The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh – a Book Review

The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh by Carolyn ArnoldTitle: The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh (Matthew Connor Adventure series-Book 2)

Genre: Currently #1342 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Action & Adventure, Men’s Adventure

Publisher: Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc.

Publication Date: To be released April 17, 2018

Source: Request from Senior Book Publicist, Hibbert & Stiles Publishing Inc.

Title and Cover: The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh – Beautiful cover holds promise

“In Egypt’s Western Desert lies the tomb of an unnamed pharaoh that hides a secret so powerful, it could destroy the world as we know it.”

This is the second in the new series with protagonist archaeologist and adventurer Matthew Connor. He’s very successful at finding legends long thought forgotten or lost. Flirting with a power from the Emerald Tablets that promises knowledge of the universe, he MUST accept a former colleague’s invitation in the search. She has stumbled upon an Egyptian hieroglyphic map that is sure to lead them to a pharaoh’s tomb and the Emerald Tablets. Matthew’s only demand for acceptance is that his best friends (romantic interest) Robyn Garcia and Cal Myers accompany the team. Of course, it isn’t long before they realize that recovering the tablets won’t be easy and they are no longer the only ones looking for the tablets. Continue reading “The Secret of the Lost Pharaoh – a Book Review”

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Truth Stranger Than Fiction – Winchester (Movie Review)

Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California
Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California, courtesy Getty Images

The “most haunted house in the world,” the Winchester Mystery House, is a Queen Anne Style Victorian mansion in San Jose, California, once the residence of widow firearm magnate William Wirt Winchester. Fueled by rumors, stories, and confused fascination, the mansion has long been the subject of conjecture contained within books and now a movie Winchester, released February 2, 2018.

Jason ClarkI find it fascinating that not an American director/producer, but Australian brothers, Peter and Michael Spierig, created the movie starring Helen Mirren (English) and Jason Clark (Australian). We went to see this movie on Tuesday. The critics have panned it. Of Google users who responded, 77% liked it. So what did the brothers get right? Actually, quite a lot.

Continue reading “Truth Stranger Than Fiction – Winchester (Movie Review)”

Reading Challenge

Reading Challenge

Notice how you get braver as you get older? Take on new challenges?

Well, it doesn’t amount to learning to ride a motorcycle at 55 years, but this year I went hunting for reading challenges, and although I did not catch either of these in December or even January, found two I wanted to try this year. I have gathered those books read beginning in 2018 and performed some serious catch-up. I have added a page I’m calling Reading Challenge to collect any new reads posted to either challenge so you can follow my progress during the year. (My Goodreads Challenge is 90 books and progress appears in the widget column to the right.)

The NetGalley and Edelweiss Challenge

In for a penny–in for a pound–and I went straight to the platinum level, which translates to 75 books for the year. Seventy-five books just from these two sources will definitely be a challenge for me. If you’d like to sign up for this challenge, click here. Continue reading “Reading Challenge”

Night Moves – Book Review

Night Moves - an Alex Delaware Novel by Jonathan KellermanTitle: Night Moves: An Alex Delaware Novel (#33) by Jonathan Kellerman

Genre: Currently # 56 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Crime, Murder

#7 in Amazon Author Rank

Publisher: Balantine Books

Publication Date: JUST released February 13, 2018

Source: Balantine Books and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Night Moves – Cover described book evokes plot locale

Okay, yes, I must confess–it must be true–I have been living in a cave for twenty years as this is the first time I’ve read an Alex Delaware book by Jonathan Kellerman. And this is his thirty-third in the series! Alex gets a jingle late one evening from his old police buddy, LAPD Detective Milo Sturgis, and off he goes on another head-scratcher located on a cul-de-sac in the burbs. The victim will not be easy to identify as he’s been dumped in the home of Chet Corvin and the Corvin’s have absolutely no clue who he might be. The victim’s hands have been removed and he was shot in the face leaving little with which to identify anyone. Continue reading “Night Moves – Book Review”

