#ThrowbackThursday – A View to Die For by Richard Houston

Throwback Thursday - featuring A View to DIE For

Renee began the #ThrowbackThursday 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. 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).

This week I am highlighting Richard Houston, another terrific, prolific author who wrote A View to Die For, #1 in the series, which I reviewed on Goodreads. He has actually written a number of books in the Books To Die For series. I also read #2, A Book to Die For (also downloaded from BookBub). If you’ve been reading this blog for any period of time, you know I’m a sucker for dog pics or doggy stories. Read this for the dog, Fred. (I hoped he lived more than two books. To see why, read the review that follows.) This novel was published on October 8, 2012. Houston consistently runs approximately four stars for any of his books sold on Amazon. Just look at that face!

Originally posted May 29, 2014

Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – A View to Die For by Richard Houston”

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#ThrowbackThursday – The Emperor’s Treasure by Daniel Leston

Throwback Thursday - The Emperor's Treasure

Renee began the #ThrowbackThursday 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. 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).

This week I am highlighting Daniel Leston, another terrific, prolific author who wrote The Emperor’s Treasure, which I reviewed on Goodreads. This novel was published on October 27, 2013. He consistently runs approximately four stars for any of his books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted October 1, 2016

The Emperor's Treasure by Daniel LestonBook Blurb:

Upon returning to New England after a long hiatus overseas, Prof. David Manning quickly finds himself involved in yet another extraordinary archaeological adventure—one 500 years in the making. Drawn into an investigation of a mysterious and brutal murder in the desert country of West Texas, his determined effort to find the perpetrators sets him on the hunt for a lost Aztec treasure beyond all imagining.
Both are inextricably entwined.
Pitted against a ruthless, multi-millionaire descendant of one of the original conquistadors—a man who will stop at nothing to gain the prize—Manning finds himself contending at every turn with an array of cold-blooded killers, all equally unwavering in their desire to see him dead.
*3rd Adventure of Professor David Manning

Add to Goodreads

My Review:

I tend to be a sucker for stories involving the Aztecs or Mayans, fascinating cultures, and sure–we hear the legends about the outrageous riches.

In this clever plot, the treasure is whisked away before the Spanish conquistadors can complete their siege. The flashbacks to the young map maker give us a refreshing peek into the scenario explaining how the current circumstances have evolved. Unfortunately for a young archeological student bent on following his (native) sweetheart’s ancient map, he gets a little too close. Following his brutal murder, his extremely wealthy grandparents enlist the aid of longtime friend and pseudo-son, Prof. David Manning, who promises to look into a death summarily dismissed by the local (crooked) sheriff as a drug deal gone bad.

Prof. Manning proves to be a pit bull, not only in his dogged effort at digging out the truth, but then setting up the dog fight that ends in the rescue of the young man’s lover as well as the recovery of riches. Manning enjoys the help of the interim deputy after the death of the sheriff as the bad guys will stop at nothing to cover their tracks and protect their cache.

I thought the story flowed well enough to keep my attention and turning pages. The deputy was fleshed out well and very empathetic; less so Manning. Dialogue was fairly believable though the language began slipping later into the book making it necessary to step over the ca-ca. The book contains typos and other edit problems and is in need of a better editor, but if you can overlook those problems, the storyline will provide some entertainment.

Received as a free BookBub offering, I enjoyed enough to recommend as a quick escapist read.

Daniel Leston - authorAbout the Author: Daniel Leston was born in Canada, yet spent the majority of his adult years living and traveling throughout the US. Though his working career was spent in the unrelated field of designing and manufacturing complex, industrial machinery, he never lost touch with his lifelong passion for both writing and the study of history, which extends all the way back to his early, student days at the University of Buffalo.

