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Archive for July, 2017

Little Boy Lost

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Little Boy Lost by J.D. Trafford

In a city divided and broken, this revelation will set it on fire…

Attorney Justin Glass’s practice, housed in a shabby office on the north side of Saint Louis, isn’t doing so well that he can afford to work for free. But when eight-year-old Tanisha Walker offers him a jar full of change to find her missing brother, he doesn’t have the heart to turn her away.

Justin had hoped to find the boy alive and well. But all that was found of Devon Walker was his brutally murdered body—and the bodies of twelve other African American teenagers, all discarded like trash in a mass grave. Each had been reported missing. And none had been investigated.

As simmering racial tensions explode into violence, Justin finds himself caught in the tide. And as he gives voice to the discontent plaguing the city’s forgotten and ignored, he vows to search for the killer who preys upon them.

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J.D. Trafford

Author’s Bio

J.D. Trafford is an award-winning author who has been profiled in Mystery Scene Magazine (a “writer of merit”). His debut novel was selected as an IndieReader bestselling pick, and his books have topped Amazon’s bestseller lists, including Amazon’s #1 Legal Thriller.

In addition to graduating with honors from a Top 20 law school, J.D. Trafford has worked as a civil and criminal prosecutor, an associate at a large national law firm, and a non-profit attorney for people who could not afford legal representation.

Prior to law school, J.D. Trafford worked in Washington D.C. and lived in Saint Louis, Missouri. He worked on issues of housing, education, and poverty in communities of color.

He now lives with his wife and children in the Midwest, and bikes whenever possible.

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My Review

4 stars

Justin Glass is struggling with the loss of his wife to cancer and depression. He also is running a struggling law practice. Then he is approached by a little girl, Tanisha that offers him her life savings in a jar to find her missing brother, Devon Walker. Justin decides to look into his disappearance and finds him in a pit with several other teenage black boys. Since the boys have some records the police never looked into their disappearances. Now it is clear that a serial killer is targeting them. Will Justin be able to stop them from taking another life?

This story is filled with many things happening at once. Justin comes from a very influential political family that has ties with the Civil Rights movement. Justin has lost his wife to cancer and although he dances with depression he still has a wonderful 11 year old little girl, Sammy that is having trouble at school. He also just hired a paralegal that is going to add a great deal of humor to the law firm along with getting it in shape.

But the real story revolves around discrimination. Although Justin is trying to find the serial killer he is also dancing around the political opinions, police procedures, and those that just get swept under the rug. Although the story is labeled as a thriller as you try to figure out who the killer is, this story is about so much more.

I really enjoyed this book. It has a good mystery but encompasses so much more. This is one that I strongly recommend checking out.

I received Little Boy Lost from Little Bird Publicity for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Middle Grade / Young Adult
Date Published: 6/2013
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Markus Simmons, a 13-year-old 8th-grader, wants to hang with the cool kids. When his social studies class begins a Holocaust project, some A-listers befriend him to get him to work with them so they can have access to his Oma, who was in Auschwitz, and he discovers that there are Holocaust deniers in the world, one of whom is in his class. Then someone identifies his Oma as having played a criminal role during the Holocaust, and he has to reconcile his love for his grandmother, his desire to work with the cool kids, and his anger at the deniers and the others who attack his grandmother.
About the Author

William McCauley was born and grew up in the Northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC, in a delightful little town called Vienna. His B.A. in German and M.A. in English are from George Mason University, and at the ripe old age of 29, he “ran away from home” to do doctoral work in linguistics at the University of Colorado in Boulder. After two years, his Wanderlust attacked again, and he trekked on down to Miami, FL, where he did more doctoral work at the University of Miami. Then the powers that be at The German School Washington, where he had taught English for six years, tracked him down and asked him to come back. That brought him back to the DC area, where he taught at the German School for another eighteen years. He finished his career in education at the end of school year 14-15, retiring after ten years as a Gifted and Talented Education specialist with Howard County Public Schools in Maryland. Now all he wants to do is write – and read.
 
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The Faewitch

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The Faewitch
By MJ Boshers
Genre: Urban fantasy

A young girl is torn from the mortal world and brought to a land full of magic. While discovering the possibilities of this exciting world, she unlocks a deadly secret. New friends show her the magic she holds within herself and realize their magic is stronger together. They must work in unity to stop an evil from destroying their world. Though they find love and power, they also find murder and betrayal. Can all survive this dangerous task? Will they rise to the challenge of what is set before them or will they fall beneath the ashes of what they are meant to save?

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Author’s Bio

MJ Boshers is an author of fantasy and YA novels. The Faewitch is her first book in a three book series. Also as a songwriter she loves to add music to her novels whenever she can. Being from the South, she likes to add that part of her to her novels, along with the accents. She lives in Alabama with her husband and daughter and believes there is nothing more important than her family. A member of NAPW, she hopes to encourage young women to never give up on their dreams and that women can be powerful. Her studies in Graphic Design and photography help her stay focused on books even when she isn’t reading or writing. Her hobbies include watching anything supernatural on television, hanging out with family and friends, music, and painting.

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My Review

5 stars

Sophie Ann is sixteen and has just spent the day with her friends when her mother ends up driving them off a cliff and into the Faerylands. Sophie just learns that she is half faery and half witch. An abomination and a princess with the possibility to be more powerful than either parts on their own. She is now trying o master her powers while drawing the attention of three brothers and learning to navigate this new world.

This is an amazing debut from author M.J. Boshers. You instantly get sucked into the story as you follow along as Sophie’s mother is driving the minivan and neck breaking speeds around curves and trying to get enough speed to get through the portal. Sophie is a great, independent young lady that is thrown for a loop about her heritage. But she is going to have to learn fast how to use her powers and who to trust and not to trust.

I loved this story. I think it’s a great start to a new young adult fantasy story. I strongly recommend it to anyone that likes a great YA fantasy story.

I received The Faewitch from Sage’s Blog Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Lost Daughters of Atlantis by Allie Burton

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Atlantis Riptide (Lost Daughters of Atlantis – 1)

When a girl runs away from the circus…

For all her sixteen years, Pearl Poseidon has been a fish out of water. A freak on display for her adoptive parents’ profit. Running away from her horrible life, she craves one thing—anonymity. But when she saves a small boy from drowning she exposes herself and her mutant abilities to Chase, a budding investigative reporter.

Now, he has questions. And so do the police.

Once Pearl discovers her secret identity, she learns she’s part of a larger war between battling Atlanteans. A battle that will decide who rules the oceans. A battle raging between evil and her true family. Will she find a way to use her powers in time to save a kingdom she never knew existed?

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My Review

4 stars

Pearl is a sixteen year old that is part of a circus along with her adoptive parents. But there is no fun and games. She is abused and forced to show her special abilities when she is in deep water. She can’t take it anymore and runs away to find out more about her real parents. Although wanting to live a life of obscurity, she can’t seem to pass up helping people and animals. When she saves a young boy from drowning, she draws the attention of Chase Thomas.

Chase is eighteen years old and trying to please both his aunt and himself. But when he learns about Pearl, he can’t help but try and figure out what her secret is. The question is if he means to be a friend or sell his soul for a killer story. Meanwhile, there is a war brewing in the Pacific Ocean and Pearl is meant to be part of this war. To what end depends on who gets her first.

I liked this book. It is a new idea of mermaids. Pearl was strong yet wrapped up in self-doubt. There were times that I got irritated with her and how she could be in a pity party for herself, I do think this was a good part of the story. This poor girl has known nothing but abuse, it makes sense. Although it’s hard to see if Chase is going to use Pearls info against her or with her, he was a good co-star.

This is a good beginning to a series. It’s still rough but you have to start somewhere. I will be getting the next books in this series because I want to know how it progresses.

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Atlantis Red Tide (Lost Daughters of Atlantis – 2)

When a girl on a quest gets kidnapped…

Princess Coral wants one thing. Actually two. Her lost sisters. Locked in her underwater castle by an evil regent intent on seizing control of her kingdom, Coral is determined to break free and find her siblings. When she tries to escape, she’s seized by her childhood crush, Finn.

This wasn’t the reunion she’d expected. Finn plays a delicate game. A game of loyalty, betrayal, and honor.

Even though Finn is working for the enemy, Coral needs his help to reunite with her sisters and stop an underwater war. She must risk her heart to gain his trust. But what will happen if Finn chooses against her?

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My Review

5 stars

Princess Coral wants to find her missing sisters to prove that she is the princess but she is being kept under lock and key at the castle. She is also being talked down to leading to a lot of doubt in herself. But then she gets kidnapped by an old crush, Finn. Coral is hurt from her past with Finn and wants to trust him but it seems as soon as he starts gaining ground with her trust something happens and he is back to square one. Coral doesn’t know what she feels for Finn but she decides to use him to help her find her sisters.

I love how although Coral has had her head filled with doubts she still steps up to prove she is a princess. It was so great watching her grow into her role. I also liked the interaction with Finn. He has clearly hurt her in the past and she is cautious to get invested in him. But you can tell that they are good for each other. I also loved the progression of the story of Mollusk.

This is a great series and one that I recommend for anyone that likes young adult fantasy stories. I can’t wait to see what happens next in Atlantis Rising Tide.

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Atlantis Rising Tide (Lost Daughters of Atlantis – 3)

When a girl goes from lifeguard to princess…

Maris Sanders thinks she’s a normal high school girl. Until she starts developing underwater powers that aren’t normal at all. When a good-looking stranger, with the odd name of Cuda, comes into her life and tells her stories, she discovers a history that stuns her.

A lost princess. A lost kingdom. And two lost sisters she never knew she had.

Not knowing who to believe, Maris is determined to find the truth. About herself, her powers, and her sisters. But a scientist hired by Cuda’s father is determined to use her as a science experiment. Maris must decide whether to risk her life and her present human reality to join a battle under the sea. And if she doesn’t, will she ever find where she truly belongs?

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My Review

5 stars

Maris has a normal teenage life and is terrified of the ocean. But she is surprised to learn that she has some strange abilities in the water, the first one is that she is a super swimmer and gets a job as a life guard. Her boss Cuda thinks that she is one of the missing princesses but before he can confirm this Maris rescues Dirk Devilla. Of course Maris is torn between the two guys. She also learns about her special abilities in the ocean. Can Maris come to terms with her history and reunite with her sisters?

Maris’ parents kept her away from water for years and you can tell that when she learns the truth she is hurt. But they truly loved her and did it for her protection. She does have to make up her mind if she wants to stay with her adoptive parents or fulfill her destiny with her sisters. Plus you have a nice romance with Cuda to add to the story.

This is a great series I cannot wait to get into book four – Atlantis Dark Tides. If you like young adult stories with mermaids look no further.

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Atlantis Dark Tides (Lost Daughters of Atlantis – 4)

Nagged by her evil mother, Sky wants one thing above all else. To destroy the society that rejected her and stole her rightful inheritance. Going undercover, she uses a lowly human to draw close to the recently discovered trio of Atlantean princesses. Once she learns what she needs to know about her targets, she will kill them with no remorse.

Except she does something stupid when she saves the human and exposes her special powers.

Now, she’s caught the eye of Prince Reef from the kingdom of Merta. Reef’s a spy too, with a mission to decide which side of the Atlantean war his kingdom will champion. During Reef and Sky’s time together, she learns more about her past, her power, and her princess half-sisters. Sky is forced to rethink her views on everything. But Reef has secrets of his own…

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My Review

5 stars

Sky has been raised by her mother and told all of her life that she is a monster, a sea witch. How normal mermaids are and how they would treat her if they ever saw her. Although she wants to be normal, her mother’s hatred has poisoned her opinion of others. While out on her mother’s bidding, she catches the eye of Prince Reef, who is from another kingdom spying on which side his people will align with in the upcoming war. The more that Sky is away from her mother, the more she starts realizing how everyone really is and her own opinions and plans change.

I can’t help but feel bad for Sky. Her mother has her own secrets to keep and what better way than to ensure Sky doesn’t associate with the Atlantians? But when Sky is on the orders from her mother, she starts to realize that things are not like she has been told.

I really liked Reef. It’s nice to know that there is so much more to this world than what we have been introduced to already. Sky and Reef’s relationship is a balancing act of trust. But I have to say that learning about her relationship to the three princesses made a great addition to this world.

This is an amazing young adult series. I have loved it from book one and can’t wait to get my hands on the next book – Atlantis Glacial Tides.

Allie Burton

Author’s Bio

Allie Burton has always been a reader and writer. She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve when she was stranded at a hospital by a snowstorm. Receiving her first romance from her grandmother, she fell in love with the genre. As an adult, she read young adult books with her own teens and was excited to find something fresh and new. Now, she writes both.

Having so many jobs as a teen and adult became great research material for the stories she writes. She has been everything from a bike police officer to a professional mascot escort to an advertising executive. She has lived on three continents and in four states and has studied art, fashion design, and marine biology.

Allie is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators and Romance Writers of America. She loves to ski, golf, and run. Currently, she lives in Colorado with her husband and two children.

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I received Lost Daughters of Atlantis from Candid Book Reviews for free. This has no influenced my opinion of these books.

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Children’s Fantasy
Date Published: July 2017
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Pepper Neely is no stranger to dangerous situations. In The Supernatural Pet Sitter: The Magic Thief, the young gnome defeated an evil witch who was stealing magic from the Familiars that Pepper took care of. She wouldn’t have survived without the intervention of a pack of werewolves, who endured painful, fiery spells to save Pepper’s life.
Now Pepper is determined to repay the werewolves for their sacrifice, no matter what it takes. She decides to break the centuries-old curse that keeps them in wolf form. At first she keeps her plans a secret, but it’s not long before Pepper realizes she will need all the help she can get to end this curse. Magic is everywhere as enemy witches cast dangerous spells to stop Pepper.
Pepper and her family must trust the local witches and work together with them to fend off the deadly spells, find the curse, and break it—before the hostile witches get the best of them.
 
Other Books in the The Supernatural Pet Sitter Series:
Published: March 2017
Every animal can talk to you. You just have to know how to listen.
Pepper Neely is better at this than most, especially because she is in charge of pet sitting all the familiars in her neighborhood. A familiar is a pet magically linked to a witch or warlock. As a gnome, Pepper is no stranger to spells and sorcery. She also knows that, despite their special name, familiars aren’t all that different from regular animals. They get anxious when separated from their people, so Pepper uses her special gnome powers to calm them down. She watches Cranky the high-strung ferret, Frank the laid-back parrot, King Arthur the elderly tortoise, and many others.
Then, something terrible begins happening to the familiars. Someone is stealing their magic! It not only prevents Pepper from communicating with them but breaks their magical connection with their people. When King Arthur’s magic is stolen, his owner’s powers stop working too. Pepper can sense that the tortoise is very scared.
In order to protect the animal’s magic, Pepper decides to track down the culprit. With the help of her best friend, Luna, and her brother, Jax, Pepper fights to protect all of the special pets.
About the Author

Diane is a Tennessee transplant, animal rescuer, and nurse. The Supernatural Pet Sitter is her debut children’s series. Diane is assisted by her many rescue dogs.
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Hanging Tobacco

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Hanging Tobacco (Parlor Game Mysteries – 1) by Linda S. Browning

Hanging Tobacco is the first book in the Parlor Game Mystery Series. Olivia Honeycutt solved the cold case murder of Sophie Mathews with the help of Sophie’s Ouija board. Now, Olivia and her Nashville detective boyfriend, Presley, tackle the twenty five year old mystery surrounding the death of Henry Meyer. The old man was found hanging from the neck in the rafters of his tobacco barn in Columbia, Tennessee. Was Henry intent on suicide? Or, was it murder? Uncovering the truth behind Henry’s death proves both challenging and life threatening. Not everyone in Columbia wants to know the truth. Olivia takes the Ouija board on the road.

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 Linda S. Browning

Author’s Bio

Linda Browning’s writing talents took a backseat to salaried jobs for more than 42 years. She knows she has a lot of writing to make up for and the words, sentences, and paragraphs are falling from her head at an alarming pace. She lives with her husband of forty years. They share their Tennessee residence with a 32(+)-year-old amazon parrot and a 20-year-old finch.

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My Review

4 stars

Olivia Honeycutt is an investigative journalist that purchased an Ouiji board on a whim. She learns that the prior owner was murdered and her case was never solved. While using the board Olivia connects with the ghost of the victim and proceeds to solve her case and get a little bit of fame.

Now Olivia has been asked to look into the death of Henry Meyer. Henry was found hanging in his tobacco barn but something sounds fishy. So Olivia gets out the Ouiji board and talks with a man at a barn. The more she talks to him the more she thinks he was murdered. But the more she digs the more she learns that someone wants to keep the truth hidden and won’t stop at hurting her to do so.

This is a good paranormal cozy mystery. After solving the first cold case, Olivia is eager to jump into Henry’s case. Of course she is going to have her hands full since the barn was torn down years earlier and conveniently turned into real estate from a developer that was eager to get his hands on it. But Olivia doggedly pursues the truth even when she becomes a target.

Overall this is a good little cozy mystery. It kept me involved and curious to see what was going to happen next. I’m interested in seeing what Linda S. Browning has in store for book two.

I received Hanging Tobacco from Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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The Use of Fame

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The Use of Fame by Cornelia Nixon

Abigail McCormick and Ray Stark are both poets, married nearly twenty-five years in what has always been a passionate relationship despite deep class differences. Ray is the son of West Virginia coal miners and was abused as a child—but now he is a distinguished poet with a part-time position at Brown. Abby grew up in San Francisco’s posh Pacific Heights and, having abandoned poetry, she spends her energy on a new teaching position at UC Berkeley. Abby’s decision to accept the post sets the stage for Ray to stray, especially as he struggles with a heart condition.

He’s tortured by his affair with the graduate student he’s fallen in love with, but is determined to stay married—he fights to get over Tory for years. A despairing Abby finds solace in her return to riding horses and writing poems, but as she suffers privately, she becomes dependent on sleeping pills and alcohol. Ray’s health worsens—proves nearly fatal—and another cross-country move threatens to push them further apart.

Alternating seamlessly between Ray’s and Abby’s perspectives, The Use of Fame is a gripping exploration of how closeness and despair can warp a lover’s perception.

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Author’s Bio

Cornelia Nixon has written three novels, Jarrettsville, Now You See It and Angels Go Naked, as well as a book of literary criticism. She has published stories in numerous publications, and has won two O. Henry Awards, two Pushcart Prizes, a Nelson Algren Prize, and the Carl Sandburg Award for Fiction. She lives in Berkeley, California.”

My Review

3 stars

Ray is a renowned poet that teaches at Brown in Providence and Abby who teaches at UC Berkley. Their cross country marriage is both comforting and straining. Ray is torn with his affair with a younger student and health condition. Abby looks to her horses, alcohol, and sleeping pills for solace. This is a marriage stretched to its limits and yet one just can’t seem to leave the other.

This is a heartfelt story of two people trying to keep their marriage going when it is clear that things are falling down around their heads. Ray falls for Tori because he feels Abby is neglecting their marriage. Abby learns of Tori and feels that she is too needy and pushed him to another woman. They try to plan moving together to a potential teaching job for Ray in Florida but that falls through too.

I will admit that sometimes I like contemporary romances and figured that I will give this story a shot. I’m sorry to admit that I was about done with both of them. I understand how it’s easy to get wrapped up with yourself when you are not around your significant other like Ray and Abby. But I was just done with the whole thing even if they were too comfortable with the situation to get out.

Over all I think most people will enjoy it so don’t take my whining as something wrong with this book. It was just me.

I received The Use of Fame from Sherri Rosen Publicity for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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