Ultimate Power – Book Review

Ultimate Power by Stephen FreyTitle: Ultimate Power by Stephen Frey

Genre: Currently # 37 in Amazon’s Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers, Financial

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Publication Date: To be released February 13, 2018

Source: Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Ultimate Power – Cover conjures location

Andrew Falcon Jr. is a powerful hedge-fund manager and the youngest to make partner in his private investment firm on Wall Street. Unfortunately, his niece Claire is kidnapped and it’s not money they want. The abductors are discovered tied to a conspiracy much larger than he could have imagined and possibly beyond his ability to quell. The question is: Can he deliver what they demand in exchange for his niece and also save his country? Continue reading “Ultimate Power – Book Review”

Will Bookbloggers Abandon Pinterest? Maybe–Here’s Why

Will Bookbloggers Abandon Pinterest?

So, was the Pinterest platform created for people with too much time on their hands, or as a serious media form with myriad connection capabilities?

I’ve mentioned before my attempts at understanding the attraction and heaven knows I’ve been bombarded with invitations by “experts” for advice on learning how to expand my followers and make significant gains in either monetizing my blog or directing traffic to sales through Pinterest. (Except that my blog is not particularly sales driven.)

I have twelve boards and umpteen “pins” and the one that catches the most traffic is the one of Iris Apfel, whose repins (at age 93) greatly outnumber my own and does nothing for my stats. How fair is that?

Launched in 2010, Pinterest was designed to discover information on the www mainly through the use of images. Images were where it was at! In particular, I do enjoy the Infographics you readily find on Pinterest.

However, I like that Instagram may become a powerful adjunct to my blog. It’s simple! Even I can do it! And I get a lot of positive engagement from Instagram, second only (and sometimes tying) to Twitter (not facebook). I’m still fairly new to posting on Instagram, but adding followers at a consistent pace. I particularly appreciate the ability to add appropriate hashtags and find that authors and other book bloggers, as well as publishers, haunt your posts. There is a limit on the use of hashtags of course, but many can do double duty, where appropriately added to your twitter post. Here are a few of my favorite hashtags for Instagram/Bookstagram (keeping in mind these are not to be used for every post–change them up!):

#book #booksofinstagram #bookstagram #bookstagrammer #igreads #igbooks #epicreads #booklife #bibliophile #read #reading #reader #booklover #bookaddict #booknerd #bookworm #booksbooksbooks #bookstagramfeature #readingforfun #booksworthreading #readinglist #bookswag #readingisfundamental #currentlyreading #amreading #bookshelf #newbook #goodbook #reviewbook #mybooks #goodreads #bookrecommendations #bookblog #bookblogger #tbr #indieauthor #bibliophile #mustread

Rather than using Pinterest as a major source of traffic, I see a few of my fellow book bloggers using Pinterest as a side link, sort of a sub-blog. In fact, I found that shockingly few post a link to Pinterest. It appears most bloggers opt to link to Instagram and Twitter. (If you also have a Pinterest account that I missed it here, please let me know and I’ll be glad to follow.)

Lynne at Fictionophile

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Adventures of a Bibliophile

The Cozy Pages

Of course, more than images now the use of videos, vlogs, and gifs. Videos–videos are where it’s at! Well, I won’t be doing many of those soon, so I’ll continue to work on images, particularly through the use of Instagram and Bookstagram, which I’ve also alluded to rather recently.

I’m still not sold that the hours and hours of time I’ve spent on Pinterest has been worth it, but I see huge inroads of web interest in Instagram and the buzz says this is where the major focus will occur in 2018. I’m thinking that besides the time spent on my blog, that is where I’ll focus my secondary hours. How about you? Do you still use Pinterest or has Twitter and Instagram taken a new lead for you? I’d love to hear your comments! ©2018 V Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

#AmReading – Night Moves: An Alex Delaware Novel (#33) by Jonathan Kellerman

#AmReading - Night Moves by Jonathan Kellerman

Welcome to my #AmReading feature! I am highlighting an author and their book currently visible in the “Fair Weather” widget celebrating blue skies, following seas, and my Goodreads (currently reading) list.

