Thursday, April 30, 2015

Destined for Doon Book Review


 
I have a really super duper YA Fantasy book for you that you are really going to love reading! It is the sequel to Doon that I had read last year sometime and now the long anticipated Destined for Doon is here and you have got to read both of them if you haven't already! They are both written by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon
 
Synopsis:
In this sequel to Doon, Mackenna Reid realizes she made a horrible mistake in choosing to follow her dreams of Broadway instead of staying in the enchanted land of Doon. To make everything worse, she's received her Calling—proof she and Duncan are each other's one true love—and it's pure torment, especially when visions of the very alluring Scottish prince appear right before she goes on stage.  
So when Duncan tells her an ancient curse threatens to overtake Doon and the new queen and Kenna’s best friend, Veronica, needs her to return, Kenna doesn't have to think twice. With darkness closing in on all sides, Kenna and Vee must battle a world of nightmares in order to protect the kingdom. But it will take the ultimate test of courage for Kenna to salvage her happily ever after.
Purchase your copy on Amazon. 
 
My Thoughts:
 
I really do love these books and I am sure you will too!
 
Kenna gets a 2nd chance to right the wrong from the last book in which at the last moment, she backs out of staying in the kingdom and decides to return back here to regular Earth where she thinks it's more important that she finishes her quest to become an actress on Broadway.
 
This time though, Duncan makes it very hard for her to get anywhere with him, but they all have to work together to save their kingdom and possibly the real Earth. The evil witch is back stronger than ever and she is determined to bring them all down.
 
It's up to Vee and Kenna to make things right since it was their coming to the kingdom in the first place that opened the portal for the witch to slip through in the last book, so they are going all out to save as many people as they can. Even if Duncan and Jamie, Vee's husband don't like the plan.
 
With the help of Kenna's Aunt Gracie's rings that each of them wear, they are a formidable pair, but is it enough to defeat the witch?
 
Happy Reading!

Author: Carey Corp:

Carey Corp wrote her first book, a brilliant retelling of Star Wars, at the prodigious age of seven. Since then, her love affair of reinvention has continued to run amuck. Writing both stories for young adults and literary fiction, she begins each morning consuming copious amounts of coffee while weaving stories that capture her exhaustive imagination. She harbors a voracious passion (in no consistent order) for mohawks, Italy, musical theater, chocolate, and Jane Austen.

DOON is the first of 4 books in her new young adult series loosely based on the concept of the musical Brigadoon, used with permission from the Alan Jay Lerner Estate & the Frederick Loewe Foundation, and co-written with Lorie Langdon. DOON debuts 8.20.13 with the brand new HarperCollins imprint BLINK.

Author: Lorie Langdon:

Lorie Langdon has wanted to write her own novels since she was a wee girl reading every Judy Blume book she could get her hands on. So a few years ago, she left her thriving corporate career to satisfy the voices in her head. Now as a full-time author and stay-at-home mom, she spends her summers editing poolside while dodging automatic water-gun fire, and the rest of the year tucked into her cozy office, Havanese puppy by her side, working to translate her effusive imagination into the written word.

Find out more at www.doonseries.com.

Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product from BookLook Bloggers. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from you.

The Inn at Ocean's Edge Book Review


 
Another great book called The Inn at Ocean's Edge written by Colleen Coble! I am on a roll today, so buckle down and be prepared to read some really great book reviews!
 
Synopsis:
A vacation to Sunset Cove was her way of celebrating and thanking her parents. After all, Claire Dellamore's childhood was like a fairytale. But with the help of Luke Elwell, Claire discovers that fairytale was really an elaborate lie . . . 
The minute she steps inside the grand Inn at Ocean's Edge, Claire Dellamare knows something terrible happened there. She feels it in her bones. Her ensuing panic attack causes a scene, upsetting her parents. Claire attempts to quiet her nerves with a walk on the beach, to no avail. She's at too great a distance to make out details, but she believes she witnesses a murder on a nearby cliff. When local police find no evidence of foul play, they quickly write off the "nervous" woman's testimony as less than credible. 
But Luke Elwell, home on leave from the Coast Guard, has reason to believe Claire. Years ago when his mother went missing, Luke's father suspected she'd been murdered. He died never having convinced the police to investigate. So when an employee of the grand hotel doesn't show up for work, Luke steps in to help Claire track down the missing woman. 
As Claire and Luke put together the pieces of a decades-old mystery, they discover that some family secrets refuse to stay buried. And some passions are worth killing for. 
My Thoughts:
 
One thing is for sure, Colleen Coble really knows how to tell a compelling tale that makes you want to read the whole book in one day! This one is no different and once again, this is going to be a series and luckily for me, this is Book 1 in the Sunset Cove series.
 
