Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Product Review: Primed4U In Ear Stereo Sport Earphones with Built-in Mic

We received this product at a discounted price in exchange for an honest review.

Packaging: The box came ready for hanging on a retail store peg in a small black and green box. It was tastefully designed, however the only logo on the box was that of Bluetooth. I turned the box over and over and found no indication of the company who manufactured the product nor any real sales copy on the box. Neither of these affect the quality of the headphones themselves, but do seem a bit odd, since most every product, expensive or not, has the name of the company prominently displayed on the box and at least a little boastful blurb about the product. Not so in this package. Now that I have used the headphones, it's not as big of a deal, but my first reaction was to think to myself, "Hmm, so I have to review a set of no-name cheapie earphones... awesome." That's not a desirable reaction if as a company, you are trying to build your brand in a competitive market so I thought it was worth mentioning. Inside the box, the spartan nature of the outside continues. A simple plastic receptacle holds the earphones and charging cable with a very basic instruction sheet and replacement earphone covers and tension springs. The instructions are clear, but again, there is no positive-leaning "You're gonna love our product" sales copy to be found anywhere. (Some may find this nice, but there is something to be said psychologically for the after-purchase sell-through.)

Feature set:
For the price, this set of headphones comes well equipped. Easy Bluetooth connectability and easy to use controls mean you don't need to pull your device out of your pocket to adjust for volume, to skip back and forth between songs, or start or stop the music. The tension spring built into the earphones really do a good job of securing them in the ear canal, and as mentioned before, they come with a replacement set just in case. I used them while working around the house and the garage and they stayed put through all types of activity. They do come with a short (around 6 inches) micro USB charging cable which will power the phones for a good 5-6 hours on an hour or so charge, which is more than adequate for most applications. The also feature very effective noise cancelling technology, so if you're looking for a headset that will allow you to be aware of anything going on around you, then this one isn't for you. It filtered out all of the sounds in my home, from voices, television sets, and many other kinds of background noise.

Real world usage: The audio fidelity is top notch. No it does not have the bass response of a pair of Beats or Sennheiser would, but they do send out a very broad range of highs and lows that seem to reproduce the breadth of sounds within my personal collection without a hitch. Never did I feel like they were tinny or cheap-sounding. Due to the design of the set, they do poke out from the sides of the ear about a quarter of an inch, so they would not be good for side-sleepers (such as myself) who like to have music on while they doze. Call quality was good, and I did not have a problem with anyone hearing my voice whenever I had to make a call.

Verdict: For a $39.99 set, it'd be hard to go wrong with this set. The sound quality is above par, the battery life and technical aspects of the product are great, and they seem well built. However, while the feature set is rich and there is much to like about it, the packaging and presentation don't do anything to instill confidence in the consumer. Get past that, and you have a great little set of headphones.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Review Play Dirty Tiffany Snow

 Playing Dirty (Risky Business, #2)
Title: Playing Dirty (Risky Business #2)

Author:  Tiffany Snow

Stars: 4 Out of 5

This book picks up right where Power Play ends so if you haven't read the first in the series trust me you will want to pick up the book or you will be a little lost.  Tiffany Snow has a way of making me read her books even though I hate love triangles. Sage is caught between a man who has fallen head over heels in love with her and the man she has fallen head over heels in love with. This story take the reader on a roller coaster of emotions as Sage fights her attraction to her boss while she is dating the sexy cop Ryker. 
Readers are introduced to a whole cast of characters including Sages wealthy Parents who just happen to know Parker Sages boss. Ryker meets the parents only to discover that Sage isn't just well off but that she is worth millions and that just doesn't sit well with him. They fight, they make up. The reader will get the chance to read the kiss and make up over and over and over again.
When things are just finally running smooth between all three someone from Ryker's past threatens everything. I would love to go into details but it would totally spoil the book. 

The reason this book didn't get a 5 from me was because it reminded me too much of Tiffany Snow's Kathleen Turner Seires how everything played out. This books has a lot more humor than that series but not nearly as much as the first book which I enjoyed. Sage isn't as strong as she started out at in the first book and in fact I yelled at her several times int he book.  When she deicdes who she loves everything spins out of control and the author will have your head spin so fast you are not sure who Sage is with.  I enjoyed the meet the parents scene and I love Sage's father he is totally bad!

This book has everything a Tiffany Snow readers has come to love; Suspense, Romance, murder, Irish mob, Chicago Mob, Russian Mob, FBI, CIA and Sage running from everyone.

ARC From Netgelley

Faced with a choice between bad-boy detective Dean Ryker and sexy power player Parker Anderson, Sage Reece fought the law--and the law won. But while Ryker's sizzling touch may rule her nights, Sage's days belong to Parker's cool, calculating intensity. . . .

Both Ryker and Parker are determined to protect Sage from a brutal enemy who'd use her to pay for their mistakes. Yet when the usually on-point Ryker is distracted by ghosts from his past, Parker seizes his opportunity to get Sage's attention--and keep it in ways beyond her wildest dreams.

Now, caught between a mobster out for revenge and two men who were once best friends, Sage must play to win--even if it means getting dirty. . . .

Published by Forever (September 29, 2015)  Hachette Book Group

Author Information

I love to stick with characters over a series of books when I read, which is the same way I write. My first series - THE KATHLEEN TURNER SERIES - includes five books, two companion novels, and features a love triangle. My new series, coming from Montlake Romance December 16, 2014, is the TANGLED IVY TRILOGY, beginning with IN HIS SHADOW.

As for me, I've been reading romance novels since I was way too young to read such things, have an unhealthy obsession for all things Doctor Who, prefer Pepsi to Coke and Absolut to both, think men who drink girly cocktails are wusses, have learned to never stop believing in my beloved St. Louis Cardinals, and can recite the entire scripts of When Harry Met Sally and Apollo 13. George Washington is cool, Bon Jovi still rocks the house, and Bruce Willis is the ultimate alpha-male hero. Most of all, romance never, ever gets old.

Visit my website www.Tiffany-Snow.com for more information and special extras. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

I think I am figuring this out

So I think I am figuring out this blog stuff but please let me know what I need to change, fix or something you want to see more of.  I am working on Movie Reviews and I can't wait to see The Martian with Matt Damon it looks amazing! I was asked if I had read the book and for once it was nice to day no! So I promise to have that movie reviewed and than when I get the chance I plan to read the book as well.

Product Reviews are a little hard for me to get my brain wrapped around but I realized I need to be objective like books but honest so they can fix the product to make it almost perfect. Lets face it the only perfection is the person currently typing this post. HAHAHAHA Just Kidding.

School break is starting this week and anyone who has more than one child will understand my feelings right now. I am scared to death. However being Arizona the weather is getting cooler I mean we don't hit 105 anymore its more like 102 but the nights are in the 70's! AMAZING
So if you find that not every day here is a post please understand it is because I am keeping 4 tiny humans alive and healthy.
I have some great books coming my way for the month of October and some older books I have finally been able to read.
I need to run because currently one of my daughter is under my chair and the other is demanding I explain why she needs a bath. The boys thankfully are playing nicely together but that will not last long so I better sign out!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Review: Cut From The Same Cloth by Kathleenn Baldwin

Cut from the Same Cloth (Regency Trilogy, #3) 
Title:Cut From The Same Cloth
Author:Kathleen Baldwin‏
Stars: 4 out of 5
A delightful humorous Regency romance involving the cash strapped 
Lady Elizabeth Hamilton, who is looking for a rich husband, and Lord St.
 Evert who is searching for a wife who is not high in the instep. They 
immediately are drawn to each other even though they are polar 
opposites. Does love really conquer all? You will have to read the book 
to find out.
This is book three of the My Notorious Aunt series.
 I particularly enjoyed the fact that there was not  numerous pages of 
sex to wade through which kept the story fresh and interesting.
I gave this book a solid four stars and would read other offerings by this author.
Why does the powerfully 
built, golden-haired, Lord St. Cleve dress like an overdone Dandy? His 
outlandish wardrobe belies the hard unyielding lines of his face. 
Whoever he is, he’s ruining Elizabeth Hampton’s desperate scheme to 
secure a rich husband. Terribly vexing, to arrive at the most 
fashionable Breakfast Party of the Season wearing a perfectly stunning 
Chinese silk gown, only to discover Lord St. Cleve is clad in 
unmentionables cut from identical cloth.

Lord St. Cleve despises 
pretension of any kind. He cannot abide the self-important airs put on 
by some members of the Ton and takes pleasure in making a mockery of 
Brummell’s fashion strictures. Conceited frauds! Hadn't his 
grandfather’s snobbery made his mother’s life a misery? Maddening to 
discover the one woman who captures his interest is the biggest 
pretender of all! He vows to teach Miss Elizabeth Hampton a lesson she 
won’t soon forget.
Kindle Edition, 244 pages
Published June 18th 2014 by Ink Lion Books (first published March 1st 2005)  
About Author:
Life is an amazing adventure. Mom died when I was thirteen. But life rolls on. I roamed the Rockies, wandered the desert, enjoyed way too many classes in college, was stalked by a cougar, lost an argument with a rattlesnake, fell in love at least a dozen times, was proposed to eleven times, finally met and married my own personal hero, and together we’ve raised four free-spirited adventurous children.

I write for the fun of it. An award-winning author and illustrator - Kensington published four of my Regency romantic comedies, including Mistaken Kiss, a Holt Medallion finalist.

I adore the wit and humor of Oscar Wilde, P.G. Wodehouse, and Jane Austen. But my eclectic reading interests bounce from Frank Herbert to Meg Cabot, and on to the delightfully imaginative tales of Diana Wynne Jones.

What books do YOU love to read?

Contact me through: www.KathleenBaldwin.com

Friday, September 25, 2015

Book Review Lethal Game (Biological Response Team 2) by Julie Rowe

 Lethal Game (Biological Response Team, #2)
Title: Lethal Game

Author: Julie Rowe

Stars: 5 out of 5

I can't help but love this book from beginning to end. Captain Sophia Perry is young, too smart for her own good and never taken serious because she says what she means. As with all military suspense romance novels she is beautiful, unique and curvy woman with large breast. Please give me an average look woman any day who's personality stands out out her appearance. The author created a very likable character who has the ability to be rude but funny at the same time. She doesn't understand social norms of dating so when she wants something she says it. Which makes for some really good laughs and sweet moments.

Sergeant Connor Buttons yes that's right Buttons is assigned to keep Sophia safe as he is doing that he finds himself falling for her blunt way of wanting things. She makes him laugh because she isn't what he expected.

The story is full of adventure that will keep the readers up all night. My one complaint would be that the author wrapped the story up in a nice little bow way to fast without giving enough details for my taste. The 3 months forward left me with too many unanswered questions.
The author did a wonderful job of take a very dark subject and endless medical information and made it not only enjoyable but I want to understand virus a little more.
 Julie Rowe made you like Sophia and honestly I hope the author carries these two characters into the next book.

I plan to go back and read the first novel as well as pick up the third one in the series.

I received a copy from Netgalley.
Doesn't the cover look like Paul Walker?

As the nation's youngest virologist and hematologist, Captain Sophia Perry has always been one step ahead of her peers. But there's one thing she can't beat—cancer. She wants to make a difference in the time she has left, so when she's sent to investigate a breakout at a Syrian refugee camp, she goes, saying nothing of her diagnosis. But saving the masses isn't easy when the man tasked to protect her is so irresistible.

Communications Sergeant Connor Button is back on active duty after a deadly explosion, but he doesn't feel whole again until he meets Sophia. Assigned to keep her safe, he's prepared to die for her, but for the first time in months he truly wants to live—if only she wasn't so determined to put them both in danger.

With a secret to keep and nothing to lose, Sophia is determined to find the source of the breakout at any cost. Violent attacks on the camp convince her that someone wants her to pay dearly. But as Sophia's health deteriorates, Connor must find a way to help her defeat her enemies before her body defeats her.

Kindle Edition
Expected publication: October 12th 2015 by Carina Press 
About the Author:
Julie Rowe’s first career as a medical lab technologist in Canada took her to the North West Territories and northern Alberta, where she still resides. She loves to include medical details in her romance novels, but admits she’ll never be able to write about all her medical experiences because, “No one would believe them!” A double Golden Heart finalist 2006, Julie’s writing has appeared in several magazines such as Today’s Parent, Reader’s Digest (Canada), and Canadian Living. She currently facilitates communication workshops for her local city college. Julie enjoys hearing from her readers. You can reach her at www.julieroweauthor.com or on Twitter @julieroweauthor .
 Julie Rowe’s first career as a medical lab technologist in Canada took her to the North West Territories and northern Alberta, where she still resides. She loves to include medical details in her romance novels, but admits she’ll never be able to write about all her medical experiences because, “No one would believe them!” A double Golden Heart finalist 2006, Julie’s writing has appeared in several magazines such as Today’s Parent, Reader’s Digest (Canada), and Canadian Living. She currently facilitates communication workshops for her local city college. Julie enjoys hearing from her readers. You can reach her at www.julieroweauthor.com or on Twitter @julieroweauthor .

Thursday, September 24, 2015

ThrowBack Thrusday Review Spying In High Heel by Gemma Halliday

Spying in High Heels (A High Heels Mystery, #1)
Title:    Spying in High Heels
Author:  Gemma Halliday
Review:  I am not one for romance novels but I decided to try one just for fun and being cheap I needed it to be free.  I came across Spying in High Heels and thought its free and it has the words spy and heels in the title which I love spy\detective novels and I love fashion.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed the book and started to care what happened to the different characters.  Maddie Springer is a 29 year old fashion lover who designed children shoes for a living has everything she wanted, or so she thought.  An amazing lawyer boyfriend who is a life size Ken doll and everything heading in the right direction until one day he turns up missing, 20 million dollars have disappeared, and Maddie thinks she is pregnant.  The mystery starts off with Maddie trying to figure out what happened to her boyfriend only to stumble upon a murder scene right out of the movies, but on the positive there is a tall dark and deadly detective she has the hots for - Jack Ramirez.  Maddie tries to prove her boyfriend was framed but at the same time planning her mothers wedding, trying to find time for her oversexed best friend, trying to figure out a pregnancy test all the while following Detective Ramirez in hopes of finding her boyfriend.

Maddie and her best friend play dress up when they go to "investigate" and I have to admit I was laughing so hard while reading this scene after all who wouldn't want to dress up like a Charles Angles.  There is really no "sex scenes" in the book but sex is mention quite offend and there is a little language.  The humor in the book revolves around mani\pedi, fashion, movies, celebrates and wedding festivities. So if someone has little interest for fashion they will find it boring and even vain but that is what makes the book a fun. The book is definitely geared to appeal to women and men might not be able to relate to the style of writing. Spying in High Heels and the other books that followed would make for a great TV series on USA because it is witty, charming and women can identity with the lead character Maddie.

Spying in High Heels is full of laughs, who done it, romance, and best way to describe it would be an adult version of Nancy Drew but with a crazy Mom.

Yes I bought and read the next four books in the series.  1 and 2 were my favorites and I will be rereading them when I just need a good laugh.

Thanks go to Heidi for this review.
Publisher:  Published October 25th 2010 by GemmaHalliday (first published July 1st 2006)
Copyright: 2006
Pages:  250
ISBN:    0843957352
Quick Review: 5 Stars out of 5. 
Why Did I Read the Book:  It was free on Kindle so I thought I would give it a try.
Where Did I Get the Book:  Kindle shop atAmazon.
Synopsis:   L.A. shoe designer, Maddie Springer, lives her life by three rules: Fashion. Fashion. Fashion. But when she stumbles upon the work of a brutal killer, her life takes an unexpected turn from Manolos to murder. And things only get worse when her boyfriend disappears - along with AUD20 million in embezzled funds - and her every move is suddenly under scrutiny by the LAPD's sexiest cop. With the help of her post-menopausal bridezilla of a mother, a 300 pound psychic and one seriously oversexed best friend, Maddie finds herself stepping out of her stilettos and onto the trail of a murderer. But can she catch a killer before the killer catches up to her...
Gemma Halliday
Author Biography: Gemma had a hard time figuring out what she wanted to be when she grew up. She worked as a film and television actress, a teddy bear importer, a department store administrator, a preschool teacher, a temporary tattoo artist, and a 900 number psychic, before finally selling her first book, Spying in High Heels, in 2005 and deciding to be a writer.
Since then, Gemma has written several mystery novels and been the recipient of numerous awards, including a National Reader's Choice award and three RITA nominations. Her books have hit both the USA Today and the New York Times Bestseller lists.
Gemma now makes her home in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Book Review:Death Takes A Trip by Gillian Larkin‏

Death Takes A Trip (Julia Blake Murder Mystery, #5)
Title: Death Takes A Trip

Author: Gillian Larkin

Stars: 4 out of 5


A nice little murder mystery set in England (can murder ever be nice) that can easily be read in an afternoon. The murder is not gruesome so your sensibility will not be offended. The main character (Julia Blake) has her own cleaning company and solves crimes in her free time. Julia is an engaging and hard working individual whom you would be hard pressed to not like. I had fingered the guilty party before they were revealed in the story. Would you be able to do the same?
My only complaint about the story was it did not give a region or general area of the country where the story was taking place. This is a minor flaw to a well written story but having lived in the England for over 20 years I would like to have known. It does not detract in the slightest from the story.
I would give the book a four star rating. I would read other offerings by this author.
I obtained this book from Amazon in the Kindle format.
Thanks Frank for this review.

Julia Blake runs her own cleaning business. She has the unfortunate knack of getting herself involved in murder investigations.
When one of Julia's elderly clients, Douglas Pedley, is found dead at the bottom of his stairs, it is soon obvious that he was murdered.
Julia first suspects the building contractors who have been hounding Douglas to sell his land and property. It's not long before another suspect appears.

Julia is determined to find out who murdered the old man.

Kindle Edition, 176 pages
Published May 1st 2015
About the Author: 
 Gillian Larkin
I'm an avid fan of mystery stories. I started reading Agatha Christie novels at an early age. My favorite fiction detective is Poirot, I love his fussy ways and his attention to small details. I love the TV series, 'Murder She Wrote' and have watched every episode. I like working out who the killer is, and what the clues are.

I live near Leeds, Yorkshire, which is in the north of England. My two daughters live with me and they are understanding about my passion for mystery shows! I've now discovered 'Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries'.

I've been wanting to write my own mystery stories for years - and now I finally have.

You can visit my website, and connect with me. To get a free pdf copy of 'A Different Shade of Death', sign up to my newsletter.

You can also follow me at my Ama
zon author page.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Book Review Blind by Sidney Bistol

Blind: Killer Instincts
Title: Blind

Author: Sidney Bristol

Stars: 4 out of 5

 Blind is the first book in the Killer Instincts series and the first book I have read by Sidney Bristol.
Blind is you basic serial killer thriller as well as romance.
Jacob and Emma lust after each other, which in turns to love at the end of the book. I am not giving anything away with that clip.
The authors action scenes was right on with the graphic natural of a killer series. I will be honest this book felt like a romance novel more than a thriller. Even during the book I felt like the author didn't know what to do with the characters while others were out solving the case so they would have graphic sex. The book moved along at a great pace never leaving the reader bored. There were a lot of characters thrown at the reader but thankful they all were necessary to the book and series. I assume the FBI team will have their own stories or at least I hope to learn what was the dark past of Jade.
Nothing stood out making this series or book any different from the rest of the serial kill books or series I have read. Her writing and ability to pull the reader though the book never once leaving them lost set this book a part from others I have recently read.
 The humor in the book felt odd almost like the author knew she needed to lighten the mood of the story but it never felt quite right.
Blind had twist and turns most readers will enjoy but for me they were expected. I will however pick up the next book in the series because I want to find out about Jades past.
There is graphic sex and violence throughout the book.

 I was given this book in exchange for an honest review from Netgalley.
Detective Jacob Payton knows the clock is ticking down. Someone is about to die, and his best suspect is also his only source of information. He’s known Emma Ration’s story for years—after all, a brutal serial killer left his mark on both their lives when they were still young. Meeting her is another experience altogether. She challenges his control and entices him in ways no other woman has.
But is she the killer? As the bodies pile up and their passion ignite, Jacob runs the risk of losing his control. Falling for Emma was never in his plan, but now that she’s part of his life he’s not about to give her up. Not even to the FBI on the trail of the very same killer.
Jacob must figure out if it’s Emma in danger, or himself. If he can’t uncover the identity of the copycat killer, it could be the end for both him and the woman who has fast become the center of his life. 

Expected publication: October 6th 2015 by Inked Press
About the Author
 Sidney Bristol
It can never be said that Sidney Bristol has had a ‘normal’ life. She is a recovering roller derby queen, former missionary, and tattoo addict. She grew up in a motor-home on the US highways (with an occasional jaunt into Canada and Mexico), traveling the rodeo circuit with her parents. Sidney has lived abroad in both Russia and Thailand, working with children and teenagers. She now lives in Texas where she splits her time between a job she loves, writing, reading and belly dancing.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Book Review - Shunned No More (A Lady Forsaken #1) - Christina McKnight

Title:  Shunned No More

Review:  A historical romance of the first water. I must congratulate the author on writing a historical romance that was well conceived, interesting, and without containing numerous explicit sexual encounters. Lady Viola Oberbrook was responsible for the death's of the twin sons of Lord Haversham,who were dueling each other for the privilege of courting her, during her first season. Her father banished her to the country to rusticate. Eight years later the current Lord Haversham, recently back from France and who does not know her, arrives to purchase some foals from her and the business she runs. From there the story begins to unfold. Will love overcome hate?

I would give this book a 4.5 star rating and I would read other offerings from this author.

I obtained this book from Amazon in Kindle format.

Synopsis:  A Lady Shunned by All…

Lady Viola Oberbrook only wanted to forget the ill-fated early morning duel that took the lives of two young, wealthy, promising men of the ton and sent her fleeing for her father’s country estate. Eight years later, she has her life in order: a fulfilling business, a few trusted friends, and no plans to return to London society. What she doesn’t expect is to come face to face with her past.

A Lord Betrayed by One…

Brock Spencer, Earl of Haversham, only wants vengeance. Recently returned from his military service to the King, his plans include repairing his family estate, finding a bride, and destroying the girl responsible for the untimely death of his twin brothers. What he doesn’t anticipate is falling in love with the only woman who should never be part of his future.

An Impossible Match, Destined to Be…

Paperback, 344 pages
Published May 21st 2014 by La Loma Elite Publishing (first published May 20th 2014)
Christina McKnight
Author Information:  Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since. Currently, she focuses on Historical Romance, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance.

Christina enjoys a quiet life in Northern California with her family, her wine, and lots of coffee. Oh, and her books…don’t forget her books! Most days she can be found writing, reading, or traveling the great state of California.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Book Review Poop Goes The Weasel by M.J. Arlidge

 Pop Goes the Weasel (Helen Grace, #2)
Title: Poop Goes The Weasel  

Author: M.J. Arlidge
Stars: 5 out of 5
If you are a fan of nitty gritty British Police murder mysteries that do not pull 
any punches this is the book for you. The maincharacter Detective Inspector 
(DI) Helen Grace is hard as nails and takes no prisoners in her pursuit of the guilty. 
That said she has some skeletons in her own closet that she would not like to see the 
light of day. A thoroughly riveting must read for any British mystery aficionado.
 This story revolves around a serial killer in Southampton England and 
is told in short paragraphs that details what each character is doing at
 that moment in the story.
I would expect this character to be turned into an exceptional 
television series as only the British can do so well.

I rated this book five stars. It is also a page turner, as I have said 
once before in a prior review, one you just don't want to put down even 
though you should do something else like turn the light off and go to 
I received this book as an ARC from Netgalley for my unbiased review.
Thanks Frank for this review.
DI Helen Grace returns in Pop Goes the Weasel, the electrifying new thriller from 
M. J. Arlidge.

 The body of a middle-aged man is discovered in Southampton's red-light 
district - horrifically mutilated, with his heart removed.

Hours later - and barely cold - the heart arrives with his wife and children by courier.

A pattern emerges when another male victim is found dead and eviscerated,
 his heart delivered soon afterwards.

The media call it Jack the Ripper in reverse; revenge against the men who 
lead sordid double lives visiting prostitutes. For Grace, only one thing
 is certain: there's a vicious serial-killer at large who must be halted
 at all costs  

Paperback, 426 pages
Published September 11th 2014 by Penguin Books (UK) (first published September 1st 2014)
About the Author: 
 M.J. Arlidge
M.J. Arlidge has worked in 
television for the last 15 years, specialising in high end drama 
production. Arlidge has produced a number of prime-time crime serials 
for ITV In the last five years, and is currently working on a major 
adaptation of The Last of the Mohicans for the BBC.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Book Review Hunting for Witches By Lana Pecherczyk

 Hunting for Witches (The Ludus: Book One)

Title: Hunting For Witches

Author: Lana Pecherczyk

Stars: 4 out of 5

I will preface this review by saying that I am not an avid reader of the urban fantasy genre of literature. Honestly, I don’t even know what an urban fantasy is. However, I do know compelling and skillful storytelling, and Hunting for Witches has that in spades.

The book revolves around Roo, who, for the bulk of the book has no clue what she really is. She assumes she is probably a witch based on the abilities she has (but hides.) However, through a series of bizarre events and exchanges with mysterious figures, she finds out that what she is is not quite that simple. She finds herself gaining powers and abilities that fascinate as well as frighten her. Powers that also make her a target for others to destroy or to acquire in order to gain advantage for themselves.

The author's verb choices make the prose smooth and she shows a steady hand in creating scenes to draw the reader into the world of the book, and she is also quite adept at choreographing action scenes so they are clear, tense, and exciting. Her characters are well drawn, and I am intrigued to see how after certain developments that occur in the last few chapters, the author will deal with the newly minted conditions of the characters' existence.

That is about as much as I am willing to write without giving away too much of the story, but I will provide some content warnings for those considering picking up this well-written and well-constructed book. There is a moderate amount of blood and gore and coarse language as well as numerous scenes of violence, although none of it is done senselessly or for simple shock value. There is also some merit in letting those who are devoutly religious know that this book may possibly offend by redrawing known figures from Judeo-Christian canon in a light that may not be appreciated. However, chances are if you’re interested in reading urban fantasies about witches, your religious sensibilities won’t be harmed.

There is no explicit sexual content, although there is one character who is habitually naked. A fact that is generally used for comedic effect, but the reason why is explained and isn’t out of line with the rest of the narrative.

If I had one complaint concerning Hunting for Witches: The Ludus: Book One, it would be that the mythology is very densely packed. With the knowledge that this is volume one of a series of books, it felt a little too much to swallow in the opening shot. I admire the way Ms. Pecherczyk has created this colorful and unique universe. However, I felt that some of the pieces of the mythology could have been left to other books in the series, as there were times my head was spinning with all the different ideas and character types introduced along the way. There were times I had to backtrack to understand how each new piece of the puzzle fit together into the larger picture. That may be more to do with my cognitive abilities than the fault of the author, but I felt it was worth noting in any case.

Author Lana Pecherczyk borrows liberally from ancient and historic traditions, religions, and texts to weave a multicolored, multi-layered tapestry on which to paint her first book in the Ludus series. A series which, based on the setup and groundwork laid in this book, will be an exciting and original modern fable that fans of the genre, and others such as myself, will enjoy.

 Witches have been obliterated - or so the world hopes. At 24, Roo struggles to keep her DNA-changing abilities secret. She doesn't feel like a witch, but if she isn't, how can she manipulate the physical world? Why does she feel the energy of all living things?

On tenuous ground, Roo keeps her skills hidden with the help of her sexy songstress BFF and her barmaid job at The Cauldron. Hiding in plain sight seems to be working until a mysterious witch hunter comes to town. Roo's powers are growing and, when a witch possesses the body of her sister, she defends her using any means possible.

Roo is exposed and attacked from all sides. She must learn to trust others while she discovers her identity and masters her powers to save the lives of her loved ones. She needs to convince herself and her town that she's more than a witch.

Inspired by mythology, science and fantasy, this fascinating debut novel is set in a brilliantly envisioned world where life is a secret game played by gods and witches until death

Kindle Edition, 405 pages
Published April 30th 2015 by Creative Cartel Publishing
About this author

 Lana Pecherczyk
Lana Pecherczyk fights evil by moonlight and wins love by daylight. She never runs from a real fight, she is the one – no wait, that's Sailor Moon. Lana lives in Perth, Western Australia and loves writing mashups of the fantasy, science fiction, romance, humour and horror genres. In short, she loves writing everything. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her creating art, designing websites and playing make believe with her two little boys.
As an artist, Lana creates all of her own cover work and illustrations, websites and graphic design. She shares her self-publishing journey, tips and writing kits on her blog, Author Zoo, and is a founding partner of Creative Cartel Publishing. http://www.authorzoo.com.au is her writing and personal blog and http://www.ludusbooks.com is the website devoted to The Ludus Series.


Friday, September 18, 2015

Book Review - Corridors of the Night - Anne Perry

Title:  Corridors of the Night

Author:   Anne Perry

Review:  Another winner from Anne Perry in the William Monk series. I felt that the main character in this story was his wife Hester Monk. That said it did not detract in the least from the case that was told. It contains kidnapping, murder, and medical exploitation of children. It culminates with not one but two trials. It concludes with a twist which will leave the reader wondering is there such a thing as true justice.

I give this book a 4 star rating. I have read other offerings by this author and have no doubt I will read many others in the future.

I received this ARC from Netgalley for my unbiased review.

Thank you Frank for this review.

Synopsis:  One night, in a corridor of the Royal Naval Hospital in Greenwich, nurse Hester Monk is approached by a terrified girl. She's from a hidden ward of children, all subject to frequent blood-letting, and her brother is dying.

While William Monk's River Police fight to keep London safe from gun-runners, Hester takes on a new role at the hospital, helping to administer a secretive new treatment. But she slowly realises that this experimental cure is putting the lives of the children at risk. Attempting to protect the young victims, she comes under threat from one rich, powerful, and very ill man who is desperate to survive... 

Hardcover, 288 pages
Expected publication: September 15th 2015 by Ballantine Books 
Anne Perry
Author Information:  Anne Perry (born Juliet Hulme) is a British historical novelist.

Juliet took the name "Anne Perry", the latter being her stepfather's surname. Her first novel, The Cater Street Hangman, was published under this name in 1979. Her works generally fall into one of several categories of genre fiction, including historical murder mysteries and detective fiction. Many of them feature a number of recurring characters, most importantly Thomas Pitt, who appeared in her first novel, and amnesiac private investigator William Monk, who first appeared in her 1990 novel The Face of a Stranger. As of 2003 she had published 47 novels, and several collections of short stories. Her story "Heroes", which first appeared the 1999 anthology Murder and Obsession, edited by Otto Penzler, won the 2001 Edgar Award for Best Short Story.

Recently she was included as an entry in Ben Peek's Twenty-Six Lies/One Truth, a novel exploring the nature of truth in literature.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Throw Back Thursday Book Reviews Perception - Heather Cashman

Book Review - Perception - Heather Cashman

Perception (The Tigers' Eye Trilogy, Book 1).
Title:    Perception    

Author:  Heather Cashman

Review:    I’m really not into teen\young adult books but I'm so happy I read this book.

 At first I thought the book reminded me of Hunger Games because both worlds have Districts and Hunger Games had the Games and Perception has the Campaign. The difference is how the heroin finds her freedom or her perception of freedom.   It also has the fantasy of Philip Pullman His Dark Materials with the connection between Human and ingenium animal and the unconditional love the human and ingenium have for one another. 

The first few chapters were a little confusing and I wasn't sure what was going on and how the animals (ingenium) and people worked, to be honest I’m still not sure I completely understand even after I finished reading the book.  I have to be honest and tell you I was quite lost at  one time and just hope that the author will clarify the connection in her next book.  At times I would get lost and have to reread the section because the action of the character didn't seem to fit or work with the scene presented in of the book, but I loved the story.  Heather is a fantastic story teller.

 I loved the idea of ingenium in this case a tiger and being able to telepathically communicate with them at all times.  I also loved the fact that ingenium couldn't lie but could only communicate though what they saw as their perception.  The love between the human and ingenuim is beautiful and I wish sometimes I could see myself the way others see me.

I loved the heroin of the book Ardana and her ingenium Rijan.  She was feisty, insecure about herself, strong, doesn't take no for an answer and tries so hard to right wrongs.  She has a twin brother Kade and they telepathically communicate with each other and their ingenium.  In the begining of the book Kade and Ardana were never allowed to be alone with one another, we see how their relationship changes when they are constantly with one another.  Their connection is beautiful and yet a painful bond as they feel each other’s passions, loss and desires.

There is romance in the book but it is fun to read and I have to admit when Ardana wasn't sure of her feelings I wanted to yell " How could you NOT love this guy? I love this guy." the romance is made for teenagers so there isn't anything inappropriate.

There are several themes that float though the book; What is freedom, What is truth, Unconditional love, Choice and Perception?  Ardana explores each of these themes though-out the book and when she finds the answer to the question we learn a little more about her and slowly fall in love with this character. The author had me asking myself the same question of what is freedom and what choices would I make if I was Ardana. I never felt the connection with Hunger Games as I feel with Perception.

With all the popularly of young adult books and how many seem to be a knock off of another I find this book refreshing because it is its own story and book. There are sword fights, death match, romance with realistic charm, and amazing characters you will fall in love with. 

Give this book a try you will not be disappointed.  I cannot wait for the next one.

Thank you Heidi for this review..Heidi is a regular guest reviewer with us.

Publisher:  Published June 29th 2011 by Heather Cashman

Copyright: 2011

Pages:  Kindle Version 294 pages

ISBN:  9780983671213

Quick Review:  4 ½ Stars out of 5. 

Why I Read it:  The author was looking for reviewers to read his book, I am a guest blogger here and so Lisa asked if I would take a look at this book.

Where I Obtained the Book:  Sent by the author.

Synopsis:  Your perception will sharpen once you see through a tiger's eyes.
More than five hundred years after the apocalypse, the survivors of off-grid genetic experimentation have refined their mixed DNA to the point that humans and their animal counterparts share physical and mental links. Varying species have divided into districts, living in a tenuous peace under the President of Calem.

Ardana and her tiger ingenium Rijan leave their life of exile and abuse in the Outskirts, setting out with their twin brothers to redeem themselves and become citizens of the Center. But shedding their past isn't as easy as they had hoped. When the system that shunned them becomes embroiled in political conflict and treachery, their unique abilities and experiences from the Outskirts make them invaluable to every faction. The runaways become pawns to friends as well as enemies, and with every step it becomes more difficult to tell which is which.

heather photo 
Author Biography:  I write because I have to. That’s the reality of it. When more than a few days go by and I haven’t had time to get into the story (because of editing, formatting, family, etc.), I get depressed, irritable, lonely in a crowd. It is something I can’t quite explain to anyone, least of all myself. It just happens. It also happens between stories. I have more than one series that I am writing, and if I stay too long in Calem without visiting Brynne and Jaxon in my Shifter Series, the same thing happens on a lesser scale. Once their stories are done, I can move on with my writing, but have to go back occasionally and read it. Or decide to write a prequel. (What am I thinking?)

Other than write, I like to spend time with my kids, since it seems so fleeting. They are my best friends. We do everything together. We have TV marathons, go to the mall, bake, take long walks, listen to audio books while putting together puzzles, and generally torment one another with our idiosyncrasies the way all best friends should from time to time.

I am learning to play the piano with my son. I’m not very good at it, but I’ve heard that if you keep learning new things until the day you die, you can fend off Alzheimer’s. I occasionally take a Latin Lesson or two.

I have a garden that takes me back to the reality of where I came from, where I will eventually return, and reminds me to make the most of the in between. I also love the feeling of harvest, the law of reaping what one has sown. It is a feeling of accomplishment and communion with the earth that makes me feel grounded.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Book Review - A Curious Beginning - Deanne Raybourn

Title:  A Curious Beginning

Author:  Deanna Raybourn

Review:  This is a Veronica Speedwell novel and one that I assume is the first in what could be a long line. It is written in a classic style that keeps the reader both involved and interested. It involves murder, mayhem, mystery and royalty all of which are key elements in any Victorian novel. The heroine, Veronica Spedwell, is brilliant and brave and has no problem facing any and all dangers placed in her path. Her cohort, Stocker, is titled, stalwart and moody. He was entrusted to protect Miss Speedwell by another titled gentleman who was subsequently murdered and so it begins. A mutual attraction is slowly developed during the course of the story leaves one wondering if it will be consummated or will the reader be left hanging.

I enjoyed this offering very much and gave it a four star rating.

I received this as an ARC from Netgalley for my unbiased review.

Thanks Frank for this review -

Synopsis:   In her thrilling new series, the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey mysteries, returns once more to Victorian England…and introduces intrepid adventuress Veronica Speedwell.

London, 1887. As the city prepares to celebrate Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee, Veronica Speedwell is marking a milestone of her own. After burying her spinster aunt, the orphaned Veronica is free to resume her world travels in pursuit of scientific inquiry—and the occasional romantic dalliance. As familiar with hunting butterflies as she is fending off admirers, Veronica wields her butterfly net and a sharpened hatpin with equal aplomb, and with her last connection to England now gone, she intends to embark upon the journey of a lifetime.

But fate has other plans, as Veronica discovers when she thwarts her own abduction with the help of an enigmatic German baron with ties to her mysterious past. Promising to reveal in time what he knows of the plot against her, the baron offers her temporary sanctuary in the care of his friend Stoker—a reclusive natural historian as intriguing as he is bad-tempered. But before the baron can deliver on his tantalizing vow to reveal the secrets he has concealed for decades, he is found murdered. Suddenly Veronica and Stoker are forced to go on the run from an elusive assailant, wary partners in search of the villainous truth.

Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: September 1st 2015 by NAL/Penguin
Deanna Raybourn
Author Information:   A sixth-generation native Texan, New York Times bestselling author Deanna Raybourn graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio with a double major in English and history and an emphasis on Shakespearean studies. She taught high school English for three years in San Antonio before leaving education to pursue a career as a novelist. Deanna makes her home in Virginia, where she lives with her husband and daughter.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Review The Scam by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

 The Scam (Fox and O'Hare, #4)
Title: The Scam

Author: Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

Stars: 4 out of 5


I have read a lot of Janet Evanovich from Plum, Lizzy and now the Fox and O’Hare series and have enjoyed the stories because they are light, fun and quick reads.
 Scam is number 4 in the Fox and O’Hare series so if you haven’t read the others it really shouldn’t be a problem because the extra characters are flat and the author always has a way of catching up the new readers. Kate O’Hare is the good cop AKA FBI who has been tasked working with one of the FBI 10 most wanted men in America the handsome Nick Fox.
Each story is basically the same Nick and Kate find bad guys, scam the bad guys while using a band of marry men and women.  This time around their mission is to stop money laundering operations at a casino in Las Vegas.  They bring Jake O’Hare, Boyd the actor and Chet special effect guru along with a former Somali Pirate Bill Dee. I love Kates dad he is always good for a laugh which there is plenty to go around. Kate kick butts which made for some really good scenes and yes finally the relationship is taken to the next level as well as a cliff hanger.
The Scam as a lot of twist and turns that might get you a little lost but they pull it all together in the end. If you are into the TV show White Collar this is a you can’t miss book.

Nicolas Fox is a charming con man and master thief on the run. Kate O’Hare is the FBI agent who is hot on his trail. At least that’s what everyone thinks. In reality, Fox and O’Hare are secretly working together to bring down super-criminals the law can’t touch. Criminals like brutal casino magnate Evan Trace.

Evan Trace is running a money-laundering operation through his casino in Macau. Some of his best customers are mobsters, dictators, and global terrorists. Nick and Kate will have to go deep undercover as high-stakes gamblers, wagering millions of dollars—and their lives—in an attempt to topple Trace’s empire.

It’s a scam that will take Fox and O’Hare from the Las Vegas strip, to the sun-soaked beaches of Oahu’s North Shore, and into the dark back alleys of Macau. Their only backup—a self-absorbed actor, a Somali pirate, and Kate’s father, and an ex-soldier who believes a rocket launcher is the best way to solve every problem. What could possibly go wrong

Hardcover, 304 pages
Expected publication: September 15th 2015 by Bantam 
About the Authors 
 Janet Evanovich
Janet Evanovich is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Stephanie Plum series, the Lizzy and Diesel series, twelve romance novels, the Alexandra Barnaby novels and Trouble Maker graphic novel, and How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author, as well as the Fox and O'Hare series with co-author Lee Goldberg.
 Lee Goldberg
Less Goldberg
New York Times Bestselling author Lee Goldberg is a two-time Edgar Award and two-time Shamus Award nominee whose many TV writing and/or producing credits include "Martial Law," "SeaQuest," "Diagnosis Murder,""Hunter," "Spenser: For Hire," "Nero Wolfe," "Missing." "Monk" and "The Glades." He's also the author of the Fox & O'Hare series with Janet Evanovich (The Heist, The Chase, The Job), "The Walk," "Watch Me Die," "King City," the "Dead Man" series, as well as the "Diagnosis Murder" and "Monk" series of original mystery novels.

Disclaimer for all reviews sent by the publisher, publicist or author for review.