A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Monday, February 29, 2016

Be Frank With Me - A Novel- By Julia Claiborne Johnson- A Book Review

Reclusive literary legend M. M. “Mimi” Banning has been holed up in her Bel Air mansion for years, but now she’s writing her first book in decades and to ensure timely completion her publisher sends an assistant to monitor her progress. Mimi reluctantly complies—with a few stipulations: No Ivy Leaguers or English majors. Must drive, cook, tidy. Computer whiz. Good with kids. Quiet, discreet, sane.

When Alice Whitley arrives at the Banning mansion, she’s put to work right away—as a full-time companion to Frank, the writer’s eccentric nine-year-old, a boy with the wit of Noël Coward, the wardrobe of a 1930s movie star, and very little in common with his fellow fourth graders.

As she gets to know Frank, Alice becomes consumed with finding out who his father is, how his gorgeous “piano teacher and itinerant male role model” Xander fits into the Banning family equation—and whether Mimi will ever finish that book.

Full of heart and countless only-in-Hollywood moments, Be Frank With Me is a captivating and heartwarming story of an unusual mother and son, and the intrepid young woman who finds herself irresistibly pulled into their unforgettable world.

Be Frank With MeBe Frank With Me by Julia Claiborne Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Be Frank with me by Julia Claibourne Johnson is a 2016 Willam Morrow publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

With the wealthy and secluded Bel Air as a backdrop, the relationship between a reclusive “one hit wonder” author and her delightful, but complicated son, Frank , sets the stage for this offbeat, put poignant story.

Think along the lines of Harper Lee or J.D. Salinger and you have M.M. Banning, or Mimi, to her close friends. After writing one book that instantly became a literary classic, Mimi fled the public eye and became a notorious recluse, with the reputation of being a bit odd or eccentric. She has lived quite nicely off the royalties of her classic masterpiece all these years without ever having to pen another novel… until now.

A victim of a ponzi style scheme, Mimi is now broke, and must produce a novel.. like yesterday! So, her publisher sends over an assistant, a fresh faced young lady named Alice, to help with various task, so Mimi can focus on her book. But, Alice soon discovers most of her time is taken up with caring for Mimi's nine year old son, Frank.

Frank, is an exceptional boy, brilliant, and also has some form of autism. While not actually named, one gets the idea he could have Asperger's syndrome. He's a real handful, and is full of knowledge of movie trivia, music and all sorts of random information. He dresses in 1930's clothing which puts him at odds with his classmates, making his life away from home a virtual nightmare.

Enter in another odd duck character, Xander, a family friend who is a musician and the only male presence, it would seem, in Frank's life. This prompts Alice to become rather fixated on discovering who Frank's father is.

While Alice could not possibly have been prepared on how to deal with Mimi and her moods, she is really taken aback by Frank. They all three get off to a rather awkward start as Mimi and Frank make it abundantly clear they really don't want Alice intruding upon them and their carefully constructed and private world.

But before all is said and done, a bond will form between Mimi, Frank, Alice and Xander that will make for one very zany, whimsical, but very touching story.

Frank steals the show, it goes without saying. He is the star hands down, and everyone else kind of pales in comparison. While each character has an impact on Frank in one way or another, and each is drawn quite distinctly, all of them revolve around Frank and his rich fantasy life that spills over into reality, with mixed results.

Compared in part to “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time”, “Eloise”, and “Where'd You go, Bernadette?” due to the elements each presented, such as autism, agoraphobia, brilliant, and precocious children. But, to me Frank, as charming and fragile as he can be, was also a rather sad figure. To say his life is unconventional is an understatement of epic proportions. I wondered at how his life will ultimately develop over time, if he will ever live a more structured life or if he will still find Alice to be a special and important part of his life someday.

While the focus of course is on Frank, let's not forget Alice. She is the narrator of the story and at the end of the day, she is one who will carry the memories of her time with Mimi and Frank inside her heart, she is the one who was perhaps the most impacted by all their shared experiences, and the one who learned the most about herself, walking away with as a different person that when she first arrived.

I wasn't sure how to rate this one, really. I've been stuck on this review for several days thinking it over. I had a little trouble with what I felt was kind of an abrupt conclusion, wishing perhaps for a little hint of how things would be in the future for these characters. But, I suppose it ended on a more realistic note, with things playing out in real time. Still, I may find myself at some time in the future thinking of Alice or Frank, wondering how things are going for them and what adventures they have got up to.



Click this link to enter the HarperCollins "Be Frank with Me" Sweepstakes.



Julia Claiborne Johnson worked at Mademoiselle and Glamour magazines before marrying and moving to Los Angeles, where she lives with her comedy-writer husband and their two children.


Friday, February 26, 2016

Last Ride to Graceland by Kim Wright- Feature and Book Review


Lauded for her “astute and engrossing” (People) writing style imbued with “originality galore” (RT Book Reviews), Kim Wright channels the best of Jennifer Weiner and Sarah Pekkanen in this delightful novel of self-discovery on the open road as one woman sets out for Graceland hoping to answer the question: Is Elvis Presley her father?

Blues musician Cory Ainsworth is barely scraping by after her mother’s death when she discovers a priceless piece of rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia hidden away in a shed out back of the family’s coastal South Carolina home: Elvis Presley’s Stutz Blackhawk, its interior a time capsule of the singer’s last day on earth.

A backup singer for the King, Cory’s mother Honey was at Graceland the day Elvis died. She quickly returned home to Beaufort and married her high school sweetheart. Yearning to uncover the secrets of her mother’s past—and possibly her own identity—Cory decides to drive the car back to Memphis and turn it over to Elvis’s estate, retracing the exact route her mother took thirty-seven years earlier. As she winds her way through the sprawling deep south with its quaint towns and long stretches of open road, the burning question in Cory’s mind—who is my father?—takes a backseat to the truth she learns about her complicated mother, the minister's daughter who spent a lifetime struggling to conceal the consequences of a single year of rebellion.



Last Ride to GracelandLast Ride to Graceland by Kim Wright
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Last Ride to Graceland by Kim Wright by Kim Wright is a 2016 Gallery Books publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and an XOXpert, the official street team of XOXO After Dark.

“It was like he came along and whispered some dream in everybody’s ear, and somehow we all dreamed it. - Bruce Springsteen

This is an engrossing story, steeped in whimsical history, featuring the King of rock -n- roll, and the story of Laura “Honey” Berry and her daughter, Cory.

The rich atmosphere of a good old fashioned southern road trip, peppered with history and sprinkled with a colorful cast, all works together to generate a poignant tale which connects a mother and daughter, on the ultimate journey of self-discovery.

Cory Ainsworth, a blues musician, at the age of thirty-seven, has never seemed able to settle down. With her mother’s recent death, Cory feels as though the time is long overdue for her address the issue of her biological father, because it is most certainly not Bradley, the man who raised her as his own.

Laura Ainsworth, nee’ Berry, also known as “Honey”, was a backup singer for Elvis in the last years of his life. She lived at Graceland, fell in love, then soon finds herself ‘in trouble’. She makes the long sojourn back home to South Carolina and immediately married her high school sweetheart, gave birth to Cory seven months later, and continued on with life with little mention of her past and certainly not Elvis.

Now, all these years later, Bradley sets things in motion for Cory by sending her on an errand which leads her to the discovery of a 1973 Stutz Blackhawk automobile, that has been literally entombed since 1977. There is no doubt this car belonged to Elvis and Cory intends to return it to Graceland and retrace her mother’s journey in reverse from South Carolina to Memphis, hoping to prove Elvis was her real father.

Along the way, Cory picks up a fellow traveler, a coon hound, she names Lucy and the two become inseparable, which convinces me this trip is karma at its finest.

While Cory’s focus is on finding her father, what she discovers is how complex her mother really was. Honey was not the Laura Ainsworth that Cory grew up with. She is certainly remembered by many, but each person seems to have a different take on her character, making her a bit of a mystery to Cory.

Via Honey’s diaries, we are privy to Honey’s version of events, which, coupled with the retelling of Elvis’ last days adds a bittersweet quality to the tale.

Cory’s journey opens her eyes to many things, as the past merges with the present, and she discovers she is more like her mother than she ever thought possible. All the characters she encounters are unique, all of them giving Cory a little insight into her mother’s past. Some of these characters are likeable, some not as much., but in their own way, I think they all felt a sincere fondness for Honey and for Cory, even those who were full of it.

I have to admit, I was never a huge fan of Elvis, but I did find the passages highlighting conversations between him and Honey to be interesting, and I do believe Honey and Cory had him pegged pretty good, but of course, he did show Honey a great kindness, and for that reason, he is a redeemable character in the story.

This journey will resolve many of Cory’s lingering and burning questions, the most important of which is the discovery of the real Laura Ainsworth, and in the process, the discovery of her own self, which gives her the courage to grab hold of a promising future with both hands, which I am sure would make Honey, and maybe even Elvis, very proud.

I enjoyed this story very much, thought it was poignant, humorous at times, bittersweet, but ultimately a heartwarming story that left feeling like Cory has finally gotten her footing and will become the success she was destined to be.




Kim Wright is the author of Love in Mid Air, The Unexpected Waltz, and The Canterbury Sisters. A two-time winner of the Lowell Thomas Award for travel writing, she has been writing about travel, food, and wine for more than twenty years for magazines such as Wine Spectator, Self, Travel & Leisure, and Vogue. She also ballroom dances competitively. Kim lives in Charlotte, North Carolina.

- See more at: http://authors.simonandschuster.com/Kim-Wright/425737035

The Book Review's Weekly Recommended Recipe- Amazing Mussels Recipe

4 fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Saved by a Seal with Lindsay McKenna, Chris Keniston, and Susan Stoker- Book Blast + Giveaway

Enter to Win a $10.00 Amazon eGift Card
and Grab a Copy of SAVED BY A SEAL for ONLY $0.99 
100% of Proceeds going to America's Vet Dogs

3 First-In-Series Novels
NOWHERE TO HIDE by Lindsay McKenna
ALOHA TEXAS by Chris Keniston
Released February 6th, 2016

Three New York Times / USA TODAY Bestselling authors have joined forces to give back to the military veterans who have given so much to their country. Lindsay McKenna, Chris Keniston and Susan Stoker bring you SAVED BY A SEAL, a first in series box set. Join these authors and their SEAL heroes from the very beginning of their bestselling romance series.

by Lindsay McKenna 
Book 1, Delos Series

Lia Cassidy left the Army scarred physically and emotionally after a vicious attack by two fellow soldiers. She turns to helping others, working at a Delos Home School Charity in Costa Rica that aids abused women and children. But when the deadly drug lord, La Arana, attacks the school, Lia finds herself on the run for her life. The only person she can trust is the ex-SEAL sent to protect her.

Cav Jordan is strong, honorable and gorgeous…and intrigued by Lia. He knows she has suffered pain in her past, and he is determined to break through her barriers and earn her trust. But as Cav slowly chips away at the walls Lia has built, ghosts from her past threaten to destroy their fragile relationship.

by Chris Keniston 
Book 1, Aloha Series

Former navy diver Nicholas Harper likes his new world as captain of a dive boat in Hawaii.

Powerhouse attorney Kara Lynn O'Conner's world revolves around her small Texas town where life is easy and safe.

Six year old Bradley Cooper is about to change everything.

by Susan Stoker 
Book 1, SEAL of Protection Series

Matthew “Wolf” Steel hated flying commercial. Luckily his job as a Navy SEAL meant he didn’t have to do it very often. He’d been unlucky enough to be assigned a middle seat on the cramped jet, but fortunately for him, the woman next to him was willing to switch seats with him. Hoping for a relaxing flight, Wolf was pleasantly surprised at the good conversation and sense of humor the woman had as they flew 36,000 feet over the countryside.

When Caroline boarded the plane to Virginia to move across the country for her new job she never expected to be seated next to the hottest guy she’d ever seen. She also never expected he’d be so easy to talk to. She knew he’d never be interested in talking to her if he hadn’t been trapped in the seat next to her, but it was a nice way to spend a long plane ride.

Neither Wolf nor Caroline were prepared for a terrorist hijacking of their plane, but if Caroline thought that would be the last time she’d see, or need, Wolf, she’d be sorely mistaken.


America's VetDog's Mission: To help those who have served our country honorably live with dignity and independence.

America’s VetDogs® is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that serves the needs of disabled veterans from all eras who have honorably served our country. VetDogs provides guide dogs for individuals who are blind or have low vision; hearing dogs for those who have lost their hearing later in life; service dogs for those with other physical disabilities; facility dogs as part of the rehabilitation process in military and VA hospitals, and PTSD service dogs to help mitigate the effects of PTSD in an effort to provide the emotional and physical support needed.

In 2013, America's VetDogs (an affiliate of and managed by the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind) became the second assistance dog school (the Guide Dog Foundation is the other) in the United States to be certified by the International Guide Dog Federation and Assistance Dogs International.

For more information about this organization or how to donate go to  www.vetdogs.org

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Lindsay McKenna lives her life as a risk taker, and it shines through the books she loves to write: romance, adventure and suspense. She started writing at age thirteen and continues to hone her writing skills to this day. She sold her first romance novel in 1981. The rest is history.

Because she went into the military, this experience became the backbone of her writing—she is credited with writing the first military romance novel (Captive of Fate, 1983, Silhouette Special Edition) and has created a thriving sub-genre within the romance field! As a New York Times Best Selling author, she has sold 23 million books and in 32 foreign languages in her career thus far. Her many experiences in the U.S. Navy are backdrop for her understanding of the military in general, and also her very successful Morgan’s Mercenaries, which is an ongoing series in Silhouette to this day! Forty-five books strong!