This week I am presenting Jonathan Kellerman and his book Night Moves. I received this download from Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine Books and #NetGalley. The book will be released on February 13, 2018. Amazon classifies the novel as a mystery, thriller & suspense, and crime and is 416 pages.

I will be presenting my review on February 13, 2018. In the meantime (from Amazon), here is the

Book Blurb:

Even with all his years of experience, LAPD homicide detective Milo Sturgis knows there are crimes his skill and savvy cannot solve alone. That’s when he calls on brilliant psychologist Alex Delaware to read between the lines, where the darkest motives lurk. And if ever the good doctor’s insight is needed, it’s at the scene of a murder as baffling as it is brutal.

There’s no spilled blood, no evidence of a struggle, and, thanks to the victim’s missing face and hands, no immediate means of identification. And no telling why the disfigured corpse of a stranger has appeared in an upscale L.A. family’s home. Chet Corvin, his wife, and their two teenage children are certain the John Doe is unknown to them. Despite that, their cooperation seems guarded. And that’s more than Milo and Alex can elicit from the Corvins’ creepy next-door neighbor—a notorious cartoonist with a warped sense of humor and a seriously antisocial attitude.

As the investigation ensues, it becomes clear that this well-to-do suburban enclave has its share of curious eyes, suspicious minds, and loose lips. And as Milo tightens the screws on potential persons of interest—and Alex tries to breach the barriers that guard their deepest secrets—a strangling web of corrupted love, cold-blooded greed, and shattered trust is exposed. Though the grass may be greener on these privileged streets, there’s enough dirt below the surface to bury a multitude of sins. Including the deadliest.

About the Author: (From Amazon Author page)

Jonathan Kellerman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than three dozen bestselling crime novels, including the Alex Delaware series, The Butcher’s Theater, Billy Straight, The Conspiracy Club, Twisted, True Detectives, and The Murderer’s Daughter. With his wife, bestselling novelist Faye Kellerman, he co-authored Double Homicide and Capital Crimes. With his son, bestselling novelist Jesse Kellerman, he co-authored The Golem of Hollywood and The Golem of Paris. He is also the author of two children’s books and numerous nonfiction works, including Savage Spawn: Reflections on Violent Children and With Strings Attached: The Art and Beauty of Vintage Guitars. He has won the Goldwyn, Edgar, and Anthony awards and has been nominated for a Shamus Award. Jonathan and Faye Kellerman live in California, New Mexico, and New York. ©2018 V Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

#ThrowbackThursday – author Rick Mofina – Book Review

#ThrowbackThursday

Renee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, It’s Book Talk to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! I am touching on some of my oldies but goodies, favorite authors, and favorite stories. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out. And, if you’d like to join the fun, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. Just provide the link back to her please).

Cold Fear by Rick MofinaThis week I am highlighting Rick Mofina, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Cold Fear, which I reviewed on Goodreads. He has actually written a number of other books, including this series. This novel was published by Carrick Publishing on December 8, 2012.

Originally posted July 12, 2014

Book Blurb:

In the remote, rugged corner of Montana’s Glacier National Park known as the Devil’s Grasp, little Paige Baker of San Francisco disappears with her dog, Kobee, while on a camping trip with her family; or so her mother and father have told authorities.
A multi-agency task force launches a massive search as Paige fights to survive in the wilderness. Time hammers against her and soon the nation is gripped by the life-and-death drama.
Secretly, behind the scenes, the FBI grows suspicious of Paige’s parents. Their recent history and disturbing evidence links them to a horrible secret from the past.

My Review:

Little city girl Paige Baker runs into the woods with her dog, Kobee, to find her mother–and gets distracted by a chipmunk who captures the dog’s attention as well. Unfortunately, this was preceded by an unusually loud and emotional fight between her father and mother. The mother shouldn’t have been much farther down the trail, but the chipmunk didn’t go that way and neither did Kobee or the child.

Father Doug thinks mother Emily has the child and vice versa. The San Francisco family is visiting the remote heavily wooded northern area of Glacier Nat’l Park known as Devil’s Grasp to finally put to closure a catastrophic event that happened when Emily was a girl. The disappearance of Paige, however, suddenly opens secrets that will bear on the event that enveloped Emily 22 years ago. Mother and Father must work together to solve their daughter’s disappearance as well as coordinate with authorities who suspect the parents.

While there are a number of scenes that push the curtain of credulity, especially that of a 10-year-old under-prepared child surviving 5 days in grizzly infested mountains (much less with a beagle in tow), to the wild final scenes of antagonist Isaiah Hood, the story becomes complicated and includes a number of twists you don’t see coming.

In between lay some fascinating insights into the wide and varied characters, the very believable dialogue between the characters, as well as the self-talk and recriminations of each of the persons connected to the ever-expanding and eventually world-wide on-going drama lived out in the beautiful Big Sky country of Montana. While I had a little problem believing the parents could be quite that forgiving of Frank Zander, I thought all the loose ends were tied up very neatly and closed out the story well and happily as you kept rooting for Paige to survive.

I received this free download from BookBub and appreciated the opportunity to read and review. Definitely keeps your attention and I can recommend to those who enjoy thrillers.

Rick Mofina - authorAbout the Author:

Rick Mofina is a former journalist and an award-winning author of several acclaimed thrillers. His reporting has put him face-to-face with murderers on death row in Montana and Texas. He has covered a horrific serial-killing case in California and an armored car-heist in Las Vegas, flown over Los Angeles with the LAPD Air Support Division and gone on patrol with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police near the Arctic. He has reported from the Caribbean, Africa and Kuwait’s border with Iraq. His true-crime articles have appeared in the New York Times, Marie Claire, Reader’s Digest and Penthouse. Mofina’s books have been published in 8 languages and 16 countries.

More Throwback Thursday Blogs

Renee at Its Book Talk

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Rebecca at The Book Whisperer

Lynn at Fictionophile

Sam at Clues and Reviews

Holly B at Dressedtoread

Deanna at DeesRadReads and Reviews

Amanda at Literary Weaponry

Annie at The Misstery

Mischenko at Read Rant Rock and Roll

Laurie at Cozy Nook Books

Ann Marie at LItWitWineDine

©2018 V Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

Killed in Action – a Book Review

Killed in Action by Michael SloanTitle: Killed in Action: An Equalizer Novel by Michael Sloan

Genre: Currently #1035 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Books, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Thrillers & Suspense, Crime, Vigilante Justice

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publication Date: January 30, 2018

Source: St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley

Title and Cover: Killed in Action – Both the book cover and Kindle cover illustrate theme

Robert McCall, formerly deep-cover intelligence officer, is very busy doing good work. He is the one called when there is absolutely, positively nothing else that can be done. Nevertheless, he comes cheap–he doesn’t charge. (I’ve no clue how the man lives since he is no longer with The Company.) His expertise is spread by word-of-mouth and former colleagues, all of whom know the man’s strengths and contacts and just how very good he is. He calls himself “the Equalizer.” Continue reading “Killed in Action – a Book Review”

Davida – a Book Review

Davida-Model & Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens by Karen IngallsTitle: Davida: Model & Mistress of Augustus Saint-Gaudens by Karen Ingalls

Genre: Currently #1258 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Biographies & Memoirs, Leaders & Notable People, Rich & Famous

Publication Date: March 21, 2016

Source: Review requested by author Karen Ingalls

Title and Cover: Davida – Beautiful cover depicting sculpted model

Traveling to the U.S. in 1876 with her mother, Albertina (Davida), a young Swedish girl will become a beautiful woman and later model for talented and well-known American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens. The eventual union between artist and model, the author’s great-grandmother and Augustus Saint-Gaudens produced a son, Louis. Saint-Gaudens, however, is married. Indie Excellence Winner - Karen Ingalls Continue reading “Davida – a Book Review”

Rosepoint #Reviews – January Recap

Congratulations to you for surviving the holidays and making it through January! Isn’t that considered the worst of winter is over? We can only hope! It’s certainly been a frantic month for me, back to reading, reviewing, and concentrating on “stats.” (Yes, I know. I’m not supposed to think about those, but…)

I have achieved some goals: 

Books to Cell
Photo attribution: Shutterstock

Blog stats (hit 1,000 followers–Thank you all–again!), Goodreads stats (made my Book Challenge!), Amazon reviewer status (now down under 15K), and NetGalley stats achieved 80%–gonna keep it that way and pushing for my 50 reviews badge. (As a new reviewer on NetGalley, it’s easy to fall into that trap–BOOKS! All those BOOKS! I want them all–no, wait…oops!)

So, besides the ARC’s from NetGalley, there was #ThrowbackThursdays highlighting two of my favorite authors (Jodie Bailey and Linda McDonald). Spent some heavy time doing #AmReading posts, #TBR posts, and #Bookstagrams, the latter of which has fired up new ideas for “staging” books and that’s been fun.

Eleven January reads, most ARC’s through NetGalley and one read (#11) by my associate, the CE (If you haven’t caught his review yet, check it out!):

  1. January 02 – No Turning Back by Nancy Bush
  2. January 04 – The Last Homecoming by Dan Chabot (author request)
  3. January 07 – Grist Mill Road by Christopher J Yates
  4. January 09 – Strangers by Ursula Archer and Arno Strobel
  5. January 10 – Need to Know by Karen Cleveland
  6. January 14 – An Engineered Injustice by William L Myers Jr
  7. January 16 – Dark Ocean by Nick Elliott (author request)
  8. January 21 – Deep Zero by V S Kemanis
  9. January 23 – An Eye for an Eye by Caroline Fardig
  10. January 28 – Curses, Boiled Again by Shari Randall
  11. January 30 – The Yanks Are Starving by Glen Craney (author request)

See anything here that catches your eye? These run the gamut from historical fiction to psychological and legal thrillers and I know you’ve read at least one of them.

I’m having a tough time keeping up with reading and commenting on all your reviews! I comment when I can and I enjoy receiving all your comments here as well as the likes and comments on Bookstagram.

Photo attibution: lifewithdogsandcatsMaybe you CAN teach an old dog new tricks, it just takes us longer. If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them! ©2018 V Williams I Love Likes and Comments--Please Share!

#ThrowbackThursday – author Melissa Stevens – Book Review

#ThrowbackThursday

Renee began the Throwback Thursday meme on her blog, It’s Book Talk to share some of her old favorites as well as sharing books published over a year ago. Sounded like a good reason to join! Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out. And, if you’d like to join the fun, you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. Just provide the link back to her please).

Change by Melissa StevensThis week I am highlighting author Melissa Stevens and stepping considerably beyond my comfort zone in genres (shape-shifting, fantasy). I met Melissa when I also had a table at the craft fair in Yuma at the Country Roads RV Park, probably my favorite of the delightful RV parks where I sold my grandfather’s books during the winters of 2013/14 and 2014/15. Melissa published Change, the first in the Kitsune series in January 2012 (which I reviewed on Goodreads), and was light years ahead of me in promotion. She obviously had a solid marketing plan and knew how to manipulate the ins and outs of Kindle and Smashwords. Change was newly revised in 2017. She is a prolific author who has gone on to writing stand alones, another series, as well as collaborating with another author. She was part of Wicked After Dark, a paranormal romance anthology that hit #13 on the New York Times Bestseller’s list in October of 2015. It would appear she is progressing nicely!

Originally posted April 1, 2014 Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – author Melissa Stevens – Book Review”