Borrowed Treasure

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Congratulations to author, Jessica Tastet on the release of her latest novel, Borrowed Treasure! Read on for more info and a chance to win a digital copy of the book!

Borrowed Treasure CoverBorrowed Treasure

Publication Date: April 13th, 2021

Genre: Womens Fiction/ Clean Romance

Publisher: Dandelion Wish Publishing

Sissy Ames has been driven to succeed her entire life. On her own, she’s turned her Bittersweet Café into a success, and she’s rebuilt a friendship with her cousin Harper after years of going it alone, but her past bad judgement in trusting Hunter Wells during their relationship continues to cast shadows on the future she’s trying to build for herself.

Hunter Wells has been coasting through life, working at the family business and creating the life that his family expects for him. He’d once hoped for a different existence, but he’d been forced to move on and make do after Sissy Ames had ended their three-year relationship without an explanation.

Even in their small town, the two have managed to avoid each other, but then Hunter’s fiancée, Sissy’s nemesis, disappears after a suspicious confrontation, leaving them both looking like likely suspects. The only hope they have of clearing their names and figuring out what led to the disappearance is to find the one item that drove them apart two years ago.

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Excerpt

Sissy

              Sissy Ames ducked behind the ostentatious flower arrangement with its oversized lilies and Hyacinthian sprays shooting out at unnatural angles. The thickness hid the center of the room but exposed her to the tableclothed tables lining either side where the overdressed elite of Thibodaux and its surrounding areas sat. Tonight represented everything she typically avoided, mainly so that she could stay out of the proximity of the woman commanding the center floor. Why her arch nemesis must flit around the ballroom gloating about her latest accomplishment was beyond Sissy. That woman’s pretentious fake smile and sickly-sweet voice had followed Sissy wherever she went in the large ballroom until her hands had begun to shake and her jaw to ache from the clenching.

              Harper, her cousin, approached from the buffet table near the rear of the room.  “The lobster bisque’s edible.” Holding out a tiny plastic bowl towards Sissy, Harper shrugged bare shoulders in defeat. Although the food lacked appeal, Harper certainly stunned in the black skintight number Sissy had sent over for her to wear tonight. Sissy had been right to prod the usually casual attired woman into vintage satin as it hugged her hips and showed off the curvy body that Sissy unfortunately did not possess. Sissy had inherited her mother’s straight form among other genetics she wished she could trade in. 

              Accepting the ecru soup, Sissy’s eyes scanned the crowd, looking for Cecelia Domangue, the bane of her existence since they were fifteen years old and fighting over president of student council. Currently, the petite blonde in a fuchsia Valentino stood chatting with a town councilman and the sheriff, her fake laugh chiming her existence from twenty feet away.

              Sissy ran a clear plastic spoon through the watery consistency of the bisque. In her head she mentally critiqued the recipe’s minimal usage of cream.  “Anything has to be better than that beef dish.”

              Narrowing her emerald eyes, Harper twisted her lips and flashed Sissy a familiar look. Sissy’s cheeks warmed. Her resentment must be showing.

Sissy had submitted a bid to cater the fundraiser tonight in an attempt at a business expansion, but her bid had been accepted under condition. As the serving contract had been awarded to Cecelia’s restaurant Twilight Fare, Sissy would have to submit her recipes to Cecelia for approval and preparation. As if Sissy would ever turn over her recipes to the woman who’d opened a restaurant blocks over in her continuing effort to encroach on every aspect of Sissy’s life. Even if Sissy’s own Bittersweet Café catered to a different crowd than Cecelia’s Twilight Fare, that woman had branched right into catering which Sissy had cautiously tested the waters only a month before Cecelia had gone full blown into advertising her own services.

              Harper glanced away to scan the room, and Sissy returned to the soup, which she knew she could have done better.  “How long do we have to stay?”

              Discarding the bowl, Sissy picked up her champagne glass from the table instead. At least they’d bought the good stuff.  “We need to be sure the right people see our faces, but besides from that, the committee already has our hundred bucks a head, so I don’t think they care if we are here an hour or close the place down.”

              Tonight’s fundraiser for the Downtown Revitalization committee had the special purpose of raising money to spruce up the downtown area with seasonal decorations to help promote the Christmas festival. The event had filled the local university ballroom with the social society of the small-town area and all its neighboring towns to be sure. As part of the committee, Sissy had aided in promoting the event, even though Cecelia’s recent addition to the committee had managed to sway votes and shut her out of the menu selections.