Along with his wife of 40+yrs, he currently resides in southern Ontario, where he now happily works at his chosen vocation of being a full-time author. Following up on the early success of his three ‘Action/Thriller’ novels, The Amun Chamber, The Genghis Tomb, and The Emperor’s Treasure, he just finished working on his 4th exciting adventure around their popular main character, Professor David Manning. Look for The Porus Legacy, available now. [Note: Author has now published the fifth in the series, The Ionian Paradigm (A David Manning Adventure Book 5) released May 13, 2018.]

More Throwback Thursday Blogs

Renee at Its Book Talk

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Rebecca at The Book Whisperer

Lynne 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

Susan at Susan Loves Books

Cathy at What Cathy Read Next

Cathy at Between the Lines

Amy at Novel Gossip

Diana at A Haven for Booklovers

 

©2018 V Williams V Williams

American on Purpose – a #BookReview

american-on-purpose-cell

Title: American on Purpose: The Improbable Adventures of an Unlikely Patriot

Genre: Currently #27 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Humor & Entertainment, Humor, Political

Publisher: Harper Collins Publishers

Publication Date: September 22, 2009

Source: BookBub

Title and Cover: American on PurposeCraig Ferguson mixing metaphors

It’s true–I’ve had this one on my TBR for so long I don’t actually remember how I got it. It’s embarrassing, but suffice it to say, it must have been a (free?) BookBub offering, as I can’t usually be spending a lot on something I can’t eat or that keeps the electricity on.

And, just a head’s up, this is vintage Craig Ferguson. (You know Craig Ferguson, and what that means!) If you’ve ever had the misfortune of insomnia or are just a natural late night person, then unless you are 12, you no doubt watched Craig Ferguson on his late night show. (The show ended abruptly December 2014.)

Craig Ferguson - Talk show host, author

He is Scottish

     Profane

            Compelling Continue reading “American on Purpose – a #BookReview”

Dark Lava (Lei Crime, Book 7) – a #BookReview

Dark Lava - a Lei Crime Novel by Toby Neal

Title: Dark Lava (Lei Crime, Book 7) by Toby Neal

Genre: Currently #1712 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Mystery, Police Procedurals

Publication Date: July 7, 2014

Source: BookBub

Title and Cover: Dark LavaCover obviously depicts lava flow

I started reading the Lei Crime series back in 2014 with book 1, Blood Orchids, and have loved them all. Lei Texeira is a damaged but strong female protagonist. I’ve followed her journey in the Maui (Hawaii) Police Department as she’s climbed through the ranks. Along the way, she met Michael Stevens, also with the MPD. Their relationship was explosive, but they were obviously meant to be a couple. In book 7, they are newlyweds (finally!) and extremely committed to each other as well as their work. But Lei’s work has found her being volunteered for the bomb squad and that’s not a match that’s working well.

This installment sees Stevens participate in a much larger proportion of the story, while a parallel storyline follows Lei. In addition to the cases each encounter individually, they are met with major life-changing situations on both sides. On Stevens side, the baggage he brought with him into the relationship following their reuniting. On Lei’s side, her own family matters and the predicament presented by Stevens recent history. And that’s in addition to an underlying threat to them both regarding her previous police work.

Ms. Neal always incorporates scenes of Maui, the flora and fauna, the sights of the ocean’s unrelenting waves glistening in the sun, and the patois of the local population putting you square in the middle of the action. Information about the island and the native peoples figure heavily in this installment with Stevens investigation into the desecration of priceless artifacts.

Lei has progressed well through the series installments, becoming stronger, more confident, and less neurotic. The characters that surround Lei were well developed in previous installments, have become solid fixtures, and are beginning to feel like old friends–including her FBI contact and previous partners. Stevens is a confident, self-assured, partner. I particularly enjoy their large and sweet Rottweiler, Keiki.

Blood Orchids - A Lei Crime Novel by Toby NealI received this download from BookBub and appreciated the opportunity to read and review. I’ve enjoyed this series and watched the characters grow. Each book brings new surprises, fascinating tidbits about our fiftieth state and leaves you looking forward to the next in the Lei Crime series. (This was no exception, although somehow I jumped to book 9, so I’ll have to go back and pick up no. 8.) If you haven’t discovered Toby Neal and her Hawaii-based novels and the Lei Crime series, you owe it to yourself to give them a try. Start with Blood Orchids.  Recommended for all who enjoy mysteries, thrillers and suspense, women sleuths, and police procedurals.

