Monday, March 30, 2015

Dawn of Destiny Book Review


 
Book Title: Dawn of Destiny (Epic #1) by Lee Stephen
Category: Adult Fiction
Genre: Sci-fi
Publisher: Stone Aside Publishing, L.L.C.
Published: November 2006
Available in: Print, ebook (mobi for Kindle and ePub) and audiobook (full cast with cinematic sound effects - see below)
Tour dates:  
​March 16 to April 10​
, 2015
Content Rating: PG-13 for violence and depictions of war. There is no profanity, sexual content, or drug use.
 
Synopsis:
Dawn of Destiny kicks off the story of Scott Remington, a young man following a calling to war. Sacrificing a promising life that could've been, he embarks on a journey to follow his destiny and make a difference regardless of where it takes him. It's a story of perseverance amidst trials and tribulations--a journey of faith into the fog of war. This is high-action and intensity wrapped up in the reality of the human experience. It's the introduction to an epic.

Load your assault rifles...you're about to drop into a hot zone.
My Thoughts:
 
I really loved this book! I am a huge Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy type book reader and this book was right up my alley! I do have to warn you that this is only Book 1 and there are more to come. I can't wait to read the next one!
 
It is full of action without all the gory details that would scare the crap out of me, let alone a young teenager, so it's safe for them to read. There are no sexual scenes either, only a few mild kisses and tender feelings towards the females in the group.
 
Nobody in the story understands why 3 different types of aliens have descended onto Earth and why they want to kill all the humans. If they could figure that out, then maybe they could come up with a better way to protect everyone.
 
Scott Remington is the hero in this book but he is humble and what I love more than that is he carries a Bible with him wherever he goes.
 
Like I said earlier, I sincerely hope that I get to read the other books because I would love to know how things turn out for Scott and several of the other people in the book that I liked. If you are like me and love this genre, then this series will definitely deliver!
 
Happy Reading!
 
About the Author:
 
Born and raised in Cajun country, Lee Stephen spent his childhood paddling pirogues through the marshes of South Louisiana. When he wasn't catching bullfrogs or playing with alligators in the bathtub (both true), he was escaping to the world of the imagination, creating worlds in his mind filled with strange creatures and epic journeys. This hasn't stopped.

Now a resident of Luling, Louisiana, Lee spends time every day delving into the world of Epic, the science-fiction series that has come to define him as a writer and producer. Alongside his wife, Lindsey, their son, Levi, and their dog, Jake, Lee has made it a mission to create a series that is unique in its genre—one unafraid to address the human condition while staying grounded in elements of faith.

In addition to writing, Lee works full-time for the Department of Homeland Security & Emergency Preparedness. He has also spent time as a church deacon, guitar hobbyist, and New Orleans Saints season ticket holder. He is a graduate of Louisiana College in Pineville.
 
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, March 27, 2015

Harm's Reach Book Review


Harm's Reach

by Alex Barclay

on Tour February 24th through March 31st, 2015

  

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Published by: HarperCollins
Publication Date: February 24th 2015
Number of Pages: 416
ISBN: 0007494513 (ISBN13: 9780007494514)  



Synopsis:

FBI Agent Ren Bryce finds herself entangled in two seemingly unrelated mysteries. But the past has a way of echoing down the years and finding its way into the present.

When Special Agent Ren Bryce discovers the body of a young woman in an abandoned car, solving the case becomes personal. But the more she uncovers about the victim’s last movements, the more questions are raised.

Why was Laura Flynn driving towards a ranch for troubled teens in the middle of Colorado when her employers thought she was hundreds of miles away? And what did she know about a case from fifty years ago, which her death dramatically reopens?

As Ren and cold case investigator Janine Hooks slowly weave the threads together, a picture emerges of a privileged family determined to hide some very dark secrets – whatever the cost.

My Thoughts:

This book was definitely much different than the normal murder/mystery books that I have read in the past because one of the FBI agents on the case has bipolar and in the story you will see her talking to herself or thinking inside her head a lot and boy, is she screwed up!

Mostly, it's about her relationships with men and how she can't seem to trust any of them, so she finds these oddball reasons in her head to pick fights to get rid of them before they get too close.

Her immediate boss knows about the bipolar and is making her see a doctor but the rest of the crew including the boyfriend who is also FBI don't have a clue so she comes off looking a little weird to them but she is a good agent and solves her cases, so as long as she doesn't implode, they deal with it.

This one is especially upsetting to her because the woman killed was also pregnant at the time and in order to solve this case, she and her partner may have to dig up some cold cases to figure out what this woman was doing right before she was killed because nothing is making any sense in the case.

Again, this is another awesome book that doesn't go into graphic details about the murder or the sexual scenes, so it's left up to you to imagine whatever you will, which is fine with me because I don't really need a step by step accounting of either the murder or the sex acts in these books.

Happy Reading!

Read an excerpt:

PROLOGUE

Ingrid Prince realized that the white walls in every Prince family home created a diorama effect. People watched from the outside, studying, deducing, then leaving, even after brief encounters, with lasting judgements. Ingrid Prince, the beautiful, radiant wife! Robert Prince, the handsome, wealthy husband, a man of fine stock!
Oh, what they see . . . and don’t see.
Ingrid closed her eyes.
I am safe. I am safe. I am safe.
‘Close those beautiful cat eyes, Ingrid, and say it three times. “It” is wherever you want to take us. I am Tahiti. I am Tahiti. I am Tahiti. Then – bam! – eyes open – bam! – I shoot!’
She could hear Sandro Cera’s voice in her head as he stalked around her all those years ago. Handsome, talented, orphan, immigrant Sandro Cera, the rags-to-riches-and-back fashion photographer; Ingrid Prince, at his feet, blonde, tanned, extended on the white floor of a freezing studio in Brooklyn, shivering by a faulty space heater.
Camera in hand, Sandro would rise up onto the balls of his feet, crouch down, close in, create distance, his body twisting and turning as if he was the one to be captured.
Ingrid did as he asked, closed her eyes, used his three-times trick.
No lips moving!’ Sandro said. No leeps. ‘These are thoughts I’m talking about. Three times, sweets, three times: I am silent, I am silent, I am silent!’
‘My teeth are chattering is why my lips are moving!’ said brave, bold, new-girl Ingrid, just turned seventeen. ‘I’m fucking hypothermic . . . times three.’
Click flash click flash click flash. And the photo that made them both famous was the one that was taken just afterwards, as Ingrid laughed, her head thrown back, then forward, the lens capturing a warm and beautiful smile with no Brooklyn ice, just St Tropez, St Tropez, St Tropez.
It was a different world. It was New York in the Nineties – when they partied below ground and cauterized their hearts’ wounds with the fire of quick fucks. Sandro Cera had been dead years – a gradual, then sudden junkie demise. In the live art installation of Ingrid’s life, Sandro Cera was the lightbulb in the corner, flickering ominously, bound to blow.
Yet his was the advice she was now hearing.
Three times.
I am safe. I am safe. I am safe.
Ingrid looked around the Colorado rental. Even the temporary homes she sought refuge in were white-walled, sparsely furnished, neutral. When their SoHo loft was shot for an interiors magazine, the stylist pared it back even more, took pieces away. Pieces: furniture, paintings, sculptures, reality. How suddenly the landscape can change when its elements are plucked away.
* * *
Ingrid heard a noise at the front door. Light on her feet, she walked out into the long polished hallway. Her suitcases were at the end by the door: a set of five, olive green, edged in brown leather with accents of gold.
Now, there was banging at the door, hammering. Ingrid froze. The door burst open. She felt a rush of adrenaline.
This is not how it ends. This is not how it ends. This is not how it ends.
She backed into the kitchen, then turned, set to run for the French doors, but she could make out two dark figures standing there. Ingrid was briefly blindsided by her reflection in the glass.
She knew what she looked like to others. She knew what her husband looked like.
A Swedish proverb came to mind: Alla känner apan, men apan känner ingen.
Everyone knows the monkey, but the monkey knows no one.

Author Bio:

Barclay studied journalism at university and worked for a period in fashion and beauty journalism as a copywriter in the RTÉ Guide.

In 2003, she left the fashion industry to write Darkhouse, the first of two novels featuring NYPD detective Joe Lucchesi. Her second novel, The Caller, was released in 2007, and Last Call in 2008.

She won the Ireland AM Crime Fiction Award at the Irish Book Awards for her fourth novel, Blood Runs Cold.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Three Days to Forever Book Review


 
Title: Three Days to Forever
Author: Lauren Carr
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Pages: 466
Genre: Mystery
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Synopsis:
In this latest Mac Faraday Mystery from best-selling mystery author Lauren Carr, readers will embark on a rollercoaster adventure with old friends (including the Lovers in Crime team of Prosecutor Joshua Thornton and Homicide Detective Cameron Gates), but also meet new ones as Mac Faraday’s daughter Jessica Faraday and Joshua Thornton’s son Murphy Thornton join the team in the race to get the love birds to the altar! 
With three days left to the year, Deep Creek Lake is hopping with holiday vacationers and wedding guests pouring into the Spencer Inn for Mac Faraday and Archie Monday’s huge wedding ceremony which is being touted as the social event of the year. 
But droopy flowers and guests who failed to RSVP are the least of Mac’s and Archie’s problems when a professional hit squad hits Spencer Manor to send the groom, Joshua Thornton, Archie’s mother, and Gnarly running for their lives. 
With time running out to the big day, Mac Faraday and Spencer’s small police force have to sort through the clues to figure out not only who has been targeted for assassination, but also who is determined to stop everything … FOREVER!|
Praises for Three Days to Forever:
 
“Lauren Carr’s mystery novels are indeed one of my go-to's when I’m looking for a good whodunit.” –Reviewer: Shana Benedict, ABookVacation Book Reviews.

“Lauren Carr does a good job of moving the quirky storyline along nicely with an abundance of witty dialogue.  And you have no idea who the good guys are and who the bad guys are until the end.” – Reviewer: Every Free Chance Book Reviews.

My Thoughts:

If you love reading murder/mysteries as much as I do, then you will want to read this book! I am just disappointed that I didn't know until I read this book that there was a series with these characters. So, I think I missed the first book or maybe two, but, this story is one that can be read alone and you still know what is going on.

What I really enjoyed about the book was that it's not gory, which I guess if you like such vivid details of people being killed, you probably won't read this book, but I really rather not read such details. Knowing someone was killed with a gun or knife is really all I need to know. There also isn't a lot of sexual scenes either, but it's got romance out the wahzoo! It seems like everybody is pairing off with someone in this book but it's respectable and decent.

I sincerely hope to catch the next book that comes out. What Lauren Carr has done is with each couple that they introduce in each book, then the next book goes on to the new couple and what they face in that mystery. Pretty clever way of keeping up the suspense and not be boring!

Happy Reading!

About the Author:
 
Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. Three Days to Forever is the ninth installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.
In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder.

Three Days to Forever introduces Lauren Carr’s latest series.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.
 