              Harper picked up her own glass from the table and sipped. “I see a few local lawyers from Emmett’s last mixer. I’ll go over and say hello. If I’m lucky, I may get home early enough to speak to Emmett before the different time zones mean he’s sleeping.”

              Sissy had Cecelia in her crosshairs, and she waited for her to prance to another unsuspecting guest, so she could emerge from behind the flowers that Sissy had voted against. Currently, Cecelia stood near Rudy Klingman, councilman for her district, who dropped in every Wednesday for a number six special, and she’d promised to propose streetlamps to him on behalf of the committee. Distracted, she asked Harper. “Any indication when he’s going to return from New York?”

              Harper shrugged. “He says the case should wrap up in a day or two. I believe he’s enjoying it way too much.”

              Sissy waved Harper’s doubt away with her champagned hand. “Pish, Emmett will be home soon, and you two will be making me sick with your sweetness.”

              Harper smiled, her olive complexion flushing. “Okay, no arguing with my date tonight, especially since you drove. Let’s make our rounds and be out of here in thirty minutes.”

              Sissy nodded and raised her flute in the air as if to toast. “That’s a plan I can drink to.”

              Harper clinked her glass against Sissy’s, and then they departed into the mingling crowd.

              Avoiding Cecelia’s group, Sissy slunk over to Suzy Rhodes, greeting a few of the lawyers and two judges that frequented her business for lunch during the week. In her two-piece blue suit, Suzy stood removed from the invitees, her eyes watching everyone. Her stance hadn’t changed since high school although she’d updated her attire to pant suits and cut her hair into a short bob she tucked behind her ears. Back then, she’d taken photos for the yearbook and everyone had wanted her attention to get within the pages. Today, she wrote a monthly column in the local entertainment magazine, specifically a review of local eateries. Sissy had attempted getting the café featured for months now, even sending a personalized gift certificate two months ago. The woman had never responded to the invitation nor shown up as even a patron, but Cecelia’s Twilight Fare had been prominently featured, not only as a food review but as a front-page feature on up and coming restaurant owners.

              Suzy Rhodes smiled, her cheeks dimpling as Sissy approached. “Why, Sissy Ames, I’m surprised to see you at a swanky function like this. Not your usual soiree, huh?”

              Plastering a smile on her face, Sissy drew upon her southern manners she knew lay beyond her desire to give the woman a good tongue lashing. “Since my café is located in the center of downtown, I have a vested interest in its revitalization efforts.”

              Laughing airily, Suzy’s eyes wandered the room as if bored with the conversation. “Right, that’s true, your little café is down there. I never remember it’s there.”

              Sissy raised an eyebrow, holding her glass closer to her lips. “I know. I’ve invited you several times as part of that little column of yours, but you have yet to accept my invitation.”

              A short, fierce laugh escaped as Suzy’s eyes met Sissy’s. She returned to her survey of the room just as quickly though. “My lord Sissy, I can’t accept every invitation I receive.”

              “Hmm.” Sissy scanned the room, her eyes naturally falling upon Cecelia, who stood facing Chef Homme from Le Homme, the elegant downtown restaurant. The two’s expressions revealed deep, serious conversation—too serious for a social mixer. “Is that why your material has been repetitive?”

              Suzy’s stance shifted. “Excuse me?”

              Sissy smiled, tilting her head. “Oh, I thought you were just so busy that you recycled material from the same four restaurants. Everyone has been talking.”

              Sissy continued smiling as Suzy’s eyes lit with anger. The dark haired, flat nosed woman bit her tongue though. They’d all been raised too southern to truly speak their minds at events such as these.

              “Well, it was nice running into you,” Sissy said, bowing her head in exit. “But I see a city council member I need to have a word with about lamp posts.”          

              Sissy pivoted, feeling a surge of confidence from the conversation. Moments ago, she’d hid behind hideous flowers to avoid her high school tormentor, but they had grown up, even though some didn’t behave as if they had. Cecelia and even Suzy hid behind country club houses and designer labels still, making others feel as if they didn’t measure up in the circles they all moved in. She had to remind herself in their vicinity that she was proud of her downtown renovated apartment and scavenged consignment finds.

