Wish You Were Here (The Wishing Tree Series Book 3) by Kay Bratt – #BookReview – #shortstories

“Wishes in branches tied with string. Someone’s hopes. Another’s dreams.”

Book Blurb:

Wish You Were Here by Kate BrattHenry Harmon has been married more than sixty years to his bigger-than-life and talk-of-the-town wife, Greta, when he begins to see signs of a problem. When her diagnosis comes to light, he struggles to keep his oath of in sickness and health, and to do it alone.

On the other side of their small town is Neva Cabot, who many years ago put her own mental health first when she cut friendship ties with Greta. But Neva is the kindest of kind and has been the face of hospitality for their town for decades. Even so, it will take some soul-searching for her to be able to step up and help walk Henry through the hardest days of his life.

Janie Stallard and her two daughters have just moved in to the old Johnson’s house when they can’t make the next rent and will be forced to move out. Neva offers Janie a job and her family a safe haven while they figure out what they want to do, and Neva tries to figure out why they are really there.

My Review:

My introduction to this series and an emotionally draining one at that. Neva Cabot is the Linden Falls quiet but powerful voice. She has a pulse on the people and knows when to step up. In this case, she is aware that Henry Harmon is exhausted with the care he is trying to provide his wife. She has had dementia for some time and is ill as well.

Neva knows both Henry (a past beau) and his wife Greta with whom she was friends until their conflict separated them. Despite the feelings left between the three, she feels it’s time Henry had some much-needed support—whether or not Greta accepts it.

…”suspicion and paranoia went hand in hand with dementia patients.”

Neva has come to the aid of Janie and her two daughters, hiring her as a housekeeper so she can provide a roof over their heads and in the meantime the girls are becoming acquainted with Greta, who, with Henry spent many years traveling the world, seeing the sights, and enjoying life.

Wish You Were Here by Kay BrattThey didn’t have children but Greta is delighting in telling the girls about the different countries, including Taiwan. And, oh, did that bring back my own memories! As she spoke of Sun Moon Lake, I was reminded of the amebic dysentery bout I experienced there I’d gotten as a result of eating the food from vendors parked over the benjo ditches in Taipei where we’d go in search of something to eat after *s..t*-kicker night at the Maag Club. (Wonderful concerts with Tammy Wynette and Jeannie Seeley to name a couple.) Well, anyway…

I was enjoying the simple and poignant narrative at times touching close to home. There are a couple pets that lighten somewhat the heavy atmosphere. Neva is a great main character, empathetic and caring. Henry is very sympathetic. I could also identify with Janie (although I wondered how authentic the girls could be) and going into the conclusion felt my heart clutch.

Then—that little bombshell at the climax. Whoa! What a twist! Sweet, if not wholly credible. A short story that packs a powerful punch. I’m sure there are many readers who can relate to the characters and situations and I have to give the author credit for providing that zinger. Totally unexpected but satisfying.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author through a promo that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Four point Five Stars Four point Five Stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Women’s Friendship Fiction, Single Authors Short Stories, Short Stories
Publisher: Red Thread Publishing Group
ASIN: B09BDQ2H8R
Print Length: 155 pages
Publication Date: March 9, 2022
Source: Author’s promo
Title Link: Wish You Were Here [Amazon]

 

Kay Bratt - authorThe Author: Kay Bratt; Writer, Rescuer, Wanderer

As a writer, Kay used writing to help her navigate a tumultuous childhood, followed by a decade of abuse as an adult. After working her way through the hard years, Kay emerged a survivor and a pursuer of peace—and finally found the courage to share her stories. She is the author of more than two dozen books, with ten of those published by Lake Union Publishing. Kay writes women’s fiction and historical fiction, and her books have fueled many exciting book club discussions. Her works have been translated into German, Korean, Chinese, Hungarian, Czech, Estonian, and have made it into the hands of more than a million readers around the world.