Rosepoint Publishing:  Four point Five of Five Stars 4.5 of five stars

Toby Neal - authorThe Author: Award-winning, USA Today bestselling social worker turned author Toby Neal grew up on the island of Kaua`i in Hawaii. Neal is a mental health therapist, a career that has informed the depth and complexity of the characters in her stories. Neal’s police procedurals, starring multicultural detective Lei Texeira, explore the crimes and issues of Hawaii and are so popular that they’ve spawned a licensed fan fiction world on Amazon.

Neal focuses on mystery, but also writes romance and a line of apocalyptic romance thrillers, the Scorch Series, with Emily Kimelman.

Get two FREE award-winning Toby Neal books by signing up at: http://www.subscribepage.com/TobyNealNews

©2018 V Williams V Williams

#ThrowbackThursday – Mornings in Two Pan – B. K. Froman

#ThrowbackThursday - spring

Renee began the #ThrowbackThursday 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. 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).

This week I am highlighting B. K. Froman, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Mornings in Two Pan, which I reviewed on Goodreads. She has actually written three in this series. This novel was published by Morning West Publishing on June 29, 2014. She consistently runs approximately 4.2-5 stars for any of her books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted January 18, 2016

mornings-two-panBook Blurb:

What if everything you know about your family is only half of the truth?

Every small town has its curiosities and conflicts. For Jiggs Woolsey, the most disturbing mystery is the identity of the buried skull he digs up on his Oregon ranch. Warned not to turn it in, he seeks answers about the five generations of his family who’ve previously worked the acres. His father and the cantankerous old-timers of the fizzled-out community of Two Pan will teach him the hard way that they’re not ready to give up their secrets yet.

My Review:

Yes, you got me! Busted!

I downloaded this free offering on BookBub (thank you!) solely based on that fascinating cover, and you’ll be glad to know that the cover perfectly describes the book without saying one word. If you loved the cover, you’ll love this folksy, down-home bit of western Americana. No really, would I lie to you?

Froman couldn’t have just created these characters–they’ve been so completely fleshed out–she must have been a fly on the wall of this family, recording some amazing bits of dialogue. Three generations (all male, two of which are widowers) living in a dusty, gritty, small town of rural eastern Oregon confront a historical family matter that was long since buried. This one grabs you from the beginning with the discovery of the skull in a creek bed on their property. And then in that slow, out west type of tale-weaving, creates the train wreck for which you are drawn like moth to flame. And, amazingly, you’ll like it. (Trust me.)

Unfortunately, Ox (Gramps) has increasing age-related health problems. He is met by his son with the startling discovery of the skull on their five generation cattle ranch that quickly has his son questioning all he’d believed about their family origins. The mystery sets off a powerful character study.

Jiggs doesn’t understand his dad and is bull-headedly trying to get to the truth. Jiggs’ son, Nap, is caught between the warring factions of father and grandfather and seems the most level-headed of the three. Unfortunately, he is too young to have sufficient experience in dealing with family issues he doesn’t understand and was never privy to. The story gradually unfolds the mystery, secondary to the relationship crisis the artifact has created.

The people who make up this little town ring true, the connections between long-time residents and philosophies compelling and telling. The writing is almost too simple, but sometimes less is more. When the conclusion comes and the revelation exposed, it’ll be one you won’t have guessed, satisfying but sorta tragic. (Well, duh, it’s a skull.)