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, March 24, 2015

Solo Book Review


 
Title: Solo
Author: Kevin V. Symmons
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Pages: 353
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Synopsis:
Jessica Long has the voice of an angel. But Jesse’s cold beauty masks a brutal past filled with privation and cruelty. As the talented soprano approaches her final year at New England Conservatory, she is faced with a choice: stay with her striking young lover or accept the offer of a successful Broadway producer.  
She chooses the latter only to discover that fame can exact a cruel price. After years of yearning, the lovers meet again – at Jesse’s ragged homestead on the Maine Coast. 
Matt will reveal the benefactor who’s followed and protected Jesse as the lovers face a confrontation with the jealous pursuer who’s tried to destroy her. One final choice awaits that may cost Jesse both Matt and her life. The Broadway impresario, a mysterious crime lord, and Matt’s stunning literary agent head a cast of absorbing secondary characters. Filled with unexpected plot twists, Solo is a classic, leading the reader over a bittersweet tapestry spanning fifteen years.
Purchase your copy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Discuss on Goodreads |
 
My Thoughts:
 
This book will absolutely break your heart! I think it's one of the saddest stories I have read in awhile and it's all because 2 people didn't take the time to get to know one another long enough to trust each other with the truth. I don't know, but if this is what is happening in real life, no wonder there is so much unhappiness!
 
Telling the truth for Jesse would have eased all of Matt's uneasiness and suspicious thoughts about what was Jesse really hiding.
 
When something bad happens to you as a child, it is not your fault and why adults feel like it is, I have no idea. Telling Matt what happened when she was a child would have saved a whole lot of grief and unhappiness for a lot of people, not just the two of them. Their decisions affected quite a lot of people.
 
I know past hurts are hard to explain to others, but I would have done it in a heartbeat to keep the man who just told me he loved me and that he thought that they were soul mates. Jesse feels the same way but for whatever reasons, she feels she has to do this all alone.
 
The ending is not what I had thought it would be and that is going to shock a lot of people who read the book. It's well worth it. I say that because I will admit that there are a few slow spots and the total lack of faith on Jesse's part made me want to slap her silly, but all in all, it's a great book to read, just be sure to have plenty of hankies available.
 
Happy Reading!
 
About the Author:
 
Kevin Symmons has a BS and an MBA. He has attended the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music and studied in France. After a successful career in business management and consulting, he returned to his first love: writing.
 
His first novel, a spell-binding paranormal romance titled “Rite of Passage” is set in the chaotic period after World War II. It’s received dozens of great reviews and was a RomCon Reader’s Crown Finalist for 2013. His second effort is a contemporary romantic thriller set near his Cape Cod home, titled “Out of the Storm.”
 
Like his first novel, it is an Amazon Best-Seller and received many 5-star reviews. “Solo“, an intense and ambitious women’s fiction work, has been released from The Wild Rose Press, his award-winning publisher. It explores the devastating effects of privation and domestic violence on the beautiful and extraordinarily talented young heroine.
 
Connect on his Website | Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Goodreads | Contact |
 
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.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Nantucket Five Spot Book Review


Nantucket Five-Spot

by Steven Axelrod on Tour March 1-31, 2015

Book Details:
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: Jan 6, 2015
Number of Pages: 296
ISBN: 9781464203428


Synopsis:
Henry Kennis, Nantucket island’s poetry-writing police chief who will remind readers of Robert B. Parker’s Jesse Stone and Spenser, works a second challenging case in Nantucket Five-Spot.  
At the height of the summer tourist season, a threat to bomb the annual Boston Pops Concert could destroy the island’s economy, along with its cachet as a safe, if mostly summer-time, haven for America’s ruling class. The threat of terrorism brings The Department of Homeland Security to the island, along with prospects for a rekindled love affair –Henry’s lost love works for the DHS now.  
The “terrorism” aspects of the attack prove to be a red herring. The truth lies much closer to home. At first suspicion falls on local carpenter Billy Delavane, but Henry investigates the case and proves that Billy is being framed. Then it turns out that Henry’s new suspect is also being framed –for the bizarre and almost undetectable crime of framing someone else. Every piece of evidence works three ways in the investigation of a crime rooted in betrayed friendship, infidelity, and the quiet poisonous feuds of small town life.  
Henry traces the origin of the attacks back almost twenty years and uncovers an obsessive revenge conspiracy that he must unravel –now alone, discredited and on the run –before further disaster strikes.
My Thoughts: 
 
This is a very good, well thought out mystery that I know that all of you would love to read! It has everything that is needed to make this one of those books that is hard to put down.
 
Someone is framing just about anyone who might make a great suspect, even the Police Chief, Henry Kennis. He does have one thing going for him and that is his ex-girlfriend works for Homeland Security, so maybe, just maybe he might get out of this jam alive.
 
The real reason for all of this violence and revenge is based on someone close to the killer died but not from murder and how or why he can blame other people is kind of crazy, but then, crazy people really have no good reason or excuse.
 
Get ready to read a book that you won't want to put down until you find out all the answers!
 
Happy Reading!
 
Read an excerpt:
 
Chapter One
Arrivals
 
Finally, I was having dinner alone with Franny Tate. It was a mild summer night, we were dining at Cru, overlooking Nantucket harbor. I was leaning across the table to kiss her when the first bomb went off.

A hole punched into the air, a muffled thump that bypassed my ears and smacked straight into my stomach, like those ominous fireworks that flash once and leave no sparks. The blast wave hit a second later, shaking tables and knocking over glasses, rattling windows in their frames. Franny mouthed the word ‘bomb,’ her lips parting in silence and pressing together again, not wanting to say the word aloud, or thinking I couldn’t hear her through the veil of trembling air.

I pushed my chair back, pointing toward the Steamboat Wharf. We ran out into a night tattered by running feet and sirens. Our romantic evening lay across the stained tablecloth behind us, tipped over and shattered with the restaurant stemware. Something bad had arrived on my little island, an evil alert, a violation and a threat like a dog with its throat cut dropped on a front parlor rug. It was up to me and my officers to answer that threat, to make sense of it and set things right.

