May #BookReviews Part 1 – @LBroday @lisawellsauthor @1rburkey @CalebPirtle @CW_Hawes @jamesrcallan @virgilante

I have had SUCH a great month of eclectic reading! I’m happy to share my thoughts on these books but it is going to take two posts to share them all. Please keep in mind I only share four and five star review reads.

Deacon Brannock is determined to make a name for himself and the saloon he’s worked his whole life to afford. He was prepared for life in the Wild West, but he hadn’t counted on Grace Legend…

Grace has always fought hard for what she believes in, and after her best friend is killed at the hands of her drunk and angry husband, that includes keeping alcohol out of her town. When the owner of the new saloon turns out to be a kind and considerate man, she can’t help but wonder if they could have a future together…if they weren’t on opposite sides of every issue.

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

I first met Grace Legend in book 2 of the Men of Legend Series. She was a baby, but a precocious one and soon had the calloused cowboys on the huge Lone Star Ranch wrapped around her little finger. In this book, she is all grown up and forging a life for herself. She’s ambitious and sassy. She joins a Women’s Temperance Movement and marches with other women into the notorious Hell’s Half Acre in Fort Worth, known for the danger that lurks there. However, she isn’t prepared for the handsome and kind owner she finds at the Three Deuces saloon. And when they smash his whiskey barrels, destroying his livelihood, things heat up. Deacon Brannock has gone through hell and back to establish his business and just when things are running smoothly, here come these women determined to destroy him. One of my favorite scenes in the book is when Grace Legend’s father, the great Houston Legend, forces her to go to the saloon and clean up the mess she helped the women make. Then Houston replenishes Deacon’s whiskey supply. The tension been Grace and Deacon is so thick you can’t cut it with a sharp knife. It is highly unlikely that the two could ever be civil to each other, much less fall in love. This story is filled with such powerful imagery. Broday has depicted life in the rough and rowdy town of Fort Worth, Texas in the late 1880s perfectly. She uses all of the senses to bring the scenes to life. The characters are well-developed and layered, each with their own bag of secrets. If you love western romance, you are going to love this new book! I highly recommend it.

Librarian Kinley Foster wants to write erotic romance—the steamy, sexy, curl-your-toes kind of stuff. The problem? She desperately needs a little erotic inspiration. And at a romance convention in Vegas, she finds it…or rather him.

Literary agent Ian Thompson is a professional. Mentoring an aspiring author is one thing, giving her a thoroughly satisfying sexy education is quite another. Especially when she’s as stunning and deliciously curvaceous as Kinley. Yet Ian can’t help himself when Kinley makes him a wager he can’t resist. A wager that will tempt Ian to cross every professional—and every sensual—boundary in the book…

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

Steamy with a Capital S!!! This was such a fun book to read and I immediately fell in love with both characters. Kinley Foster has an older brother, so grew up around all of his friends. She’s had a major crush on his friend, Ian Thompson, since she can remember. But he rejected her and she’s never forgotten. Now she’s an aspiring author, writing steamy romance and heading to Las Vegas for a conference where she hopes to land a literary agent. To her surprise, the man she hasn’t seen in ten years who picks her up at the airport is none other than Ian Thompson. He’s every bit as handsome as she remembers. One debacle leads to another and she has to share a hotel suite with him. What a surprise to find that Ian Thompson is actually the acclaimed literary agent, I. Hartley. Kinley is in over her head after an indecent proposal from Thompson where he promises to teach her what she needs to know to write steamy romance. This is an off-the-charts steamy romance with a little light BDSM and a lot of hot sex with a series of missteps and mishaps. I won’t leave a spoiler, but I will say I enjoyed this light read. It’s a great way to escape from reality!