But worth it? Oh yeah…

Take off your boots, find some shade, and enjoy this extremely well-written and emotional piece of old family literature, peppered with humor and satire. This is one of my favorite books in the 2016 Reading Challenge. A solid Five Stars

Add to Goodreads

About the Author

B. K. Froman - authorB.K. Froman is an award-winning writer, radio/TV talent, and university educator who now lives outside of Portland Oregon after spending several decades in Oklahoma. Her works continue to capture a thoughtful and sensitive look at people in small towns and as she preserves a small slice of Americana that is quickly fading. The 2013 Clackamas Literary award winner in Short Works, Froman uses wry humor and clever dialogue to remind her readers that life is—all about change.

More Throwback Thursday Blogs

Renee at Its Book Talk

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Rebecca at The Book Whisperer

Lynne 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 V Williams

#ThrowbackThursday – Loose Ends by Terri Reid

#ThrowbackThursday

Renee began the #ThrowbackThursday meme on her blog, It’s Book Talk to share some of her old favorites as well as to share books published over a year ago. 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).

This week I am highlighting Terri Reid, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Loose Ends, Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mystery series book 1, which I reviewed on Goodreads. She has actually written twenty in this series, but has published additional series. This novel was self-published on August 1, 2010. She consistently runs approximately 4.0+ stars for any of her books sold on Amazon and her story is as fascinating as her books. She released book 20 of this series, Clear Expectations, on November 27, 2017.

Originally posted July 8, 2015

Loose Ends by Terri ReidBook Blurb:

Dying is what changed Mary O’Reilly’s life. Well, actually, coming back from the dead and having the ability to communicate with ghosts is really what did it. 

Now, a private investigator in rural Freeport, Illinois, Mary’s trying to learn how to incorporate her experience as a Chicago cop and new-found talent into a real job. Her challenge is to solve the mysteries, get real evidence (a ghost’s word just doesn’t hold up in court), and be sure the folks in town, especially the handsome new police chief, doesn’t think she’s nuts.

Twenty-four years ago, a young woman drowned in the swimming pool of a newly elected State Senator. It was ruled an accident. But now, as the Senator prepares to move on to higher positions, the ghost of the woman is appearing to the Senator’s wife.
Mary is hired to discover the truth behind the death. She unearths a connection between the murder and the disappearance of five little girls whose cases, twenty-four years later, are still all unsolved. As she digs further she becomes the next target for serial killers’ quest to tie up all his loose ends.

My Review:

Obviously, Terri Reid has a winner in her Mary O’Reilly paranormal series as she’s written 15 of them successfully. I can see why. I greatly enjoyed Mary with her ghostly characters popping in and out on her, although Bradley channeling through her might have stretched the imagination a bit much. Still, it’s a ghost story–who’s to know? (Only thing I didn’t enjoy was the formatting.)

A former crack Chicago cop up for detective, Mary is killed in the line of duty and resuscitated back to life with the ability to see ghosts who are drawn to her looking to help them move into the next dimension. Most are stuck between worlds because of an unnatural death.

Mary moves out of Chicago to small town Freeport to begin anew, where Bradley comes in as Chief of Police who is also creating a new rural life and has a secret of his own. Her best buds, Stanley and Rosie, provide great sub-characters that add dimension to the story as well as police chief Bradley, who is so contrary, he’ll end up a love interest.  Mary is called on to help solve the mystery of the death of a senator’s lover whose ghost is now invading their reconciled lives and discovers it is chronologically related to the disappearance of five little girls.

The dialogue is snappy and sometimes humorous and there is plenty of interaction between characters in a plot that moves along nicely and keeps you reading. I was hooked with book 1 that kept to the paranormal mystery genre, but not so favorably with book 10 where it turned romancy, planning her wedding.

I received the book through a BookBub offer. Love those free BookBub offers, they very seldom disappoint!

Add to goodreads

About the Author

Terri Reid - author(Amazon Author Page) Terri Reid has been telling ghosts stories since she was a toddler. Her mother tells of a time when two-year-old Terri would sit in her highchair, look past her mother into the dark back porch and say, “Look. Man.” When her mother would turn in horror, Terri would laugh delightedly.

