Monday, March 31, 2014

Book Review - The Quilted Heart - Three Novellas in One - Mona Hodgson

Title:  The Quilted Heart
Author: MonaHodgson
Review:   I will start out by saying this is not the type of book that enjoy, I am not a romance reader of any kind.  That said this was a very well written book and the characters were brought to life by the talents of the author.  She was able to give the characters life with her descriptions of who they were, where they came from and the problems and joys they are going through.

This is a Christian novella, so be ready for the mention of the Lord and the use of bible verses many times.  I did enjoy that the book was clean and without foul language.

The story takes place just after the ending of the Civil War in America and deals with the lives of three women of different backgrounds and a quilting circle that they belong to.

The first novella is about Maren, who is from Denmark and came to America to marry a Danish boy, who upon finding out that she had problems with her eyes that would eventually blind her, decided against the marriage,  thus leaving her stranded in a new country with no means of support.

The second novella introduces Emilie into the mix and tells her story as the daughter of a shop keeper in the town of St. Charles, Missouri.  St Charles is where Maren is at the time the story opens.  Emilie’s father is determined that she go to college to further her education, Emilie is not so sure but goes with her father’s wishes while still pursuing her own.
The third novella introduces Caroline, the young wife of a Union soldier, who finds herself widowed at the end of the war.  Caroline goes to live with her sister and her family but wants a life of her own and going west seems the most exciting of idea’s.  Caroline faces opposition from the wagon master because she is a widow and he refuses to take her along.  But she will not be deterred, and goes to work to figure out how to be on that wagon train when it leaves in the spring.

To give you an idea of the writing and descriptions I include the first paragraph of Chapter 15

“Caroline had lain awake much of the night.  When the rain wasn’t tapping the roof, she listened to Cora and Mary’s sleep breathing, a chorus of soft snores and gentle whistles.

Her mind no less active than the night’s sounds, Caroline considered the events of the past several months.  Her stagecoach ride to Saint Charles from Philadelphia.  Her first tentative ride to the farm to join the quilting circle.  Carrett Cowlishaw delivering the news of her Phillip’s death in Mrs. Brantenberg’s kitchen. Coffee time conversations with Jewell, Mrs. Brantenberg, Maren, Emilie, Hattie and Anna…..Gilbert’s suggestion that she go west with the caravan.  Mr. Cowlishaw’s resounding NO… many thoughts swirling with the raindrops.”

These three novellas do not end the saga of these three women and the quilting circle of friendship that gave each of them support and comfort.  The novella’s seems to be an introduction of these quilting sisters and I believe that the characters will continue in future books
I give this book 4 out of 5 stars for great character development and a good clean read.

Thanks go to Eileen for this review.

Published:  Published January 21st 2014 by WaterBrook Press
ISBN:  9780307731142
Page Count: 368
Quick Review:  4 out 5 stars –
Why I Read this Title:  Sent by the publisher for review.

Synopsis:   Like a beautiful patchwork quilt, the three novellas in The Quilted Heart tell stories of lives stitched together with love and God’s unending grace.

Once a week, Elsa Brantenberg hosts the Saint Charles Quilting Circle at her farmhouse on the outskirts of the riverside town of St. Charles, Missouri. The ladies who gather there have all experienced heartache related to the intense hardships of the Civil War, and together, they are facing their painful circumstances with friendship and prayer. Can the tattered pieces of their hearts be stitched together by God’s grace?

Dandelions on the Wind
When Maren Jensen took a job on Elsa Brantenberg’s St. Charles, Missouri farm, she never expected to call the place her home. As she grows to love Mrs. Brantenberg and her granddaughter, Gabi, Maren is transformed from a lonely mail-order bride-without-a-groom to a beloved member of the Brantenberg household. But when Gabi’s father, Rutherford “Wooly” Wainwright, returns to the farm unexpectedly, everything changes for Maren, and she feels compelled to find another job. Are her choices in obedience to God, or is she running from His plan?

Bending Toward the Sun
Dedicated to her education and to helping her father in his general store, Emilie Heinrich is convinced she doesn't have time for love. But when a childhood friend returns to St. Charles, Missouri, after serving in the Civil War, his smile and charm captures Emilie’s eye and her heart. Will she be forced to choose between honoring her father and a future with a husband and family of her own?