Wow, this is one big mess that the Dellamore's are in and it's all because Harry Dellamore had an affair years ago and both his wife and his mistress had babies at the time, only the mistress ended up having twins. Something goes wrong with his wife's delivery and the baby dies. 
 
What Harry does next will affect everyone from that moment on. It takes decades for it to come back full circle, but what a doozy it is! You definitely don't want to miss reading this bombshell of a book!
 
It seems like family is always the ones that hurt you the most and in this book, it means more than one way. Even her Uncle Paul is up to something.
 
Happy Reading!

About Colleen:
 
Best-selling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA’s RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. 
 
Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product from BookLook Bloggers. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. Mary Bearden and her cranky camera took the photo used in this review.   

A Heart's Obsession Book Review


 
I have another great book to share with you from Colleen Coble called A Heart's Obsession. This one is a novella, so it won't take you too long to read it. It's the 2nd book in a series called Journey of the Heart.
 
Synopsis:
Will Sarah’s journey west lead her back into the arms of the one man she can trust? 
When her father succumbs to a long illness, Sarah Montgomery is freed from duty to family. At last she can be with the love of her life, Rand Campbell, who has gone out west to Fort Laramie, Wyoming. Sarah and her younger brother Joel make the arduous journey filled with hope. 
But at Fort Laramie, the reception Sarah meets isn’t what she had hoped for. Her friend Amelia is thrilled to have her, but Rand seems to be in the clutches of Jessica DuBois, the scheming daughter of the post commander. 
Sarah resolves to remain at Fort Laramie and try to win Rand back. But things will get tougher before they get easier . . . especially when her ex-fiancĂ© Ben Croftner arrives in Wyoming, obsessed with having her back in his arms. 
My Thoughts:
 
This was a great book to read because it had a little bit of everything you could want in a book to keep you interested and to read until the end. I just wish I had known about the first book! I love reading series because it's so much more exciting to get to continue following your favorite characters.
 
Besides the obvious romances in the book, there is also suspense because of a past boyfriend who still wants Sarah but she doesn't want him. Unfortunately, for Sarah, Rand is also involved with another woman, which breaks her heart.
 
I think there is a lot more going on and we will have to read the next book to figure out what it is
that Jessica really wants with Rand and why Ben is so obsessed with Sarah. I can't wait to read the next book!
 
Happy Reading!
 
Take a look at the coming books!
 
 
About Colleen:
 
Best-selling author Colleen Coble's novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, ACFW Book of the Year, RWA’s RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers' Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has nearly 2 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers and is a member of Romance Writers of America. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana.

For more about Colleen and her other books visit www.colleencoble.com. She also has a giveaway on her site for a Kindle Fire and some books! So go and check it out before it ends in 7 days from now! 

Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product from BookLook Bloggers. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. Mary Bearden and her cranky camera took the photo used in this review.  

The Accident Book Review


 
I have a really interesting Thriller/Mystery book to share with you called The Accident written by Chris Pavone that I think you will really enjoy reading.
 
Synopsis:
As dawn approaches in New York, literary agent Isabel Reed is turning the final pages of a mysterious, anonymous manuscript, racing through the explosive revelations about powerful people, as well as long-hidden secrets about her own past. In Copenhagen, veteran CIA operative Hayden Gray, determined that this sweeping story be buried, is suddenly staring down the barrel of an unexpected gun. And in Zurich, the author himself is hiding in a shadowy expat life, trying to atone for a lifetime’s worth of lies and betrayals with publication of The Accident, while always looking over his shoulder.

Over the course of one long, desperate, increasingly perilous day, these lives collide as the book begins its dangerous march toward publication, toward saving or ruining careers and companies, placing everything at risk—and everyone in mortal peril.  The rich cast of characters—in publishing and film, politics and espionage—are all forced to confront the consequences of their ambitions, the schisms between their ideal selves and the people they actually became.

The action rockets around Europe and across America, with an intricate web of duplicities stretching back a quarter-century to a dark winding road in upstate New York, where the shocking truth about the accident itself is buried.

Gripping, sophisticated, layered, and impossible to put down, The Accident proves once again that Chris Pavone is a true master of suspense. 
My Thoughts:
 
This is one of the better thrillers that I have read in quite awhile! It is loaded with suspense and you also don't know who has written and sent a manuscript of a story that actually really happened to a publishing agent.
 