Terri lives in the same area of the United States as her Mary O’Reilly character, Northwest Illinois. She lives on five acres of rolling land in a 100-year-old farmhouse, with her husband, children, dogs, cats and several dozen chickens (well, the chickens live in the barn.)

Her background is in marketing and public relations, but she has always enjoyed telling stories. For a while, she worked as a freelance journalist for the local paper and wrote the Halloween feature for many years, collecting as many local ghost stories as she could. She gave her collection of local ghost stories to the local historical society to use as a fundraiser, they are now in their third printing.

(Goodreads Author page) Terri Reid is the author of the Mary O’Reilly Paranormal Mysteries. An Indie author, Reid uploaded her first book “Loose Ends” in August 2010. By the end of 2012, “Loose Ends” had sold over 82,000 copies and, as of the writing of this bio, was the number one bestselling book in Amazon’s ranking of Ghost Stories in the Book/Literature & Fiction/Genre Fiction/Horror/Ghosts section and the number two in the same area in the Kindle eBooks section. She has eight other books in the Mary O’Reilly Series and has enjoyed Top Rated and Hot New Release status for many of them in the Women Sleuths category through Amazon US. Her books have been translated into Spanish and Portuguese and are also now also available through CreateSpace and Amazon in print versions. She is also working on an audiobook for “Loose Ends.”

Reid has been quoted in a number of books about the self-publishing industry including “Let’s Get Digital” by David Gaughran and “Interviews with Indie Authors: Top Tips from Successful Self-Published Authors” by Claire and Tim Ridgway. She was also honored to have some of her works included in A. J. Abbiati’s book “The NORTAV Method for Writers – The Secrets to Constructing Prose Like the Pros.” She has also had the distinct privilege of guest blogging for Joe Konrath.

Reid is from Northwest Illinois, near the town of Freeport, the home of her fictional characters. Her background is in marketing and public relations. She is married, is the mother of seven children and the grandmother of eleven. Her constant writing companions are Riley, a Bernese Mountain Dog-Golden Retriever mix; Hans, a German Shepard mix; and McDuff, a Siamese cat.

Check out the other members of Throwback Thursday to see what classics they are highlighting this week. 

More Throwback Thursday Blogs

Renee at Its Book Talk

Jill at Jill’s Book Cafe

Rebecca at The Book Whisperer

Lynne 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 V Williams

#ThrowbackThursday – Quinn Checks In – L. H. Thomson

#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’ve read a wide variety of genres and gleaned most early freebies from BookBub. Renee would love you to join the fun, and you’re welcome to use Renee’s pic from her website. Just provide the link back to her please).

Quinn Checks In by L H ThomsonThis week I am highlighting L H Thomson, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Quinn Checks In, Liam Quinn Mysteries Book 1, which I reviewed on Goodreads. He has actually written eleven books in this series. This novel was published by J I Loome on July 24, 2014. He consistently runs approximately four plus stars for any of his books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted September 7, 2014

Book Blurb:

Warning: this novel contains strong language and violence.

Released after serving four years in a Federal pen for art forgery, former boxing prodigy Liam Quinn returns to Fishtown in Philadelphia, eager to restart his life and make amends. A family friend has arranged a job as an art detective for an insurance company. But a Dutch Master has gone missing, bodies are popping up when least expected, and a mobster  is mighty miffed. It’s a tough job… until Quinn Checks In.

Quinn Checks in combines brutal action with tongue-in-cheek humor, a cast of characters and the kind of family drama that makes you miss your mom’s Sunday dinner! Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – Quinn Checks In – L. H. Thomson”

#ThrowbackThursday – Maids of Misfortune by M. Louisa Locke

#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’ve gathered up some old reads and reviews from Goodreads to share with you–but a good book never gets old. 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).

