beckett have a history even though they have not seen each other in 10 years. Jodi was the victim in one of the crimes and now it seems that the real killer has returned to finish the job. Gabriel's job is to protect her whether she wants him to or not. A nice blend of romance and danger. First book in this series and I look forward to the next one in the series.

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

View all my reviews

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Moonlight City Drive by Brian Paone - Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway


Moonlight City Drive
by Brian Paone

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GENRE: Crime/Thriller Romantic Paranormal

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BLURB:

11:18 p.m. Subject is checking into the Desert Palms Motel, accompanied by an unknown female.

Snapshot in the parking lot. Man and woman embrace. Betrayal, I see it every day, like my own reflection in the mirror staring back at me. Another case, another bottle of booze, life is no longer a mystery to me …

… Because I’m the private eye, hot on your trail; the top gun for hire. You’ll find me lurking in the shadows, always searching for a clue. I’m the bulletproof detective. I got my eye on you …

What’s a little sin under the covers, what’s a little blood between lovers? What’s a little death to be discovered, cold stiff body under the covers?

I’m digging you a desert grave, underneath the burning sun. You won’t be found by anyone. Vultures circle in the sky, and you, my dear, are the reason why.

… I was always easily influenced.

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EXCERPT

Smith spit out another peanut shell onto his Chevy’s floorboard as his gaze stayed trained on the Desert Palms Motel’s front entrance. His fingers instinctively found the opened bag in the complete darkness and pinched another nut. He squeezed his eyes closed to ward off the simmering residual headache from the most recent blackout. The sound of the rain pelting the windshield was soothing.

“Come on. Where are you? You took the last two nights off. I can’t imagine you being on vacation.”

Headlights turning into the parking lot diverted his attention from the motel’s front door. He squinted to decipher the make and model of the vehicle through the downpour. A Bentley. He sighed and returned his focus to the motel as he fingered the brim of his newly purchased replacement fedora and then tossed it next to him in frustration.

Smith removed his revolver from his shoulder holster and checked that all six chambers were loaded for the umpteenth time. He secured the weapon and grabbed the small notebook from underneath his discarded fedora, lying on the passenger seat, where Wynn should be sitting. But she had maintained radio silence throughout the past two days since storming from Hank’s office. He shook his head in disgust for letting Wynn’s drama distract him from the job at hand.

He swiped the Chevy’s dashboard with his palm to clean off the thick layer of dust that had collected from months of neglect. He wiped his hands on his pants, leaving a graying smear across the fabric covering his thighs. He reached into his trench coat’s inner pocket and removed a silver flask. He opened the top and looked at the engraved insignia on the front. His index finger traced the shining eyeball hanging freely in the cut-out middle of a pyramid. Taking a swig from the decorated flask, he grimaced as the brown liquid hit the back of his throat.


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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Brian Paone was born and raised in the Salem, Massachusetts area. Brian has, thus far, published four novels: a memoir about being friends with a drug-addicted rock star, Dreams are Unfinished Thoughts; a macabre cerebral-horror novel, Welcome to Parkview; a time-travel romance novel, Yours Truly, 2095, (which was nominated for a Hugo Award, though it did not make the finalists); and a supernatural, crime-noir detective novel, Moonlight City Drive. Along with his four novels, Brian has published three short stories: “Outside of Heaven,” which is featured in the anthology, A Matter of Words; “The Whaler’s Dues,” which is featured in the anthology, A Journey of Words; and “Anesthetize (or A Dream Played in Reverse on Piano Keys),” which is featured in the anthology, A Haunting of Words. Brian is also a vocalist and has released seven albums with his four bands: Yellow #1, Drop Kick Jesus, The Grave Machine, and Transpose. He is married to a US Naval Officer, and they have four children. Brian is also a police officer and has been working in law enforcement since 2002. He is a self-proclaimed roller coaster junkie, a New England Patriots fanatic, and his favorite color is burnt orange. For more information on all his books and music, visit www.BrianPaone.com



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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to visit the other blogs on the tour:


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Short and Sweet Book Reviews # 218 - A Quiet Life in the country by T.E. Kinsey, Sins of her Father by Mike Kupari

A Quiet Life in the Country (Lady Hardcastle Mysteries #1)A Quiet Life in the Country by T E Kinsey
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you like cozy mysteries and Downton Abbey you will love this book. Set in the same time period the differences between those in service and those who they serve play a big part in the series. Lady Hardcastle and her ladies maid Florence Armstrong are very interesting characters. There are hints about an interesting past full of adventures and now they just want a quiet life in the country. Of course that does not happen. I loved both Lady Hardcastle and Flo. The dialog between the two is priceless. The story is told in the first person by Flo and the plot moves at a very satisfactory pace. The voice of the The next in the series is on my wish list.  Elizabeth Knowelden has the perfect voice to bring the characters and action to life.  


Sins of Her FatherSins of Her Father by Mike Kupari
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Everything you want in a Science Fiction/Space Opera is in Sins of Her Father. I loved how the aliens (who just happened to be on the planet first) were crucial to the story line. This was a very complex plot filled with interesting characters, surprise elements, and great world building. Great series with a lot of story left.

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

View all my reviews

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Ancient Tripod of Peace by Kalen Cap - Blurb Blitz and Giveaway


The Ancient Tripod of Peace
by Kalen Cap

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GENRE: Young Adult Mystery

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BLURB:

Teens Lexi and Gil face relic-thieving secret societies.

Plagued by loneliness in her Lake Erie Islands community, vegan Lexi hopes to make like-minded friends in high school. But her dad’s job is jeopardized when relics are stolen from his museum, changing her priorities. And she finds her new teachers’ eerie dislike of her troubling.

His dad in jail, cipher enthusiast and bacon-loving Gil hopes freshman year will provide a clean slate. Soon, he discovers secret codes within a Shakespearean play while paired with Lexi, pulling him into an ancient mystery.

With the official museum burglary investigation stalled, the mismatched teen sleuths join forces to try and crack the case. Lexi’s inquiries and Gil’s codes capture their teachers’ attention. But these teachers have the stolen Tripod of Peace, a powerful relic sought by rival secret societies. Caught in these societies’ crossfire as thieves wield an instrument of astounding power, Gil and Lexi are in danger.

The Ancient Tripod of Peace is the first book in novelist Kalen Cap’s Teen Thief-Catchers Series. If you like stories with artifact treasures, fighting secret societies, and spirited protagonists, you’ll enjoy this novel.

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EXCERPT

Brandon flicked on the light switch. The yellow bulb provided a muted view of the dusty, windowless room.

A box with shiny tape near the entrance looked new. It contained three metal pieces, each about thirty inches in length, that he needed. He unboxed the items, each unevenly notched and appended with short metal lengths, and set them by the door. He found the only large piece, a tripod seat, already unboxed in the back of the room. The museum board had pulled the tripod seat from the prior evening’s exhibit opening on the main floor.

Though he’d received a text confirming arrangements as planned, Brandon grew worried two remaining pieces were displayed upstairs after all. He wouldn't risk triggering the security system in the main exhibition hall to retrieve them if they there. Breaking into the warehouse was already too far beyond his comfort zone.

The room’s dust taking its toll, Brandon sneezed. He frowned, worried a sprayed dripping might get him caught by some high tech analysis like those used in crime television shows. It’d be my luck to be caught by snot.

Or sweat. Tears of perspiration streamed down his cheek. Brandon checked the room again. Curation opportunity? What a joke!

Sue Ballentine, who hired him for the job, had called it a “curation opportunity.” Though Brandon knew selling steroids was illegal, stealing objects from a museum was a more aggressive crime. But he needed the money to finish paying his supplier.

Brandon knew not to cross his steroid supplier in Detroit.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Kalen Cap is a writer living in Ohio and regularly commutes back and forth between Columbus and Port Clinton residences. Set among the Lake Erie Islands, “TheAncient Tripod of Peace” is his second novel, first of the Teen Thief-Catcher series. His first novel, “Tangled Ties to a Manatee,” was published in 2012.





Author website - http://www.kalencap.com


Author’s facebook page for the new series - http://www.facebook.com/TeenThiefCatchers/


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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION 

Kalen Cap will be awarding a $40 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to follow the other blogs on the tour: