Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Fires of Man Book Review

Title: Fires of Man
Author: Dan Levinson
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Pages: 392
Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Drama
Format: Paperback/Kindle
Supposedly, the war between Calchis and Orion ended decades ago. But upon reporting to an isolated Orion army base for basic training, Private Stockton Finn learns the war still rages, only the weapons have changed—most disturbingly of all, Finn has been selected to become one of those weapons. 
Across the border, young Calchan farm boy Aaron Waverly learns all too well just how determined his country is to win the war when he is abducted from his family’s property by a sinister government operative known only as Agent. Trapped in dreary new surroundings, learning deadly skills he’s never before imagined, Aaron struggles to reconcile his ephemeral faith with his harsh new reality. 
As the two nations hurtle toward a resurgence of open hostilities, Finn and Aaron—along with their powerful new mentors—prepare themselves for the inevitable clash. Meanwhile, Calchan archaeologist Dr. Faith Santia unearths a surprising find in the frozen tundra far to the north, which hints that the brewing conflict may only be the first of their worries…
My Thoughts:
I really loved this book! It is right up my alley and it was fun, fascinating, riveting and made me want to stay up all night just so I could finish it and see what happens!
This story is about two sides warring with each other for what I am not quite sure, since this first book doesn't come right out and say it, so I can only imagine that the evil person wants it for bad reasons.
We won't know the outcome in this book because another one is coming, but if it's as full of surprises and action as this one was, then it will be a doozy of a book! The characters are bold and beautiful, full of life and their antics, so there won't ever be a dull moment going on.
Happy Reading! 
About the Author:
Dan Levinson is a NY-based writer of speculative fiction. Trained as an actor at NYU’s Tisch School of Arts, he also writes for the stage and screen. He grew up immersing himself in fantastical worlds, and is thrilled to now create them.
In addition to the Psionic Earth series, he is also the author of the upcoming YA fantasy novel The Ace of Kings, first book of The Conjurer’s Cycle.
Check out 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 you. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

After We Fall Book Review

    Paperback: 336 pages
    Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (June 2, 2015)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 1492609196
    ISBN-13: 978-1492609193
I have a great new thriller/murder mystery book to share with you called After We Fall written by Emma Kavanagh that I think you will enjoy reading.

Blood stains the carpet of an empty house. A front door slams behind a mother with a suitcase full of secrets. Someone screams. A plane falls out of the sky. 
Cecilia made the hardest decision of her life moments before she stepped onto the plane that would bring her world crashing down. Her marriage was failing before even getting off the ground, and her desperate need to start over has driven her to abandon her family. Now, as her plane plummets toward the ground, she wishes she had given her son one last kiss good-bye.  
As tragedy meets mystery, Cecilia and three others, each struggling with their own secrets, become connected on one fateful night when lives are lost in the sky and on the ground.
 My Thoughts:
This is one of those stories that mixes a lot of different things going on and on this fateful night, all of these things and the people involved are brought together in an unthinkable way: their plane crashes and only 13 people survive and the 4 main characters of this book are among them.
All 4 of these people have secrets and wishes that they hope never come to light while one person, Cecilia hopes to undo some of the damage that she did to her son and her husband before she left to go on this flight. She may not get all that she wants, but, if she tries hard enough, her son may want his mother in his life.
The other characters are involved in an accidental murder and cover up and as fate would have it, Cecilia's husband, Tom, is a homicide detective and it's his case to solve the mystery of why this woman died.
It's a great book, full of surprises, lots of action and even some love going around if you pay attention to what is being said and done. Sometimes, people miss clues when they are upset or distracted by other events, so these characters need to pay close attention or they may miss out on the important details such as finding love or catching a killer.
Happy Reading!
Praise for After We Fall:
"A brilliant debut" - Marie Claire (UK)

"We predict big things for Emma Kavanagh ... addictive." - Good Housekeeping (UK)

"Dark, tense and convincing, this is a brilliantly executed and engrossing thriller." - Sunday Mirror

"Solid debut...Packed with high emotion, this novel about bad choices and vexed relationships reveals a born storyteller with room to grow." - Publishers Weekly
About the Author:
Emma Kavanagh graduated from Cardiff University with a PhD in psychology and spent many years working as a police and military psychologist, training firearms officers, command staff, and military personnel throughout the United Kingdom and Europe. She then went into private practice as a psychology consultant, specializing in human performance in extreme situations.
Kavanagh lives in South Wales with her husband and young son.