I didn’t explain this to Franny. I didn’t need to. She was running right beside me. At that point, I thought it all began with the first bomb threat, two weeks earlier, but I wasn’t even close. It takes a long time to make a bomb from scratch. Lighting the fuse is the quick part. I can tell you the exact moment when the match touched the cord, though.

It was a bright humid morning in June. An eleven-year-old girl named Deborah Garrison stepped off the boat from Hyannis and skipped ahead of her mother down into the crowded seaside streets. As it happened, I was at the Steamship Authority that morning, picking up my assistant chief, Haden Krakauer.

We actually saw Debbie in her pony tails and Justin Bieber t-shirt. She didn’t seem special, just another adorable little girl on a holiday island crowded with them. And Debbie didn’t actually do anything. Nothing that happened later was her fault. The simple, irreducible fact of her presence was enough.

Even years later, the consequences and implications of Debbie’s arrival seem bizarre and implausible, far too weighty to balance on those thin sunburned shoulders. It was like setting off an avalanche with a sigh. The next time I saw Debbie, it was a week later and she was holding hands with my friend Billy Delavane when he came to the station to report a stolen wallet. She’d been tagging along with him everywhere, since the day she came to Nantucket. They had met in the surf at Madaket when he pulled her out of the white water after a bad wipeout.

“She’d launch on anything, but she kept slipping,” Billy told me later. “She couldn’t figure it out. No one told her she had to wax the board.”

She was happy to let Billy get everything organized and push her into some smaller waves and even happier to share a cup of hot chocolate with a few other kids at Billy’s beach shack when hypothermia set in.

They’d been inseparable ever since Barnaby Toll took Billy’s stolen property report and then buzzed my office. He knew I’d be pleased that Billy had shown up at “Valhalla” as he liked to call it. Billy had been one of the more vocal opponents of the new police station, dragging himself to several Town Meetings and fidgeting through all the boring warrant articles to take his stand against the giant new facility on Fairgrounds Road. I understood his point. I had been against the construction myself, initially.

But, like driving in a luxury car or eating at good restaurants, I adapted to the change shockingly fast. Now I couldn’t imagine working in the cramped crumbling building on South Water Street. I found the two downstairs in the administration conference room.

Billy tilted his head as I walked in. “Nice place. Lots of parking. In America, where nothing else matters.” I ignored him, looking down. “Who’s this?” Debbie spoke up without waiting for him. I liked that. “Debbie Garrison.” She extended her hand and I tipped down a little to shake it. “Police Chief Henry Kennis.” “Glad to meet you, Chief Kennis. Can I have a tour? I think this place is awesome.”

“Absolutely. How old are you?” “Eleven,” Billy volunteered. “I’ll be twelve in September,” Debbie corrected him. “That’s my son’s age,” I said. “You should meet him.” “Most eleven-year-old boys are extremely immature.” I let that one go and offered Debbie my arm. “Shall we?” “Yay!”

She grabbed my hand and led me into the corridor. “Can we see the jail cells?” “Sure.”

The place was buzzing on a June morning. We had Girl Scouts gathering in the selectman’s meeting room and people milling in the front lobby, complaining about the neighbors’ noise violations and picking up over-sand stickers. Last night’s DUIs, the unlicensed, uninsured, or unregistered drivers (a couple of them always hit the trifecta).

On the way down to the booking room I asked Debbie what she thought so far. “Well, the upstairs where we came in reminds me of a mall. That hole in the ceiling where you can see up to the second floor? I was like—is there a GAP store up there? This part is more like my school. But nicer.”

“Well, it’s new.” “New is good,” she announced decisively and I thought,you’ve come to the right place. “So are you spending a lot of time with Billy?”

We pushed through into the booking room. It was crowded, phones were ringing. A bald geezer who looked like he was constructed out of sinew and tattoo ink was being hustled inside from the garage. Debbie stared at him. He was obviously sloshed out of his mind at ten in the morning. I took her hand and led her around the big horseshoe-shaped desk toward the holding cells.

“Debbie?” “It—what?” “Billy? You’re spending a lot of time with him?” “That guy is creepy.” “He’s sad. His kid was killed in Afghanistan. He drinks a lot, that’s all.” “Ugh. Those tattoos.” “They’re bad.”

She’d probably have one herself by the time she was sixteen, but you can always hope. She moved on. “Billy’s great.” Then, “What’s behind that door?” I followed her gaze to the corner. “That’s our padded cell.” “For crazy people?” “Well…for people who might try to hurt themselves.” “Cool! Can I see it?” “Sure.”

We went inside. “Padded” is a slight exaggeration—the beige walls and floor have the consistency of a pencil eraser. “Billy’s not like I expected.” She pushed the walls, bouncing tentatively on the balls of her feet. “I mean, he’s not crazy or dangerous or anything.” “Who told you he was dangerous?”

“Oh, I don’t know…just—people.” “They were probably talking about his brother, Ed, who actually is crazy. And dangerous. But he’s going to be in jail for a long, long time. So I wouldn’t worry about him.” “Billy is so the opposite of that. He wouldn’t hurt anyone. I mean, he’s sad about all the changes here, but he knows he can’t stop them. He’s not like some kind of terrorist or anything.” I put a hand on her shoulder to stop the bouncing.

“Debbie.” She looked up at me. “Someone’s been calling Billy Delavane a terrorist?” “I don’t know. I guess so. It’s just—people talk. People say stupid stuff all the time. Gossip and stuff.”

