Archive for the ‘5 Star Books’ Category



Menagerie (Menagerie – 1) by Rachel Vincent

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) When Delilah Marlow visits a famous traveling carnival, Metzger’s Menagerie, she is an ordinary woman in a not-quite-ordinary world. But under the macabre circus black-top, she discovers a fierce, sharp-clawed creature lurking just beneath her human veneer. Captured and put on exhibition, Delilah in her black swan burlesque costume is stripped of her worldly possessions, including her own name, as she’s forced to “perform” in town after town.

But there is breathtaking beauty behind the seamy and grotesque reality of the carnival. Gallagher, her handler, is as kind as he is cryptic and strong. The other “attractions”—mermaids, minotaurs, gryphons and kelpies—are strange, yes, but they share a bond forged by the brutal realities of captivity. And as Delilah struggles for her freedom, and for her fellow menagerie, she’ll discover a strength and a purpose she never knew existed.

Delilah Marlow visits Metzger’s Menagerie. While there she is taken back with the treatment of a werewolf girl and gets so worked up that she ends up sinking her claws into the handler. Delilah is then accused of hiding as a human since cryptids have no rights and is then purchased and added to the Menagerie. Since cryptids have no rights, Delilah is treated horribly. She is abused physically and mentally. But the more Delilah is there, the more she learns about the other attractions. Although she can’t help herself, she is going to do whatever she can to help the others.

I love Rachel Vincent’s books. So when I got a copy of Menagerie, I couldn’t wait to get reading. This is a very dark book, which I loved but might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Delilah is stripped of everything, even the clothes on her back. She is locked up and forced to perform for the show and face all kinds of torture. But no matter what, they won’t break her spirit and she keeps fighting. I have to say that I was leery of Gallagher but I came to love him the more I read. He is the one shining spot in all the darkness.

Although this book is dark yet really good, it makes you think about more than just the story. What would happen in real life if something like The Reaping or other events happen? Society doesn’t have a great history of being understanding to others that don’t fit in. And sadly it has a history of the darkest of all human behaviors being used in such times.

This is a great story that will make you think about so much more than just the story. It is dark and gruesome but believable. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

To purchase Menagerie, or for more information, make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Rachel Vincent’s website.

I received Menagerie for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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Dangerous Reflections


Dangerous Reflections (Adventures of Alexis Davenport – 1) by Shay West

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) Alexis Davenport wants to go home. She hates her new school, her mother for moving her away from her friends, and her father for walking out.

To make matters worse, Alex is haunted by images of strange girls reflected in her mirror. It’s bad enough juggling homework, a relentless bully, boys, and a deadbeat dad; now, she must save the world from an evil presence hell-bent on changing the past – and our futures. Who knew her A+ in history was going to be this important?

One morning, Alex’s dad decided to leave her and her mother after emptying the bank account. The only way to make it, Alexis’ mother moves them to her aunt’s house on the other side of the state. It is the start of her freshman year and Alex is having a tough time. There are the usual teen issues of hormones and friends but also bullies and school drama.

But things are going to get a lot tougher when Alex see’s a strange girl’s reflection in her mirror and upon closer examination she falls into that girls time period. It seems Alex has the ability to go back in time. But she goes back for a reason, someone is trying to alter time and it’s up to her to keep things on track. Thankfully Alex is very knowledgeable about history. But someone is bound and determined to change history and Alex better get ready for a fight.

I really liked this book. Alex seems like a spoiled little brat but you can kind of sympathize with her being uprooted in such a dramatic way and going to a school with such horrible bullies. But it helps shape her and kind of gets her ready to keep time on track. I loved the ability to travel back in time. I admit that I’m not really a history buff so it was fascinating all the things happening. The ending was not a happily ever after but a great lead into another book.

This is a great story, well written and engrossing. I am really excited to read book two, Twisted Reflections.

To purchase Dangerous Reflections, or for more information, make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Shay West’s website.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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To the Gallows


To The Gallows (The Legend of Cole Winters – 1) by GS Luckett

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) New Western Historical Action-Adventure Novel!

Cole Winters is one of the first African-American lawman of the Old West. In the 19th century, the Indian Territory was a place where there was a thin line between lawmen and outlaws. After being raised by Native Americans, Cole Winters was hired by the U.S. Marshals Service to track down and bring back outlaws from the Territories. Dead or alive. When his gun fighter brother, Joseph Two Guns, becomes wanted for a crime he did not commit, Cole does the only thing he can to get his brother justice… He hunts him down.

To the Gallows, is a classic Western with fast-paced gunfights and martial arts action of the time. It is the beginning chronicle of a man the Native Americans called The Buffalo Ghost and the legend that followed.

Cole Winters is an African American US Marshall. Because of being raised by Native Americans, he is the one called in to bring in fugitives from the Indian Territories. This time he is asked to bring in Joseph Two Guns. But there are two problems. The first is Joseph is Cole’s brother in law. The second is Joseph has been framed and it’s up to Cole to clear his name.

Cole and Joseph also stumble upon Jessie Wainwright, falsely accused of murder. All three go on the run to try to stay ahead of the mob ready to dispense its own justice. They also need to avoid Clement Fournier, a bounty hunter hot on Cole’s heels looking to claim Joseph for his own. It doesn’t help that Jessie’s sister has been kidnapped and they need to rescue her too.

This is a great western with lots of action, murder, and revenge. Cole and Joseph had one heck of a childhood that has left them scarred. Cole is such a strong character, especially when you learn more about his past. I loved Cole, he reminded me of Bass Reeves which is ironic since I just saw a television show about him the other day.

I admit that I usually don’t read westerns but it’s usually because not many people write that genera. Whether you like westerns or just great stories, make sure you get a copy of To The Gallows. You will not be disappointed. Now I can’t wait for the next book in this series.

To purchase To The Gallows, or for more information, make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and G.S. Luckett’s website.

I received a copy of To The Gallows for free from the author in exchange for an honest review.

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The Pharaoh’s Cat


The Pharaoh’s Cat by Maria Luisa Lang

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) The Pharaoh’s Cat, narrated in the present tense by the cat himself, is the story of a free-spirited, quick-witted stray in ancient Egypt who suddenly finds himself with human powers joined to his feline nature.

The cat immediately captures the attention of the seventeen-year-old Pharaoh, making him laugh for the first time since his parents’ death, and is brought to live with him at the royal palace.

The cat also becomes friends with the High Priest of the god Amun-Ra and seeks his help in solving the mystery of his human powers and the supernatural manifestations that later plague him. He has an enemy in the Vizier—the Pharaoh’s uncle and the second most powerful man in Egypt. The Vizier hates him for himself and even more for his relationship with the Pharaoh.

The cat participates in festivities at the royal palace, developing an insatiable appetite for good food, wine, and gossip. He later accompanies the Pharaoh on a trip through his kingdom, all the while renewing the Pharaoh’s ability to enjoy life and inspiring him to become a stronger leader.
Between the cat and the Pharaoh a bond of love gradually forms which will determine Egypt’s destiny.

The Pharaoh’s Cat imaginatively blends Egyptology with comedy, drama, and even time travel–the cat and the High Priest will meet Elena, a resident of the twenty-first century and the daughter of a renowned Egyptologist.

Wrappa-Hamen is a stray cat in ancient Egypt. We start the story with someone very unhappy that Wrappa-Hamen cannot catch mice. We follow him through the streets to a tomb and into the hands of the Pharaoh. The young Pharaoh has been very depressed since the loss of his parents. His uncle, the Vizier is trying to rule Egypt until the boy is ready. He is not happy with Wrappa-Hamen and tries several times to get rid of him.

Through Wrappa-Hamen’s adventures and antics the Pharaoh starts to laugh and become the young man to rule Egypt. But there is more to Wrappa-Hame than just his ability to walk upright, speak, and eat human food. There is an ancient story that mirrors Wrappa-Hame’s own. Wrappa-Hame becomes friends with the High Priest of Amun-Ra to learn more about himself.

I loved this story. Maria Luisa Lang has definitely done lots of research on ancient Egypt. I felt right there while following on his adventures. Being an official crazy cat lady just made this story better since it is told from Wrappa-Hame’s perspective. Although this makes the book seem a little choppy it is exactly like following a cat around with how their attention seems to be in ten places at once.

This is a great story and anyone from any age will enjoy it.

To purchase The Pharaoh’s Cat, or for more information, make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

I received The Pharaoh’s Cat from the author for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Inspector Dewey Update


Yesterday I posted a review for the book Inspector Dewey. You can find that here. Unfortunately I forgot to add in the author’s guest post. So, without further ado…

My Book Project: Now This Is Joy—Reading Aloud by Kristen Heimerl

I’m a rational, practical adult. I read novels quietly to myself. Occasionally, I may snort or laugh out loud at a funny, but for the most part, it’s a silent, respectable endeavor.

Writing my own book, however, has driven a whole new behavior: reading aloud. It started with my cats. I mean, I had to road test my manuscript rewrites on someone, right? They seemed to like it. Lord knows, they lined up on my writing desk like a trio of Russian nesting dolls blankly staring at me while I ferociously typed away on the keyboard.

Since Inspector Dewey features them (my roommates of almost five years), I found myself creating and honing their individual kitty voices—inflections and intonations I imagined they’d use. Lily seemed to like it. By Dewey’s instant exit, I‘m pretty sure he thought it was creepy. But it worked for me. It helped me bring the characters to life on the page. When I read the story aloud, it helped me to identify poor word choices, rough spots in cadence and page turns, and out-of-character quotations.

Mostly though, it was a blast. I got to craving reading the book aloud because it was so silly-fun. When I had the chance to read an early review copy at a preschool, I jumped at the opportunity. They were so polite—I felt a little shy. And Lily, who came along with me, was being such a good girl, too. I thought to myself, Uh-oh, who’s gonna get silly with me?

I started reading, doing my best to maintain my composure, playing the “cool guy” called for in the mood of the moment. But then, it just happened . . . I couldn’t help it . . . I slipped into Lily’s sassy, sweet high-pitched song: “Weeeeee, what fun! We’re gonna catch a bad guy!” Giggle. Wriggle. Squeal! I saw the teacher’s eyes get slightly larger and a tiny curl formed upward at the corners of her mouth. I think I surprised her—and the kids, too. Did they not know I could be such a goofus? Did they not want me to? I just kept going and doing what felt natural. And, yes—that was full-on kitty performances.

I imagine I’ll be doing more readings—inside and outside of the home. And I look forward to listening and learning from the pros: the authors and teachers and parents who come before me with years of read-aloud experience. For now, I’m just delighted to have plenty of picture books and a peanut gallery to practice on.


To purchase Inspector Dewey, or for more information, make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Kristen Heimerl’s website.

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Inspector Dewey


Inspector Dewey by Kristen Heimerl and Irene Bofill

(Excerpt from Goodreads) My name is Dewey–Inspector Dewey. I live in the big green house on Hampshire Avenue with my family: Thumper, Lily, and Anna. I am the Big Cat responsible for keeping everyone safe and in order. I do this quite well, in spite of the fact that managing my family is like, well, herding cats!

Mostly our life is peaceful. But one night it wasn’t. That was the night the bad guy showed up on our block. Of course, I knew exactly how to out-smart the outlaw, but–miserable mullet!–would Anna and the police understand my instructions?

To find out how the adventure ended, you’ll have to read my book. But I’ll give you a hint: there’s a reason I’m called INSPECTOR Dewey.

Kristen Heimerl

Marketing Officer, Strategy Expert, Innovator and Brand Builder, Kristen’s business career spans 20+ years serving the biggest brands in industry and the biggest hearts of start-ups and entrepreneurs. Kristen revels in bringing compelling products and services to life and helping leaders and individuals with big dreams realize their big goals.

Kristen’s life joys include her 2+ year obsession creating the most beautiful self-published picture book possible, the breathtaking forests and lakes of her Minnesota birthplace, the family that really does love her no matter what, and her three magnificent Norwegian Forest Cats who together, with Kristen, helped catch the bad guy on their block that inspired her upcoming book (stake out and high speed chase included!)

She holds a master of science in eCommerce from Carnegie Mellon University, an MBA from the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, and a BA from the University of St. Thomas. As the great transformer in her life, Kristen supports others’ education and literacy as an adjunct professor of business and strategy and, more recently, through her children’s book, Inspector Dewey (Available September 2015).

Kristen’s site for her work “Inspector Dewey” will be premiering on May 31st, 2015. In addition, you can read more about Kristen’s work at threenorwegians.com, also live on May 31st.

My Review

5 stars

Dewey lives with Thumper, Lily, and Anna his human. One night as they were getting ready for bed a strange man is seen pulling up in front of their house. Dewey is on top of things and watches him. He then alerts Thumper, Lily, and Anna. It’s up to Inspector Dewey to protect his family and home.

This is a great story! Dewey is such a brave kitty. He watches out for his family, even when they don’t really take him seriously, and saves the day. This book is beautifully illustrated and had me cheering for Dewey.

This is a great story to read to children and to have them start reading. I also love the fact that 50% of profits go to help families in need get veterinary care. If the story didn’t warm my heart that fact did.

This is a great story for kids and adults alike. Make sure to get your copy today.

To purchase Inspector Dewey, or for more information, make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Kristen Heimerl’s website.


I received Inspector Dewey from iRead Book Tours for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Buried Deep


Buried Deep (Mind Bending – 3) by Lynn Tincher

5 stars

(Excerpt from Goodreads) The drama continues as Paige and Junna are summoned to New Orleans to investigate a double murder. From the moment they arrive, they find themselves in a whirlwind of death and devastation. Paige foresees the viscous murder of a beautiful young woman as she falls victim to this serial killer. Is she in time to save her? Meanwhile, Junna gives in to the dark powers that surround her in the back alleys. Is Junna in too deep and is she lost forever?

A serial killer is targeting the tourists in New Orleans and Paige, Junna, and Randy have been called in to see if they can find him. Paige is distracted and worried about Jay, their relationship, and then Momma V. When she gets a glimpse of the latest victim she can’t help throwing herself into the investigation to try and save her. Junna is giving into the dark powers in the alleys that they frequent in their hunt. The question is if they are going to save the latest victim or are they going to end up in the same place. Will Junna be able to save herself or will she be consumed. What is going to happen with Paige and Jay is this going to make or break their relationship.

I love this series. They are short, intense books that just suck you in. Paige is torn between Jay and hunting for the serial killer. She loves Jay but is afraid to loose him and sets herself up for failure. I love the connection between Randy and Junna. I really hope and pray for Junna, she is walking such a fine line. I have all ready read the fourth book but I can’t wait for the next one. This series is seriously addicting.

To purchase Buried Deep, or for more information on the Mind Bending series, make sure to check out Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads.

I received Buried Deep for free from White Handed PR for free in exchange for an honest review.

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