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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Company Files: The Good Man by Gabriel Valjan (Review & Giveaway!)


The Company Files is a new series by Gabriel Valjan, one of my favorite authors, with the first book The Good Man recently published and featured here today! If you like noir fiction, espionage historical fiction, then look no further.

Book Details:

Book Title: The Company Files: 1. The Good Man by Gabriel Valjan
Category: Adult Fiction, 251 pages
Genre: Thriller, Historical Fiction, Crime Fiction, Espionage
Publisher: Winter Goose Publishing
Release date: December 2017
Tour dates: Feb 12 to March 2, 2018
Content Rating: PG + M (No bad language but there is a rape scene with a minor and then another attempted rape scene, and some violence.)

Book Description:

In 1948, Vienna was divided among four powers: France, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Jack Marshall had served with Walker during the war, and now, working together for The Company, they are tasked to do the inconceivable. Could former Nazis really be recruited to assist the U.S. in the atomic race? As their team moves forward, they quickly discover they are not the only ones looking for these men. And the others in the search may just have the objective of murder.

In this tale of historical noir, of corruption and deceit, no one is who they say they are. Who is The Good Man in a world where an enemy may be a friend, an ally may be the enemy, and governments deny everything?

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

Two years ago, I discovered the Roma series by Gabriel Valjan, and was hooked from the first book and read all five in the series. I eagerly await the 6th novel. However, in the meantime, The Company Files is a new series by Gabriel Valjan, with the first book The Good Man recently published and featured here today. In an interview with me on Oct 3, 2016, the author said about this series:
The Company Files is a multi-book series about the early days of the intelligence community. This series draws from real history and individuals. The writing style is very different from that of the Roma Series. I would describe it as le Carré meets Chandler.
Oh, there is something about noir fiction that is so compelling, drawing us in with its cynical characters and fatalistic mood punctured with witty repartee. The Good Man set in 1948 Vienna has that but with a good ending. We have Jack Marshall and Walker, former soldiers who are now working for The Company, in search of former Nazis to recruit them to work for the U.S. government. Leslie is the Company analyst, mysterious and alluring. And then we have Sheldon, who comes across as calm and collected but is a Jew who survived the horrors of Auschwitz. Valjan peels back the many layers of each character slowly, as the plot thickens and unlikely alliances form between former enemies as the winds of change sweep through post-war Europe.

The story has classic elements of noir fiction with hardboiled main characters, a post-war setting, espionage and crime with an unexpected femme fatale that surprised me. It's true that the writing style is different from Valjan's previous books, but then again, this is a different genre. It is a testament to Valjan's writing talent that he can switch from his thriller series laced with humour and camaraderie to a darker thematic novel.

While the hardened male characters bedecked in dark suits and fedoras could quicken a woman's heartbeat when that vulnerable side slipped through their tough veneer, I was more ambivalent about the female characters. Tania, the Russian refugee is still an enigma to me and several things about her remained unanswered for me, (perhaps this was the intention all along) making me think she will make another appearance in future books?

If you like noir fiction, espionage historical fiction that is atmospheric and leaves one pondering moral dilemmas then this one's for you. An absorbing read to be sure, one that immerses the reader into a world filled with political intrigue, shady characters, and the need to find one's place in a world struggling to regain its footing in the aftermath of WWII.

To read reviews, please visit Gabriel Valjan's Page on iRead Book Tours.


Buy the Book:





Meet the Author:



Gabriel Valjan is the author of The Roma Series from Winter Goose Publishing. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where he enjoys the local restaurants, and his two cats, Squeak and Squawk, keep him honest to the story on the screen.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Pinterest

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Ends March 10, 2018


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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are You Reading? Feb 19 Edition


Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.



Mailbox Monday Edition



Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.

I had so much going on this past week that I did little reading. Instead I watched two movies. It's rare for me to watch two movies in one week. Usually, it's two movies in one month, maybe. So I ended up watching Limitless with Bradley Cooper (those blue eyes...), which was good. And I also watched One Day with Anne Hathaway, which was okay. Did not expect that ending.

Another big week ahead of me. Taking it one day at a time. Hope you all have a great week.


For review:





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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever-growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.


What I read and/or featured last week:


Golden Gremlin by Rod A. Walters (Review & Giveaway) Funny essays by an "old gent" otherwise known as  a geezer

Necessities by Boyd Taylor (Book #4 in the Donnie Ray Cuinn series) Review and Giveaway Last book in the series so far and it was really good. Waiting for more from this author!

Lauren Carr's Twofer Murder now released on audio! Enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card


 Reading Now:



Stop by and enter my giveaways!



Also posted on the right sidebar.



Hope you all have a great reading week.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Lauren Carr's Twofer Murder now released on audio! Enter to win a $20 Amazon gift card


Last month I read and reviewed Lauren Carr's latest novel Twofer Murder which has recently been released on Audible. If you like audiobooks, check this one out. Be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card.

Audiobook Details:

Book Title: Twofer Murder by Lauren Carr
Narrated by: Anita Alger / Mike Alger
Length: 13 hours 20 mins
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Release date: Jan 2018
Available for review in: audiobook (Audible code)
Tour dates: Feb 12 to 23, 2018
Content Rating: PG + M (Please be aware that TWOFER MURDER is a murder mystery. There are depictions of murder and some violence--though easy on the gore contents. No f-words but there may be some mild profanity, and mild religious expletives such as "damn", "hell" and "Oh God!". Some depictions of brief sexual content (kissing).

Book Description:

Twofer murder? What’s a twofer murder?

Twofer Murder is a treat for fans of best-selling author Lauren Carr’s fast-paced mysteries! Lauren’s latest novel contains the main characters from her three successful series: Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose mysteries. The guys go away for a fishing weekend only to get caught up in the murder of a journalist investigating fraud at a timber company. Meanwhile, the ladies are spending the weekend in the presidential suite at a posh resort where Jessica Faraday is to accept a lifetime achievement award for her late grandmother at a murder mystery writers conference. But before they have time to get their facials, they get wrapped up in their own real mystery when an up and coming author ends up dead!

Lauren Carr’s Twofer Murder is a 2-for-1—making it a must-read for any mystery fan!

To read more reviews, please visit Lauren Carr's page on iRead Book Tours.


Buy the Book:




About the Author:


Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!
Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends March 3, 2018



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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Necessities by Boyd Taylor (Book #4 in the Donnie Ray Cuinn series) Review and Giveaway



Necessities is the fourth book in the Donnie Ray Cuinn series and I sure hope the author is writing another instalment. I liked all four books in this series and thought this one was quite brilliant. Check out my review and enter the giveaway to win a copy of Necessities.


Book Details:

Category: Adult Fiction, 225 pages
Genre: Suspense Crime Fiction
Publisher: Katherine Brown Press
Release date: December 5, 2017
Format available for review: print & ebook (mobi, ePub, PDF or gifted Kindle copy)
Will send print books to: USA
Tour dates: Jan 3 to Feb 28, 2017
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There is a murder and elusions to sex. Some mild cursing.)

Book Description:

Donnie Ray Cuinn returns to Austin to defend a war hero accused of murder. David Lewis lost both legs in Iraq, but he has overcome his nightmares and his disabilities by sheer willpower. He has learned to run and to box and is a successful newspaperman with a beautiful wife and son. Now the nightmares have returned and he must stand trial for murder. With twists that never seem to end, this gripping legal thriller is filled with suspense and indelibly drawn characters dealing with love and betrayal.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

Necessities is the fourth book in the Donnie Ray Cuinn series, and I sure hope the author is writing another instalment. I liked all four books in this series and thought this one was quite brilliant.  It's a stand-alone novel and can be read without having read the first three books, but as with the previous books I liked that I had background knowledge of Donnie and his family.

Necessities was different from the first three books because Donnie Ray Cuinn only makes an appearance about half-way through the book. At first I wasn't sure if I liked this (Donnie is, after all, the main character--and my favorite--in the series) but once I finished the book, I understood why the author wrote the story the way he did. The first half is told in the first person POV of David Lewis, a character we briefly meet in The Monkey House. He is a war hero, a veteran who lost both his legs in Iraq. He is a journalist who is married to a gorgeous heiress. We get close and personal with him. Even if we don't think we do.

When David Lewis finds himself on trial for murder he wants small-town lawyer Donnie to represent him and not some big-shot lawyer he can very well afford. In the second part of the book, the POV shifts to third person. This tactic is brilliant and you only realize this as a reader once you finish reading the book. As Donnie creates his case defending Lewis, we begin to unravel just how much we know and do not know of Lewis and his family. The suspense builds beautifully especially with the courtroom scenes. As is his trademark, the author includes twists and turns that leave the reader reeling because just when you thought you had it figured out, well, you don't.

I thought about this book for a long time after I finished reading it, about how brilliant it really was because the author had me all along right from the very beginning. I was waiting for Donnie to show up and when he does, his case is built on the story of David Lewis as told from Lewis' perspective. I won't say more, except that I can't wait to read more about Donnie and his life adventures. He still hasn't gotten over his wife's death even if several women have tried to establish a long-term relationship with him.

Regarding content, there are f-words and religious profanity but fewer than his first three books. The sex scenes are not explicit.

With a brilliant plot, sly characters, and witty dialogue, this intelligent suspense crime fiction will take you for a good ride. An excellent read that is over too quickly leaving you shaking your head and wanting more.

To read reviews, please visit Boyd Taylor's page on iRead Book Tours.



Buy the Books:

Watch the book trailer for Necessities (Book #4 in the Donnie Ray Cuinn Series):




Meet the Author:


BOYD TAYLOR lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and their Havanese dog Toby. Necessities is the fourth novel in the Donnie Ray Cuinn series. In a former life, Boyd was a lawyer and a corporate officer. A native of Temple, Texas, he graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in government and an LL.B. from the law school.

Boyd's first novel "Hero" was prescient in its story about fake news. His second novel, "The Antelope Play," dealt with drug trafficking in the Texas Panhandle, an unfortunately accurate forecast. The third, "The Monkey House", involved commercial development of a large green space in the center of Austin, all too familiar to Austin residents. Whether his upcoming novel "Necessities" predicts future events with the accuracy of the earlier books remains to be seen.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends March 7, 2018


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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Unforgettable Male Characters in Books I've Read

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. 10 is just a suggestion to aim for if you can hit it. You can do a list of 3 or 5 or 20, whatever you decide. And you can put a spin on the topic if you need to. Each week there is a new list to create. This week the list is a Love Freebie, so I have chosen the topic:


Unforgettable Male Characters in Books I've Read

So what makes a male character unforgettable in a novel? For me, it's much more than good looks, charm, and muscles. There are various qualities I admire in a man that makes him stand out from the crowd. In addition, a man who shows vulnerability makes him very attractive to me. Here are a few unforgettable male characters I've encountered in my reading. They are not in any order of preference.



Kadesh is mysterious and exotic in this series that takes place in the Mesopotamian desert and the land of frankincense. I was swept away and could not resist the allure of a sword-wielding young man who becomes the forbidden love of a courageous girl. 




Dante is the good-natured and super patient investigator and member of the Roma Underground,who becomes the love interest of our kick-ass heroine in the Roma series. It's hard not to fall in love with such a nice guy.




Murphy Thornton, Lieutenant in the US Army and member of their elite team of Phantoms is a sexy guy who loves his wife and drinks green tea and smoothies. The combination makes this guy swoon-worthy to me.




The gentleman police officer Constable Kelly who is in a blossoming romance with our sleuthing heroine is kind, thoughtful, brave and humble. A sensitive man. And a gentleman. Did I already say that? Yes, that's right, a gentleman.




Prohibition enforcement agent Oliver Anson is a straight-arrow who is not afraid of danger or bringing down the bad guy. He's strong and takes quite the beating for our jaded heroine. So self-sacrificing.




This story is based on the true account of Angelo Di Marco, a young Amercian-Italian who fought WWII in Italy and survived the bloody battles, malaria, capture by the Germans, starvation, and an incredible escape behind enemy lines. He is one unforgettable male character. So courageous and brave!




Joseph is an anti-hero who has to overcome emotional barriers to take action in his life. He lives with guilt and remorse and this has nearly destroyed his life. I couldn't help but like Joseph. The scenes between him and his sister were so endearing and touching. A man who loves his sister? Makes my heart melt.





Donnie Ray Cuinn is the underdog lawyer, a broken man who cannot stop grieving the loss of his young wife. Throughout the four books, Donnie just grew on me. It's hard not to like him when he tries to do the right thing and helps those less fortunate. Women are drawn to him, but no one can fix him.




It had been awhile since I read a romance novel and this one had a swoon-worthy sword-wielding Highlander Scots. Need I say more?


Who are some of the unforgettable male characters in the books you've read?


Monday, February 12, 2018

Golden Gremlin by Rod A. Walters (Review & Giveaway)


This book is a collection of short humorous essays written by an author, "an old gent", who is now in what society calls "the golden age", hence the title Golden Gremlin. Check out my thoughts on this book and enter to win a copy and a $25 gift card!

Book Details:

Book Title: Golden Gremlin: A Vigorous Push from Misanthropes and Geezers
Author: Rod A. Walters
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 228 pages
Genre: Humor
Publisher: Omega Man Press
Release date: November 2016
Tour dates: Feb 12 to 23, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (Mild and indirect innuendo to both sex genitalia, a short essay about the fictional "AssBook," an essay on current health-care talk, a teaser "is his cord long enough?" to get readers to choose a short piece on electric cars next, etc.)

Book Description:

Written to make Dave Barry, Lily Tomlin, and Ben Stein laugh, Golden Gremlin: A Vigorous Push from Misanthropes and Geezers delivers the experience of a balanced life, and the wisdom to like most of it, and then laugh at the rest of it. What the heck, Barry lives in Miami, habitat of geezers, and Ben Stein is one. The world really needs that push, vigorous or gentle, from misanthropes & geezers, the world’s most valuable golden gremlins. Misanthropes pretend to not like or need other people, but in reality, they merely prefer their own company much of the time. Geezers, aside from that silly name, also like their own company quite well. Both share the virtue of seeing the world calmly. You get pointy bite-sized life pointers from these experienced gremlins, told in easy bite-size chunks. Laughter included in the price! Two out of three wouldn’t be bad either.
Life is good! So laugh a little at yourself on the way through these pointy essays, and that will buy your laughing at the world’s simpler parts, guilt-free.

Golden Gremlin comprises about 70 short essays bundled into six topic areas:

NATURE: boys, ugly drivers, and coffee cups in the ‘fridge.
WORDS: the real meaning of Caucasian and Genre.
BUSINESS: deafness at the economics conference, and getting on AssBook.
KITCHENS: sushi chefs, and truth about manna.
HISTORY: when Hell froze, and Attila the Honey.

Golden boy gets to be GOLDEN GREMLIN: experience overcomes certainty.
What things could possibly be more important!

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

This book is a collection of short humorous essays written by an author, "an old gent", who is now in what society calls "the golden age", hence the title Golden Gremlin. Filled with witty remarks, some sarcasm and a good dose of silliness, this book which began with Poppy stealing the Residence's gas-powered mower to get to his publisher, was a fun read. Having worked with seniors in a day center, I find that they have a unique sense of humor. They are no longer afraid to speak their mind and laugh at themselves and others. This certainly came through with these essays.

Mr. Walters tackles a variety of topics, some of which had me in stitches and others which I didn't care for just because they are very much about the American life experience (such as the State of the Union piece) and you really need to be an American to appreciate the humor. Just like some Canadian humor is much more funny to said Canadian than a Southern American, for example.

However, most of the well-written essays challenged me with new words I had never heard of (misanthrope, boppage, troglodyte, entropy...) and had me using my dictionary. Having been an Army officer, engineer, and administrative assistant, the author's experience in these fields is evident in these essays. The book is divided into 5 parts and I enjoyed the essays under the topics of NATURE and KITCHENS the most.

If you like humor and a straightforward take on topics relevant to our day and age from an American senior with a quirky sense of humor, you will enjoy this breezy read with truths behind the funny and silly narrative.

To read reviews, please visit Rod A Walters' page on iRead Book Tours.


Buy the Book:




About the Author:



Rod Walters lives and writes in upstate New York to prove he can be an all-season writer. Since he wants everybody to be all-season persons no matter her or his circumstance, his writing aims sharply toward the practical—without turning into one of those godawful do it ma’ way authors. Life, after all, is practical hour by hour. Self-described as “old enough to know better, and he probably is,” his former life as Army officer, engineer, and administrative assistant could not have better prepared him to write both light and more serious short pieces pointing to creating a balanced life. Chuckling at yourself usually makes a good takeoff, he says. Giving up having to be certain makes for a good landing, especially for one’s friends! Then again, who the heck wants to live a balanced life? Mostly everybody does. That’s why he now writes. Although many friends nudge and badger him to be a Facebook and Twitter butterfly, he tries not to spend many numbing hours a day with circular keyboard tapping. Writing works better.

Connect with the Author: Website

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends March 3, 2018



Sunday, February 11, 2018

Sunday Post, Mailbox Monday and It's Monday What Are You Reading? Feb 12 Edition


Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news. A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things we have received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

Dragging my feet these days. Usually, I can handle winter blahs better than this. Anyone else feeling this way? A trip to a sunny Caribbean island would be ideal, right now. Sparkling blue ocean lapping a white-sand beach, a cloudless azure sky, tropical birds cheerily chirping as I sip a refreshing Pina Colada, a riveting book in my other hand (jerks  self upright from daydreaming on laptop, keyboard buttons imprinted on forehead...)

Okay, back to reality.

Hope your reading is taking you to interesting places!


Mailbox Monday Edition



Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Mailbox Monday now has a permanent home on its blog. Link up to share your MM.


For review:

This is Debra's 4th photography book!

Got this one free on Kindle:


I can't resist these historical fiction titles. Just need to find the time to read them!




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It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week. It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever-growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.


What I read and/or featured last week:

Cathadeus by Jeff J. Peters (Review & Giveaway!) This was a good epic fantasy tale rich in sensory and descriptive details.

SNAP! Change Your Personality in 30 Days by Dr. Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan (Book Spotlight & Giveaway!)


Cover Reveal $25 Giveaway – If I Could Stay by Annette K. Larsen A new book by an author I like


 Reading Now:

A new series by one of my favorite authors. If you like historical noir...


Stop by and enter my giveaways!



Also posted on the right sidebar.



Hope you all have a great reading week.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Cover Reveal $25 Giveaway – If I Could Stay by Annette K. Larsen


  
 

Today I'm happy to be spotlighting Annette K. Larsen's upcoming new book which releases Feb 22. I've read 3 of her past books and have enjoyed them. If you like clean romances, check this one out and be sure to enter the giveaway.

Book Details:

Title: If I Could Stay by Annette K. Larsen
Category: YA Fiction, 215 pages
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Hidden Falls Publishing
Release date: Feb 22, 2018
Content Rating: G (I have not read this book but I did read her past books which are clean romances)

Add to Goodreads

Book Description:

They killed her mother, and if they find her, Leila could be next. Being pursued from one state to another, she has learned to constantly look over her shoulder, and when necessary, to become someone new. She’s burned through four cities and four identities, always managing to stay one step ahead. Now Leila is left with nothing. No car, no money, and no choice but to trust the man who finds her, half frozen, wandering the back roads of Missouri. Despite the fact that Jack seems to genuinely care about her, Leila knows all too well the danger she poses to anyone brave enough to get close to her. Her growing feelings for Jack force her to make a choice. She could risk staying and hope she’s not found, or she could do what she’s always done, and disappear.

Read an Excerpt:

I don’t know how long we sat in that pickup truck, two strangers wrapped around each other. One desperate for help, the other willing to give it without a thought for himself. But it was long enough that my shaking stopped, and my breathing slowed, and I started to feel very, very tired.

“You falling asleep on me?” he asked. 

“Maybe,” I whispered. 

“So you can talk.” 

I cleared my throat and took a deep breath, realizing for the first time how good he smelled. “Yeah. I can talk.” 

“You got a name?” 

Hmm. I hadn’t decided on a new name yet. Now was as good a time as any. “Celeste.” It came out sounding like a question. 

“You sure?” 

I let out a little chuckle. “No, I’m not sure. What do you think my name should be?” I was feeling a little bit floaty, safe, like everything was suddenly fine. 

He grunted. “Angel seems appropriate.” 

My brow furrowed in confusion. I wasn’t an angel. I might not have been sure of much right then, but I did know that. “Why?” I asked as I was finally able to unlock my arms and wrap them around him. 

“That’s what you looked like, standing in the middle of the road. Your hair looked like it was glowing. Though that might have been frost.” 

I was guessing my white blouse, beige pants, blonde hair and pale skin all added to the image. 

He cleared his throat. “Wow, that sounded cheesy. I swear I’m not trying to hit on you.” 

I smiled, knowing that was true. “What’s your name?” 

“Jack.” 

“Nice to meet you, Jack. I’m pretty sure you saved my life.”


About the Author:


I was born in Utah, but migrated to Arizona, Missouri, and Virginia before settling in Idaho. Though I dabbled in writing throughout school, being an author seemed like an unattainable dream. It took me seven years to write my first book, Just Ella. During that time, I taught myself how to write a novel. Not the most time effective method, but it gave me an education I wouldn’t have received from a class or a how-to book. Something about the struggle of writing without a formula or rules worked for me. I write clean romance because I love it. Jane Eyre is the hero of my youth and taught me that clinging to your convictions will be hard, but will bring you more genuine happiness than giving in ever can. I love chocolate, Into the Woods, ocean waves, my husband, and my five littles. And I love books that leave me with a sigh of contentment.

Connect with the author: Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram

Also by Annette K. Larsen




Enter the Giveaway!



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Giveaway Details $25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Giveaway Ends 2/23/18 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.



Thursday, February 8, 2018

Tribal Affairs by Matt Dallmann (Book Spotlight & Giveaway!)


Today, I'm spotlighting this book which I reviewed a few months back (read my review) and which is once again on tour. If you like YA fiction with genies, give this one a try. You can also enter the giveaway for a chance to win a paperback copy and a $20 Amazon gift card.

Book Details:

Book Title: Tribal Affairs by Matt Dallmann
Category: YA Fiction, 277 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Matt Dallmann
Release date: July 2017
Tour dates: Feb 5 to 23, 2018
Content Rating: G (No bad language or sex)

Book Description:

Dahlia, a centuries-old genie, lies hopelessly trapped in a damaged golden locket charm attached to an ankle bracelet. Its owner, sixteen-year-old Liana, wears it for the first time during her father Jamison’s opening night illusion spectacular. Not only does its presence cause Jamison to folly his performance, but it also starts a chain of bizarre events that lead to a showdown with Dahlia’s mortal enemy, Stefan, and an unsuspecting romance between Liana and his son.

Buy the Book:




Meet the author:



Matt Dallmann has a background in acting and holds a BFA from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. His films and screenplays have been featured at film festivals across the United States including Cinequest, Big Apple Film Festival, Seattle’s True Independent Film Festival, DragonCon and Zero Independent Film Festival. His piano compositions have been published for commercial use and he is a member of ASCAP. Matt is also the Co-Founder and Vice President of the boutique medical billing firm VGA Billing Services, Inc. in New York City. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Pinerest


Enter the Giveaway!
Ends March 3, 2018


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Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies by Evy Journey (Review & Giveaway!)


A light romance book that include lots of delicious food and some intrigue. Check out my thoughts and enter to win a copy. One winner also gets a $50 Amazon gift card!

Book Details:

Book Title: Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies by Evy Journey
Category: Adult Fiction, 240 pages
Genre: Literary / Women's Fiction
Publisher: Sojourner Books
Release date: December 2017
Tour dates: Feb 1 to 16, 2018
Content Rating: R (Two bedroom scenes, some violence)

Book Description:

Cooking a wonderful meal is an act of love. An act of grace. A gift that affirms and gives life—not only does it nurture those who partake of a meal; it also feeds the soul of the person who creates it. These are lessons Gina learns from her mother.

Gina is a young woman born to poor parents; a nobody (her words) who wants to taste life outside the world she was born into and her passion for cooking is all she has to help her do so. She gets lucky when she’s chosen to cook at a Michelin-starred restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area where she finds a world of a privileged class with money to spare for dinners that cost hundreds of dollars. A world of new friends and new challenges—one that exposes her to fascinating people who’re also gripped by dark motives.

Amidst her culinary adventures, she becomes good friends with pastry chef Marcia, and falls in love, in different ways, with, two very different men: Leon, a rich regular client who has been dating Cristi, her friend from childhood, and Brent, a brooding homicide detective. This other world, it turns out, is also one of unexpected danger that eventually threatens her life.

Can the lessons she learned from her mother about cooking and life help Gina survive and thrive in this other world of privilege, pleasure and unexpected danger?

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

A few years back I read all three books in Between Two Worlds series by Evy Journey and I enjoyed them, especially the second book, Hello, Agnieszka!, which I thought was the best out of the three books.

I was therefore eager to read Journey's latest novel. Romance, French cuisine and intrigue are a perfect combination, especially when included with a catchy title and a great book cover that suits the novel well. Journey's writing flows at an even pace and for the most part this was a super quick read. It was also a light read and unlike her other books, I wasn't emotionally invested in the characters. I did like that the main character, Regine (Gina) Lambert, was a chef in an haute cuisine restaurant. This was a great setting, as I love to cook. Her family's history revolved around cooking and food, something I am very familiar with in my Italian culture. So I could relate to her passion for cooking.

I'm not a fan of insta-love, however, and that's mostly what the romance entailed. Apart from good looks, I was not taken in by either of the men that Gina simultaneously loved. I found the characters lacked maturity and there was what felt like teen drama throughout. There was some growth of character for Gina as she works hard to fulfil her dreams and accomplishes them.

There are two explicit sex scenes in the novel, hence the R rating but no foul language at all. If you like light romance books that include lots of delicious food and some intrigue, then this might be a fun and easy book for you to read.

To read reviews, please visit Evy Journey's page on iRead Book Tours.


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About the Author:



Evy Journey, writer, wannabe artist, and flâneuse (feminine of flâneur), wishes she lives in Paris where people have perfected the art of aimless roaming. Armed with a Ph.D., she used to research and help develop mental health programs.

She's a writer because beautiful prose seduces her and existential angst continues to plague her despite such preoccupations having gone out of fashion. She takes occasional refuge by invoking the spirit of Jane Austen to spin tales of love, loss, and finding one’s way—stories into which she weaves mystery or intrigue.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest

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Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. 10 is just a suggestion to aim for if you can hit it. You can do a list of 3 or 5 or 20, whatever you decide. And you can put a spin on the topic if you need to. Each week there is a new list to create. This week the list is:


Books That Have Been On My TBR the Longest and I Still Haven’t Read




I have been wanting to read the Lunar Chronicles forever! My daughter says it was one if the best series she read. What's more, all the reviews I've read throughout the years have been awesome.




I read Divergent and then never picked up the other two books in the series. Also one of my daughter's favorite series. And I haven't seen the sequel movies either because I want to read the books first!




Here's another trilogy I own but have not yet read. I was on a dystopian role back when I read The Hunger Games and picked up a whole bunch of them.



I loved her title The Winemakers and have been wanting to read this one too.




I have read two other books by this author and she is one of my favorites, and this one has been on my TBR for a long time.


Have any of you read these books?
What are some of the books that have been on your TBR list the longest?


Monday, February 5, 2018

Cathadeus by Jeff J. Peters (Review & Giveaway!)


What a stunning cover this book has. It also suits this classic fantasy tale that is impressive as the debut work of Jeff J. Peters. Read my review and enter to win a hardcover copy plus either a $25 or $15 Amazon gift card!


Book Details:

Book Title: Cathadeus (Book One of the Walking Gates)
Author: Jeff J. Peters
Category: YA Fiction, 344 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
Release date: Dec 8, 2017
Tour dates: Jan 15 to Feb 2, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 (fighting scenes)

Book Description:

It has been six hundred years since the Alchemists fused together men and beasts to form strong, mindless slaves. Now, their most vicious creations have attacked the mystical Walking Gates, slaughtering their Keepers and isolating their cities. Wounded in the brutal attack, Braxton Prinn’s mother is on the verge of death and he makes a desperate journey to find the reclusive elven master who can save her. But when he discovers an ancient magic, Brax is caught up in an even greater struggle and soon finds himself hunted for his power. Drawn into the chaos of an impending war and pursued by enemies on all sides, Brax must fight to save his mother and her race from slipping into darkness. Though his untamed magic may be the greatest threat of all . . .




What Readers are Saying about Cathadeus:

“Jeff J. Peters’ strong cinematic writing style allowed me to easily visualize the story and feel that I was right there alongside the characters.”
- Alison W.

“Jeff J. Peters’ writing is so smooth and easy to read – I can’t tell you how much of a pleasure it was…and how quickly you end up being drawn into the story because of it.”
- Amanda R.

“Cathadeus is the best kind of fantasy story - you get to learn along with a flawed main character while you get lost in a richly designed world. You can’t help but keep reading. A cleanly written pairing of characters you wish you could spend more time with and an enthralling world built around them. Cathadeus is the kind of story that plays perfectly off of your imagination, with characters grounded in reality to make it feel like you could really be there.”
- Ryan N.

“Jeff J. Peters definitely has storytelling skills...The story stayed on my mind when I wasn’t reading it. Young readers will be drawn in this imaginative story, while they relate to Braxton’s struggles with temper, insecurity, and young love. Cathadeus is dramatic, with an anxious tone—at times bleak, as the story keeps you wondering until the final battle if good will prevail.”
- Elizabeth C.

My Review:
Reviewed by Laura Fabiani

Cathadeus is a well-written epic fantasy tale that will appeal to lovers of classic fantasy. I was impressed that this is Jeff J. Peter's debut novel!

At the core of the story we have Braxton Prinn, a young man who discovers he has inherited the spirit magic through the Unicorn Blade that allows him to fight the evil that threatens to destroy his family and the beloved elven kingdom to which his mother belongs. He sets out on a mission to save his mother and gets caught up in an age-old battle that tests his courage, temper and the untamed magic within him.

Peter's talented penmanship creates a world of dwarves, elves, ogres and other magical creatures, along with their kingdoms. Truly, there is some fantastic world-building through a narrative rich with sensory details. The vivid descriptions bring both the fantasy world and the distinct characters to life. I especially loved the elven kingdom, from their forest homes to their bright attire, joyous and wise manner and their energizing delicious food.

Braxton was a very relatable young man as he experiences a vast array of emotions throughtout the story. He begins with uncertainly and self-doubt and slowly builds his confidence through his spirit magic and the training he receives. I loved his relationship with his mother and having a teen son myself, I was touched by the various scenes between them. Phinlera, Braxton's love interest is a courageous and feisty girl who he's known since childhood. She has a positive energy and is always ready to be by Braxton's side, fighting alongside him. It took awhile for me to feel like I knew her and I felt she was underdeveloped as a character.

Two of my favorite characters were Ruskin, the grumpy but strong dwarf (what a character! at times he had me in stitches) and Schotek, the ogre. I'm happy to know the next book focuses on Schotek, and I look forward to getting to know what happened to him. The novel is full of action and adventure, even as there are beautiful moments of introspection and wise words exchanged during the character interactions. There are a lot of battle scenes in the book, and just when one thinks it can't get worse, it does. War rages and the book is sobering in how it portrays the losses. There is much violence although I did not find it too gory.

If you are looking to savor an epic fantasy tale with a classic feel to it, Cathadeus will introduce you to the talented work of Jeff J. Peters, an author to watch for if you are a fan of the genre.


Buy the Book:





Meet the Author:



JEFF J. PETERS was born in South Africa and immigrated to the United States as a teenager, where he fell in love with all things fantasy. He obtained degrees in digital electronics and computer science and worked as an IT professional for more than twenty years. In 2014, he left his corporate position to focus full-time on writing. Cathadeus is his debut novel. He is currently working on the sequel.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Facebook

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