I Liked my life

I Liked my life
I Liked My Life

The Widow of Wall Street

The Widow of Wall Street
The Widow of Wall Street by Randy Susan Meyers

Friday, November 29, 2013

A COUNTERFEIT CHRISTMAS SUMMONS BY AVA STONE


A Counterfeit Christmas Summons by Ava Stone is a 2013 Night Shift publishing regency novella. I picked this one up a week or so ago for free in the kindle store.

Emma has been in love with Viscount Heathfield most of her life. Heath is a close friend of her brother Drew. But, Drew hasn't been inclined to concern himself with Emma's love life, so she takes matters into her own hands by inviting Heath to visit Drew. The catch is she makes the letter look as though Drew was the one doing the inviting. Drew isn't even at the castle and knows nothing about any letter.
Heath is mystified when he receives a summons to visit Drew. The tone of the letter and the language didn't sound like Drew. But, he decides to make the journey and bring along a companion.
Upon arrival at the castle, Heath begins putting two and two together.

I enjoyed this light hearted regency romance. A comedy of mix ups and misunderstandings bring two people together who were meant to be.
The only complaint for me was that it was just too short, making things feels a little too rushed. I often feel that way with novellas and short stories so it may just be me. I still enjoyed the book and recommend it for a holiday read to those that enjoy historical romances. This is a really fun read!
Overall this one is an A-

Thursday, November 28, 2013

KING AND MAXWELL BY DAVID BALDACCI

King and Maxwell by David Baldacci is a Grand Central Publication released in November 2013. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

In this sixth installment of the King and Maxwell series, we start off with Sean and Michelle coping with Michelle's near death experience and the physical and emotional scars left behind. As they are about to make plans to take a vacation, they find themselves in yet another murky situation they pretty much just stumbled upon.

Tyler is a teenage boy who has just learned his father was killed in action in Afghanistan. He is left behind with a step mother that isn't the warmest person in the world. The other issue Tyler is dealing with is an email from his father sent AFTER his father was allegedly killed.

Sam, Tyler's father, accepted a mission in Afghanistan. Things didn't exactly go as planned and now Sam is being hunted by his own country.

Tyler has asked King and Maxwell for help. But, there are people that do not want them involved and make that crystal clear, not only to Sean and Michelle, but to Tyler and a few other people that became involved, including the unlikely source of Sean's seldom discussed ex-wife.

After years of reading The Camel Club series, I started reading the King and Maxwell series too. The first book in the series left me a little underwhelmed, I must admit. However, I didn't want to dismiss the series out of hand. After reading a few more King and Maxwell novels I have been thankful I stuck with it.

This plot was very detailed. Greed and revenge motivated the operation that snared Sam into a plot he patriotically accepted, that was anything but. Baldacci provided an emotional story about a strong father/son relationship and opened new doors in the relationship between Sean and Michelle, which could prove very interesting in the future.

Overall a satisfying addition to the series. This one is an A.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

THE CHEER IN CHARMING THE EARL BY EMMA LOCKE

The Cheer in Charming the Earl is a 2013 Intrepid publication. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher and Netgalley.

Elinor Conley is still in search of a husband. When she spies Grantham Wendell, The Earl of Chelford, she just knows he is the one.
So, now she must somehow put herself in his path. Her scheme could ruin her reputation, cause her to lose the Earl, and maybe even her life.
But Elinor is shocked to learn the Earl was spending his holiday with women of a certain ilk. The Earl becomes suspicious of Elinor and becomes convinced she is after his money.
What Elinor doesn't know is that the Earl is suffering from grief and has not allowed himself to really enjoy life in many years.
Elinor is innocent and her motives are pure, but can the two of them put their preconceived notions to rest or will outside forces come between them?

This Regency period Christmas Novella is part of the Naughty Sisters series. A delightful Christmas themed romance. Overall a B+

HOMES PUN HUMOR BY DAVID R. YALE

Homes Pun Humor by David R. Yale is a Healthy Relationship Press publication, released in September 2013. I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

We've all heard that phrase "No Pun Intended". In this book the pun IS intended. There are over one hundred pages of puns and plays on words. I am amazed that David can think up this many puns or "quips". I like to keep this type of book around for many reasons. For one thing, it makes me think a little. They are good brain exercises. Secondly, these are funny! Who doesn't like a good joke? There were only a handful of these phrases that you wouldn't want to repeat to your grandmother, but mostly these are jokes that can be told to any audience.
This type of book doesn't have to be read all at once. In fact, I didn't just sit down and read it cover to cover like I would a novel. I picked it up and read a little of it in the evenings until I had read all the jokes/puns etc. Certainly, there are few that are "cheesy", but that actually made them even funnier. But, there were some that had me groaning and rolling my eyes. LOL
All I can say is that the author as a unique talent for word plays and has carved out a niche for himself few could top.
Overall this is a delightful book to use if you need a clean joke for an occasion, or if just want a chuckle or two, or to give your brain a workout.
I give this one an A.

I am pleased to have David here with us today to talk about his latest book. Welcome David!

1)      OK, David, I have to ask. How on earth do you think up all these puns? You have an amazing talent for creating the “play on words” or “puns”. How did you get started writing books filled with these “quips”?
It all started with the way I hear things. When I was a little boy, my Dad very proudly told me he'd gotten a raise in pay. But I didn't hear it that way, and I was quite upset. "Dad!" I said. "We need money, not raisins!"
After a few misunderstandings like that, I realized that you can hear words in different ways, so I started to play around with them. It wasn't long before I was punning regularly.
My Uncle Arthur encouraged me. He'd tell me the funniest puns, and patiently explain them to me when I didn't get them. He and I and my Dad laughed a lot together and I began to associate punning with family fun.
For many years, I thought of puns, and if there was an opportunity to share them, I did. If not, I'd think them up, and mostly forget them.
But then I got a job as a copywriter at Publishers Clearing House. And some of my colleagues there encouraged me to write down my puns. So every time I thought of a pun, I wrote it on a slip of paper, and soon I had hundreds of them. I collected them into a manuscript, but even though I was a published author with an agent, I couldn't find a publisher who was interested in Pun Enchanted Evenings. So I put it aside.
Ten years later. I looked at the manuscript again and realized how good it was. So I tried again, and Pun Enchanted Evenings was published as both a paperback and an eBook. It went on to win the 2011 Global eBook Award for Humor, and in 2013 it's selling better than ever.
But even if I wanted to, I couldn't turn off the punning! And pretty soon, I had 2400+ more puns on little scraps of paper. So I chose the funniest of them, and that's how HomesPun Humor was born.
And I'm still thinking up puns! Sometimes I go for days, weeks, and even months without a pun crossing my mind. And then there are the days when they just keep coming, up to 37 of them in a day!
2)      How many books have you written?
My very first book was The Publicity Handbook, which was a Fortune Book Club selection. It was in print for 30 years! Then I wrote a workbook to go with it. From there, I turned to storytelling, with an anti-porn coming-of-age novel, Saying No to Naked Women. And then I wrote my first pun book, Pun Enchanted Evenings: 746 Original Word Plays. And of course my latest book, HomesPun Humor.
3)      What do you like to do in your spare time?
I listen to jazz, folk, blues, and classical music, read fiction, the news, and since I'm a transit and railroad buff, I read about that and go to transit museums. But my favorite leisure-time activity is a very funny punning competition in Brooklyn NY called Punderdome®3000. It plays to a full house of 400+ pun lovers each month, and I get more laughs there than the rest of the month combined. I wrote about Punderdome® in HomesPun Humor.
4)      Where can readers contact you? Where are your books sold?
I have a website devoted to my two pun books, www.BestPuns.Com. I always welcome questions from readers, who can reach me at David@BestPuns.Com. For a steady stream of Yale puns, follow me on Twitter @BestPuns.
In the USA, the best place to buy HomesPun Humor is at Amazon. Outside the USA, The Book Depot offers excellent prices and free shipping to most countries, or you can go to your local Amazon for the Kindle version.
5)      What are you working on now?
I'm working on a line of pun T-shirts and coffee mugs, which should be up and running in early 2014. So you'll be able to wear some of your favorite quips from HomesPun Humor, and dusplay them when you drink your morning joe.
In addition, I'm working on expanding my YouTube BestPuns channel. It already has two funny pun stories on it, and one of them is even animated! My goal is to add ten new videos from HomesPun Humor.
Last, but not least, I'm thinking about doing a third pun book. My tentative title is Aww! Some Puns, Awe-full Puns! I already have some new quips for it!
6)      David, I always end an interview with a request for a favorite quote. In this case I thought it would be cool if you left us with a few examples of the puns we can find in your book.
Capacity: How much head you can get into a hat!
Why can't Congress get anything done? Because they're a bunch of legis-laters!
Scientists have developed an artificial stomach implant, but it's still intestine     stage!
Don't let an 8-year-old run a marathon. Her kid knees might fail!
Young poets go to Love Verse Lane!
Where do you take a sick sandwich? To the mayo clinic!
If you leave a pot of alphabet soup on your kitchen counter for 4 days, you get a             vowel odor!