One photograph – A single image – A lonely boat on the edge of the sea.
Is it adrift? – Was it abandoned? – Did it wash ashore? – Was anyone aboard?
Did someone leave it behind? – Is anyone coming back? – Who knows.
The sea has washed the footprints away.
Look at the vessel and think: “If that old boat could talk, what stories it would tell.”
Wonder no longer. Twelve members of Underground Authors all gazed upon the same image.
And to each, the photograph told a different story. Same boat. Same image. Different genres. From mystery and technothriller to romance and magical realism, from horror and historical fiction to fantasy and suspense with a little paranormal thrown in for good measure. These stories are presented in Beyond The Sea and are the handiwork of award-winning authors. The stories are all different as the boat had more than one secret to tell. It had a dozen.

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:

This is a compilation of short stories from twelve different authors. Each story is unique and the twelve together cover a diverse compilation of genres. There is everything from mystery to apocalyptic to historical and suspense. While I enjoyed them all, there were a few that really stood out to me, as a reader. C.W. Hawes wrote a compelling short story that I didn’t want to come to an end. His words came alive and I joined in with the characters in a hair-raising survival journey in a post-apocalyptic world. Great world-building and great writing! The Breakfield and Burkey writing duo wrote an inspiring tale about taking that proverbial leap of faith not knowing if it will end all the hopes, dreams, and goals of two ambitious young ladies. James R. Callan offers a nail-biting tale about an unexpected kidnapping and daring escape. Linda Pirtle took me on a mystery-solving journey while Kelly Marshall left me with goosebumps from her chilling tale of revenge. The theme of all of these stories is the boat you see on the cover. That is the common thread. It’s so amazing to me how any group of people can view one photo and all see a different story in it. Again, while I enjoyed each story, these are just a few that stood out to me. If you are looking for entertaining diversity, this compilation of short stories is perfect as there is something for everyone! I highly recommend this book to all readers of all genres! And as a result of this book, I will be exploring other work by these authors.

Lizzie and the hat are back in action, only this time they’re up against the most tragic monster of all, a werewolf.

This adventure is more like hunting an animal, and the werewolf is unlikely to come to any of their musical performances. This puts Lizzie out in the dark corners and wooded areas of the city. It may be more beneficial to get the monster to hunt Lizzie than to stalk him on his own turf. All she has to do is be quicker on the trigger than the wolf is on his feet.

At the same time, the police think they’re after a serial killer. Lizzie tries to keep them alive while also keeping them out of her way. As the body count rises, so do the pressures. It doesn’t help that people are blaming Lizzie and the hat for the killings. This involves an urban myth about them that the locals call Hellpox.

Pull on your boogie shoes and join the hunt. Designed as an afternoon read, this one is tons of supernatural fun.

PURCHASE LINK

MY REVIEW:


This story, which is book 4 in The Hat series, is multi-layered. Lizzie St. Laurent and her magical sidekick, The Hat (a creature from another dimension) find themselves entrenched in a futile search for a killer. Not only a killer, but one who devours its victims, leaving behind only a few small body pieces and rivers of blood. This quickly earns him the nickname of “Sausage Maker” from the media. While Lizzie and The Hat normally hunt down vampires and ghouls, this one is different and The Hat tries to talk Lizzie out of pursuing it. The other plot unfolding in the story is police sergeant, Joe Yoder, who is grieving the death of his wife. He keeps a pomander drenched in her perfume (Emeraude) and smells it when he needs to feel her near or wants to communicate with her, which he does quite often. When he’s assigned to the murder cases, he’s at a loss. This doesn’t seem like anything human. Yet, what else could it be? Everyone knows werewolves and vampires don’t really exist, even if all of the killings do occur on the full moon. One of the things I’ve loved in each of The Hat books is the banter back and forth between Lizzie and The Hat. It adds a nice helping of humor to an otherwise dark story. The Hat loves surfing the internet and spending money. The Hat is also the manager for the band, Lizzie and the Pythons, where he plays the stand-up bass through Lizzie’s fingers. In this book, we get a closer look at some of the other band members. Lizzie fears one of them could be the murderer. The way this book concludes, we get to see a softer more vulnerable side of Lizzie that’s not been shown before. This is an entertaining read with fabulous world-building and engaging characters. I highly recommend this and the other books in The Hat series. Also, it’s worth noting that you do not have to read the previous books before this one. It works well as a standalone

PART 2 OF MY MAY REVIEWS COMING UP!

#BookReviews! @fredsdiary1981 @hmkindt @nonniejules @EnigmaSeries #RRBCAuthors

I read constantly. And it’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to post some of my reviews. So, today I’m going to remedy that.

The books and reviews are listed in random order.

THE BLURB:

A holiday can change everything…

…it did for Fred.

He went on a two-week break with three friends to the Spanish island of Ibiza in July 1976. It was so enjoyable they all vowed to come back for the following season.

In April 1977, Fred returned to Ibiza, alone, in pursuit of his dream.

Behind him, he left his family, his girlfriend, and a promising career in banking.

Challenges lay ahead.

This would be no holiday.

He needed a place to stay and to find work that would sustain him through the next six months.

This true to life memoir follows 21-year-old Fred’s adventures as he acclimatises to living abroad. In a time before instant communication, he keeps in touch with family and friends by letter. They are his lifeline to home.

If you enjoy reading about people’s life-changing experiences, then this book is for you.

MY 5 STAR REVIEW:

I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir from Robert (aka Fred) Fear! As he took me along with him on the many adventures he had in Ibiza during the summer of 1977, I never lost interest or got bored. That summer changed the author’s life. It was not all roses. He had to work hard at different jobs to make ends meet. He slept in a tiny room and shared a bathroom with other tenants. But the magic of the island outweighed the discomforts. Mr. Fear gave me an inside view of moving to a foreign place and becoming a local. He immersed himself in the culture, the people, and the jobs he had to work in order to stay the entire summer. It became apparent throughout the story, that he grew through the experience. His confidence increased and his determination to have more adventures grew. This is a well-written memoir. The author made me feel as if I was there with him. I found it to be highly interesting and entertaining. Anyone who loves to read true stories will surely enjoy this one!

PURCHASE LINK:

THE BLURB:

Dottie Gale would hitch up with a tornado if it took her out of Kansas. Stuck in a dead-end teaching job beside her cheating ex Corbin isn’t her idea of a dream life. So when her wicked new principal Maxine Westward gifts her a trip to Las Vegas, she grabs her ruby slip-ons and heads for the nearest yellow brick road.

Forced to drive the entire way, Dotty picks up the motley trio of a dimwitted hunk, a heartless drifter, and a cowardly educator along the way. Far out of her comfort zone, the Kansas teacher and her passengers embark on a surprising adventure. But when Dottie reaches her destination and receives an unexpected declaration of love, she wonders if the journey has changed her far too much to accept…

As Westward’s fiendish plan to ruin her trip takes shape, will Dottie finally find her happiness somewhere over the rainbow?

Ruby Slips and Poker Chips: The Modern Tale of Dorothy Gale is an award-winning romantic comedy. If you like wise-cracking heroines, heartwarming stories, and hilarious twists and turns, then you’ll love Heather Kindt’s emerald of a novel.

MY 4 STAR REVIEW:

While this story is slightly comparable to the classic tale of the Wizard of Oz, I loved the way the author delivered it in a modern-day setting with realistic characters. Dorothy (Dottie) Gale wants out of small-town Kansas, especially after a new principal takes over the school where she teaches. She’s stuck in what she sees as a boring life with no future. Her childhood friend turned boyfriend, turned cheater (she thinks) is her main reason for wanting to run. So, when she is handed the chance to attend a teacher’s conference in Las Vegas, she jumps at it. But there are drawbacks. The evil principal insists that Dottie drive from Kansas to Las Vegas, and to save money, has to pick up two other teachers along the way. And that’s not all she picks up. A hitchhiker named Tina, joins the trio. The group has lots of adventures along the way including a visit to a county jail in handcuffs. I found this a very entertaining book to read. The choices Dottie is faced with, as well as the lessons she learns, are well executed. The author did a great job of telling this story and the book is error-free. If you like lighthearted stories with a touch of sizzling romance, you will enjoy this story.

PURCHASE LINK:

THE BLURB:

During this pandemic, I offer a 5-part Micro Read series on how COVID19 has impacted and interrupted lives around the world. Since the beginning of this crisis, I have followed and also documented every step and misstep along the way by the current administration in Washington, and also the plus and minus moments of our local leaders around the world. As deep as we are right now into this disease, some still don’t really know what’s going on, or how it’s impacting them – mentally, physically and emotionally. Now, the issue has moved extremely close to my heart. They want to send our kids back to school during the worst pandemic of our lives.

I am a Mom who values many things, but above all else, I am a Mom who values life.

Everyone is sharing their opinion about what we’re living through and how it should all be handled – now it’s time that you heard mine.

MY 4 STAR REVIEW:

Author, Nonnie Jules is well-known as someone who does not shy away from sensitive topics. In her new short story release, she stays true to that persona. She brings some valid points to light along with solid references and research. In the midst of this unprecedented pandemic, we face very uncertain times, not only in the world of education but in every facet of our lives. This short book is filled with advice, reasoning, and logic. My hat is off to educators everywhere and my hat is off to this author for putting together such a comprehensive narrative regarding the issues we face in our current times.

PURCHASE LINK:

THE BLURB:

Hopelessly in love and desperately fearful!

Zara and Buzz are products of vastly different upbringings. Their chance meeting ignites attraction they must explore. Even with lies and omissions, they find themselves falling in love. For them its good thing love is blind.

A defining incident offers the opportunity to explore a future together. They move away from everything for a fresh start. They optimize their experiences to build a life they never imagined in the Caribbean. Then their demons’ surface.

Zara distrusts love because of her past. She’s afraid to commit anyone. Buzz wants love, better than what he’d lost.

Will Zara slip through his fingers? Can they honestly bury their past? If those secrets are shared, will their love be destroyed?

MY 4 STAR REVIEW:

I love the idea of this story. It starts with a high tension rescue that grabbed me right away. Buzz and Zara have dark pasts, but they deeply love each other. This short story covers a span of several years within the twenty-five pages, which leaves a lot to the reader’s imagination. But, the main focus is the deep love they feel for each other. Buzz continuously, over the years, asks Zara to marry him and she always declines. We get a glimpse into her sordid past and what is holding her back from the big commitment. We also get to see the two share their passion for technology by imparting their knowledge to students who are hungry to learn, as they settle on the island of Puerto Rico. The ending is somewhat jolting. And it leaves the story open-ended for more, which I hope these authors will explore. I’d like to see this love resolved. While there is some inconsistency with points of view throughout the story, it is error-free and engaging. It can be read in about thirty to forty minutes.

PURCHASE LINK:

I hope at least one of the books grabbed your attention and that you are now hurrying over to Amazon to make your purchase! Thank you for stopping by and supporting these authors!

JONAH is on Tour! @4willspublishing #RRBC #RWISA #RRBC_Community

I am thrilled to share all of the blog sites where Jonah has visited this week! With only two more days to go on the blog tour, I hope you’ll take a look at each blog post and leave comments. If you do, your name will go into a drawing to receive an Amazon Gift Card!

DAY ONE:

Wendy Scott hosted. Here is the link: http://www.wendyjscott.com/my-blog/welcome-to-day-1-of-the-jonah-blog-tour-rijanjks-4willspub-rrbc-rwisa

DAY TWO:

D.L. Finn hosted. Here is the link: https://dlfinnauthor.com/2020/04/06/welcome-to-day-2-of-the-jonah-blog-tour-rijanjks-4willspub-rrbc-rwisa/

DAY THREE:

Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko hosted. Here is the link: https://jinlobify.com/welcome-to-day-3-of-the-jonah-blog-tour-rijanjks-4willspub-rrbc-rwisa/

DAY FOUR:

Jade at the Blog Tour Maven site hosted. Here is the link: https://blogtourmaven.wordpress.com/2020/04/09/welcome-to-day-4-of-the-jonah-blog-tour-rijanjks-nonniejules-rrbc-rwisa/

DAY FIVE:

Nonnie Jules hosted. Here’s the Link: https://nonniewrites.wordpress.com/2020/04/11/welcome-to-day-5-of-the-jonah-blog-tour-w-author-jan-sikes-rijanjks-rrbc-rwisa-rrbc_community-4willspub/

DAY SIX:

Rox Burkey will be hosting. Here is the link to her site: https://roxburkey.com/welcome-to-day-6-of-the-jonah-blog-tour-rijanjks-4willspub-rrbc-rwisa/

DAY SEVEN:

Robert Fear will host. Here is the link to his blog site: https://www.fd81.net/2020-guest-blogs/welcome-to-the-final-day-of-the-jonah-blog-tour-rijanjks-4willspub-rrbc-rwisa

I do hope you’ll take a minute to look at each of the blog posts. They are all different and all directly related to JONAH!

Comments are closed here. Leave a comment on one of the hosted blogs to be entered for a $5 Amazon Gift Card!

Thank you!

Flowers And Stone – Book Review

I want to offer a HUGE “Thank You” to Rox Burkey for this incredibly poignant review of “Flowers and Stone!”

Honestly, I have known this author for a long time. I’ve listened to her play guitar, heard the sadness when she shared some details of her life and love of Rick Sikes, and cheered loudly at her achievements and awards. I had only read a few of her poems and a short story, until she suggested I consider Flowers and Stone.  

After book one of this first series, I am truly hooked on her writing. In this debut novel, Jan Sikes creates the scenes in a way that makes you feel you are a part of the story. I could hear the music, see characters with their smiles and tears, and more than once had to dry my eyes as emotions coursed through me at different places in this story.

This complex love story centers around Luke Stone and Darlina Flowers, an unlikely couple at first glance. Luke, an experienced musician and older man, and Darlina a young inexperienced woman, learn many lessons from each other. I like how Luke, smitten early on for this special girl, goes to extraordinary lengths to find out if he should be serious. Ms. Sikes details the steps leading up to this meeting, though this meeting touched a chord of sweetness in my heart and kept me until the end of this book.

“             The bell rang, announcing someone’s arrival.  She half turned. “May I…” She paused in mid-question, shocked to see Luke standing there with the trademark crooked grin on his face. “…Help you?” she finished.

               “That is exactly what I’ve been asking myself,” Luke replied.

               “What are you doing here?”

               “I came to see if you were for real or a figment of my imagination.”

               “For real?”

               Luke’s smile widened, “Yes, for real. You see, I thought maybe I just made you up so had to come and see.”

               Darlina didn’t reply, and Luke quickly continued, I brought you a little something.”

               She stood and walked to the open window that separated her and Luke. “Okay, what did you bring me and more importantly, why? After all, you barely know me.”

               She wondered what kind of strings might be attached to any gift from Luke Stone.

               Luke fished the small box out of his pocked and handed it to her. Their hands briefly touched, and an electrical current passed between them. She looked up at Luke, then down at the box.

               “Open it,” Luke encouraged.

               Darlina gasped as she opened the box to find the delicate gold heart necklace. “Oh, Luke, how beautiful. I’m not sure what to say.”

               “Well, you could say thank you, and you could say that you’ll have dinner with me, just me, and you could say that you’ll give a chance to redeem myself.”

