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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

[Blog Tour Review, Excerpt & Giveaway] The Blue Hour by Vicki Righettini





The Blue Hour: A NovelSometimes you get a second chance to live the life you’ve always wanted…if you’re brave enough to take the chance.

In this epic tale of love, loss, and redemption, the year is 1861, a time when women are expected to be married by a certain age. At 26, spinster Emily Wainwright has no reason to believe her sheltered life will ever change — until the charming Samuel Todd unexpectedly crosses her path.

Samuel yearns to homestead and start a family in Oregon, but he first needs to find a wife. Blinded by Samuel’s good looks, and grasping at her final chance to have a husband and children, Emily accepts his marriage proposal. However, Samuel is not the man she thought he was, and her marriage becomes a cold, cruel prison, offering her no solace amidst the hardships of farm life.

When Samuel dies and a second chance at love and happiness arrives in the form of farmhand Cole Walker, Emily must overcome her bitter past—or risk losing Cole and the life she has always dreamed of having.
 

It's no secret on the blog that I'm an avid lover of historical fiction especially historical fiction with a strong female lead and Vicki Righettini put forth a wonderfully written debut showcasing her newcomer talents.

Emily Wainwright is our 26 year old heroine, She's intelligent, resourceful, steadfast and very much a woman after my own heart. I loved everything about her. She was perfectly imperfect in her actions through out the whole novel. I might not have always found myself agreeing with her choices that she was making especially in terms of Samuel (her husband). Yet, there was so much to like about her. Her kindness, her willingness not to give up in the face of extreme adversity while dealing with her husband's wretched red hot temper and the uncertainty of being a woman travelling the Oregon trail in the 1860's. I found her to be rather inspiring, perhaps because I, like Emily am 26 and I find our lives so different from each other. In her day at 26 years old she was shelved as a spinster, yet my peers are considered much to young to get married. I found Vicki Righettini writing of her to be beautiful. Rarely do I find such a character that is so well written that I should like to be their friend but in The Blue Hour she certainly did it.

In my reading of it, found it to be rich in historical details. As a Canadian I have very limited knowledge of many things that American's would know already. I'd never even heard of the Oregon Trail before and I'm a die hard reader. I enjoyed seeing the authors take on the social injustices that were the norm of Emily's day. To me there's nothing like reading a book about women pioneers and Emily certainly was a trailblazer that while not a real person, was inspiring nonetheless.

I reveled in being transported to the Oregon Trail with Emily. The smell of the rich dirt, mixed with the musty smell of leaves, to the warm smell of valley's of tall grass baking in the sun I couln't help but fall in love with the picture of the setting that the author put forth.

For me this book was part historical fiction (with a tad bit of romance to help our dear Emily get through hell), and part love letter to the world of yesterday. From the rich, vibrant details of the setting to the outstanding characters falling all over the spectrum from ally to enemy I couldn't help but fall in love with the Oregon Trail of The Blue Hour.

I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for an amazing historical fiction read with a great character who will make your heart ache when hers break and glow in her times of joy as well as an amazing plotline. This is a book I can see re-reading this one later on if life.



Excerpt:

The travelers arrived at Independence Rock – the great register of the desert – on schedule and in time to observe the Fourth of July. One man dug a string of firecrackers out of his wagon, and the young boys had a fine time setting them off. But this was mere overture to the bombs bursting in air for the country’s 86th birthday celebration. As was his custom – and against Jack Brand’s decree – Jim Connor lifted the ban on rifle fire for this one night. Gun shots and inebriated, patriotic oratory soon echoed throughout the camp.

Emily escaped the free-for-all by joining a group of women trekking to Independence Rock, the most famous landmark on the trail. On this night the excursion seemed fitting, even after walking all day. More to the point, if she stayed in camp she might be hit by a stray bullet. If the men were so intent on shooting each other, why didn’t they go fight in the civil war?
 As they walked to the vast monument, Delia mused that it looked like a giant turtle’s back. Another woman said it resembled an enormous whale from Melville’s Moby-Dick. Emily remembered reading the book by the fireside in her father’s study. Heavens, how long ago had that been? Not that long, really. It was hard to imagine she’d ever had time to settle in for a good, long read; harder still to imagine she ever would again.
At the rock, the women hiked up their skirts and scaled the crumbling granite, combing the surface for recognizable names, daubed in axle grease or carved into the rock. Some of the carvings were beautifully rendered and must have taken days to complete.