Monday, November 25, 2013

THE WEDDING DATE BY CARA CONNELLY

The Wedding date: A Christmas Novella by Cora Connelly is an Avon publication and was released in November 2013. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Julie lost her fiancé, David to brain cancer. Since then she has harbored resentments toward the doctors that treated him, believing they didn't really care about him and didn't do enough to save him.
Now Julie's sister is getting married and wants Julie to have a date for the wedding. While her sister starts looking to set her up with a date, Julie meets Cody, a rodeo cowboy from Texas, relocating to Boston. Cody needs a condo and hires Julie to do the job. Instantly they are attracted to each other, until Julie finds out Cowboy Cody is also a doctor.

A Short, sweet, and spicy novella centered around a Christmas wedding. Julie is going through something many people have faced wondering why her loved one died and if more could have been done. This subject is difficult especially during the holidays, so it was extra special that Julie and Cody met and hopefully she will learn to move forward from the grief and anger that is eating her up.
Cody is super hot and super nice and... he has a brother! Coming in January we will get to meet him.
Overall this is an A.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A CLEAR CONSCIENCE BY FRANCES FYFIELD


A Clear Conscience by Frances Fyfield is a Witness Impulse publication, an imprint of HarperCollins. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Helen West works domestic violence cases. When Helen feels she needs help keeping her house up while she does some redecorating, she calls Emily, Helen's good friend, and inquires after her cleaning lady, Cath.
Meanwhile, a murder has occurred and Bailey, Helen's boyfriend,is assigned the case. As it happens the victim was Cath's brother, Damien.

Cath was pleased to help Helen for some extra money. The two women bonded a little and then it became clear that Cath was also a victim. Her husband, Joe regularly abuses her.

Bailey gets caught in a difficult situation when he must keep certain facts about the murder from Helen.
A series of odd happenings involving Emily's daughter, Jane, has people thinking that perhaps Joe knows more about Damien's death than originally thought.

This book was originally published in 1995 and has now been released in e book format.
I love British mysteries and this one was very dark and thought provoking. Domestic violence is examined at length on more than one level. The effects this type of abuse has on the victim, the lengths one must go to escape, the selfish motives of other people, the inside thoughts of Joe, who felt he had done so much for Cath and that she owed him,(???), and the eyes and ears of children all played a role in the story.
There were a few twist in the plot, but it was really a crime story and psychological thriller.
The relationship between Helen and Bailey was also a bit unorthodox. Helen loved having a career and her independence, but was also still hard wired to think of the traditional route of marriage and children. Trying to stay true to both parts of her personality will prove to be a challenge.
Although, this novel is just a tiny bit dated, it is still a very good story and I would recommend it to mystery lovers in general, but especially to British mystery lovers. If you haven't read this author's works, this is a good one to start with. This one gets an A.

APRIL'S MAN BY ROSANNA RAE



April's Man by Rosanna Rae is a self published novel and a 2013 release. I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

April is a stunning beauty, June is April's teenage sister, also a looker, and then there is Belinda. Belinda may not stop traffic, but she is the sister with the most depth. She is resentful of April and to some degree, June, but Belinda works hard , helps her mom out and looks out for June as well. So, when April breezes in with a boyfriend she wants her parents to meet, it looks like April may be ready to stick to just one guy. But, looks can be very deceiving.
Poor Belinda is instantly attracted to Scott. Scott is just a great all around guy. He picks up on Belinda's crush, but of course he doesn't want to encourage anything. The thing is though, he really likes Belinda. When she comes to him with a family issue he is more than happy to help out. Belinda's concerns show him the vast differences between her and April.
In the meantime, Belinda is introduced to Jim. Jim is a good friend of Belinda's best, friend Melissa and her husband, Cameron. Melinda and Cameron, meaning well, set the two up at a dinner date in their home. The night was a total disaster, but Jim is also a really great guy and he and Belinda begin seeing each other. But, even Jim can't help but notice the way Belinda and Scott look at one another.
April on the other hand sees Belinda's infactuation with Scott, but fails utterly to see that Scott is smitten as well, and not with her.
If life were simple all of this could probably have been worked out between mature adults. But, life doesn't work that way. One stunning revelation after another has Scott's head spinning. Belinda also has a reaction to these stunning developments. But, things go from bad to worse as tragedy strikes. Before anyone can wrap their heads around what has happened, yet another catostophic event occurs that will change everyone' s perspective. Nothing turns out quite like you would expect it to.

This was a great story. I loved it! A contemporary romance that has just the right amount of humor, drama, romance and characterization. April's self absorbed personality, June's teenage angst that lead her make some horrible choices, then Belinda. Belinda is the glue that holds it all together. She too experiences confusion and fear and heartbreak, but she always seems to remember that other people have things they are going through as well.
The moral of course is that a pretty face doesn't make a pretty heart and beauty is really only skin deep. The author does a fantastic job of making that point in a subtle way. In the end it is so important to really be truthful with ourselves and with others. Things are always so much better that way. It's not always an easy thing to do, as these characters found out, but everything worked out just the way it should have.
So, I'm still on a roll with another five star rating . This one is an A+

Saturday, November 23, 2013

HEATING UP THE HOLIDAYS WITH LISA RENEE JONES, MARY ANN RIVERS AND SERENA BELL


Heating up the Holidays 3 story bundle is a Loveswept publication released in October 2013.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Well, it's that time of year when we start breaking out the holiday stories. Many of the Christmas themed novels we read border on the syrupy sweet. There is no better time of year for heartwarming tales of romance. But...... Sometimes the holidays need a little spice. If spice is what you are in the mood for, then you should like this one. Three contemporary holiday themed romances.