From this point forward I was drawn into the story as these people travel down the road of growing up, growing together, and realizing their differences are key to their magic. In many ways he is a rogue and she is naïve, but in the 70s the music and freedom was what they both wanted and needed. Its easy to recommend this love story to college age and above. There is more to the story and thankfully more books in the series.

About the author

Author Jan Sikes

Multi-Award-Winning author, Jan Sikes, has been called a wordsmith by her peers. Jan openly admits that she never set out in life to be an author, but she had a story to tell.  Not just any story, but a true story that rivals any fiction creation.

She published four biographical fiction books about the journey of two people moving through adversity in order to grow and learn to become better humans. She believes with all her heart there is something worthy of sharing in these stories. Bits and pieces of wisdom, hard-learned lessons and above and beyond all, love. True love that you read about in fiction stories and yet this is truth. The old saying that truth is stranger than fiction fits these stories.

Jan also releases a music CD of original songs along with each book that fits the time period of the story. Why? Because the stories revolve and evolve around a passion for music.

Jan has published a book of poetry and art and nine short stories.

Author Jan Sikes is widowed, lives in North Texas, volunteers at music festivals, has five incredible grandchildren and serves on the Board of Directors for the Texas Authors Institute of History, and the Executive Council at Rave Writers’ Int’l Society of Authors. She is also a member of the Writer’s League of Texas and Authors Marketing Guild.

Connect through Jan’s website: http://www.jansikes.com
Follow Jan on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorJanSikesBooks
Follow Jan on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/rijanjks
Follow Jan’s Blog: http://www.rijanjks.wordpress.com    

I want to invite you to visit Rox Burkey’s blog site and if it interests you, please follow her! She is an avid book reviewer!

New Release! The Enigma Beyond! @1rburkey @EnigmaSeries

Award-winning authors, Rox Burkey and Charles Breakfield are releasing Book #11 in their Enigma Series and it is available for pre-order for only 99 cents!

It is my pleasure to turn my blog site over to them today to talk about The Enigma Beyond!

Imagine what happens when technology outruns our humanity? Humans have turned over their decision making to Artificial Intelligence driven supercomputers. Or, was it simply confiscated?  Next generation computers are not just tracking our movements, or answering questions. Now they are delivering manufactured choices to each person through their ever-pervasive personal devices. The seduction of mankind is eminent unless our champions can stop them.

Jacob, Petra, Quip, EZ, Julie, and Juan, the current heads of the R-Group, are in for the winner-take-all fight. They use their programming, technology advancement, communications, and encryption to help their own next generation youth. They are poised to take on one of their most complex adversaries, AI enhanced supercomputers run by greedy, powerful technological geniuses. The training for the new members of the R-Group is live, in the form of a real world cyber assault crisis. ICABOD, the R-Group’s own customized supercomputer, is their best weapon in this battle.

With corporate self-discipline gone and the power of US Congressional oversight crippled, the dominance of the technical oligopolies has risen to a position where they  dictate their terms. Not satisfied to dominate commerce, they feel they are better decision points for running the planet.

MAG, the  consortium of global technology predators, have united to bring their insidious plans to fruition, capitalizing on using humans’ desire for the easy and effortless lifestyles, even as it steals their freedoms. For freedom oriented groups caught in the cyber crosshairs, time has already run out. The social media noise has been weaponized and blinds humanity to what is actually happening. MAG uses social media to seize control of politics, healthcare, finances, and defense systems.

Award winning authors, Breakfield and Burkey, take readers into the depths of humanity’s newest menace in their 11th book in The Enigma Series. We are on a one way trip to keeping or giving up our most precious human quality, the freedom to choose. No one saw it coming when they built computers to ease their work and improve life. Where are the guardrails to protect humans from giving up too much? Can humanity take back control? See how fast you can determine who wins in the AI Wars.

Here is a recent Editorial Review! https://literarytitan.com/2020/01/01/the-enigma-beyond/

Purchase Link: The Enigma Beyond

These authors are members of the RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB! You can find more of their books in the RRBC Catalog!