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Archive for August, 2017

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Love, Death and Other Lies
By Jerome Sparks
Genre: Horror, Supernatural, Thriller, Occult

During an ill-fated girls’ night out, still reeling from the loss of her husband, Liv Bestte meets a mysterious, old woman who promises to return her husband to her – for a price. It isn’t until the reanimated corpse of her late husband has begun terrorizing the hills and hollows around Julian, West Virginia, tearing flesh from bone, that Liv learns the price is her soul.

Now Liv is racing against time to find a way to satisfy this debt without sacrificing herself. And she soon learns that the only way she might escape her grisly fate is by offering up her daughter, Tegan, in her place.

But is it already too late for Liv? Is Liv’s fate sealed by family history? When Liv is about to make an ill-fated decision, it is Liv’s younger sister, Abby, who stands in her way, despite the fact that Abby was the first victim of the resurrected thing that was once Conner Bestte.

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Author’s Bio

Jerome Sparks is a native of West Virginia.  He majored in the highly unprofitable and nonspecific field of Creative Productions while attending the University of Charleston in Charleston, West Virginia.  Hoping to become a college professor, Sparks went on to earn a Master of Arts degree in Humanities, with a concentration in literary theory from the West Virginia Graduate College located in Institute, West Virginia.  But, after an unsuccessful attempt to teach English at the college level (for which he offers his most sincere apologies to his former students), Sparks took the easy out and pursued a J.D. from Tulane Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana.  Sparks called New Orleans home for several years, haunting the bars and bistros of the French Quarter, before finally following a girl back to West Virginia where he is currently practicing law.  (Yes, he married the girl.)  Sparks and his family now live happily in the West Virginia hills.

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My Review

5 stars

Liv Bestte was married to the perfect man and he died. She can’t get over him and when she meets a strange old lady that promises to bring Conner back Liv jumps at the opportunity. But in classic style, Liv doesn’t exactly get what she wishes for. Conner doesn’t remember what happened, he just wakes up buried in a small box knowing that he was buried alive. When he gets free he has this strong desire to kill a beautiful woman and is not going to let anything get in his way. Liv is on a race against time to try and stop Conner but it is starting to look like the only way that can happen is if she sacrifices her daughter in her place.

Liv can’t get over losing Conner and we start the story with her lamenting his death. Of course she is going to jump at the opportunity to get him back. Conner on the other hand deserves his fate, what a jerk!!! Of course we have blood and gore as Conner works his way to Liv and the mad rush as Liv tries to save herself from a gory fate.

This is a great story with the classic saying, “be careful what you wish for.” It was easy to get into the story. The pages flew and I didn’t realize what time it really was when I emerged from this story. Love, Death, and Other Lies is a must have for any horror lover.

I received Love, Death and Other Lies from Sage’s Blog Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Aerodance: A Neon Space Opera- Episode 1: Pilots

By Brett Herman

Genre: Science Fiction

A dangerous group of rebels and anarchists is ready to strike at humanity from the fringes of the void.

Out beyond the Prime System, Earth’s colonies are defended by a legendary group of starfighters. Tyto, a young pilot, is enrolled in an elite training program that will put him in the cockpit of one of these near-invincible ships. His training takes a difficult turn when he finds himself unable to grapple with the modifications that his own body must undergo to earn his wings.

Captain Mira Holt runs freelance cargo and passengers on the fringes of the colonial Net. A routine scan of her ship reveals a cryogenically frozen marine illegally stowed away in her hold, and she takes the risk in waking the soldier up. When she goes looking for answers about how he came to be cargo, Mira finds her ship and very way of life put in jeopardy.

Out in the dark of space, Davis Goodwin leads the militant band of exiles. At the helm of an ancient dreadnought, Mate Goodwin sets into motion a plan that would see the end of humanity’s efforts to colonize the stars.

Inspired by episodic stories like Cowboy Bebop and Firefly, Aerodance is a monthly series of novels.

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Author’s Bio

Brett Herman is a writer and comedian living in Southern California.  With a lifelong obsession with video games, comic books, tabletop gaming, role-playing and pretty much every other hobby that keeps his head up in the clouds with dragons and star fighters, Brett has been making up stories and testing the patience of anyone who will listen for decades.  When he’s not writing or immersed in some new game or book, Brett can be found performing improv comedy throughout Orange County and Los Angeles, or wandering around with his wife and his dog Penny enjoying the outdoors.

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My Review

5 stars

This is the first in a series of space opera stories. We learn of several events happening relating to the human colonization of space. Follow along with several people and how they are surviving in this new world. But although the colonies are doing well, there are those that want to stop humanity dead in its tracks.

I liked how we learn about each person and how eventually they all link together. I really enjoyed how the bad guy was not just wanting to destroy everything. He had a point, purpose, and a plan. It made him more understandable and believable.

Of course when you have books that are going to be episodes like this you are left with a semi-resolution but things are still left open for a continuation into the next story. I did like how everything started to come together and become something bigger than just the individual struggles.

I really enjoyed this story and will gladly read the next volume. If you like sci-fi stories and space operas I think you should check out this book.

I received Aerodance from Sage’s Reading Room for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Little Bits of Karma
by Laura Simmons
Genre: Paranormal Romance
A captivating story of reincarnation, redemption, and forgiveness. Even
though Holly O’Rourke is having problems with her longtime
significant other, James, she has never entertained thoughts of
infidelity…that is, until the day she has a chance encounter with
Charlie, a handsome coworker. James promises he will change and work
on their relationship, but Holly’s feelings for Charlie just won’t
go away. Distressed by her mixed emotions, Holly schedules an
appointment for a reading with a psychic medium, where she discovers
her adulterous past lives and their tragic consequences. Holly learns
to do her own past life regression through self-hypnosis and uncovers
not only lives that she shared with James and Charlie, but how the
other people in her present life have been with her in the past—the
threads of their lives interwoven for centuries. Holly is stunned by
recurring themes and the issues of karmic justice that need to be
addressed. Where will her karmic path ultimately lead? Find out in
Little Bits of Karma, an entertaining new book about spiritual cause
and effect.
Can be read as a standalone.

My Review

4 Stars

Holly O’Rourke has been through two failed marriages and is stuck in a stale relationship with James Macklin. She can feel the distance between the two of them the last couple years but cannot figure out what is going on. A chance meeting with a co-worker has given her feeling for him and she is torn between Charlie and James. So Holly decides to visit a psychic to figure out what to do and begins a journey through her past lives. She learns that many evens and people have affected her throughout time and she is hoping that this time she gets her happily ever after.

This was an interesting story. Holly has the troubles of learning about James and his wanderings which causes a whole fresh set of drama in her life. But the part I really enjoyed was when she would visit her different past lives. It was really fascinating how she would keep running into the same people in her lives and not just the romantic area. She seems to keep dealing with the same issues so it was about time that she come out on top.

This book is not one of my usual reads but I’m glad that I decided to read it. This is one that I recommend checking out, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Tough Karma:
A Race Against Time
From the Author of Little Bits of Karma comes a chilling new tale of loss,
tragedy, psychic warfare, and eternal love. Amber Macklin’s world
is cruelly shattered when she loses her baby girl three months after
her husband’s sudden death. Her cousin, Bryce, comes to her rescue,
moving her into his home for fear she will kill herself from the
grief. He provides solace and a shoulder to cry on, and he has loved
her as more than a cousin for a long time. Amber and Bryce soon
discover they are not blood relatives, which opens the door for
romance as he pulls her through her darkest hours. When Mike, a
college friend of Bryce’s, stops by to visit, Amber senses a deadly
secret behind his nice guy persona. She has a frightening dream that
Mike is trying to kill her and recurring sleepwalking episodes where
she draws detailed pictures of him torturing her. Deeply troubled,
Bryce uses his ability to astral travel to investigate Mike and
uncover his terrifying past. Mike has had his eye on Amber for some
time, and when he learns that Bryce and Amber have become lovers, he
is furious. Mike abducts Amber and takes her to his rural Georgia
hideaway, and Bryce must rely on his astral abilities to track her
down. But will he be too late?
Can be read as a standalone.

My Review

5 stars

Amber Macklin is having a hard time dealing with the loss of her husband and then her daughter and moves in with her cousin Bryce Decker until she can get on her feet. There is clearly some attraction between the two of them but they have to keep a distance. When they learn that they are not blood relations that distance disappears. An old college friend of Bryce’s shows up to wish them the best but bad things start happening. Amber is starting to have visions and drawing scenes of Mike torturing and killing her. It seems that Mike has wanted Amber for a long time and is rather upset that Bryce is with her.

This is a great story that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Amber and Bryce have been through so much but it was great to learn that they had each other. Mike is a creep on so many levels. I felt for Amber as she was having these visions and creating these horrible drawings. Then when he kidnaps her, I was hoping she could get away or Bryce get there in time.

I loved the paranormal additions to this story. We have the previous lives but also some astral projection and psychic abilities. They made this already intense story better. Now I admit the whole cousin love thing gave me a touch of the creeps so I was glad that they were not blood related even though it is still a little odd.

I really have enjoyed both books in the Karma series and I can’t wait to see what Laura Simmons comes up with next.

I received both Little Bits of Karma and Tough Karma from Silver Dagger Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of these books.

I enjoy reading books on psychic phenomena and all things metaphysical.
Most of my life I’ve been fascinated with astral travel, dreams, the
ability to see the future, and reincarnation.
I’ve wanted to write a book since I was a child, it was the first thing I
can ever remember saying I wanted to do when I grow up. I love
creating worlds in my mind and writing about them. My best days are
when my characters decide to have lively conversations and I type
them fast and furious.
 
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for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!

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Weed and Water

Weed and Water
by Ian Dexter Palmer, Ph. D.
Genre: Christian/Inspiration
A mysterious stranger helps a teenage boy called Ethan rescue his
mentor, an elderly father-figure, from drowning when their canoe
capsizes in a flooding river. A star athlete, Ethan later gets
involved in unsafe sex, which leads to drugs, and gets him
blackballed by jealous and gossiping team-mates. The boy is going
down, and at times hates himself for it and for hurting his mom who
is a caring, loving, and beautiful woman.
After another disastrous episode, where Ethan might have died, the
river-stranger turns up again to confront him about his life choices.
However, even after rehab, the boy’s condition is marked by a yo-yo
attitude which causes massive emotional heartache for his mom.
The river-stranger, after sharing his own amazing history, suggests
taking the fight to another level which draws on the resources of
God. This begins a new and fascinating sequence of events, including
a tornado, which get Ethan’s attention.
This book is a captivating story, packed with adventure in the desert
Southwest and in the rivers and lakes of the Midwest USA. But
it is also a goldmine of spiritual wisdom for teenagers. The mystery
that permeates the story is compelling, and the thrilling ending may
call for a tissue or two.
FREE on Amazon Aug 23rd – 27th!!
Originally from Australia, Ian lives in the high desert in his beloved Southwest
USA. As a petroleum engineer, recently retired, he consulted all over
the world.
When he hikes with them or watches them play sports, Ian’s grandchildren
are a particular source of happiness.
His main interests are hiking, dancing, writing, and stimulating
conversation.
Ian regularly writes a new blog on various topics relating to Christian
faith, and has also written a book called
Hiking
Toward Heaven.
You can find out more about Ian and his books
at
http://www.iandexterpalmer.com/

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In the Beginning

 

In the Beginning by B.C.E.

The origins of Judeo-Christian religion and mythology come together in this mature science fiction page-turner.

To combat overpopulation on the planet Orion, the government releases a birth control virus to keep women from becoming pregnant. Only the brightest and most attractive of their species are allowed to mate. But the virus rages out of control, killing both mother and child. Attempts to develop a cure fail. They only have one option left: search other worlds for advanced societies that may be able to help.

The two most intelligent minds on Orion—and former best friends—Lucifer and Zues band together to search for a secret planet. When they finally arrive, they are greeted with unexplainable death and destruction. This planet is not the answer. Something doesn’t add up. They discover an extra unknown planet in the solar system.

The new planet is covered in lush land masses and bodies of water. Different species of hominids run—and mate—freely. Fire-breathing dragons guard the land. Lucifer is determined to figure out who or what created this planet. He thinks it just might be the key to saving Orion and the Orionites.

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Author’s Bio

BCE is originally from parts unknown and currently resides in areas of the planet yet to be explored. His favorite pastime is reading old encyclopedias while eating Peanut M&M’s. He does believe that the warehouse depicted at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark actually exists. He has only one goal left in his life that he wishes to accomplish: to live long enough to see the aliens return so he may look over at his beautiful wife in her nursing-home bed and say, “I told you so.”

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My Review

5 stars

The planet Orion is facing over population so the government decides to release a virus keeping women from getting pregnant with the hopes that only the smartest and prettiest of the population will reproduce. Unfortunately this back fires by killing both the mother and child. The next hope is to find a habitable planet to populate. Lucifer and Zues are sent out to find a new planet but the one they are looking for is gone. Instead they find a planet filled with humanoid creatures. They decide to call it Terra Firma and start to populate it.

I really enjoyed this story. You have all kinds of people from several mythologies and religions in this story. I loved how everyone had their place and created this world that we know today. Of course you had to have everyone come from outer space to add in the aliens also because what kind of creation story would you have without aliens added?

This is a great story that turns mythology on its head and give a new look. Yes, you could over analyze it but what fund would that be. Although the ending leaves everything kind of open. Overall this is a great story that I recommend for those that like fantasies with mythology and religion added in to them.

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

Giveaway

$100 Amazon Gift card

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Kindred and Chosen

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Kindred (A Realms of the Otherworld – 1)

by Jana LaPelle

Adopted at an early age she’s been given every advantage. Eighteen-year-old Ashlinn Ryllae Elan has wondered, for most of her life, where she fit in. Where did she really come from and why she was abandoned with nothing more than a Celtic inspired pendant necklace. After her eighteenth birthday, strange dreams plague her during the night leaving her to wonder about the man who now seems to haunt her nightly. The connection she feels to this handsome stranger leaves her wishing for him to be real and she longs to know more about him. Little does she know that her entire world is about to change.

Alaric Rhys Faerondarl has waited a long time for Ashlinn to come of age. He is her Guardian and they are Kindred. He has been tasked to keep her safe and bring her home. Their destinies are intertwined and he will do whatever it takes to keep her out of the hands of The Morrígan and the Fomorians. But will it be enough to overcome the obstacles that have been set before them?
The battle to save the Realms is just beginning.

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My Review

5 stars

Ashlinn Ryllae Elan knows that she was adopted and throughout her life has wondered who she is and where she comes from. As she is getting ready to head to college tragedy strikes and she learns of her true heritage. First she meets Alaric who is supposed to protect her but they both learn that they are each other’s Kindred, mates. The she learns that her father, Rhespen is a panther shifter and her mother Danu is the High Queen of Fae.

But with any good story, Ash is not just learning to use her powers for a HEA ending. Before she was born, Danu made a deal with a fae prince to break the curse on the Tree of Life. Danu has to give her daughter to Tarron to break the curse. But Tarron is dark and will not agree to break the blood contract even if Ash has found her Kindred with Alaric.

This is a great young adult fantasy story. Ash is trying to find her place in the world then realizes that her world is a lot bigger and more dangerous than most people will ever know. I like how she grows with the knowledge of her mother’s blood contract and how strong she becomes as a woman that could be a role model to girls. But things are not easy and even though she has found her Kindred she still may have to go with Tarron to break the curse.

I really liked this story. It kept me on the edge of my seat and had me turning pages frantically. I was sad to see this story come to an end but that just means that I get to jump right into Chosen.

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Chosen (A Realms of the Otherworld – 2)

By Jana LaPella

Ashlinn’s introduction into Faerie, the Otherworld, has been anything but smooth and now she finds herself torn between her kindred and the dark prince. The pull to Tarron is laced with blood majic, and it is dark and incessant. The lines have been drawn, and the Prophecy is clear, or so they think as Ashlinn finds herself pulled away from her family and her new home. Her balance is disrupted, and she is ill prepared for the pull of dark majic when Tarron evokes the terms of the blood contract. Will Ashlinn make her way back to Alaric, her kindred? Will Alaric wage war against Tarron to get Ashlinn back? Or will she succumb to the pull of the blood majic and fall into Tarron’s tantalizing dark embrace, dooming the future of all the Realms.

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My Review

5 stars

Although Ash wants to stay with her Kindred she knows that she is Tarron’s Chosen. Despite her friends and family trying to stop the blood contract, Ash knows that this is what she has to do. Plus if she does try to fight it Tarron uses his dark power and the blood contract to draw her to him. Will Ash return to Alaric or will she stay with Tarron and doom all of the realms?

This story is pretty straight forward but will draw you in and leave you an emotional wreck. Ash may be Alaric’s Kindred but she also has an obligation to follow if she is to save the realms. It’s so heartbreaking to watch her turn from Alaric and I just hoped that she would return to him.

I loved how even though she didn’t want to go with Tarron she still follow through with her duty, hard as it may be. Tarron keeps his façade in the beginning of the story but the longer we are with him and the more we learn about him the more I found myself caring for him.

This is a great sequel to Kindred. It was so hard to finish this book because I didn’t want the story to end. This is a great story and one that I recommend to those that enjoy young adult fantasy stories.

Candid Book Reviews

I received both Kindred and Chosen from Ari at Candid Book Reviews for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Blood Vector

Blood Vector

By Sci-Fi Thriller/Horror

Genre: Robert Kiesling

What if you were given the darkest secret of the world and it turned out to be you?

Three People. One Chance. On the verge of losing her sanity from visions of otherworldly creatures destroying mankind, journalist Khloe Marks discovers that those who share her rare blood type also have the nightmares.

Her search for the connection between them leads to a disgraced lawyer, locked away in a mental institution for his belief that a young girl is the key to stopping the imminent destruction of mankind. Together, they must solve an ancient mystery to save humanity—even if it costs them their own lives. If they fail: In Memory of Man

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About the Author

ROBERT KIESLING
Science Fiction Author, Trial Lawyer

FACT SHEET:

Books published to date:
3

First Original:

Blood Vector (2017)
In Memory of Man: Dawn of AI (2017)
In Memory of Man (2007)

Career:
Criminal/Family Law

Trial Lawyer – 13 years

Smith & Carlson – 1 year
Law Offices of RRK – 12 years

Degrees:
Michigan State University, J.D.
Northern Michigan University, B.A. in Political Science

Licenses:
State Bar of Texas – 2004-Present

Born:
Detroit, MI

Family:

Father was a high school football coach and school teacher, mother was an HR manager. Robert is the second of two children.

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AUTHOR’S GIVEAWAY

{Blood Vector} Structured Twill Cap – $30 Value

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EXCERPT

The rope ladder swayed back and forth as the woman relentlessly moved up the sheer cliff rung by rung. Her fear and horror increased as the dangerous ascent brought her closer to the cave the elders had warned to avoid. Anyone who dared to enter the sacred place faced death, for it held within it the monstrous creatures of legend, the Asakkus—those that would bring about mankind’s destruction. If the visions that drove her to seek out the cave were right, it meant they were coming, and everything was soon to end.

The chill wind whipped down from the snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains, stinging her skin as it howled and swirled across the desert towards her, its intensity increasing to nearly gale force. A strong gust hammered against her back and she instinctively tightened her grasp on the wooden rung, leaning into the cliff’s face, knuckles white from the exertion.

She was almost two hundred feet up, and the rocks below looked dark red in the failing light. The woman closed her eyes. Don’t fall. One slip and they would break her body to pieces. She glanced up at the top of the cliff.

Only fifty feet more.

Only fifty feet and she would reach the cave, finally learning the truth that surrounded the beings she had dreamt of; the creatures her people had created folklore about for centuries.

A high-pitched scream shattered the landscape. The woman immediately ducked her head. Feeling exposed, she scrambled up the ladder as fast as she could, scraping her cold hands against the cliff’s jagged edges and bruising her knees but oblivious to any pain because that shriek had not been human.

Moments later she reached the top and pulled herself up onto a flat ledge. The woman crouched down, breathing deeply in both fear and anticipation, continuing to listen for confirmation. Within seconds another inhumanly loud shrill echoed through the air. She pressed her fingers into her ears to muffle the piercing sound. When she dropped her hands, she noticed her fingertips were smeared with watery blood.

It had to be the Asakku.

She walked toward the mouth of the cave, hoping she wasn’t too late. In addition to the drawings and countless stories that drove her pursuit, the discovery of an elongated skull by her father in this very same region had created an unstoppable obsession to find one alive.

The woman had been bravely coming to the caves year after year. Each time gaining the courage to venture furtherand explore, hoping to catch a glimpse of the Asakku. The woman had to know what she was facing; then there would be an answer exposing their weakness. She must not fail if the human race was to survive.

I would like to thank Sage’s Book Tours for the opportunity to share this book.

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Murder at the River Bend Retirement Resort by Stan Schatt

When a very disagreeable resident of the exclusive River Bend Retirement Resort is murdered, bestselling mystery writer Miriam Lipsky has to find the real killer to save her dear friend from prison. She finds the retirement home seethes with intrigue, passion, and jealousy. To make matters worse, it’s hard to distinguish what residents actually saw from what they imagined.

Miriam finds she has to search for the killer while juggling an autistic grandson, a divorced daughter with a tendency to choose the wrong man, her best friend’s overly friendly husband, and a stalker who who leaves her more and more threatening notes. To make matters worse, her rabbi who won’t take no for an answer when it comes to fixing her up.

Miriam, a widow after a disastrous marriage, has given up on love. Just when she is sure that part of her life is over, someone new appears from a very unexpected place.

Murder at the River Bend Retirement Resort is a cozy mystery with a sleuth who has to learn on the job. Despite her best intentions, Miriam makes mistake after mistake and yet moves ever closer to discovering a cold blooded killer who has no remorse.

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 Stan Schatt

Author’s Bio

Stan Schatt has written forty books on a wide variety of topics including science fiction, mysteries, a chapter book for children, a YA novel, biographies of Michael Connelly and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., and books on technology and career changing. His love for teaching is reflected in outstanding teaching awards he received from the University of Southern California and DeVry Institute of Technology.

Rather than having one career, Schatt has had several. He has worked as an autopsy assistant, an English professor, a software trainer, a law enforcement administrator, a market research executive, and a sales manager. He spent the last two decades as a technology analyst or ‘futurist” trying to figure out what future technologies will be successful.

Website

My Review

5 stars

Miriam Lipsky is a retired author that writes mystery stories with the main character Detective Romeo Winston. Miriam gets the call that a friend of hers in the retirement resort is being accused of murdering another resident. Well, she writes about murder, why not look into the murder herself? Miriam learns the hard way that writing about and taking part in an investigation are completely different. If this is not enough on her plate, Miriam also has a divorced daughter and autistic grandson at home to take care of too.

There is a lot wrapped up in this story. Miriam is relatively famous for her mysteries. She learns that her friend is being accused of a murder of someone in the same retirement home. Miriam decides to help her friend out when he doesn’t have any money to hire an investigator and gets a bit of an eye opener with operations and staff at the nursing home and when someone wants to silence her. There are a lot of suspects and a lot of information to go through to make sure she has the right person.

But as important has it is to find the real killer, Miriam has her hands full at home too. Her daughter is divorced and has bad taste in men. She also brings an autistic son to Miriam’s home. She also has her hands full with a friends over attentive husband and the town sheriff too.

This is a great story rich with details. The retirement home rang true for me since I worked in one for a very short time with I was a teenager. I loved how Miriam learned from all the mistakes she made in her investigations, it made her more real. This is a great story and I can’t wait to read more adventures with Miriam.

I received Murder at the River Bend Retirement Resort from the author for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Salt Creek

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Salt Creek by Lucy Treloar

Some things collapse slow, and cannot always be rebuilt, and even if a thing can be remade it will never be as it was.

Salt Creek, 1855, lies at the far reaches of the remote, beautiful and inhospitable coastal region, the Coorong, in the new province of South Australia. The area, just opened to graziers willing to chance their luck, becomes home to Stanton Finch and his large family, including fifteen-year-old Hester Finch.

Once wealthy political activists, the Finch family has fallen on hard times. Cut adrift from the polite society they were raised to be part of, Hester and her siblings make connections where they can: with the few travellers that pass along the nearby stock route – among them a young artist, Charles – and the Ngarrindjeri people they have dispossessed. Over the years that pass, an Aboriginal boy, Tully, at first a friend, becomes part of the family.

Stanton’s attempts to tame the harsh landscape bring ruin to the Ngarrindjeri people’s homes and livelihoods, and unleash a chain of events that will tear the family asunder. As Hester witnesses the destruction of the Ngarrindjeri’s subtle culture and the ideals that her family once held so close, she begins to wonder what civilization is. Was it for this life and this world that she was educated?

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Lucy Treloar 

Author’s Bio

Lucy Treloar was born in Malaysia and educated in Melbourne, England and Sweden. A graduate of the University of Melbourne and RMIT, Lucy is a writer and editor and has plied her trades both in Australia and in Cambodia, where she lived for a number of years.

– 2014 Regional Winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Her short fiction has appeared in Sleepers, Overland, Seizure, and Best Australian Stories 2013. Lucy is a regular contributor to Womankind magazine.

Lucy’s second novel, Salt Creek,was published by Picador (Pan Macmillan) in August 2015.

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My Review

4 stars

It is 1855 in Australia and we follow Hester Finch (Hetty) and her family. Stanton Finch is the father and has a bad habit of jumping into the next big scheme and leaving debt and irritated people behind. His newest scheme is to move his family to the desolated Salt Creek on The Coorong. He is planning to create a great farmland and build a beautiful house for his depressed wife.

But after a hard trip, the family discovers little more than a stable to live in, a harsh land, and the Aboriginal Ngarrindjeri. This is just the beginning. Stanton thinks he can just easily jump into the land a make a wonderful farm. Instead he destroys the fragile eco system and causes a lot of problems for the Ngarrindjeri who have no problem taking care of this problem. If that wasn’t enough, Hetty’s mom drops further into depression and Hetty starts raising the younger children

The Aborigines complain to Stanton about the damage that his cattle is doing and although he tries to help a drought has him telling the natives to leave. But he does think that he can civilized the natives and takes Tully to be taught with his own children. Tully learns quickly but finds himself confused about the differences in the natives and the white beliefs.

This is a great story with a lot of true events in it. I love the rich history you get while following along as Hetty tries to keep her family from falling apart. I loved Tully and Hetty. There were such a great way to bridge the gap between the Aborigines and the Finch family. But the think I liked the best was that you learned about both sides to this story.

This is a rich story that will appeal to anyone that wants to know more about Australian history. It is a beautifully woven story that draws you in and leaves you wanting more at the end. This is one that you need to check out.

I received Salt Creek from the publisher for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Fender

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Fender by Brent Jones

How far must we travel to find our way home?

Nothing could have prepared Brennan Glover for the car crash that claimed the lives of his wife and six-year-old daughter. Stricken with grief, the only things that get him through each day are breaking his sobriety and clinging to Fender—the family dog and the sole survivor of the crash.

Desperate to distance Brennan from tragedy, his two closest friends take him on the cross-country road trip they had always talked about. But what begins as an effort to mend his broken heart ends up unraveling a secret that changes everything he thought he knew about his family. Can a journey of six thousand miles lead Brennan to acceptance and new beginnings?

From finding the good in an often cruel world to learning to say goodbye to those we love most, this sophomore release from author Brent Jones is sure to leave readers longing for home, wherever that may be.

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 Brent  Jones

Author’s Bio

From bad checks to bathroom graffiti, Brent Jones has always been drawn to writing. He won a national creative writing competition at the age of fourteen, although he can’t recall what the story was about. Seventeen years later, he gave up his freelance career as a social media manager to pursue creative writing full-time. Fender and The Fifteenth of June are his first two novels.

Jones writes from his home in Fort Erie, Canada. He’s happily married, a bearded cyclist, a mediocre guitarist, (sometimes) vegetarian, and the proud owner of two dogs with a God complex.

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My Review

5 stars

Brennan Glover lost his wife Rosie and his six year old daughter Abby in a car crash. The only survivor was the family Beagle, Fender. Brennan is heartbroken as his world is turned upside down. Fender does his best to help out his master get through this hard time. Then Brennan’s friends Franky and Rocco talk him into taking a road trip to find his way along with move on with his grief. But things are not going to go smoothly as a deep secret comes out that could destroy the friendship.

This is a heartbreaking story. How would you go on after losing your family? It’s very emotional as Brennan tries to go on with his grief and depression. Fender is there to help but he can only do so much. Brennan needs to get out in the world to see that there is so much more happening. Thankfully Franky and Rocco are they to give him the proverbial boot in the butt.

Of course I’m a huge animal fan, having several cats of my own and treating them like my children. I loved the interactions with Fender. I love when stories show how important our furry children are and how big of a difference they can make in our lives.

Brent Jones has a great story and one that I think anyone will enjoy. Definitely check out this book. You will run the gambit of emotions but it is worth the tears.

I received Fender from the author for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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