As a rescuer, Kay currently focuses her efforts on animal rescue and is the Director of Advocacy for Yorkie Rescue of the Carolinas. As a child advocate, she spent a number of years volunteering in a Chinese orphanage, as well as provided assistance for several nonprofit organizations that support children in China, including An Orphan’s Wish (AOW), Pearl River Outreach, and Love Without Boundaries. In the USA, she actively served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for abused and neglected children in Georgia, and spear-headed numerous outreach programs for underprivileged children in the South Carolina area.

As a wanderer, Kay has lived in nearly three dozen different homes, on two continents and in states from coast to coast in the USA. She’s traveled to Mexico, Thailand, Malaysia, China, Philippines, Central America, Bahamas, and Australia. Currently she and her soulmate of more than 25 years enjoy life in their forever home on the banks of Lake Hartwell in Georgia, USA.

Kay has been described as southern, spicy, and a little sassy. Social media forces her to overshare and you don’t want to miss some of the antics that goes on with her and the Bratt Pack.

Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and then buckle up and enjoy the ride. You can find a full list of her published works at http://www.kaybratt.com — To be notified when new books are released, please sign up for my monthly email newsletter at http://www.kaybratt.com or at this link:

https://www.subscribepage.com/kaybrattnewsletter

©2023 V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

Implied Consent: A Maureen Gould Legal Thriller by Keenan Powell – #BookReview – #womensleuths

Book Blurb:

Introducing a new series with a twisty edge-of-your-seat courtroom thriller from award-nominated author Keenan Powell.

Implied Consent by Keenan PowellWhen a tearful young woman appears at attorney Maureen Gould’s office with a tale of workplace assault, Maureen agrees to fight for her. Surprise evidence? No problem. Witnesses hiding? Maureen will find them. Ironclad agreements? No such thing. But when the defendant, a Hollywood mogul, hires Maureen’s estranged father, long buried secrets pull her back into his dark orbit. Maureen must steel herself to protect her client even as the past threatens to destroy her marriage and her practice.

As Maureen fights for justice, doors are slammed in her face, a witness is murdered, and her office is burglarized. She doesn’t know who she can trust. Clearly, someone is trying to silence her. But Maureen knows that secrecy binds the shamed to the guilty. There is only one way to save her client, and herself, and that is to tell the truth.

His Review:

Maureen Gould felt like the luckiest girl in the world. Her mother and step-father doted on her constantly. In her fourteenth year that all changed. One day her step-father put her on his office couch and violated her. She felt guilty and full of shame! What had she done to cause such an action by him?

Implied Consent by Keenan PowellJosephine was recently fired from her job. Everything had been going well and she was being groomed as a production assistant with a major motion picture studio. Her future could not have looked brighter. Then late one night her boss was reviewing the studio’s next project with her when he grabbed her head and forced it down on him. She ran from the room ashamed and devastated. Early the next morning she was fired from the job she loved and told to leave the hotel they were staying in.

Josephine engages Maureen to sue the offending boss. Frank Gould represents the defendant and Maureen is seeking damages from her father’s employer! A young attorney, she is expected to lose against her highly influential and successful father.

The trial centers around the age-old axiom, “she asked for it.” Josephine is considered guilty until proven innocent. After all, she was wearing very provocative clothing and the offender was enticed to perform. The prosecution maintained that the real victim in this situation was the man who was enticed by the woman.

CE WilliamsThis is a very interesting story showing the dynamics of courtroom posturing and the assumption of guilt of the young woman in question. The narrative is enlightening and made me angry to think the victim in question was assumed to be the perpetrator. 4.5 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.

Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars 4 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Women Sleuths
Publisher: Three Hooligans Press LLC
ASIN: B0BKYMP37V
Print Length: 351 pages
Publication Date: January 26, 2023
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link(s): Implied Consent [Amazon]

 

Keenan Powell - authorThe Author: Keenan Powell is the Agatha, Lefty, and Silver Falchion nominated author of the Maeve Malloy Mystery series.

