Sunday, June 18, 2017

From Midnight to Moonlight ~ Tantalizing, Seductive Paranormal Romance From One of the Best! A Steal of a Deal . . . Get it While it's Hot!


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Friday, June 16
Authors' Cafe

Saturday, June 17
M. J. Schiller, Romance Author

Sunday, June 18
Cross My Heart Writings & Reviews

Monday, June 19
The Realm of Fantasy & Fiction

Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Melissa Keir

Wednesday, June 21, 2017
What Readers Want

Thursday, June 22, 2017
Romance Me

Friday, June 23, 2017
Loren E. Price

Saturday, June 24, 2017
Paranormal Realms

Monday, June 26, 2017
HBS Author's Spotlight

Tuesday, June 27, 2017
fundinmental

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
Paranormal Dimensions

Friday, June 30, 2017
My TBR Addiction
Midnight Masquerade

Can they escape the shadows of the past?

This time, he could lose his soul . . .

An invitation to join an exclusive D.C. law firm seems like a chance for Nick Flynn to leave his mistakes behind. But it’s his shadowy past and unrealized inheritance that attracted his mysterious employers. Once embroiled in their dark schemes, his struggle for success becomes a battle for his salvation.

And she could lose her life . . .

Loner detective Rae Borden goes undercover as a call girl to discover the truth about her best friend’s death. Her carefully laid plan of revenge and personal redemption becomes a crusade against an unbelievable evil . . . with Nick Flynn in the middle.
Nancy Gideon is one of the best supernatural writers on the market today! — Midwest Book Review: BookWire
Touched by Midnight Series {Book 8}
Just $0.99 for a Limited Time!
By Nancy Gideon
Genre: Contemporary Paranormal Romance
Published by: ImaJinn Books
Release Date: May 4, 2011
Length: 232 Pages

READ AN EXCERPT

Remembered by Moonlight

Because the road to . . .

Clever, cool and preternaturally lethal, Max Savoie is leader of a secretive shape-shifter clan, heir to a mobster’s legacy, and the love of New Orleans’ top cop . . . but he can’t remember any of them. The only way to recover his past, and his rightful place in the arms of the woman who risked all to save him, is to surrender to a mysterious visitor who could use him as a weapon against all he’d loved.

Happily-Ever-After . . .

After rescuing her mate from his ruthless captors in the North, hard-hitting Detective Charlotte Caissie is now painfully vulnerable—a stranger in his eyes . . . and in his bed. The key to his memories is locked in a tortuous past. To reclaim the strength of their passionate bond, Max must learn to trust her enough to face that darkness at her side before the threat it hides exposes the secret Cee Cee carries.

Is never smooth.

When an investigation into grisly deaths in an underground Shifter fight club points to more than just dangerous clan rivalries, Cee Cee enlists Max’s help to find a traitor in their midst while there’s still time to turn a deadly invading tide. But the cost of saving their treasured future may mean sacrificing his past. Especially when the enemy they pursue . . . might be Max, himself.
Every delicious word Nancy Gideon puts on the page exhilarates with a sensuous ferocity. Hopelessly addicted. — Darynda Jones, NY Times Bestselling Author
By Moonlight Series {Book 9}
Just $1.99 for a Limited Time!
By Nancy Gideon
Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo
Genre: Contemporary Paranormal Romance
Release Date: October 13, 2014
Length: 290 Pages



Nancy Gideon is the award-winning, bestselling author of 60 romances ranging from historical, regency and series contemporary suspense to paranormal, with a couple of horror screenplays tossed into the mix. She’s also published under the pen names Dana Ransom, Rosalyn West and Lauren Giddings. She works full time as a legal assistant in Central Michigan, and when not at the keyboard, feeds a Netflix addiction along with all things fur, fin and fowl.

A prolific writer, Nancy attributes her creative output, which once peaked at seven novels in one year, to her love of history and a gift for storytelling. She also credits the discipline learned through a background in journalism and OCD. The due date for her third book and her second son were on the same day . . . and both were early! When on deadline, she turns on the laptop between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. to get a chapter in before heading in to her day job. She’s a member of GDRWA, MMRWA, PASIC, FF&P and Novelists Inc. and dotes on her critique group.

For more information on the author, her books, or the “House of Terriot” and “By Moonlight” series, visit Nancy at the links above.

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Thursday, June 8, 2017

A Ghost in the Glamour: A Linx & Bogie Story Review



Title:  A Ghost in the Glamour: A Linx & Bogie Story
Author:  Elizabeth Hunter
Publisher: E. Hunter
Release Date:  June 21, 2017

My Rating:  3.5 Nostalgic Hearts


*Many thanks to the author for an arc of this book.




Synopsis:

Linx Maxwell’s life is on the verge of greatness. She’s finally graduated from street fairs and hopping chain link to making art that pays the bills. Her family life is… not dull. And it looks like her van might just be able to exist on hope and duct tape.

If only she could get rid of the ghost who’s plagued her since the eighth grade.

Frank Bogle is a detective who lost his life in the line of duty. Everyone on the other side knows that the Maxwell women are the best mediums in the business, but did he have to get attached to the one whose hair had been attacked by a weed wacker?

Frank doesn’t like his afterlife any more than Linx does. He just doesn’t know how to leave.

Linx & Bogie is a stand-alone, short fiction, paranormal series by Elizabeth Hunter, author of the Elemental World, the Irin Chronicles, and the Cambio Springs Mysteries.


Review:
Quirky, colorful LA artist & medium Linx Maxwell is finally making a living off her art and so close to achieving her dreams she can almost taste it.  She really doesn't have the time or inclination to placate the ghost of LAPD Detective Frank "Bogie" Boyle who was murdered in his prime while investigating a murder case back in the 50's.  There's just one teeny, weeny, little problem. . . Bogie is bound to Linx and is not going anywhere.  They haven't a clue as to why he can't move on and so they're stuck making the best of a bad situation which leads to some hilarious scenes.

Linx and Bogie's story has a bit of an old school vibe to it - reminiscent of the era of Bogart or Sinatra - a mystery with a classic cigarette smoking, fedora wearing, jazz listening detective on the case . . . only this time, he's a ghost attached to a medium.  The two couldn't be any more different if they tried which sets the stage for some witty, snarky humor as Bogie gives Linx dating advice, and Linx helps Bogie solve cases.  When Bogie asks Linx for help solving the old case that got him murdered, she sees it as an opportunity to learn more about his past and maybe, just maybe help him move on.  But is this really what either of them wants?

As the story unfolded, I found myself intrigued by the mystery of what had happened to Frank/Bogie all those years ago.  Linx has to allow Bogie into her mind so that she (and thus the reader) sees the past scenes play out first-hand through his eyes, thus skillfully weaving his past story into the present.  While short on pages, I found this story to be a unique read with a great blend of strong characters, intriguing plot, and snarky humor.  A great introduction to this world and characters!  I hope we see more of Linx and Bogie!  Another Must Read by Elizabeth Hunter!  

My Rating:  3.5 Nostalgic Hearts . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx
Sandra






Tuesday, June 6, 2017

IWSG: Quitting is Not an Option . . .


The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a community of writers who share ideas and encourage other writers. It's a great place to express doubts and concerns as well as offer and receive tribulations and guidance from other writers. IWSG posts the first Wednesday of every month. I think you'll find it to be a great writer's resource that's well worth your time. Be sure to stop by and visit with some of the other IWSG writers/bloggers at IWSG Members.

The awesome co-hosts for the June 7 posting of the IWSG are JH Moncrieff, Madeline Mora-Summonte, Jen Chandler, Megan Morgan, and Heather Gardner!  

Quitting is not an option ~ Finish what you started . . . If I had a dime for every time I heard that growing up, I'd probably be laid back on some white sandy beach drinking pina colada's while my favorite bbf massaged coconut oil into my sun-kissed skin.  If my dear southern mama said it once, she said it a million times.  One thing everyone knew about her was she didn't know the meaning of the word "quit" - it was never an option.  And in hindsight, I understand she used it to motivate us into finishing our chores, homework, and projects before she had to take more drastic measures.  Oh, what I wouldn't give to hear mama's voice ringing in my ears now:

Sound familiar?  One thing I know to be true . . . If my sweet mother were still here, she would be telling me in no uncertain terms to continue writing and finish what I started.  As a child, my nose was always stuck in a book - either reading or writing.  While I  never lost my love of either, I did occasionally veer off course - getting sidetracked by real life and yes, even periods of disbelief in myself.  And yet, I've never given up on writing - I've simply not finished what I started yet.  

