Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Summer of the Long Knives Book Review

  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Signal 8 Press (September 23, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9881219698
  • ISBN-13: 978-9881219695
    After an attack by a band of roving Nazi Brownshirts, Lisel Ganz, an artist's model in Berlin, suffers an injury that gives her the ability to catch glimpses of the future. It is already too late for many, but Lisel now can see that an even greater evil lies ahead.  
    Taking refuge in the home of artist Albert Entrater, Lisel meets Konrad, a Catholic priest involved in a plot to assassinate Hitler. Amid great betrayal, loss, and danger, Lisel must act while there is still time.  
    A novel of what literary critic George Steiner has called alternity, Summer of the Long Knives explores the hopes and horrors that emerge from history's darkest moments. 
    My Thoughts:
    Well, everyone has their own theories about what happened to Hitler that fateful night that he seemed to just vanish and this book is one example of what some people would rather we believe, but do you really think he got off "scot free"?
    If he has, I would think his last years were not spent in luxury or in the company of people he could trust. If I had been him, I would have gone underground somewhere and when I mean undergrown for real. Yes, I know it's going to sound a little crazy but I really do believe that certain people in this country are protected and have their own bomb shelters while the rest of us are left to die.
    But, getting back to the book, it's a fascinating read in what he might have been doing while he was there and did he have outside help or did someone with revenge on their mind pretend to be helping him when in fact they were helping set up his downfall.
    This is one book that does have some history mixed in with some wild rumors that Hilter survived and that maybe the government is filling some of that for the tourists who will be coming there as Spring gets closer away.
    Happy Reading!

    I will be giving away my paperback copy to one reader who lives in the Continental U.S. 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 you.

    Sound of Sirens Book Review

  • Series: Tales of Skylge
  • Paperback: 170 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (November 12, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 150316537X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1503165373

  • Synopsis:
    An ancient land protected by a Tower of Light, its people ever tempted by Siren song, and a girl who falls for the wrong boy. On the island of Skylge, electricity is only for the Currents – the rich ruling class who once came from across the sea and brought the holy fire of St. Brandan to Skylge.  
    Ever since, the light in the Brandaris Tower has protected the islanders. Heeding the Siren's call will drown your body and steal your soul, but the sacred light in the Tower will chase the merfolk away. When Skylger girl Enna welcomes her brother back from a long sea voyage, he gives her a special present from the mainland – an electronic record only playable on a Current device.  
    The problem is that Royce Bolton, Current heartthrob and the town’s most gifted pianist, wants it too. After she stubbornly refuses to sell the LP featuring his favorite artist, he suggests sharing the record by secretly meeting up in his private summer house. Taken aback yet thrilled, Enna agrees – and discovers that there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to Current society and the history of Skylge. Why do the Sirens tempt the islanders to give themselves up to the sea? And where does the Currents’ monopoly on electricity really come from?  
    While struggling with these questions, Enna begins to fall for Royce, risking everything to be with a guy who is clearly wrong for her. She will learn that the sound of Sirens isn’t the most treacherous thing out there to haunt her dreams.
    Purchase your copy on Amazon. 
    My Thoughts:
    I really enjoyed this book because it was short and sweet and got right to the action. For such a small book, it covered a lot of groundwork so that you understood perfectly where everyone was coming from and what they are fighting for.
    It is pretty clear that what they consider the Currents and where they came from, they have to be talking about humans and that there is a whole life outside of the walls that they have put themselves in. Not sure what the world beyond thinks of them but I have a feeling we will most certainly find out since it looks like there is going to be another sequel to this story. And I for one can't wait to see what the author has up her sleeve on this one!
    I hope you will check this book out so you can be ready also to read the 2nd book. r.If it's even half as exciting as this book was, then the next one will be a doozy!
    Happy Reading!
    About the Author:
    Jen Minkman (1978) was born in the Netherlands and lived in Austria, Belgium and the UK during her studies. She learned how to read at the age of three and has never stopped reading since. Her favourite books to read are (YA) paranormal/fantasy, sci-fi, dystopian and romance, and this is reflected in the stories she writes.
    In her home country, she is a trade-published author of paranormal romance and chicklit. Across the border, she is a self-published author of poetry, paranormal romance and dystopian fiction. So far, her books are available in English, Dutch, Chinese, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese and Afrikaans.

    She currently resides in The Hague where she works and lives with her husband and two noisy zebra finches.
    Catch up on Website | Google Plus | BlogLovin | Facebook | 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 you.

    Tuesday, January 26, 2016

    Emissary Book Review

    I have a new book called Emissary that I wanted to share with all of you and it's written by Thomas Locke.
    In a world where magic has been outlawed for centuries, one young man discovers that he possesses powers beyond his wildest dreams.

    But he does not realize how pivotal this gift will be in the days to come.

    Except for the healing arts, magicking is a punishable offense in the realm. The only places it is still practiced are the Long Halls scattered throughout the land--isolated haunts of wizards called mages and their long-suffering students.

    But hidden rivers of power course deep beneath the earth, and not everyone has obeyed the edict banning magic. Vixens lie in wait on the Galwyn road. A mysterious race of telepaths comes and goes invisibly. It is even rumored that Elves still hide among the wizened trees. And somewhere beyond the badlands, a growing menace threatens the hard-won peace of the realm.