That one simple act puts a lot of people in jeopardy and unfortunately, some of them get killed in the process. The writer had anticipated this because he knows it's a true live story and not one made up and he tries his best to protect the publishing agent, but in the end, it didn't really help much.
 
And the worst part is yet to come. It will be a complete shock when she finally figures this out and that her life is in danger, but mostly she is in shock who wrote the book.
 
Lastly, can she outwit the people who are searching for every last copy of the manuscript?
 
This is one heck of a story and you won't want to put it down until the book is finished to find out all it all ends and what happens to those involved!
 
Happy Reading!
 
About the Author:
 
Chris Pavone is the author of THE EXPATS, which was an instant New York Times, USA Today, and international bestseller, published in twenty languages on five continents, as well as developed for film, plus winner of the 2013 Edgar Award for Best First Novel.
 
Chris grew up in New York City, and attended Midwood High School in Brooklyn and Cornell University, then worked at a number of publishing houses over nearly two decades, most notably as an editor at Clarkson Potter, where he specialized in cookbooks; in the late nineties, he also wrote a little (and mostly blank) book called The Wine Log.
 
Chris is married and the father of twin schoolboys, and lives in Greenwich Village and the North Fork of Long Island.
 
I decided that this book was too good to sit on my shelf, so I have decided to give my print copy to one lucky winner. Open in the Continental U.S. only. Good Luck Everyone!
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review."

Monday, April 27, 2015

Lucky Strike Book Review


http://www.virtualauthorbooktours.com/?p=4173

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books (February 24, 2015)
ISBN: 978-0545592178
Category:  Children's Fiction, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Magic, Friendship, Bullies
Tour Date: April 1-May29, 2015
Available in: Print & ebook, 272 Pages

By the award winning author of 'The Dogs of Winter', Bobbie Pyron.
A rich, southern voice tells the unforgettable story of two vulnerable outsiders, the lightning strike that turns their world upside down and the true meaning of lucky. Nate Harlow has never had a lucky day in his life. He's never won a prize, he's never been picked first, he's never even won a coin toss.  
His best friend, Genesis Beam (aka Gen), believes in science and logic, and she doesn't think for one second that there's such a thing as luck, good or bad. But only an extremely unlucky person could be struck by lightning on his birthday... and that person is Nate Harlow. By some miracle, though, Nate survives, and the strike seems to have changed his luck.  
Suddenly, Nate's grandpa is the busiest fisherman in their small, beachside town. And Nate finds himself the center of attention, the most popular kid at school, the one who hits a game-winning home run! This lucky streak can't last forever, though, and as a hurricane draws close to the shores of Paradise Beach, Nate and Gen may need more than just good luck to save their friendship and their town: They need a miracle.
My Thoughts:

This is a great book for middle aged on up. It's a good lesson on what not to do when you have a very best friend who likes you no matter what and then when something happens to you and all of a sudden you get new friends and start neglecting your best friend.

It's also a pretty good story about a lonely boy who just wants something good to happen to him for a change. The kids at his school make fun of him a lot and he has lost both parents and now lives with his grandfather in a trailer. So, he thinks it's about time something good happens to him.

Your middle aged children will love the theme of the book. It's not often that books are made for both children and adults, but this is one that you can all talk about and not have to worry about the language content or the theme.

Happy Reading!

Praise for Lucky Strike by Bobbie Pyron:

"This well-told story of growth, friendship, and small-town life hits all the right notes. The quirkiness of the characters and the town never goes too far, and there is an overall cozy feeling to the book. Genesis’s dad is the preacher at The Church of the One True Redeemer and Everlasting Light, but she is a scientist through and through, which adds complexity to the text, including musings on destiny, fate, probability, and weather. Fans of Susan Patron’s Higher Power of Lucky (S. & S., 2006), Sheila Turnage’s Three Times Lucky (Dial, 2012), and Ingrid Law’s Savvy (2008; both, Dial) will find something new for their to-read shelves."- School Library Journal starred review

Even lightly sketched characters leap off the pages, adding rich depth to an already satisfying tale. In the slightly fantastical Gulf Coast world that Bobbie Pyron (The Dogs of Winter, 2012) has imagined, people can change in unexpected ways. With just a spark of magic, bullies can become true friends, those without humor can learn to giggle, and perennial victims can emerge victorious. Amusing, endearing and sometimes even electrifying."- Kirkus starred review

"Bobbie Pyron offers a gentler take on survival and friendship than in her gritty novel The Dogs of Winter. A dramatic and sweetly poignant story, enlivened by a dash of magical realism."- Publisher Weekly

Bobbie Pyron Outside
About Bobbie Pyron:
 
Bobbie Pyron was born in Hollywood, Florida and spent her growing up years up in the panhandle, swimming in the Gulf of Mexico and dreaming of being a mermaid.  She has degrees in Psychology and Anthropology, and a Masters degree in Library Science, and has worked as a librarian for over twenty-five years. Her first book, a novel for teens titled The Ring (WestSide Books), was published in October of 2009.

Her second book, A Dog’s Way Home (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books), was published to starred reviews in March of 2011. The Dog Writers Association of America recently awarded Bobbie the Maxwell Medal of Excellence and the Merial Human-Animal Bond Award.  It was also named a Banks Street Best Books of the Year. Bobbie Pyron's book, The Dogs of Winter (Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic), came out October of 2012. The Dogs of Winter is a Junior Library Guild Selection and a Kirkus Best 100 Children’s Books of the Year.

Bobbie lives in Park City, Utah with her husband, two dogs, and two cats.

Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Blood Mission Book Review


 
Title: Blood Mission
Author: Joni Parker
Publisher: Village Green Press, LLC
Pages: 323
Genre: Fantasy/Action Adventure
Format: Paperback/Kindle
 
Synopsis:
While on leave from the army, Alex visits her cousin, Prince Darin of the Water Elves, and arrives in time to thwart an assassination attempt ordered by the rogue Elf Mellen.  Although weakened by poison, the Prince assigns Alex a Blood Mission to kill Mellen.  However, Alex finds the Elf elusive as he organizes and trains his pirates to take over the harbor at Agana, the best deep water port on the island. 
At the same time, Alex must deal with Colonel Jeffrey, a handsome young man determined to marry her for her inheritance.  Alex rejects his advances and faces his wrath, becoming the target of several murderous plots.  Unfortunately, her path to success includes Colonel Jeffrey as she needs him and his soldiers to stop the Elf Mellen before he takes over and destroys the fragile civilization on the island.
My Thoughts:

This is the third book in The Black Elf series and by far the most dangerous of them all because she is tasked a Blood Mission to kill Elf Mellen and he is very dangerous and downright evil! Even his own friend, Thorne is somewhat afraid of him.

But, it's the people who she thinks she can trust that will hurt her the most. There are several who want her dead and they are willing to do it themselves if no one else will.
 
On another note, she is getting better at controlling her gift and she is getting better at fighting with her sword and her Elfin blade. She even starts to make headway with her half brother, Beren and her friend Lilla is engaged to him, so not only will Lilla be a friend but also a good friend to have as a sister-in-law.
 
She has even learned more information about her family and that she has other family members who are still alive and want to meet her. While this book has some dark things happening, it also has a lot more positive and good things also.
 
She has to definitely take care of Colonel Jeffrey and one other man who is constantly following her and attacking her. It will surprise her and the readers of this book to know who finally comes to her rescue!
 
By the end of this book, I realized that other issues haven't been resolved and it looks like the author will be getting a fourth book ready to hopefully take care of what is left hanging in the air and I sure do hope that Alex gets to find love in the end.
 
Happy Reading!
 
 
About the Author:  
 
Joni Parker was born in Chicago, Illinois, but left the windy city at an early age when her family moved to Japan.  Upon return to the United States, her family moved to Phoenix, Arizona where she graduated from Camelback High School and began college.  However within months, Joni quit college and joined the Navy where she became a Photographer’s Mate. 
 
After 3 years in the Navy, she returned to college and got married.  She got a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and an MBA before she returned to the Navy.  As a Commissioned Officer, Joni attended the US Army Command and General Staff College, completing a Master of Military Arts and Sciences Degree.  She retired from the Navy with over 22 years of service and spent several years traveling the United States in a motorhome with her husband.  When he died unexpectedly, Joni returned to work for the federal government in a civil service job. 
 
Five years ago, she started writing and retired once more to devote more time to her new passion.  She currently lives in Texas.
 
Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tangled Omens Book Review



Title: Tangled Omens
Author: Joni Parker
Publisher: Village Green Press, LLC
Pages: 320
Genre: Fantasy/Action Adventure
Format: Paperback/Kindle
 
Synopsis:
Alex, now an experienced soldier and proven tracker, goes undercover to learn the fate of a pirate leader.  As she conducts her investigation in the market, she has her fortune read by the famous Witches of Winden, renown fortunetellers.  Unimpressed, she’s about to leave when a man barges into the tent demanding his fortune be read.   
Alex observes and notices similarities to hers–their omens seem entangled, but she dismisses it as coincidence.  However, she learns that he’s the Horseman, the most dangerous pirate spy on Seaward Isle and wanted for treason by her King.  Although she attempts to follow him, he sails away on a ship. 
When she returns home, she reports the incident to Governor Tyrone who tasks her to find and kill him or die trying, her first tracker mission.  Although she doesn’t know his real name, she’s the only one who can recognize him.  His trail leads her north, deep into the pirate stronghold of Riverton, her first solo mission.
My Thoughts:

This is the second book in The Black Elf series and this one is about her missions that she is sent on by the King. She is mostly undercover in this book with hardly any time in between for anything else.

She has a crush on Colonel Jeffrey but she doesn't know what kind of game he is playing. She is also unsure where she stands with her half brother, Beren. In my opinion, he is a complete you know what and I don't understand why she keeps trying, but it's her nature to try and make things right.

If she is able to complete this mission to kill The Horseman, it will bring unpleasant consequences, given who is real identity is and who his relatives are. She really wishes that someone else had this mission, but she is the only one capable enough to carry it out, regardless of the fact that she is only 15 at the time.

One thing she does have going for her is she has many friends among the Scinthian soldiers along with her foster parents and the Governor of Nyla.

If you loved reading the first book, this one will bring even more action packed thrills and tension between the humans who don't quite trust her.

Happy Reading!
 
 
About the Author:
 
Joni Parker was born in Chicago, Illinois, but left the windy city at an early age when her family moved to Japan.  Upon return to the United States, her family moved to Phoenix, Arizona where she graduated from Camelback High School and began college.  However within months, Joni quit college and joined the Navy where she became a Photographer’s Mate. 
 
After 3 years in the Navy, she returned to college and got married.  She got a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and an MBA before she returned to the Navy.  As a Commissioned Officer, Joni attended the US Army Command and General Staff College, completing a Master of Military Arts and Sciences Degree.  She retired from the Navy with over 22 years of service and spent several years traveling the United States in a motorhome with her husband.  When he died unexpectedly, Joni returned to work for the federal government in a civil service job. 
 
Five years ago, she started writing and retired once more to devote more time to her new passion.  She currently lives in Texas.
 
Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours.  

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Black Elf of Seaward Isle Book Review


 
Title: The Black Elf of Seaward Isle
Author: Joni Parker
Publisher: Village Green Press, LLC
Pages: 330
Genre: Fantasy/Action Adventure
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Synopsis:
 
On the mysterious Seaward Isle, Alex, the young daughter of Count Dumwalt, escapes Wizard Mylar’s attack on her father’s fortress with the help of two men, Hamlin and Tyrone, who take her to her brother in the village of Nyla.  Disguised as a boy to stay at the Sword Academy with her brother, she learns of the death of her parents and vows to avenge their deaths.  At the same time, a witch on the far side of the island predicts the rise of the Black Elf, the only person with the power to kill a wizard. 
Meanwhile, Alex’s stay at the academy is cut short when the headmistress arranges her adoption by a Scinthian Scout, an Amazon warrior and her Dwarf companion.  When her adoptive mother is killed in a pirate attack, Alex returns home to Nyla where Tyrone, now the Governor, takes her in as his ward as he accepts a cadre of Scinthian soldiers for training to restore their decimated Army.   
Since Alex can speak their language, she becomes a training liaison, leading to her selection as an elite soldier and assassin known as a tracker.  Her first mission succeeds beyond all expectations and results in her selection as a training officer for the Scinthians, still involved in an extensive training program. 
Upon assignment to a remote border outpost, Alex discovers evidence of foul play—eight missing soldiers.  As she attempts to uncover the mystery, she meets with resistance and skepticism, but she leads a mission to save them.  As she basks in her glory, the wizard shows up to seek revenge on Governor Tyrone, forcing Alex to intervene.
My Thoughts:
 
If you are into Fantasy books like I am, then you will enjoy reading about Alex and all of her adventures!
 
For someone so young, she sure has had a lot happen to her that would be almost impossible to do but she manages to find the way each time she is tasked to do something. Seems like everyone is out to get her because she can be their undoing. Alex is half human and half Elf. What she doesn't know is her family's history, which could make a world of differences for her future.
 
The Isle of Seaward is actually some sort of place that I think of like a Black Hole but on Earth. Somehow, people are being pulled into the island thru shipwrecks and it's from all different time era's. You have people from the past and people from the present. The only ones who seem to have been there the longest are the Elves and then it seems like the Dwarves are next followed by humans. There are a few other races but mainly it's those three that make up the bulk of the island.
 
Alex goes from one assignment to another, getting the bad guys seems to be the goal, but for someone who is under 15, that is a whole lot of stress sitting on her shoulders. But, she accepts each task and does her best to get it done. She does have people who love her and want to protect her, but with so many influential enemies trying to get rid of her, it's quite impossible to keep her from danger.
 
This is the first book in a series and I can't wait to read the rest of them!
 
Happy Reading!
 
About the Author:
 
Joni Parker was born in Chicago, Illinois, but left the windy city at an early age when her family moved to Japan.  Upon return to the United States, her family moved to Phoenix, Arizona where she graduated from Camelback High School and began college.  However within months, Joni quit college and joined the Navy where she became a Photographer’s Mate. 
 
After 3 years in the Navy, she returned to college and got married.  She got a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting and an MBA before she returned to the Navy.  As a Commissioned Officer, Joni attended the US Army Command and General Staff College, completing a Master of Military Arts and Sciences Degree.  She retired from the Navy with over 22 years of service and spent several years traveling the United States in a motorhome with her husband.  When he died unexpectedly, Joni returned to work for the federal government in a civil service job. 
 
Five years ago, she started writing and retired once more to devote more time to her new passion.  She currently lives in Texas.
 
Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Alaina Claiborne Book Review


Print Length: 260 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615742505
Publisher: Trappers Peak Publishing LLC (January 9, 2014)
  
Synopsis:
Be swept away by the stirring romance and unforgettable adventure of Alaina Claiborne, MK McClintock's first British Agent novel. 
Book One of the British Agent Novels
Alaina Claiborne

How far would you go to avenge your family and save the one you love?

In nineteenth-century England, Alaina Claiborne had a loving family, a cherished friend, and devoted servants. She spent her days riding across the grassy hills of the English countryside, joyful and at peace.

Then tragedy strikes and her world is forever changed. Searching for those responsible is her only focus . . . until she meets Tristan.

Tristan Sheffield, a man of many talents, searches out those who don't want to be found. His past is filled with secrets and deeds he would rather leave deeply buried. However, when his life unexpectedly entwines with Alaina's, he soon discovers they share more than a mutual desire to catch a murderer.

On their hunt for a man driven by greed, Tristan and Alaina find that love is the greatest weapon against evil, and they'll stop at nothing to survive.

Experience romance, adventure, and mystery with the British Agents in Victorian England.
My Thoughts:

This book is an easy and cozy murder/mystery that brings two people together due to similar tragic events in their lives.

Of course, one is a secret agent and Alaina's parents were also agents. They were all ambushed one day and her good friend, Braden threw Alaina out of the way and she was saved by landing in some bushes.

The people responsible for this ambush and murder will surprise you as well as it did Alaina.

One good thing that comes out of this tragic story is that she gets a new neighbor and friend who buys the property adjoining hers in England.

As I said earlier, this is a great murder/mystery book and it is not gory or graphic, so you shouldn't have any problems reading this book if you are not a fan of horror murder/mysteries.

Happy Reading!

Praises for Alaina Claiborne:
 
"Ms. McClintock succeeds in masterfully weaving both genres meticulously together until mystery lovers are sold on romance and romance lovers love the mystery!  Alaina and Tristan’s love unfolds in much thee same way, starting as friends, then slowly and believably developing into an undying love the reader cheers for." -InD'Tale Magazine  
 
"With a strong female lead and a nice mix of both action and romance, this novel tops my list." -Judge, Writer's & Digest 21st Annual Self-Published Book
 
"This one is a winner. It broke my heart several times, the poignant moments she describes are so real." -Deborah from The Bookish Dam
 
About the Author: 
 
MK McClintock is an author, entrepreneur, and photographer. She spins tales of romance and adventure inspired by the heather-covered hills of Scotland and the majestic mountains of home.
 
With her heart deeply rooted in the past and her mind always on adventure, she lives and writes in Montana.
 