Maids of Misfortune by M. Louisa LockeThis week I am highlighting M. Louisa Locke, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Maids of Misfortune (A Victorian San Francisco Mystery). She has actually written five in the series with novellas in between. This novel was published by CreateSpace on December 3, 2009. She consistently runs approximately 4.0/5 stars for any of her books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted January 20, 2015

Book Blurb:

It’s the summer of 1879, and Annie Fuller, a young San Francisco widow, is in trouble. Annie’s husband squandered her fortune before committing suicide five years earlier…Annie Fuller also has a secret. She supplements her income by giving domestic and business advice as Madam Sibyl, one of San Francisco’s most exclusive clairvoyants, and one of Madam Sibyl’s clients, Matthew Voss, has died…Nate Dawson has a problem. As the Voss family lawyer, he would love to believe that Matthew Voss didn’t leave his grieving family destitute. But that would mean working with Annie Fuller, a woman who alternatively attracts and infuriates him as she shatters every notion he ever had of proper ladylike behavior…Sparks fly as Anne and Nate pursue the truth about the murder of Matthew Voss in this light-hearted, cozy historical mystery set in the foggy gas-lit world of Victorian San Francisco. 
Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – Maids of Misfortune by M. Louisa Locke”

The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle – a #BookReview

The Tortilla Curtain by T C Boyle-eBook coverTitle: The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle

Genre: Currently #27 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Literary Fiction, Satire, and #62 in Contemporary Fiction, Urban

Publisher: Penguin Books

Publication Date: September 1, 1996

Source: Free download BookBub

Title and Cover: The Tortilla CurtaineBook cover attracted my attention (prefer it to the paperback version below)–thought it would interest hubby–this is his review.

This book has been around more than twenty years and certainly long enough that there are more than sufficient synopses. So at this point, I must assume the literary crowd is familiar with the setting in the beautiful but fragile ecology of the Topanga Canyon of Southern California. This scenario situates two couples on a course designed to slap your senses into a new mindset. The classic style Greek pathos novel grasps the very soul of society and squeezes so tightly I came close to declaring a DNF more than once. No getting around it–this is a very difficult book. Continue reading “The Tortilla Curtain by T. C. Boyle – a #BookReview”

For the Love of Ireland – #BookReview

For the Love of Ireland by Judy LeslieTitle: For the Love of Ireland by Judy Leslie

Genre: Currently #535 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Historical Fiction, Irish

Publisher: CreateSpace

Publication Date: April 22, 2013

Source: BookBub

Title and Cover: For the Love of IrelandSubdued cover represents a Victorian female journalist

This is a mesmerizing fictional story of how these real historical figures affected society and the lives they touched in their efforts to help secure a free Ireland in the late nineteenth century. The story captures successful journalist Irish born Margaret Sullivan living in Chicago writing for a major newspaper under a nom de plume. This is a time when women would not have been allowed any career outside of the home. The book also examines the role of women in business–still a struggle as well. Continue reading “For the Love of Ireland – #BookReview”

The Rock Child, a Book Review

The Rock Child by Win Blevins
Hardcover edition cover

Title: The Rock Child, A Novel of a Journey

Genre: Currently #173 on Amazon Best Sellers Rank in Kindle eBooks, Literature & Fiction, Historical Fiction, United States

Publisher: Wordworx

Publication Date: March 27, 2013

Source: BookBub

Of Love and Demons by Win BlevinsTitle and Cover: The Rock Child – Title and covers have undergone changes

A wild skirmish between a Tibetan Buddhist nun’s family and kidnappers result in the death of an entire family and a nun (Sun Moon) shanghaied and brought to America. It is 1862 and one thousand in gold could buy almost anything. Mix that with Native-American/Anglo protagonist Asie Taylor who becomes entangled in a life of music and a famous English explorer, Sir Richard Francis Burton, and you have the beginnings of a gripping Win Blevins’ novel. Continue reading “The Rock Child, a Book Review”

#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

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#ThrowbackThursday – author Sylvia Nobel – 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’ll be going back over some of my oldies but goodies posted on Goodreads a while ago, my favorite authors, and some of my favorite stories from authors you might not have previously experienced. 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, Renee invites you to use her #TT pic. Just provide the link back to her please).

This week I am highlighting Sylvia Nobel, another terrific, prolific author who wrote Deadly Sanctuary, which I reviewed on Goodreads. She has actually written eight in the Kendall O’Dell series. This novel was published in April 28, 1998 by Nite Owl Books. She consistently runs approximately four stars or better for any of her books sold on Amazon.

Originally posted March 21, 2014

Deadly Sanctuary by Sylvia NobelBook Blurb:

Beautiful, strong-willed reporter, Kendall O’Dell, is drawn into an evil web of conspiracy beyond anything she could have ever imagined when she accepts a position at a small newspaper in isolated Castle Valley, Arizona. Her assignment: Find out why her predecessor mysteriously vanished while working on a story concerning the unsolved deaths of two teenage girls. Why is the sheriff so hostile to her inquiries? Why is the woman operating the local shelter for homeless girls so secretive? And how is attractive rancher Bradley Talverson involved?

When the body of a third girl is discovered in the desert not far from a private mental institution, Kendall’s life hangs in the balance as she strives to uncover the horrifying secret.

RoadrunnerDeadly Sanctuary is the first title in Sylvia Nobel’s popular mystery series, featuring spirited, flame-haired reporter Kendall O’Dell. The author’s trademark style is to produce exciting, well-written, edge-of-your-seat, adventures with “knock your socks off” surprise endings. Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – author Sylvia Nobel – Book Review”

Verified Purchases – Stop Losing Your Reviews

Verified Purchase

Have you noticed any of your hard won reviews disappearing on you lately? Is lack of a verified purchase review badge the only reason for removal? Of course not, but let me count the ways.

Continue reading “Verified Purchases – Stop Losing Your Reviews”

Series or Standalone? What Are You Reading?

After I released my grandfather’s books on the world, I started reading and then reviewing in earnest. It wasn’t long before I discovered BookBub, and I absolutely loved it, gleaned free books that for the most part turned out to be exceptional, fun, and compelling books. Shortly after came series–lots of them–and I proceeded to read books from one series or another, sometimes exhausting them and looking for more, which might be considered a “con.” The wait for the next in the series–sometimes up to a year–then will you have to get reacquainted?

When you pick up a new book, do you prefer to start a new series or a standalone?

And, if you are starting a series, do you absolutely have to start with #1?

(Yes, sometimes!)

How can you read this? There's no pictures!

Continue reading “Series or Standalone? What Are You Reading?”

#ThrowbackThursday – Author Ann Charles – Book Review

#ThrowbackThursdayRenee 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! Means I’ll be going back over some of my oldies but goodies, my favorite authors, and some of my favorite stories from authors you might not have previously experienced. Hopefully, you’ll find either a story or author that interests you and you’ll check them out.

Dance of the Winnebagos by Ann CharlesThis week I am highlighting Ann Charles, another terrific, prolific author who has produced numerous series, this from Jackrabbit Junction Mystery Series (Book 1), Dance of the Winnebagos, which was reviewed on Goodreads. She penned the Dead Wood (and Deadwood Shorts) series, as well as a Dig Site Mystery (two books) and novellas. The Jackrabbit Junction Mystery series debuted in October, 2011. She consistently runs approximately 4.5 stars for any of her books sold on Amazon. She has more coming in 2018.

My review originally posted on Goodreads December 20, 2013.

Book Blurb: (From Goodreads) If Claire Morgan had known she’d be chaperoning a senior citizen sock hop, she wouldn’t have given up smoking. Yet here she was stuck in Jackrabbit Junction, Arizona, with an ornery old man, his smartass dog, and a parade of blue-haired babes. When Claire’s grandfather and his army buddies converge in the Arizona desert, it’s her thankless job to keep them out of trouble with the opposite sex. But when she finds a human leg bone and partners with a reluctant geotechnician to dig up secrets from the past, trouble finds her. She’s losing her heart. Worse, if she doesn’t stop digging, she could lose her life. (From Amazon) DANCE OF THE WINNEBAGOS, a Kindle Bestseller in Women Sleuth and Western Romance genres from the national award-winning author of the Deadwood Mystery series. Continue reading “#ThrowbackThursday – Author Ann Charles – Book Review”

Charbonneau-Man of Two Dreams–A Book Review

Charbonneau-Man of Two DreamsTitle: Charbonneau-Man of Two Dreams

Genre: Currently #3 in Best Seller’s Rank in Kindle Store, Kindle eBooks, Biographies & Memoirs, Sports & Outdoor, and Adventurers & Explorers

Publisher: Wordworx

Publication Date: September 2012

Charbonneau-Man of Two Dreams – Dreamcatcher on Cover is a Nice Touch!

Charbonneau-Man of Two Dreams by Win Blevins is a beautifully written story woven in and around Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, (variously known as Baptiste or Paump) born of Sacajawea and his French-Canadian father, Toussaint, at the Lewis and Clark winter camp, Ft. Mandan, ND in 1805. A fur trapper, Toussaint was far less support for the westward expedition of Lewis and Clark to the Pacific than was the better-known Sacajawea (a Lemhi Shoshone), who provided excellent trail guidance as well as interpretive services in dealing with the other tribes of the northwest. Continue reading “Charbonneau-Man of Two Dreams–A Book Review”

How to Get on BookBub–and Why You Should

Bookbub ScrreenshotWhen you ran a Goodreads Giveaway, did it work the way you wanted? Lots of TBR’s and a few winners. Did you get good reviews from your winners? Any reviews? Residual sales? I like Goodreads. There are a number of reasons it’s an amazing place to open an account and promote a presence.

BookBub logoBut have you considered BookBub? What does it take to get a book listed on BookBub? It is probably the most expensive marketing site out there–but that may be because it’s worth it. It is the most successful book promotion site for authors (or publishers) in the world, and the 2,230th most visited website in the US alone. Continue reading “How to Get on BookBub–and Why You Should”

The Absolute Definitive List of the Top Ten Best Selling Genres

Popularity of Historical Novel by CenturyApparently, it is impossible to find one absolute definitive list of the top ten best selling genres anywhere–but can you find a list with 150? Yes, if you know where to look!

There are SOOO many variables out there from website to website. What is the focus? Is it hardback fiction, hardback non-fiction, paperback, or ebook? Are you asking the New York Times, USA Today, or Amazon? I recently wrote an article regarding Historical Fiction, and alluded to that genre’s sub-genres. This week I went looking for where the Historical Fiction genre related to all the others. See below for the breakdown. Continue reading “The Absolute Definitive List of the Top Ten Best Selling Genres”

Dishing the Dirt on Reviews

This is the age of instant. We want it now. Whether food, internet, or books, it must move–quickly! I’m older. I can wait. I can give Burger King up to 5 minutes. I can give a book several chapters. I’m usually pretty careful regarding the book I choose to begin next–sometimes looking up Amazon reviews to see if the little descriptive blurb really tells the story. I’ve written before regarding Amazon Reviews. You generally want to read the good and the bad reviews. Somewhere therein lies the truth. love-hate

Having read a great book, I really enjoy creating a lively and honest review. Unfortunately, I’ve read a few lately that have not been so inspiring as depressing. The last I began was “The Hostage,” Book Four of the Sarah Roberts Thrillers by Jonas Saul. Having read one of his previous books, “The Warning,” Book Two, I noted the foul language, but apparently enjoyed the plot enough to award five stars. This time I couldn’t get past Chapter 3 with the description of a scene by the perp that turned my stomach. Yes, I know–it’s a thriller/horror novel. (I don’t like Freddy either.) Not usually one to abandon a book–I freed The Hostage. (Yuck) Continue reading “Dishing the Dirt on Reviews”