I thought this was such a great book to read, that I will be giving one of my readers the paperback book that I just read. Open in the Continental U.S. only. Good Luck Everyone!

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 you. 

Fevers Book Review

'Fevers' by Joel Homer

Publisher-ebook:  Zac Homer, (April 20, 2014)
Publisher-Print: Bantam
Category: Action/Adventure, Suspense/Thriller, Some Romance
Tour Date: May/June, 2015
Available in: Print & ebook,
Pages: 261
FEVERS is a novel unlike any you have ever read. Exotic adventure, white knuckled suspense, torrid romance, and a haunting portrait of three damaged individuals – one man who has turned beast, one who must confront the beast within himself, and the woman torn between them.  
There are rumors that somewhere deep in the steamy rainforest of the Amazon a man, once civilized, is hiding in green shadows. To the primitive Brazilian Indios, he is considered their long-awaited "pale-skinned messiah." Others believe he is an evil god with powers to stir the native masses to a frenzied, killing pitch. And others suspect he might be Michael Fevers.  
Into the lush tropics comes a troubled American, rebellious journalist, embittered Vietnam vet, desperate soldier of fortune. William Straw, who soon forms an uneasy alliance with a beautiful anthropologist, continues his tortured upriver journey-from jungle shantytown to opulent plantation, from explosive passion to brutal murder. Whether he is pursuing a story, an adventure, or a chance to finally exorcise his own inner demons, nothing will prepare William Straw for the sudden violence and bizarre cruelty of the one who is waiting ahead -- Michael Fevers.
Purchase your copy on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. 
My Thoughts:
Okay, I have to say that I don't have a tough stomach and you would definitely have to have that to read the whole book. So, I will admit, I had to skip parts of this book or I would have never gotten it read.
This elusive man or legend as some thought him to be, Michael Fevers, actually turns out to be real and this guy, William Straw, decides to find out what is truth and what is made up. He should have stayed home and minded his own business because the things that happen on this trip into the jungle prove to be too much. As in all that went with him don't make it back.
This is not a book for those who are prone to nightmares or if you have vivid imaginations, I wouldn't recommend this book. Definitely do not let teens read this! How someone came up with all of this stuff is really mind boggling and then to help with some of the more graphic parts, a romance is thrown in, I guess to make it seem more humane and to give the readers a break.
There is a reason I don't watch horror flicks because I am bad to have nightmares, so I am so very glad I skipped over the horrible parts in this book. So, please be cautious about letting your teens read this book. If you are someone who loves horror books and films, then this will be right up your alley.
Happy Reading!

Praise for 'Fevers' by Joel Homer:

"Very engrossing novel. It felt a bit like reading a modern version of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. The plot moves quickly and smoothly. The excitement never ends."- Gerald Loev, Amazon Reviewer

About Joel Homer:

Joel Homer was raised in Greenwich Village, attended New York University and was a medal-winning veteran from the Vietnam war. Upon returning to the states, he began his writing career as a senior editor at Saturday Review. His books include "Marathons" and "Jargon." His produced plays include "Scenes Dedicated to My Brother," "What People Do When They're All Alone," and "The Lieutenant Snuffs the Light."

In 1984 he was the first recipient of the prestigious Glickman Award for playwriting. His last play 'Private Scenes" was a huge hit in San Francisco. While working in Los Angeles, he co-wrote the original script for "Beauty and the Beast" for date the most popular stage play in Disney's history. Joel Homer passed away in 2003 at the age of 58.

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 you.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Outlaw Trigger Book Review

I have a very fascinating book to share with you called Outlaw Trigger, which is a sequel to Dawn of Destiny written by Lee Stephen.
They say every man has a breaking point-every man can be pushed off the edge. Scott Remington entered EDEN with the heart of a lion. He forged glory in the furnace of war. But on the heels of dawn, darkness awaits. Only when stretched to the limit will a man truly learn who he is.  
That limit is about to be breached. Lines will be crossed. Sides will be chosen. And faith will be put to the test. Will the righteous prevail?
Purchase your copy on: Amazon or Barnes & Noble. 
My Thoughts:
I very much loved the first book, Dawn of Destiny, and I did review it and have given you the link to that review as well.
As for Outlaw Trigger, it has surpassed my expectations and while I wasn't happy with the ending, I am hoping in the next sequel things will not seem as dire as it ended. But, I can tell you that the action is fast paced, the enemy is still as relentless as ever and they have even thrown in some romances for several of the characters.
Of course, there are some bullies as life wouldn't be the same without them, but one of the heroes in this book, shines through until the end.
If you love Science Fiction/Urban Fantasy/Dystopian type books, then you are going to love this series as much as I do! I really can't wait until the next book comes out so I can see how everyone is fairing and I am desperately praying that some characters have found a way to survive this horrific battle for control.
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 sons, Levi and Lawson, 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.
Connect with him on Facebook or 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.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Method 15/33 Book Review