    This young man could stem the ominous tide . . . but only by turning away from everyone and everything he has ever known. And facing dangers he cannot fathom.
    Purchase your copy on Amazon 
    My Thoughts:
    Well, you guys know by now that I am a huge YA Fantasy/Paranormal book kind of gal and I guess the reason why is that these stories have no chance of ever happening, so it's a great escape into a world that makes no sense, has a lot of magic and sometimes a romance brewing. I like it that way because it does not resemble my life in the least.
    This story starts with a bang and ends with one that is just as mysterious and full of danger as the whole book is. I have a feeling that there will be another sequel because Hyam has not fully reached his quest.  

    In the beginnings of the book, his mother dies and she leaves him with a numbing secret she has kept from him his whole life and then when he gets to the place where he thought he would find his father, he is told he died several years back. So, now what will Hyman do? He had hoped to get answers and help in case the enemy came back and tried to defeat his people. But, as we all know, there are multiple ways to help someone, it just might not be the way you thought it would be, but nonetheless, Hyman has a quest that must be fulfilled.

    If you are like me and love anything related to Fantasy, YA, Paranormal, Sci-Fi or Dystopian, than this book is one that you should read and form your own opinion. Like I said earlier, I enjoyed it immensely, but I am biased towards this kind of genre, so judge for yourself what you think about the book

    I, for one, can't read the next book!

    Happy Reading!

    About the Author:

    Thomas Locke is an award-winning novelist with total world-wide sales of seven million copies.
    His work has been published in twenty languages, and critical acclaim includes four Christy Awards for excellence in fiction and his 2014 induction into the Christy Hall of Fame.

    Thomas divides his time between Florida and England, where he serves as Writer In Residence at Regent’s Park College, the University of Oxford. He holds a lifelong passion for epic fantasy, science fiction and techno-thriller stories.

    Thomas’s screenplay adaption of Emissary is under development as a feature film with a British production company.

    Check out his Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest |
    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.

    Monday, January 25, 2016

    Devonshire Scream Book Review

  • Series: A Tea Shop Mystery (Book 17)
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (March 1, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425281663
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425281666
    Catering a high-class trunk show at Heart's Desire Jewelry is a shining achievement for Theodosia and the Indigo Tea Shop. After all, a slew of jewelers, museums, and private collectors will be there to showcase their wares and sip some of Theo's best blends.  
    But just as Theo settles in to enjoy the fruits of her labor, the party is crashed by a gang of masked muggers who steal the precious gems and jewels on display. The thieves disappear almost as quickly as they arrived, leaving shattered glass, scattered gemstones, and a dead body in their wake. 

    Although the last thing Theo wants is to get involved, she can't help but intercede when her dear friend Brooke, aunt of the victim and owner of Heart's Desire, begs for help in figuring out who committed the brutal burglary. Though the FBI believes this daring "smash and grab" is the work of an international gang of jewel thieves, Theo is convinced that the felon is someone much closer to home...

    Purchase your copy on Amazon 
    My Thoughts:
    Anytime you get a book from Laura Childs, you know it's going to be a hit out of the park and this one is no exception! I love that she always includes some local information about the town and offers tea tips and recipes.
    This recent mystery has Theo helping a friend who lost her niece when a gang of robbers drove a truck thru a store to rob it and unfortunately, Kaitlin dies from glass that struck her.
    Laura Childs always know how to strike the right amount of personal time that belongs to Theo and then her working the latest mystery and murder. She seems to have a different idea who might be involved than what the police believe and you will need to read the latest book to see who ends up being correct!
    Happy Reading!
    About the Author:
    Laura Childs is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tea Shop Mysteries, Scrapbook Mysteries, and Cackleberry Club Mysteries. In her previous life she was CEO/Creative Director of her own marketing firm and authored several screenplays. She is married to a professor of Chinese art history, loves to travel, rides horses, enjoys fund raising for various non-profits, and has two Chinese Shar-Pei dogs.

    Laura specializes in cozy mysteries that have the pace of a thriller (a thrillzy!) Her three series are:

    The Tea Shop Mysteries - set in the historic district of Charleston and featuring Theodosia Browning, owner of the Indigo Tea Shop. Theodosia is a savvy entrepreneur, and pet mom to service dog Earl Grey. She's also an intelligent, focused amateur sleuth who doesn't rely on coincidences or inept police work to solve crimes. This charming series is highly atmospheric and rife with the history and mystery that is Charleston.

    The Scrapbooking Mysteries - a slightly edgier series that take place in New Orleans. The main character, Carmela, owns Memory Mine scrapbooking shop in the French Quarter and is forever getting into trouble with her friend, Ava, who owns the Juju Voodoo shop. New Orleans' spooky above-ground cemeteries, jazz clubs, bayous, and Mardi Gras madness make their presence known here!
    The Cackleberry Club Mysteries - set in Kindred, a fictional town in the Midwest. In a rehabbed Spur station, Suzanne, Toni, and Petra, three semi-desperate, forty-plus women have launched the Cackleberry Club. Eggs are the morning specialty here and this cozy cafe even offers a book nook and yarn shop. Business is good but murder could lead to the cafe's undoing! This series offers recipes, knitting, cake decorating, and a dash of spirituality.
    Connect on her WebsiteFacebook | Contact | 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.