The first story in the book is "Play with Me" by Lisa Renee Jones.
Kali has career and family issues bad enough to leave Texas for Vegas. Her new job working for the CEO of a large casino operation has her working up close and personal with Damion Ward, a man known for chewing people up and spitting them out. But when Kali shows no fear towards him, he is instantly at attention. But, trouble lurks when a security breach is discovered.

The second story is "Snowfall" by Mary Ann Rivers.
This is the story of Jenny, a brainy young woman that never wanted anything but to be a microbiologist. No problems with achieving that goal, but Jenny has been diagnosed with an eye disease that will cause her to eventually lose her sight.
Meanwhile, Jenny has begun chatting with the person that lived in her apartment before she did. The catch is that they have never met. Casual conversations soon turn into hot internet sex.
But, Jenny is also trying to prepare herself for the day when she will no longer be able to see. She begins seeing a therapist that helps her with exercises so she will be able to function as normally as possible. But, there is also an attraction between herself and her therapist. This is a Christmas themed romance, that's hot by also sweet.

The Third story is "After Midnight" by Serena Bell. This is story of Miles, a man going through an incredibly difficult phase in his life. He is attending a New Years Eve party with his best friend Owen, who insisted he attend. Miles meets Nora at the party and the two of them connect, but Miles is in no place at that time to really act on his attraction, although he wants to. But, before he can grab a New Years kiss from her, the two of them are separated and never even knew each other's names. Will they ever be able to find each other again?
This one was also sweet and spicy. A great story to start off the New Year with.

All three stories were good in this bundle. The second and third were the best, with the second story being my favorite.
Overall this one gets an A.

WANTED: ONE GHOST BY LONI LYNNE

Wanted: One Ghost by Loni Lynne is a May 2013 release and a Crescent Moon Press publication.
I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

James Addison has been dead for over two hundred years. He was executed for treason. Now Dr. April Branford has been hired by billionaire Kenneth Miles to find out if a certain piece of property was actually owned by his forebears. He has some plans for the property and is in a hurry to see who has the rights to it.
King's Mill has a long and storied history. April is not having much luck in her search for information about James Addison. On a ghost tour, April strikes up a conversation with a man she believes is a part of the tour.
Later, while speaking to her Aunt Vicki, she finds out that in reality, she has seen her first ghost. This is a gift all the ladies in her family possess. April and her mother have dreaded this day.
When April finds herself out on Halloween with the ghost of James Addison looking for his place of burial, a strange thing happens and James finds he is no longer a ghost, but a living, breathing man. Not only that, He and April have a connection that too strong to ignore.
The two of them work together with some help from the historical society, April's gifted family, and few people from the past to get to the bottom of who is the actual owner of the King's Mill property and why James ended up accused of treason and executed.

This is a mystery, a paranormal romance, and sort of a time travel/historical novel. Mostly light hearted and really funny when James tries to adjust to the independent women of present day. However, James does remind us of a time when men were gentleman in a good way.
April has a job to do and tries to stick to that, while she tries to enjoy every day she has with James. Since her gift arrived she also finds her aunt's house is very haunted, and April experiences some frightening encounters with some of them. Her investigation leads to some startling revelations about the past.
As things play out between the past and the present, April will have to believe in fate and have faith, because things are not always what they seem.
This was an outstanding debut novel. A sweet, sigh worthy romance that will leave you very happy with the way things turn out. Everyone involved gets what they need and the characters all grow through the experiences they have since James entered their lives.
Lovers of contemporary, mystery, paranormal, and time travel romances will all find this novel appealing. This one deserves an A.



                             


Friday, November 22, 2013

MIRACLE ROAD BY EMILY MARCH

Miracle Road by Emily March is 2013 Random House publication. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Hope is a kindergarten teacher starting over after her daughter, Holly, was kidnapped and she went through a divorce.
Lucca turned his back on his life and refused to ever coach or drive a van or bus again. He doing manual labor and trying not to think about the past.
When Hope and Lucca find they are neighbors the two them slowly form a friendship. Each of them believed they were not able to maintain a relationship with anyone because of thier troubled past.
But, with the help of some good friends and reaching into their own past and experiences they are able to help each other face their demons.
But, Hope also has to deal with an angry and bitter ex-husband who blames her for the kidnapping of their daughter. Even though Hope had allowed herself to open up to Lucca just a little and think that maybe she could start living her life again, a chain of events throws her into a tailspin causing her let her fears, guilt and pain rule over her heart and head. Will Lucca be able to help Hope believe in herself again and in Lucca?
The whole Ramono family is on hand to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas and maybe for Gabi, a very Happy New Year!
I read as many Christmas themed books as I can during the holidays. I'm not in the mood for Christmas romances in the middle of August. But, if you only read one or two Christmas books this year, be sure to make this one of them. This is the best new Christmas romance I've read so far this year.
There are a lot of life lessons in this book about dealing with tragedy and letting go of guilt and giving yourself permission to be happy again. While Hope and Lucca were the focus of the story, the secondary characters, especially Lucca's mom and sister Gabi also had stories out in the forefront. Gabi's story will most likely be the featured in the next book.
Overall this one gets an A+


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

THE MARRIAGE BARGAIN BY SANDRA EDWARDS


The Marriage Bargain by Sandra Edwards is SE Press publication. This was originally published in 2012 and released in digital format in April 2013. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

When wealthy Julian de Laurent places an ad in the L.A. Trades looking for a single actress for a job abroad, Margo Fontaine wants the low down for her magazine. She sends Camille Chandler to answer Julian's ad.
When Camille finds out what the job is, she declines. Margo insist she take the job or else. So, Camille choses the "or else". But with student loans bearing down on her, and no job, the offer Julian made begins to feel awfully tempting. And the offer? Marry him and stay married for 6 months. The payoff? Five million dollars!!
But, this job will be much harder than Camille thought. First of all, she isn't an actress, and the woman Julian is trying to avoid marriage to is not going to give up without a fight, and on top of that, Julian's father is backing her up. But the hardest part of the job is trying not to fall in love with Julian.
Camille's biggest mistake? Not telling Julian she lost her job and that she is not an actress.

This is a pretty basic contemporary romance. The set up of a brief marriage of convenience has been done many times over, but this one does have a fresh approach. There is a side romance with the secondary characters between Julian's brother and Camille's best friend. The other characters are Julian's controlling father, his ex- girlfriend, and his step-mother.
I read this book in one afternoon. It is a very light, easy read and perfect for a little romantic escape. I give this one a B.

Monday, November 18, 2013

ME & MOE BY MICHAELA RENEE JOHNSON

Me & Moe by Michaela Renee Johnson is a self published novel released in 2013. I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Alex was orphaned as child when her parents were killed in a car accident. Her grandparents raised her in San Francisco. Grandma "Moe" and Grandpa are still spry and involved in Alex's life since Alex still lives at home.
Alex is employed by a local radio station. This is a just a stepping stone for what Alex hopes will be a long serious journalism career. She wants to be in war zones and doing the really gritty stuff. But, fate has other plans. The radio station merges with a larger one based in New York and now play top forty music.
To stir up publicity, Alex has to change time slots and sign up with a dating service. She must go out on dates and then tell about them the next day on the air.
For Alex, a woman that has never dated much and didn't really mind being single, this is mortifying. But, when she is promised an opportunity in New York if she will follow through with the publicity stunt, she reluctantly agrees.
Hilarity ensues when Alex goes out on one terrible date after another. Moe gets involved and Alex's career and personal life becomes a nightmare of confusion.

This story was insanely funny, heartwarming, and touching. Alex learns from her experience on the radio show that she has some big decisions to make. She learns a lot about her life and her past and that gives her the strength to decide on her future.
I loved this book. It was well written, carefully plotted to keep you guessing what will happen next. I usually read several books at once, but once I started on this one I couldn't put it down.
I recommend this book to those who enjoy chick lit, contemporary fiction, and romance.
This one gets one the rare five star ratings. A+

ME and MURDER SHE WROTE BY PETER S FISCHER

Me and Murder, She wrote is a Grove Point Press publication released in September 2013. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Peter S Fischer gives us an account of how he decided to become a writer, his first forays into screen writing which led to a few made for TV movies. This led to his writing one script for the mystery show "Columbo". Peter's script was the only one Peter Falk really liked and he kept wanting to bring Peter Fischer back for more, which he did for awhile.
Eventually, Peter Fischer went on to other things, writing for other shows, and made for TV movies. One show he worked on and spoke on in detail was "Ellery Queen." But, in 1984, Murder, She Wrote came together and the show was a huge success.
Peter recalls his relationship with Angela Lansbury and the various cast members. For the most part the series went really smoothly until it just sort of ran out of steam. It is obvious that Peter really enjoyed this period in his career. There were Emmy's and Golden Globes, long friendships and fond memories.
Peter's life of course knew it's share of sadness and tragedy. Some of these events taking a serious toll on his enthusiasm for his job. Peter appears to have had a solid marriage and supportive wife.

I had a wonderful time remembering the Columbo mysteries and various other shows Peter worked on. My daughter and I used to watch Murder, she wrote, mainly in reruns and on Netflix and were amazed at all he guest stars. Peter remembers these scripts vividly. As he spoke of them, I did remember some pieces of those shows. I also loved the stories he told of Jerry Orbach who played a seedy detective on the show from time to time.

Peter Fischer now writes Classic Hollywood Mysteries and these books can be found on Amazon.com

Overall this in an A.
Peter Fischer also wrote for the Classic Mystery series Columbo.


CLOSE ENCOUNTERS BY SANDRA KITT

Close Encounters by Sandra Kitt was originally published in 2000. The book is being released in digital format by Open Road Intergrated Media. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This book was read as part of the Goodreads Reto Romance group hosted by Open Road media.

Carol is taking her dog for a walk early one morning and gets caught in the line of fire during a police sting operation. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time and ended up getting shot.
Lee really is an honest cop. But, he made a terrible mistake. When the ballistics test come back on the bullet that struck Carol, it proves the bullet came from his gun.
If this weren't bad enough, Carol is a young black woman and Lee is a white cop. Needless to say , that makes things much more complicated.
Racked with guilt, Lee visits Carol in the hospital and the two of them connect quite easily. But, Carol's brother and ex-husband are pushing her to sue the city. It's a slam dunk if she decides to follow through with it. But, Carol doesn't want this incident to define her life. So, she holds off of making a decision.
In the meantime, Lee and Carol begin talking to each other and more and more they feel that connection between them growing. But, will be strong enough when the world comes in to make as a couple?

This story has so many angles. This is a romantic suspence novel, a crime novel, a love story and a family drama all rolled into one. Not only that, the author raised some real issues that make this a great book for a book club read.
The obvious issues of race are addressed, an interacial couple trying to make things work can be difficult under any circumstances, but adding to that is Lee being a cop and the mistrust aimed at him by Carol's brother and meddling ex-husband.
The issues of Carol's being raised by white parents, who obviously love her and gave her a good start in life, are questioned. Carol felt loved by her parents by they seemed out of touch with how awkward she felt being different from everyone else.
Lee is dealing with a teenage daughter that is very insecure and really needs him in her life more. Watching Lee mature as a man since the incident with Carol was uplifting. Carol brought out the best in him.
Although Carol made mistakes in her life, she was a very grounded person that didn't rush to judgement and had a very open mind and open heart. She was an inspiration, a role model and someone I grew to admire more and more.
This romance is very character driven, about adults being put in stressful situations and the forces that are out of their control trying to make things more difficult, and how these people grow and become stronger. But, it is also a very sensual romance.
I can't find anything to critque in this one. A+

Sunday, November 17, 2013

BUCK 'EM THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF BUCK OWENS with RANDY POE



Buck 'Em by Buck Owens and Randy Poe is a Backbeat Books/ Hal Leordard Corporation publication released on November 1st, 2013. I receieved a copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
This book is an autobiography told in first person by Buck Owens via cassette tapes he had recorded prior to his death in 2006. Randy Poe went through these tapes that were not in any order apparently. Buck had recorded events as he thought of them and so Randy Poe had quite a job getting these tapes organized for this book. He did an outstanding job.
The book starts out with Buck's early life, how he came up with the name "Buck", which was not his given name. His very humble beginnings, his first musical instrument, how he became a vocalist, and his first marriage at a very young age.
Buck played in the "hole in wall" honky tonks and worked as a disc jockey .
"Man, it was a lot of fun to be a disc jockey in those days. There was no music director, no program director- there was nobody around to tell you what to play or when to play it. Nobody talked demographics or ratings or any of that %&*@ that's completely taken over radio today. I could play my favorite records the whole shift. I spun records I liked that I thought the listeners would like, too. There were no rules, and I loved it."
Buck's career wasn't the overnight sucess type story. His career was a slow, steady climb. He didn't always follow the rules and some in the music industry didn't like that. The Nashville establishment wasn't who Buck was concerned about. He cared about the fans who were the ones buying the records. He wanted the fans to know he would stay loyal to them and his type of music.
"And I wanted those bigwigs in Nashville to know the same thing, so in March of '65- right in the middle of the five weeks that "I've Got a Tiger by the Tail" was sitting at the top of the charts- I took out a fullpage ad in this Nashville trade paper called the Music City News. I called it "Pledge to Country Music"
It said:
I shall sing no song that is not a country song. I shall make no record that is not a country record. I refuse to be known as anything but a country singer. I am proud to be associated with country music. Country music fans have made me what I am today. And I shall not forget it.
Buck Owens"
Buck pulled no punches about anything. He made no excuses for his mistakes. He didn't try to tone down his ego or hide his feelings about things.
There were some really funny stories in here, some interesting facts about Buck's life, and some really heartbreaking events as well. Buck lived a full life, although it was often filled with health issues over the last ten years of his life.
I really liked how the book focuses on Buck's life and music and not so much on the television show "Hee Haw". To me the show was the least interesting thing about his career save for the story regarding the red, white, and blue guitar he used on the show.
"The Buck Owens Show: Big in Vegas barely made it into the Top Ten on the album charts, which was a hint of things to come. The more popular Hee Haw got, the less my records sold. It was the beginning of a pattern that I'd suspected might happen- but I just couldn't turn down the Hee Haw paycheck."
Buck's chart topping sucess had a second life however, when he and Dewight Yoakum teamed up. Buck's music reached a whole new audience and he once more had sucess on the charts and out on tour.
Growing up, my parents always had country music on the radio, even when it wasn't the most popular of genres. I personally wasn't crazy about the whiny, singing through your nose, crying in my beer songs. I was a teenager and liked different music. But, Buck Owens' "Bakersfield" sound was unique. I really liked his style.
Even if you are not a fan of country music, I think you find that Buck was more than a country music star and TV star. He was also a savvy business man as well. He did things his way and it worked for him.
Overall this one gets an A.




Saturday, November 16, 2013

PRINCE BY RORY CLEMENTS

Prince by Rory Clements is an Witness Impulse publication, an imprint of Harper Collins. This book was published originally in 2011. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
This the third installment in the John Shakespeare historical mystery series.
Set in the 1500's, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, the political atmosphere is volatile. The Spaniards are lurking, there is a backlash against "strangers" (foreigners, mainly Dutch) and some rather disturbing rumors regarding Mary, Queen of Scots.
For John, a man's murder begins his investigation that connects loads of powder kegs moving into the area, a royal secret, and an unfathomable conspiracy.

This is the third book in the series, but the first one for me. If you are like me and have not read the first two, I don't think it will hinder your enjoyment of this one. The main character, John Shakespeare, is Will's brother. He finds himself tangled up the a web of lies, prejudices, power struggles, and on a personal front, John gets sucker punched in the worst possible way, leaving the reader feeling like they were kicked in the stomach.
It will be interesting to see how this case effects John in the future. He learns shocking secrets, and his life had forever been changed the events that take place in the this installment.
This is a very dark and atmospheric historical novel, very rich in details and the dialogue is understandable, yet authentic.
There are several stories going on a once, but they all get brought together in the end.
I think it would be hard to write a historical mystery, especially set back this far in time. So many things hinged on rumor or word of mouth. Cause and time of death were difficult to determine. The laws were so different back then. It would also be hard to maintain this level of detail all throughout the book and not slip in a modern phrase or technique in there without thinking. The author did a great job of putting the reader into the past and letting us experience it through his eyes.
Overall this one gets an A.

Friday, November 15, 2013

WE WERE THERE BY ALLEN CHILDS MD

We Were There: Revelations from the Dallas Doctors Who Attended to JFK on November 22,1963 by Allen Childs, MD is 2013 release, published by Skyhorse Publishing.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

"It is said that the mastery of traumatic memory follows a course in which the trauma keeps intruding into consciousness until it is processed into less painful, less jagged, recollection. Curiously, highly pleasurable experiences keep intruding in the same way. By now we hope we have mastered the raw emotion of the time, but WHEN am I going to stop tearing up when I see the images of those hours?"

The images of JFK being assassinated is burned into our minds even if we not even alive at the time. I personally have been fascinated with this period in history for many years and have read countless books and watched countless documentaries concerning conspiracy theories etc. This book is the first of it's kind that I'm aware of. As we approach the 50th anniversary of the death of JFK, it amazes me that the doctors have the most incredible and vivid recollections of that day.
This a collection of these doctor's memories. They know where they were, what they doing, and those that actually worked on the president recall the efforts to save his life and what procedures they performed. There are heartbreaking stories about the first lady, and some explanations about why certain things were done and why that may have bothered some people, such as why LBJ insisted he would not leave on Air Force One until the president's body was on board. You can kind of see why those decisions were made, even if it went against normal protocol.
There a few excerpts of Arlen Spector's interview with some of the doctors, as well. The author does steer far away from any speculation about who was responsible for the assassination. This book is simply about the doctors and their personal experiences on that day.

Overall this is an interesting collection of memories from the people were actually there that day and saw the situation unfold in real time.
At times the retelling of events were a bit dry. Not all the recollections were interesting. However, for the most part I think you will find the stories give you a sense of how things happened once the president arrived at Parkland Hospital and the extreme shock of an entire nation.
Overall this one gets an A.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

TIS THE SEASON BY DARCY BURKE, ERICA RIDLEY, AND EMMA LOCKE


Tis the Season by Darcy Burke, Erica Ridley and Emma Locke is an Intrepid Reads publication. This book was released in October 2013. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a Christmas themed anthology with three novellas. There is something here for everyone. The first story by Darcy Burke is a contemporary romance. "Where the Heart Is" is set in Oregon in December. Chloe has moved here to get away from her controlling mother and out of the social climbing rat race. She broke up with her workaholic fiancé and hopes to have a more peaceful lifestyle.
Right away though she gets knocked for loop. Thankfully, a handsome man comes to her rescue.

Midwinter Magic by Erica Ridley is a fantasy novella.
Jack Morgan was once on the Fortune 500 list. But, those days are long gone. Now he is more or less a wanderer. At the moment he is in Bolivia. Instead of limos and private jets he is handing out Christmas gifts to kids that are beyond poverty. But, Jack's world really tips over on it's axle when he comes face to face with his guardian angel- Sarah Phimm.

The Last story by Emma Locke is "The Cheer in Charming the Earl". This one is a historical romance.
Elinor Conley is still in search of a husband. When she spies Grantham Wendell, The Earl of Chelford, she just knows he is the one.
So, now she must somehow put herself in his path. Her scheme could ruin her reputation, cause her to lose the Earl, and maybe even her life.

All three of these stories are different from the usual Christmas anthologies. Three genres in one book, sweet and spicy, all with HEA and Christmas Cheer!
Over all this one is a B+

ROBERT PLANT: A LIFE BY PAUL REES

Robert Plant: A Life by Paul Rees is a Harper Collins/ IT books publication. This book was released in October 2013. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

This is a pretty straightforward account of the life of Robert Plant, front man for Led Zeppelin and a solo artist in his own right.
The book begins with a bit of Robert's background, his parents, school, influences and his attitude during those days.
Robert's teen years, his discovery of Elvis and the blues, his first group, how he met Bonzo and the formation of Led Zeppelin.
Of course, the author takes us inside the group's rocky beginnings to the peak of their success as a band, to the incredible tragedies that struck one right after another.
Once the group disbanded, Plant found he had a whole second career as a solo artist. Then once more he found himself walking in the ever present shadow of Led Zeppelin. Sometimes, Robert gave in to the pressure and sometimes he ran away from many request and offers regarding a reformation of the group.
But, Robert seems capable of finding a niche for himself repeatedly. His work with Alison Kraus is especially impressive.
As for Robert's personal life, I admit I knew very little. Robert's personality, even as a boy, was filled with confidence, bordering on cocky. As he became successful in his career that part of him became even more pronounced.
Robert's love life has been a little complicated as well. Robert' escapades were typical of many rock stars, especially on tour, but when he was not touring, he seemed to have a good solid marriage. However, there were some rather strange happenings, even while he was married, that would raise eyebrows even today.
Robert still maintains a larger than life personality and may always carry with him a piece of his "Rock God" status. I think now he seems to have found some stability, both in his career and in his personal life.
This was an informative book, an entertaining walk down memory lane and an introspective look into the private life of a rock star. For me, I admire his ability to try new things and to make mistakes. His career after Led Zeppelin was up and down, but he has had much more longevity than many other musicians of that era. I think some of that success comes from a willingness to take risk, and some of it goes back to all that confidence.
Yes, this book would appeal to all Led Zeppelin fans, and there are still many, many of you out there. But, Robert's career and life was so much more than just his work with Zeppelin.
Overall this one gets an A.