- 2014 RONE Award-Nominee for "Alaina Claiborne"
- 2014 Crowned Heart for Excellence from InD'Tale Magazine for "Blackwood Crossing" and "The Montana Gallagher Collection"
- 2015 Crowned Heart Heart for Excellent from InD'Tale Magazine for "A Home for Christmas"
- 2015 RONE Award-Nominee for "Blackwood Crossing" and "A Home for Christmas"
 
Genres: historical romantic westerns, historical romantic mysteries, western short stories.
 
Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours.   

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Watch the Shadows Book Review


 
Publisher: White Whisker Books (April 20, 2015)
ISBN: 978-0-9863265-0-9
Category: Suspense/Thriller
Tour Date: March 16-April 30, 2015
Available in: Print & ebook, 176 Pages
 
Synopsis:
In the college town of Isla Vista, California, small, odd things start happening. Science-geek Nicole notes the crows are leaving.  Meg Burdigal can’t find her tabby cat, Schrand. Brian the postman feels uneasy at the rustlings, the shadows he’s seen at the edge of his vision on his delivery route in town.  
Now Nicole sees fewer and fewer homeless in the park. Using her knowledge of biology and forensics, Nicole searches for answers—but will anyone take the horror she finds seriously? 
In this unusual thriller, ‘Watch the Shadows’, author Robin Winter explores where the ordinary slams against the extraordinary.
My Thoughts:

If you love reading scary stories, then this book will definitely be right up your alley!

One thing is for sure and it doesn't come right out and tell you that they may be aliens, but it implies they are and all I have to say is the way the author describes the way these "things" eat people is both detailed and fascinating. Don't know how authors have such an imagination but it does make the story much more scarier.

There are a few side stories as well with the main characters that breaks up some of the scary stuff and makes the book easier to read because it's not all guts and terror.

Happy Reading!
About the Author: 
 
Robin Winter first wrote and illustrated a manuscript on "Chickens and their Diseases" in second grade, continuing to both write and draw, ever since. Born in Nebraska, she's lived in a variety of places: Nigeria, New Hampshire, upper New York state and now, California. She pursues a career in oil painting under the name of Robin Gowen, specializing in landscape. Her work can be viewed at Sullivan Goss Gallery in Santa Barbara.
 
Robin is married to a paleobotanist, who corrects the science in both her paintings and her stories. She's published science fiction short stories, a dystopian science fiction novel, Future Past , and Night Must Wait, a historical novel about the Nigerian Civil War.
  
Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours.  

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Fluency Book Review


Fluency

Publisher: Blue Bedlam Science Fiction (June 18, 2014)
ISBN: 978-0990479826
Category:  Science Fiction: Space Opera, First Contact, Action-Adventure, Alien, Romance
Tour Date: March 2-April 30, 2015
Available in: Print & ebook, 373 Pages
 
Synopsis:

NASA discovered the alien ship lurking in the asteroid belt in the 1960s. They kept the Target under intense surveillance for decades, letting the public believe they were exploring the solar system, while they worked feverishly to refine the technology needed to reach it. The ship itself remained silent, drifting.

Dr. Jane Holloway is content documenting nearly-extinct languages and had never contemplated becoming an astronaut. But when NASA recruits her to join a team of military scientists for an expedition to the Target, it’s an adventure she can’t refuse. The ship isn’t vacant, as they presumed.

A disembodied voice rumbles inside Jane’s head, "You are home." Jane fights the growing doubts of her colleagues as she attempts to decipher what the alien wants from her. As the derelict ship devolves into chaos and the crew gets cut off from their escape route, Jane must decide if she can trust the alien’s help to survive.
 
My Thoughts:
 
If you love reading Science Fiction, especially about Space and meeting Aliens, then you will love this book as much as I did!
 
It's definitely a keeper and the story is both fresh and new, something totally different than what most think about Aliens and the heroine of this book, Jane, is the least likely one you would have expected to come out on top. All the other people aboard the ship are doctors and other specialists, but it is Jane, who the lone Alien intelligence speaks to and once she becomes fully invested in the adventure, she gains more confidence and excitement.
 
They learn things that are immensely important to all of them and all of Earth, because lurking out there in space is indeed a species that takes no prisoners and wants everything it can get it's hands on. The ship was actually sent to warn Earth, but something happened during their flight and everyone on board except the Navigator, who desperately needs her help to get back home.
 
There is an element of romance involved also but both her and the man she is drawn to are so nervous about making the wrong impression, that it takes them forever to talk to each other and even in the end, she is not sure where she stands.
 
Because of her, she is able to save all of the crew members and send them back home with a few exceptions, she hopes.
 