    Memphis Hoodoo Murders Book Review

    I have a really good book I want to share with you guys called Memphis Hoodoo Murders written by Kathryn Rogers.
    Addie Jackson has witnessed people trying to kill her family her entire life, and now her grandparents’ attackers are hunting her. The Memphis police are never able to catch these crooks since the cops have been bewitched to stay away. Her grandparents, Pop and Grandma, habitually lie to Addie, but she is attentive enough to overhear the secrets they keep from her.  
    In her predictive dreams, Addie regularly sees future events which disturb her, but to her dismay, she has never been able to stop them from coming true. She often dreams of a dark character, who she is later shocked to discover is the Man, a devil from hoodoo legend.  
    Addie is disturbed to discover she is being stalked by a witch doctor named Hoodoo Helen. To make matters worse, the more secrets Addie uncovers, the more danger she finds. Addie presses Grandma for answers about the power behind the ring and pocket watch she often toys with, but Grandma remains tight-lipped. Knowing their deaths are imminent, Grandma makes a deal with the hoodoo devil to take care of Addie, and Addie is later horrified to discover that her beloved family has been murdered.  
    John, a family friend, steps in to help Addie, and she soon realizes he knows more about her family’s tainted past than she ever has. Addie begins receiving cryptic letters from her deceased grandmother, which reveal a shocking family history revolving around slavery, time travel, and magic.  
    If Addie can survive jail, her cousin’s abduction, threats from a menacing gang, corrupt law enforcement, and hoodooed attacks, maybe she can finally dream of a future where she will be safe and free.
    My Thoughts:
    This story takes off from the minute that you first start reading it until the very end! I love books that can reel you in from the beginning and keep you intrigued throughout the whole story.
    There is a lot going on for Addie and her family and although she tries her best to get to the truth, her grandparents wanted to keep her in the dark for her own good.
    Then there are the real threats to her family and she starts having dreams that always end with her family in danger and she is helpless to get them out of danger.
    I think this is one book that you will really enjoy reading because it's full of suspense and you will not want to put the book down. I know I stayed up all night to finish reading it because I didn't want to wait to find out what happened.
    Happy Reading!
    About the Author:
    Kathryn Anderson Rogers is a Memphis native with an affinity for local BBQ and blues rock-n-roll. As a licensed therapist, she holds her Masters in Counseling and Psychology, and as a licensed educator, she holds her Bachelors in Education.
    Her experience providing counseling services to the community prepared her to expound upon the psychological issues her characters wrestle with in her stories. She currently lives in Jackson, Mississippi with her husband, playful preschooler, and rambunctious Labrador Retrievers.
    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.

    One Step Too Far Book Review

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Reprint edition (December 1, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062340093
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062340092 
    No one has ever guessed Emily’s secret.  
    Will you?  
    A happy marriage. A beautiful family. A lovely home. So what makes Emily Coleman get up one morning and walk right out of her life—to start again as someone new?
    Now, Emily has become Cat, working at a hip advertising agency in London and living on the edge with her inseparable new friend, Angel. Cat’s buried any trace of her old self so well, no one knows how to find her.  
    But she can't bury the past—or her own memories. And soon, she’ll have to face the truth of what she's done—a shocking revelation that may push her one step too far. . . 
    My Thoughts:
    I know that life gets hard sometimes and we would all love to have a happy place to go to and forget all the bad things, but in reality, that place doesn't exist and you have to face your sadness and fear and not let it guide you into making even more drastic mistakes.
    I really felt for this character and her need to want to go somewhere that nobody knew what had happened to her. But, I have found that no matter how hard you try to forget, there will always be a part of you that won't let go. Or at least in my case, that is how it goes.
    Sometimes, even in the worst case scenario, telling your story can set you free in ways that you never knew possible. So, Emily will either have to keep running from herself or stand still and just let it really sink in and only then can she heal from her past tragedies and see the possibility of a future.
    Hopefully, she doesn't wait too long because the longer it takes, the harder it will be to go back and correct the mistakes.
    Happy Reading!
    About the Author:
    I grew up in Hampshire, England, where my father worked at Heathrow for British Airways and my mother was in sales. My parents bestowed upon me a certain degree of eccentricity: my dad amongst other things built a boat in the front garden on our commuter belt housing estate, moved us into a touring caravan when our new house wasn’t built, and took us all over the world with his free air travel and limited budget.  I think part of my story-telling is shaped by those experiences.

    I studied business at the University of Bath and then worked for over twenty years in marketing, advertising and online sales, with varying degrees of success, before starting to write.

    I originally wrote One Step Too Far for my mum, whilst attending a local writing class on a Thursday afternoon. I completed my second novel When We Were Friends (formerly called A Serpentine Affair) in 2011. It took me way longer to finally get the books published, and One Step Too Far is now available in over 60 countries.

    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.

    Sunday, January 24, 2016

    A Refuge at Highland Hall Book Review

  • Series: Edwardian Brides
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Multnomah Books (October 20, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1601425007
  • ISBN-13: 978-1601425003
    The Great War shakes the world of a spirited young woman and the brave British pilot she loves, taking her from London to her family’s magnificent country estate, and sending him into the war-torn skies over France.

    Penny Ramsey has always considered Highland Hall her home, but when Britain becomes involved in World War One she travels to London to assist her sister Kate with the eight orphan children she and her husband Jon have taken into their home. Doing her part for the war effort takes priority over Penny’s dreams of romance until she meets Alex Goodwin, a Royal Naval Air Service pilot in training.

    Alex is determined to prove his worth and do his part to defend his country. Knowing he is heading off for the dangerous assignment of chasing Zeppelins across the front line in France, he feels it’s unwise to form any romantic attachments. But he can’t help admiring the pretty, warmhearted Penny and wondering what it would be like to find her waiting when he returns home from the war.