Robert Plant: A Life by Paul Rees is a Harper Collins/ IT books publication. This book was released in October 2013. I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

This is a pretty straightforward account of the life of Robert Plant, front man for Led Zeppelin and a solo artist in his own right.
The book begins with a bit of Robert's background, his parents, school, influences and his attitude during those days.
Robert's teen years, his discovery of Elvis and the blues, his first group, how he met Bonzo and the formation of Led Zeppelin.
Of course, the author takes us inside the group's rocky beginnings to the peak of their success as a band, to the incredible tragedies that struck one right after another.
Once the group disbanded, Plant found he had a whole second career as a solo artist. Then once more he found himself walking in the ever present shadow of Led Zeppelin. Sometimes, Robert gave in to the pressure and sometimes he ran away from many request and offers regarding a reformation of the group.
But, Robert seems capable of finding a niche for himself repeatedly. His work with Alison Kraus is especially impressive.
As for Robert's personal life, I admit I knew very little. Robert's personality, even as a boy, was filled with confidence, bordering on cocky. As he became successful in his career that part of him became even more pronounced.
Robert's love life has been a little complicated as well. Robert' escapades were typical of many rock stars, especially on tour, but when he was not touring, he seemed to have a good solid marriage. However, there were some rather strange happenings, even while he was married, that would raise eyebrows even today.
Robert still maintains a larger than life personality and may always carry with him a piece of his "Rock God" status. I think now he seems to have found some stability, both in his career and in his personal life.
This was an informative book, an entertaining walk down memory lane and an introspective look into the private life of a rock star. For me, I admire his ability to try new things and to make mistakes. His career after Led Zeppelin was up and down, but he has had much more longevity than many other musicians of that era. I think some of that success comes from a willingness to take risk, and some of it goes back to all that confidence.
Yes, this book would appeal to all Led Zeppelin fans, and there are still many, many of you out there. But, Robert's career and life was so much more than just his work with Zeppelin.
Overall this one gets an A.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

A HIGHLANDER FOR CHRISTMAS BY CHRISTINA SKYE



A Highlander for Christmas by Christina Skye is a Steel Magnolia Press publication. For those looking for this book on Goodreads, you might want to search for "The Perfect Gift" , which was the original title.

Maggie Kincaid's life has been a rollercoaster ride for the last seven months. Her father, Daniel, died in a plane crash amid rumors he was a jewel thief. Maggie got left with his debts and with the media hounding her every move.
Jared MacNeill was adjusting to life after having gone through an experience that not many people would have survived. He was also "gifted" as a psychic. The bad thing was he had foreseen his own death.
Now he is working for Nicholas Draycott, and his assignment is Maggie Kincaid. Is Maggie like her father, a jewel thief? Jared is to keep an eye on her and keep the media off her trail as well.
Maggie was so excited to be chosen to work on the Draycott jewel exhibit. London would be the perfect thing to keep her mind from her sorrow. She didn't count on the situation at the Abbey, the vivid dreams, and her intense attraction to Jared.

"Newsflash, MacNeill: there are no princes. There are only princesses with bad eyesight and frogs who are excellent at concealing the extent of their imperfections."

Maggie doesn't get to work on her jewelry designs as much as she would like. Rumors begin to circulate that her father may not be dead after all and someone is trying to scare Maggie, or worse, trying to kill her.
She and Jared both have a feeling they are being followed and watched.
"Fear was meant to grow, feeding on itself, until Jared and Maggie watched for shadows of their own invention."
As Jared, fearing his own death is approaching, finds it harder to resist the very persistent Maggie, they also find a haunting presence guiding them along.
Will the Abbey's magic and the spirit of Christmas help Maggie and Jared find their happy ever after?

This was a actually a fairy complex romance novel. There was action, intrigue, comedy, suspense, mystery, hot romance, and paranormal activities all rolled up into one novel, not to mention a slight Christmas atmosphere.
Draycott Abbey is still as mysterious and charming as always. This one is an A.

WHITE MAGIC WOMAN BY JU EPHRAIME

White Magic Woman by Ju Ephraime is a 2012 release, published by Envision. I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Set in the beautiful St. Lucia, Todd and Simonia are enjoying being newlyweds. Todd is doing research in hopes of finding a cure for Malaria.
When he take a break and walks into a local restaurant named Josephine's, his life takes a turn for the worst. A beautiful waitress is attracted to Todd, but he is very happily married, so he doesn't take the bait.
Now every night he is tormented by erotic dreams that leaves him unable to respond to his wife. He is losing sleep and unable to concentrate on his job. When he seeks advice, he is told he is a victim of a scorned witch.

Now he and Simonia, with some help from the family, must take dangerous and drastic measures to free Todd from the witch.


This book is a bit of a departure from the other two books I have read by this author. This is a paranormal/contemporary romance. The couple are already in love and married, hoping to start a family. But, when Todd becomes a victim of the witch's revenge his new marriage is in deep trouble.
Being a typical male, Todd decides he needs to protect his wife and try to solve the problem on his own. Of course, eventually he has to come clean and Simonia shows great strength and courage as she supports her husband. In St. Lucia, tales of Voodoo and black magic are common and part of the culture, so Simonia takes Todd's situation seriously.
But, has Todd told his wife everything? Will their marriage survive?
While Todd suffers from a fictional malady, the witch's curse could be taken metaphorically. Marriages often hit a bump somewhere along the way. Could be money or job stress or anything and guys will often try to cover it up or lie about it to keep their wives from getting mad at them or from worrying. Todd was no exception.
So, underneath the supernatural and erotic tones in the novel, there are some real truths in there too. Being honest and true in a relationship is key to it's success. Together you can come through any crisis. Todd and Simonia have a true love relationship that gives us a fine example of how things could be in a marriage if we would only work together.
This book will appeal to readers of contemporary and paranormal romance.
Overall this a good solid A.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

THE PERFECT GIFT MACKENZIE FAMILY CHRISTMAS BY JENNIFER ASHLEY

A Mackenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift by Jennifer Ashley is a 2012 release. This one was a freebie in the kindle store a little while back. This is a short story novella, obviously Christmas themed.
The Mackenzie Family celebrates the New Year more so than Christmas, but this year is an exception. Ian and Beth hit a bump when it looks as if Ian may be going into one of his dark spells after Beth breaks on of Ian's Ming bowls accidently.
Hunt's wife, Eleanor is very pregnant and having complications. Confined to bed rest, Hunt is terrified something will go wrong. Meanwhile the Mackenzie's are just as rowdy as always and a few fisticuffs ensue. But, all's well that ends well as they say, with Ainsley and Cameron in the middle of the ruckus.
The main story here focuses on Beth and Ian and it so sweet. Ian is still quite literal and a little to honest at times. He has to be helped along a little in understanding his wife's unhappiness.
The story is very touching and perfect for the holidays.
Overall this one gets an A.

THE MURDER WALL BY MARI HANNAH


Kate Daniels, a detective is has been haunted by a murder case nearly a year old. A girl and a priest were murdered, the priest had a prayer card in his hand at the time of death. The case is cold as ice, but the girl's parents are always in touch with Kate, their grief keeping the case in Kate's mind.
But, when Alan Stephens is murdered, a man familiar to Kate, she has to decide if she should tell her superiors about having prior knowledge of the victim, or keep that to herself so she can stay on the case and further her career.
The suspects include the victim's ex-wife, his current wife, and maybe even his two sons. He wasn't a very likeable guy. The evidence though begins to point to one person specifically. This makes Kate very uneasy. She can't bring herself to believe this person capable of the crime. Her view may be a bit skewed because of her prior knowledge causing her to approach this case in a way she wouldn't otherwise.
To complicate things her boss is taking care of his terminally ill wife, and is half in love with Kate. But, he still won't let her continue to pursue the cold case that eats away at her until this crime is solved.

This is a dark, moody British crime drama. It is very atmospheric and suspenseful. There are many taut scenes that have more to do with secrets Kate has to keep and the possibility that all them may come out as a result of this case.
The story is multi layered, introducing us to the staff that Kate works with and dealing with the ins and outs of working as a unit, while hoping to keep one's private life, private.
There is also a great deal of good old fashioned detective work going on.
If you like British Detective mysteries, you should like this one. It isn't old school, it's really modern but it just carries that British tone that makes these mysteries so appealing.
Overall a B+
Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for the digital copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review.

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT AND INTERVIEW WITH JACKIE WEGER-AUTHOR OF ON A WING AND A PRAYER

I am thrilled to have Jackie Weger with me today. Jackie has agreed to visit with us today about her re-released contemporary romances and about her experiences with self publishing.
Jackie.
You wrote for Harlequin for a while before moving on to other things. Now you are releasing some of your backlist in digital format. Tell us about some of the pros and cons you have experienced with self publishing.

I love every frustrating facet of self-publishing. The learning curve is higher than a glass mountain for me because for years I was living in tiny villages or on miniscule islands where we often did not have running water or electricity, while the internet exploded with Facebook, Google, Twitter, YouTube and iTunes. I was stateside Christmas a year ago and gifted a Kindle. Did not have a clue what the innovation was- but the instant I learned changed my life. I jumped into he ebook revolution with both feet an promptly sank to the bottom!
Finding the resources an indie author needs from reliable beta readers, editors, formatting services, website builders and cover artist has been a challenge. I am not tech savvy and I made some gargantuan errors in choice. I am slowly rectifying those errors with the help of  former Harlequin authors, especially, Donna Fasano of Reclaim my Heart fame. Blog sites that refer an author to those who provide quality work such as: INDIE CHICKS CAFE have been terrific resources.  I was so dumb, I didn't know what a Blog was. Someone said to me: Write a Blog.  I said: You mean a memo? Now I follow a dozen Blogs. Love every single one of them.

Have you mainly written Contemporary Romances?

I do stick with writing contemporary stories, sort of. I recently earned a degree in History, but I prefer living history. I spent part of a winter with trappers in Louisiana Swamps. It's 2013, but Cajuns have been fishing, shrimping, hunting and trapping for 300 years. Not much has changed except they use airboats and motors now. It is often said my books are not contemporary. And always by readers or reviewers who live in cities or suburbia. But, I can take you to a thousand small towns in America today where trappers and hunters are buying their licenses and fur buyers are posting on the internet the time and place they will arrive in those small towns to buy furs or nutria tails- a half-billion dollar industry in Louisiana and Texas alone. Google fur buyers. Or trapping season dates...we don't know the landscape of America today because we live such interior lives. I love having those characters with a rich personal history. In the past, I often could not get those histories in my books, but as an indie author I can.
I liked to think I write about ordinary people living ordinary lives until an event disrupts those lives. I'm not comfortable writing about rich and glamorous because I don't know that lifestyle. I'm not comfortable writing spicy sex. Perhaps because I'm so old I don't remember where all the body parts go.  I have sister authors who write M/M, M/F/M, F/F, alien sex and shapeshifter sex. I respect their choices, but I'm not doing it. And as far as Fifty Shades goes... if a man ever tried that with one of my daughters, I'd shoot him with a snake gun. Well, I live in Texas. It's allowed.

What are you reading now?

I'm rereading A Home for Wayward Husbands again because I can't get enough of it. I just ordered The God of my Art in paperback, and I just finished Don't Let Me Go by Catherine Ryan Hyde. It was wonderful. Readers and fans can find my reading list on Goodreads and authors I'm following on Facebook.

You and I met on Facebook. What roles do you think social media plays in promoting books and making contact with readers?

Social Media sites are a mixed blessing. Something going on and as soon as I spot the name of a sister author or a fan or former professor, I'm on it! And out of my writing mode and I live there. I do believe there are some social media gurus who draw fans and readers like magnets and those sites are helpful to those of us hoping to get word out about our books. I'm thrilled when a fan leaves a message or comment on my Facebook page. It's such a treat. In the past, I'd do book signings - fans were in and out, perhaps one or two might linger and chat. With FB, I get to know my fans- how many kids they have, what their husbands do, how they're feeling, what they're having for supper or the costumes their kids wore for Halloween. One of my fans recently has a baby and sent me the link for the newborn pics on the hospital dashboard from her iPhone. How cool is that?

What are you working on now?
 Right this minute I'm working on getting some of my backlist into digital. Earlier titles have to brutally edited fro ebook release. What reads well on paper oft times does not on digital. Another learning curve.

What are some of your most recent releases in digital format and where can we buy them?

 Hoo boy! Julie.  I thought you would never mention my books. I just this week released On a Wing and a Prayer: The Christmas Orphans. We're still tweaking the cover, but it's on Amazon.


I couldn't help but notice how very generous you are with fans and other authors. What advice do you have for those just starting out as writers?


If you want the unvarnished truth: There are no aspiring authors in digital. They all self-publish. It's a minefield. There are some gems. I have been fortunate to find a few. All of us newbies in digital struggle with getting out books visible. I help where I can and where it's wanted. Once an author has typed The End, the creative process is over and the business side of publishing begins. That's where many of us stumble. I reached out to a few debut authors and a few reached out to me. We help one another.

What genre do you enjoy reading the most?

I read across the spectrum of books, fiction and non-fiction, because one never knows where you will find a great book. If my favorite authors wrote a book a week, I wouldn't do that- but they don't, so I'm like everyone else - out there searching for that next terrific read.

Do you have a favorite quote you would like to share with us?

My Auntie Frank used to say: Enjoy life. If you don't, it ain't gonna enjoy you.
That pretty much sums it up, don't you think?



   Jackie was the first American author contracted by Harlequin when they started the Harlequin American Romance line.  Jackie published sixteen books for Harlequin, including seven novels for the Harlequin Temptation imprint. She wrote the first African-American romance published by Harlequin, A Strong and Tender Thread.
Jackie’s last book for Harlequin was published in 1995 while she was living in St. Augustine, Florida. She stopped writing to care for elderly and handicapped members of her family. In 1999 she moved to Central America with her companion dog,a Shar-pei named Simon. Together they lived in a small Rainforest village in a thatched-roof bohio while making excursions into the Darien, the San Blas Islands, and outer islands in the Pacific. Jackie also volunteered at a Sisters of Mercy mission where she taught women in poverty how to earn money.
Returning stateside in 2002, Jackie enrolled in university, earning an AA, a BA, and in 2008 earned a teaching certification in History. She graduated Summa cum Laude in the top five percent of her class. In 2005 Jackie spent a semester at Queens College, the University of London, producing a study of comparative education between the US and UK. Jackie returns to Panama often, most recently spending nine months dividing her time between now established homes on Taboga Isla and el Cacao. Jackie lives in Hockley, Texas, a community northwest of Houston.
Jackie is in the process of re-releasing her older romance books after many requests, as well as working on new ones.  Visit often to keep up with Jackie’s busy life and hear about her latest releases.






November 11,12,13,14,15,  HOUSE ON PERSIMMON'S ROAD WILL BE FREE!

Book Blurb:
Need help? Hire a ghost. She cooks.


Here are the "buy" links for Jackie's books:  1) On a Wing and a Prayer-
www.amazon.com/dp/aisn/B00FJV6AY

Eye of the Beholder: www.amazon.com/dp/B00D7WKQRA

House of Persimmon's Road: www.amazon.com/dp/B00E9LS00Y

No Perfect Secret: www.amazon.com/dp/B008HFYHCM

A Strong and Tender Thread : www.amazon.com/dp/B00DROFAGE

Count the Roses: www.amazon.com/dp/B00EZBYUK

Beyond Fate: www.amazon.com/dp/B00AIEPBMU


Jackie,
I have loved meeting you and talking with you. Thank you so much for taking the time to visit with us today!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

TOP DOWN BY JIM LEHRER

Top Down by Jim Lehrer is a Random House publication, released in October 2013.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

On the day Kennedy was assassinated, a fateful decision was made to remove the bubble top from the limo because the skies had cleared. It promised to be a beautiful day in Dallas. The secret service agent that made that decision was Martin Van Walters. When the president as killed, Martin went into a tailspin. He blamed himself for Kennedy's death. If the bubble top had remained on the car, he believed the President would still be alive.
This eats at Martin until he begins to just waste away both mentally and physically. This naturally effects his family. His wife starts drinking and his teenage daughter Marti, is at a loss. She just wants to watch the Dallas Cowboys with her dad like they used to, but those days are gone for good. After years of watching her father decline and now believing he is on the verge of death, Marti is desperate. She contacts a newspaper reporter, Jack, that was on the scene that eventful day in 1963. She wants him to help prove her father is not at fault. The hitch? Jack has to do this off the record. No matter how great this story might be, he will never be able to print it, either in the newspaper, or in a book.
Marti is a smart college student and Jack is taken with her. There is a bit of an age difference between them, but there is still a chemistry going on there.
However, the main goal is to determine whether or not the top being on or off really would have mattered in the long run.


As the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination approaches a slew of books came on the market. This one was mixed in with the non-fiction books and when I first requested it I thought it was also a non-fiction book. However, this is a novel, purely speculative, and more about the toll those events took on the lives of one family and the struggle they went through to move forward with their lives. Jack has a major role in how things turned out for the family in the long run. His feelings for Marti warred with his desire to tell the story of her father. He was torn between what a journalist dreams of doing, and what he promised Marti.
Would Jack do the right thing?

Actually, I thought this was a really sweet story when you get right down to it. The JFK assassination was an interesting backdrop, but this story could have been written about any sort of traumatic event were a person's split second decision came back to haunt them. The effects of traumatic events on normal people just trying to live their lives or do their jobs, can cause PTSD just as easily as someone that has been to war, for example. Martin was evidently a man that felt things very deeply. He also was very lucky to have a daughter that loved him and was dedicated to him.
In the end this is what the story is really all about. People taking drastic steps to save their family, people doing whatever it takes, making whatever sacrifice they have to, to do the right thing and try to keep from making a mistake.
Overall this one gets an A-


Top Down by Jim Lehrer is a Random House publication, released in October 2013.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

On the day Kennedy was assassinated, a fateful decision was made to remove the bubble top from the limo because the skies had cleared. It promised to be a beautiful day in Dallas. The secret service agent that made that decision was Martin Van Walters. When the president as killed, Martin went into a tailspin. He blamed himself for Kennedy's death. If the bubble top had remained on the car, he believed the President would still be alive.
This eats at Martin until he begins to just waste away both mentally and physically. This naturally effects his family. His wife starts drinking and his teenage daughter Marti, is at a loss. She just wants to watch the Dallas Cowboys with her dad like they used to, but those days are gone for good. After years of watching her father decline and now believing he is on the verge of death, Marti is desperate. She contacts a newspaper reporter, Jack, that was on the scene that eventful day in 1963. She wants him to help prove her father is not at fault. The hitch? Jack has to do this off the record. No matter how great this story might be, he will never be able to print it, either in the newspaper, or in a book.
Marti is a smart college student and Jack is taken with her. There is a bit of an age difference between them, but there is still a chemistry going on there.
However, the main goal is to determine whether or not the top being on or off really would have mattered in the long run.


As the 50th anniversary of JFK's assassination approaches a slew of books came on the market. This one was mixed in with the non-fiction books and when I first requested it I thought it was also a non-fiction book. However, this is a novel, purely speculative, and more about the toll those events took on the lives of one family and the struggle they went through to move forward with their lives. Jack has a major role in how things turned out for the family in the long run. His feelings for Marti warred with his desire to tell the story of her father. He was torn between what a journalist dreams of doing, and what he promised Marti.
Would Jack do the right thing?

Actually, I thought this was a really sweet story when you get right down to it. The JFK assassination was an interesting backdrop, but this story could have been written about any sort of traumatic event were a person's split second decision came back to haunt them. The effects of traumatic events on normal people just trying to live their lives or do their jobs, can cause PTSD just as easily as someone that has been to war, for example. Martin was evidently a man that felt things very deeply. He also was very lucky to have a daughter that loved him and was dedicated to him.
In the end this is what the story is really all about. People taking drastic steps to save their family, people doing whatever it takes, making whatever sacrifice they have to, to do the right thing and try to keep from making a mistake.
Overall this one gets an A-