This is just the first book from what I can gather and I can't wait to read the next one to see where Jane ends up and who comes with her on this great adventure!
 
Happy Reading!

Praise for 'Fluency':

"Author Jennifer Wells' writing genius comes from her vast knowledge of the highly technical subject matter and her ability to put the reader in the middle of it without losing him/her in technical jargon while creating characters that seem completely natural and believable."- Jean Fisher for Independent Publisher News

"With her first novel, Jennifer Wells adds a fresh voice to the sci-fi genre and distinguishes herself as an author to watch." -Theresa Kay, author of Broken Skies

"One of the runaway sci-fi hits on Amazon this year has been Jennifer Foehner Wells’ space thriller Fluency and quite frankly it’s a welcome addition to the genre. Fluency moves at a breakneck pace in a very cinematic fashion,  the narrative mostly linear with some minor flashbacks to fill in gaps in the back story. Wells does a fine job of dealing with the technical side of proceedings without resorting to complicated jargon (I know I know, some geeks love the jargon but not this one!) The human technology is believable and the alien technology while advanced, is also impressively practical. While the strong female character has become a bit of a clichĂ© in sci-fi over the past few years, it’s worth noting that many of these female characters have been written by men. What makes Fluency so refreshing is that Holloway’s character develops in a much more believable fashion given her circumstances. Sure she has to eventually toughen up and fight, but she’s much more than that. She’s a brilliant mind faced with a life-changing event and not just her life but the entire planet’s and her decisions will have monumental consequences. Her ability to focus is paramount and though it may seem she is being manipulated at times, she quickly takes control of her relationship with Ei’Brai. As the story reaches its gripping conclusion it also lays the groundwork for an exciting continuation of this rapidly unfolding saga. Littered with plenty of nods and winks to classic sci-fi and some clever pop culture references, Fluency is a thrilling, bumpy ride that rarely falters and firmly cements Jennifer Foehner Wells’ standing in the indie scene as an innovative and refreshing new voice in modern sci-fi."- Eamon Ambrose, Eamo The Geek

"A book that is just as appealing to women as it is to men. I’ll admit, I saw the beautiful cover and thought it was going to be old-school, hardcore sci-fi with lots of technobabble and women in service roles rather than command ones. By the time we got into space I was hooked, and only got more engrossed the further I went. There’s no flab in this book. It starts out strongly and each scene is carefully considered in how it develops the characters and advances the plot. The pitch rises gradually until leveling off at the end, just as it should. The prose is straightforward and lets the reading just flow. Dialogue made sense and there weren’t too many narrative sequences. Again, Jennifer Foehner Wells has taken care in crafting a balance of elements. This is a pretty special book. It’s a modern take on sci-fi, and has a lot to offer. There’s a light romantic subplot, a first-contact scenario, and a high-stakes situation that seems unclear, then clear, then unclear again. This story isn’t predictable and it doesn’t rely on any timeworn tropes. Fluency is something new in fiction, and that always excites the hell out of me."-Zen, Women of Badassery About Jennifer Foehner Wells:

Jennifer Foehner Wells
About the Author:
 
Jennifer Foehner Wells lives an alternately chaotic and fairly bucolic existence in Indiana with two boisterous little boys, a supportive husband, a mildly unhinged Labrador retriever, and three adorable pet rats as housemates. Having studied biology, Jen's possessed with a keen interest in science and technology.

She's 100% geek and proud of it. FLUENCY was Jen’s debut. It spent weeks in the Kindle Top 100, going as high as number 4. It remains prominent in several Science Fiction categories. It has garnered 848 five star reviews, to date.

Disclaimer: Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Fools For Books 2015 Giveaway Hop**Closed**


 
Hosted by I AM A READER, NOT A WRITER
 
Welcome to the Fools For Books Giveaway Hop
&
Mary's Cup of Tea
 
I have 3 print copy books that I picked out for this giveaway. One is a romance novel and the other two are mysteries. All three are really great books to read and I think you will enjoy reading them also. If you love murder/mysteries, these two books will be right up your alley.
 
Each book title is a link back to the review that I did on each book if you need to know what it's about. Just click on the title and it will take you to the review. Open in the Continental U.S. only. Good Luck Everyone!
 
Don't forget to follow the Linky List below to enter to win more books!
 
1.)  Written on Her Heart written by Paige Ryan
 
 
2.)  Nantucket Five Spot written by Steven Axelrod
 
 
3.)  Shady Cross written by James Hankins

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway