Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” —Groucho Marx

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Tuesday's Child by Dale Mayer--A Review







SYNOPSIS:

What she doesn’t want...is exactly what he needs.

Shunned and ridiculed all her life for something she can’t control, Samantha Blair hides her psychic abilities and lives on the fringes of society. Against her will, however, she’s tapped into a killer—or rather, his victims. Each woman’s murder, blow-by-blow, ravages her mind until their death releases her back to her body. Sam knows she must go to the authorities, but will the rugged, no-nonsense detective in charge of tracking down the killer believe her?

Detective Brandt Sutherland only trusts hard evidence, yet Sam’s visions offer clues he needs to catch a killer. The more he learns about her incredible abilities, however, the clearer it becomes that Sam’s visions have put her in the killer’s line of fire. Now Brandt must save her from something he cannot see or understand…and risk losing his heart in the process.

As danger and desire collide, passion raises the stakes in a game Sam and Brandt don’t dare lose.


FROM MY PERSPECTIVE:

Dale Mayer is a paranormal thriller writer and Tuesdays Child grabbed my attention from page one.  It was a psychological thriller centering around Samantha Blair, a young psychic who didn't understand her visions.    Not only was she young and untrained, she possessed tremendous gifts from the spiritual realm.    Her visions were caused by violence and her body would join with the victim's of a serial killer.    What they experienced near death physically occurred to Samantha as well.    She felt their pain, their fear and their wounds.   Once the victim was released into death, Samantha would return to her own body, and healing would occur.    But she lost a lot of blood from stab wounds and would be exhausted after a vision held her prisoner.    This was her life  and there was no one to understand or to help, until she encountered Detective Brant Sutherland.

Brant was a hero for Samantha.   He believed her, understood a psychic's abilities, due to working with a psychic named Stefan in the past.   And he recognized her need to give information to the police and he understood the danger her visions could bring to her.    

Samantha worked at a veterinary clinic cleaning cages and caring for the many pets recuperating from trauma.   She had a truly gentle nature, but her past experiences with the police left her far from socially acceptable or grounded.    She liked to be away from the city and crowds finding refuge in the lakeside home she rented from an older couple.   She was an outcast in her mind's eye.

These characters were believable and strong.   Brant wanted to use her abilities but feared for her safety when he witnessed first hand, what a vision actually entailed for Sam.     Sam wanted to help the police find a serial killer, but was mocked and scoffed at and treated like a looney toon.   Her friends at work welcomed her and feared for her; Brant's Mom, Maisy and her cohorts were a hoot and the killer, was truly evil.     The story was told well, followed a fluent path and was written in such a manner as to hold the reader as captive to the page, as Sam was to her visions.

For anyone who loves the paranormal or the psychological thriller, this a read you should not miss out on.

I rated this a 5 wink read.




Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.  I purchased this E-Book for my personal Kindle Collection.  





Friday, August 15, 2014

A Distant Melody by Sarah Sundin--A Review

Unbelievable.    I finished this book yesterday, had lunch with one of my all time favorite friends and we spent the afternoon talking about our walks with God along with our children and grandbabies.  What awesome timing to be together and realize the influence each of us has contributed to our friendship and that walk with God.   I am so truly blessed to have some super good Christian buddies across this country.





SYNOPSIS:

Will a chance meeting in a time of war change her life forever?

Never pretty enough to please her gorgeous mother, Allie will do anything to gain her approval - even marry a man she doesn't love. While Allie has nearly resigned herself to that fate, Lt. Walter Novak - fearless in the cockpit but hopeless with women - takes his last furlough at home in California before being shipped overseas.

Walt and Allie meet and begin a correspondence that will change their lives. As letters fly between Walt's muddy bomber base in England and Allie's mansion in an orange grove, their friendship binds them together. But can they untangle the secrets, commitments, and expectations that keep them apart?

Book 1 in the Wings of Glory series, A Distant Melody is an exciting and tender story of love, courage, and sacrifice during World War II.


FROM MY PERSPECTIVE:

New to me author alert!! I really enjoyed reading Sundin's, A Distant Melody.   As a kid I had a fantastic Cherry Ames collection and I remember several of those stories being set during wartime.    As a teen, I was enamoured with Emilie Loring's books as well and many of them were wartime romances.   So I guess it was only natural that I would read something written by Sarah Sundin.

I didn't realize however that she was such a Christian writer.    This 422 pg historical romance also included  Walt and Allie's struggle to follow God through obedience and there was a lot of scripture included with those pages.   I for one do not mind the scriptual references and I think there are many who feel the same way, but I know there are those that do not appreciate it, so be forewarned.   However, if you want a truly sweet romance set against a World War II back drop, when life was slower albeit not so gentle, this could warm the cockles of your heart.    It certainly did mine! 

Her characters certainly earned a place in my heart and I have often thought, I should have been born in the forties rather than the fifties.   The only problem with the storyline was Allie's unbelievably unloving parents.   But they needed to be what they were to make the story quite believable, and to set the stage for Allie's growing discontent with her lifestyle.    Yes, she grew to listen to that wee still voice that led her and guided her, as did Walt.

Definitely a love story from a different place and time and quite enjoyable.

I rated this book a 4 Wink read.

  

Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.  I purchased this book for my personal Kindle Collection.  


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Cape Maybe by Carol Fragale Brill--A Review






SYNOPSIS:

Sometimes the toughest journey is the one that takes you back to your roots. For Katie, navigating life and love is trickier than walking barefoot on a beach full of broken shells. Maybe Katie will break the family cycle of alcoholism. Maybe she won’t. Set against the backdrop of picturesque, seaside Cape May, Cape Maybe traces the push and pull of Katie’s conflicting love for her erratic mother and steadfast grandfather, and her ever-growing attraction to her best friend, Dennis. Katie’s life is shaped by her vow to be nothing like her alcoholic mother. Her reckless teenage choices test the strength of family ties, friendship, and first love. Ultimately about hard-earned hope, what we inherit, and what we choose to let go, Katie discovers what she never expected about motherhood, forgiving yourself, and creating your own second chances.

FROM MY PERSPECTIVE:

Cape Maybe was another young adult read that addressed another issue for teens---alcoholism and also teen pregnancy.   Part 1 addresses Katie at a young age when she is rescued from her alcoholic mother and her abusive boyfriend, by Poppi, Katie's grandfather.   Katie had a friend named, Cam, and while living with Poppi and Uncle Nack, she met the love of her life, Dennis.    Dennis was the son of Uncle Nack's lady friend, Ursula.

This cast of characters was so believable.   Katie had an innate knowledge that Mama's boyfriend was mean and dangerous.   When Mama had Ray with her, he was her main focus and with him, came lots of drinking.  It was a bad example to set for a little girl.   Poppi felt she was safer with him and Uncle Nack and he would have helped June, (Mama), If she could just stay away from Ray and the booze.
Katie was torn between the safety and love offered by Poppi and her need and love for her mother.

Part 2 focused more on Katie at age 17.   Although she never wanted to be like her mother, Katie's teen years were troubled.   Her friend Cam was always beautiful and knew how to be a girl, drawing the attention of all the guys, including their friend Dennis.    Katie always resented Cam's ability to hold Dennis's attention while she kept him at arms length.    Dennis should have been Katie's since she knew him first.   Conflicting thoughts between guilt and friendship and wanting to make Dennis notice her, all contributed to some bad choices made by young Katie.    Uncle Nack and Dennis always seemed to be there to help Katie clean up the messes, even when her sneak drinking was becoming more and more obvious.

This was a solid story and this reader was broken hearted every time Katie imbibed and with every bad decision she made.  The heartache of those who truly loved her, clearly shone through and Brill was able to bring forth a truly raw and aching story of the path of the alcoholic and the people who love them.

I gave this book 5 Winks!

Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.   I purchased this book for my personal Kindle Collection.  


Monday, August 11, 2014

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover--A Review

This month is primarily focused on Clearing my heavily loaded kindle of TBR materials.  Even if I read 50 kindle reads in AUgust it would barely dent the TBR pile.    So some I purchased and some I've gotten for free from free books sites or posts.

Sure hope you enjoy the reviews this month and maybe even share your thoughts if you have already read it.   I'd love to hear from you.


SYNOPSIS:

Sometimes discovering the truth can leave you more hopeless than believing the lies…

That’s what seventeen-year-old Sky realizes after she meets Dean Holder. A guy with a reputation that rivals her own and an uncanny ability to invoke feelings in her she’s never had before. He terrifies her and captivates her all in the span of just one encounter, and something about the way he makes her feel sparks buried memories from a past that she wishes could just stay buried.

Sky struggles to keep him at a distance knowing he’s nothing but trouble, but Holder insists on learning everything about her. After finally caving to his unwavering pursuit, Sky soon finds that Holder isn’t at all who he’s been claiming to be. When the secrets he’s been keeping are finally revealed, every single facet of Sky’s life will change forever.

FROM MY PERSPECTIVE:


I adore Colleen Hoover's writing.   I am certainly well beyond the years of young adult, but Hoover's books have a way of touching the soul regardless of age.

Hopeless was an amazing story about friendship started at 5 or 6 years of age, loss of a best forever friend and refinding the lost one again thirteen years later.   Not only does Hoover have the talent to spin a delicious tale of love, she can build the characters everyone can relate to.   Her characters draw you into their drama and you want to help them in straightening out the messiness of life.

Hopeless addressed child sexual abuse,kidnapping  and suicide, all issues that are front in center for teens in our society.   Hoover was right on in the reactions characters had to each troubling issue.    She was dead on with the romance budding between Sky and Holder.   I can't imagine a more fulfilling story than the one she gave us with Hopeless.

I rated this read as 5 Winks!


Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.  I purchased a copy of Hopeless for my personal Kindle Collection.  

Friday, August 8, 2014

Blueberry Hill by Bette Lee Crosby--A Review

Good Morning Friends!

As one who was blessed with four brothers and ZERO sisters, I approached Crosby's Blueberry Hill with curiousity.  I have friends who are as close as a sister and I have church sisters.   But I never had that close, caring-sharing, giving relationship that my cousins with sisters had.   I am fascinated with sisters and I even have a scrapbook on sisters.

SYNOPSIS:

From the USA Today Bestselling Author of Spare Change comes the heartwarming story Blueberry Hill, a Sister’s Story.

Based on the realities of her own family, Crosby calls this a memoir of sorts. Traveling back to a time when the sisters were young enough to feel invincible and foolish enough to believe it would last forever, Crosby has bared her soul in a story of regrettable decisions and inevitable outcomes.

Blueberry Hill is a tale of family relationships, love and tragedy. It is a story that will touch your heart and stay with you long after you have closed the book.


FROM MY PERSPECTIVE:

My mother was an only daughter, although she had 2 brothers.   I was an only daughter with four brothers, my daughter was an only daughter and had one brother and my granddaughter was my daughter's only daughter, although she too had a brother.  So there have been no sisters in our line for some time.  I love it when my friends talk about their relationships with their sisters.   I always wonder what fun I missed out on, how I would have been different?

With this fascination for sisters and their relationships, I longed to read Crosby's account of she and her
sisters.   I also knew to expect it to be a tear jerker.   Let me say, Crosby's memoir of sorts, was a very real and honest look at sisters.  It is not always sunshine and roses.   Bette Lee did, more or less, bare her soul and her memories of her sister Donna, for all to see.   The story was raw, painful, poignant and telling.   The tone of the story was filled with remorse with a chord of awkward truth and family dysfunction.    As my son would say, "It is what it is."

I have loved Bette's works of fiction and I adore her storytelling.   After finishing her short 'memoir',  I loved this peek into her private and personal life as well.   Thank God for those we have in our lives who help us through the hard times, be they sisters, brothers, parents, wives and husbands or friends.

I gave this read a 4 Wink rating!



Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like.  I purchased this book for my own Kindle Collection.  

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Keeper by Luke Delaney--A Review

Luke Delaney's, The Keeper,  was released the end of July 2014.  It was a 550  page psychological police procedural and it was scary.

SYNOPSIS:

A damp, dark cellar holds two cages. And for the women behind the bars, their worst nightmares are about to come true . . .

When Louise Russell goes missing from her home, D.I. Sean Corrigan from South London's Murder Investigation Unit immediately senses foul play. For Corrigan's own dark childhood has given him the ability not only to recognize evil in those who prey upon the innocent, but also to see a crime scene from the eyes of the perpetrator.

Though Corrigan has no doubts that Louise was taken against her will, he believes she's still alive. But time is running out, especially when a body is found dumped in the woods—a woman who's a dead ringer for Louise. How long before Louise's captor gets tired of her and replaces her with another lookalike? How long before they find Louise's corpse next?

Now, in order to track a psychopath, Corrigan must place himself in the mind of a killer. For it is only there that the twisted secrets of a murderer lie.


FROM MY PERSPECTIVE:

First, let me say, I enjoy a great mystery and I can enjoy a psychological thriller.   I got both with this read, but it was almost too graphic for me.   I wanted to read The Keeper because I was really drawn to the character of Sean Corrigan in the first of the series, Cold Killing.   I really wanted to learn more about him in book two and I did from a minimal perspective.   As I read I felt we got to know DS Sally Jones better as she had more of an opportunity to overcome, heal and grow.

Now this was told from multiple points of view, from the police/detective squad, to the "keeper" or villain to the victims.   Only in one spot of the book did I have trouble transitioning from one point of view to the other.   In my opinion, chapters were way too long for the horror and weight of the crimes involved.

Now for the villain.   Wow...did my heart break for a little boy abandoned by his mother and unwanted by every individual he encountered.   Abused by the adults that were supposed to protect him, never receiving the help from the adults that could have provided him assistance, never having learned compassion from anyone around him, or how to deal with the anger growing inside of him...with the exception  a twelve year old girl who accepted him until he crossed a line.....what a horrible childhood that led to an even worse adulthood.    How could anyone have turned out differently given Thomas Kellar's circumstances?

Although he made my skin crawl right along with his victims', the one thing that became evident as not fitting was that he had been to his one true love's house, stolen her Black orchid perfume, her skin lotion, and some clothes, for his replacements of her.    Why didn't he just take Samantha Shaw?  I guess I needed to have Delaney spell that out  for me to comprehend.

This was a thriller, and a gripping one at that.   I so wanted Louise Russell to be a survivor.   It was horror and fearful, disgusting and sad and so full of indescribable emotions.   As the reader I felt everyone of them and for me, that is the character of a good writer....if they make you feel what their characters are evoking.

I gave this read 4 Winks, but the crime scenes are very graphic.


Disclaimer:  I read for my pleasure.   I may receive ARC copies for review purposes, but I am not compensated for my reviews .  I like to read and I like to share my reviews.   I post my thoughts without prejudice or bias.  The words are mine and I write reviews based on my humble opinion.  I will admit, I seldom meet a book I don't like. I received a complimentary copy from the author or the author’s representatives in exchange for an honest review.




Friday, August 1, 2014

July's Reading Recap

Only four plus months til Christmas and I tried to get some Christmas romance in for my 25 days of Christmas blog in December.   Oh I love these Christmas reads...so romantic and so sweet!


BUT you have to wait til December to read my reviews!!


If you have time, I assure you, these are enjoyable, warm and fuzzy reads.




The Ocean at The End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman was either a
really unique child's nightmare memory from childhood or a twisted fairytale.

Gold Digger by Frances Fyfield was an enjoyable mystery suspense.

Don't Try to Find Me by Holly Brown was a mystery thriller about dysfunctional families and the online predators waiting to hook someone by deception.

All three were new authors to me, whereas the book Four, by Veronica Roth, was written by an author whose work I love.
Four was from Tobias' point of view.



Now for my new almost favorite genre...Romance.

Twilight by Sheryl Woods, Between the Sheets by Robin Wells and Autumn Reflections by Katie Mettner were awesome reads.


This was an awesome month with a wide variety of themes and storylines.   Just my cup of tea!


So how did you do in July?
Keep those eyes a reading!


With an eyeful of love...Happy Reading

Miss Beth