Despite being one of original Dungeons and Dragons illustrators, art seemed an impractical pursuit – not an heiress, wouldn’t marry well, hated teaching – so she went to law school. The day after graduation, she moved to Alaska.

She is the author of the Maeve Malloy Mysteries, a three-book series and numerous short stories. She belongs to Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers. She writes a legal column, Ipso Facto, for the Guppies newsletter, First Draft, and blogs with Miss Demeanors.

When not writing or practicing law, Keenan can be found oil painting or studying the Irish language.

©2023 CE Williams – V Williams

Have a great weekend!

When Irish Eyes Are Lying: The Kilteegan Bridge Story-Book 4 by Jean Grainger – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

#1 New Release in Historical Irish Fiction

Book Blurb:

Kilteegan Bridge, Ireland. 1975 

Despite the best efforts to the older generation to maintain standards, short skirts, long hair and loud music are all the rage in Kilteegan Bridge.  

When Irish Eyes Are Lying by Jean GraingerEmmet Kogan has set his sights on an education at the prestigious Stanford University in California, while his cousin Nellie also longs to get away, but for very different reasons. If she’s to escape too, it will mean wrapping herself in a web of lies, but it’s a price she’s willing to pay. 

Lena and Eli are terrified they will lose their boy to the bright lights of America forever, while Emily and Blackie make a decision to keep a dangerous secret, despite knowing the damage such duplicity can do.  

On the exciting streets of 1970s San Francisco, two young Irish people have to learn to navigate this new world of wonderful opportunities and dangerous vices, and learn that no matter how open and accepting a society is, there are always rules.  

Rules that if broken, carry a heavy penalty.

My Review:

This installment in the Kilteegan Bridge series had me ripping one direction and then another. I felt at the beginning like it might have been a bit of déjà vu with Lena.

Several storylines in this episode that included Nellie (déjà vu Lena), Nellie’s cousin Emmett and his birth dad Malachy, as well as Fintan Slattery’s misunderstanding of the power of the “Good People.”

Granted, I loved the insight into the “fairy” tales (the Good People) who can get downright dangerously vindictive when crossed. So many origins in our customs today that stem from ancient myths, gospels and superstitions handed down and still observed. (Leave the Hawthorn tree alone and do not violate the fairy ring!!)

When Irish Eyes Are Lying by Jean GraingerTo escape Nellie’s unhappy experience, she is invited and allowed to go to Palo Alto where Malachy is living with his birth father in preparation for going to Stanford. Another very eye-opening storyline that had me remembering my grandmother’s dread of what was happening in San Francisco. Totally involved in our own drama at home, however, none of that scary scene really touched me at the time. The drug and free love culture was spreading far afield, but I don’t remember it hitting Sacramento quite that hard. Or, maybe I was just that far removed.

Meanwhile, back at home in Kilteegan Bridge, Lena and Eli immersed in helping family Emily and Blackie takes a tragic turn, one that was gut-wrenching. I haven’t recovered from that yet and not happy with the turn the narrative has taken also hope it doesn’t go the way I suspect Book 5 will lead. Ms. Grainger pulled no punches in this one!

I’ve read and thoroughly enjoyed each of the entries in the series, the last one More Harm Than Good, following each of the characters so well developed they are part of the neighborhood, I know and love them, each with immersive stories of their own. But this one hurt.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the author that in no way influenced this review. These are my honest thoughts.

Rosepoint Rating: Four Stars 4 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Historical Irish Fiction, Historical Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Fiction, Saga Fiction
Publisher: Gold Harp Media
ASIN: B0BLTP1YCY
Print Length: 285 pages
Publication Date: January 17, 2023
Source: Author ARC
Title Link(s): When Irish Eyes Are Lying [Amazon]

 

Jean Grainger - authorThe Author: JEAN GRAINGER is a USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR

SELECTED BY BOOKBUB READERS IN TOP 19 OF HISTORICAL FICTION BOOKS.