“I guess. But you’ve only been here a week, and you’re already hearing hardcore gossip about Billy Delavane? I don’t see how that’s possible. Are the kids talking about him?” “The kids love him.” “Then who? Your mother? Your mother’s friends?”

“Yeah, right.” The idea of her talking to her mother’s friends was obviously so crazy only a clueless grown-up could entertain it. We went to the jail cells next, three for the women and six for the men, simple rooms with built-in stainless steel sinks and toilets and a blue cement slab bed.

The men’s side was full, so I walked her into the women’s block which was empty for the moment. Debbie pointed at one of the slabs. “How can anyone sleep on that?” “We have special bedding, but people don’t usually stay here overnight.”

“What’s that for?” She was looking at the stainless steel rail than ran along the length of the slab, eight inches off the floor. “That’s called a Murphy bar—it’s for handcuffing people.” “Oooo.”

She shuddered.

Author Bio:
 
Steven Axelrod holds an MFA in writing from Vermont College of the Fine Arts and remains a member of the WGA despite a long absence from Hollywood. His work has been featured on various websites, including the literary e-zine Numéro Cinq, where he is on the masthead. His work has also appeared at Salon.com and The GoodMen Project, as well as the magazines PulpModern and BigPulp. A father of two, he lives on Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, where he paints houses and writes, often at the same time, much to the annoyance of his customers.

Manroot Book Review


 
Paperback: 312 pages
Publisher: Headline Review (September 22, 1994)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0747245010
ISBN-13: 978-0747245018
 
I have a really stunning book to share with you today called Manroot written by A.N. Steinberg. This is an older book but I was blown away by how good it was and was very honored to have brought back an older book to some future readers.
 
Synopsis:
In the spring of 1939, Katherine Sheahan and her father, the taciturn Irishman Jesse, are looking for work in the isolated tourist town of Castlewood, Missouri, which offers bathing, gambling and adultery. Jesse gets a job as handyman and Katherine as maid at a small hotel. Jesse drinks and neglects his work and eventually disappears, abandoning his daughter. Katherine discovers the ginseng, the manroot, and other secrets of the foothills; she discovers herself as a natural healer who has inherited this gift from her Navajo Indian mother. She also has a special but unwelcome gift. She can communicate with spirits.

Among the hotel s regular clientele is Judge William Reardon, a local hero who metes out justice by day, then drinks the foul taste away at night. Escaping his sterile marriage, he becomes captivated by Katherine. He is like a man reborn. Theirs is a union of like-minded souls, but a dangerous dark magic is released. Can their love survive?

A powerful, haunting novel that explores the powerful themes of identity and destiny, love everlasting and its brutal twin, violence.  
My Thoughts:
 
I really wasn't sure I would like this book that was written so far back and it took me a few pages to get really involved with the story, but once I did, I was shocked at how Katherine was treated, even in the 1940's!
 
Katherine and her father wonder around a lot because of his ability to not hold a job long and his obsessive drinking and other awful things that he did. So, when they landed in Castlewood, Katherine thought she had finally found a home. When her father insisted on leaving again, she refused and stayed at the Inn that she had grown to love.
 
Unfortunately, for her, life did not go well there either. From meeting a man she thought would treat her like a queen and he did for awhile until things got out of control and he turns his back on her and the people at the Inn aren't very nice either.
 
Katherine wonders around in the woods like an animal for a long time and then another tragedy finds her doing something she never thought she would do and it will become the force that keeps her rooted to Castlewood even though she really should have left long ago.
 
This story was very riveting and I couldn't put it down once I really grasped the story and I was so mad, angry, upset and shocked at all the things that Katherine had lived through and survived. It's a story that I think all of you should read because it's brilliant but sad at the same time.
 
Happy Reading!

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.  

Remember the Lilies Book Review


 
I have a really great romance and tragic war book to share with you called Remember the Lilies written by Liz Tolsma.
 
Synopsis:
How will two very different people find love—and survive the impossible circumstances of war? 
In 1941 Rand Sterling was a wealthy, womanizing club owner and an American of note among ex-pats and locals alike. Now two years later, Rand is just another civilian prisoner of war—one whose planned escape from the Santo Tomas Internment Camp could put him and others in grave danger. 
Irene Reynolds grew up as a missionary kid in the Philippine jungle. Now she works for the paranoid Japanese authorities, delivering censored messages to the other American prisoners in Santo Tomas. 
When Irene’s negligence leads to Rand’s failed escape attempt, Rand is sent to the torture chambers of Fort Santiago—and Irene suffers under the weight of her guilt. Yet when she crosses paths with Rand again after his unexpected return to the camp, something more than mere survival draws the unlikely pair together. 
As life in Manila becomes more and more desperate, and another threatening letter finds its way from Irene’s hands to Rand’s, the reluctant couple struggles to find a way to stay alive . . . and to keep their growing feelings for each other from compromising the safety of everyone around them.
My Thoughts:
 
This story is just as good as the one called Snow on the Tulips that I reviewed a little while back. The same author that wrote that one, also wrote this one. She can definitely write some of the most romantic love stories in the middle of a war better than anyone else I can think of right now.
 
Irene and her Aunt Anita lived in Manila and work as missionaries but now Anita is sick and need of help or she will die. The Japanese are using Irene to keep tabs on the prisoners of war and she has had to do things she is very guilty about.  
 
This story is about her struggle to survive in a prison camp and trying to keep her Aunt Anita alive when she meets Rand. But, she betrays Rand and because of that, he is taken to another kind of prison that is much worse than where they were.
 
Can he forgive her when he finally gets back to where she is being held? I don't know what I would have done in her shoes or his for that matter, but whatever happens, I believe you can only take so much torture and pain and anyone can break.
 
I hope you will take the time to read this story because it's about love, hope and yes, some tragedy but it also gives hope to those who needed it the most.
 
Happy Reading!

About the Author:

Liz Tolsma has lived in Wisconsin most of her life, and she now resides next to a farm field with her husband and their two daughters. Her son proudly serves as a US Marine. All of their children have been adopted internationally and one has special needs. When not busy putting words to paper, she enjoys reading, walking, working in her large perennial garden, kayaking, and camping with her family.
 
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. 

Teaser Book Review


 
Hardcover: 280 pages
Publisher: Rare Bird Books, A Vireo Book (February 24, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1940207363
ISBN-13: 978-1940207360
 
Synopsis:
Teaser, the sequel to Inside Passage, takes Corey and Abe into the interconnected worlds of private school kids and the runaways who roam Seattle's streets. Billy attends the Olympic Academy, where two friends, Maisie and Aaron, are experimenting with sex and drugs. They've become close to Star, a streetwise seductress who leads them down a treacherous path.  
Despite the best efforts of Abe and Corey, Maisie is abducted by the diabolical “Teaser,” a man determined to take revenge on her father, his former cellmate. Teaser is a mystery to everyone except Abe and Corey, who alone realize what they must do to rescue Maisie. They contrive a plan that shocks even them.
My Thoughts:
 
Wow! This book is really something! How the author came up with this amazing story I have no idea because it's so diabolical and crazy that it goes beyond lunacy.
 
Corey and Abe both will end up being totally stunned into what they stumble across while trying to help their son, Billy find his two missing friends. The police don't seem too concerned but the parents know their children and know that they would not just run away.
 
In fact, they are not the only ones who have disappeared. The absolutely crazy man behind all of this stomach churning crime is so evil that it will boggle your mind.
 
This is one book you definitely don't want to miss reading because it's one of the best thrillers and if you are a thriller junky, then this one should keep you up all night until the end of the book!
 
Happy Reading!
 
About the Author:
 
Burt Weissbourd is a novelist, screenwriter and producer of feature films. He was born in 1949 and graduated cum laude from Yale University, with honors in psychology. During his student years, he volunteered at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris and taught English to college students in Thailand.
 
After he graduated, he wrote, directed, and produced educational films for Gilbert Altschul Productions. He began a finance program at the Northwestern University Graduate School of Business, but left to start his own film production company in Los Angeles.
 
He managed that company from 1977 until 1986, producing films including "Ghost Story" starring Fred Astaire, Melvyn Douglas, John Houseman, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., and Patricia Neal, and "Raggedy Man" starring Sissy Spacek and Sam Shepard, which The New York Times called "a movie of sweet, low-keyed charm." In 1987, he founded an investment business, which he still runs.
 
INSIDE PASSAGE is the first in the Corey Logan trilogy.
 
This one was too good to pass up and let someone else read this amazing and griping thriller, so I will be giving my print copy to one winner. Open in the Continental U.S. only. Good Luck everyone!
 
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Epitah Book Review


 
Title: Epitaph: Reveille
Author: Victor Nieves
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Pages: 358
Genre: Sci-Fi
Format: Paperback/Kindle
 
Synopsis:
In year 2343, the galaxy receives a deadly wake-up call… 
Nearly three-hundred years have passed since humanity ascended to the stars, joining with a conglomeration of alien races all living under the rule of a single, united community – the United Galactic Coalition – a joint, multi-species alliance that upholds the principles of democracy, freedom, and equality for all races. 
The Milky Way Galaxy’s future looks bright … 
Until a research team uncovers a mysterious crystal buried deep beneath the surface of a frontier world on the edge of settled space. This discovery proves to be the catalyst for an invasion from an unknown alien force that is just as ruthless as they are mysterious. 
As the races of the galaxy are catapulted into a vicious fight for their very survival, fate hastily throws together a legendary admiral with a dark past, a brilliant scientist with precious little time to find the answers, an elite Special Forces Operative who must come to terms with a past failure, a spunky young military officer for whom this war is a baptism by fire, and a top notch Marine who will discover a truth that will define him as a hero. 
These five men and women hold not only the keys to their own survival, but the survival of their entire civilization. With the clock ticking, the race to uncover the truth begins. As they try to fend off this cruel and merciless alien foe, this handful of soldiers must discover what secrets this crystal could hold that would be worth the destruction of all life in the galaxy. But the question is … 
… Can they do it in time?
Purchase your copy on AmazonDiscuss on Goodreads |
 
My Thoughts:
 
If you are a lover of Science Fiction, then this book will fascinate you as much as it did me! I love reading books where writers try to imagine what the faraway future might be like and I must admit that this one is slightly different because everything happens in space, none of it is really on land.
 
This group of space travelers or space patrol gets into a lot of action and adventure in their quest to find all these crystals which they all admit they are not sure what they are suppose to do or how they work.
 
They will have enemies out for blood just for the sake of it and then there will be the oddball personal revenge, but the scariest enemy is The Vanguards, whom they didn't even know existed until they happened upon an artificial intelligence made by a group of people who no longer exist because these Vanguards wiped them out.
 
The artificial intelligence's name is Solo and once he has told his story to these brave fighters, one thing is for certain, they must be the ones to find the last crystal and they must prepare themselves for the fight of their life!
 
Enjoy the space travel ride because it is full of action and suspense! I can't wait to read the sequel!
 
Happy Reading!
About the Author: 
 
Victor Nieves lives in West Virginia. He enjoys writing, reading, and is a huge horror movie fan, zombies in particular. At the young age of twenty-one, he found a way to communicate his ideas and imagination with others through writing, which he plans on doing for the rest of his life.
 
Connect with Victor on his Facebook or on Twitter.
 
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.

