Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Book Review: Heels Over Head by Clay G Small

Release Date: February 7, 2017
Publisher: Greenleaf Book Group Press
Format: Kindle
Pages: 246 pages
Genre: Suspense / fiction
Buy: Kindle | Paperback


Synopsis:

Henry Lindon is playing a game of tit for tat that he’s about to lose.

​Successful, charming executive Henry Lindon was happily making high-dollar global deals and enjoying the good life in Dallas when his job mysteriously disappears—and with it, his identity. On top of that, he’s sure his beautiful wife is having an affair with some Romeo down in Argentina. While attempting to start a new life teaching law, Lindon is finding his paranoia has got him around the throat and won’t let go.

In class one day, the discussion goes off track from law and libel to tattoos. When a student appears in his office in pink shorts and a crop top and takes the subject of tattoos to a much-too-personal level, Lindon’s at a loss to explain why and worried about ramifications. Discovering he may have the Department of Justice on his back with phony felony charges, he’s reaching his breaking point and nothing’s making sense. Two tattoos, a murder, and an old rivalry are part of a distant game of revenge that’s about to come full circle.

Review: 

Henry and his brother Marvin grew up on a farm causing mischief in their small town along with one of their friends.  It seems that mischief is now coming back to haunt them.   They embarrassed one of the town rich kids and he still hasn't forgotten or forgiven.  Now he is out for revenge. This is an okay mystery as you try to figure out which side will win and if they will catch the perpetrator who seems hell bent on destroying lives.  A few twists and turns and a rather brutal death later Henry comes up with a plan to turn the tables.

This was an okay book, there were several pieces that I felt jumped the shark or were just out of character. Henry was a bit whiny for my taste and then all of a sudden grew a backbone.  There just seemed to be too many "coincidences" for someone to start putting things together. An unnecessary death, I think the author didn't know what to do with this character so it was easier to kill her off then to find a way to fit her into the final plan.

Overall it was an entertaining easy to read, fluff mystery.


Disclaimer: I received an advanced readers copy of this book through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Silver Dagger Book Tour Cover Reveal: Beginners Luck by Kate Clayborn

Release Date: October 31, 2017
Publisher: Lyrical Shine
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Buy: Amazon | Apple  | GooglePlay | Kobo | B&N 

Synopsis:

When three friends impulsively buy a lottery ticket, they never suspect the many ways their lives will change—or that for each of them, love will be the biggest win of all.

Kit Averin is anything but a gambler. A scientist with a quiet, steady job at a university, Kit’s focus has always been maintaining the acceptable status quo. Being a sudden millionaire doesn’t change that, with one exception: the fixer-upper she plans to buy, her first and only real home. It’s more than enough to keep her busy, until an unsettlingly handsome, charming, and determined corporate recruiter shows up in her lab—and manages to work his way into her heart . . .

Ben Tucker is surprised to find that the scientist he wants for Beaumont Materials is a young woman—and a beautiful, sharp-witted one at that. Talking her into a big-money position with his firm is harder than he expects, but he’s willing to put in the time, especially when sticking around for the summer gives him a chance to reconnect with his dad. But the longer he stays, the more questions he has about his own future—and who might be in it.

What begins as a chilly rebuff soon heats up into an attraction neither Kit nor Ben can deny—and finding themselves lucky in love might just be priceless

About the Author:

Kate Clayborn lives in Virginia, where she's lucky enough to spend her days reading and talking
about all kinds of great books. At home she's either writing, thinking about writing, or--during long
walks around her fabulous neighborhood—making her handsome husband and sweet-faced dog
listen to her talk about writing.

Website * Twitter * Facebook



Monday, April 17, 2017

Silver Dagger Book Tours Cover Reveal: Desperate Bride by AS Fenichel

Release Date: September 26, 2017
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Genre: Historical Romance
Buy: Amazon * Apple * GooglePlay * Kobo * B&N

Synopsis: 

An unexpected promise . . . an everlasting passion.

An accomplished musician, Dorothea Flammel has refused more proposals than any London
debutante; her only true love is her music. Dory’s shimmering talent and beauty have long been
adored from afar by Thomas Wheel, an untitled gentleman who can only dream of asking for the
hand of a nobleman’s daughter. But when her father, the insolvent Lord Flammel, arranges for Dory to marry a lecherous Earl in order to pay off a debt, she runs to Thomas—and proposes marriage to him.