              Spotting Cecelia ahead on her path though, she pivoted and turned the other way to avoid her. She told herself that with her new found attitude, she would probably lose her southern manners and regret it later.

              Her attention lingered too long over Cecelia, and when she turned, she hit a wall of black cashmere and white softened woven cotton. Reaching her hand out, she pushed herself away, inhaling the masculine smell of sandalwood and musk. From his chest hugging shirt, her eyes followed the Italian silk woven tie in its beautiful pastel green and yellow swirl pattern. The feminine color selection had been a brave choice for a function such as this where the men showcased their masculinity and their pocketbooks. So, he either didn’t know better or his power came with his name.

              She continued on up to his tie’s perfectly anchored knot and landed on the chiseled jawline and soft brown, waiting eyes of Hunter Wells.

Her nose flared as she inhaled deeply, an awareness of their nearness. She took a step back.

“Excuse me.” Sissy felt her cheeks burn as the back of her neck flushed.

              A light flickered in his warm chocolate eyes.

              “Of course.” Hunter nodded, and his lip twitched. “How have you been?”

              Hearing her heart pound in her throat, Sissy straightened her spine, bracing herself for the old anger to return, but his nearness tempered any old residual anger.

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About the Author

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Born and raised in Raceland, Louisiana, near Bayou Lafourche, Jessica Tastet uses the places and people of her childhood to create the backdrop of her fictional South Louisiana town in her Raleigh Cheramie series as well as her Treasure Trilogy.

An avid reader, she began writing stories in the sixth grade. The result was a mystery story she promptly shared with all her family and whoever she could convince to read it. She learned the first of many valuable writing lessons with this endeavor: don’t draw your characters too close to real-life people. Since then. she has earned her editing certification from the University of California and an MFA in Creative Writing from National University in California. Presently, she resides in her hometown with her husband and five teenagers where she works with Curriculum for the local school district.

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#Book Review – Another Time, Another Place by #Jodi Taylor

Whenever Jodi Taylor, my favorite author, publishes a book, I drop everything and read it. I also listen to the audiobook version. I currently have the Kindle version and the audiobook version of this new book already. A signed paperback is also winging its way to me right now. I’m a bit of a Jodi Taylor fangirl. However, I love her books, and historical fiction with a time travel subgenre is my favorite thing to read. She also writes in other genres and I love those series too. Check out my review below.

BOOK REVIEW

St. Mary’s is back, but in turmoil, and even more than usual. Max finds herself sacked (again), and her new job may be just what she needs. Markham has gone into the wind, fleeing shadowy government figures, and his replacement is not the sharpest pencil in the box. Clive Ronan is gone, but newer, maybe even deadlier, foes are waiting in the wings. More tumultuous changes occur, and it is uncertain if St. Mary’s will survive. 

As always, the characters are well developed and interesting. The story is engaging and kept me on the edge of my seat. Max is outraged in this one, and an outraged Max cannot be missed. The history of the time periods visited is well researched and I always learn something new. I always drop everything to read the latest Jodi Taylor book, and I am never disappointed. 

This is book 12 in the Chronicles of St. Mary’s series. It is important to read them in order. It is not a standalone. The St. Mary’s crew is a madcap, crazy group of time-traveling historians (don’t call it time travel) who “investigate historical events in contemporary time.” Anyone who is just starting this series needs to begin with the first book, “Just One Damned Thing After Another.” I envy you the experience of reading this series for the first time.

In addition to reading the Kindle edition, I also listened to the Audiobook, narrated by Zara Ramm. Zara does an outstanding job, as usual. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jodi Taylor is the author of the bestselling Chronicles of St Mary’s series, the story of a bunch of disaster-prone historians who investigate major historical events in contemporary time. Do NOT call it time travel!

Born in Bristol and educated in Gloucester (facts both cities vigorously deny), she spent many years with her head somewhere else, much to the dismay of family, teachers and employers, before finally deciding to put all that daydreaming to good use and pick up a pen. She still has no idea what she wants to do when she grows up.

JODI”S WEBSITE: You can buy signed books and merchandise here.

JODI TAYLOR”S FACEBOOK PAGES

JODI TAYLOR BOOKS

FANS OF THE CHRONICLES OF ST. MARY’S SERIES (This is run by Jodi’s agent and is a really great site. Jodi also comments on here)

JODI TAYLOR BOOK DISCUSSION GROUP

THE SPOILER GROUP – JODI TAYLOR’S LATEST BOOK This group is for those who love spoilers. Enter at your own risk.

BUY ANOTHER TIME, ANOTHER PLACE

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BUY THE FIRST BOOK IN THE ST. MARY’S SERIES (Happy Reading, You Will Love It!) (Ignore the first two reviews that say there’s a lot of sex. There is one scene, and it’s very mild.)

An Interview with Gail Meath, Author of Agustina de Aragón. Book Review and Book Trailer Included.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Gail Meath

Today I’m excited to share with you a wonderful and candid interview with Gail Meath, author of Agustina de Aragón, which is set in Spain during the Napoleonic wars in the early 1800s.  It will be released tomorrow. My review and the book trailer are below.

Bonnie:  Hi Gail.  It is so great to finally meet you.  Tell the readers a little bit about yourself:  

Gail:  I’m from upstate NY by Lake Ontario.  I grew up here.  I have two grown children and two grandchildren, ages 9 and 6.   I started writing in high school and discovered that I was a really good writer.  I wasn’t a very good student except when there was an essay question.  Whether I knew the answer or not, I could flub my way through any essay question and get a good grade.  I was really proud of that as a kid.  

Bonnie:  How did you get into writing historical fiction?

Gail:   I started writing and doing historical research mainly as therapy.  My first marriage was not good and I was unhappy.  I dove into historical research  and writing as a way to escape. I could go to these faraway places through my writing and write about strong female characters because I did not feel strong myself at the time.   I was married 23 years.  I wrote my first seven novels during that marriage, and then stopped writing for ten years.   It was after my second marriage, and with strong encouragement from my  husband, that I decided to publish my first seven novels. Before that I had never shared them with anyone.  And recently I wrote my newest book,  Agustina de Aragón, the first novel I had written in ten years.

Bonnie:  Could you give the readers a short synopsis of Agustina de Aragón?    

Gail:  Agustina was a peasant girl in Barcelona, Spain, whose father was a bladesmith.  She was very interested in the beginnings of the war between Napoleon-led France and Britain.  She hung around the military base, not to find a husband as some girls did, but to find out more about the war.  As she gained more knowledge of the military,  she began to feel the Spanish soldiers were inadequate.  She met Juan Roca, also a soldier, and they fell in love.  When Napoleon invaded Spain, Agustina and Roca both got very involved in the resistance, and Agustina herself rallied the soldiers to fight.  She was a remarkable woman who became a soldier in her own right and literally turned the war around.  

Bonnie:  Your well-researched novels have led me to think that you must have been a history teacher or a historian at some point.  Am I right?   

Gail:  No, I am an accountant.  I have an accounting degree and my own business, but I am winding the business down and will focus even more on writing.  I feel my organizational skills developed in the accounting business have really helped my research.  I keep detailed files for all my books, and that comes from my business background.     But I always loved to write, and it came easily to me.  My father was an artist.  I was never artistically talented in that way, but I found joy and purpose in writing.  He always said to find your passion, and writing is my passion.

Bonnie:  Your books that I have read, Countess Jacqueline and Agustina de Aragón,  are about very strong women from real life who had roles that were not typical of their times.  They are also women who are not as well known as other historical figures.  Are these themes you want to continue in subsequent books?

Gail:  Yes.  For me to write, it has to be something that I can also learn and will hold my interest.  I look for lesser known historical figures  who I can research, and the research is a very important part of my process. I also want to talk about the heroes.  My heroes are strong, but not macho.  They are confident, but not arrogant.  They are partners, but not dominant over the heroines.  This is something that is very important to me, and also comes out of being in a bad first marriage.

Bonnie:  What are you working on now?

Gail:   I’m writing a murder mystery which is more lighthearted and kind of fun, and set in 1920s New York.  I have also started a Civil War novel.  The murder mystery will be published next.

Bonnie:  What does your writing day look like:? 

Gail:  I mainly write on a desktop computer, but I will take a laptop outside by the pool.  I usually write and research all day, starting at 5 a.m.  However, I take plenty of breaks to see my grandchildren, who live right around the corner.

Bonnie: Do you have any hobbies when you’re not writing or researching?

Gail: I’m a HUGE New York Yankees fan and have a room full of their paraphernalia.

Bonnie: Who are your favorite players?

Gail: My favorite Yankees players are Andy Petit and Derek Jeter. My absolute favorite pitcher of all time wasn’t a Yankee for long.  Randy Johnson (the Big Unit, he was called), pitched from 1988-2009, mostly for the Seattle Mariners, but he was a Yankee briefly at the end of his career. 

Bonnie: Do you have any advice for new and aspiring writers?

Gail:  I would advise anyone who wants to write to get going.  Don’t make any excuses and write every day.  Also, do not be afraid to share your writing with the world.  I never showed anyone my first seven books for years.  I kept them to myself and I regret that. 

Bonnie:  Gail, that is great advice, and it was something I needed to hear as an aspiring writer.  It was so great to talk to you.  I really enjoyed Agustina de Aragón, and I can’t wait to read your next book.

BOOK REVIEW

Gail Meath brings a legend to life in this beautiful historical romance/thriller based on the life of Agustina Raimunda Maria Saragossa, or Agustina de Aragón, also known as “The Spanish Joan of Arc.” We learn the true story of Agustina’s heroic acts during the First Siege of Zaragosa, her life as a soldier and prisoner, and her romance with her beloved Juan Roca. Set in Barcelona and then Zaragosa, and other points in Spain, we meet Agustina as a girl and then follow her into womanhood, motherhood, and war.

The author’s meticulous research into the life and customs of early 1800s Spain is obvious, as Agustina’s world comes alive. The reader will feel as if they are there, visiting the marketplace and working alongside Agustina in her father’s bladesmith shop. The love story between Agustina and Roca is very well done, and their passion and dedication to each other are painted across every page. 

When danger arrives in the form of the Napoleon-led French Army, we can see the bloody battles and the savagery of the enemy, as well as the bravery of the Spanish people, as they fight off onslaught after onslaught. The terrible price of war is shown again and again, and the reader will weep along with Agustina as she faces unspeakable loss. The author’s knowledge of the topic is impressive, and I learned so much about Napoleon’s attacks on and eventual takeover of Spain. Although Agustina is famous for her acts during the First Siege of Zaragosa, she was also a mother, soldier, and prisoner of war, and it all comes alive in this novel. The ending is absolutely intriguing, and not to be missed.

I require two things from historical fiction. The first is that I be transported to the time and place being described. There is no question I felt transported to marketplaces, battlefields, and even prison in this fantastic novel. The second is that I learn something, and this book introduced me to Agustina herself, and then taught me much about the Napoleonic wars.

Agustina De Aragón introduces us to a compelling real-life legend, takes us into her world, and shows us the realities of war. It is a must read for fans of strong female characters. If you have never heard of Agustina, this book will introduce you in an unforgettable way.

LINK TO BUY AGUSTINA DE ARAGÓN (Released April 16, 2021). READ A GREAT NOVEL FOR ONLY $2.99.

MY AMAZON REVIEW (Helpful Votes Appreciated If You Are So Inclined)

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CHECK OUT SOME OF GAIL MEATH’S OTHER WORKS: These are great books available on Kindle Unlimited.

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Book Promo–Tenebrasco, the Pearl Wielders Trilogy

*Book Promo–Not a Book Review

Check below to find out about contests and a read-along throughout May. Also you can download the book for FREE below for a limited time.

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I have a fun announcement for you all! 

Starting May 1st, there will be a read-along of Hannah Reed’s YA Fantasy, Tenebrasco! The read-along will last a month and each week there will be specific chapters to read. Of course, people can read at their own pace too. Starting today, you can download Tenebrasco for free until the 17th (April 15 – 17) from Amazon!

Each weekend one of the hosts will do an IG live to talk about the chapters of the book that week, themes within the book, mermaids and even interview the author. 

 

Throughout MerMay there will be competitions, prizes and a free giveaway! 

 
Anyone who joins will also receive a bonus epilogue to Tempus, the final book in the Pearl Wielders series!
 

Book Cover

Mermay Read-Along!

Tenebrasco 

Publication Date: July 2019

Genre: YA Fantasy/ Mermaids

Mer. Magic. Adventure.

Princess April Meridia is preparing for the long awaited Peace Treaty to unite the mer and legged after centuries divided. The most powerful mera under the sea her only instruction for the evening is to look ‘pretty and harmless’.

But when peace is threatened and April’s powers start acting strangely it is time for her to take control.

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About the Author

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Hannah Reed writes YA contemporary fantasy. Her latest novel ‘Essentia’ Book 2 of the Pearl Wielder Trilogy is out now (available on Amazon).

Her first novel ‘Tenebrasco’ was published in July 2019 and is the debut novel in the Pearl Wielder Trilogy.

Hannah grew up in Jersey, Channel Islands which was never more than 10 minutes away from a beach. She is addicted to ice cream, has an unhealthy relationship with chocolate and is trying to learn to love running.

Currently, Hannah is living in Canada and is waiting patiently to see a Moose!

Hannah Reed | Instagram | Goodreads 

Hosts: @fierymermaidbooks @tabz_talks_tales @thewritingsofhannah #mermayreadalong (Instagram)

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Book Review–The Best Thing You Can Steal

The Best Thing You Can Steal takes place in the magical underworld of modern London, much like Harry Potter. However, this is an adult story with a darker bend. The protagonist is Gideon Sable, a thief and con-artist, who apparently is not the actual Gideon Sable, but another thief using his identity. He is determined to pull off an elaborate heist and take down an evil collector of rare magical items, Fredric Hammer. Gideon is accompanied by his ex-girlfriend Annie Anybody, who can charm technology, the Damned, who has killed angels and wears their halos, Johnny Wild Card, who knows the truth of reality, and the Ghost, who has long haunted the streets of London. They’ve all been wronged by the collector, who has ruined many lives, and they all have their reason to want revenge. 

This is magical realism done well, as we are introduced to each member of the specially selected team, told about their story and their magical gifts, and told the reason why they want revenge on Hammer. The character development is superb. Every single member of the heist team is fascinating, and magical London is dark and intriguing. In some sense we are kept much in the dark about the narrator, which makes this even more delicious. This is a short but compelling read about magical revenge that will leave you wanting more. 

NOTE: I feel I must caution readers that although the book is 183 pages, the e-book version is priced at $19.49 on Kindle. I feel it’s way overpriced for an e-book and would probably think about spending $28.99 on the hard cover version instead. I will provide links to both below.

I received a free copy of this book from Severn House via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Simon R. Green is a British science fiction and fantasy author. Green was born in Bradford on Avon, Wiltshire. He holds a degree in Modern English and American Literature from the University of Leicester. He is the author of the best-selling Nightside series and many other works.

AUTHOR PAGE ON SEVERN HOUSE WEBSITE

BUY THE BEST THING YOU CAN STEAL

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MY AMAZON REVIEW (Helpful Votes Appreciated)

Book Review: The Devil Whispered

In the near future United States, Retired Special Forces Commander Jacobi Slate is investigating a brutal murder committed by his former boss, Admiral Ben Oaksley, who has admittedly killed his beloved wife, Mary. As Slate’s investigation continues and more strange murders occur, he begins to suspect that this is tied to his past and that someone in the background is pulling the strings.

This is a thrilling cyberpunk detective noir story with well developed characters and an intriguing premise. It shows a future America even more enmeshed in technology and describes what could be the results of that. I liked the first-person detective noir approach as told through the eyes of a veteran of many wars. This is not your traditional detective noir, as there is a strong female main character, Risa, who definitely proved herself tougher than any of the others, even our protagonist. As indicative of the noir genre, the lines between right and wrong are blurred and the protagonist is well meaning but flawed. The cyberpunk element is crucial as we see technology becoming more and more enmeshed into human life. This is an action-packed novel with revelations that are eye-opening and thought provoking.

I would recommend this to any fans of the the cyberpunk and detective noir genres.

This was another great book on Kindle Unlimited, where subscribers can borrow it for free. It is also available to purchase outright for only 99 cents at the link below.

BUY THE DEVIL WHISPERED ON AMAZON

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shawn Starkweather

Shawn lives in Massachusetts with his wife and the handful of childhood stuffed animals that they’ve been unable to part ways with, even despite the awkward situation in which it occasionally puts their house guests. He wields a coveted Associates of Liberal Arts degree from Greenfield Community College in an overly enthusiastic, flailing manner, and puts it to work writing both fantasy and science fiction stories. Using subliminal codes and hidden messaging carefully placed throughout his books, he plans to captivate the minds of his readers and insidiously manipulate them into purchasing subsequent releases. 

As a novelist, musician, graphic designer, and a purveyor of fine games, Shawn is often confused about exactly who he is when he wakes up in the morning. It’s been said (by him) that perhaps he embodies all of these things so equally that a singular definition could not comprehensively impart a satisfactory description. With your support, and a sufficient demand for more novels, he secretly hopes that he’ll have no choice but to formally acknowledge the prevailing label of ‘author’ and spend the rest of his days providing a sense of wonder and adventure to everyone who helped him solidify his nebulous identity.

Shawn’s Website

Book Review: Sunshine Girl – An Unexpected Life

For whatever reason, I don’t enjoy posting reviews about books I did not like, although I have done it in the past. Usually when I do, I feel strongly that people may want to see what I found wrong with the book and choose for themselves whether or not to buy it. That was the case here. See my review below and decide what it is you want out of the book before you buy it.

I received a free copy of this book from Random House via Netgalley. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

Sunshine Girl by Julianna Margulies is her memoir about being a child of divorce, living different lifestyles with her mother and father, and navigating difficult adult relationships. She is candid about her childhood and her adult relationships. This takes up a majority of the book. She spends very little time on her two major roles, Carol Hathaway on ER and Alicia Florrick on The Good Wife. Fans who are expecting a lot of interesting stories about these shows and her fellow actors will be disappointed. Fans of ER and The Good Wife might want to look at the table of contents before spending $14.99 on the Kindle version. Chapter 12 is about getting the part on ER, and most of Chapter 13 is about leaving ER 6 years later. George Clooney’s name is mentioned 9 times, but 7 of those times are in the story about getting the part in ER, and two mentions are while she’s complaining about fans, which I will go further into below. I could not find any mentions of Anthony Edwards, Sherry Stringfield, or Noah Wyle. As for The Good Wife, the amazing Christine Baranski is mentioned in one anecdote about a medical problem Margulies was having, but fans of Matt Czuchry and Josh Charles will be disappointed. I could not find them in the book. 

There was one story that completely bugged me because she complains about how embarrassed she was when a group of fans stopped her to talk about her two famous roles. People watched these shows for years, and are still watching them. She continues to benefit from these shows. At least she could treat her fans with respect instead of slamming them in a memoir.

Of course it is her prerogative to write about anything she wants, but fans of ER and The Good Wife might want to decide if it’s worth the money, depending on what they hope to get out of the book.

As someone who has enjoyed ER and The Good Wife, this fell flat for me. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in learning about Julianna Margulies’ childhood and relationships, and very little about her two hit shows. The title is also deceiving. There’s no sunshine in this book.

BUY ON AMAZON

My Goodreads Review (Likes appreciated if you are so inclined)

RECOMMENDATION:

As a contrast to this disappointing memoir, I would like to recommend Confessions of a Prairie Bitch, by Alison Arngrim. Her book is everything this one is not. She shares VERY personal information about her childhood, but also talks about the show (Little House), the fans, and her fellow actors. She even mentions members of the crew. She is witty, gracious, funny, and clever. It is one of the best memoirs I have ever read. Warning: She was sexually abused by her brother as a child and talks about it in the book. Interesting fact: Nobody liked Mary. I read this years ago but I will probably put up a review soon.

COVER REVEAL – Technopaladin

*Cover Reveal – Not a book review

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I’m thrilled to share this gorgeous cover for upcoming new release, Technopaladin by Elizabeth Corrigan!

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Technopaladin

Expected Publication Date: May 2021

Genre: YA Sci-Fi/ Fantasy

Clarity’s paladin order forbids her from entering the Azure District, the one location in her high tech city that refuses paladin rule and technology. When she receives an illicit invitation to violate the prohibition, spurred on by rumors of suffering in the district, she passes through the crumbling brick entryway into no-man’s land. Within, she finds the residents lack not only the ocular implants and three dimensional computers she takes for granted, but also medicine to fight a disease infecting the children.

Clarity knows her order isn’t perfect—after all, they stole her from her parents when she was a small child to raise her with their values—but she cannot believe they know what’s going on in the Azure District. When she confronts the head of the order, he refuses to aid people who have rejected his help in the past, even the children. Unwilling to take no for an answer, Clarity enlists the help of the leader’s son Cass and takes matters into her own hands.

Desperate both to cure the children and keep her place in the order that is her only home, Clarity engages in increasingly questionable behavior—deleting official records, lying to her friends, and manipulating people who can help her. As the nefarious nature of her actions tarnishes the purity of her cause, she must determine what it truly means to be a paladin, in both name and action.

Coming Soon!

About the Author

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Elizabeth Corrigan has degrees in English and psychology and has spent several years working as a data analyst in various branches of the healthcare industry. When she’s not hard at work on her next novel, Elizabeth enjoys playing tabletop role-playing games and cooperative card games. She refuses to watch most internet videos and is pathologically afraid of bees. She lives in Maryland with two cats and a very active iphone.

Elizabeth Corrigan | Twitter | Facebook

Cover Reveal Organized By:

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Good Friday: The Suffering of Jesus

“..It is Finished. ” John 19:30 NKJV

As many times as I’ve heard the crucifixion story, and I’ve heard it all my life, I never could grasp the magnitude of the torture and pain Jesus went through. I went looking for descriptions written by others, and I found this, written by C.S. Lewis, that really helped me see everything Jesus went through.

Lewis was replying to a letter and talking about some people at the time who had objections to one of Jesus’ statements from the cross. Lewis said: “What do these people want? Do they actually visualize Him for 3 hours nailed to a stake–flayed back glued to unplaned wood–Palestinian sun–cloud of insects round head, hands, and feet–the face mask of bruises, pus, spittle, blood, tears & sweat–the lungs gradually tearing owing to the position and then complain–“This doesn’t hurt enough?” This excerpt was taken from The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III.

This description really hits home to me the absolute pain and torture Jesus endured. Add to that the fact that He was the Son of God and he could have ended it instantly if He chose, but instead He endured it all, and gave up his spirit after all prophecy was fulfilled. Imagine having the will to continue being tortured even though you could end it at any time! Imagine asking God to forgive His torturers, even though He had the power to instantly end their lives if He wanted. He endured it all because He was here as a sacrifice for us.

John 19: 28-30 New King James Version: 28 After this, Jesus, [a]knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” 29 Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. 30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.

Book Reviews: Memoirs of a Karate Fighter

Memoirs of a Karate Fighter

Novelist and former karate champion Ralph Robb recounts his experiences at one of Europe’s toughest dojos and provides an insight into the philosophy and training methods of a club which produced national, European and world titleholders. In a hard-hitting story, Ralph tells of the fights on and off the mat; his experiences as one of a very few black residents in an area in which racist members of the National Front were very active; and the tragic descent into mental illness and premature death of the training partner who was also his best friend.

BOOK REVIEW

This was an interesting and engaging memoir by Ralph Robb about his life as a member of the Wolverhampton YMCA Karate Club, his championship battles, his struggles against racism, and his fights in and out of competition. He also relates his determination to build a safer and better life for his family, and his beloved cousin’s battle with mental health issues.

Although I do not know very much about karate, I enjoyed reading about the karate competitions and especially the real-world situations in which Robb used karate to protect himself. Robb shares how karate helped him deal with everything from racist skinheads to drunks and mobsters in the real world. The story of his strong relationship with his cousin Clinton and Clinton’s battle with mental health issues is heartrending.

This is not just a book about a karate fighter. This is a book about a youth who comes into his own while dealing with racism and while cultivating a skill that would shape his life. It’s also about karate, its history, its varying styles, and some of the greats who have practiced and taught it. But most importantly it’s about the growth of a young man, from fighter to father, and the lessons he learned from karate.

This is a must read for fans of karate and those who enjoy coming of age stories.

I received a free copy of this book via Rachel’s Random Resources. My review is voluntary and my opinions are my own.

Purchase Links 

AMAZON UK  

AMAZON US

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ralph Robb was born and raised in the industrial town of Wolverhampton, England and now lives in Ontario Canada with his wife, cat and dog. A proud father of four, Robb works as an engineering technician and loves rugby, martial arts and a good book. His world is balanced by quality TV, global events, great outdoors and of course his grand-daughter. 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/RalphRobbBooks

Twitter: @RalphSRobb

Webpage: www.ralphrobb.com

Blog Tour by Rachel’s Random Resources

MY GOODREADS REVIEW

MY AMAZON REVIEW (HELPFUL VOTES APPRECIATED)