WINNER OF THE 2016 AUTHOR’S CIRCLE HISTORICAL NOVEL OF EXCELLENCE

Hello and thanks for taking time out to check out my page. If you’re wondering what you’re getting with my books then think of the late great Maeve Binchy but sometimes with a historical twist. I was born in Cork, Ireland in 1971 and I come from a large family of storytellers, so much so that we had to have ‘The Talking Spoon’, only the person holding the spoon could talk!

I have worked as a history lecturer at University, a teacher of English, History and Drama in secondary school, a playwright, and a tour guide of my beloved Ireland. I am married to the lovely Diarmuid and we have four children. We live in a 200 year old stone cottage in Mid-Cork with my family and the world’s smallest dogs, called Scrappy and Scoobi..

My experiences leading groups, mainly from the United States, led me to write my first novel, ‘The Tour’. My observances of the often funny, sometimes sad but always interesting events on tours fascinated me. People really did confide the most extraordinary things, the safety of strangers I suppose. It’s a fictional story set on a tour bus but many of the characters are based on people I met over the years.

[truncated—please see author’s page for full bio]

Many of the people who have reviewed my books have said that you get to know the characters and really become attached to them, that’s wonderful for me to hear because that’s how I feel about them too. I grew up on Maeve Binchy and Deirdre Purcell and I aspired to being like them. If you buy one of my books I’m very grateful and I really hope you enjoy it. If you do, or even if you don’t, please take the time to post a review. Writing is a source of constant contentment to me and I am so fortunate to have the time and the inclination to do it, but to read a review written by a reader really does make my day.

©2023 V Williams

#TuesdayBookBlog

Breakneck (An Arliss Cutter Novel Book 5) by Marc Cameron – #BookReview – #terrorismthrillers

Rosepoint Publishing: Five Stars 5 stars

Book Blurb:

Off the northeast coast of Russia, the captain and crew of a small crabbing vessel are brutally murdered by members of Bratva, the Russian mafia—their bodies stuffed into crab pots and thrown overboard. The killers scuttle the vessel off the coast of Alaska and slip ashore.

In Washington, DC, Supreme Court Justice Charlotte Morehouse prepares for a trip to Alaska, unaware that a killer is waiting to take his revenge—by livestreaming her death to the world.

Breakneck by Marc CameronIn Anchorage, Alaska, Deputy US Marshals Arliss Cutter and Lola Teariki are assigned to security detail at a judicial conference in Fairbanks. Lola is tasked with guarding Justice Townsend’s teenaged daughter while Cutter provides counter-surveillance. It’s a simple, routine assignment—until the mother and daughter decide to explore the Alaskan wilderness on the famous Glacier Discovery train. Hiding onboard are the Chechen terrorists, who launch a surprise attack. While they seize control of the engine, Cutter manages to escape with Justice Townsend by jumping off the moving train—and into the unforgiving wilderness.

With no supplies and no connection to the outside world, Cutter and the judge must cross a treacherous terrain to stay alive. Two of the terrorists are close behind. The others are on the train with the judge’s daughter—and they plan to execute her on camera. With so many lives at stake, Cutter knows there are only two options left: catch the train and kill them all . . . or all will be killed.

His Review:

The Russian mob is getting very tired of the American police units and particularly the Alaska State Troopers. One spoiled son of the lead gangster Maxim Rudenko is Alex. Alex wants to show everyone in the mob just how great and terrifying he can be. His father tries to hold him in check. He leads a group to hunt down the Alaska State Troopers as he felt this would give him a high ranking in the Russian mob.

Sam Benjamin has been in the force for over twenty years and is out on the lonely roads of Alaska doing routine coverage of the wide-open spaces. Alex and his cohorts decide to ambush Sam on the lonely Alaskan highway. Sam stops to assist what he believes is a stalled vehicle in the tundra and is cruelly killed by Alex and the group. The vehicle is hidden to slow down the search for the missing trooper and Alex feels he is now a Russian man.

The entire Alaska State Troopers cadre discovers the body and clues left that clearly identify the Russian mob and set out to avenge their fallen comrade and the hunt begins. Both the hunted and the hunters are bent on capturing or eliminating each other!

Arliss Cutter has been friends with Sam since he was a cub with the force. Everyone is intent on finding and bringing his killers to justice. There is an annual convention being held in Juneau for the Chief Justices of the American Court System and Alex hears that the AST will be providing security for the event. Alex sees that they will be able to kill a U.S. Supreme Court justice as well as the majority of the AST by acting as security for the event.

This is a fast-moving Arliss Cutter and Alaska State Trooper novel showing how quickly quiet can turn into bedlam and many people can die. The criminal minds are ruthless and dedicated to killing their enemies which includes anyone in law enforcement or the judicial system. Arliss Cutter and Chief Justice Morehouse are excellent candidates for the rampage.

CE WilliamsWe’ve read and reviewed other entries to this series, including most recently Book 4, Cold Snap, and Book 3, Bone Rattle, and always find them action-packed and fast-paced as well as intelligent and atmospheric. It’s fascinating to read of Alaska—our northern mysterious giant frontier. This read is fast paced and entertaining and can be read as a standalone. 5 stars – CE Williams

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with the opportunity to read and review this book.

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Book Details:

Genre: Terrorism Thrillers, Police Procedurals
Publisher: Kensington Books
ASIN: B0B84DPFRR
Print Length: 432 pages
Publication Date: April 25, 2023
Source: Publisher and NetGalley

Title Link(s):

Amazon   |   Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo

 

Marc Cameron - authorThe Author: A retired Chief Deputy U.S. Marshal, Marc Cameron spent nearly thirty years in law enforcement. His assignments have taken him from Alaska to Manhattan, Canada to Mexico and dozens of points in between. He holds a second degree black belt in Jujitsu and is a certified scuba diver and man-tracker.

An avid adventure motorcyclist, Cameron’s books heavily feature bikes and bikers–from OSI Agent Jericho Quinn’s beloved BMW GS to Harley Davidsons, Royal Enfields, Ducatis and…most everything on two wheels.

Cameron lives in the Alaska with his wife, blue heeler dog, and BMW GS motorcycle. Visit him at: http://www.marccameronbooks.com

©2023 CE Williams – V Williams

Rosepoint Recommended-5 Stars

Born and Bred Texan (Magnolia Bluff Crime Chronicles) Book 9 of 9 by Jinx Schwartz – #BookReview – #TuesdayBookBlog

Book Blurb:

Born and Bred Texan by Jinx SchwartzBlue Bonet, widowed and in mourning, returns to Magnolia Bluff in her home state of Texas. Her grandmother had bequeathed an old lake house to her, and she cherishes childhood memories there. She arrives at the lake and finds the house she remembers as being grand, is now in disrepair.
She tackles the repairs, and is determined to make a new life for herself,
It seems like an uphill battle.
A rollercoaster of ups and down conspire to destroy her dream, and she begins to wonder if you really can’t go home again.

My Review:

I was notified, as I am occasionally, by Amazon telling me one of my favorite authors is releasing a new book, this one by Jinx Schwartz. Oh my stars! Well, it’s been ages since I read and reviewed the last Hetta Coffey book, so of course I jumped on it. Even (gasp) paid for it and I don’t do a lot of those. I loved those Hetta Coffey books. I had so much fun with those short and sweet novels, most read prior to this blog, but I did review Just the Pits as a #ThrowbackThursday post back in 2017.

So, somehow I was thinking a new book, new series, I’d get in on the first of the series. Nope. It’s Book 9. Boy, I hate when that happens.

Born and Bred Texan by Jinx SchwartzNow, I’m wondering, if this seemed like the intro to a new series, what have I missed? Blue Bonet is widowed and in mourning returns to Magnolia Bluff in Texas. Her grandmother has bequeathed an old lake house to her and she remembers the home with fond memories as a child. Now, maybe not so much. It’s sadly outdated, in need of some serious repair and remodeling.

Well, mercy! The old place has good bones and she finds the perfect handyman (Handy) to fix it up—apparently a general contractor, carpenter, electrician, and plumber rolled into one. This guy is super and I loved his character, could easily picture him. Of course, there is a dog, Toto, seeking a new owner after hers’ is found deceased on the back forty, which introduces (at least to me) Sheriff Leslie.

Having gone to school locally, Blue has a network of old school chums that make for some interesting support characters (Gloria or Glory), as well as family not too far from Grams’s old place.

“…my neighbor raises chickens and the damned things live in Clucker Taj Majal.”

“I take a drug to help with depression, and then feel depressed that I need a drug?”

“…I need immoral support…”

As always with Schwartz’s books, there is that snarky sense of humor, although Blue dials back on the boozing, she’s up for hijinks and doesn’t balk at getting to the bottom of the mystery of the bodies on her property. I enjoyed the description of the area, the property, the lake, and the surrounding environs—including the wildlife. The work on the house sounded amazing and I would have loved a tour of the home and her separate studio.

I felt the pace of the book was a bit slow as I waited for something to happen and then it stayed low-key anyway while life went on. Maybe I was used to the pacing set by the Hetta Coffey books, but this seemed to veer a bit off the mystery several times as it delved into unrelated matters. And by the way, cousin Hetta does manage to make an appearance—loved it—with her dog Po Thang and SO Jenks.

The conclusion was likewise rather low key, already suspected. Fast and furious mop-up in the epilogue. You might appreciate a more domestic type of undercurrent mystery, interesting characters, and the Texas setting. You may not appreciate the edit misses or the insta-love.

These are my honest thoughts. I may try one more book in this series, but definitely prefer the pace and setting of the Hetta Coffey mysteries.

Rosepoint Rating: Three point Five Stars 3 1/2 stars

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Book Details:

Genre: Women’s Detective Fiction, Amateur Sleuths, Cozy Animal Mystery
ASIN: B0BKX1SY36
Print Length: 258 pages
Publication Date: December 20, 2022
Source: Verified Purchase
Title Link: Born and Bred in Texas [Amazon]

 

Jinx Schwartz - authorThe Author: [Goodreads] Jinx Schwartz is the USA TODAY Best-selling author of the award-winning Hetta Coffey series.

JUST ADD WATER, first in the series, introduces Hetta, a sassy Texan with a snazzy yacht, and she’s not afraid to use it. JUST ADD SALT, JUST ADD TROUBLE, JUST DESERTS, JUST THE PITS, JUST NEEDS KILLIN’, AND JUST DIFFERENT DEVILS get her into hot Mexican Waters. JUST PARDON MY FRENCH, BOOK 8, FINDS HETTA IN FRANCE and Book 9: JUST FOLLOW THE MONEY, takes a wild ride on two continents, and JUST FOR THE BIRDS, Book 10, gets her afowl of exotic bird smugglers. Book 11 finds her in Texas, and living in an RV until her boat goes missing back in Mexico, and in Just On Porpoise (12 ) her attention is drawn to the almost extinct Vaquita, and JUST SO WRONG (13) finds Hetta taking on the dogfighting trade. Her other books: The Texicans (Texas 1806-1836 Historical Western), Land of Mountains, a YA/TWEEN set in Haiti in the 1950’s, Troubled Sea, a thriller in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, and BAJA GET AWAY, suspensful romance in Mexico.

Jinx spends equal time in Arizona and Mexico.

Website – http://jinxschwartz.com

Twitter – @jinxschwartz

©2023 V Williams

Happy New Year - 2023

Rosepoint Reviews – December Recap—Welcome 2023!

Rosepoint Reviews-December Recap

December always sweeps in on an icy blast with more activities to accomplish associated with the holidays than can be easily handled.