Lindsay has gone Indie in 2015 and has created a new family saga on par with Morgan’s Mercenaries It is known as the DELOS SERIES. There will be paperback and eBooks created under Blue Turtle Publishing, her company for her fans. Readers who love Morgan and his family are bound to fall in love with the Culver family. Delos is romantic suspense, which Lindsay is well known for. It took her five years to create and bring DELOS to her readers. It was worth the wait, but we’ll let you decide that.

Lindsay loves to hear from her readers and loves to know what they’d like to see her write next. Stay up with the latest on the Delos Series here. Please visit her Web site at www.lindsaymckenna.com. And be sure to sign up for her free quarterly newsletter. It contains exclusive content found nowhere else on the Net. Plus, giveaways and other surprises, to her loyal and faithful subscribers!

A native New Yorker, Chris Keniston was on her way to Australia when she fell in love with North Texas. Little did she know the balmy seventy-degree October days would turn into fry-an-egg-on-the-sidewalk heat in August!

Twenty years later, she started scribbling short stories about her favorite TV shows, giving them lives more to her liking - and the elusive happy ending. Not long after, a dear friend dragged her to a local writers’ meeting. After winning multiple writing contests and making the finals in the Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart contest, she now spends her days, and nights, writing contemporary romantic fiction with lots of emotion, plenty of surprises, and, of course, the happily ever after.

Chris lives in suburban Dallas with her husband, two human children, and two canine children. Though she loves her puppies equally, she admits being especially attached to her German Shepherd rescue named Gunny. After all, even dogs deserve a happily ever after.

New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author, Susan Stoker has a heart as big as the state of Texas where she lives, but this all American girl has also spent the last fourteen years living in Missouri, California, Colorado, and Indiana. She's married to a retired Army man who now gets to follow her around the country.
She debuted her first series in 2014 and quickly followed that up with the SEAL of Protection Series, which solidified her love of writing and creating stories readers can get lost in.

Fun Fact about SAVED BY A SEAL Boxed Set

Fabio, darling model of the romance covers during the 1980’s and 1990’s, before he retired, showed up on a total of 460 romance covers in our romance industry! An amazing amount!

In 2016 a very popular cover model is Jason Baca from Saratoga California , just broke Fabio’s long-standing record.  On 2.10.16, the San Francisco Chronicle did an article on how Jason is now THE top romance cover model in our Romance Industry! 

Jason has done 461 romance covers breaking Fabio's record. Why should I care you ask? Guess whose cover is number 461? That's right. SAVED BY A SEAL is the cover that broke Fabio's record! 

The authors of SAVED BY A SEAL, Lindsay McKenna, Chris Keniston and Susan Stoker, sure hope this sells more books for the Disabled Vets ! - It's rather cool that a charity anthology broke Fabio's record!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Hastings' Dead by Rohn Federbush- Blitz Tour + Giveaway

About the Book

Hastings' Dead
by Rohn Federbush
Genre: Mystery / Romantic Suspense
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Length: 136 Pages

What's a guy to do when people don't see things his way?

“Hastings’ Dead” is set in a small Michigan town, where a University of Michigan student, Range Goloso, has promised her father she’ll return to teach grade school.

In college Range falls in love with Ben Adler, a New York based law student who can’t very well start a lucrative practice without a substantial client base. She defends a local artist accused of pushing his girlfriend off the church bell tower when she wanted to leave town. Actually Range is upholding her town’s reputation and realizes her dreams of settling down in Hastings might be dead.

Hastings' Dead - Excerpt


Hastings, Michigan – Summer
St. Rose of Lima’s Bell Tower

David Dahlton encouraged his best girl to follow him up the narrow staircase. “Diane, you’ll love the view.”

Diane Pettergill shook her head. How many times must she wear herself out following him up creaking staircases to capture yet another view of their hometown? “Who’s going to look at your pictures?’

David sat down on the top step, realizing he had a problem. Photography would rescue him from farming drudgery without leaving the secure confines of Hastings. “Maybe I’ll publish a book someday.”

She smiled at him. “That’ll be the day.”

“Don’t you want to see our town become famous?” He noticed he hadn’t thoroughly cleaned the mud from his shoes. Maybe Diane was reacting to the smell of recycled pig food.

“I’m more interested in our future than this stupid town’s.”

“You don’t want to live here after we marry?” David’s mind spun out of control. He thought she loved him, wanted to have his babies and see them grow up in town. “Wouldn’t you miss your parents and your sister?”

“Betty said you wouldn’t listen.” Diane tucked a stray strand of hair behind her ear. “We could visit, you know.”

Their life wouldn’t be the same. “We’d be strangers to everyone—even to our own folks if we stayed away too long.”

“You are a stick in the mud.” Diane turned her back on him.

He listened as she slammed the side door to the tower. David climbed up to the landing under the bell. Hanging over the side nearest the front door, he called to her. “Come back. I don’t want to lose you.”

Diane stopped her retreat down St. Rose’s front walk. She stood with her back to him. Then shaded her eyes as she looked up. “I’m not ready to say goodbye either.”

“Wait for me.” He wanted to ring the bell for the celebration in his heart. Instead he took several hurried photographs in each direction. He’d need to come back to get more shots. They’d known each other since childhood. Out on Route 43, only a corn field separated their farm houses. Both their families were among the first settlers of Hastings.

Once he reached her, Diane apologized, offering her hand. “I’m sorry. I know you love to take pictures. But, don’t you want to photograph the entire world?”

“It’s been done.” David dropped her hand. “I want the world to love our town as much as we do.”

“What makes you think I’d be happy in this dinky burgh?”


“Small. I said dinky.” Diane stretched her arms out. “I want to unfold my wings. Do something important before I die.”

That’s when David got the idea he couldn’t share. “Okay,” he lied. “I promise this will be the last time you ever need to climb a flight of stairs for me to click my camera in all four directions.”

“I knew I could convince you.” Diane smiled. “College will be more fun, together.”

David followed her up the stairs again. However as soon as they had both reached the landing, David lunged at her. He knocked her down against the west ledge, away from the view of any onlookers in town. For a second he wanted to turn her around to get a good look at her fear, but he decided she might survive and ruin his life.

“Let’s see how far you can fly with those important wings of yours.”

David watched her all the way down. In the struggling three-story fall, her body flipped over.

Diane stared right into his eyes until she hit the very hard pavement in the parking lot.

About Rohn Federbush

Rohn Federbush retired as an administrator from the University of Michigan in 1999. She received a Masters of Arts in Creative Writing in 1995 from Eastern Michigan University. Frederick Busch of Colgate granted a 1997 summer stipend for her ghost-story collection. Michael Joyce of Vassar encouraged earlier writing at Jackson Community College, Jackson, Michigan in 1981.

​Rohn has completed fourteen novels, with an additional mystery nearly finished, 120 short stories and 150 poems to date.

The Misbehaved by Jessica Jayne- Cover Reveal + Giveaway

Tasty Book Tours is Thrilled to Share the Cover for 
Make this Smoking Hot "Sexy Snax" a 2016 Must Read!

Jessica Jayne
Releasing May 10th, 2016
Totally Bound

Natalea Jones has had a rough life. An absentee father. A gambling addicted mother, who seems to show up only when she needs something—preferably money. Natalea survives her childhood and teenage years because of her best friend, Drake Harte, and his family. Even though she’s been in love with Drake for years, she refuses to let her lust come in the way of their friendship. Life without Drake is not possible and sex would certainly complicate things.

Drake Harte is not only known as the most eligible bachelor and firefighter in Gamble Park, Florida, but he’s also known for sexing the ladies and leaving them. Only he knows the reason he can’t make a commitment to the women throwing themselves at him—he’s in love with his best friend. It’s time he either goes for it or moves on.

After Natalea and Drake share a night of passion, an unexpected event occurs that proves to both of them that life—and love—are too precious.

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Jessica Jayne is a born and raised small-town Ohio girl who moved to the Sunshine State after graduating from college. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English. What college major could possibly be better than one that makes you read novels and write about them! Now she is thrilled to be able to share all the hot stories floating around in her head.

Jessica loves to travel and travel often! She shares her love of travel with her husband and children. She’s a huge sports fan, especially football. She loves the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Ohio State Buckeyes! She’s a wine-making (and wine-tasting) aficionado. She loves all music. And nothing is better than sunset at the beach!

In the journey of life, she also married a wonderful man and had three beautiful (and sometimes crazy) children. Life is always an adventure!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Rogue - A Devil's Duke Novel- by Katherine Ashe- Release Blast + Giveaway!

Enter to Win a Katharine Ashe
Print Bundle: includes: When a Scot Loves a Lady, How to be a Proper Lady, How a Lady Weds a Rogue, I Loved a Rogue (U.S. Only)

Devil's Duke #1
Katharine Ashe
Releasing February 23rd, 2016
Avon Books

In the first book in Katharine Ashe’s stunning new historical series, to capture a duke, a lady must first seduce a rogue. 

Lady Constance Read is independent, beautiful, and in need of a husband-now. The last man on earth she wants is the rogue who broke her heart six years ago, never mind that his kisses are scorching hot…

Evan Saint-André Sterling is rich, scarred, and finished with women-forever. He’s not about to lose his head over the bewitching beauty who once turned his life upside down.

But Constance needs a warrior, and Saint is the perfect man for the job. Only as a married woman can she penetrate Scotland’s most notorious secret society and bring a diabolical duke to justice. When Constance and Saint become allies-and passionate lovers-he’ll risk everything to protect the only woman he has ever loved.


The Rogue (Devil's Duke, #1)The Rogue by Katharine Ashe
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Rogue by Katharine Ashe is a 2016 Avon publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the author/publisher and Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

This is the first book in the Devil’s Duke series, but you will recognize the main characters from some of the author’s previous novels.

Constance was raised unconventionally by her father and destined for great things within his club. However, six years ago, Constance encountered the dashing Evan Sterling and was spoiled to any other man. Despite all her father’s machinations she has steadfastly refused proposal after proposal.

That is all about to change, however, because in order to maintain control over her mother’s inheritance, she must wed before her twenty-fifth birthday. Her father has even chosen the groom for her, a man she suspects of committing dark crimes amid rumors of a secret society.

And Sterling? As fate would have it, he has been commissioned to teach Constance to use a sword in order to defend herself. The six years they have been separated melts away in an instant and the two once more find themselves unable to control the fire that rages between them.

Constance is a woman ahead of her time in many ways, yet is still used as a pawn by the men in her life, and sadly, is scarred both externally and internally. Yet, she exhibits an incredible amount of bravery and intelligence which makes her a character I could cheer for. Here, with the help of Sterling, she is at last able to break free from those chains, and in the process receives the one thing she wishes for above all others… true love.

Sterling…well, what can I say? This guy was the most intriguing hero I’ve encountered in some time. For some reason, he reminded me of Sir Percy in the Scarlet Pimpernel. Maybe it was all that sword play and disguises, but it was also his sharp wit and biting humor. I fell in love with him the very same moment Constance did. He is so funny, sharp, valiant, and honorable, he literally took my breath.

But, this story also has a very dark tone at times, with Constance and Sterling attempting to penetrate an underground club for married couples only, hoping to discover who murdered a young woman, and what happened to two other women who have gone missing. To complicate matters further, it would seem Sterling is being framed for the murder. Can they uncover the truth before Sterling is charged with the crime and will they live to tell to the tale?

Katherine’s writing style sucks me into her stories right away. I sit down thinking I will read a chapter or two, only to find myself so utterly spellbound by the story, I come to my senses an hour later, realizing I have read nearly half the book. This book was no exception and I must say, I believe this series is going to rock your world.

This story moves at a quick pace showcasing the art of fencing and swordsmanship, and dabbling a little in the tantalizing world of disguises which always tends to lend a more erotic tone to a story. As many people can attest to, I love the scarred hero, and I like the darker tones in historical romances much more than the ones with pompous Dukes and Earls and silly virginal girls trying to defy polite society. I like a historical romance with a little danger and intrigue, a story with a little meat on its bones if you will, and this story has that, but it is not too heavy.

Constance and Sterling have a delightful chemistry amid all the serious problems they are dealing with, and exhibit some very humorous and sharp witted banter that was pleasing and charming.

Overall the story is well balanced, flows nicely, is deeply engrossing, and highly entertaining.

4.5 stars

View all my reviews



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Katharine Ashe is the award-winning author of historical romances that reviewers call “intensely lush” and “sensationally intelligent,” including How to Be a Proper Lady, an Amazon Editors’ Choice for the 10 Best Books of the Year in Romance, and My Lady, My Lord and How to Marry a Highlander, 2015 and 2014 finalists for the prestigious RITA® Award of the Romance Writers of America. Her books are recommended by Publishers Weekly, Women’s World Magazine, Booklist, Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Barnes & Noble, and many others, and translated into languages across the world.

Katharine lives in the wonderfully warm Southeast with her beloved husband, son, dog, and a garden she likes to call romantic rather than unkempt. A professor of European History, she writes fiction because she thinks modern readers deserve grand adventures and breathtaking sensuality too. For more about Katharine’s books, please visit www.KatharineAshe.com or write to her at PO Box 51702, Durham, NC 27717.

Atone by Beth Yarnell - Release Blast + Giveaway!

Enter to Win a 
$25.00 Amazon eGift Card

Recovered Innocence #2
Beth Yarnall
Releasing February 23rd, 2016

Beth Yarnall’s sexy and emotional Recovered Innocence series continues as two broken souls discover that keeping their hands off each other is even harder than facing their demons.

Beau: Six years. That’s how long I spent behind bars for a crime I didn’t commit—the murder of the woman I loved. Now I’m free, but life on the outside is a different kind of prison. I don’t know who I am or who I want to be. At least I have my sister, Cora. She never stopped believing in me. She even got me a job at the private investigation agency that cleared my name. And then Vera Swain walks into Nash Security and Investigations and kicks my world on its ass.

Vera: There’s only one thing that would make me come out of hiding after two years on the run: finding my sister. I made the mistake of telling a monster about her, the same monster who beat me and broke me. Now I’m forced to confide in Beau Hollis of Nash Security and Investigations. He looks at me like he knows me—the real me. He sees too much, makes me feel too much. The pleasure he offers is exciting and addictive. But I can’t fall for him . . . because my love could get us both killed.


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Beth Yarnall writes romantic suspense, mysteries, and the occasional hilarious Tweet. She discovered romance novels in middle school and hasn’t stopped writing since. For a number of years, she made her living as a hairstylist and makeup artist and co-owned a salon. Somehow hairstylists and salons always seem to find a way into her stories. Yarnall lives with her husband, two sons, and their rescue dog in Orange County, California, where she’s hard at work on her next novel.

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Monday, February 22, 2016

Reckless Heat: Prequel to Hot Pursuit- A Hostile Operations Team Novella

He’s my best friend.
He’s everything I ever wanted.
And he doesn’t know how I feel.
I have three weeks left to tell him before he leaves this place forever…

There’s only one way I know how to do that.
I have to give him what I’ve never given anyone.
I’m going to ask him to be my first…

Matt Girard is the guy every girl wants. Rich, handsome, and popular, his future is brighter than the sun. Evie Baker comes from the wrong side of town. She loves Matt desperately, but he only sees her as his tomboy best friend instead of the young woman she’s blossomed into.

Until one fateful night when a reckless dare changes everything…


This is the prequel story to Hot Pursuit, Book 1 in the Hostile Operations Team Series. Reckless Heat (Hostile Operations Team, #0.5)Reckless Heat by Lynn Raye Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reckless Heat: The Prequel to Hot Pursuit- a HOT Novella is a 2016 publication. I was provided a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I’ve followed this series from the beginning and a lot has taken place since HOT Pursuit with the storylines developing more and more as we go along. But, it was nice to go back to the beginning to gain a little more insight into Evie and Matt’s backstory.

This novella length story is written in full blown New Adult style with the dual first person perspectives of Matt and Evie.

Normally, NA is not my bag, but in this case, because I knew the characters, this set up was actually kind of cool, despite the high degree of angst.

This story sets the stage for what happens in Hot Pursuit, so, of course I already know how things turn out for this couple, but now we have a few more details which provides greater insight into what propels Matt forward and how the couple’s wires got crossed that last evening they spent together.

Still, despite the years of heartbreak, I can’t help but think things turned out the way they were meant to in the end. It’s just too bad, they never got a chance to clear the air first, however, this story shows us how the coupled transitioned from being best friends to the point of falling in love. I love the friends to lovers romances, almost as much as…. The second chance at love trope. ( in HOT Pursuit)

The author did a fantastic job of recreating all that high school drama and angst, while providing us with more details about Matt’s background, which is very hard, and will make you want to hold him and take care of him, and of course helps the reader gain a little more understanding of why he made the choices he did, the way he did.

This story was like tripping down memory lane for me and reminds me again of why I fell in love with this series in the first place.

4 stars

Release date: February 23

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USA Today bestselling author Lynn Raye Harris burst onto the scene when she won a writing contest held by Harlequin. A former finalist for the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award and the National Readers Choice Award, Lynn lives in Alabama with her handsome former military husband and two crazy cats. Lynn writes about hot military heroes, sizzling international billionaires, and the women who dare to tame them. Her books have been called “exceptional and emotional,” “intense,” and “sizzling.”

Friday, February 19, 2016

Breakdown by Jonathan Kellerman- A Book Review

In #1 New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Kellerman’s thrilling new blockbuster Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis investigate the murder of a Hollywood actress pushed to the limits of sanity.

Psychologist sleuth Alex Delaware is surprised to get the call when well-known TV actress Zelda Chase turns up half-naked, half-mad in the LA’s rural Westside. He has little connection to the starlet, save a psychiatric evaluation he performed on her adopted son several years ago, a child who has since vanished without a trace and whom Zelda refuses to talk about. When the actress turns up dead a few weeks later without a scratch on her, Delaware calls in police lieutenant Milo Sturgis to help him crack the case—or at least the wall of silence surrounding it. When the body of a second actress turns up with the same mysterious cause of death, Delaware and Sturgis start to wonder—is this a copycat case or a coincidence? When they uncover the death of another actress, a star from another era who vanished decades ago, never to be found, they realize they’re facing one of their most baffling, mind-bending cases yet.



Breakdown (Alex Delaware #31)Breakdown by Jonathan Kellerman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Breakdown by Jonathan Kellerman is a 2016 Ballantine Books publication. I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

It’s curious, to me at least, that as a life -long voracious reader, I have only remained loyal to a few authors or series. I have gone through stages and phases, over the years, but through all that I have always made an effort to keep up with the Alex Delaware Mystery Series. This is the thirty-first installment in this long running series, and naturally, with this sort of longevity, there have been a few stinkers in there, and I found the last couple of installments to be a little short on action and have been a little disappointed by the absence of, or the reduced face time with some of the more beloved recurring characters.

Thankfully, with ‘Breakdown’, Kellerman has gotten back into the groove with one of the best novels in this series for some time.

Years ago, Alex was called in to evaluate a five year old boy whose mother, Zelda, a television actress, is in the throes of a mental episode. Alex must determine if the charming boy is safe with his mother.

Now, although Zelda was never his patient, Alex has been called to a very odd facility where, Zelda is being held after yet another apparent psychotic breakdown. However, her son appears to be missing and Alex is beside himself with concern. But, things really get tricky when Zelda is found dead, and a string of possibly related homicides follows.

Talk about true evil! Wow, this story is an incredible tale, rich with startling details, extremely well plotted and paced, which slowly sucked me into a vivid and disturbing portrait of the darker side of humanity, which is something Kellerman is a master of.

The story did start off slowly, but once we got past Alex’s outrage over the facility where Zelda was being held, the story picked up pace, in earnest.

It was so nice to see Milo back working alongside Alex, something that has been missing recently. For me, Milo is almost as important to the series as Alex, and I have missed the pair riding around together, working the case equally, and of course the hilarious insight Milo offers with his jaded quips. I suppose it’s good to see Milo cutting back on refrigerator raids, but I always thought it was funny how he made himself at home with Alex and Robin, and although he plays a bigger role in this latest chapter, I still found his personality somewhat muted. As to Alex’s personal life, which has also been muted recently, and I realize Robin was never playing a huge part in the mysteries, I do like to stay updated on what she’s doing or how she is feeling about what is going on at the time. However, she does get a small chance to help out here, but for the most part she remains firmly in the background with little or no dialogue between the couple, which is a little disappointing, but this is a minor complaint, in the big scheme of things.

Changes are a part of life, and so it’s only natural for a series to go through changes over time, as well, but I must say I am relieved to see things return to the formula, or style, I like most, and what I feel works the best. This story is another absorbing mystery, an incredibly frustrating guessing game, and I found it quite interesting to see Alex, who always seems capable of telling his story in a rather unflappable manner, so emotionally disturbed. His concern for this young boy, had me wanting to give Alex a big hug and comfort him. I liked seeing this vulnerable side of him, and would like to see more of this type of emotion from him from time to time.
Overall, I am very satisfied and pleased with this book, and find myself looking forward to the next book in the series, more so than usual.





Jonathan Kellerman was born in New York City in 1949 and grew up in Los Angeles. He helped work his way through UCLA as an editorial cartoonist, columnist, editor and freelance musician. As a senior, at the age of 22, he won a Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award for fiction.

Like his fictional protagonist, Alex Delaware, Jonathan received at Ph.D. in psychology at the age of 24, with a specialty in the treatment of children. He served internships in clinical psychology and pediatric psychology at Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles and was a post-doctoral HEW Fellow in Psychology and Human Development at CHLA.

IN 1975, Jonathan was asked by the hospital to conduct research into the psychological effects of extreme isolation (plastic bubble units) on children with cancer, and to coordinate care for these kids and their families. The success of that venture led to the establishment, in 1977 of the Psychosocial Program, Division of Oncology, the first comprehensive approach to the emotional aspects of pediatric cancer anywhere in the world. Jonathan was asked to be founding director and, along with his team, published extensively in the area of behavioral medicine. Decades later, the program, under the tutelage of one of Jonathan's former students, continues to break ground.

Jonathan's first published book was a medical text, PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF CHILDHOOD CANCER, 1980. One year later, came a book for parents, HELPING THE FEARFUL CHILD.

In 1985, Jonathan's first novel, WHEN THE BOUGH BREAKS, was published to enormous critical and commercial success and became a New York Times bestseller. BOUGH was also produced as a t.v. movie and won the Edgar Allan Poe and Anthony Boucher Awards for Best First Novel. Since then, Jonathan has published a best-selling crime novel every year, and occasionally, two a year. In addition, he has written and illustrated two books for children and a nonfiction volume on childhood violence, SAVAGE SPAWN (1999.) Though no longer active as a psychotherapist, he is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and Psychology at University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine.

Jonathan is married to bestselling novelist Faye Kellerman and they have four children.