Book Review: The Lover’s Portrait, by Jennifer S. Alderson

The Lover's Portrait: An Art Mystery (Adventures of Zelda Richardson, #2)The Lover’s Portrait: An Art Mystery by Jennifer S. Alderson

  • Print Length: 246 pages
  • Publisher: Traveling Life Press (June 22, 2016)
  • Publication Date: June 22, 2016
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B01EVVS0RI
  • My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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    Book Review: Mystery of the Hidden Jewels, by Carrie Cross

    The Mystery of the Hidden Jewels (Skylar Robbins #2)The Mystery of the Hidden Jewels by Carrie Cross

  • Print Length: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Teen Mystery Press (April 20, 2015)
  • Publication Date: April 20, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00WGTR4I4
  • My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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    Book Review: Northwoods Wolfman, by Scott Burtness

    Northwoods Wolfman (Monsters in the Midwest, Book 2)Northwoods Wolfman by Scott Burtness

  • Print Length: 364 pages
  • Publisher: Scott Burtness; 1 edition (June 24, 2015)
  • Publication Date: June 24, 2015
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00X2VB5E4
  • My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

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    AudioBook Review: Tainted Reality by Ashley Fontainne

  • Written by: Ashley Fontainne
  • Narrated by: Rebecca Roberts
  • Length: 5 hrs and 16 mins
  • Series: The Rememdium Series, Book 2
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release Date:04-18-16
  • Publisher: RMSW Press
  • My Rating:

    Performance: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
    Story ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
    Overall ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    My Review:

    The Rememdium series started off with Tainted Cure, the story of Dr. Everett Berning’s secret project that seemed to be the cure for addiction. A secret project that went terribly wrong when it fell into the wrong hands. Not adding any spoilers but wanting to introduce the first book before reviewing Book 2. Tainted Reality,book 2 picks up exactly where Tainted Cure drops off. You are back into the tension and the ugliness of the laboratory​ that has caused such damage and worse yet, zombies. Soldiers are seeking out the contaminated people and ridding society of the infected people that they find.

    We also are following The police Chief, Regina Parker. Regina has a small group of survivors hiding, making friends with each other, and watching the carnage that is happening right outside the local WalMart. The infiltrating zombies are certainly keeping them all on their toes.

    Ashley Fontainne has brought me into a genre that I had never suspected I could love. But these books are amazing. The characters are very well crafted and have such great personalities​. When special fiercely strong people are wounded and facing death, I cried. These strong, wonderful people are so close to me after two books.

    I am listening to the audiobook and it is wonderful to hear Rebecca Roberts as the narrator. As she has a wide variety of voices that she shares throughout the book. You learn to recognize each character by their voice.

    My Recommendation:

    I would recommend that you read book one before touching this book. I also recommend that you take the time to read Tainted Cure and Tainted Reality. Excellent reads that make you think about what you would do in a similar​ situation and how much damage​ can medicine can do when in the wrong hands. I didn’t want to include anything that would spoil book one if you haven’t read it. This is a series that both is entertaining and emotional.

    Where to find Tainted Reality:


    This book is available in paperback, Kindle, and Nook by clicking the links below.

    First Reveal: Three Projects Out in the Open!

    As you know I love to read and I love to write. I don’t know which I love more I also love to combine the two loves with writing reviews. That is not going to change in the least.

    Nine days ago I mentioned a secret project. The truth of the matter is there are two super secret projects and one addendum on a project.

    For the last nine days I have been burning the candles on both ends to see if my secret projects held any possibility. After nine days, I can absolutely say, Yes, yes they can.

    I am here to reveal my projects. Assuring that they have my full backing and support. If I announce it, it will come true. This isn’t a wish, it is am ongoing project. See what I did there?

     


     

    Behind Curtain Number 1 we have Project one, behold!



    Project one:

    The modification and reissue of the Path of the Child. My first book and I admit it was quite a leap for me.  Now I see the mistakes I made with that first publication and I have been working on the re-writing and editing. I have always been proud of my first book and I still am.  I just believed it needed a little do-over. The goal is to get those pesky errors out and a new cover on.

    I am extremely thrilled to get rid of my newb cover and get a real cover on there.

    The name is going to be the same and the story line is the same. The main difference, more fleshing out the characters and more actual action,  less narration.  I have known there were errors and shortcomings, that’s why I give it out instead of linking to the purchase site.  Now, I have made that decision and it felt the time was perfect. that being said, my heart and head were in the right place to correct my first baby.

    Six thousand new words, deleted about three thousand words. The result?  It appears to flow smoother and draw a more vivid picture. The cover is almost ready to reveal. I can not wait to see (and share) the final version. It is so close to ready, I can’t stand it!

    If you have picked up the Path of the Child, wait until the reissue in about two weeks to read it. you will be much happier with the new product.


     

    Next we step over to the large cardboard box spectacularly decked out in last year’s Christmas paper:  Tada!

     


     

    Project Two:

    I am currently working on the sequel to The Path of the Child. I am currently writing this and it is going well. It will be part of the Path Series. While I was doing the re-write on The Path of the child, two new characters came to me, auditioned for a part in the new book and voila we have a new direction that I was not exactly expecting.  That is the part of writing I love the most, The moment  an unknown  character (or two)  taps at my mind’s window and begs for a spot in the story.

    These two people have not only begged for an audition, they brought their own story along with them. All I have to do is type it for them. These are two active characters that will bring a new life to the story.  I have flipflopping on whether or not to share the title. I think I want to. I love the title.Did I not mention I can not keep things quiet?

    The Title is: The Path to the Past.

    It will pick up at the end of the first book and follow Melanie as she adjusts to her new life.  The places my outline is taking me is amazing. I am so enthused about this new story line.  I already have some chapters completed and I am committed to this sequel. Most of the reviews I have on Amazon say they wish there was a sequel. Now they get what they wanted. Oh the places Melanie will go!


     

    I hope no one is expecting a brand new car. Behind the sliding door, bedazzled to a fair the well ,  we have:  Hold your applause please!

     


     

    Project Three:

    The Shepherds of Donaldson Park has been completed. As far as the first draft goes.  I am knee deep into the re-writing editing portion. I got a little discouraged when my little pup died. She and her brother were the muse of the book. They were who two of the shepherds in the book were based on. Sometimes they were not just based on them, there were anecdotal stories that actually happened, mixed in with a little fiction. They each put a paw print on a little contract I drew up that said I could use their antics in the book.

    Needless to say, when my little girl, Arrow got sick and passed over, I was missing one of my muses. Now that some time has passed I can look at the manuscript and not get sick to my stomach. A vast improvement by the way. I couldn’t say that two weeks ago.

    I am back to the re-writing and editing portion of book three. Everyone on this blogosphere has been so kind and so sweet and that helped so much. I am now in a place where I can create and enhance all three books.

    This officially outs my secret and I hope you will join me in the writing, editing and publishing process over the next few months. This is an exciting journey, one I am ready to take.


     

    I sincerely hope you will travel this path with me.

     



    I would love to connect with you on these other sites, just click below:

    Vicki’s Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  | Sojourner’s Facebook

     

    New Release: #ComedyBookWeek Book Review: Indiot by Ana spoke

    Indiot

    • Publisher: Ana Spoke (July 16, 2016)
    • Publication Date: July 16, 2016
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B01EXZU8R2

     

    The official book blurb:

    They say the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. True, but bad decisions will get you there much faster. Isa Maxwell has both aplenty in this second installment of Isa Maxwell’s Escapades. Having found her dreams of wealth and notoriety, she departs for India to play Good Samaritan to the orphans, the poor, and a wronged Indian prince. She makes two new friends before her plane even leaves the ground: the mysterious bejeweled Vivien and a bottle of Valium. Too bad she loses her new friend and the high at the airport, and her passport and wallet on her way to her hotel.

    Things go from bad to perilous as she launches on a madcap romp through Delhi. Will Isa survive, or will this be the last chapter in this Indiot’s story?

     

    Ana Spoke

    About the Author:

    Ana Spoke is the author of Shizzle, Inc and Indiot and is working on the third installment of the Isa Maxwell series. She also manages #ComedyBookWeek  the annual online celebration of humor in writing. For more details, visit www.comedybookweek.com. She lives in Australia with her fiance and a rare fat Italian Greyhound, but you can always find her on anaspoke.com

    Rating:

    ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

    The Book Review: 

    I was so glad that this book was going to be released this month. I have been waiting ever sense I first read Shizzle, Inc. I knew I wanted to read more about Isa Maxwell.  She had one of those lives that are kind of  like a herd of cattle on roller skates.

    Indiot by Ana Spoke is a deliciously funny story that features Isa Maxwell from Shizzle, Inc. Isa is such a funny character that she really doesn’t even have to try, everything she does makes you laugh and shake your head. She is totally likable and even when she is being scammed, robbed and conned, she makes you laugh. She has a habit of being in the wrong place at the right time for drama and danger. This little habit of hers is even more pronounced here in India.

    Ana, is such a fun and creative writer. Her stories keep you interested and wanting to know what the heck is going to happen next. This is book two of her adventures and if you have not read Shizzle, inc. Then you should pick it up and get to know Isa.

    In this second book featuring Isa Maxwell, she is winging her way to India. She has been contacted by the Prince to help the poor with her million dollars that she made off her tell almost all book.

    It is as she is flying to India that she happens to sit next to a movie star that makes her question the integrity of Prince that has invited her to come to India to help. The beauty that is so willing to help her on the plane is full of warnings and dire predictions. When she places doubt in Isa’s mind she also realizes that Isa might have a little fear of flying. Everything only gets more questionable from there. There might be some slight of hand with a nerve pill that makes the trip and the landing a bit wonky.

    When she arrives in India, she is totally unprepared for what happens next. There are twists, turns, and melodrama all over the place. Then one of the recurring characters from the states flies in to join her it only makes things even more convoluted.

    I was provided an ARC from the author to provide an honest review. This book is so funny. I enjoyed it so much and can recommend it highly.

    Recommendations:

    It is a great story that really does keep you involved on every level. You will not be satisfied with just these two stories, you will want to know the rest of her tales. I know I do. I think I like this story so much because I can see myself being conned, cheated, and chased if I were to leave the country to do good. But then again, no one can have so much drama and humor occur like Isa Maxwell.

    Where to Find:

    Indiot by Ana Spoke is available in paperback. Kindle, and through KindleUnlimited by clicking the links below.

     Amazon  | Barnes and Noble

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    Book Review: The Earl’s Defiant Wallflower by Erica Ridley

    The Earl's Defiant Wallflower (The Dukes of War, #1)The Earl’s Defiant Wallflower by Erica Ridley

    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    This is a historical romance that is well written. It has the loveliness of the eighteen hundreds, with the dress, the mannerisms and those lovely balls. When Oliver York, Earl of Carlisle comes back from the war he comes back with his wounded and broken friends and to find his father has unexpectedly died. He died in a manner that caused many rumors among the Ton. He also died with some unexpected surprises for his son the heir.

    When Oliver goes to his first ball after his return, he is attracted to the wallflower that seems to not quite fit in with the others. When he learns that she is pretty much shunned due to her American accent and her merchant grandparents, Oliver still makes his presence know to her. He is immediately put in his place with her words. He is a little startled at her open and honest response to his questions.

    Grace Halton has come from America with a plan in mind and that plan is the only thing she can think of. She can’t be bothered with good looking Earl’s that she can’t stop thinking about. She can’t be bothered with an Earl that might have financial problems and she certainly can’t be interested in an Earl that she just might be developing feelings for. Nope, she has a plan and she intends on carrying the plan through.

    She also has horrible relatives that make life in England terrible for her. The Grandmother is constantly making accusations and snide remarks to her that are meant to hurt. She needs to get back to her mother who is sick and needing medical care in America.

    I really enjoyed this book. I liked the clever words and actions of the gentleman Earl, Oliver. He was so lovable. I really liked how he dealt with people and how he was always willing to help out, even when it is not appreciated or wanted. He is such a giving person.

    Grace is also a sweet and loving woman. She has her head and heart set on helping her mother and so her actions are forgivable because she is making these decisions out of love. I can telly you it becomes hard knowing what she plans to do.

    Erica Ridley has written about the Dukes of War before and the first book that I read by her was equally as likable. This is the second in the series and it is another 5 star read for me. It can be read as a stand alone. The series is about men returning home from the Napoleonic war.

    I personally like how she doesn’t make the heroine snarky just to have her be snarky. I like how her characters have heart, both male and female.

    The Earl’s Defiant Wallflower is available in paperback, Nook, Kindle,and on Audiobook by clicking the links below.

    View all my reviews

    Book Review: A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas

    A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    As I finished reading this second book in the series, I was bitterly reminded that it would be a year before I knew what would happen next. This second book was amazing with love, hate, conflict, and deviousness. Sometimes you think you know one thing and actually you know only one small bit of what is going on.

    Feyre is so complex. She has faced Amarantha and won while she became less enamoured with the prison she found herself living in. When she finds the opportunity to blossom she totally blooms. She finds that she did not like her prison of the perfect fairyland castle and the doldrum of painting and waiting to be included in anything that might stimulate her mind.

    When Rhys comes to her and takes her with him for the agreed upon time, it all turns amazing. Rhys shines as a wonderful, kind, considerate, harsh, noble, High Fae. He captured my heart and then with the banter, the joy, and the sexiness he captured Feyre’s.

    Rhys is not the fae that we expected under the mountain. He is so much more. I can not tell you how engaged I was throughout the entire book as Feyre and Rhys became closer and closer. Always learning, teaching, and sharing these deadly adventures with only the best intentions as a reason. The coming wars were looming and making things tense and strained and Feyre took it upon herself to learn to be the best part of their group as she could. She shined in her willingness to be a strong member of his court. Not a plaything and a pretty bauble in his court as she had been treated while in Tamlin’s Court of the Spring.

    I admit I liked Tamlin in the first book as he sheltered her and took care of her family in such an over the top manner. I started feeling that he was not quite the best person as he sat beside Amarantha and did nothing to sooth Feyre as she was tortured and tormented under the mountain. It hurt when he became obsessive and controlling. I liked the way Rhys treated Feyre while under the mountain. Rhys protected Feyre while Tamlin did nothing. He soothed her hurts and attended her wounds while Tamlin did nothing. I left book 1 not exactly liking Tamlin.

    This book repaired all that hurt. It repaired my somewhat bruised heart and brought in the big gun, Rhysand. Rhysand, the high Fae of the Nightmare court. The high Fae that showed Feyre what true kindness looked like. It looked like freedom, not a prison. He also showed her that she had it within her to be fierce, kind and heroic. Fayre thrived learning to fight, to become strong, to become a protector.

    This is a must read for anyone that loves a powerful story that features war, peace, love and hate. I can not wait until the next book comes out. I mean the stage has been set for the next book and I am ready for it now. Yes, only a week ago, I was an unbeliever in all things magic and Fae, now I am a convert.

    This is one of those books that hold on to you for a while after you finish it. I am still going over bits and pieces now that they all fall into place.

    Well written, with vivid images and wonderful conversations. There is humor interspersed with teasing banter. There is a group of friends that work together for good. Secretly working together for good and Feyre thrives in this environment. I have found myself crying at several scenes in this book with my heart wounded and broken for the people I was falling in love with. The characters all are amazingly well written so complex and so complete. Their personalities clear and unwavering. Now I wait for book 3.

    A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2) by Sarah J. Maas is available in hardback, paperback, on Kindle and through Audible on Amazon
    A Court of Thorns and Roses book 1 is also available in those formats on Amazon

    View all my reviews

    Audiobook Review: Stealing Shadows by Kay Hooper

    Stealing Shadows (Bishop/Special Crimes Unit #1)Stealing Shadows by Kay Hooper
    My rating: 5 of 5 stars

    Narration *****
    Story *****
    Overall *****

    Stealing Shadows is the first in the Bishop Special Crimes Unit Series. This is where you first meet Bishop. Actually you don’t really get to see much about him at all until the last third of the book.

    First we meet Cassie Neill, we meet her as she is searching for a killer while sitting in an office. That is because Cassie is a psychic. She is helping out the police as they seek out a serial killer. She helps them by getting into his mind and seeing through his eyes. She has the gift that has passed down in her family as long as she can remember.

    Things go really bad in California, so she relocates to North Carolina when she inherits her Aunt’s home. There is some history between the family that makes the inheritance an unexpected opportunity for Cassie.

    After living in seclusion for about six months, she starts seeing and hearing things that make her positive someone is about to be killed. She goes to the former Judge, Ben Ryan. He is well respected in the town that is named Ryan’s Bluff, after his family. When she meets him Cassie offers her services. She also contacts the sheriff Matt with the same information and he is clearly not impressed with her. When the girl’s body is located, she is initially a suspect. She begins a life and death struggle to race a serial killer before he can continue killing.

    This book had me anxiously waiting for what was going to happen next. the beauty of the words would sometimes make me forget that we are talking about a cold blooded killer and the chase for him. When Kay Hooper describes things like she does. such as Cassie’s eyes, you just see them, vividly in your mind.

    It is also pretty intense when you read what is going on in Cassie’s mind as she connects to the murderer’s mind. It is really an extremely engrossing book. It keeps you involved and you find yourself worrying about the townspeople. Just when you think you have it figured out, Twist!

    The characters are so well formed. When they talk to one another it is like sitting in on an investigation. It is like you are part of the team. I found this book to have some of the best dialog I have read.

    The suspense was ripe and delicious. The characters were down to earth, flawed and yet special in their own right. I did not exactly know how it was all going to work out until the very end of the book. I was holding my breath and hoping for an acceptable outcome.

    I considered it a great book well deserving of the 5 stars.

    I listened to the Recorded Books recording of this book. It was phenomenal. The narrator, Cristine McMurdo-Wallis was so spot on with her male and female voices. There were southern accents that sounded real not over the top. There were many men’s voices that were each unique and masculine. The narrator really earned her 5 star rating from me. This is my second Kay Hooper book and I have loved them both. She sure brings the intrigue to the game.

    The audiobook is avaiable through Audible.com The book is available in paperback, Hardback and Kindle format at Amazon

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    Book Review: The Road to Eden by Rachelle du Bois

     

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    The Road to Eden, Oak Series Book 1 by Rachelle du Bois


    My rating: **** of *****

    I enjoyed the story of Adam Blythe and Eve Vermont. They had so much to overcome. Eve was secretive and obviously dealing with something that was causing her pain when she first arrived at Adam’s home as the housekeeper. Adam and his mother both made her feel welcome and she soon found herself attracted to the oldest son.

    Eve was known to sneak away often. Adam did not know what the problem she was facing and her secretiveness was about.

    He was curious as to why she would leave late at night and was making secretive phone calls. It was a strange night when they came together in a beautiful moment. They had to work around many little miscommunications, but they did it beautifully.

    The writing is beautiful and the characters are well formed. Sometimes it seems that the characters are just too beautiful and perfect. It is an easy read. I enjoyed this book and was glad to learn their story. It was good to see what inspired Martin, the younger brother, as well. He is featured in the next book of the series.

    Sylvia Blythe, Adam and Martin’s mother is such a sweet addition. She is a lovely mother and a kind friend to Eve. This is the first of the series and I have read the second book as well. There is one other English language book available. What a great loving family.

    I enjoyed this book. I will be reading more from Rachelle du Bois. She has several other books available in her native language. She lives in South Africa.

    The book The Road to Eden is available in Kindle format at Amazon

    Book Review: Oak Seed by Rachelle du Bois

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    Oak Seed Oak, Series Book 2 by Rachelle du Bois

    My rating: **** of *****

    Martin Blythe and Alicia Venter meet in the most innocent of ways, but the feelings that they both shared was a shock to them. Neither one knows that the other is attracted and yet when they keep meeting in unexpected places, it becomes harder to resist that draw.

    This book is sweet and endearing. The characters are very intelligent and sensitive.

    Alicia and her sister Beth both work at a book store with their father and are not expecting anything like love to suddenly appear.

    Oak Seed has a bonus relationship building in the sidelines and it is so cute and unexpected as well.

    I really liked Alicia. She is a devoted sister and daughter and just a good person all round. The sisters are so loving to each other and the people around them. I especially liked Silvia, maybe something could be brewing for her.

    Martin is also a caring man that has babies on his mind ever since his little niece was born.

    If you enjoy a sweet tender love story with lovely characters then this is a book for you. Rachelle du Bois has done a great job presenting and telling the story of two families.

    There is plenty of heat to their romance without being over the top. Oak Seed really was a very nice read.

    The book Oak Seed is available in Kindle format on Amazon

    View all my reviews