Method 15/33
by Shannon Kirk on Tour July 2015

Book Details:
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Published by: Oceanview Publishing 
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Number of Pages: 258
ISBN: 1608091457 (ISBN13: 9781608091454)

Kidnapped, pregnant teen turns the tables. Who is the victim and who is the aggressor? Imagine a helpless, pregnant 16-year-old who's just been yanked from the serenity of her home and shoved into a dirty van.

Now forget her...

Picture instead a pregnant, 16-year-old, manipulative prodigy.

She is shoved into a dirty van and, from the first moment of her kidnapping, feels a calm desire for two things: to save her unborn child and to exact merciless revenge.

She is methodical—calculating— scientific in her plotting.

A clinical sociopath? Leaving nothing to chance, secure in her timing and practice, she waits—for the perfect moment to strike. Method 15/33 is what happens when the victim is just as cold as her abductors.

The agents searching for a kidnapped girl have their own frustrations and desires wrapped into this chilling drama. In the twists of intersecting stories, one is left to ponder. Who is the victim? Who is the aggressor?

My Thoughts:

I have to say that I wasn't too sure about this book in the beginning but as I kept on reading and began to understand the main character's way of thinking and how her mind worked, it all started making sense and became a truly masterminded story as to who was really running the show and how far would she have to go to gain her freedom.

There are several shocking surprises along the way that she didn't know about but what I came to admire most about this young teenage pregnant girl was that even though her plans to escape came unraveled a little bit here and there, she was such a quick thinker that even the smallest problem became another way to showcase just how smart and quick thinking she was, even in her state of condition.

This is a fast paced and well thought out thriller that I hope you will read because it was truly mind boggling how she was able to come up with all these idea's of how to use each and every one of them to get herself and others out from under these really awful villains that were holding them as hostages for their own personal gain.

Happy Reading!


“Method 15/33 is crowded with fascinating characters—even the spear carriers pop off the page—but the standout is the kidnapped pregnant teenager. Her captors want her baby. Little do they know they've brought an insanely brilliant, angry, vengeful, borderline sociopath under their roof. Somebody's in big trouble... and it isn't the teenager.” —F. Paul Wilson, New York Times best-selling author of Santa Jack

“Completely original and totally kick ass! Shannon Kirk pulls no punches in this adrenaline rush of a thriller where the victim is the one to watch, while the kidnappers learn to fear. Loved it!” —Lisa Gardner, New York Times best-selling author of Fear Nothing

“What happens when infant traffickers kidnap the wrong pregnant teen? You get Method 15/33, a cross between The Lovely Bones and Silence of the Lambs. Shannon Kirk's debut thriller is a dark, literate page-turner, utterly compelling. I read it in one sitting.” —Leonard Rosen, Award-winning author of All Cry Chaos and The Tenth Witness

“Wow. Ridiculously good. Crazy good. Brilliantly heart-stoppingly nail-bitingly original, this is a true thriller tour de force. Shannon Kirk is an instant star.” —Hank Phillippi Ryan Agatha, Anthony winning author of Truth be Told


Author Bio:

authorShannon Kirk is a practicing attorney and a law professor. She attended West Virginia Wesleyan and St. John’s Universities, is a graduate of Suffolk Law School, and was a trial lawyer in Chicago prior to moving to Massachusetts.

She has been honored three times by the Faulkner Society in the William Faulkner-William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition.

She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, a physicist, and their son. Method 15/33 is her first novel.

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 you.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Bye Bye Love Book Review

Bye, Bye Love by KJ Larsen

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mystery
Published by: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: Aprl 7, 2015
Number of Pages: 28
ISBN: 9781464203831
Series: Cat DeLuca Mystery #4 (Each is a Stand-Alone Novel)  

Chicago’s Pants On Fire Detective Agency targets liars and cheats. But PI Cat DeLuca is once again up to her smokin’ skinny jeans in murder.

Cat is out running in a neighborhood park when she crashes over the faceless body of Bernie Love. Bernie was the finance guy to the scary Provenza family, with whom he grew up. And friend to Cat’s shady, Ferrari-wheeling-cop Uncle Joey. As she hauls out her phone, Cat is assaulted by someone with a Rolex, stun gun, and wheelbarrow. When the cops show up, the killer is gone. And so is the body.

