Archive for January, 2018

The Shadow Girl

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The Shadow Girl by Misty Mount

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Genre: YA/ Fantasy/ Coming of Age

Publication Date: December 28, 2017


Shy, thirteen-year-old Zylia has always known she was different. Most teenagers feel unnoticed and unseen, but for Zylia, it’s something much worse. She’s disappearing from this world and doesn’t know how to stop it. At times, she’s not sure she wants to. Until she stumbles across a family mystery surrounding the disappearance of her great-aunt Angelica years earlier. During her quest to unravel the mystery, Zylia discovers she’s able to cross the boundary and enter the “in between” world. Now, it’s up to Zylia to save herself before she’s trapped “in between” forever.


Quotes from “The Shadow Girl”


“I have always known that I am invisible—I had no idea that eventually I would fade away completely.”

“Blackness. Nothingness. It was in the shape of a giant, hazy shadow, enveloping me, swallowing me, and digesting me into the unknown. It was my biggest fear and my ultimate fate.”

“As the freezing rain hit me, I could feel the stares…smoldering on my skin. I longed for invisibility. At times like this, the very curse that plagued me was also my protection.”

“…in school I felt more undetectable than ever. I walked through the crowded hallways like a human pinball, careening off one person and bouncing into another.”

About the Author


Misty Mount has written since age five and was first published at fourteen. By day she’s a caregiver, wife and mother to a young son but during the quiet hours of night she becomes a novelist. She resides in Wichita, Kansas.

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by Richard Jeffries
Genre: Horror
Desert Swarm
After his superior officers are killed in action, Corporal Josiah Key
assumes command of the 3rd Battalion, Marine Raiders. In the tiny
village of Shabhut, Yemen, while trying to put the blast on ISIS
forces, an even deadlier enemy emerges: ancient, unreasoning
creatures who tear into both U.S. troops and terrorists without
mercy, leaving brutally dismembered corpses in their wake.
They are known as the Idmonarchne Brasieri,
giant prehistoric spiders roused from millennia-long slumber by
power-mad terrorists. These aptly-named ‘Arachnosaurs’ are
hungry. They’re angry. And they have declared war against all of
humanity . . . whose days might just be numbered unless Key and his
unit can stop them.
Richard Jeffries holds
a degree in Creative Writing, obtained before he went to work for
American intelligence. He has seen the world—and things in it—which
inspired the writing of these novels. Now retired from covert ops,
Jeffries divides his time between rural Connecticut and London. In
his spare time he pursues his lifelong interest in Kung Fu and
classical piano.
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The Naturalist


The Naturalist (The Naturalist Series – 1) by Andrew Mayne

Professor Theo Cray is trained to see patterns where others see chaos. So when mutilated bodies found deep in the Montana woods leave the cops searching blindly for clues, Theo sees something they missed. Something unnatural. Something only he can stop.

As a computational biologist, Theo is more familiar with digital code and microbes than the dark arts of forensic sleuthing. But a field trip to Montana suddenly lands him in the middle of an investigation into the bloody killing of one of his former students. As more details, and bodies, come to light, the local cops determine that the killer is either a grizzly gone rogue…or Theo himself. Racing to stay one step ahead of the police, Theo must use his scientific acumen to uncover the killer. Will he be able to become as cunning as the predator he hunts—before he becomes its prey?

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Andrew Mayne 

Author’s Bio

Wildly innovative, highly-visual with a little bit of mischief thrown in, Andrew Mayne is at the forefront of the next generation of magic.

Star of A&E’s Don’t Trust Andrew Mayne, he’s performed his unique brand of illusion on five continents, his YouTube videos have millions of views and he’s cultivated thousands of fans for his magic, books and podcasts calling themselves ‘Mayniacs’.

Taking magic in a new direction, Andrew created his own style of magic called “Shock Magic”; combining the impact of large scale illusion with the in-your-face approach of street magic. It’s fun, it’s irreverent, it’s the next evolution in magic. Andrew’s effects range from making ghosts appear on cell phones, shrinking himself to one foot tall and making a town think they were besieged by UFOs. His magic has even been performed for astronauts on the International Space Station! Andrew has invented over 400 magic effects and published 45 books and videos on the art of illusion. On the leading edge of magic and pop culture, he was among the first to invent magic for the iPhone (even before there were apps) via his website iPhoneTrick.com – that’s since been performed on millions of people.

He’s worked behind the scenes creatively for David Copperfield, Penn & Teller and David Blaine. In 2011 Andrew was invited to China on behalf of the legendary Beijing Circus to share with Asia’s leading magicians his modern approach to illusion. His 2012 tour brought him to Europe and the Middle East.

Andrew started his first world illusion tour while he was a teenager and was soon headlining in resorts and casinos around the world. With the support of talk show host and amateur magician Johnny Carson, Andrew Mayne started a program to use magic to teach critical thinking skills in public schools for the James Randi Educational Foundation. Andrew’s Wizard School segments, teaching magic and science to children, aired nationwide on Public Television.

Beyond magic, Andrew Mayne is also the author of five bestselling mystery and thriller books. His recent thriller, Angel Killer, the story of a female FBI agent with a background magic, was the fifth best selling independent novel in the United Kingdom in 2012. His podcast, Weird Things is also one of the top science and nature podcasts on iTunes.

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My Review

5 stars

Professor Theo Cray is called in to help locals investigate the death of a former student, Juniper Parsons. It looks like a bear attack and that is what the locals label the death. But Theo thinks that this is a man killing like a bear. But when Fish and Wildlife kill the suspected bear everyone thinks it is all taken care of.

Theo doesn’t agree. He starts digging into the past and discovers murders like this have been happening to young women over the last thirty years. He keeps digging but Theo is an odd duck and attracts the attention of the police who are starting to think that he is the one that killed Juniper.

This is a great mystery thriller with lots of science. I love how Theo’s computational biology is the thing that catches all the clues to the killer. But his awkwardness is what attracts the attention of the police. Theo is a great person and he is intent on stopping the real killer before he gets arrested.

The science really added to the story and made it that much more believable. I’m glad to see this is the first in a series. I can’t wait to read more about Theo Cray.

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

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Book Details:

Book Title: Cathadeus (Book One of the Walking Gates)
Author: Jeff J. Peters
Category: YA Fiction, 344 pages
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Wise Ink Creative Publishing
Release date: Dec 8, 2017
Tour dates: Jan 15 to Feb 2, 2018
Content Rating: PG-13 (fighting scenes)

Book Description:

It has been six hundred years since the Alchemists fused together men and beasts to form strong, mindless slaves. Now, their most vicious creations have attacked the mystical Walking Gates, slaughtering their Keepers and isolating their cities. Wounded in the brutal attack, Braxton Prinn’s mother is on the verge of death and he makes a desperate journey to find the reclusive elven master who can save her. But when he discovers an ancient magic, Brax is caught up in an even greater struggle and soon finds himself hunted for his power. Drawn into the chaos of an impending war and pursued by enemies on all sides, Brax must fight to save his mother and her race from slipping into darkness. Though his untamed magic may be the greatest threat of all . . .


What Readers are Saying about Cathadeus:

“Jeff J. Peters’ strong cinematic writing style allowed me to easily visualize the story and feel that I was right there alongside the characters.”
– Alison W.

“Jeff J. Peters’ writing is so smooth and easy to read – I can’t tell you how much of a pleasure it was…and how quickly you end up being drawn into the story because of it.”
– Amanda R.

“Cathadeus is the best kind of fantasy story – you get to learn along with a flawed main character while you get lost in a richly designed world. You can’t help but keep reading. A cleanly written pairing of characters you wish you could spend more time with and an enthralling world built around them. Cathadeus is the kind of story that plays perfectly off of your imagination, with characters grounded in reality to make it feel like you could really be there.”
– Ryan N.

“Jeff J. Peters definitely has storytelling skills…The story stayed on my mind when I wasn’t reading it. Young readers will be drawn in this imaginative story, while they relate to Braxton’s struggles with temper, insecurity, and young love. Cathadeus is dramatic, with an anxious tone—at times bleak, as the story keeps you wondering until the final battle if good will prevail.”
– Elizabeth C.

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Meet the Author:

JEFF J. PETERS was born in South Africa and immigrated to the United States as a teenager, where he fell in love with all things fantasy. He obtained degrees in digital electronics and computer science and worked as an IT professional for more than twenty years. In 2014, he left his corporate position to focus full-time on writing. Cathadeus is his debut novel. He is currently working on the sequel.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Facebook

My Review

5 stars

Braxton Prinn’s day was going as usual until the long forgotten Minotaurs, Mins, attack the Walking Gates leaving his mother seriously injured. He learns that his mother is from an elven race and is an outcast for marrying outside her race. But the only way to heal her is to take her pendant to her tree. He is also given his grandfather’s sword, the Unicorn Blade, which has a lot of power.

But this is not a simple quest. The lands are at war and one group wants to extinguish the lives of all elves. Thankfully Brax has a group of friends to help him along the way. The Unicorn Blade also help teach him how special he really is and how to use his new powers. Brax is the only one that will save his world.

This is a marvelous fantasy story. Brax gets thrown out to a bigger world and gets a crash course in magical abilities and war. It was so easy to get into this story, by the second chapter I couldn’t put the book down. There is action, adventure, lots of fighting, and serious bad guys.

I strongly recommend checking this book out. Any fantasy lover will instantly adore this book. I can’t wait to see what happens to Brax and his group next.

I received Cathadeus from iRead Book Tours for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

Jeff J. Peters

Blogger Guest Post

How I got involved in fantasy

I had just immigrated to the US as a teenager, when a friend of mine gave me a copy of The Hobbit, which I loved, and went on to read the LOTR and a number of other books, including those by Eddings and Brooks. I quickly became fascinated with all things fantasy – movies, books, tabletop games – anything related to these imaginary worlds and the characters within them. In high school, I developed text-based computer games (before there was graphic rendering), and started writing short stories and ideas about various heroes and events. Looking back, most of my free time was spent in the genre in one form or another. This continued throughout college and, after getting married, I started reading sword & sorcery stories to my two boys when they were young. I still love a great read, and am always captivated by the new ideas authors create. The fantasy category has really exploded over the years, with tons of terrific stories coming out all the time. Computers, of course, have accelerated this, adding strong visual effects, great story telling, and fascinating worlds. What started out as a limited genre is now mainstream, and I look forward to seeing what other authors and game designers come up with next.


Jeff J. Peters


Two large, muscular beasts stood behind the flames and slightly to one side, another lying further back and to the left.


They occasionally entered the Spine to hunt, wearing totems for protection that never worked, and his kin always defeated them. There hadn’t been any significant intrusion in almost six hundred years—not since the Breath of the Dragon wiped out their valley.

“So what ya doing in the mountains?” Thrag mumbled to himself, studying their bull-like faces. They had furs and leather jerkins covering their human bodies, and their weaponry was too advanced for a hunting party. Sentries, he concluded. But for what?

He needed to find out and report in, and they were too dangerous to be left alone. Unstrapping his giant battleax from across his back, he loosened the throwing weapon in his belt. Clenching his jaw, he readied to charge, then stopped. He couldn’t see into the trees. Normally, he wouldn’t care, but this time he had to be sure. Someone had to report, and something about this already had his beard on edge.

Turning around, he put his back against the boulder where he hid and called. A long, peaceful sound echoed among the rocks. He knew the Mins would hear it, even though he was downwind, but he wasn’t worried—he’d been a ranger for more than sixty years and could imitate nature’s calls. His sound was strong and true, riding the wind between the mountain pines and craggy valleys before fading away. He repeated it a few more times, then waited. As expected, the Mins ignored it. Minutes passed, and he watched the trees. Then a branch moved. Against the wind. His companion was closer than he’d thought, as usual.

Time to go.

Thrag burst from the rocks, hurling his smaller ax at the Minotaur on the right as he sprinted across the clearing. The weapon hit the beast square in the forehead, felling him. The other Min grabbed its weapon and brayed loudly. Thrag leapt up onto a stump directly opposite the fire, using the smoke to obscure his approach, and launched himself at the beast. He came through the screen with his battleax held high above his head in both hands, yelling as he appeared. The creature raised its halberd to block the strike, but Thrag’s ax smashed into it, splitting the shaft in two. The Min stepped back to steady itself, but the dwarf wasn’t slowing. He landed in front of it, bringing his weapon around and striking diagonally across, hitting the Min below the knee and severing its leg. The creature bellowed a horrific call, falling onto its newly formed stump. The third Min was up now, a spear in hand and coming to the fight. It pulled its arm back preparing to skewer the dwarf, but a dark form hit it from behind, sending the creature hurtling past Thrag. The dwarf ignored it. He thrust the top of his weapon straight up, hitting the crippled Min under the chin and jolting its head back. Raising his battleax again in both hands, Thrag struck down with his formidable strength, burying the blade deep into the Min’s chest, killing it.

He turned to look for the remaining beast. It hung from the massive jaws of a giant, sleek, charcoal-gray leopard standing eye level beside him.

“About time you helped,” Thrag admonished, looking into his companion’s enormous eyes.

The leopard gently lay the dead Min down on the ground without making a sound and stared back at the dwarf.

Thrag rocked his head from side to side. “Well . . . thanks,” he said.

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Interview with the Boogeyman: A Monster for All Times

Interview with the Boogey Man: A Monster for All Times by Benjamin S. Jeffries

He is every nightmare you’ve ever had and every fright made flesh. He is the most feared villain in the history of the world, haunting us past childhood, lingering in the background of the darkest recesses of our souls. Now–for the first time ever–meet the infamous Boogeyman as he steps out of the darkness and into the limelight. Written in a clever interview style, this whimsical, funny, informative, and scary biographical history of the world’s greatest fiend takes the reader on an escapade into terror that began in the dank world of the Dimmuborgir Lava Fields in Iceland and culminates in the surreal landscape of today’s modern monsters. From folklore to contemporary horror, through a series of engaging questions, diary entries, and author research, the evolution of the Boogeyman continues to develop as he takes credit here for the most disturbing and bloodthirsty creatures ever to scare us silly.

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 Benjamin S. Jeffries

Author’s Bio

Benjamin S. Jeffries lives in Lafayette, Indiana. His books LOST IN THE DARKNESS and GRIM SHADOWS FALLING are available now. He is currently at work on his third and fourth books, due out in the Spring and Fall of 2016.

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My Review

5 stars

Benjamin is traveling around looking for information to write his book VILE: Peeking Under the Skin of Murderers. He comes across a farm house that draws him in. When he goes inside he meets the Boogey Man. Although he is in terror, he has a conversation with Tenebris. He wakes and thinks it’s all a dream until he realizes he has the Tenebris’ journal.

Who is the Boogey Man? Where did he come from? He is known through all societies from the beginning of time. Although he looks differently to each culture and has different habits, he is still the one that goes bump in the night and punished people.

I really enjoyed following along and learning the different forms Tenebris has taken over the years. It was one of those things that I “knew” someone had been in the role but I never really thought about it. I loved reading about the different roles Tenebris has played over the years.

If you have always been curious about the Boogey Man or are looking for something different from your regular reads, you need to check this book out. I really enjoyed all the history that has gone into this book. Now I’m excited to check out Benjamin S. Jeffries other book VILE.

I received Interview with the Boogey man from Schiffer Publishing for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Trading Darkness


Trading Darkness by Lisa Hofmann

Once upon a time, a demon from the depths of the earth decided to seek the light of love.

When human weakness destroys that love, a yearning for vengeance awakens within the ancient soul, and the fiefdom of Wildenburg becomes home to many kinds of men and monsters. A never-ending spiral of cruelty and sacrifice is set in motion. Over the centuries, wars, hunger, and witch trials cripple the little fiefdom, until one day, the reigning lord discovers that not even his own children are safe from the fiend his ancestors helped create.

There is truth at the heart of every fairytale, but a fairytale can quickly turn into a nightmare. Only one person has the power to break the curse that has befallen the land: a young woman who has lived all her life in darkness. Can she find enough beauty within the beast to put an end to the killing?

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 Lisa Hofmann

Author’s Bio

Lisa Hofmann was born in Siegen, Germany, in 1975. She attended schools in Germany and in Ireland.

During her time at the University of Siegen, she translated books and other writings for her professors of Educational Didactics and Anglistics, discovering her talent for working with words. She began writing medieval fantasy fiction in her late thirties while working as a teacher.

She still lives near her birthplace today with her husband, three children and a houseful of pets. She writes predominantly in English.


My Review

5 stars

We start this story in Wildenburg in 1650. Agnes is being tortured for being a witch. She hopes and prays that her husband will take their children and run. A demon visits her and she learns that her husband took the children to the lord of the land to try and reason with him for Agnes. The demon offers her a favor to take her and agrees to save the children that are her husband and her own.

In 1670, we meet Gregory of Blackvale and the Century Demon. Once every 100 years, the head of the house has to sacrifice one of his children to keep the Century Demon happy and helping the family. Alton, Gregory’s brother is the head of house and refuses to give up one of his children. Things end badly for Alton and the choice falls to Gregory.

Years later, Gregory daughter Maria is having trouble with the loss of her sister Louisa. But Louisa has her own world that she has navigated. She is trying to find a way to escape the demon. But there is more to this demon than what everything thinks. He has his own past that he has to fight just like everyone else.

I love Lisa Hofmann’s stories and Trading Darkness is a great addition to her stories. I love how you are taken back in time. I have to say that I didn’t like Gregory. He was power hungry and selfish. I felt worse for Maria mourning the loss of her sister and wanting to know why she was not taken.

As for Louisa and the Wishmaster, I loved their story. Louisa has grown up in this world of darkness and magic and wants out. And the Wishmaster, is he really the demon that he seems to be? I loved his reveal.

This is a wonderful story filled with history, magic, loss, and love. You really need to check this book out.

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

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Oh Susanna


Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag

From award-winning author Carole P. Roman comes a new chapter book featuring Susannah Logan, a young student having a very bad day.

It all begins with homework trouble and an invitation to a sleepover that she doesn’t want to go to. Would you want to go to a sleepover in a creepy house? Rather than dealing with her problems, Susannah stuffs them into her backpack. But how much can a backpack take? Will she be able to confront her worries before the backpack bursts? Or will she just continue to hide them away?
Join Susannah and her friends in this story sure to charm busy young readers everywhere.

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My Review

5 stars

Susannah is having a bad day. First, she didn’t finish her homework from the night before. When she went to ask her mom for help, her mother was in a rush, dumped the cereal on the floor, and gave Susannah oatmeal and a banana which she hates. Instead of speaking up she just dumps the homework and banana in her backpack. From there she gets an invitation to a sleepover that she doesn’t want to go to and puts that in her bag too. She has other things that she adds to the bag until it bursts open.

Poor Susannah is having a hard time dealing with her day and lets it all pile up until she is having nightmares. Although her mom and dad are really busy, they do see her problems and do help her organize and tackle them.

I love how this could be a typical family wrapped up in each person’s issues. Sometimes it is hard to step back and realize that there are people around you that can lend a hand to help if you just ask.

This is a great chapter book with a big message for kids and parents. It has some beautiful illustrations that add wonderfully to the story. If you are looking for a story for kids, look no further.


Oh Susannah: Things that Go Bump

Susannah Maya Logan is not having a good day. She doesn’t want to go to her best friend, Lola’s sleepover. Susannah thinks the house is big and spooky, not to mention the ghost that is said to live there. Lola’s big brother, Kai, loves to tease Susannah with scary stories.

Throughout her day, she sees people deal with things that scare them. Her sight-impaired friend, Macy, is terrified of unicorns, of all things. She sees a boy at a party who’s frightened of clowns. Her teacher is afraid of getting a cold. Susannah realizes everybody is scared of something. She wishes she was more like Lola, who is not afraid of anything, or so it seems.

Susannah discovers people have different ideas of what is scary and what is not, and only they can determine the difference.

Join Susannah as she learns to confront her fears and not let her imagination prevent her from having fun.

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My Review

5 stars

It’s the day after Susannah gets help with her backpack. It’s time to face her fears about sleeping over at Lola’s house. Lola’s big brother Kai once told Susannah about the ghost that lives in their house. Because it is an older house and makes a lot of noise so Susannah is very scared of meeting the ghost. But she feels bad admitting to this, especially since her parents and Lola are very excited for the sleep over. What is she to do?

I love the simple yet serious issues that Susannah faces. I can understand why she is so afraid and it doesn’t help that Kai tries to scare her every chance he gets. But what is she to do? She has already learned how things can quickly pile up and burst.

This is a great story and I love how it encourages kids to face their fears and ask for help. This would be a great addition to any kid’s library.

I received Oh Susannah: It’s in the Bag and Oh Susannah: Things That Go Bump from the publisher for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of these books.

Carole P. Roman

Author’s Bio

Named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best of 2012 for her first book, award winning author Carole P. Roman started writing as a dare from one of her sons. Using an imaginary game she played with her grandson as a base, Captain No Beard was born.”Captain No Beard- An Imaginary Tale of a Pirate’s Life” has not only been named to Kirkus Best of 2012, it received the Star of Exceptional Merit, and won the Pinnacle Award for 2012. “Pepper Parrot’s Problem with Patience” Book 2 in the series, received 5 Stars from The ForeWord Review The Clarion Review. Strangers on the High Seas has won second place in the Rebecca’s Reads Choice Awards 2013. It has followed with six more books to the series. This year, Captain No Beard and the Aurora Borealis was named to Kirkus Best 2015. The entire cultural non-fiction series If You Were Me and Lived in… was named Best Series by Shelf Unbound. She has begun work on two new series that will be released in early 2016.

Motivated by her love of yoga, Roman has written a book that not only teaches four poses, but shows how easy and accessible yoga can be.
Her nonfiction series, “If You Were Me and Lived in…” combines her teaching past with her love of exploration and interest in the world around us. The debut book in the series, “If You Were Me and Lived in…Mexico” has won the Pinnacle Award for Best in Children’s Non Fiction 2012. France, South Korea, and Norway. Rebecca’s Reads has given If You Were Me and Lived in…Norway an honorable mention in the 2013 Choice Awards. If You Were Me and Lived in …France won second place. ForeWord Review has nominated If You Were Me and Lived in…France for best in children’s non fiction literature 2013. They will be followed with Kenya, Turkey, India, and Australia. She plans to do Portugal, Greece, and Argentina next year. There are now 22 books in the series and include a trip to Mars in 2054.
Carole was recently featured in a two part article on Forbes.com where her book, Navigating Indieworld was discussed along with her self-publishing success.
Writing for children has opened up a whole second act for her. While she is still working in her family business, this has enabled her to share her sense of humor as well as love for history and culture with the audience she adores. Roman lives on Long Island with her husband and near her children.

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Escape Claws

Escape Claws
A Cat Lady Mystery
by Linda Reilly
Genre: Cozy Mystery
204 pages
Here, killer, killer, killer . . .
For the first time in sixteen years, Lara Caphart has returned to her
hometown of Whisker Jog, New Hampshire. She wants to reconnect with
her estranged Aunt Fran, who’s having some difficulty looking after
herself—and her eleven cats. Taking care of a clowder of kitties is
easy, but keeping Fran from being harassed by local bully Theo Barnes
is hard. The wealthy builder has his sights set on Fran’s property,
and is determined to make her an offer she doesn’t dare refuse.
Then Lara spots a blue-eyed ragdoll cat that she swears is the
reincarnation of her beloved Blue, her childhood pet. Pursuing the
feline to the edge of Fran’s yard, she stumbles upon the body of
Theo Barnes, clearly a victim of foul play. To get her and Fran off
the suspect list, Lara finds herself following the cat’s clues in
search of a killer. Is Blue’s ghost really trying to help her solve
a murder, or has Lara inhaled too much catnip?
Armed with a degree in Criminal Justice, Linda Reilly once contemplated a
career in law enforcement. But life took a twist, and instead she
found her niche in real estate closings and title examinations, where
the dusty tomes in the Registry of Deeds enticed her into solving
mysteries of a different sort. A dyed-in-the-wool New Englander,
Linda lives in New Hampshire with her husband, who affectionately
calls her “Nose-in-a-Book.” A member of Sisters in Crime
and Mystery Writers of America, she loves solving mysteries of the
cozy type. When she’s not pounding away at her keyboard, she can
usually be found prowling the shelves of a local bookstore or

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Birdplane by Tonya Coffey

Tiny Tom is a little ant with a big dream. He wants to fly above the treetops like the birds. Tiny Tom tries hard to make his dream come true but each time he falls to the ground. Instead of quitting, he never gives up and proves dreams do come true.

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Tonya Coffey

Author’s Bio

Tonya grew up in a small town in southern Kentucky. She was always surrounded by nature whether it was on the farm or in the forest camping with her family. The older she got she realized that she had a vivid imagination and sharing her stories with others gave her hoy. With her husband and two teen sons motivating her, she continues to share her imagination with the world.

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My Review

5 stars

Tiny Tom is an ant that dreams of flying. He crawls up the tree and uses a leaf as a parachute. But soon enough he finds himself on the ground again. He watches the birds and realizes that he needs feathers to fly. But that was not enough. He thinks harder and comes up with a birdplane.

This is a wonderful story of one ant pursuing his dream to fly. He had a couple bumps on his journey but he never quits. What a wonderful story to inspire children to keep pursuing their dreams.

And I have to say that I love the beautifully illustrated story. The drawings really added to the story and helped draw me in. I can see any child loving them.

If you are looking for a quick story for your little one, I strongly recommend getting Birdplane.

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

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The Black Painting


The Black Painting by Neil Olson

An old-money East Coast family faces the suspicious death of its patriarch and the unsolved theft of a Goya painting rumored to be cursed.

There were four cousins in the Morse family: perfect Kenny, the preppy West Coast lawyer; James, the shy but brilliant medical student; his seductive, hard-drinking sister Audrey; and Teresa, youngest and most fragile, haunted by the fear that she has inherited the madness that possessed her father.

Their grandfather summons them to his mansion at Owl’s Point. None of them has visited the family estate since they were children, when a prized painting disappeared: a self-portrait by Goya, rumored to cause madness or death upon viewing. Afterward, the family split apart amid the accusations and suspicions that followed its theft.

Any hope that their grandfather planned to make amends evaporates when Teresa arrives to find the old man dead, his horrified gaze pinned upon the spot where the painting once hung. As the family gathers and suspicions mount, Teresa hopes to find the reasons behind her grandfather’s death and the painting’s loss. But to do so she must uncover ugly family secrets and confront those who would keep them hidden.

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Neil Olson 

Author’s Bio

Neil Olson is the author of THE ICON, a novel of art theft and family intrigue, and the play DEALERS. His second novel, THE BLACK PAINTING, concerning the unsolved theft of a haunted self-portrait by Goya, will be published in January 2018. He lives in New York City with his wife and cat, and works in the publishing industry.

My Review

3 stars

Fifteen years ago the Morse cousins left the family estate after the thief of a cursed Goya painting disappears. The cousins has been summoned back to Owl’s Point. But when Teresa arrives she finds her grandfather dead. It looks like a murder and out of the four cousins, Teresa is the one that is going to find out what happened to both her grandfather and the painting.

But this is one messed up family. Kenny, James, and Audrey have a load of issues and Teresa has a medical condition that she is worried that she has inherited. She seems to be the most honest out of the bunch but she can be unreliable. It seems money is the key factor in both the robbery and murder but the question is who did it and why.

This story reminds me of a gothic mystery. Its dark, dreary, you have money grubbers, mental illness, and a cursed family and painting. There were several characters to keep track of but I found that I didn’t really get to know enough of any of them to really care what was happening to them. But morbid curiosity did have me finishing to book to find out who was the killer/thief.

This is not a bad story, just one that didn’t really draw me in. I think it will be one that you will either like or not.

I received The Black Painting from Harper Collins for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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