    As Penny writes to Alex, their friendship blossoms, and she becomes his tie to home and normalcy as he faces the hardships war. But being an RNAS pilot means confronting the enemy, and the fallout from those experiences push Alex beyond Penny’s reach. Can God mend the brokenness left by the losses of war? Will faith and forgiveness bring them together again?
    Purchase your copy on Amazon
    My Thoughts:

    War can be very hard on just about everyone involved and I sometimes feel that people forget about the brave young women who are left at home with the children to raise all by themselves. Nobody goes over there thinking that they won't come back, but it's a 50/50 chance that they won't. It must have been heartbreaking to wait for a letter and rejoice when you get one.

    Penny seems to be a very courageous woman also, going to London to help her sister with the 8 orphans that they took in and decided to care for and she herself is pregnant with twins.

    I don't know what these women faced but I have a little more than most as my father was in the Army for 22 years and had to serve in Korea. He almost had to go to Vietnam but was given the choice because he had less than a year to serve so he could choose to go home (we lived in Germany at the time) or go to Vietnam. He chose to leave although he really didn't want to but the last time he went to war, he didn't have a wife and 3 children to think about.

    So, to me, Penny and her sister Kate are my heroes because I couldn't imagine living day to day wondering if someone would be coming to tell me my husband was dead or a POW. And they themselves took on a risk being in London, not far from France where the Germans were within reach. I can only imagine the terror of the alarms going off.

    We had drills ourselves while in Germany in case of an attack and hearing those blaring horns going off and having to file down to the basement of the apartment complex and going into that bomb shelter still gives me the shivers!

    I hope you take the time to read this amazing story of courage from both the women and the men during those times. It is well worth it!

    Happy Reading!

    About the Author:

    Bestselling Inspirational Romance Author Carrie Turansky has written more than a dozen historical and contemporary novels. She has won the ACFW Carol Award, the Crystal Globe Award, and the International Digital Award; and been a finalist for the Inspirational Reader's Choice Award, Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence, and the ACFW Genesis Award.

    Catch up on her Website | Facebook | Pinterest |
    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. "I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review." 

    The Forgotten Recipe Book Review

  • Series: An Amish Heirloom Novel
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (December 8, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031034199X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310341994

  • Synopsis:
    After losing her fiancé in a tragic accident, Veronica Fisher finds solace in the old recipes stored in her mother’s hope chest—and in a special visitor who comes to her bake stand to purchase her old-fashioned raspberry pies. 
    Veronica Fisher knows how lucky she is to be marrying her best friend. Seth Lapp is kind, hardworking, and handsome—but most importantly, he loves Veronica. 
    When an accident on the job steals Seth away from her, a heartbroken Veronica is certain she will never love—or be loved—again. Yet when she discovers a batch of forgotten recipes and opens a bake stand to sell her Mammi’s raspberry pies, Veronica picks up a regular customer who gives her heart pause. 
    Jason Huyard was with Seth when he lost his life—a memory that haunts him still. So when he seeks out the grieving fiancée to convey his condolences, the last thing he expects—or wants—is to fall in love. Nonetheless, Jason soon finds himself visiting Veronica’s bake stand every week . . . and it’s for more than the raspberry pies. 
    Now, as Veronica’s heart thaws, Jason can’t bring himself to tell her he was there when Seth died. Can he ever reveal where he was on the day her life derailed? Or will his secret rob them of the second chance at love they both want?
    Purchase your copy on Amazon 
    My Thoughts:
    Gosh, I don't know why people get so caught up in things that they can't control and it's not their fault they survived something while someone else died. Yes, it's tragic, but to deny yourself happiness is just so crazy!
    I know for younger people they think their world will never be the same, but as someone who has lived through a lot of bad things, it's really not the end of the world. Not sure why Jason feels he can't tell her he was Seth's best friend. It's not like he knows any deep dark secrets that could hurt Veronica. So, I am not sure why it's so hard for him to just come out and say he was a good friend.
    As for Veronica, what does it matter that Jason was her fiancé's best friend and he witnessed the accident? It's not like he killed him! But, I guess you have to have these little drama's to make a good story, but I would rather have honest reactions or have the story where it was Jason's fault for the whole accident happening but he didn't do it on purpose. That, I might could see as a little hurtful, but even that is not what I would call a betrayal.
    Oh, well, I guess once you reach my age, all that silliness that we used to put ourselves through back then is at least something to chuckle about now and makes me wonder how we ever survived our teens and early 20's, but we did and all is right with the world!
    If you love reading Amish stories, this one definitely won't disappoint you because it has all the classic Amish scenario's and their belief's. At least with Amish stories there isn't a lot of foul language or gory murders. They make excellent stories for young girls to read that hopefully give them some good role models to look up to.
    Happy Reading!
    About the Author:
    Amy Clipston is the award-winning and bestselling author of the Kauffman Amish Bakery series. Her novels have hit multiple bestseller lists including CBD, CBA, and ECPA. Amy holds a degree in communication from Virginia Wesleyan College and works full-time for the City of Charlotte, NC. Amy lives in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and four spoiled rotten cats.
    Check out her Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram |
    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review.
    The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” 

    Dead Money Run Book Review

  • Series: Lou Malloy Crime Series
  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (August 26, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 149109379X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1491093795
    Lou Malloy learns of his sister's death right before he is released from prison, having served 15 years for the theft of $15 million from an Indian casino. He wants two things: to keep the $15 million, which no one has been able to find, and to track down and punish whoever killed his sister.

    Lou Malloy teams up with Hilary Kelly, a private investigator. In no time, Lou has found the hidden $15 million, recovered guns and ammunition hidden with the money, and murdered two low-level mobsters and fed them to the crocodiles. 