Captain Bob, a stickler for habeas corpus, blows off Cat’s story. Stung by a chorus of snickers from the Ninth Precinct, home base for DeLuca men, Cat vows to make her case and goes after Rolex man.

The murderer, desperate to silence the only person who can place him at the park, comes after Cat. She’s quickly on a collision course with the deadliest adversary she’s ever encountered—but she has the help of her beagle partner, her gun-happy assistant, an ex-spy (or two), and her outrageous, interfering Italian family. Meanwhile, her hot, FBI-boyfriend seems sidelined in Vegas.

In Bye, Bye, Love, K.J. Larsen delivers another nail-biting tale rife with unexpected plot twists, zany characters, fabulous food, and laugh-out-loud humor.

My Thoughts:

If you love nice cozy murder/mysteries that don't get graphic and have a nice side of romance on the down low, then this book is definitely for you!

It has just the right amount of action going on and the right amount of that cynic New Yorker wise cracking that will make you laugh and smile at some of their colorful jokes and poking fun at each other. It's what really makes the story interesting and the side romance helps out a lot, too!

There are several colorful characters in this story and you will be delighted at their antic's and how they see things, even though sometimes their version isn't exactly how it went, but they are happy in their conclusion of how things went down, so no one has the heart to tell them otherwise.

All in all, it's a good story that you can share with anyone in your family who loves mysteries!

Happy Reading!

Read an excerpt:

Chapter One

I was staking out the LeGrande Hotel on Asher and sucking the creamy filling out of a cannoli. My fingers absently drummed out a beat on the steering wheel while I kept an eye on a brunette in the hotel parking lot. Her name is Cookie Allen. Cookie’s married to Jerry, a wiry man with a birdlike face and a wild nest of yellow hair. Jerry’s an inquisitive kind of guy. He wants to know why his wife reeks of Brut Cologne.
It’s not exactly rocket science. Cookie Allen has a lover. She left telltale signs and a big trail of cookie crumbs. A dumbass could figure it out. But not Jerry. He’s hired me to spell it out for him.
I’m a great speller.
My name is Cat DeLuca and I’m a Private Dick—though I prefer Jane. I don’t investigate for insurance companies or work for ambulance-chasers. I won’t find your high school sweetheart. But if you’re in Chicagoland and you suspect your partner is stepping out, call me. I kick ass at catching cheaters.
Last week Jerry showed up at my office, his brain in deep freeze. His wife’s betrayal was slapping him in the face, but he was swimming in denial. It happens in this business. You know your relationship is in the toilet but you’re not ready to go there. So your mind creates an alternative scenario as a coping mechanism. It’s a temporary state of insanity.
That’s where I come in.
“What do you think is happening with your wife, Jerry?”
His small, birdlike chin quivered. “What do you mean?”
“I dunno. The late nights, unexplained absences. A sudden disinterest in sex and all things you.”
“I think it’s the change. I hear it affects women that way.”
“Your wife is twenty-six years old.”
“It’s not the change.”
Jerry scrunched his face, searching for an explanation other than the obvious. I stopped him before he could decide his wife had a part-time job moonlighting for Brut.
“The Brut Factory is in Texas,” I said.
“What does that have to do with anything?”
“Just sayin’.”
Jerry sighed and gnawed on beakish lips. “I don’t wanna make no trouble.”
“God, no.”
“So what will you do?”
“I’m gonna shadow her.”
His eyes flashed alarm. “If Cookie thinks I don’t trust her…”
“She won’t know I was there. It’s what I do”.
He dragged out a roll of antacids, popped a handful in his mouth, and chewed furiously.
“Here’s the plan. I’ll be in the hospital parking lot when your wife’s shift ends on Sunday. I’ll tail her—”
His eyes widened.
“Not to worry. I’m the queen of discretion. I’ll keep a diary of her movements. Make a note of anyone she has contact with.”
He nodded staring through me, his brain still on ice.
I wanted to shake him, but I put a hand on his arm and flashed an encouraging smile.
“I got this, Jerry. You’re going to be OK. I’m armed with spy-eye binoculars and my super, high-powered camera. I’ll snag some steamy 8 by 10 glossies and when I deliver them to you your brain will thaw.”
He nodded and then his head did a double take. “Huh?”
A horn blared from the street in front of the hotel. Cookie was too busy fidgeting with her hair to notice. She was primping for Brut Boy. I popped the newest Pink album into the CD player, stretched my legs, and waited.
Cookie Allen works as an X-ray tech at Mercy Hospital and I was waiting when her shift ended at 2:30. At 2:31 she bolted out the door and barreled to her car. She gave her face a five-minute touch up and perked up the girls before pulling the red Mazda Miata out of her parking spot. I was on her like sauce on spaghetti. She headed down Twenty-sixth and hit the Dan Ryan toward the west end, hell and gone from her house in Bridgeport. Her first stop was a dry cleaner’s on South Ashland. Cookie dropped off a small bag of clothes, then took a quick spin by Lovers Package. Next stop was Walgreen’s for a Snickers bar, some mints, and a copy of Soap Opera Digest. And like a cherry on top, a can of whipping cream. I didn’t have to be a top-notch detective to know one thing. Some Mama’s son was gonna get lucky tonight.
The G in the neon LeGrande Hotel sign sputtered, making it quiver almost hypnotically. I mentally slapped myself and opened my surveillance cooler. It was stocked with Tino’s pizza, sausages, and Mama’s Mediterranean chicken. As well as her unrivaled cannoli. It will drop you to your knees.
I tossed a sausage to the beagle in the backseat. Inga is my partner at the Pants on Fire Detective Agency. She has soulful brown eyes and an ever-joyful tail. She’s fiercely loyal and better company than most people I know.
I poured a cup of coffee and let the steam warm my face. I get what Jerry’s going through. My brief marriage to Johnnie Rizzo was a crash course in infidelity. It was like a knife to the gut. Johnnie was a serial cheater, scoring like an Olympic athlete.
But then, love can be brutal.
Sometimes you gotta get up, brush yourself off, and take your life back. You go out with your friends and exorcise your lying ex with shameless quantities of tequila and chocolate. You listen to the voice inside you that says you’ll create a better life than you ever imagined. Even if it’s the tequila talking.
A cool late autumn breeze blew off the lake. I hunched down in my silver Honda Accord and tugged my coat tighter around me. I didn’t want to fire up my engine and draw attention to myself. I figured this gig wouldn’t last long. The LeGrande is known for renting rooms by the hour. I doubt the sheets change as often as the guests.
Inga kissed my cheek and jumped into the passenger seat to negotiate for more sausages. A beat up blue construction van pulled into the hotel parking lot. Cookie lept from the car, feet dancing, before Brut Boy killed the engine. Her husband, Jerry, may look like a bird. But her lover was a big burly bear of a guy with dark curly hair exploding from his neckline. Cookie seemed to be exploring a wide spectrum of the animal kingdom.
They ran into each other’s arms and held tight for a long time. When they pulled back, they gazed deep in each other’s eyes and laughed.
I’ve been in this business a long time. And I’ve found people are driven to cheat for a variety of reasons: for the thrill, revenge, self-undoing, conquest, boredom, emptiness, or a sense of loss. Sometimes, it’s just for a lack of good sense. Some people cheat because they think they won’t get caught. Others just wanna get busted.
I’d probably never know how the affair between Cookie and her bear of a lover began. But I believed she was here today because they were in love. I aimed my camera, knowing I’d hate passing the pics on to Jerry. Cookie’s lover wore a wedding ring. I knew Cookie and Jerry didn’t have kids. It would be too much to hope her lover’s marriage would dissolve so cleanly.
She put an arm around his waist and they drifted my way. I buried my face in the latest O! Magazine. The lovers ambled past me and into the hotel, his hand resting on her bum.
I tossed another sausage into the backseat. “Back in a flash, Inga. This won’t take long.”
I grabbed my flower print handbag with the hidden camcorder and strode to the heavy oak and glass doors. I was locked, loaded, and ready for love.
Or at least ready to expose it on 8 by 10 color glossies. I paused a moment beneath the quivering neon G and taking a deep, heady breath of Brut, tromped into the hotel behind them.

Author Bio:

authorOne day three sisters, linked by a voracious love of mysteries, set off to write their own.

Hunched over a mojito and bucket of steamer clams, the Pants On Fire Detective Agency was born. Julianne, Kristen and Kari Larsen, (horse trainer, minister and irreverent baker) deliver a sizzling read and easy smile.

Liar Liar is the first book in the Cat DeLuca mysteries. The sisters live in the Pacific Northwest and Chicago area and are currently at work on Cat’s next, most fabulous adventure.

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 you.