So in answer to this month's IWSG question: Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?

I have never said the words "I quit writing" to anyone . . . not even myself.  It's simply not an option.  But I have thought, "What's the use?" on more than one occasion during periods of time when life became a little too heavy for me to carry more.  I have definitely let writing simmer on the side burner way too often and long.  So why would I bother making it a priority now?  The short answer is I need to finish what I started.  The truth is "I have to write because for me - quitting is NOT an option . . . not when it comes to writing."  Mama said so.

How about you?  Have you ever given up on writing only to return later?  Why?

Saturday, June 3, 2017

The Red Review


Title:  The Red
Author:  Tiffany Reisz
Genre:  A standalone novel of Erotic Fantasy
Publisher:  8th Circle Press
Release Date:  July 11, 2017
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4 Carte Blanche 's

*Many thanks to the author & publisher for an arc of this book.



Synopsis:

Never make a promise you don’t intend to keep…

Mona Lisa St. James made a deathbed promise that she would do anything to save her mother's art gallery. Unfortunately, not only is The Red painted red, but it's in the red. She soon realizes she has no choice but to sell it.

Just as she realizes she has no choice but to sell it, a mysterious man comes in after closing time and makes her an offer: He will save The Red if she agrees to submit to him for the period of one year.

The man is handsome, English, and terribly tempting...but surely her mother didn't mean for Mona to sell herself to a stranger. Then again, she did promise to do anything to save The Red...


Review:

*Posted May 10, 2017 - I have no idea how to rate or review this book so I'm going with 4 right now but reserve the right to change that when I can wrap my head around what I just read. Raw, graphic, hardcore sexual fantasy that defies the realm of reality. One thing's for sure - I'll never look at a piece of Artwork the same way again...ever! Full review coming closer to release date.
June 3, 2017 – Full Review:

Mona Lisa St. James (yes, Mona Lisa!) finds herself in danger of breaking the deathbed promise she made her mother to save The Red art gallery at any cost.  Just when she’s about given up all hope, a mysterious Englishman appears, offering her a deal.  He’ll help her save the gallery in exchange for one year Carte Blanche rights to her body – anything goes be it pleasure or pain.  Sell the rights to her body to a stranger for a year?  No questions asked?  Can she do that?  Apparently, she can and does. 

Through a series of erotic, dream-like sexual escapades, Mona and Malcolm’s story unfolds.  You won’t find any spoilers in my review as there’s no way in h*ll you’d believe me even if I could find the words to tell you all the insane things that occur.  Mona finds herself playing the starring role in several fantasy worlds created by Malcolm – worlds that rely heavily on famous works of art.  She’s often left wavering on the edge of reality –  awakening the day after wondering if it was a fantasy, a dream, or maybe a drug-induced hallucination.  But the evidence left on her skin and in her bed speaks loud and clear as does her desire for more. 

Tiffany Reisz (with Siren Nora Sutherlin) does what she does best in The Red – she writes about the forbidden, the shocking, the sinful, the No-She-Didn’t things that no one is willing to talk about, but everyone wants to know!  Though The Red is heavily laden with raw, hardcore erotica, an underlying plot emerged that intrigued me enough to keep me turning the pages seeking answers.  Like Mona, I needed to know if Malcolm was a dream, fantasy, hallucination, or real.  I needed to know his story.  Tiffany Reisz’s forte is writing about the forbidden – her gift is making you love it!  A Must Read for those who dare!
My Rating:  4 Forbidden 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx
Sandra


Blood Vow (Black Dagger Legacy #2) Review


Title:  Blood Vow
Series:  Black Dagger Legacy #2
Author:  J.R. Ward
Publisher:  Ballantine Books
Release Date:  Dec. 6, 2016
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  5 Addictive Hearts







Synopsis:

The Black Dagger Brotherhood continues to train the best of the best to join them in the deadly battle against the Lessening Society. Among the new recruits, Axe proves to be a cunning and vicious fighter—and also a loner isolated because of personal tragedy. When an aristocratic female needs a bodyguard, Axe takes the job, though he’s unprepared for the animal attraction that flares between him and the one he is sworn to protect.

For Elise, who lost her first cousin to a grisly murder, Axe’s dangerous appeal is enticing—and possibly a distraction from her grief. But as they delve deeper into her cousin’s death, and their physical connection grows into so much more, Axe fears that the secrets he keeps and his tortured conscience will tear them apart.

Rhage, the Brother with the biggest heart, knows all about self-punishing, and he wants to help Axe reach his full potential. But when an unexpected arrival threatens Rhage and Mary’s new family, he finds himself back in the trenches again, fighting against a destiny that will destroy all he holds most dear.

As Axe’s past becomes known, and fate seems to be turning against Rhage, both males must reach deep—and pray that love, rather than anger, will be their lantern in the darkness.

My Review:
I’m kicking myself all over the place for waiting a while to read the Black Dagger Legacy series. Why would a BDB addict like me hesitate? Because I found myself fearing I’d be a little disappointed with this spin-off series. Ha! That crazy notion was dispelled as soon as I took the leap of faith and read Blood Kiss. Now, upon finishing Blood Vow, I’m once again held spellbound by Ward’s magic touch. Like an alcoholic and/or drug addict, I’m already craving my next fix. How will I make it to Jan. 2018?!!

I fell for Axe, BDB Trainee, hook, line, and sinker in Blood Vow. Damaged, kinky alpha badboy?! H*ll yeah! Damaged, kinky alpha badboy with a heart of gold?! I’m a goner! Watching him crave yet deny himself what he thought he didn’t deserve – wasn’t good enough to have in Elise was heart-touching and yet so dang HOT! Their desire alone set the pages on fire and that was before they ever kissed. Whew! I wasn’t sure about the aristocratic Elise being the right one for Axe, but the girl sure enough strutted her stuff and went after the life and man she wanted. Great intense story between these two.

The continuation of Rhage, Mary, and Bitty’s story is special and one I’m so glad I didn’t miss. So many intimate, family moments. To see their joy, the happiness radiating off all three of them is heart-warming. To see that happiness threatened – devastating. I couldn’t turn pages fast enough to see how their story would play out. I love how all the BDB brothers stepped up to surround them in a warm cloak of support, encouragement, and love in an awesome display of what it means to be family – whether bound by blood or choice. Add the introduction of Ruhn – who it seems may play a prominent role in future storylines – and a lot of face time from everyone’s favorite angel Lassiter, and you’ve got a near perfect read! Funny, heart-wrenching/heart-warming, and intense with enough erotic sex to set the book ablaze, Blood Vow is a Page Burning Must Read! I loved it!

My Rating:  5 Addictive Hearts . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx
Sandra




Way Down Deep Review


Title:  Way Down Deep
Authors:  Charlotte Stein & Cara McKenna
Release Date:  June 6, 2017
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4 Raw, Seductive Hearts

*Many thanks to the authors, publisher, and Netgally for an arc of this book.



Synopsis:

An erotic romance…told entirely through text messages.

The words he typed were never meant to be read, yet they found their way to her. Two wounded strangers, prisoners of their own lives, brought together by a wayward text.

Without ever hearing each other’s voices, a friendship blooms between them. Without ever seeing each other’s faces, an attraction grows. Without ever touching, the two become lovers.

But when words suddenly aren’t enough, will this bond be able to tear down the walls that keep them apart…or was it only ever fantasy?
 

Review:

Lonely, hurting, and more than a little drunk, a person reaches out with a distress signal via text - not really expecting an answer. Shockingly, someone responds - tossing out a lifeline via a return text – offering a willing ear, a few encouraging words. And thus slowly, a friendship begins that grows over time to an intimate affair . . . all via texts. I admit I was skeptical going in – not sure an erotic romance could be adequately relayed without any personal contact between the characters. I’ll have to say these authors proved me wrong.

Through text messages, two people are stripped naked as they each bare their souls to a stranger – each safe in their own little world. At first, they have no idea whether they are “talking” to a male or female – not knowing the other’s name, age, physical attributes, or personal situation. As the story plays out, they begin to engage in a type of game ultimately sharing more personal details including their most intimate desires and fantasies. Safe in their cloak of secrecy, – after all, they both know they’ll never meet - their games grow to an erotic fever that erupts into a shared intimacy that many couples never accomplish in the flesh. To say it’s erotic and hot is a gross understatement – it is indeed as flammable as gasoline! Lost in an avalanche of desire, they cross a line that neither may survive.

Way Down Deep is a raw, riveting, seductive character driven story that I read in mostly one sitting. Surprisingly, it has a very intimate and honest feel to it as it becomes clear these two lost characters were brought together by fate. The plot line is intriguing as there are other things at play here that I won’t reveal due to spoilers, but through a series of twists and turns, readers learn what brought each person to this place and time. I had my doubts that a virtual erotic romance was possible – but in this case, it works! A Must Read!

My Rating:  4 Raw, Riveting, Seductive Hearts . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx
Sandra

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Lethal Lies (Blood Brothers #2) Review


Title: Lethal Lies
Series: Blood Brothers #2
Author: Rebecca Zanetti
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: May 16, 2017
Buy Link: Amazon

My Rating: 4 High Octane Hearts




*Many thanks to the publisher for an arc of this book via Netgally.



Synopsis:
A deadly secret can't stay buried forever . . .

Revenge. It's the only thing that will help Anya Best sleep at night. The serial killer who murdered her sister is on the loose, and Anya will stop at nothing to put him behind bars-even use herself as bait to lure him out of hiding. But she can't do this alone.

Private investigator Heath Jones's job is to bring bastards to justice. This time it's personal. He knew the Copper Killer's latest victim so when her sister asks for his help, he's all in. But when Anya uses the media to taunt the killer, she exposes Heath's identity, putting them both in jeopardy. Now, secrets buried long ago are coming to light and the forces determined to destroy him are watching Heath's every move, waiting to exact their own revenge. And they'll use anything and anyone to get to Heath.

With twists and turns that will take your breath away, LETHAL LIES is sexy, action-packed suspense at its very best from New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Zanetti.

Review:
Lethal Lies is book 2 of Zanetti’s Blood Brothers Series, a spin-off of the popular Sin Brothers series.  Both series feature men who are genetically altered to produce super-soldiers, but who have managed to escape the control of mad scientist Dr. Isobel Madison (who will stop at nothing to get them back in her lab) and the sadistic Sheriff Cobb (who wants them dead for killing his brother).  This is a continuing plot line arc that spans both series and thus I highly recommend reading both series in order.

 Ryker, Heath, and Denver, the Blood Brothers, have formed the Lost Bastards Investigative Services.  Heath Jones meets Anya Best, professor of criminal psychology, while investigating the disappearance of her sister, Loretta.  While intense chemistry sparks between them, Heath knows a white picket fence and hea is not in his future so while he vows to protect her with his life, he knows their relationship must end when the case is solved.  Heath is all alpha male, but his tender-heartedness often leads his head - drawing him into trouble.  When he sees Anya as the damsel-in-distress, he’s a goner.

 Anya is reeling from the loss of her sister and has vowed to revenge her loss by tracking down the Copper Killer.  Though she barely knows Heath, she finds herself attracted to him and in a split-second decision, she offers herself up as bait to the killer while unwittingly revealing Heath’s name and location to national media - thus placing the Blood Brothers back on the mad scientist’s radar.  While these guys are lethal, bad*ss fighters, their fear of being returned to the hell of their past life is real.  As the story unfolds, it’s a race against time to catch the killer before they themselves are caught and returned to the lab.

Lethal Lies is high octane, pedal-to-the-metal action from cover to cover.  A strong support cast fleshes out the story, helping carry the suspense and romance elements to the shocking reveal of the killer in the end.  An underlying theme of family and the fact that it isn’t always genetic is nicely woven throughout both series.  While I felt some personal baggage between Heath and Anya was strung out a bit too long before resolution, I still found myself cheering them on!  Really great job on the set-up of Denver’s story in the next book!  Can’t wait!  A Must Read!
My Rating:  4 High Octane Hearts . . . And that's the truth!
Cross My Heart . . . xxx
Sandra

Friday, May 19, 2017

The Last Coyote Review


Title:  The Last Coyote
Series:  Harry Bosch #4
Author:  Michael Connelly
Publisher:  Little, Brown and Company
Release Date:  April 29, 2003
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating: 4 Raw, Gritty 's






Synopsis:

Harry Bosch's life is on the edge. His earthquake-damaged home has been condemned. His girlfriend has left him. He's drinking too much. And after attacking his commanding officer, he's even had to turn in his L.A.P.D. detective's badge. Now, suspended indefinitely pending a psychiatric evaluation, he's spending his time investigating an unsolved crime from 1961: the brutal slaying of a prostitute who happened to be his own mother.

Even after three decades, Harry's questions generate heat among L.A.'s top politicos. And as the truth begins to emerge, it becomes more and more apparent that someone wants to keep it buried. Someone very powerful...very cunning...and very deadly.

Edgar Award-winning author Michael Connelly has created a dark, fast-paced suspense thriller that cuts to the core of Harry Bosch's character. Once you start it, there's no turning back.

Review:

Harry Bosch has been suspended and stripped of his LAPD Badge, his official vehicle, and life as he knows it.  He’s lost his home, his girlfriend, and his self-control.  In department mandated counseling sessions, Harry is forced to examine his actions, express his feelings, and bare his soul about past and present events – something he is not comfortable doing.  But unless he can convince the psychologist that he’s not a threat to himself and others, he can kiss his badge and life good-bye.  Some might say this story moves too slow in the first half, but I find the complex inter-workings of Harry’s mind fascinating and didn’t have an issue with it.  Through counseling sessions and Harry’s “off-the-record” investigation into a 1961 unsolved murder, readers learn a lot more about what makes Harry tick including his past and the life that contributed to the damaged man he is now. 
As the story plays out, the action and investigation gain momentum as Harry has spooked some old ghosts, rattled some cages, riled some important people, and generally stirred up trouble leaving bodies in his wake.  Through a series of twists and turns, Harry rages full speed ahead plowing through every obstacle and red herring tossed in his path while defying orders to cease his investigation.  He’s bet it all on this one case – let the chips fall where they may.  I enjoyed following the leads along with Harry, studying each suspect while trying to get to the truth.  I didn’t see the shocking truth of it all until the very end.  What a heart-breaker.
 The Last Coyote left me with an uneasy feeling of having accidentally peeked through a window straight into Harry’s soul.  I almost feel the need to apologize to him for having been privy to his inner most thoughts, secrets, and regrets.  Stunning job of characterization by this author!  Raw, gritty, intense, and as always entertaining, this is another Must Read in the Harry Bosch series! 
My Rating:  4 Gritty 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx

Sandra


Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Never Let You Go Review



Title:  Never Let You Go
Author:  Chevy Stevens
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Release Date:  March 14, 2017
Genre:  Romance/Suspense, Thriller
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4 Gripping, Heart-Racing 's





Synopsis:
Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship. Her ex-husband was sent to jail and she started over with a new life. Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When her ex-husband is finally released, Lindsey believes she’s cut all ties. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But can he really change? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?

Review:
Never Let You Go is a tense, chilling, heart-racing read that kept me on the edge of my seat from cover to cover. It’s been eleven years since Lindsey escaped an abusive relationship, grabbing her young daughter and fleeing during the night. Only after her ex-husband was sent to prison was she able to stop hiding, settle down, and start to build a new life with her now teenage daughter. But she learns her ex has served his time and been released from prison. Things start happening around Lindsey . . . small things at first and then escalating with implied threats and items left for her – things only her ex would know about. He swore he’d kill her. Has he returned to do the job?

Changing point of views and a fast-paced story that switches between past and present allows the reader to live the emotional turmoil, fear, and urgency radiating from Lindsey and the conflict, longing, and indecision from her daughter as she wonders about the father she never really knew. As the story unfolds, the hair-raising, heart-pounding, keep-looking-over-your-shoulder intensity is prominent and on-going setting a very ominous tone throughout. The pool of possible candidates is small, and I wavered back and forth between a couple of characters until the big reveal near the end. While I guessed the right person, I didn’t see the reason coming until it hit me right between the eyes. Manipulating the twists and turns and a shocking revelation and confession made for a thrilling, couldn’t-put-it-down read! I look forward to exploring more books by this author. A Must Read!

My Rating:  4 Gripping, Heart-Racing 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx
Sandra


Friday, May 5, 2017

Eight Hundred Grapes Review



Title:  Eight Hundred Grapes
Author:  Laura Dave
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Release Date:  June 2, 2015
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4 Poignant 's

My Review is of the audiobook narrated by Joy Osmanski





Synopsis:
What if your beloved fiancé, he of the crinkly smile and the irresistible British accent, had kept a life-changing secret from you? And what if, just a week before your dream wedding, you discovered it?

When these questions become realities for bride-to-be Georgia Ford, she does the only thing that seems to make sense. She runs. She hops in her car and drives through the night, from Los Angeles to Sonoma, to her safe haven, to her messy and loving family, and their acclaimed family winery. Georgia craves the company of those who know her best, and whom she truly knows. And, on the eve of the harvest, Georgia knows she’ll find solace—and distraction—in familiar rituals. But when Georgia arrives home, nothing is at all familiar. Her parents, her brothers, the family business, are all unrecognizable. It seems her fiancé isn’t the only one who’s been keeping secrets. And, much to Georgia’s dismay, it seems likely that this harvest may be the family’s last.

Review:
Georgia Ford is in the middle of her final wedding dress fitting when she learns her fiancé hasn’t been truthful with her.  Overwhelmed by the enormity of the secret he’s kept, she runs (in her wedding dress) for the sanctuary of a familiar safe haven – her childhood home.  However, what she soon discovers is that her family too is changing and the childhood home she thought would always be there may soon be gone.  As Georgia’s life spirals out of control, she struggles to make sense of it all and “fix” things as she's always done.  Her life and her family are falling apart right before her eyes, her foundation crumbling to pieces.  What she’ll learn by the time the dust settles is how to know when to hold on and when to let go.

Through a series of flashbacks, readers journey back to the time Georgia’s parents met, fell in love, and purchased the original ten acres to start The Last Straw vineyard - an idyllic, beautiful home rich in family memories, laughter, love and wine – a place where Georgia and her two brothers grew up with a family she believed would always be together and waiting for her to come home.  As the story unfolds, readers are privy to the many sacrifices made by these family members as they worked side by side to build a now world famous vineyard.  What we learn along the way is that all is not as perfect as it seems . . . all not as happy as they appeared - and it shakes Georgia to her very core.  Georgia’s parents have made a major decision, and now Georgia must do the same as her life comes full circle.  One thing she knows to be true – You don’t give up on family.  Not without trying to put it back together again.

Eight Hundred Grapes is a poignant, heart-touching story of life, love, family, and knowing when to hold on and when to let go.  While the pace is a little slow, my attention was held captive by the depth of the characters and their relationship development as they all struggle to deal with changes in their lives.  The setting of the vineyard in Sonoma was so beautifully depicted that it took on the life of a character in and of itself.  Life is all about choices, and there are life-altering choices made by all in this story.  Choices that ultimately affect the lives of others.  I connected with each of these characters and didn’t want to let them go at the end.  A Must Read!
My Rating:  4 Poignant 's . . . And that's the truth!

Cross My Heart . . . xxx
Sandra

Rough & Tumble (Haven Brotherhood #1) Review



Title:  Rough & Tumble
Series:  Haven Brotherhood #1
Author:  Rhenna Morgan
Publisher:  Carina Press
Release Date:  Feb. 20, 2017
Buy Link:  Amazon

My Rating:  4 Bossy, Dominant 's






Synopsis:

Live hard, f*ck harder and follow only their own rules. Those are the cornerstones the six men of the Haven Brotherhood live and bleed by, refusing to conform to society's expectations, taking what they want and always watching each other's backs.
A self-made man with his fingers in a variety of successful businesses, Jace Kennedy lives for the challenge and he always gets what he wants. From the start, he sees Vivienne Moore's hidden wild side and knows she's his perfect match, if only he can break it free. He will have her. One way or another.

Vivienne's determined to ditch the rough lifestyle she grew up in, even if that means hiding her true self behind a bland socialite veneer. Dragging her party-hound sister out of a club was not how she wanted to ring in the New Year, but Viv knows the drill. Get in, get her sister and get back to the safe, stable life she's built for herself as fast as humanly possible. But Viv's plans are derailed when she finds herself crashing into the club's clearly badass and dangerously sexy owner.

Jace is everything Vivienne swore she never wanted, but the more time she spends with him, the more she starts to see that he loves just as fiercely as he fights. He can walk society's walk and talk society's talk, but when he wants something, he finds a way to get it. He's proud of who he is and where he came from, and he'll be damned if he lets Vivienne go before showing her the safest place of all is in the arms of a dangerous man.

Review:
Vivienne Moore has hidden her rough past behind a polished veneer that screams business woman right down to her prim suit, sensible shoes, tamed hair, and modest bling. She’s struggling to keep a roof over her head while building her own business as an Event Planner. The only fly in the ointment is her wild, party-all-night alcoholic sister who calls Vivie every time she needs rescuing from some dive bar or apartment. On one such rescue mission, Vivienne runs right into the very impressive chest of Jace Kennedy. She takes one good, long look at Jace and knows she’s in trouble as like many others, she sees only the rough exterior – the shell, not the heart of the man. And this man makes her hidden “wild child” side come roaring to the surface, screaming to be let out - putting her safe, little world in jeopardy. Vivenne runs from Jace like her life depended on it because as far as she’s concerned, it does.

Jace may look like a bad*ss motorcycle junkie but in reality, he’s is a very successful businessman and one of the cofounders of the Haven Brotherhood – 6 strong, alpha males who take care of each other and those they claim as their own. Brothers by the heart, not blood, they abide by their own set of rules even if it means skating around the law to accomplish the mission. Unfortunately, this puts a target on their backs that could bring harm to those close to them. The first time Jace looked into Vivienne’s eyes, he recognized the wild child simmering beneath the surface - the woman he hadn’t known he was waiting for. He vowed right then and there to break down her walls, set her loose, and claim her as his own. What does Vivienne say about that? Buckle up! It’s a bumpy ride!

A feisty, snarky heroine who doesn’t take orders well and a bossy, dominant, bad*ss, sexy *fanning self* alpha male who won’t take NO for an answer battle it out in
Rough & Tumble. I was pleasantly surprised to be drawn in by the depth of these multi-faceted characters as they shadow boxed around each other. The plot line is intriguing with a good blend of sex, romance, conflict, along with danger and intrigue. A great support cast including the five other Brothers fleshes out this heart-racing and heart-warming story that will make you question what family really means. A Must Read! 

My Rating:  4 Bossy, Dominant 's . . . And that's the truth!
     
Cross My Heart . . . xxx
Sandra

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

IWSG: A Happy Medium

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is a community of writers who share ideas and encourage other writers. It's a great place to express doubts and concerns as well as offer and receive tribulations and guidance from other writers. IWSG posts the first Wednesday of every month. I think you'll find it to be a great writer's resource that's well worth your time. Be sure to stop by and visit with some of the other IWSG writers/bloggers at IWSG Members.

Many thanks to the awesome co-hosts for the May 3 posting of the IWSG:  Nancy Gideon, Tamara Narayan, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Michelle Wallace, and Feather Stone!

I am, and have always been, a reader.  As a child, given a choice between watching television or reading, I'd pick the book every single time.  And today, one of my favorite pastimes is curling up in
my porch swing with a good book.  In more recent years, I've become a reviewer - a pretty good one, I think, judging by the number of requests for reviews I receive and from the positive comments from review followers on sites like Goodreads and Amazon.  I've discovered I enjoy reading a book and expressing my thoughts on what worked and/or didn't by writing a review for other readers.  An added bonus?  Strengthening and honing my craft as writing reviews helps me cultivate new & unique ways to entice readers . . . and isn't that the goal of every writer?

Stephen King said, "If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others; read a lot and write a lot."  My biggest challenge is finding a happy medium between the two.  I find it too easy to give up when my current work in progress isn't going as planned and settle in with a good read instead.  Definitely a balancing act, but one that's dear to my heart as my two favorite things to do is read and write.  And when I say "write" - I mean anything . . . reviews, books, articles, short stories, letters (yes, I'm talking snail mail) . . . heck, even a shopping list.  I love the feeling and sense of accomplishment that comes from seeing my words on paper - be it pen and paper or a computer screen.

So, I'm wondering how many of you agree with Stephen King. Do you have to be a reader before you can be a writer? How many books do you read a month? A year? Do you take time to write reviews for those books? They say the best way to thank an author is to write a review. Have you thanked your favorite author lately?