Thursday, August 21, 2014

Here in My Heart by Anna DeStefano

Live and work together, or lose everything that matters?

The ultimatum tilts Dru Hampton's contented life in Chandlerville, Georgia, on its ear. The man that Vivian, her cantankerous boss and benefactor, wants Dru to partner with?"live" with?is Brad Douglas, who's let Dru down every way a man can.

Sheriff's deputy Brad Douglas has come a long way since his rebellious youth. He's back home to care for Vivian, his ill grandmother. He's stayed out of Dru's way all these years to make up for the hurt he once caused her. Now, the delightfully mischievous Vivian's dying wish is for them to rebuild at least a working relationship together?and she's betting on them rediscovering much more.

The family business and the Douglas home that Dru and Brad both cherish will be sold if they don't resolve their differences. Can these childhood sweethearts make up and reclaim each other's hearts before it's too late?

My Thoughts….

This is a short story, I read it in less than one day.  I have found that I really enjoy a good short story, if the author is able to get to me to connect to the characters in that short time I am reading.    Anna DeStefano was able to not only get me to connect, but to get me to become friends with Dru and Brad and the rest of the small town they live in.   I did not want the family restaurant to be sold or their house to be sold.  Dru and Brad had to figure out how to reconnect and not hurt each other.   

There were a few times that I found myself wondering where something was heading, but soon enough I found out and was thrilled.  I loved the secondary characters, especially the kids that Dru was teaching self confidence and defense to.    The fact that they were all foster children, yet they considered them all truly related made me smile.


This is a sweet and loving story that I will recommend to anyone looking for a quick and easy read. 

Book Links

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Nationally bestselling author Anna DeStefano has searched her entire life for the soul of the matter at the heart of her world's mysteries. As a small child, she drew from her experiences, senses, and dreams to paint a lush fantasy world, filled with endless possibility and characters of her own creation. Putting pen to paper, Anna transforms these inner landscapes into rich storytelling.

Hers is a realistic but optimistic vision, searching for hope and transformation through intense emotional journeys. Her fuel--the inner passions and conflicts of the characters she crafts. Much like a caterpillar transforms into a butterfly, Anna's characters face the ultimate of human choices: finding the courage to conquer their fears and thrive until, despite every obstacle, they become the beautiful things they're meant to be.

An author, workshop and keynote speaker, writing coach, and acquiring editor, Anna's creative vision permeates every challenge she undertakes.
 She wants you to stop, look, and keep digging, until you find the soul of your own fantasies. Her novels' rich blend of realism and fantasy invites Anna's readers into her creative mission to dig deeper and see each of life's moment with emotional honesty and clarity. Discovery and joy are her touchstones, regardless of how difficult her characters' journeys might be. She will challenge you to transform into all you're meant to be, as well. She speaks and blogs regulary. Join Anna each week for Soul Of The Matter, Dream Theories, Things My Teenager Says, How We Write, Waterfall Challenges, and more.

Past President of Georgia Romance Writers (GRW), Anna's also Senior Tech Writer with a GA Tech honors degree an 10 years of experience working in Corporate IT. Her novels have garnered numerous awards including twice winning the RT Reviewers' Choice Award, the Holt Medallion, the Golden Heart, the Maggie Award for Excellence, and finalling in awards such as the National Readers' Choice and Book Seller's Best Awards. She's the author of over 16 novels since 2004 in four different genres, with nearly half a million copies of her books in print in over 5 different languages.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Guarding Poppy by Christine Wenrick

Men of Brahm Hill #2                                                                                                                                   Publish Date August 1, 2014 by Red Tree House Publishing

Alec Lambert was born to lead. He’s a ruling Elder of The Brethren, possessing steely confidence, natural smarts, and decisive problem solving abilities . . . and he’s not too bad on the eyes, either. Everything in his life has gone exactly according to plan—until the night of Brahm Hill. Alec loses his best friend at the hands of the uncle he trusted like a father, along with his previously unshakable faith to lead those with whom he’s charged. Despite this, he continues to press ahead, and for his next assignment he’s asked to protect a very beautiful but very clumsy Dhampir who’s being hunted by a powerful warlock. Suddenly, he finds his whole Brethren world is turned upside down . . . and he finds himself harboring a desire for her he can’t explain.

Poppy Honeywell knows she’s far from perfect. Bad things tend to happen when she’s around. She’s more than a little clumsy, with a phobia or two mixed in. Not to mention that her name is certainly unusual. But she doesn’t have time to worry about all that because she’s on the run and not about to back down from the arrogant Elder who’s just been assigned as her protector. The real problem, though . . . she’s irresistibly drawn to this man who faces constant danger and takes charge so naturally. But Poppy also sees that taking charge of others helps Alec mask his own very deep pain.

My Thoughts….

Oh, Alec… I have waited a long time to hear his story.   He is strong, faithful, and oh so sexy!  From the very first time Poppy fell into Alec the sparks were obvious and hot.  I loved how Alec did not let Poppy get away with the poor me, I am cursed, line.  It seemed that was her excuse and he was quick to turn it around on her every time she said it.   Alec has become the Elder that I hoped he would become.   He follows the rules, yet knows when they are meant to be bent a little.  Keeping his word to Joseph by protecting Poppy at all costs showed his amazing character strengths.


Christine Wenrick made me so happy in bringing back the past character of Kane, mmm still dream of him, Jax and Gemma, and of course, Olivia and Caleb.   I will say that this is a series that is probably best read in order, starting with The Charmed Series, but each book has just gotten better and better.   I still recommend this entire series to all my friends who love the paranormal with a twist of romance.   

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Painted From Memories by Barbara Forte Abate

Publish June 21, 2014 by Halcyon Moon Books

She considers telling him the truth—that she isn’t the person he thinks she is—but in the end she doesn’t. To say something is to potentially say everything. And it is simply too late... 

The emotionally fractured casualty of a hideous childhood tragedy, Catherine has at last found her happy-ever-after in the person of Grayson Barnett, and it is the promise of a freshly polished future that compels her to bury the poisonous trail of her past beneath the purposeful lies and omissions she offers her new husband. 

But now, with the inherent shame of her traumatic history secreted away and losing hold, Cat finds herself increasingly troubled as Gray falls into an erratic pattern of late night wanderings through the house, painting the bare walls with extravagant murals. And only when the unthinkable happens—a devastating blow which leaves her broken and spiraling—and an unexpected arrival on her doorstep, bearing a cache of impossible revelations—is Cat forced to question whether the man she so desperately loves is in truth a stranger and their beautiful life a gross falsehood constructed upon a foundation of lies.

My Thoughts…

I was not sure what to expect with Painted From Memories but as I started reading I was thrilled with the detail that Barbara Forte Abate put into each and every paragraph.      I could picture exactly what Cat and Gray were doing and what they were seeing.  I could hear exactly what they were hearing.   I am not sure that I have ever read a book that was a descriptive. 

There are multiple storylines in this book.    They intertwined perfectly.   I enjoyed knowing Cat’s present and finding out about her past at the same time.   The looks into her life living in foster care with her sister shows the reader the reasons that she is how she is as an adult.    The things she had to deal with growing up are the reasons she is needy and scared a lot of the time.    Without knowing these I believe Cat would have appeared weak and had not been a character that I enjoyed getting to know.


The emotions in this book pull the reader in, making them empathize with Cat and Gray.  I felt like I was right in the situations with them and could feel what they were feeling.   There is so much to this book that I have to recommend you read it.  I can guarantee that you will not be able to put it down. 

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Author Links
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Monday, August 18, 2014

The Curse of Van Gogh by Paul Hoppe

Publish Date July 29th 2014 by SparkPress

Tyler Sears, art thief, just released from a federal prison, vows never again. He slides into a simple life bartending in New York City until one day an invitation arrives to the hottest art event of the season, where Tyler meets Komate Imasu, famed art collector. Suddenly Tyler’s vows of abstinence slip away as Imasu uses threats against Tyler’s family. Tyler decides to gamble and ups the ante to a breathtaking level.
Tyler quickly learns that gambling against a ruthless billionaire is never a good idea. Forgetting his own safety, Tyler plunges headfirst into a world of art forgers, hit men, Yakuza, a femme fatale named Chanel No. 5, and the hideous curse of van Gogh, in order to pull off… the greatest art heist in history.

My Thoughts…

I am not an art critic or even really an art lover, yet I was intrigued when asked to read The Curse of Van Gogh.  I enjoyed that this book had some history of the different art pieces that Tyler Sears was to be stealing, but there was a storyline to the story.    Following Tyler’s thoughts as he planned the greatest heist of all times was interesting and entertaining.  I enjoyed seeing how his mind was working and how he was going to get out of this horrible spot he got himself into.    The fact that he really wanted to get out of the heist and was doing his best to do what was right, even when doing what was wrong, made him a strong character. 

Overall, I was not impressed with the women in this book, they mostly seemed under developed.  Lucy was probably the best of them, helping Tyler when he needed it the most but yet giving him the cold shoulder when he deserved it.  

The Curse of Van Gogh was entertaining and I enjoyed the entire book.  I will recommend this to a reader that loves thrillers.

Book Link
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Thursday, August 14, 2014

Taken by Tuesday by Catherine Bybee & GIVEAWAY

The Weekday Brides #5                                                                                 
Published Date August 12, 2014 by Montlake Romance

Judy Gardner has graduated from college and is heading to LA to start her career as an architect.  Judy and her best friend, Meg, are staying at Judy’s brother’s mansion with constant security in place.  Part of that security is Rick Evans, the man that sparks flew from when Judy met him a year ago.    As they are thrown together in their everyday life the sparks fly.   When Judy is attacked, Rick knows that nothing will stop him from keeping Judy safe.

My Thoughts:

Have you ever finished a book and wanted to know more about the characters?   What happens after they book ends?   That is exactly how I felt about this book.   I felt a connection to Judy and Rick, I was invested in their future, and I want to know what happens next in their life.    Luckily there are more books to come in this series and these characters are sure to make an appearance.  

The chemistry in Taken by Tuesday is absolutely steamy.   The fact that the sparks have been bubbling between Judy and Rick for almost a year and that they had stayed away from each other, due to circumstances, made the sparks when they were finally in the same city so much hotter and brighter.   I loved how strong Judy was when faced with being attacked, she took an active role in keeping herself safe and in finding the person who attacked her.   She also knew when to argue with Rick and when to step back and let him do what he was trained to do, protect her.   Even when Rick was in protective mode you could feel the heat and attraction. 

I have read this entire series and loved each and every one of them.    I recommend reading them in order, but each can be a standalone book.   Catherine Bybee is an author that has never let me down.  I cannot wait for the next book in this series.  

Book Links
Amazon   |   Barnes and Noble   |   Goodreads   

BIO:
New York Times & USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bybee was raised in Washington State, but after graduating high school, she moved to Southern California in hopes of becoming a movie star. After growing bored with waiting tables, she returned to school and became a registered nurse, spending most of her career in urban emergency rooms. She now writes full-time and has penned the Weekday Brides Series and the Not Quite Series. Bybee lives with her husband and two teenage sons in Southern California.

Author Links
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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Noise by Brett Garcia Rose SPOTLIGHT

Publish Date: June 2014       
Publisher:       Velocity Imprints

Author Bio:
Brett Garcia Rose is a software entrepreneur, fiction writer and former animal rights soldier living in Miami Beach, Florida. His work can be found in literary and consumer publications around the world, including Sunday Newsday Magazine, The Barcelona Review, Opium, Fiction Attic, Rose and Thorn, The Battered Suitcase and others. Awards/nominations include the Million Writer's Award, Best of the Net, The Pushcart Prize, Fiction Attic Short Memoir Competition, The Lascaux Prize for Short Fiction and Opium's Bookmark competition.

Synopsis:
The world is an ugly place, and I can tell you now, I fit in just fine.
Lily is the only person Leon ever loved. When she left a suicide note and disappeared into a murky lake ten years ago, she left him alone, drifting through a silent landscape.
Or did she?
A postcard in her handwriting pulls Leon to the winter-cold concrete heart of New York City. What he discovers unleashes a deadly rage that has no sound.
A grisly trail of clues leads to The Bear, the sadistic Russian crime lord who traffics in human flesh. The police—some corrupt, some merely compromised—are of little help. They don’t like Leon’s methods, or the mess he leaves in his wake.
Leon is deaf, but no sane person would ever call him disabled. He survived as a child on the merciless streets of Nigeria. He misses nothing. He feels no remorse. The only direction he’s ever known is forward.
He will not stop until he knows.
Where is Lily?
    
Web Links:   
                        https://www.facebook.com/brettgarciarose/info                           http://fictionaut.com/stories/brett-garcia-rose/noise--17