Frosty, our Bichon FriseDespite the winter chill, the CE and I managed to get out for a couple walks and one or two additional short rides (around the block) before the bikes had to be left to cool in the garage for the winter. The frigid storm that hit near Christmas dropped outside temps to -0F with a wind chill factor of -34F, which alarmed me sufficiently that I felt I needed to protect Frosty’s little ears and put booties on her little paws for potty time. The CE is always very good at shoveling a small path for her as it’s too difficult to try and keep little booties on her paws in several inches of snow.

I worry about the wild critters in those conditions too and wonder how they manage to survive–much less the homeless—more than 16,000 in Chicago according to the news. It’s a blessing to have a roof overhead with food in the fridge and I think that’s Christmas gift enough—that and our health—knock on wood.

Reading in December took a back seat but we still managed ten books and audiobooks. A hard look at my schedule had me paring one post per week and I’ll keep that schedule into the new year with an occasional extra post. The current schedule is ebook reviews on Sunday and Tuesday and an audiobook review on Thursday. As I mentioned before, I took on (Amazon) Vine reviews that have proven to take more time than expected as well as a new preview club the CE and I are participating in as well. The latter is interesting but of course appears to also take more time than we expected. Have you heard of the Netflix Preview Club? Are you a member?

December book reviews

  1. The Trackers by Charles Frazier (CE review)
  2. Swamp Story by Dave Barry (my 5*)
  3. Keep Sharp by Dr Sanjay Gupta (audiobook)
  4. Hemlock Hollow by Culley Holderfield (CE review)
  5. The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill (book club selection)
  6. Someone Else’s Bucket List by Amy T Matthews (CE review)
  7. The Devil You Know by P J Tracy
  8. Borderline by Nevada Barr (audiobook)
  9. Revolution by Mike Bond (CE review)
  10. Guild Boss by Jayne Castle (audiobook)

Swamp Story was super and too short. A laugh out loud silly storyline that has you shaking your head while gobbling up the next chapter. It will be on my favorites of the year list and is totally recommended!

Reading Challenges

Reading Challenges

My challenges page has been caught up through December. As mentioned before, that page will undergo a change for 2023. My 2022 challenges have been achieved and I will take a look at the new schedule and adjust the challenges as well. I hope to have the new Reading Challenges page updated for the 2023 challenges some time in mid-January.

How did you do on your 2022 TBR? What titles have you already pegged for your January reads? Have you planned your first read of the year? I’d love to know the title—show me the cover.

I do so appreciate my followers. A special shout-out to those who like, share, and comment! Hope you all have a happy, healthy 2023!

©2023

Happy New Year - 2023

Guild Boss by Jayne Castle – #Audiobook Review – #audiobookreview

Guild Boss by Jayne Castle

Book Blurb:

Welcome to Illusion Town on the colony world of Harmony—like Las Vegas on Earth, but way more weird.

Living in this new, alien world doesn’t stop the settlers from trying to re-create what they’ve left behind. Case in point—weddings are still the highlight of any social calendar. But it’s the after-party that turns disastrous for Lucy Bell. Kidnapped and drugged as she leaves the party, she manages to escape—only to find herself lost in the mysterious, alien underground maze of glowing green tunnels beneath Illusion Town. She’s been surviving on determination and cold pizza, scavenged for her by a special dust bunny, when help finally shows up.

Gabriel Jones is the Ghost Hunter sent to rescue her, but escaping the underground ruins isn’t the end of her troubles—it’s only the beginning. With no rational reason for her abduction, and her sole witness gone on another assignment for the Guild, whispers start circulating that Lucy made it all up. Soon her life unravels until she has nothing left but her pride. The last thing she expects is for Gabriel Jones to come back to town for her.

The Lucy that Gabriel finds is not the same woman he rescued, the one who looked at him as if he were her hero. This Lucy is sharp, angry, and more than a little cynical—instead of awe, she treats him with extreme caution. But a killer is still hunting her, and there aren’t a lot of options when it comes to heroes. Despite her wariness, Gabriel is also the one person who believes Lucy—after all, he was there. He’s determined to help clear her reputation, no matter what it takes. And as the new Guild Boss, his word is law, even in the lawlessness of Illusion Town.

My Review:

I’ve been known to start a series with Book 15 (or otherwise well into the series) before, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that I’d try a Harmony Novel well into a long-running series. Well, according to Amazon, Book 15; according to Goodreads, Ghost Hunters series, Book 14. I’m confused from the beginning.

I’ve tried other paranormal series before but I think what attracted me in this instance is that Sweetwater and the Witch (Harmony Novel Book 16—according to Amazon—is the Editors’ pick for Best Romance. Hmmm, you say, but you don’t read romance. Well, yes, that would be true. Or for that matter, “Paranormal Vampire Romance”?? Thought I’d test this novel first—then see if I didn’t want to swing right into the Editors’ pick. So, do I?

Guild Boss by Jayne CastleThis is like almost no—well, okay, none of the paranormal books I’ve read before. And no, you can’t pick this up as a standalone. Totally lost, my first problem was the “dust bunny.” Is this supposed to be a dog substitute? If so—how does he have six legs? Four eyes? (What was I reading?) Confusion reigned supreme.

The paranormal tendencies were also “gifts” of a nature I’ve heretofore never read, nor imagined. Lucy Bell is a weather (goddess) channeler—she can summon–at will–weather patterns that would disrupt any unhappy situation.

She was rescued following her kidnapping by Gabriel Jones, a Ghost Hunter and now the new Guild Boss of the area. This is Illusion Town—a Las Vegas by any other nightmare. It’s an alien world. Of course there is romance. Who doesn’t love the white knight who rescued you?

It’s a futuristic world with a dark underbelly and antagonists who harbor a conspiracy that threatens to harness the very power source of Harmony with “tuned amber.” Otis, the dust bunny, seems to be fairly capable, but communicates with annoying and constant chortles and has an amazing affinity for pizza.

I could do without the romance and attendant sex and was ready to find a powerful vacuum to rid myself of the dust bunny but had to admit to enjoying the imagination it took to fashion scenes in a tour bus of an alien world, the underworld, the inhabitants, and extremely bizarre weather patterns.

The storyline does hook as well as hold engagement. The explanation of society as it evolved in this world was simplistic while sensible in the setting and the descriptions of marriage and law were interesting. There is an eclectic mix of characters from the techno-wizards to evil doers—the push-pull of good versus evil. The narrative is complex and entertaining.

But will I progress to Sweetwater and the Witch? Probably not. If you, however, are looking for a unique paranormal romance, this may be the book or series for you. There are themes that include

politics and friendships—

as well as those imagined hurdles future colonists may confront.

I downloaded a copy of this audiobook from my local well-stocked library. These are my honest thoughts. (Oh, and by the way, I also stumbled on this author and series because I was looking for books narrated by one of my favorite narrators, Barbara Rosenblat, and she didn’t disappoint.)

Book Details:

Genre: Action & Adventure Romance, Science Fiction Romance
Publisher: Recorded Books, Inc.
ASIN: B0973HH8HX
Listening Length: 8 hrs 48 mins
Narrator: Barbara Rosenblat
Publication Date: November 16, 2021
Source: Local Library (Audiobook Selections)
Title Link: Guild Boss [Amazon]
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Rosepoint Publishing:  Four stars 4 stars

 

Jayne Castle - authorThe Author: The author of over 50 New York Times bestsellers, JAYNE ANN KRENTZ writes romantic-suspense in three different worlds: Contemporary (as Jayne Ann Krentz), historical (as Amanda Quick) and futuristic (as Jayne Castle). There are over 35 million copies of her books in print.

[Goodreads] She earned a B.A. in History from the University of California at Santa Cruz and went on to obtain a Masters degree in Library Science from San Jose State University in California. Before she began writing full time she worked as a librarian in both academic and corporate libraries.

Ms. Krentz is married and lives with her husband, Frank, in Seattle, Washington.

©2022 V Williams

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