Friday, November 30, 2012

Crossroads Road - Pick of the Month Review

Crossroads Road by Jeff Kay Crossroads Roads
by Jeff Kay
Genre: Humor

     And I thought my family was crazy! This novel takes a look at the king of all dysfunctional in-laws. Jovis McIntire's wife is the only sane person in her family. When her mother, Sunshine, hits a $234 million lottery jackpot she designs her very own subdivision and offers a custom-built house to each family member along with two million dollars cash. There is a catch of course. If they take the deal, they have to live in this familial subdivision for the remainder of the mother's life. Sunshine is a control freak. Since she is footing the bill, which she makes sure to mention often, the remaining family members are walking on eggshells until the houses are constructed and they receive the deeds to their new homes and the funds promised to them.

     This story was a real joy to read. The situations are hilarious and the antics of Jovis's in-laws are horrifying. It is hard to believe that he doesn't go off the deep end immediately with all the drama that is going on around him. It literally had me laughing out loud in many places.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Sun Dwellers Release!

The Sun Dwellers by David Estes The Sun Dwellers
by David Estes
Book 3 in The Dwellers Series
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy,

     The third installment of David Estes' The Dewllers series is ready for release tomorrow - November 30, 2012. In celebration of this event Estes is offering all three Kindle books in this series for a mere 99¢ on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Gift - Feature Author Review

The Gift by Danielle Steel The Gift
by Danielle Steel
Genre: Romance

     One little error in judgement can change your life profoundly ... if you're female any how. This is another book where teenagers can't control their hormones, the girl ends up "in the family way" and the guy basically says "OK see ya, have a nice life." It ticks me off because it is very unfair, completely realistic, and maybe a little too close to home.

     Maribeth has a good head on her shoulders, according to her teachers at any rate. Her tyrranical father doesn't agree with her wanting to go to college. "You don't need an education to change a diaper," is his attitude, because in the 1950's that was the limit of women's aspirations - get married, have kids, end of story. But Maribeth wanted more out of life, much more.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

When Darkness Falls Part 3 - Serial Sunday Review

When Darkness Falls - Part 3
Sixth book in series
by James Grippando
Genres: Action adventure, mystery,
   thriller, suspense

     In the final installment of this 6th book of Grippando's Jack Syteck sreies all the pieces of the puzzle fall into place so the reader finally gets that "aha!" moment where everything makes perfect sense. Some of the conclusion I had figured out already or at least had some suspicion that was close to the actual solution while other answers were a complete surprise.

     An excellent story which has certainly piqued my interest enough to add the book to the "more" folder on my Kindle to eventually grab more books of this series one day.

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Awakened - Pick of The Month Review

The Awakened by Jason Tesar The Awakened
by Jason Tesar
First book in series
Genres:Fantasy, adventure,
   paranormal, suspense

     The book starts off with a prologue that is obviously modern day as there are helicopters etc. mentioned. The first chapter introduces us to a powerful family living within the Orudan Empire. No date is given but from context it is somewhere within the olden times, they have no technology to speak of. The father, Adair, is a Colonel within the Empire's army and governor of the city of Bastul. While investigating the beating and subsequent murder of an acquaintance, Adair also mysteriously disappears. The Empire gives all of his worldly possessions to his successor, which not only includes his home but his wife and son as well. His wife, Maeryn, is obviously upset over this turns of events. Especially when her new "husband" decides to have her son executed.

     The story line is very intriguing and worthwhile to read. I do however have some reservations. As a first book there are just so many unknowns and unexplained events, that I'm not sure I would regard it as a stand alone book. I find it very disappointing that so many authors today would rather split a long story up unto several incomplete books and call it a series than publish one big book. I find this practice quite disheartening. When I spend the time to read a book I want to finish the book with a sense of having enjoyed a story. With some of the series that I have read lately, I have more questions at the end of the first book than had been answered within it's pages.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Echoes - Featured Author Review

by Danielle Steel
Genres: Romance, History

     Whether it is my daughter saying "I love you mom" that echoes a distant memory of me saying it to my mother, or me telling my girls to eat their vegetables that echoes the same phrase my mother often repeated, many moments in life are not only echoes of the past but will be repeated and echoed in the future.

     This story covers the lives of three generations of strong women. Though each have very different lives and circumstances, they show strength and courage in their own ways as they reflect upon the echoes of their past as they encounter them. Beata is a young German woman who meets a handsome French officer while both families vacation in Switzerland during World War I. As if being on opposite sides of the war isn't enough conflict, that is not the issue that the two families find fault with. Beata is Jewish and Antoine is Catholic. They fall in love regardless of such differences and both families disown the young couple when they defy their parents and decide to marry.

     After the war, the couple return to Germany. When Hitler comes to power, Beatta is horrified and worries incessantly about her family ... both the family who shunned her, and her own daughters whom Nazis would consider half Jewish.

     This is a harrowing tale that echoes the history of war torn Europe, the atrocities that Hitler commited, and the fear and courage possessed by Jews and the brave heroes within the Resistance.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

When Darkness Falls - Part 2 - Serial Sunday Review

When Darkness Falls - Part 2
Sixth book in series
by James Grippando
Genres: Action adventure, mystery,
   thriller, suspense

     I'm a bit conflicted about this month's Serial Sunday selection. It has deinitely taught me to do a little more research before I begin to read. The other two series that I have in mind require me to borrow the first book of the series, so I jumped the gun and selected something off of my kindle.

     This book is actually the 6th book in a series. I really don't like reading a book in the middle of a series. This book does make perfect sense without knowledge of previous stories, don't get me wrong. The author has provided the details required from previous adventures to catch the reader up to speed. But that is kind of a drawback too. This is a good, free, introduction to new characters and an author whose writing I am enjoying. I wouldn't mind reading the entire series some day, except that I already have some sense of what is going to happen. That can really take the fun out of reading a suspenseful book.

     All in all, the characters are enjoyable, I have noticed that I have even "cast" some of them even. When I read a story that is well described I can see it in my mind's eye. Sometimes the characters are just bland faces but when characters are really well defined I notice that I'm seeing specific actors in my ind's eye as well. Such is the case with this book.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Another Chance - Pick of the Month Review

Another Chance by Sandra CuppettAnother Chance
by Sandra Cuppett
Genre: Romantic Suspense

     Jordan is a beautiful and friendly woman. Both attributes drew the unwanted attention of an unbalanced man. Lambert's delusional mind twisted her kindness into a belief that she also like him as well. When her stalker tried to kidnap/rescue Jordan from her husband, Lambert was the only one of the two men who walked away from the ensuing struggle. After stewing in prison for 5 years, Lambert escaped with only one purpose in mind - making Jordan pay for spurning his feelings.

     While the story and plot has great promise, the final confrontation is disappointingly anticlimactic. There are serious and frequent editing errors including incorrect character names, inconsistencies in the plot, awkward sentence structure and odd word substitutions scattered throughout the book.

     With some work, this novel could be a good book but in its current form it is my opinion that it unfortunately does not reach its true potential. There characters are well developed but the errors are numerous enough that this book falls flat of it's possible strength.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Easy Way to Earn Amazon Funds to Purchase Kindle Books!

     Those who visit my blog regularly know that I don't just post about this program or that program. I stick to my chosen topic of books and most posts relate somehow or other to a book I'm reviewing, featured author, or a topic or concept in a book that I've read. I cannot recall just how many times that I run across a Kindle book that I would like to buy only to find that I don't have enough left on my amazon gift card balance to purchase it. I'll admit that I'm cheap and it is so hard to justify using my credit card to purchase a book when there are just SO many free books out there to read on my Kindle, even if the book I want IS only 99¢. InstaGC makes for the perfect compromise. This internet program allows me to cash out for an amazon code as low as $1. There are assorted tasks available to do for funds but I prefer the easy ones like visiting sites or viewing videos. I can usually cash out for that book that I want to buy in under 2 hours. And the gift certificates ARE instant, no waiting days or weeks for the code to be emailed to you. If you are like me and would rather use amazon gift certificates to purchase Kindle books and save the wear and tear on your credit card, I suggest that you check out InstaGC today to get your free gift cards!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Secrets - Featured Author Review

book cover art of Secrets by Danielle Steel Secrets
by Danielle Steel
Genre: Romance

     Picking a second favorite Steel book to re-read was a tough choice. There are so many. I had planned to read Zoya but while searching for it on my bookshelf I literally exclaimed outloud "Ooh! Secrets!" I'm sure my brother thought that I was nuts. I read the bookflap which described some of the characters. It was like running into old friends that I had forgotten I'd ever had. Sorry Zoya, maybe next time.

     Secrets is a complex character study, 6 people with intricate detailed histories and everybody is guarding a secret, except one. It is interesting to see how one person's secret affects another and yet other times where the secret is more mortifying to the holder while others think of it as inconsequential.

     This is a powerful plot that reflects how our past and present situations help to shape us into the people that we are today. There is also a subtle lesson that sometimes we can think that we are perfectly happy with our lives until something changes, and the change may seem dreadful at the time, but the new life we are left with is actually happier and/or less stressful once the dust settles.

I give it 5 star review graphic 5 stars!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Cadmium Yellow, Blood Red - Book Review

book cover art for Cadmium Yellow, Blood Red by Jacqueline T. Lynch Cadmium Yellow, Blood Red
First in Series
by Jacqueline T. Lynch
Genres: Mystery, Suspense

     If you thought you were having a bad day, Juliet Van Allen is having the mother of all bad days. First she catches her husband doing the horizontal mambo with a red-headed hussy, when she seeks refuge in her office she stumbles onto a conspiracy for the theft of one of the valuable collections in the museum that she works for - or rather it stumbles upon her - then when she returns home and decides to confront her unfaithful spouse, she finds him with his skull bashed in and herself starring in the role of prime suspect.

     Set in the late 1940's we are witness to the whimsical experience of a man who has been released from prison after several years and is bewildered to find a world full of automobiles, televisions, and other new technological gadgets. In this story there is very little truth to the theory that there is honor among thieves and it is simply horrifying the deviousness at play.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

When Darkness Falls - Serial Sunday Review

book cover art for When Darkness Falls by James Grippando When Darkness Falls
Sixth book in series
by James Grippando
Genres: Action adventure, mystery,
   thriller, suspense

     Another big oops on my part. It turns out that this is actually the sixth book in the Jack Swytek series that I had downloaded in three parts. These have been on my kindle for almost a year and I had erringly thought that it was a three book series when I had started to read them for this month's Serial Sunday selection. After some debate, I decided that since both Amazon and Goodreads list the three parts as individual books, I will review them as such.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Three Days to Die - Pick of the Month Review

Three Days to Die by John AveryThree Days to Die
by John Avery
Genres: Mystery, Suspense

     Aaron ran off to avoid his abusive step-father. It was the proverbial jumping out of the pan and into the fire when he arrived at an abandoned building that he and his friend had used as a hide out to find it inhabited by dangerous criminals. He managed to escape but the thugs successfully tracked him down and captured him again.

     The next three days of young thirteen year old Aaron's life is full of horror and dread. Prepare for a wild ride of suspense in this fast paced plot full of action.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Promise - Featured Author Review

The Promise
by Danielle Steel
Genres: Romance

     I believe this was the first book that I had read by Danielle Steel. I was surprised to see it was actually based on a screen play by Michael White. The Promise is a very powerful story, not only about love but also about hope, fate, faith in others, pride and loss.

     Michael Hillyard is the heir to his family dynasty and attends classes at Harvard. During his second year, he meets artist Nancy McCallister. After dating for two years, as Michael is about to graduate, he seeks his mother's blessing to marry Nancy ... but does not receive it. They decide to elope that night but on the way to the chapel they get into a car accident. One that will change the course of both of their lives.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Featured Author for November - Danielle Steel!

Danielle Steel

  August 14, 1947
Main genre:

     Steel's novels have been translated into 28 languages and can be found in 47 countries across the globe, and 22 of her books have been adapted for television. While her books are romances, she does not always guarantee her characters a happy ending. Many of her books can also be considered family sagas as most of her stories usually deal with rich powerful families who face some crisis. While many critics might consider her books as "fluff" her plots do go beyond the normal "boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back" formula.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Dread Dimensions - Saturday Shorts Review

The Dread Dimensions
by Tom Morris
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction

     This short story took less than an hour to read but was intriguing none the less. The main character seems to share my same attitude towards the occult, neither believing nor disbelieving. He posseses a curiosity that leads to further in-depth research.

     He stumbles across an ancient book that with the help of his friend's translations they discover a new way to travel. But there is an ominous lesson to be wary of experimenting with knowledge that you do not entirely understand and to take heed to warnings issued by those with more experience in such matters.

     You can download this story for free on smashwords.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Cowgirl Up! - Pick of the Month Review

Book cover art for Cowgirl Up! by Caroline Anderson JonesCowgirl Up!
by Caroline Anderson Jones
Genre: Romantic Suspense

     I was prepared to criticize that this romantic suspense was a bit top heavy on the romance and light on the suspense. It seemed so cut and dried as to who the culprit was that it didn't seem like much of a challenge but in one final plot twist, I was proved wrong.

     Samantha is a gorgeous country vet who has all the cowboys falling at her feet. When she runs into her arch nemesis - the boy who pulled her pigtails in first grade and continued to torture her all through high school - after returning from college she is surprised to find that he has aged like a fine wine. I guess they don't teach cowgirls that when little boys tease and torment little girls, the boys usually have an ulterior motive behind wanting the girls' attention.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

November - Monthly Picks

     As Halloween passes us, it is time once again to troll Amazon and pick new free ebooks for this month. Since this month's featured author will be award winning romance novelist, Danielle Steel, I'm going to swing a little more towards MY favorite genre, suspense, with the monthly picks. So with no further ado, here are this month's picks for November...

Book cover art for Cowgirl Up! by Caroline Anderson Jones
Romantic Suspense
Read my review
Book cover art for Three Days to Die by John Avery
Mystery & Suspense
Read my review
Book cover art for Another Chance by Sandra Cuppett
Romantic Suspense
Read ny review
Book cover art for The Awakened by Jason Tesar
Read my review
Crossroads Road by Jeff Kay
Read my review