Admit to Mayhem Book Review


 
Title: Admit to Mayhem
Author: D.J. Adamson
Publisher: Horatio Press
Pages: 286
Genre: Mystery/Amateur Sleuth
Format: Paperback/Kindle
 
Synopsis: 
With a contrary attitude and an addiction for independence, Lillian Dove admits she has not been a success in life. In fact, she considers failing as one of her addictions. Yet, when she comes across a suspicious house fire with a history of arson and murder, she instinctively attempts to help someone trapped. Lillian becomes the only possible eyewitness to criminal arson, and her life begins to spiral out of control. 
Lillian Dove is an endearing “everywoman” struggling with life issues, emotional complexities and a habit of doing just the opposite of what she’s told to do. These qualities in a heroine give the reader an ability to vicariously struggle along with the protagonist in this intriguing Midwest Noir mystery. 
My Thoughts:
 
Lillian Dove is definitely some kind of character and you won't want to miss reading this sometimes very funny, sometimes dangerous and a very crazy way to go about solving a mystery and making sense of Lillian Dove and her life!
 
She does admit to being an alcoholic, drinking Pepsi and being a chocolate fiend. She also loves men and isn't ashamed of any of it. Heck, she even works in a Package Store to show how much willpower she has to not drink if she doesn't want to.
 
You are going to enjoy reading about Lillian and her brush with an arsonist whom she saw set the fire and all of the antics that happen after that! Heck, even the Sheriff likes her and wants to be more than friends but I am not too sure how his wife would like that idea!
 
Happy Reading!
 
About the Author: 
 
D. J. Adamson is an award-winning author. Her family roots grow deep in the Midwest and it is here she sets much of her work. She juggles her time between her own desk and teaching writing to others at two Los Angeles area colleges. Along with her husband and two Welsh Terriers, she makes her home in Southern California.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Terror Never Sleeps Book Review


 
Title: Terror Never Sleeps
Book 2: Jack Gunn Thriller Series
Author: Richard Blomberg
Publisher: Beaver’s Pond Press
Publication Date: February 15, 2015
Pages: 337
ISBN: 978-1592988952
Genre: Military Thriller / Suspense
Format: Paperback, eBook (.mobi / Kindle), PDF
 
Synopsis:
Navy SEAL Jack Gunn’s life is turned upside down when terrorists kidnap his family and disappear without a trace. While Jack and his team search frantically for clues in Virginia, half-way around the world, his wife, Nina struggles to survive the terrorist’s daily persecutions as his hostage. 
Terror Never Sleeps is an action-packed tale of Nina’s transformation into a warrior who is fighting for her life, and Jack’s relentless pursuit of the terrorists from Mali to Diego Garcia to Pakistan. A military coup, propaganda, dirty bombs, and the launch of Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal with one target—Israel—is all part of the terrorist’s master plan, who are hellbent on blowing the world back to the eighth century. The non-stop action keeps the reader constantly off balance with the bizarre and unexpected.
Purchase your copy on AmazonBarnes & Noble | Goodreads |
 
My Thoughts:
 
I had a feeling going into this book from the cover and the synopsis that this would be a hard book to read because of the acts that terrorists commit that most human beings would never cross that line. And I was right, right from the get go the book is filled with action and heart pounding thrills that will keep you on the edge of your seat all the time.
 
This story is about 2 brothers who have had past dealings with a certain terrorist and they basically declared war on them and their family, so I was a little surprised in the storyline that these 2 men did not have some kind of protection or armed security watching over their families. Especially considering that one brother is pretty high up in the ranks of the military.
 
Of course, he had been on a desk job for a year and this was his first mission back out into the field to try and get back some dirty bombs, but in reality, it was a ruse so that they could get his family.
 
From that point on, all bets are off on whether he goes by the book or goes renegade and if you love a lot of fighting and some major evil in your stories, then this book will not disappoint you. It will leave you wondering what in the heck would you do if it had been you instead?
 
Happy Reading!
 
About the Author: 
 
Dr. Richard Blomberg has practiced anesthesia in the land of 10,000 lakes for twenty years. He grew up in an Iowa farm town, the oldest of ten, before serving as a Navy hospital corpsman during the Vietnam War. For generations, Richard’s family has proudly served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa and currently lives in the Twin Cities with his wife and family, where he is working on his next Jack Gunn thriller.
 
Connect with author on his Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |
 
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. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spring Cleaning 2015 Book Giveaway Hop**Closed**


 
Hosted by I AM A READER, NOT A WRITER
 
Welcome to the Spring Cleaning Giveaway Hop for 2015!
 
I have a couple of books that I hope you will like and two of them are still pretty new as I just reviewed them this year. All 3 books are print copy books and can only be shipped to the Continental U.S. only. Each book title will be a link back to the review if you need to see what the book was about.
 
Don't forget to follow the Linky List below the RC Giveaway Form so you can enter to win even more great prizes! Good Luck!
 
1.)  The Girl With A Clock For A Heart by Peter Swanson

 
2.)  Miramont's Ghost by Elizabeth Hall
 
 
3.)  Just Destiny by Theresa Rizzo
 
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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Lucky Leprechaun 2015 Giveaway Hop**Closed**


 
Hosted by I AM A READER, NOT WRITER
and Author CINDY THOMAS
 
Welcome to the 2015 Lucky Leprechaun Giveaway Hop!
 
Thanks so much for stopping by and entering my giveaway. I have been gone a little while but am hoping to be back as much as possible this year. I have several books that I thought would be awesome for this giveaway. All of them are print copy books. Each book title is a link back to my review if you would like to know a little bit about the book.
 
Don't forget to follow the linky below the RC Giveaway Form to enter to win more amazing prizes!
 
1. Beauty for Ashes by Dorothy Love
 
 
2.)  Duchess by Susan May Warren
 
 
3.)  Baroness by Susan May Warren
 
 

The Girls of Mischief Bay Book Review



Paperback: 416 pages
Publisher: Mira (February 24, 2015)
 
Synopsis:
Susan Mallery, the New York Times bestselling author of Three Sisters, is world renowned for her "insightful, funny, and poignant" stories (Booklist). With her brand-new Mischief Bay series, she brings vivid color to the story of three friends on the brink of a new life. 

Nicole Lord wants to be a good wife, but there's a difference between being supportive and supporting her husband, who quit his job to write a screenplay she's never seen. He won't even help take care of their son, leaving Nicole to run the house and work full-time.

Sacrificing a personal life for her career is how Shannon Rigg became VP at her firm, but she wonders now whether she made the right choice. An exciting new relationship with a great guy convinces her that it might not be too late—until he drops a bombshell that has her questioning whether she really can have it all.

Although Pam Eiland adores her husband, she feels restless now that the kids are grown. Finding sexy new ways to surprise him brings the heat and humor back to their marriage, but when unexpected change turns her life upside down, she'll have to redefine herself. Again.

Through romance and heartbreak, laughter and tears, the girls of Mischief Bay will discover that life is richer with friends at your side. 
My Thoughts:
 
This is a great chick flick book because I don't know if a man would understand all the things that we do and then how we end up getting rewarded for all the hard work we put into our marriages and if you have to work also, well, that raises the bar quite a bit and if children are involved, really is the icing on the cake!
 
This book is about 3 different women with 3 different sets of problems with their husbands and unfortunately, only one of them makes it through while the other 2 lose their husbands but in different ways.
 
Each woman has to examine her life and figure out how she got to where she is now and has to figure out how to continue on. Nicole finds out she doesn't know for sure if she even loved her husband at all but at least she never gave up her dream job of owning her own business, so in a sense that was her caveat that she wanted.
 
The other two though, have a little harder time at reaching their final journey and I was more interested in how they faired and how they came out on the other end. Shannon and Pam will be the 2 women I think you will be rooting for the most but if you are career driven, then Nicole may be your pick.
 
I never was career driven and I have to say it's a good thing I wasn't or I would be alone right now battling all my health issues on my own and that my friend, is not how anyone would want to spend the rest of their lives without someone to count on being there when you really need them the most!
 
It's a great read and I think you will understand each woman's approach and how she solves her problem.
 
Happy Reading!
 
About the Author:
 
New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery has won the hearts of millions of readers around the world with books described as “immensely entertaining, intensely emotional” (RT Book Reviews), “hilarious” (Fort Worth Star-Telegram), and “heartwarming” (Publishers Weekly). One major retailer recently described her as “the queen of romantic fiction.”
 
While she deeply appreciates the accolades of critics and booksellers, Mallery is even more honored by the enthusiasm of her readers and the word-of-mouth that catapults her toward the top of the bestsellers lists time and again.
 
Mallery lives in not-so-sunny Seattle with her husband and a toy poodle who makes her laugh every day and who’s not even a little bit impressed by her growing fame.
 
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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. 

Shady Cross Book Review


 
Paperback: 308 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (February 24, 2015)
 
Synopsis:
In one hand, small-time crook Stokes holds a backpack stuffed with someone else’s money—three hundred and fifty thousand dollars of it. 
In the other hand, Stokes has a cell phone, which he found with the money. On the line, a little girl he doesn’t know asks, “Daddy? Are you coming to get me? They say if you give them money they’ll let you take me home.” 
From bestselling author James Hankins comes a wrenching story of an unscrupulous man torn between his survival instincts and the plight of a true innocent. Faced with the choice, Stokes discovers his conscience might not be as corroded as he thought.
My Thoughts:
 
I don't know about you, but it sure would hard to pass up $350,000 on the side of the road, huh? But, when the cell phone rang and the little girl asked if her Daddy was coming to get her, that was the end of the thought of just taking off with the money for Stokes.
 
Which was a big surprise since just the night before he robbed some people of their money, not all of it, he left them some in case they needed to call for help or get a cab, but still, in general, he was a crook and who would pass up $350,000? The guy in the car was dead, so he sure wasn't going to tell anyone he came across it. But, that phone call messed with his mind and once Stokes makes up his mind, well, that's that. And I kind of like a person like that, one who makes a serious decision and follows it through to the end.
 
This story is one disaster and suspense filled with every chapter that you read. He has people lying to him, people trying to kill him, people trying to rob him of the money and he is just trying to do the right thing but even her awful mother, or so he thought she was her mother, turns out to be the one who put this all in motion but once you deal with the bad side of town and the bad people that live there, the deals are never really going to go through, or at least not to your liking or benefit.
 
By the end of the story, I really loved Stokes so the ending didn't sit well with me because I think he would have made a great series of books about helping out people in need because I have got to say, Angels were watching over him several times during the story and he got really lucky a few times.
 
You will definitely want to put this one on your To Read list!
 
Happy Reading!
 
About the Author:
 
Bestselling author James Hankins pursued writing at an early age. While attending NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, he received the Chris Columbus Screenwriting Award. After career detours into screenwriting, health administration, and the law, Hankins recommitted himself to writing fiction.
 
Since then, he has written three popular thrillers, each of which spent time in the Kindle Top 100. Additionally, Brothers and Bones received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews and was named to their list of Best Books of 2013, while both Jack of Spades and Drawnwere Amazon #1 bestsellers. He lives with his wife and twin sons just north of Boston.
 
The author has been gracious enough to offer one winner from the Continental U.S. and Canada a print copy of Shady Cross. Good Luck Everyone!
 
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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.