Eloping to Scotland saves Dory from a disastrous fate, but what is for her a mere marriage of convenience proves more passionate—and more complex—than either imagined as rumors, scandal, and buried emotions come to light. And when a vengeful challenge from a drunken and embittered Lord Flammel puts Thomas’s life on the line, will the fragile trust between husband and wife be enough to save them both?

About the Author:


A.S. Fenichel adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still
relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story. Originally from New York, she grew up in New Jersey. She now lives in the southwest with her real life hero, her wonderful
husband. When she is not reading or writing she enjoys cooking, travel, history and puttering in her garden.

Website * Twitter * Facebook



ARC Review: Horace Winter Says Goodbye by Conor Bowman

Release Date: April 6, 2017
Publisher: Hachette Books Ireland
Format: Kindle
Pages: 320 pages
Genre: Fiction
Buy: Paperback | Kindle


Synopsis:

Horace Winter has led an unexceptional life. Ever since that long-ago day, when the Very Bad Thing happened, he prefers to spend time with his butterfly and moth book instead of with other human beings - an interest was passed on to him by his father.

But shortly after his retirement from his job as an assistant bank manager, Horace receives some devastating news and is forced to confront the life he has led (or hasn't led). As he does, he meets Amanda. And Max. He gets a man jailed (sort of) and rescues the man's son (sort of). He discovers a letter his father never posted, and sets off on a quest that changes everything.

As Horace begins to let life in, he starts to experience a world which had almost entirely passed him by. Will he discover the man he was meant to be before it's too late?

Review:

I had a rough time reading this book, I'm not sure why, it just was difficult to hold my interest while reading it.  I was sad that Horace Winter's life was so boring and status quo and just when he can finally do anything he wants he gets devastating health news.  What is even worse is that there are so many people just like Horace out there in the world right now living in a little bubble fearing to live life outside of their comfort zones.

Horace compares everyone he meets to a butterfly or a moth, which became a bit distracting however the story of Horaces life and how he finally breaks free of his daily routine and finally spreads his wings is inspiring if not bitter sweet since Horace doesn't have long to appreciate it.  The message in the book is to not let anything hold you back, take chances and things are not always the way you see them.

What Horace accomplishes when he finally leaves his status quo position at the bank is a good lesson for us all to learn.  Don't get complacent, always seek to learn, take a chance now and then, break free of your comfort zone and don't be afraid to enjoy life. Travel, try a new food, help someone in need.


Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher through netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Audio Book Review: All American Boys by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely

Release Date: September 29, 2015
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Format: Audible
Narrator: Guy Lockard, Keith Nobbs
Length: 6 hours 35 minutes
Genre: Fiction /Race / Racial Tensions
Buy: Audible | Kindle | Paperback


Synopsis:

Two teens - one black, one white - grapple with the repercussions of a single violent act that leaves their school, their community, and ultimately the country bitterly divided by racial tension.

A bag of chips. That's all 16-year-old Rashad is looking for at the corner bodega. What he finds instead is a fist-happy cop, Paul Galluzzo, who mistakes Rashad for a shoplifter, mistakes Rashad's pleadings that he's stolen nothing for belligerence, mistakes Rashad's resistance to leave the bodega as resisting arrest, mistakes Rashad's every flinch at every punch the cop throws as further resistance and refusal to STAY STILL as ordered. But how can you stay still when someone is pounding your face into the concrete pavement?

But there were witnesses: Quinn Collins - a varsity basketball player and Rashad's classmate who has been raised by Paul since his own father died in Afghanistan - and a video camera. Soon the beating is all over the news, and Paul is getting threatened with accusations of prejudice and racial brutality. Quinn refuses to believe that the man who has basically been his savior could possibly be guilty. But then Rashad is absent. And absent again. And again. And the basketball team - half of whom are Rashad's best friends - start to take sides. As does the school. And the town. Simmering tensions threaten to explode as Rashad and Quinn are forced to face decisions and consequences they had never considered before.

Review: 

This is a powerful book that speaks to the violence and racial tension that exists today.  If you ever wondered if black and white kids have the same experiences in High School this story will let you know they don't. Told by Rashad a black high school student and Quinn a white high school student. Quinn witnesses the beating of Rashad by a white cop and struggles to decide what to do with his information.