Ripples Along the Shore
Change is brewing in St. Charles. A group of brave souls are preparing to head west on the Boone's Lick Wagon Train, led by the mysterious and handsome Garrett Cowlishaw, who served as a Confederate soldier in the war that killed Caroline’s husband. Despite her dislike for him, Caroline is tempted to join the wagon train and start fresh somewhere new, but when Mr. Cowlishaw forbids her—a single woman—to travel with them, will one man’s prejudice destroy Caroline’s hope for a new future? Or will the ripples of God’s love bring the answer she needs?
 Mona Hodgson
Author Information:   MONA HODGSON writes historical romance fiction set in American history and peopled with ensemble casts. Mona is the author of Two Brides Too Many, Too Rich for a Bride, The Bride Wore Blue, and Twice a Bride in THE SINCLAIR SISTERS OF CRIPPLE CREEK SERIES and THE QUILTED HEART Novellas--Dandelions on the Wind, Bending Toward the Sun, and Ripples Along te Shore, and Prairie Song, Book 1 in the HEARTS SEEKING HOME SERIES--all published with WaterBrook Multnomah--Penguin Random Publishing. Her writing credits also include nearly thirty children’s books, contributions to eleven books for adults, and hundreds of short stories, articles, and poems in newspapers and magazines. One of Mona’s favorite things to do (besides writing or eating dark chocolate) is to speak at women's retreats and schools, and for women’s groups, librarians, and at writers’ conferences. Mona from Arizona lives with her hubby, Bob.

Other Reviews:

Friday, March 28, 2014

Book Review - Murder by the Seaside - Julie Anne Lindsey

Title:  Murder by the Seaside
Review:   Patience Price moves home to Chincoteague island after being downsized by the FBI and decides to use her degree and start a therapist business.  Her first day home her ex-boyfriend who broke her heart is accused of murder. Patience is asked to find the real killer by his mom after all she worked for the FBI. However no matter what Patience tells people they still want her to investigate.

The second Patience sets eyes on Adrian Davis the book takes a roller coast ride with non-stop action. Since Patience knows she is in over her head and she calls in a favor to her FBI friends.  The more Patience looks into the murder she finds that someone wants her dead.

This book has everything from moments of endless humor, drive by shootings, romance and a car bombing creating the perfect murder mystery.  The author makes the reader fall in love with Patience. She is fun, loyal, girl next door and rolls with the punches that are thrown at her.

The book has a sweet romance which means there is a love triangle between Adrian and Patience FBI agent she hired Sebastian. The main characters are well developed and are true to themselves from beginning to end which I love.
There are a lot of secondary characters but by far the best are Patience hippie mom and dad who own a store. Patience mother thinks she’s a psychic and desires to have Patience work at their store as a tarot reader. Patience mother never really saw the future but it made for some laugh out moments.

The author writes the small town perfectly where gossip runs wild and everyone knows what’s going on so seeing a therapist would cause more gossip. So instead the townsfolk instead stop by to help Patience in her different humorous moments.

Murder By the seaside is an entertaining murder mystery with lots of laughed and non-stop action making this book impossible to put down.

There are some spelling and grammar errors that took me out of the book and is the reason I gave it four instead of five stars. I wish I could tell you what pages but I was reading it on my kindle fire as well as my iPhone.

Thanks go to Heidi for this review.

Published:  Published October 7th 2013 by Carina Press (first published January 1st 2013)
ISBN:  97812998654406
Page Count: 163
Quick Review:  4 out 5 stars –for spelling and grammar errors
Why I Read this Title:  Free on Kindle

Synopsis:   Armed with a new counseling degree, Patience Price is eager to move back home to Chincoteague Island to help folks with their problems. But she finds the streets awash in more than East Coast charm. There's been a murder, and Adrian Davis, the town golden boy who once stomped her heart into a zillion pieces, is the main suspect. Now he's on the run, claiming he's innocent. Patience finds this...poetic. Not that she holds a grudge.

Adrian's mom is sure that with her FBI background Patience can find the truth. Yes, she was at the FBI--in human resources. Still, she looks into it, but not everyone is happy with her snooping. Either that, or the welcome wagon has some bold new policies involving drive-by shootings.

Things really heat up when a hunky former coworker, an actual FBI agent, arrives to help. But he may be too late; the quaint island harbors deadly secrets--and Patience is running out of time.
 Julie Anne Lindsey

Author Information:   I tell stories, mostly to my children, sometimes to strangers. I'm YA obsessed, addicted to social media, caffeine and Poptarts. You can find me anytime lurking around the Internet, amped up on sugar and wielding a book.

I'm thrilled to announce the Fall 2013 release of My YA suspense, Deceived, from Merit Press and my debut cozy mystery series from Carina Press. 2013 is shaping up to be an amazing year.

I also write sweet romance stories for Honey Creek Books.

I blog at
and Tweet @JulieALindsey

Other Reviews:

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Book Review - Fashion, Lies, and Murder - An Amber Fox Murder Mystery - Sibel Hodge

Title:  Fashion Lie Murder
Author: SibelHodge
Review:   Amber Fox can’t seem to find a break after all- it all started when she shot Chief Inspector Janice Skipped and got throw off the police force. Next she accepts a job offer from her ex fiancé Brad Beckett as insurance investigator and last but not least Umberto Fandango famous fashion designer goes missing, a mysterious psychic and Brad insurance company will be out millions unless Amber can solve the mystery.

This book is silly, light hearted and ridiculous but a fun read with it over the top characters who make you laugh. The book has a lot of great components to create a fun light hearted mystery. Romance, mystery, over the top missing fashion designer, a psychic daughter who enjoyed messing with witch craft, a boyfriend and ex fiancé who will do almost anything to get Amber to make a commitment. The mobster/goons were extremely cartoonish in their behavior but it made for laugh out loud moments.

The Amber Fox mysteries are fun slapstick reads that for the most part stand-alone but I suggest starting with the first.

Quick fun beach read for those collecting books for the summer.

Found the first book free on kindle.

Thanks go to Heidi for this review.

Published:  Published November 13th 2013 by Gemma HallidayPublishing
Page Count: 252
Quick Review:  4 out 5 stars –
Why I Read this Title:  Free on Kindle

Synopsis:   (Formerly published as The Fashion Police)

From award winning author, Sibel Hodge, comes a screwball comedy-mystery, combining murder and mayhem with romance and chick-lit...

Amber Fox has been making too many mistakes lately and something's got to give...

For starters, Amber accidentally shoots Chief Inspector Janice Skipper and gets thrown off the police force. The only one who knows the truth about the incident is Amber, but no one will believe her.

After accepting a job as an insurance investigator from her ex-fiancé, Brad Beckett, it turns out that Brad thinks they've still got unfinished business and the job description includes sexual favours that come with a price.

When fashion designer, Umberto Fandango, goes missing, Amber becomes embroiled in a complicated case. But Amber's arch-enemy, Chief Inspector Skipper, is also investigating his disappearance, and it's a race against time for Amber to solve the mystery before Skipper does and get her old job back. And just when Amber thinks things can't get any worse, she's being stalked by some crazy mobsters.

Who is Umberto Fandango? Is he dead? And can Amber stay one step ahead and stay alive?

THE FASHION POLICE was runner-up in the Chapter One Promotions Novel Competition 2010 and nominated Best Novel with Romantic Elements 2010 by The Romance Reviews.
 Sibel Hodge

Author Information:   Sibel Hodge is the author of bestselling romantic comedy Fourteen Days Later. She has 8 cats and 1 husband. In her spare time, she's Wonder Woman! When she's not out saving the world from dastardly demons she writes an eclectic mix of romantic comedies, mysteries, thrillers, children's books, and non fiction. Her other books include My Perfect Wedding, The Baby Trap, Fashion, Lies, and Murder (Amber Fox Mystery), Money, Lies, and Murder (Amber Fox Mystery), Voodoo, Lies, and Murder (Amber Fox Mystery), The See-Through Leopard, How to Dump Your Boyfriend in the Men's Room (and other short stories), It's a Catastrophe, Healing Meditations for Surviving Grief and Loss, A Gluten Free Taste of Turkey, and A Gluten Free Soup Opera.

Her work has been shortlisted for the Harry Bowling Prize 2008, Highly Commended by the Yeovil Literary Prize 2009, Runner Up in the Chapter One Promotions Novel Comp 2009, nominated Best Novel with Romantic Elements in 2010 by The Romance Reviews, Runner Up in the Best Indie Books of 2012 by Indie Book Bargains, and nominated for Best Children's Book by eFestival of Words 2013. Her novella Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex Slave has been listed as one of the Top 40 Books About Human Rights by Accredited Online Colleges.

Other Reviews:

Monday, March 24, 2014

Book Review - No Turning Back - Tiffany Snow

Title:  No Turning Back
Author: TiffanySnow
Review:  Kathleen Turner has a goal of one day becoming a lawyer but the fates work against her and instead of becoming a lawyer she found herself working as a runner at high power law firm in Indianapolis. Before she can make a great first impression she falls face first into one of the senior partners lap the very powerful womanizing Blane Kurt. Months later after avoiding Kurt her next door neighbor is killed and Blaine Kurt comes to her rescue. Everything Kathleen believed in is suddenly turned upside down and she learns the web of deceit stretches to the very law firm she works for.

I found this book while I spent many sleepless nights 8 months pregnant hoping it would help with the longest nights but what I found was that I was unable to put the book down and was excited to see it was a series.  From first to last page the author has the reader cheering on Kathleen.  Blane is an alpha male who needs to save the world even when odds are stacked against him even. He tries to protect Kathleen at all cost but being young she wants to prove she can take care of herself.

The book is a great romantic suspense book and keeps the reader guessing on how Kathleen is going to get out of the mess she finds herself in.  There is quite a bit of sex in the book and made me realize there is a talent to writing a sex scene.  Along with the sex there is more language I prefer to read that is the reason I give the book four stars instead of five.  The grammar and spelling errors were either unnoticeable or the book had no errors that I found.

If you’re looking for a romantic suspense with more twist and turns than highway 1 in California this is your book.

Also who new Indianapolis had such a shady under belly.

Thanks go to Heidi for this review.

Published:  Published January 2012 by Self (first published June 2011)
ISBN:  Ebook
Page Count: 392
Quick Review:  4 out 5 stars –
Why I Read this Title:  Kindle for late night.

Synopsis:   Kathleen Turner has goals. She moved to Indianapolis to start seeing to them, but things aren't going quite as well as she'd hoped. She's a runner for a high-powered law firm in town, not the most prestigious of positions, but it and her part-time bartender gig at least pays the bills. And one of the senior partners is a dreamboat in that obscenely rich, disturbingly good looking, slightly snobbish sort of way.

Before she did a mortifying face plant in his lap during a meeting, she was quite happy ogling him from afar. After that...well...she was more about the avoiding. Mature, no. More likely to assure she keeps her job, yes.

She's made some friends in the few months she's been in Indy. One of those friends is her neighbor Sheila, though Kathleen can't say she's completely comfortable with Sheila's job choice as a high-dollar escort.

It's the middle of the night when Kathleen hears fighting coming from Sheila's apartment. As disturbing as that is, it's the ominous sound of silence afterwards that keeps Kathleen from falling back to sleep. Slipping from bed with the intention of making sure everything is okay, Kathleen knocks on friend's door, only to find Sheila murdered, her naked body sprawled on sheets stained crimson with her blood.

Shock and horror are followed by gritty determination when it becomes clear that Sheila's death isn't random and it isn't the result of a jealous boyfriend. It's the opening gambit in a web of murder, deceit, conspiracy, and fraud that stretches to the law firm for which Kathleen works. Maybe to the very office that Blane Kirk commands.

And Kathleen Turner, law office runner, can trust no one if she wants to survive.


Author Information:   Tiffany attended the University of Missouri – Columbia, attaining two degrees in History and Social Studies Education. After working many years as an instructor and consultant in the Information Technology field, Tiffany now writes full-time.

Tiffany loves to read and has been reading romance novels since she was way too young to read such things.  She has an unhealthy obsession for all things Doctor Who, prefers Pepsi to Coke and Absolut to both, thinks men who drink girly cocktails are wusses, has learned to never stop believing in her 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.

Married with two wonderful daughters, Tiffany and her family make their home in Kansas City, Missouri, not far from where she was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri.

Other Reviews:

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Book Spotlight - Home Matters - Julie N Ford - A Ripple Effects Romance

Home Matters by Julie N. Ford According to her mother, Olivia Pembroke was born to be a star. But how is she supposed to be famous when she can't even get a decent acting gig? Her lucky break comes when she lands an audition for a wildly popular home improvement show. Even though she has no design training and has never even held a power tool, she refuses to let that stop her. She's confident that her destiny is finally within reach. When her affections are torn between her heartthrob co-host and the irritating, yet somehow endearing lead contractor, does she continue to reach for the stars? Or does she design a new happily ever after? One that leads not to the fading lights of fame and fortune, but to a love that will burn forever.
JulieAuthor Julie N. Ford Julie is a forty-something, dangerously close to becoming a fifty-something, graduate from San Diego State University with a BA in Political Science. In addition, she has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama, which has only made her better able to recognize the unhealthy, codependent relationship she has with writing. Professionally, she has worked in teaching and as a marriage and family counselor. She is the author of four women’s fiction novels, including Count Down to Love, a 2011 Whitney Award finalist. When she’s not writing, she entertains delusions of being a master gardener, that is, when she’s not killing the unsuspecting plants in her yard with her good intentions. She lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee, with her husband, two daughters, a Betta named Bob, and a Scottish fold kitten, Ardweal.
Updated Ripple Effect
The Ripple Effect Romance Novella Series Enjoy this exciting new series of clean novellas by six critically-acclaimed authors. "Like a pebble tossed into calm water, a simple act can ripple outward and have a far-reaching effect on those we meet, perhaps setting a life on a different course—one filled with excitement, adventure, and sometimes even love." Book 1: Home Matters by Julie N. Ford Book 2: Silver Linings by Kaylee Baldwin Book 3: Righting A Wrong by Rachael Anderson Book 4: Lost and Found by Karey White Book 5: Second Chances 101 by Donna K. Weaver Book 6: Immersed by Jennifer Griffith
Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 3/31/14   Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an 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 Inspired Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, March 21, 2014

Book Review - The Big Blind - Nicolette Pierce


Title:  The Big Blind

Review:   Nadia Wolf had one wish - to win the world poker tournament and collect the million dollar prize. The odd stack against her when celebrity porker champion Caleb Usher sits down at her table playing a game of mental poker.  As the tournament goes on the million dollar prize disappears in front of everyone on national TV.   Grayson Miller CEO of the casino works with Nadia to solve the mystery.

Nicolette Pierce is a self-published author who took me by surprise pulling the reader into the world of high stakes poker and a mystery that had me guessing until the thief was revealed. This book has it all humor, kick butt heroine, sensuality all mixed into to one great mystery.

Nadia is every girl’s best friend who can’t turn down a bet no matter the stakes because there is always a chance of winning. The male romantic characters are swoon worthy for any girl with heart beat but also realistic enough to make you wonder are they real. Nadia had me laughing so many time my kids wondered what was so funny.

For a self-published author I didn't find any grammar errors or for that fact really any spelling errors which I found extremely impressive.

If you have ever been to Vegas - so many parts of this book ring true and for those who have never gone this book will make you want to go.

I think Nicolette Pierce writes a great Romantic Suspense that keeps you guessing and willing to buy the next in the series without thinking twice.

Thanks go to Heidi for this review.

Published:  Published May 9th 2013 (first published May 7th 2013)
Page Count: 237
Quick Review:  5 out 5 stars –
Why I Read this Title:  Bag sale

Synopsis:   Nadia Wolf had one wish, and it wasn’t for the latest designer purse, fashion-forward clothing, or even a handsome man to marry . . . although, that would be acceptable too. Her wish was to win the World Series of Poker tournament and collect the one million dollar prize, beating the arrogant men who make her professional poker career a daily challenge.

The odds were stacked against her when sexy poker celebrity Caleb Usher sat down at her table. As they pin their battles against each other, a steamy side wager drew them both in and gave them an even greater reason to fight for the championship. It only took one hand to make tournament history and leave them both hot under the collar. But before they could settle their spicy wager, the million dollar prize disappeared in front of an audience. Not one witness could explain what happened or where the money disappeared to.

Greyson Miller CEO of the Lost City Casino had a mystery to solve. Not only did a thief steal the million dollars from under his watchful eyes, but a secret swelled so large it threatened the very core of the casino. In a twist of fate, Nadia teams up with Greyson in an attempt to find the missing prize and to solve the perilous mystery that plagued the Lost City Casino. With Greyson’s overwhelming allure, Nadia has to keep both her head in the game and her hands to herself.

Will she be able unravel the mystery and find the lost prize money while keeping both Greyson and Caleb at bay? Can she fend off her fanatical self-appointed poker manager Frankie Garza before he flushes her career down the toilet in offbeat attempts to make her famous? With Caleb, Greyson, and Frankie all claiming a stake; Nadia’s career, her life, and her heart will never be the same again.
Nicolette Pierce 
Author Information:   It's amazing that words come to my fingertips when I write my books . . . maybe not all the time :), but when it comes to writing a biography, I'm lost. To put it simply, I never thought I would write a book, let alone start a series. In fact, I've had to relearn grammar . . . okay, I might have been daydreaming through English in school to begin with. My report card always came back with "Good student but daydreams too much".

My day job is accounting and mommy duties. I guess I never thought I would be an accountant either when I finished my degree in TV & Video production. Life continues to amaze me as it twists and turns unexpectedly. My nights are free to wander into a world of my creation. I love to laugh and to find humor in daily life, so I hope my books have a few chuckles for you.

I value reviews and posts either here or on other sites. If it's a site that allows responses, I try to respond by the next day.

Other Reviews:
Titan Poker Blog

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Book Review - The Beholder (Maddie Richards Mystery #1) - David Bishop

Title:  The Beholder (Maddie Richards Mystery #1)
Author: DavidBishop
Review:   The 1st Det Sgt Maddie Richards mystery novel by David Bishop. This is the first book I have read by this author and will not be my last. Det Sgt Richards is a divorced single mother who is also a homicide detective in Phoenix Arizona. She gets the call on a brutal murder which becomes the second in a string of four. Made the team chief she has to deal with a dearth of issues and false leads  before stopping the killer. Det Sgt Richards is well rounded character which one can identify with while rooting for her success. I rate this novel at five stars and look forward to many more adventures with her.

Thanks go to Frank for this review.

Published:  Published October 13th 2011 by Telemachus Press
Page Count: 358
Quick Review:  5 out 5 stars –
Why I Read this Title:  Bag sale

Synopsis:   Maddie Richards is an efficient and resourceful detective with a secret wish that she could handle her messy personal life as well as she handles her work life. As a homicide sergeant for the Phoenix, Arizona Police Department, she has one of the highest solve rates in America. Her success leads her chief of police to assign her a serial killer case. Some sicko the press calls the Beholder is killing beautiful women. Her chief describes the case as "a career maker or breaker, get me?"

She has an ex-husband she still cares for, but who was bad for her and her ten-year-old son. Her widowed mother who lives with her is both a blessing and a trial. And, oh yes, her ex-husband has married an extremely wealthy and politically connected woman who cannot give birth. So, Maddie's ex is filing a motion to obtain permanent custody of their son, citing the risks attendant to Maddie's police work endanger the boy.

If that were not enough, the brother-in-law of the chief of police is using his position as an administrative assistant to sexually harass Maddie. She could file a formal complaint, but the good-old-boys network in the department is watching how she handles the situation.

Further complicating Maddie's life is two love interests: Gary Packard, a hunk who recently moved in across the street, and Lincoln Rogers, a confirmed bachelor, who lives thousands of miles away and works for the FBI.

As the case develops Maddie learns that the victims all wore the same bra size. She must decide if this is merely a coincidence or a criterion the killer uses when selecting his victims. She also finds that each of the victims is somehow connected to the Phoenix police department. This realization isolates her further as she must pursue the killer without disclosing this theory to her department because, if her suspicion is correct, the Beholder would learn she is closing in.

As the story races toward its climax, Maddie is betrayed by those closest to her, and she begins to believe her own name may be on the killer's list.
 David      Bishop
Author Information:   I was born in Washington, D.C. From there my life likely mirrored that of a lot of my readers. We moved around. I got some education. Played some sports, and got some more education. Prior to becoming a novelist, I worked as a financial analyst determining the value of companies. But let's talk about my current and final career, writing mystery novels.

As a writer, I conjure up occurrences designed to quickly bring the story to a roiling boil. Along the way, I invent people. Victims and villains and heroes are needed, as well as a supporting cast. I make these people fun and interesting so you will welcome them and introduce them to your friends. Primary characters need habits and tics and talents, the qualities that bring them to life and make you love them or hate them. You'll want to see them humiliated or hunted down, be successful or seduced.

My mysteries offer you the opportunity to be challenged to find the villain from among the suspects. Clues as large as a log or as tiny as a bump thereon are salted throughout the stories. There are distractions in the form of false clues, called red herrings, which point to someone other than the real villain.

Take a journey with me. Laugh. Hold your breath. Cheer. Boo. The characters are rich and the plots are grabbers. I promise that you'll be glad you came along. Some people don't like golf or chocolate or even a hearty laugh. But I'll bet you like some of those things and I'll bet you'll like my mysteries. Yours very truly, David Bishop.

Other Reviews:

Monday, March 17, 2014

Book Review - The Rented Mule - Bobby Cole

Title:  The Rented Mule
Author: BobbyCole
Review:   An excellent story set in the Montgomery Alabama vicinity. It involves a cast of characters which could be found in most communities. I think that this alone makes for an enjoyable read. The main character, Cooper Dixon, is a man conflicted with several problems who sees the real truth while solving, and rescuing, his wife Kelly who has been kidnapped. There are several villains involved, some who are loveable, some who are clueless, and some who are downright nasty. But the author is able to bring them together in a great story. Must also comment on the sage advise given by Cooper's old family housekeeper near the end. This is advise that should be followed by everyone be they newly married or married for a long time. 

I rate this book at five stars and would read other offerings by this author.

Thanks go to Frank for this review.

Published:  Expected publication: March 1st 2014 by Thomas& Mercer
ISBN:  9781477808603
Page Count: 506
Quick Review:  5 out 5 stars –
Why I Read this Title:  Sent by the publisher fro review

Synopsis:   Cooper Dixon should have it made, with a beautiful wife, Kelly, two great kids, and a thriving business, the Tower Agency. But for Cooper, things aren't turning out how he expected. He and Kelly are caught in a never-ending cycle of arguments?  Cooper can't remember the last time they had sex. And Cooper's troubled business partner, Gates Ballenger, is scheming to sell the Tower Agency out from under him.

When a gang of criminals is hired by a mysterious client to kidnap Kelly and set up Cooper to take the fall, Cooper's life goes completely off the rails. The cops quickly zero in on Cooper as the prime suspect, and the combination of an attractive suburban mother, workaholic husband, and a million-dollar insurance policy makes the case primetime television fodder.

Soon, Cooper's face is plastered on every TV screen in the country. Cooper races against time to find his wife before the gang turns her over to their client, whose plan to take down Cooper is far more sinister than anyone could imagine.
Bobby Cole
Author Information:   Born William Robert Cole, Jr., in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1964, writer Bobby Cole now lives in West Point, Mississippi, where he is President of Mossy Oak® BioLogic®. He and his wife Melissa are the parents of a daughter named Jessi. Cole is an avid wildlife manager, hunter, and supporter of the Catch-A-Dream™ Foundation (a program for terminally-ill children). He began writing his first book, The Dummy Line, after a camping experience with his daughter, and he now regularly enjoys writing in his free time.

Other Reviews:

Friday, March 14, 2014

Book Review - Head in the Clouds - Karen Witemeyer

Title:  Head in the Clouds
Author: Karen Witemeyer
Review:   A love story set in south Texas involving a British nobleman and his Texas born governess. His young ward is mute after the death of her mother on the voyage from England. The nobleman has been given the care of the young girl and is looking for someone to help her. It involves her dastardly Uncle who needs her money to settle his debts and has no qualms about how he achieves his goal. A very good read which I would give 4.5 stars. A western romance, which if the locale were changed, could well be a regency romance.

Thanks Frank for this review – We have read and reviewed another book by this author – check out this link for that review.

Published:  Published October 1st 2010 by Bethany House
ISBN:  9780764207563
Page Count: 336
Quick Review:  4 out 5 stars –
Why I Read this Title:  At a bag sale

Synopsis:   Adelaide Proctor is a young woman with her head in the clouds, longing for a real-life storybook hero to claim as her own. But when a husband-hunting debacle leaves her humiliated, she interviews for a staid governess position on a central Texas sheep ranch and vows to leave her romantic yearnings behind.

When Gideon Westcott left his privileged life in England to make a name for himself in America's wool industry, he never expected to become a father overnight. And five-year-old Isabella hasn't uttered a word since she lost her mother. The unconventionality of the new governess concerns Gideon--and intrigues him at the same time. But he can't afford distractions. He has a ranch to run, a shearing to oversee, and a suspicious fence-cutting to investigate.

When Isabella's uncle comes to claim the child--and her inheritance--Gideon and Adelaide must work together to protect Isabella from the man's evil schemes. And soon neither can deny their growing attraction. But after so many heartbreaks, will Adelaide be willing to get her head out of the clouds and put her heart on the line?
 Karen Witemeyer
Author Information:   CBA bestselling author, Karen Witemeyer, writes historical romance fiction for Bethany House, believing that the world needs more happily-ever-afters. In 2011, her debut novel, A Tailor-Made Bride, was a finalist in the Best First Book categories for both the prestigious RITA® award and the National Reader's Choice Award. Karen holds a master's degree in Psychology from Abilene Christian University and is a member of ACFW, RWA, and her local writers' guild. She is an avid cross-stitcher, shower singer, and bakes a mean apple cobbler. Karen makes her home in Abilene, TX with her husband and three children.

Other Reviews:

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Book Review - Predators - the CIA's Drone War on al Qaeda - Brian Glyn Williams

Title:  Predators - the CIA's Drone War on al Qaeda –

Review:  As a professor of Islamic history at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, Brian Glyn Williams uses his expertise to masterfully explain the drone war against al Qaeda. He uses a historical, thorough and unbiased approach in his book Predators: The CIA War on al Qaeda.  From the history of the Federally Administered Tribal Agencies (F.A.T.A.) to the arguments for and against the use of drones, Williams clearly examines the history and reason for using combat drones against al Qaeda. He addresses their effects on the lives of civilians and militants, and how the drone war on al Qaeda is changing how America and its allies are preparing for future battles.

This book opened my eyes as to what I thought drones were being used for in Afghanistan and Pakistan. For example, I didn’t know that predator drones have been used since 1994.  I also was unaware that the original Predator Drone was not armed.  What was most eye opening for me, was to learn that neither the Air Force nor the CIA wanted anything to do with an armed predator drone prior to September 11, 2001.  That fact alone made me pause and wonder “would the drone program be anything like it is today if it wasn’t for al Qaeda’s attack on 9/11?”

Williams will surely cause you to question what you thought you understood about the drone war on al Qaeda.  He uses news stories from US and Pakistani sources as well as eye witness accounts to explain the precision and capabilities drones have in killing al Qaeda members.  Raw data of the attacks are presented to show just how lethal drones can be on militants and how few civilians are actually killed. As you begin to feel that the use of drones is justified, and may even be the best option for this conflict, Williams flips the table, using news stories and eye witness accounts to tell a very different tale about how drones are killing women and children while also helping in the recruiting efforts of the same al Qaeda the predators are supposed to destroy. I swayed back and forth on my opinion of the use of drones against al Qaeda.  While I work for a company who builds systems for drones, children being killed in drone strikes cannot be justified as just “collateral damage.”  

Predators: The CIA War on al Qaeda will open your eyes to the predator’s amazing technology, both strengths and weaknesses.  You will learn about the backroom deals being made by politicians in the US and Pakistan, as both sides attempt to control the war and those who protest against it. You will discover the successes and failures of drone strikes from firsthand accounts of civilians and militants in the strike zone.  This is not a history textbook.  It is a fascinating story of history in the making that will keep you turning pages. 

Thanks Randy for this review.

Published:  Published July 1st 2013 by Potomac Books Inc.
ISBN:  9781612346175
Page Count: 256
Quick Review:  5 out 5 stars –
Why I Read this Title:  An interest of mine.

Synopsis:   "Predators" is a riveting introduction to the murky world of Predator and Reaper drones, the CIA s and U.S. military s most effective and controversial killing tools. Brian Glyn Williams combines policy analysis with the human drama of the spies, terrorists, insurgents, and innocent tribal peoples who have been killed in the covert operation the CIA s largest assassination campaign since the Vietnam War era being waged in Pakistan s tribal regions via remote control aircraft known as drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles.Having traveled extensively in the Pashtun tribal areas while working for the U.S. military and the CIA, Williams explores in detail the new technology of airborne assassinations. From miniature Scorpion missiles designed to kill terrorists while avoiding civilian collateral damage to "prathrais," the cigarette lighter size homing beacons spies plant on their unsuspecting targets to direct drone missiles to them, the author describes the drone arsenal in full.Evaluating the ethics of targeted killings and drone technology, Williams covers more than a hundred drone strikes, analyzing the number of slain civilians versus the number of terrorists killed to address the claims of antidrone activists. In examining the future of drone warfare, he reveals that the U.S. military is already building more unmanned than manned aerial vehicles. Predators helps us weigh the pros and cons of the drone program so that we can decide whether it is a vital strategic asset, a frenemy, or a little of both.

Author Information:   Seeauthors site here.

Other Reviews:
Small War Journal - 5 stars

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