    As the body count rises, the story grows more complex and his sister's death becomes more mysterious.  
    My Thoughts:
    If you enjoy reading mysteries and/or drama's, then you will really love reading this story. I don't know how anyone can survive in prison for 15 years but I guess the $15 million he stole is a good start!
    He doesn't know how his sister's death is involved but he is determined to figure that one out too while he is trying to recover the $15 million he stashed somewhere before getting caught.
    I don't know about you guys, but I don't think I would want some mob person following me the rest of my life waiting to kill me for stealing their money but to some people, like Lou, I guess they accept the risks.
    Here's hoping he stays alive long enough to enjoy it and his new P.I. girlfriend, Hilary. She decides to stick with him along with a guy named Crusher. Not a very big gang going up against the mob, but I guess if you are good enough, then you should be okay????
    Also, there is a prequel novella that I was sent to give you some context as to some history about Lou called Lou Malloy, The Run Begins. I also gleamed from the end of the story that there will be a third book coming out called Only Two Cats, so be on the lookout for that one!
    Happy Reading!
    About the Author:
    J. Frank James is a synonym for James F. Johnson. Jim has been many things in his life, but the one thing that he enjoys the most is to communicate with people and introduce new readers to the cast of characters that appear in his books. Born in Tennessee, Jim began his career in writing by first securing a BS degree in Journalism and a BS degree in Advertising from the University Of Florida College Of Journalism. While in school, he worked for the Gainesville Sun as a reporter, photographer and plate maker and several of his news stories were picked up by the Associated Press.
    From there Jim attended law school, obtained a Doctorate of Law. While in Law School he was a member of the law review and published an article as a member there. It wasn’t until later in his life that Jim’s journalism skills came back around and he started writing books. There Jim will introduce you to his cast of characters that make up the Crime Bandit team.
    You will learn about Lou Malloy as he leads the team of Hilary Kelly, Crusher Barnes and the mysterious “Blue” as the fight their way through one intrigue after another. You can purchase Jim’s books on Amazon and view Jim on and on his website at
    As a self-taught artist and rug designer concentrating on endangered species, Jim has displayed his art in several galleries, such as in Booth Bay Gallery, Booth Bay, Maine; The Goodyear Cottage On Jekyll Island, GA (where he had a one man show); Blue Frog Gallery, Atlanta, GA; Glynn Art Ass'n, St. Simon's Island, GA and now McIntosh Art Ass'n, Darien, GA.
    Working in acrylics, his work is bold, fun and inspiring. His prints are limited editions on both paper and stretched canvas. To date, Jim has written ten novels under the pen name J. Frank James in honor of his Father who was killed in World War Two. Jim lives in Atlanta with his lovely wife, Lorraine, and their ninety-five pound boxer named Jake.
    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.

    Curio Book Review

  • Series: Blink
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Blink (January 5, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310729661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310729662
    Grey Haward has always detested the Chemists, the magicians-come-scientists who rule her small western town. But she has always followed the rules, taking the potion the Chemists ration out that helps the town’s people survive. A potion that Grey suspects she—like her grandfather and father—may not actually need. 
    By working at her grandfather’s repair shop, sorting the small gears and dusting the curio cabinet inside, Grey has tried to stay unnoticed—or as unnoticed as a tall, strong girl can in a town of diminutive, underdeveloped citizens.  
    Then her best friend, Whit, is caught by the Chemists’ enforcers after trying to protect Grey one night, and after seeing the extent of his punishment, suddenly taking risks seems the only decision she can make. 
    But with the risk comes the reality that the Chemists know her family’s secret, and the Chemists soon decide to use her for their own purposes. Panicked, Grey retreats to the only safe place she knows—her grandfather’s shop. There, however, a larger secret confronts her when her touch unlocks the old curio cabinet in the corner and reveals a world where porcelain and clockwork people are real.  
    There, she could find the key that may save Whit’s life and also end the Chemists’ dark rule forever.
    Purchase your copy on Amazon 
    My Thoughts:
    If you happen to love YA Fantasy/Dystopian/Paranormal books as much as I do, then you are going to want to read this amazing book!
    It's a very strange tale about people who live in another dimension where they are made of porcelain and break very easy and are always in demand of a glue that keeps them together.
    Grey is definitely the fearless one in these adventures that they undertake to undertake a very dangerous trip to get to the antidote that will aid her people from getting sick or from dying.
    As in all stories, teens are not 100% there in terms of outsmarting the enemy, so they soon find themselves captives. It takes some quick thinking on all of their parts to get them out of these people's clutches and hope that they make the right potion.
    I get the feeling that this isn't the last that we will hear about Grey and her friends through another sequel. But, if not, the ending promised hope for all, but I would really like a sequel where everyone gets some comfort and love.
    Happy Reading!
    About the Author:
    Evangeline Denmark cannot sing. This tragic discovery led to bouts of angst-ridden poetry writing in her teens, an ill-advised relationship with Edward Fairfax Rochester, and the compulsive creation of her own fictional worlds.

    Having found her true voice, Evangeline writes fiction with hints of whimsy, glimmers of fantasy, and strokes of the supernatural. Her debut novel, Curio, sets coming-of-age and first love against a backdrop of steam-propelled greed and societal repression. For a peek into the origins of the Curio world check out the prequel novella, Mark of Blood and Alchemy.

    Evangeline lives in Colorado with her husband, an engineer with a sense of humor and an artistic streak, two ravenous sons who steal her laptop and demand dinner, a cat, two turtles, and a cattle dog who runs the house.
    Connect with her on:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest |
    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, January 23, 2016

    The Newsmakers Book Review

    The Newsmakers
    By Lis Wiehl with Sebastian Stuart
    Published: Thomas Nelson
    Hardcover: 352 pages
    Date: January 19, 2016
    ISBN-10: 0718037677
    ISBN-13: 978-0718037673
    Wow, have I got an exciting book to share with all of you today and it's called The Newsmakers written by Lis Wiehl that will absolutely keep you on your toes from start to finish!
    TV reporter Erica Sparks has become a superstar overnight. Is it due to her hard work and talent, or is she at the center of a spiraling conspiracy?

    Erica Sparks is a beautiful and ambitious reporter who has just landed her dream job at Global News Network in New York. And while it was hard to leave Jenny, her cherished eight-year-old daughter, in the custody of her ex-husband, Erica is determined to succeed in the cutthroat world of big-time broadcasting. She can only hope her troubled past won’t come back to sabotage her dreams.

    Although the wounds from her divorce are still fresh, Erica can’t deny the chemistry between her and her new producer, the handsome and empathic Greg Underwood. But a relationship is the last thing she wants right now.

    On her very first assignment, Erica inadvertently witnesses—and films—a horrific tragedy, scooping all the other networks. Mere weeks later, another tragedy strikes—again, right in front of Erica and her cameras. Her career skyrockets overnight, but Erica is troubled. Deeply. This can’t just be coincidence. But what is it?

    Erica will stop at nothing to uncover the truth. But she has to make sure disaster—and her troubled past—don’t catch up with her first. 
    My Thoughts:
    If you love lots of drama and some murders thrown in for good measure, then you won't want to miss this book!
    I did however think that the character, Erica Sparks would have picked up a lot earlier that things weren't right at her new job and that her boss and his friends were a little too weird. See, I don't believe someone could have that much good luck right out of the gate from being hired.
    The other thing I got squeamish about was them telling the story about when all these men where boys and they doused a golden retriever with gas and then set it on fire and let it burn to death right in front of them. Those kind of things just turn my stomach but thankfully, it was a quickly glossed over side story that I never had to read again.
    Otherwise, the story was so intense, you just didn't want to put the book down to eat or go to sleep! I caught on fairly easy who the killers were and what was probably happening but that's only because I have literally read hundreds and hundreds of murder/mystery books and have learned a few tricks right off the bat. But, it still surprised me that these guys were getting away with all the things they were doing before anyone wised up.
    And yes, it was mostly Erica Sparks who finally got it with the help of several friends who wanted to catch the person who was targeting her.
    You really don't want to miss this story, it's a doozy and I love it when a book can make me get the cold chills from time to time.
    Happy Reading!
    About the Author: 
    Lis Wiehl is the New York Times bestselling author of over a dozen novels. She is a Harvard Law School graduate and has served as a federal prosecutor in the state of Washington and as a tenured faculty member at The University Washington School of Law.
    She is currently a popular legal analyst and commentator for the Fox News Channel.
    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.

    Sock Monster Book Review

    I have a really cool children's book to share with you all called Sock Monster written by Stacey R. Campbell.
    When Billy refuses to pick up his clothes the sock monster comes to teach him a lesson.
    My Thoughts:
    This is a really quick and easy book to read for your children. It's only 32 pages long but mostly covered in pictures and just a few words on each page. It would make a great beginner's book to get your child used to reading and it's also a very entertaining book because of the character called Sock Monster.
    If you have ever seen the Mucinex commercial, then that is what he mostly resembles, the big fat Mucinex creature that doesn't want you to get well and get rid of your head cold.
    It's got some really funny parts in the book and I never saw anything that would offend anyone. No foul language, no bullying and no disrespect. It's actually a story with a moral to it and hopefully your children will pick up on what it is trying to teach them!
    Happy Reading!
    About the Author:
    Stacey R. Campbell lives in the Washington state with her husband and three daughters. She is a graduate of the University of Washington and a dyslexic writer that believes there is no such thing as a bad reader.  She is the author of the young adult novels Hush, Whisper, Scream & Silence, the highly acclaimed middle grade swashbuckling pirate book ARRGH!  and the newly released picture book Sock Monster.

    When not at her desk writing she can be found hiking, sailing, or skiing. She enjoys chocolate in any shape or size, too many cups of coffee, and laughing (often too loudly, as her daughters say) with her friends and family.

    Stacey is available for classroom visits and loves working with writers and readers of any age; especially those with learning disabilities, like her own.
    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. 

    The Moreva of Astoreth Book Review

    Author: Roxanne Bland
    Publisher: Blackrose Press
    Pages: 607
    Genre: Science Fiction

    Moreva Tehi, scientist, healer, priestess of the Goddess of Love and three-quarters god, is a bigot. She hates the hakoi who are the Temple’s slaves. When she misses an important ritual because the enslaved hakoi are participants, her grandmother, the Goddess Astoreth, punishes her by exiling her for a year from her beloved southern desert home to the far north village of Mjor in the Syren Perritory, (where the hakoi are free) to steward Astoreth’s landing beacon. But Astoreth forbids her from taking with her scientific research on red fever, a devastating scourge that afflicts the hakoi. She does so, anyway.

    The first Mjoran she meets is Laerd Teger, the hakoi chief of the village, who appears to hate her. She also meets Hyme, the hakoi village healer, and much to Moreva Tehi’s surprise, they form a fast friendship. This friendship forces her to set upon a spiritual journey to confront her bigotry. While doing so, she falls in love with Laerd Teger, who returns her love. She eventually has a revelation about the meaning of love, and rids herself of her bigotry. And she develops a cure for red fever, and is the first healer to do so.

    But there is a price for her love for Laerd Teger, and that is her certain execution by the Goddess Astoreth upon her return home because she has broken her sacred vows. But then, through Laerd Teger, she learns a terrible secret about her gods, that they are not gods at all, but aliens, and rather than being part god, she is part alien. Her world destroyed, she turns on Laerd Teger for showing her the truth. They eventually reconcile. But there is still the problem about her love for Laerd Teger. Astoreth will know what she has done and will execute her. She formulates a plan, involving the erasure of her memory, in which she will bargain for her life by giving Astoreth the formula for red fever. Astoreth agrees. For breaking her vows and disobeying a direct order not to take her red fever research to Mjor, Astoreth strips her of her morevic status and exiles her again to Mjor. Back in Mjor, she recovers her memory and sends the red fever formula to Astoreth. Now freed from the constraints of being a Moreva, Tehi and Teger embark on a new life together.
    My Thoughts:
    I have to admit, I wasn't too sure about this book when I first started reading it. It has a whole tone of language that you have to really pay attention to or you won't know what the heck they are talking about, but once I got into it, it quickly became one of my favorite books to read.
    It's complicated and it's a big book but the story is worth the reading because while it's a YA Fantasy or even a Science Fiction kind of book, it's still a love story between 2 different races that are so far apart, I am surprised that even the author could get them together.
    Tehi comes from a much wealthier place and certainly a cleaner one with good food but in Mjor, everything is dirty and the people are less than friendly. But, once they get to know her, things settle down and so will you as you read how she won over the hearts of the people that her kind rule over and they in turn fell in love with her.
    The way the book ended, I don't think there will be another one, but sometimes you never know what an author might do. Causing a little mischief could definitely bring the group back for another book and I will be right here waiting to read it!
    Happy Reading!
    Book Excerpt:
    The airship landed on its pad. After the pilot, a Devi lesser god, gave the “all clear” I stepped out the machine onto the stone slab and walked away.
    The trip to the Syren Perritory had been awful. I’d never flown in a Devi airship, and I was sick the entire time. Seeing my distress, the pilot took pity on me and handed me a bag. I promptly threw up into it. Then he turned in his seat and peered at my face. Reaching behind him, he handed me a stack of bags. I took one and vomited into that, too. Two bags later, I thought I’d finally be all right. Then we flew into something the pilot called turbulence. Despite its leviathan size, the airship was buffeted about, and I was sure we would die. I picked up another bag. I don’t know how many bags I used.
    At long last, we reached our destination. Even during our descent, I could see the landing beacon. A colossus, the beacon sat on its tower of white kyrolite, its stationary dish resembling a silver flame in the twin sunslight. On the ground, I could see alongside the tower two late-model tanks. Dwarfed by the tower’s size, they looked insignificant.
    After getting off the airship, I walked toward a large group of people standing in the distance. I took in the place where I would stay for the next year. All I saw was a wall of grayish-black stone, with two huge and closed stone doors set in its middle. At least eighty šīzu high, the wall was crenelated at the top with deep, narrow slits. A steep-pitched roof partially covered it. Two towers, much smaller and shorter than the beacon, anchored the wall at each end. A short, covered kyrolite bridge beneath its roof connected the top of the smaller tower on the right to the beacon. On the ground, the tower was connected to the beacon itself. I straightened my neck and looked directly ahead. Next to the fortress, the enormous beacon tower looked out of place.
    I reached the first of three people standing out from all the rest. Morevi Eresh, the morev who’d been on duty for the past year, stood before the garrison. Eresh and I couldn’t have looked more different. His skin was three shades lighter than my medium-hued, blue-violet Devi coloring. He had long, tight curls like mine but whereas mine were white—like the Devi—his were black. He was tall and slender like all morevs, except me. I had the jutting breasts, small waist and flaring hips of the Devi, but instead of being statuesque like them, I was short.
    I liked Eresh. He was funny and irreverent, unlike the rest of the morevs serving the Temple. He was my best friend. He was my only friend. I’d missed him terribly.
    The forty-one person garrison stood at attention. Wearing a solemn expression, Eresh placed his hands together, palm to palm. I did the same. We gave each other a deep bow. “Moreva Tehi, may the Most Holy One turn Her face to you.”
    “And to you, Morevi Eresh.”
    Our formal greeting accomplished, Eresh smiled a little. “Welcome to the Syren Perritory and the Mjor village.” Then he turned to a blue-uniformed hakoi standing a step behind him. “This is your second in command, Kepten Yose.”
    I nodded once. “Kepten.” Kepten Yose was short, too, but not as short as me.
    “Moreva Tehi.” He inclined his head and clicked his heels, a proper military salute to a superior officer. “Garrison ready for inspection, Moreva.”
    I looked sideways at Eresh, who gave me a nod. “Very well, Kepten. Lead the way.”
    We walked along the ten orderly rows of four troops each. They looked straight ahead, their eyes never veering from whatever it was they were looking at. Craning my neck, I peered into their faces. They were blank, but there was something in the eyes I couldn’t place, a look the hakoi in Uruk didn’t have. I wondered about it for a moment, then dismissed it. It was probably my imagination. At least they didn’t smell.
    Inspection completed, I turned to meet my host. My gaze, starting at his brown fur vest-covered midriff, slowly traveled up, and up some more. He was the biggest hakoi I’d ever seen. His muscular shoulders looked as broad as the mountains that surrounded us. His skin, deep bronze, wasn’t like that of the Kherah hakoi, who were pale. His long, thick golden hair, ruffled by the breeze, was the same shade as the third, summer sun. He had light-colored brows—almost white—and a short beard of the same color. But it was his eyes that intrigued me most. All the hakoi I’d ever known had brown eyes. His eyes were blue, like the stars, and just as cold.
    I didn’t like him. Judging by his scowl, he didn’t like me, either.
    About the Author:
    Roxanne Bland grew up in Washington, D.C., where she discovered strange and wonderful new worlds through her local public library and bookstores. These and other life experiences have convinced her that reality is highly overrated. Ms. Bland lives in Rosedale, Maryland with her Great Dane, Daisy Mae.
    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.