This is not an easy book or an easy topic but this book tackles it with accuracy and grace. It should be required reading for all students.  This really shines a spotlight on the differences that two boys in similar situations both with dreams and hopes have to deal with. This book helps to challenge us on our biases and really shows white privilege.  Do we judge people on the way they look? On how they dress? Change Rashad's religion to Muslim would it make a difference? What if the cop was black? This book definitely makes you think and would be great to start a conversation on race.

The narrators really gave these two kids life.  They were perfect and I found myself lost in the story.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Audio Book Review: A Death In Sweden by Kevin Wignall

Release Date: January 1, 2016
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Format: Audible
Length: 7 hours 59 minutes
Narrator: Will Damron
Genre: Thriller, Suspense
Buy: Audible | Kindle | Paperback


Synopsis:

Dan Hendricks is a man in need of a lifeline. A former CIA operative, he is now an agent for hire by foreign powers on the hunt for dangerous fugitives. It's a lethal world at the best of times, and Dan knows his number is almost up. His next job could be his last - and his next job is his biggest yet.
The target sounds traceable enough: Jacques Fillon, who gave up his life trying to save a fellow passenger following a bus crash in northern Sweden. But the man was something of an enigma in this rural community, and his death exposes his greatest secret: Jacques Fillon never existed at all.
Dan is tasked with uncovering Fillon's true identity - but can he do so before his own past catches up with him?

Review:

Someone is tying up loose ends, and one of those loose ends is Dan.  Running for his life and those of his friends he finds himself taking a job to find out the real identity of a man named Jacques Fillon. Fillon saved a young girl from a bus crash but doesn't really exist.  If Dan can find out who Fillon was he could save himself and his friends.

This is a fast paced spy thriller with quite a lot of  non graphic violence and sex.  Dan is an assassin but is he a good guy? Can any assassin be considered good? Wignall tries to make Dan the hero of this book which is a difficult task but one I think he ultimately achieves.

With a lot of twists and turns and more going on than meets the eye this was a great spy mystery.  The author brought the story to life.  Overall a very satisfying listen.





Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Book Review: If I Run by Terri Blackstock

Release Date: February 16, 2016
Publisher: Zondervan Fiction
Format: Kindle
Pages: 318 Pages
Genre: Mystery/Christian/Romance
Buy: Kindle | Paperback | Audible 


Synopsis:

Casey knows the truth. But it won't set her free.
Casey Cox's DNA is all over the crime scene. There's no use talking to police; they have failed her abysmally before. She has to flee before she's arrested...or worse.
The truth doesn't matter anymore. But what is the truth? That's the question haunting Dylan Roberts, the war-weary veteran hired to find Casey. PTSD has marked him damaged goods, but bringing Casey back can redeem him. Though the crime scene seems to tell the whole story, details of the murder aren't adding up. Casey Cox doesn't fit the profile of a killer. But are Dylan's skewed perceptions keeping him from being objective? If she isn't guilty, why did she run?
Unraveling her past and the evidence that condemns her will take more time than he has, but as Dylan's damaged soul intersects with hers, he is faced with two choices: the girl who occupies his every thought is a psychopathic killer...or a selfless hero. And the truth could be the most deadly weapon yet.

Review:

I'm not a big Christian Lit book but honestly it wasn't until the last 30% of the book that I even realized it was. This is a good mystery with interesting characters.  It ends on a bit of a cliff hanger but the second book in the sequel If I'm Found was released March 2017.

Casey has been scared since she found her father dead.  She knew it wasn't a suicide but the police didn't listen.  When Casey finds her friend Brent dead she knows she has to run.  If she stays knows she will wind up like her father.

Dylan Roberts is Brents childhood friend and when he finds out that he was murdered he wants to help in anyway he can. When Brents family asks him to find Casey he takes the job.  Keegan the police chief is supposed to be helping him but seems to be blocking him from certain evidence.  As Dylan starts to suspect there is more to this case another body is found.

This was a well written book and a great mystery, my biggest complaint is that it seemed that the Christian theme seems almost an afterthought in this book.  It was thrown in toward the end and really would have been a better book without it.  It seemed too forced - it didn't need to be pushed as hard as it was and it may have worked better had it been scattered throughout the book.  It was almost a surprise toward the end which threw me off. I also have a problem with books stopping on such a big cliff hanger and then not releasing the sequel for almost a year.  Luckily I found this book just as the sequel was put out.




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