When they reached the top, Emily settled in to admire the sunset while the others added their names to the rock. She wondered how they could think their marks would last. Inscriptions just a few years old were fading, blasted away by wind-driven sand. A few perused the monument as if it were a newspaper, their eyes bright with hope that someone they knew had gotten this far – anything to give them the will to continue. Emily let them search. Instead, she reveled in the cool evening and the fiery sunset. For the rest of her days, whenever she thought of the American West, she would recall the vivid scene before her: the vast darkening sky with its massing clouds of purple and blazing scarlet, the glowing russet sandstone, and at the horizon a sunset of pure, molten gold.

Before lighting their candles to descend the rock, the women stood with her and watched the fading rays. Ahead was a sobering view of the Wind River Mountains, their snow-capped peaks aflame in the setting sun. The thought of scaling those mountains stirred in them equal parts anticipation and dread. Perhaps the men were right to celebrate and forget about the road ahead.

They arrived back at camp only to step into the middle of a heated debate over hunting rules and the rate of travel. Emily went directly to the wagon. As she slipped under the covers, she prayed she’d get to sleep before any fighting broke out. The Indians must be laughing at them, the way.their men were always at each other. There was nothing the Indians could do to them that they weren’t already doing to themselves.

Giveaway: 

Win a copy of The Blue Hour by Vicki Righettini
.  Print is open to Canada and the U.S. only however, ebook is open worldwide. 
*Comment with your name, e-mail and whether you qualify for the print or e-book.

Friday, April 21, 2017

[Blog Tour Review & Giveaway]* A Question of Devotion: A Mrs. B Mystery (A Mrs B Mystery Book 1) by Anita Kulina





A Question of Devotion: A Mrs. B Mystery (A Mrs B Mystery Book 1)Then she saw it – a sheet of paper in the mailbox, underneath the mail. It was white with large black letters and said LEAVE IT ALONE.

Mrs. B has a quiet life, and she likes it that way. Morning pinochle games at St. Mary’s Senior Center. Afternoon lunches with Myrtle, Anne and Rose. Peaceful evenings with a cup of coffee and the classic movie channel.

But one day she wakes to a phone call, which leads to consequences she could never have foreseen. Secrets snowball and threaten to change the neighborhood of Burchfield forever. Someone has to make things right. It’s up to Mrs. B.

Summary & Cover taken from Goodreads.com 

The first book in the cozy Mrs. B mystery series was just as delightful as you would expect with an older sleuth in the leading role. I was a little partial to the her because I had a delightful teacher once upon a time that went my the name Mrs. B so I was already set to like her, but I ended up loving her just for who she was.
Mrs. B was a lovely character. She wasn't the bumbling kind of older sleuth at all, she was kind, intelligent and ultimately has a flare for solving crime. I loved that she didn't pretend to be anyone other than herself. In solving the mystery she isn't afraid to help out a friend indeed, making new friends (and enemie) along the way.
At 133 pages long this was a warm, feel good, all around well written first book in a delightful cozy mystery series from an author that was new to me, but one who I will be sure to check out further and hopefully read more from soon.
I would recommend this to any one. From fans of the genre to newcomers this is a great little intro to the world of cozies. There's plenty of laughs to be had and I can't see where Mrs. B's antics take her next.

*Note I'm posting this a few days late and would like to extend my apologies to the author an organizer of the tour. I was dealing with a private family matter at the time and got my post dates confused*



Excerpt:

Mrs. B did her best to focus on the pinochle game. They played another hand, and only bickered once when Don was dealing and Vic thought he had dealt Mike one too many cards and shorted Vic. Which, to no one’s surprise, turned out not to be the case. After the second hand they all got up, took a restroom break, got another cup of coffee—or in Old Mike’s case, tea—and went back to the table.
Mrs. B stood behind her chair for a second, to see if she could see what Myrtle was doing, but from that vantage point all she could see was the back of Myrtle’s head.
The deal and the rest of the game, as usual, were silent except for the bidding and an occasional exclamation or grunt if someone made an unexpected play. Vic tallied up the score and read it off. Then all four of them got up and walked toward the kitchen and then to the back of the room for lunch. The men headed toward long tables to the right. Mrs. B went to the left where the ladies congregated at little card tables, each with a centerpiece of cheerful pink plastic roses.
Sometimes I feel like a kid in a school cafeteria, Mrs. B thought as she made her way toward Anne, Myrtle and Rose, already sitting at one of the square tables toward the back of the room.
On her way, Mrs. B passed the mahjong ladies. Most of them spoke only Chinese, so they usually kept to themselves. Lily, who spoke English, waved her hand in greeting as Mrs. B passed.
Mrs. B said “Nee how” to everyone, the way Lily taught her to years ago. Two of the ladies looked up and said, “Ni hao!” The others waved and smiled.
At the lunch table, Mrs. B’s beige plastic tray made a comforting sound as it hit the tabletop. Myrtle looked good. Cheerful, even.
These three women were Mrs. B’s closest friends at the Senior Center. She met Anne Barker when she and Albert first moved to Burchfield. Anne’s cousin Mary owned the Burchfield Grill, where Mrs. B and Albert used to stop for fish sandwiches on Friday nights before the children were born. Anne had lived in Burchfield all her life and she seemed to be related, through blood or marriage, to half the people in the neighborhood. Glamorous by Burchfield standards, Anne had been a model in the days when artists drew clothing for newspaper ads. She still got her hair done every week at the beauty parlor, and her clothes were always the prettiest colors.
Myrtle Monaghan’s curly hair was, as usual, sticking out all over the place from under her pink hair band. Myrtle was normally sweet and full of sunshine. She grew up in Burchfield, too, in the little house where she raised her own family and still lived now.
Rose O’Malley—little, quiet Rose—moved to Burchfield when she got married, just like Mrs. B did. A private person, Rose was. None of the other ladies at the table had ever even met her before she started coming to the Senior Center, though of course
they would see her at Mass from time to time. Rose’s husband was retired from the police force and her son was a detective. That was all they knew about her. Rose looked like she might be Italian, but Mrs. B wasn’t even sure about that.
“We were talking about something on TV last night,” Anne said as Mrs. B steadied herself on the table with one hand and pulled out her chair with the other.
“Did you watch channel 13? It was one of those nature specials,” Myrtle said. Rose looked up and nodded at Mrs. B, then continued fussing with her macaroni and cheese.
“I was watching a movie,” Mrs. B said.
“It was all about walruses. They’re big, fat buggers,” Myrtle said.
“I think my first husband was a walrus,” Anne said. They all giggled.
The rest of the lunch was like any other of the numerous lunches they had shared together. Myrtle seemed perfectly fine. Why, Mrs. B thought. Why the sudden change? 

GIVEAWAY:
Dear readers! There is a book available for giveaway is for the choice of one Print or ebook.  Print is open to Canada & the U.S. only.
Leave your E-mail address (or e-mail me Kimberly at Turning,the.pages@hotmail.com) your name, e-mail address and specify whether you live in the U.S., Canada or abroad.
Giveaway ends April 28th!



Wednesday, April 12, 2017

[Blog Tour Review & Giveaway]* A Fine Yar For Murder (A Thorny Rose Mystery #2) by Lauren Carr






A Fine Year for Murder (A Thorny Rose Mystery Book 2)
After months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect … except in the middle of the night when, in darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy.


When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family living near a winery owned by distant relatives she was visiting and suppressed the memory.

Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple?

Summary & Cover taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 335 pages (Kindle)
Source: Review Copy
Series: A Thorny Rose Mystery
Available Formats: Print/Kindle/Audio
Publication Date: January 30th 2017 by Acorn Book Services
Buy Links: Amazon - B&N

Set a few months in the future from the events that took place in the first book in the series and it was nice to see Jessica and Murphy again and see who they've settled into their marriage along with their merry band of animal sidekicks whom I was so happy to see again. Seriously the animal shenanigans in the books give the books some really good laugh out loud which I soooo loved.

This one was again surprising, even though I was surprised that Kill and Run (the first book) was a little more on the darker side than I expected I thought that it might be one of those deals where that was just to get readers attatched to the characters. But, this one was just as dark as the first and even more gut wrenching.

This was such an exciting, thrilling, gut wrenching follow up to the first book in the series that I read it in one sitting. Well one day/evening. Seriously! We had a bit of nasty weather the day I read this one and I was super excited to spend the day snuggled up with the furbabies seeing the story unfold on my mind. This book breaks the usual standard that sophmore books in a series have of not standing up to the first book. The mystery was flawlessly woven together and I really enjoyed how the ending came to fruition. The characters were more at home with themselves (nothing wrong with them in the first book btw) but it was nice to catch up with them and see how their work is changing not only them but their relationship.

This is another one that I would absolutely recommend to people but I have to say based on my experience, read the first book. I know someone who read these out of order and while she didn't have any issues in doing so, when she finished the first book (after she mistakenly read book two first) said that it filled in some gaps for her. In general though, mystery fans who want a hot couple as the main characters in a crime solving duo that is a medium on the dark aspects of the genre check these books out.

If you haven't yet read the first book, and this series is completely new to you, I reviewed the first book on my blog yesterday and you can find my review by clicking here.






AUTHOR BIO:

Lauren Carr
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!
Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with Lauren: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook


GIVEAWAY:


if-youre-here-blinkie

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

[Blog Tour Review & Giveaway]* Kill and Run (A Thorny Rose Mystery #1) by Lauren Carr







Kill and Run (Thorny Rose Mysteries, #1)
Five women with seemingly nothing in common are found brutally murdered in a townhome outside Washington, DC. Among the many questions surrounding the massacre is what had brought these apparent strangers together only to be killed. Taking on his first official murder case, Lieutenant Murphy Thornton, USN, believes that if he can uncover the thread connecting the victims, then he can find their murderer. Before long, the case takes an unexpected turn when Murphy discovers that one of the victims has a connection to his stepmother, Homicide Detective Cameron Gates. One wintry night, over a dozen years before, her first husband, a Pennsylvania State trooper, had been run down while working a night shift on the turnpike. 

In this first installment of the Thorny Rose Mysteries, the Lovers in Crime join newlyweds Lieutenant Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday to sift through a web of lies and cover-ups. Together, can the detectives of the Thorny Rose uncover the truth without falling victim to a cunning killer? 
Summary & Cover taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 424 pages (Paperback)
Source: Review Copy
Publication Date: July 20th 2015 by Acorn Book Services
Genre: Mystery
Series: A Thorny Rose Mystery
Available Formats: Print/E-book/Audiobook
Buy Links: AMAZON - B&N


I've been meaning to read Lauren Carr for years, I remember when I first started blogging and everyone was reading her books and I had every intention of trying her sooner...but well..you guys probably know what happened. My little to read pile took on a life of its own and a lot of books got pushed down on my list.

Do not let the purple cover lull you into a false sense of security. This is not your grandma's cozy mystery. Kill and Run is the first in a surprisingly dark and sexy mystery/thriller series. I was one of those people who took one look at the cover and thought I knew what I was getting into but ended up being pleasantly surprised!

I enjoyed that Kill and Run was not just my first venture into Carr's writing but also Murphy (the male lead's) first case as well and what a case to have. Five dead women seemingly unconnected at first but as he pulls the threads of their lives finds a connection that's closer to home than he'd like and with a little help from his new bride Jessica Faraday things become very clear to him that nothing is as it seems.

There were lots of plot twists and turn in this one and just when I thought I knew what was going on with the murderer and the characters, the author switched things around on me and I loved it! The characters were great and there was more than just brutal murders to keep me interested in the story. The two main characters Murphy and Jessica were great together. They played off each other well and they sounded like a real married couple to me. I love how they bickered together but boy the steam coming off them sometimes made it hard to read! Plus there were a lot of laughs (and a lot of animals) to off set the darker undertones of the series as well.

Overall, this one surprised me a lot in a great ways. The writing is great, face paced and both the characters and the plot had substance. I didn't find either lacking and I'm super stoked that the author lived up to my expectations. I'm only sorry that I haven't tried Lauren Carr's books sooner. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a murder mystery with an edge. Not sure I would call this a thriller but it's definitely very edgy and isn't one that I'd miss.






AUTHOR BIO:


Lauren Carr
Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!


Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, son, and four dogs (including the real Gnarly) on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with Lauren: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook




GIVEAWAY:


if-youre-here-blinkie

Monday, April 10, 2017

[Review]* Geekerella by Ashley Poston


GeekerellaCinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale.

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.
Summary & Cover taken from Goodreads.com
Length: 320 pages (Paperback)
Source: Publisher
Genre: YA Romance
Series: N/A
Available Formats: Print/E-book/Audiobook
Buy Links: AMAZON.CA - AMAZON.COM - KOBO - AUDIBLE - Indigo


I've reviewed a lot of books over the last 6 years on my blog, but one genre that seams to be under represented on here is Contemporary YA. That's because I'm not the biggest fan of the genre because so many of the stories seem the same to me so when I got the review request for Geekerella I was both excited and hesitant. Excited because I loved the synopsis on the back. Who doesn't love cosplay? Hesitant because I was slightly worried that it the quirkiness of Elle would be mentioned a few times and then be left sitting in a pile of used plot devices. But dear reader I am beyond pleased to say that Geekerella blew my mind. In a completely awesome, unexpected, so much more than I expected kind of way. 

Elle is hands down, not a doubt in my mind one of the best main characters in a young adult novel that I've ever read. She's everything I wanted in a modern day Cinderella. She was sweet and sassy, quirky and in your face about what she does or doesn't like and I loved her for it. She's a straight shooter, no holds bar type of girl who while she can be shy doesn't let it define her and she's all about her fandom and cosplaying. Basically she is who I wanted to be in high school but didn't feel free enough to be. I thought that having a geeky Cinderella was amazing. Nothing against the traditional Cinderella, but it was nice to see her getting a bit of an alternative spin and a very well written one.

Darien was a great male lead. I was a little iffy about him in the beginning because I had the same reservations about him that Ella did but halfway through and he had my inner teenage girl swooning. He was the perfect imperfect prince charming and I loved seeing his own insecurities come out. As a whole the two of them were just adorable.

Ashley Poston did the old fairy tale justice by giving it a funny modern twist. It was cute and sweet with out being toothachingly so and had just amount of edge to make the characters seam realistic. I love how no character was really perfect, because no one is in real life and it was nice to see geek culture represented so well. My only issue with the author is since Geekerella just came out there's an unknown wait for her next book (which I'm hoping there will be!).

I highly recommend this for my fellow lovers of fairy tale retellings, geek girls, and cosplayers. This one is one of my favourite YA reads and I think everyone should give it a try.




It's Monday! What Are You Reading #139



It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!


READ THE LAST 2 WEEKS:

Kill and Run (A Thorny Rose Mysteries #1) by Lauren Carr 
REVIEW ON TUESDAY!

Kill and Run (Thorny Rose Mysteries, #1)Five women with seemingly nothing in common are found brutally murdered in a townhome outside Washington, DC. Among the many questions surrounding the massacre is what had brought these apparent strangers together only to be killed. Taking on his first official murder case, Lieutenant Murphy Thornton, USN, believes that if he can uncover the thread connecting the victims, then he can find their murderer. The case takes an unexpected turn when Murphy discovers that one of the victims has a connection to his stepmother, Homicide Detective Cameron Gates. One wintry night, over a dozen years before, her first husband, a Pennsylvania State trooper, had been run down while working a night shift on the turnpike. In this first installment of the Thorny Rose Mysteries, the Lovers in Crime join newlyweds Murphy Thornton and Jessica Faraday to sift through a web of lies and cover-ups. Together, can the detectives of the Thorny Rose uncover the truth without falling victim to a cunning killer?
ADD TO GOODREADS

A Fine Year for Murder (A Thorny Rose Mystery #2) by Lauren Carr
REVIEW ON WEDNESDAY
A Fine Year for Murder (A Thorny Rose Mystery Book 2)

After ten months of marital bliss, Jessica Faraday and Murphy Thornton are still discovering and adjusting to their life together. Settled in their new home, everything appears to be perfect … except in the middle of the night when, in the darkest shadows of her subconscious, a deep secret from Jessica’s past creeps to the surface to make her strike out at Murphy. 
When investigative journalist Dallas Walker tells the couple about her latest case, known as the Pine Bridge Massacre, they realize Jessica may have witnessed the murder of a family while visiting family at the winery near-by, and suppressed the memory. 
Determined to uncover the truth and find justice for the murder victims, Jessica and Murphy return to the scene of the crime with Dallas Walker, a spunky bull-headed Texan. Can this family reunion bring closure for a community touched by tragedy or will this prickly get-together bring an end to the Thorny Rose couple? 

ADD TO GOODREADS

Geekerella by Ashley Poston 
REVIEW UP TODAY!

GeekerellaCinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale.
Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.
Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.
 

ADD TO GOODREADS

The Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan 
REVIEW UP THURSDAY

In The Weight of Him Billy Brennan undergoes an unforgettable journey in a startling attempt to resurrect his family and reignite hearts, his own most of all.
The Weight of HimAt four hundred pounds, Billy can always count on food. From his earliest memories, he has loved food's colors, textures and tastes. The way flavors go off in his mouth. How food keeps his mind still and his bad feelings quiet. Food has always made everything better, until the day Billy's beloved son Michael takes his own life.
Billy determines to make a difference in Michael's memory and undertakes a public weight-loss campaign, to raise money for suicide prevention--his first step in an ambitious plan to save himself, and to save others. However, Billy's dramatic crusade appalls his family, who want to simply try to go on, quietly, privately.
Despite his crushing detractors, Billy gains welcome allies: his community-at-large; a co-worker who lost his father to suicide; a filmmaker with his own dubious agenda; and a secret, miniature kingdom that Billy populates with the sub-quality dolls and soldiers he saves from disposal at the toy factory where he works. But it is only if Billy can confront the truth of the suffering and brokenness within and around him that he and others will be able to realize the recovery they need.
Told against the picturesque yet haunting backdrop of rural, contemporary Ireland, The Weight of Him is a big-hearted novel about loss and reliance that moves from tragedy to recrimination to what can be achieved when we take the stand of our lives.


The Devil's Country by Harry Hunsicker
REVIEW UP FRIDAY

The Devil's Country
Former Texas Ranger Arlo Baines didn’t come to the tiny West Texas town of Piedra Springs to cause trouble. After his wife and children were murdered, Arlo just wants to be left alone. Moving from place to place seems to be the only thing that eases the pain of his family’s violent end.
But a chance encounter outside a bar forces him to rescue a terrified woman and her children from mysterious attackers. When the woman turns up murdered the next day—her children missing—Arlo becomes the primary suspect in exactly the same type of crime he is trying desperately to forget.
Haunted by the fate of his family, and with the police questioning the existence of the dead woman’s children, Arlo decides it’s his duty to find them. The question is, just how deep will he have to sink into the dusty secrets of Piedra Springs to save them and clear his name?
 

CURRENTLY READING: 


The Burning Land (The Saxon Stories #5) by Bernard Cornwell

The Burning Land (The Saxon Stories, #5)The enemy is massing on the borders, a united force for once.
The king, a man of many victories, is in failing health, and his heir is an untested youth.
Uthred, the king's champion, leads his country's forces to war, but his victory is soured by personal tragedy and by the envy of the king's court. So he breaks with the king and takes off for the land of his birth, determined to resist all calls for his return. That is, until one unexpected request...
This is the making of England brought magnificently to life by the master of historical fiction.
ADD TO GOODREADS

Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter #9) by Nalini Singh

Archangel's Heart (Guild Hunter, #9)New York Times bestselling author Nalini Singh takes us into a dangerous and exhilarating world where a deadly, beautiful archangel and his once-mortal consort are caught in a fury of twisted darkness…
One of the most vicious archangels in the world has disappeared. No one knows if Lijuan is dead or has chosen to Sleep the long sleep of an immortal. But with her lands falling into chaos under a rising tide of vampiric bloodlust, a mysterious and ancient order of angels known as the Luminata calls the entire Cadre together to discuss the fate of her territory.
Accompanying her archangelic lover Raphael to the Luminata compound, guild hunter-turned-angel Elena senses that all is not as it seems. Secrets echo from within the stone walls of the compound, and the deeper Elena goes, the uglier the darkness. But neither Raphael nor Elena is ready for the brutal truths hidden within—truths that will change everything Elena thinks she knows about who she is…
Nothing will ever be the same again.
 

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