    Moon Over Alcatraz Book Review

    Title: Moon Over Alcatraz
    Author: Patricia Yager Delagrange
    Publisher: Ravenswood Publishing/Black Hawk
    Pages: 308
    Genre: Romantic Women’s Fiction
    Brandy Chambers was looking forward to the birth of her first child. She and Weston move from San Francisco to the small town of Alameda to start a family, she’s writing her second book, and Weston has a fantastic job working on the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge project. Having this baby would make her already-wonderful life perfect. 
    But when the baby dies after a difficult birth, Brandy’s perfect life blows up in her face. Stricken with grief, she and Weston pull apart. This new distance leads them both to disaster. Not until a chance encounter with her high school friend, Edward Barnes, does Brandy pull herself together. Brandy and Weston agree to recommit to each other, striving to forgive infidelity and recreate their previous existence. 
    Everything is once again going according to plan—until Brandy discovers she’s pregnant. While she struggles to cope with this new obstacle, Edward Barnes returns to town and discovers she’s having a baby, while Weston is torn between his love for his wife and his anger at her betrayal.  
    Can Brandy manage to keep her marriage to Weston together? Will Edward be a part of Brandy’s life if she and Weston separate?
    My Thoughts:
    If you love reading complicated love stories with a lot of drama on the side, then you will definitely want to read this book because it has everything in it and more!
    I am not sure I agree with anything that either character, Brandy or her husband Weston has handled their struggles, but then, it's always to say that when it doesn't affect you personally.  
    Both of them made huge mistakes in not trusting each other enough to talk to each other openly and get all the anger and grief out but also to let love bring them closer together.
    While Weston never really intended to give Brandy the impression he didn't want a divorce and he was hoping the time apart would mend Brandy's broken heart over losing their baby, instead of just packing up and leaving, he should have stated it was just temporary so that Brandy could sort out her feelings and get over the anger and guilt.
    Brandy jumped to some conclusions that at first weren't true and she pushed Weston into a relationship that ended up being the beginning of the end for both of them.
    Sometimes, life isn't as complicated as people make them out to be and if you would just speak your mind instead of being afraid to hear the truth or the answers, then you ultimately make decisions that are not what you really want but want you think the other person wants.
    It's really a great lesson but also a really tragic story where 2 people who really were in love end up in the wrong places for the wrong reasons.
    Happy Reading!
    About the Author:
    Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Patricia attended St. Mary’s College, studied her junior year at the University of Madrid, received a B.A. in Spanish at UC Santa Barbara then went on to get a Master’s degree in Education at Oregon State University.
    She lives with her husband and two teenage children in Alameda, across the bay from San Francisco, along with two very large chocolate labs, Annabella and Jack. Her Friesian horse Maximus lives in the Oakland hills in a stall with a million dollar view.
    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.  

    Sunday, January 17, 2016

    Gelato Products

    Gelato Products: Premier Gelato Supply Providers

    As an ice product retailer or distributor, you know that every moment you spend looking for ice cream supplies is money spent and wasted if you have to look from one place to another. Fortunately, with the dynamics of today's lightning-fast Internet, as a business owner you can cut down on the time you typically spend looking for the exact ice cream shop supply items that you need--at affordable prices.

    At superior ice product supply stores, such as Gelato's, the focus is on fast delivery of every item in stock--every time you need them. Your one-stop center for everything icy delivers everything you need, wherever you need it and when you need it without ever thinking of terms like "back-order."

    Gelato Supplies of Every Description

    Essential gelato supplies for ice cream shop parlors, frozen yogurt stores or ice land gelaterias offer large varieties of premium products that include straws, ice cream scoopers, gelato scoopers and scoopers of every size, style and color--and much more. The latest ergonomically designed ice cream scoopers in various bright colors add to the fun of easily selecting your ice cream product items online.

    Plastic straws, and paper ones too, are available for distribution. Moreover, being just the right color and size for traditional clear plastic cups make it all the better. But wait, there's more.

    A large selection of cups, coffee cups, lids and sleeves, liners for your ice cream pans, cone holders and spatulas also add to the convenient online shopping experience in stocking and re-stocking your ice cream supplies.

    Complete Green-Focused Products Available

    Made up of 100 percent renewable biodegradable materials, Green Line Earth-Friendly spoons, forks and knives will leave you both satisfied and pleased that you are doing your part to help keep our planet green. Only well-engineered and high quality disposable items should be available at a superior quality ice cream supplier's site.

    Fret no longer, and don't waste your time browsing for ice cream shop supplies that are nothing but the cheapest products made. All sizes, varied brightly colored items and design styles are available in stock right now at online stores such as Gelato's.

    A quick, convenient visit to almost any higher quality one-stop gelato product supplier's web site, and you'll be sure to come back again and again. Give your business establishment the style, brand and service your customers are looking for now with higher quality gelato supplies for ice cream retailers and providers today!

    Disclaimer:  All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours.