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Archive for the ‘5 Star Books’ Category

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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Without Fear or Favor (Butch Karp – 29) by Robert K. Tanenbaum

In the twenty-ninth novel in the New York Times bestselling Karp-Ciampi series featuring the best fictional prosecuting attorney in literature (Mark Lane, #1 New York Times bestselling author), Butch Karp and his wife Marlene Ciampi must stop a radical organization of armed militants bent on the cold-blooded murder of uniformed on-duty police officers.

When a cop shoots down the son of a respected inner-city Baptist preacher, the community rises up in anger and demands to have the officer prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. But there s something more than a call for justice at work here: a plot to bring down the city s police force through a conspiracy so vast and malicious only Butch Karp and his band of truth-seekers can untangle it.

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Author’s Bio

Robert K. Tanenbaum is the New York Times bestselling author of twenty-five legal thrillers and has an accomplished legal career of his own. Before his first book was published, Tanenbaum had already been the Bureau Chief of the Criminal Courts, had run the Homicide Bureau, and had been in charge of the training program for the legal staff for the New York County District Attorney’s Office. He also served as Deputy Chief Counsel to the Congressional Committee investigations into the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. In his professional career, Tanenbaum has never lost a felony case. His courtroom experiences bring his books to life, especially in his bestselling series featuring prosecutor Roger “Butch” Karp and his wife, Marlene Ciampi.

Tanenbaum was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He attended the University of California at Berkeley on a basketball scholarship, and remained at Cal, where he earned his law degree from the prestigious Boalt Hall School of Law. After graduating from Berkeley Law, Tanenbaum moved back to New York to work as an assistant district attorney under the legendary New York County DA Frank Hogan. Tanenbaum then served as Deputy Chief Counsel in charge of the Congressional investigations into the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The blockbuster novel Corruption of Blood (1994), is a fictionalized account of his experience in Washington, D.C.

Tanenbaum returned to the West Coast and began to serve in public office. He was elected to the Beverly Hills City Council in 1986 and twice served as the mayor of Beverly Hills. It was during this time that Tanenbaum began his career as a novelist, drawing from the many fascinating stories of his time as a New York ADA. His successful debut novel, No Lesser Plea (1987), introduces Butch Karp, an assistant district attorney who is battling for justice, and Marlene Ciampi, his associate and love interest. Tanenbaum’s subsequent twenty-two novels portrayed Karp and his crime fighting family and eclectic colleagues facing off against drug lords, corrupt politicians, international assassins, the mafia, and hard-core violent felons.

He has had published eight recent novels as part of the series, as well as two nonfiction titles: The Piano Teacher (1987), exploring his investigation and prosecution of a recidivist psychosexual killer, and Badge of the Assassin (1979), about his prosecution of cop killers, which was made into a movie starring James Woods as Tanenbaum.

Tanenbaum and his wife of forty-three years have three children. He currently resides in California where he has taught Advanced Criminal Procedure at the Boalt Hall School of Law and maintains a private law practice.

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My Review

5 stars

Police officer Tony Cippio takes community policing seriously. He plays basketball with the teens on his beat to show them that he is not the bad guy. He does care and wants to help. But he is gunned down. At the same time an unarmed black teenager is killed by a white police officer. These incidents look separate but attorney Butch Karp has discovered a link and now has to try and convince the jury that there is much more to these two cases than you first see.

In a story that could have been ripped out of today’s headlines, we follow along with several people. Those that want to start chaos by fanning the flames of racial tensions, those that stir the pot to increase their ratings, those that want to look like the hero, and then there is Butch Karp that wants justice.

This is my first Butch Karp story and I loved it. If you like police procedures and well written legal stories, look no further. I was quickly drawn into this story and held tight by the writing. I loved how you see all areas of this world. It is not just racist police officers or those that target police just because that is their job.

This is a great story and a great introduction to the Butch Karp series. I can’t wait to go back and read the story from the start.

I received Without Fear or Favor from FSB Associates for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Preceded by Chaos: Vol. 1 by M. Wheeler

The protagonist, Mitchell Weaver, is a young Emergency Medicine doctor. Mitchell has entered a high stress, distinguished profession with the burden of a variety of particularly disturbing personal demons that he must battle every day in order to maintain the façade of sanity and control. The second installment of the series, Volume +1, documents Mitchell’s state of mind as he tries his hand at decency and sobriety. Whether he nds himself at his job in New York or volunteering in the Dominican Republic, he struggles to suppress hedonistic urges and restructure awed philosophies. Although his attempts to gain control of his life are genuine, the question remains, “Is Mitchell gradually gaining control or is his life slowly falling apart.”

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Author’s Bio

Wheeler held an eclectic series of jobs – including working as a studio engineer and a teacher –

before he entered medical school in his thirties. During his residency while living in New York City, he wrote his first two books which would eventually become the Preceded by Chaos series. Wheeler travels extensively for his job but currently lives in Miami.

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My Review

5 stars

Mitchell Weaver is back from his drug and alcohol fueled trip to Europe in vol. 0 and is working to stay sober. He is allowed to practice medicine after a board review and works in an emergency room. But he is having trouble with his girlfriend. She is insisting on marriage and he doesn’t want that. They are in the process of splitting up when he decides to head to the Dominican Republic and help his friend Natalia with the battered women.

When I read vol. 0 I was so confused as to what is happening and I admit that I didn’t rate it very high and was very reluctant to read vol. 1. After reading vol. 1 I have to say that I really liked the story. Mitchell is trying to stay clean but he is fighting with his girlfriend and thinks spending some time with his friend Natalia will help him figure out what he wants. But it is working with the abused women that opens his eyes.

I really liked this story. It drew me in and I wanted to find out when and where Mitchell is going to find himself. I can’t wait to see what happens in vol. 2, if there is going to be a vol. 2.

I received Preceded by Chaos: Vol. 1 from Authoright Marketing and Publicity for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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Pay the Penance

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Pay the Penance (Mechanic Trilogy -3) by Rob Ashman

A stunning serial killer thriller from The Mechanic Trilogy

Murder. Corruption. Revenge. 

Lucas has been tracking a killer, known as Mechanic, when his world is shattered. Unable to continue his hunt for the murderer he is forced to rely on his friend and colleague Dick Harper. But Harper has a knack for not playing by the rules. And he doesn’t disappoint.

Meanwhile Detective Moran is trying to piece her life back together. The police stumble upon new evidence without grasping its significance and she must divert the investigation if she is to survive.

The police are closer to Mechanic than they realise which puts Moran right in the firing line.

Mechanic, as usual, has other plans and the consequences for Lucas and Harper are terrifying…

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Author’s Bio

Rob is married to Karen with two grown up daughters. He is originally from South Wales and after moving around with work settled in North Lincolnshire where he’s spent the last twenty-two years.

Like all good welsh valley boys Rob worked for the National Coal Board after leaving school at sixteen and went to University at the tender age of twenty-three when the pit closures began to bite. Since then he’s worked in a variety of manufacturing and consulting roles both in the UK and abroad.

It took Rob twenty-four years to write his first book. He only became serious about writing it when his dad got cancer. It was an aggressive illness and Rob gave up work for three months to look after him and his mum. Writing Those That Remain became his coping mechanism. After he wrote the book his family encouraged him to continue, so not being one for half measures, Rob got himself made redundant, went self-employed so he could devote more time to writing and four years later the Mechanic Trilogy is the result.

When he is not writing, Rob is a frustrated chef with a liking for beer and prosecco, and is known for occasional outbreaks of dancing.

Rob will be publishing all three books in the Mechanic Trilogy with Bloodhound Books – the second novel is titled In Your Name and the third is called Pay The Penance.

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My Review

5 stars

Lucas’ world came to an end in In Your Name. He is broken, shattered, and although he still wants to stop the Mechanic he can’t. He sends Harper to do the work, but Harper has a bad habit of not following instructions. Lucas also calls in Moran who has trying to put the last year behind her and move on. Moran has cut Lucas and Harper out of her life and tried to sweep her connection to them under the rug so her supervisors don’t find out. But Lucas draws her in again to fight to stop the Mechanic.

I have not gotten the chance to read book two but I had no problem hopping into Pay the Penance, I’m sure this is from having some background with Those That Remain. I felt horrible for Lucas, especially when you learn what happened just before the main event. I can understand how everything has gone to hell in the last year. I also understand why Moran doesn’t want to have anything to do with this. But they are the ones who have to stop the Mechanic, willing or not.

This is a great story and an amazing end to the series. Lots of action, blood, and death but that’s what I come to expect. I will definitely be getting In Your Name to find out what I missed. But if you like high octane thrillers I strongly recommend checking out the Mechanic series.

I received Pay the Penance from Bloodhound Books for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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The Luster of Lost Things by Sophie Chen Keller

In this story for readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and A Man Called Ove, when all seems lost, he finds what matters most.

Walter Lavender Jr. is a master of finding. A wearer of high-tops. A maker of croissants. A son keeping vigil, twelve years counting.

But he wouldn’t be able to tell you. Silenced by his motor speech disorder, Walter’s life gets lonely. Fortunately, he has The Lavenders—his mother’s enchanted dessert shop, where marzipan dragons breathe actual fire. He also has a knack for tracking down any missing thing—except for his lost father.

So when the Book at the root of the bakery’s magic vanishes, Walter, accompanied by his overweight golden retriever, journeys through New York City to find it—along the way encountering an unforgettable cast of lost souls.

Steeped in nostalgic wonder, The Luster of Lost Things explores the depths of our capacity for kindness and our ability to heal. A lyrical meditation on why we become lost and how we are found, from the bright, broken heart of a boy who knows where to look for everyone but himself.

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 Sophie Chen Keller

Author’s Bio

Sophie Chen Keller is the author of The Luster of Lost Things. She was born in China and raised in Ohio and California. Her short fiction has won several awards and has appeared in publications such as Glimmer Train and Pedestal. After graduating from Harvard, she moved to New York City, where she currently resides with her husband and a not-so-secret cabinet of sweets.

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My Review

5 stars

Walter Lavender Jr. is a special boy that has a motor speech disorder that keeps him from speaking. Because of being bullied for it, Walter doesn’t talk which limits his world. He finds peace in his mother’s store, The Lavenders amount the clients and staff. The Lavenders is an enchanted bakery where the pastries come to life, which is what it did until the special book that powers these creations is stolen and a new landlord decides to close down the shop. Walter decides to brave the world with his Golden Retriever Milton and hunt down the magical book. This is going to be an adventure where Walter finds more than just the book and opens up to the world.

Walter is a great kid that is so special yet bullied to the point of silence. My heart just broke for him but I knew that this little adventure would be the best thing for him. He finds lost and forgotten things and comes across several people that fit into that category. I love how the people he meets adds to this widening world of his.

This is a magical story, quite literally of a boy finding his place in the world as he tries to rescue his mother’s bakery. It’s also so sad when you hear the different stories from the forgotten and abandoned people that he meets. It was a great read and one that I think most people will enjoy.

I received The Luster of Lost Things from Penguin Random House for free. This has in no way influenced my opinion of this book.

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The Policewoman

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The Policewoman by Justin Roberts

Narcoterrorism wreaks havoc on the world as drug cartels operate as dominating, murderous dictatorships. The powerful Irish Drug Cartel has set up drug manufacturing plants around the world and they will kill anyone who gets in their way. Sarah is an ambitious policewoman from an antiterrorist unit. She’s also smart, beautiful, and extremely good at her job, which is why she is assigned to an Interpol Incident Response Team in Manchester, set up to find and stop The Cartel. Alongside colleagues from the United Kingdom’s SAS, she must quickly learn new Close Quarters Battle tactics and apply them to a vengeful and threatening battlefield. Sarah’s investigation appears to be going well until the fight turns personal. She must now struggle to save her friends, family, and even herself. Spanning the globe with a keen knowledge of special forces tactics and some genuinely shocking twists, this book warns of a bloody, drug-addled future we may soon face.

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 Justin W.M. Roberts

Author’s Bio

Justin W.M. Roberts was born in London, son of a British Army General, and grew up in Hong Kong, Germany, and England. After graduating from Hull university with a degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Psychology, he continued traveling and living Europe, Africa, and Asia.

He currently lives in Indonesia where he is an analyst of political affairs and an active promoter of secular humanism.

Authors of military thrillers are welcome to PM him for book reviews.

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My Review

5 stars

Sarah Michelle Dharmawan works in the special forces in Indonesia. Because of her training and experiences she is asked to help out a special Interpol team that is looking into an Irish drug cartel that is setting up in Ireland, England, and Indonesia. It seems the cartel is filled with former British military that are willing to do whatever it takes to keep the cartel running. Sarah is about to have a crash course training with her new team to be able to fight the cartel people. But at the same time she has found someone that she cares for in Michael. But this is not really an environment to start a relationship in.

I loved all of the training and fighting in this book. You can tell that Justin Roberts has some real life training. I just love books and movies with realistic action. Truth be told, my all-time favorite part of the book was when Sarah meets everyone and they are going to issue her a weapon and she shows that she brought her own. YEAH! A woman after my own heart.

This is a great story that will keep you on your toes. It doesn’t spare details which just makes it so much more believable and realistic. I admit that the first part of the book dragged a little for me as we got to know everyone and got the setting built. After that things start flying and I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough or wait to finish at another time.

This is a great story and one that I recommend reading. It’s a great read and an amazing debut. Justin Roberts is an author to keep an eye on.

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

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Pearls of Daily Life – Short Stories and Poems on Self-Discovery by Antonia Loschner

In the hurly-burly of daily life, all too often, the Self happens to get lost. However, with its overall knowledge of our needs and strengths, it would by far be the best personal advisor we can have. This collection of short stories and poems invites a journey of discovery. Diverse but amicable characters are experiencing the joy of rediscovering their Self in manifold situations of everyday life. A pocket book for small breaks in-between: to explore, reflect, dream, chuckle and relax.

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Antonia Löschner 

Author’s Bio

Hello!

I am a socio-cultural anthropologist and certified mediator working as an international life and career coach for life transitions. Since I know from my professional and personal experiences that finding one’s Self and considering one’s needs and strengths is the key to a fulfilling and happy life, my fiction and non-fiction writing revolves around those topics. Especially our introvert, intuitive and creative personality aspects are often neglected in a fast-paced, money-oriented world and might like some more involvement. Therefore my Bookshelves present books of people whose works allow us to experience ourselves emotionally or let us understand even better the human mind. I absolutely recommend all those books, always provided that they are read reflectively.

All the best!
Antonia

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My Review

5 stars

Our lives are really busy. We rush through home life to get to a hectic work life. Rush to get all of the tasks in work done in a day then rush back home to get food made, the family organized, and prepare for the next day. It’s easy to lose our sense of self in this jumble we call life and it’s easy to let outside events affect us. Even the miscommunication with those we love can throw us for a loop. Things like these make us feel bitter and like there is nothing for us in this life.

But simply making time for ourselves, doing something we enjoy, and sharing with others our passions can make a difference in our lives. This short book is a collection of poems and stories about that. How can we take a moment and change it for the better? How important is something you do or who you spend your time with? What are you willing to do to make yourself or someone else happy?

It’s easy to forget about the little things that mean so much to all of us. This book is a great way to remind ourselves to do something for us, to learn how important it is to take time for ourselves, and how simple things like this make our lives so much easier.

I admit that I’m not really a poetry person. But I really liked how this short book made a point of how important you are and how we need to spend time with ourselves to really enjoy life. This is a great little book and one I strongly recommend reading. It will surprise you.

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

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