Category Archives: December

Review: Silent Night / Holy Night (Rock Harbor) by Colleen Coble

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About Silent Night / Holy Night

‘Tis the season for mystery and romance featuring characters from two of Colleen Coble’s most popular series!

“Silent Night”

As Christmas day nears, Bree Matthews and her faithful search-and-rescue dog Samson follow the trail of a troubling mystery into the snowy forests of Rock Harbor.

Newlywed Bree Matthews and her husband Kade are preparing for Christmas guests when word arrives that a parachuter has disappeared in the North Woods, along Lake Superior’s icy shore. Bree and Samson plunge into the search.

Will this snowy, silent night search lead Bree and Samson to the missing girl?

“Holy Night”

One sinister phone call has derailed their Christmas wedding. Will it keep them apart forever?

Leia and Bane are looking forward to their long-awaited Christmas wedding on the beach. Everything is going as planned–until Leia’s phone rings and her world skids out of control. A muffled voice informs Leia that her sister has been kidnapped and will be killed unless Leia calls off the wedding without explanation–and no police. If she disobeys instructions and tells Bane, she’ll risk her beloved sister’s life. But can she handle this trauma without his help? And will he ever trust her again if she lies to him now?

My Review

I enjoyed the messages of both stories along with the Christmas theme. I’m also a fan of Christian fiction so the light spiritual aspect is appreciated. Silent Night focused on ungratefulness, searching for a purpose, patience, greatest hope coming true. Holy Night addressed the vulnerability of those with Down syndrome, forgiving, trust, love, overcoming childhood trauma.

I’m not a fan of the writing or the narrative, both lack puissance, far too saccharine and dilettante for my tastes.

Fans of a super fast paced novella with Hallmark traits, spirituality, wonderful messages and uplifting wrap ups with less focus on writing and underdeveloped narratives will find this pleasing.

About Colleen Coblecolleen-coble-headshot-small

Best-selling author Colleen Coble’s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her website.

Published October 7th 2014 by Thomas Nelson

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Review: Snow Sometimes Falls by Brian Ming

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About Snow Sometimes Falls

At age six, Dave was alone swinging in his backyard and heard a heavenly voice, “SNOW SOMETIMES FALLS!” It takes over thirty years, along with several calamities to discover what God was telling him that day. Dave learns, even through the tragic death of his mother, the thirty-year revelation was well worth the wait.

My Review

For those of you struggling with the absence of loved ones during the holiday season, you will want to read this little gem. The story is meaningful, poignant, it will provide you with great comfort not just for the holidays but every day. A great way to strengthen you spiritually, rekindle your spiritual relationship or ease the void you’re feeling.

I was touched by this story personally and it certainly left me in a better place. The message alone is worth the read. I guarantee this story will strike a cord with you as much as it did with me. Absolutely lovely.

About Brian Ming10777277

Brian started writing songs and poems at age sixteen. After marrying his high school sweetheart, Kristen, a gifted singer, they’ve traveled the globe singing self-written songs. From 2000-2009, Brian and Kristen recorded 7 music projects, and dozens of their songs are sung by artists and churches throughout the U.S. and the world. In 2014 the couple released their first album in over 5 years, Freedom Project.

Brian’s love for writing music eventually led to writing fiction, often times coupling songs with story telling. His first novel/single and public debut, Snow Sometimes Falls, received rave reviews and quickly became an Amazon Bestseller. Brian is also the author of several short stories as well as the Future Kingdom Series. He is a sought after speaker whose passion to teach others how to develop their God-given creativity to the fullest has inspired millions.

Brian, Kristen, and their three children currently reside in north San Diego County, California.

Published November 2015 by Amazon Digital Services (first published November 24th 2014)

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Review: Daughter of Sand and Stone by Libbie Hawker

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About Daughter of Sand and Stone

When Zenobia takes control of her own fate, will the gods punish her audacity?

Zenobia, the proud daughter of a Syrian sheikh, refuses to marry against her will. She won’t submit to a lifetime of subservience. When her father dies, she sets out on her own, pursuing the power she believes to be her birthright, dreaming of the Roman Empire’s downfall and her ascendance to the throne.

Defying her family, Zenobia arranges her own marriage to the most influential man in the city of Palmyra. But their union is anything but peaceful—his other wife begrudges the marriage and the birth of Zenobia’s son, and Zenobia finds herself ever more drawn to her guardsman, Zabdas. As war breaks out, she’s faced with terrible choices.

My Review

Hawker does an outstanding job with time and place along with her portrayal of historic icon Zenobia.

“Because I’ve always known the gods made me for something more—more than just a wife, just a mother, just a woman. They made me for power!”

Zenobia – ambitious, headstrong, intelligent, a natural born leader, courageous, determined, a woman fighting to meet her destiny, an insatiable taste for power, accomplishing what few other women have done along with little regret. Her stellar qualities equal in her rise and fall. I couldn’t have selected a more enigmatic female fitting to build an exciting and entertaining narrative around. Her female and male peers holding her in high regard, carrying herself with grace there was no stopping Zenobia. Clearly breaking the mold of behavior and position fitting a woman, no one or nothing could have prevented her from conquering and ruling. Hawker delivered a riveting plot paying homage to an incredible woman from the pages of history unfamiliar to most.

“Accept that you’ve done what no other woman could. Not even Cleopatra was a conqueror! You’ve conquered several cities and taken Egypt out from under Caesar’s nose. Let that be enough. What more can you hope to achieve? What else is there, Zenobia?”

Hawker captured Zenobia beautifully without ignoring her softer side. My first book by Hawker and needless to say dazzled by her writing, and her strong depiction of this warrior queen possessing all the qualities I prefer my female protagonists to hold. A wonderful action packed reading journey provided by Libbie Hawker’s creativity and rich prose.

“This is her last stand, he realizes. Her final reach for her destiny—for what she believes is her destiny. If the gods do not stretch out their hands to catch her, Zenobia will now fall. There is no other possible outcome.

She has done it boldly, Zabdas knows. She has made her declaration in no uncertain terms. Whatever else the world might say of Zenobia bat-Zabbai, no one will ever be able to call her a coward.”

About Libbie HawkerUnknown-2

Libbie Hawker writes historical and literary fiction featuring deeply human characters, with rich details of time and place. She is the author of ten novels, most of which take place in the distant past among ancient civilizations. She lives in the beautiful San Juan Islands with her husband.

Connect with Libbie:  Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Published December 1st 2015 by Lake Union Publishing

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Spotlight: Without Light or Guide by T. Frohock

Without Light or Guide cover

About Without Light or Guide

Always holding themselves aloft from the affairs of mortals, Los Nefilim have thrived for eons. But with the Spanish Civil War looming, their fragile independence is shaken by the machinations of angels and daimonsÖ and a half breed caught in between. Although Diago Alvarez has pledged his loyalty to Los Nefilim, there are many who donít trust his daimonic blood. And with the re-emergence of his fatheróa Nefil who sold his soul to a daimonóthe fear is Diago will soon follow the same path. Yet even as Diago tries to prove his allegiance, events conspire that only fuel the other Nefilimís suspicionsóincluding the fact that every mortal Diago has known in Barcelona is being brutally murdered.

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About T. Frohock

T. Frohock has turned her love of dark fantasy and horror into tales of deliciously creepy fiction. She currently lives in North Carolina where she has long been accused of telling stories, which is a southern colloquialism for lying. Check out more of her works and news at www.tfrohock.com.

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• Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse (November 3, 2015)

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Review: The Swans of Fifth Avenue by Melanie Benjamin

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About The Swans of Fifth Avenue

Centered on two dynamic, complicated, and compelling protagonists—Truman Capote and Babe Paley—this book is steeped in the glamour and perfumed and smoky atmosphere of New York’s high society. Babe Paley—known for her high-profile marriage to CBS founder William Paley and her ranking in the International Best-Dressed Hall of Fame—was one of the reigning monarchs of New York’s high society in the 1950s. Replete with gossip, scandal, betrayal, and a vibrant cast of real-life supporting characters, readers will be seduced by this startling new look at the infamous society swans.

My Review

It was difficult to connect with the characters. They created their own pain and suffering. The meaning of friendship for these people was lacking, it was merely based on social status, position, and doors of opportunity. Both sides used each other, and refused to see their bad behavior as a clear indicator of what was to come.

I felt absolutely zero empathy for the characters, both sides equally at fault. Motivations were insincere and their character flaws were indicators of what’s beneath. Babe deserved more, her behavior was exceptional as compared to her peers. No doubt her severed friendship with Truman was painful. Truman laid his cards on the table, a chronic gossiper, teller of secrets, social ladder climber, yet these women ignore these waving red flags, he was their pet until he became desperate and they were part of his story.

The wealthy and known behaving badly, vapid souls wanting more than they give. Seems the more status and finances one possess they are socially handicapped, never being able to reveal their authentic self for fear of betrayal and losing face – how very sad, lonely and empty. I am thrilled I am a woman of meager means understanding the value of true friendship, knowing how to be a friend, a keeper of secrets, never considering betraying or humiliating my friends.

Benjamin dishes up lots of avenues for in-depth discussions on friendship and how it’s defined along with a torturous example of betrayal and humiliation. Benjamin also lends example to the power of a story, written words can build or tear a person down as Truman and his friends achingly discovered.

About Melanie Benjamin2958717

Melanie Benjamin is the author of the New York Times bestselling novel, THE AVIATOR’S WIFE, as well as the national bestseller ALICE I HAVE BEEN, and THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MRS. TOM THUMB. THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE, a novel about Truman Capote and his high society “Swans,” will be out in January 2016. She lives in the Chicago area with her husband and two sons. She’s currently at work on her next historical novel.

Expected publication: January 26th 2016 by Delacorte Press (first published January 12th 2016)

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Review: Whistling Women by Kelly Romo

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About Whistling Women

Life went terribly wrong for Addie Bates in San Diego, and she’s been running from dark memories ever since. For fifteen years, the Sleepy Valley Nudist Colony has provided a safe haven for Addie to hide from the crime she committed. But when the residents pack up to go on exhibit at the 1935 world’s fair in San Diego, Addie returns and must face the thrilling yet terrifying prospect of reuniting with her estranged sister, Wavey.

Addie isn’t the only one interested in a reunion. When her niece, Rumor, discovers she has an aunt, Rumor is determined to bring her family together. But it’s not so easy when the women are forced to confront family secrets, past and present.

Set against the backdrop of the 1935 world’s fair, Whistling Women explores the complex relationships between sisters, the sacrifices required to protect family, and the devastating consequences of a single impulsive act.

My Review

I really loved the characters Romo created. Rumor was my favorite, her curiosity, smarts and stubbornness was entertaining. Addie was as enjoyable as well, her history affecting. Every character served a role with purpose in such a weighty narrative addressing serious subject matter. Daisy and Mary balance out the cast, Sal too. Papa Jack felt unfinished, his presence was powerful but dismissed far too easily.

The narrative was clever, appreciate the fact Romo dug into history and went with the Zoro Garden Nudist Colony, very original, nice touch in the historical fiction genre. The secrets were plenty, intense, however, I felt after the secrets were disclosed the plot weakened along with the ending. Romo took the easy route and speedily wrapped everything nice and neat which is not surprising given her neophyte status. Nothing wrong with Romo’s portrayal, it just wasn’t my preference or to my expectations, too many loose ends with no real solid valid resolution. Also the plot dragged, it took quite a while to reach the apex, I prefer a faster plot sans unnecessary details merely filling space.

Romo is an authoress I will read more of, fabulous debut, lovely creative eye. Definitely looking forward to her next project.

About Kelly RomoUnknown1

Kelly A. Romo currently lives in Oregon with her three children where she teaches writing, literature, and social studies. She loves the outdoors; hiking, kayaking, and camping. Kelly grew up in California running around with all her thrill-seeking cousins and siblings; jumping off cliffs into the Colorado River, exploring caves on the beaches of Mexico, riding dirt bikes, water skiing, and snow skiing.

Connect with Kelly:  Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Just in the Nick of Time $250 Christmas Cash Giveaway

Just in the Nick of Time

An Awesome Group of Authors & Bloggers have joined with me to bring you 1 fabulous prize!!

The winner will be selected on December 23rd making it just in the nick of time to help with last minute Christmas shopping!

We’re giving away $250 in Paypal Cash! Or alternately you can choose a $250 Amazon.com eGift Code!

Last BIG sponsored giveaway for 2015 soon GOOD LUCK to ALL!! Please visit this listed sponsors.

Sponsor List – Thanks to these awesome bloggers & authors for sponsoring this giveaway!!

Sponsor List
I Am A Reader
Taking Time for Mommy
The Discerning Reader
Raven Haired Girl
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Literary Winner
Nicole Tone
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Author Devon Ashley
Julie Antonovich Reece
Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke
Nikki Jefford
Heather Gray, Author
Simply Sherryl
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Author Ednah Walters
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Krysten Lindsay Hager author
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Author Erin Richards
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Author Jeanette Lewis
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Glistering Bs Blog
A Leisure Moment: A Casual Conversation about our Love for Literature
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Giveaway Details
$250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Amazon.com eGift Card
Ends 12/22/15
ENTRY-FORM

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or who can redeem an Amazon.com Gift Code. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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Review & Giveaway: The Illusion of Innocence by Jacqueline Jacques

The Illusion of Innocence cover

About The Illusion of Innocence

Three people on a crowded train, brought there by the same crime.

Archie Price, painter and police artist, blessed with a photographic memory, is travelling to Chelmsford to testify in a murder trial.

The accused, Freddie Porter, is under police escort in the guard’s van.

Freddie’s sister, Polly, is desperately trying to escape her brother’s gang before they realise what she’s done, unaware he’s on the same train.

When the locomotive is derailed, Archie and Polly are injured, and put up by the same local family while they recover.

Where is Freddie?

Polly is so terrified she is driven to desperate measures and Archie finds himself being drawn into her nightmare…

My Review

I was caught off guard by the fiery narrative. The plot explores pornography – including children as well as a brutal rape, murder too. The plot burns until the very end. Jacques manages to reveal much in few pages. I felt the narrative was rushed in some instances and in others not explored or developed enough, characters also, however more elaboration might diminish its notable impact, bottom line, I enjoyed as is, my reservations trivial in the end. Perfect amount of mystery, thrills and suspense mingled with a light romance undertone. Fantastic ending.

Archie and Polly are adorable. Archie’s intelligence, sensitivity and flashbacks of his past endear him to readers. Polly’s strength and determination mixed with compassion are admirable, her past and present full of tribulation. She’s a survivor savoring her independence and new lease on life, she’s discovered her life’s purpose.

Quick read keeping you on your toes as you hope the loathsome receive their punishment as the hero and heroine shine bright. I’m interested in continuing with the series as well as reading more from Jacqueline Jacques. Mystery, thriller, suspense lovers seeking a plot with intensity and bite will want to add this to their TBR.

Jacqueline Jacques APAbout Jacqueline Jacques

Jacqueline Jacques was born in war-time Anglesey, North Wales, but has lived most of her life within spitting distance of London; hence the East End references in each of her seven novels. She taught in mainstream primary and special needs schools, until the writing bug bit her and has never regretted her late career move. She is now the author of six books, this is her seventh, and the second of the Archie Price Victorian thrillers.

Find out more about Jacqueline at her website, and follow her on Twitter.

Giveaway

Enter to win a copy of The Illusion of Innocence by Jacqueline Jacques. US residents only. Ends 12/10/15.
ENTRY-FORM

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• Paperback: 304 pages
• Publisher: Honno Ltd (November 5, 2015)

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$300 Holiday Cash Giveaway

Holiday Cash Giveaway

$300 Holiday Cash Giveaway – December 1st to 21st

An Awesome Group of Authors & Bloggers have joined with me to bring you 1 fabulous prize!!

We’re giving away $300 in Paypal Cash! Or alternately you can choose a $300 Amazon.com eGift Code! let’s start the holidays season with this generous giveaway! Enter and test your luck! Good luck to all!!

Sponsor List – Thanks to these awesome bloggers & authors for sponsoring this giveaway!!

 

Sponsor List

I Am A Reader
eBooks for Review
Lori’s Reading Corner
Kimber Leigh Wheaton
Author Inger Iversen
D.E. Haggerty – author
Author Ednah Walters
Leisure Reads
Glistering Bs Blog
Jennifer Bardsley
Rockin’ Book Reviews
Suzi Love
B. Kristin McMichael
Laurie Here – Contemporary Fiction and More – Book Reviews
Raven Haired Girl
Rae Lori
Here We Go Again…Ready?
Author Dorothy Dreyer
Julie Antonovich Reece
Pat Esden, paranormal romance author
Author Melissa Wright
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Melissa Giorgio
Cynthia Luhrs Author
Author Deb Atwood
Melissa A. Hanson, Author
Lisa Orchard
Nicole Tone
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Kelsey Ketch
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Pintip Dunn
Aubrey Wynne: Romantasy Through the Ages
My Reading Spot
Every Free Chance Books
Spiced Latte Reads
Megan Tayte (YA author)
Hannah Fielding ~ Romance Novelist
Lorca Damon
Charnell @ Reviews from a Bookworm
Book Nerd Addict
HOT LSITENS
YA author Nina Rossing
Auggie @ AuggieTalk
Amy McNulty
Everly Frost
Heather Gray, Author
Literary Winner
Bex @ Aurelia {lit}{geek}{chic}

Giveaway Details

$300 in Paypal Cash or a $300 Amazon.com eGift Card

Ends 12/21/15
ENTRY-FORM

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or who can redeem an Amazon.com Gift Code. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

 

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