Monthly Archives: February 2016

ROCK ME, GENTLY by M.J. Schiller (Book Review)

Like so many others, their romance started in Las Vegas…

He’s a rock star. She’s an ad exec. After almost having a one night affair in Sin City, Josh can’t get Cassie out of his mind. Why had she run out on him?

Like so many others, their romance started with a shot of tequila…

When the Josh Dunningham of Money Back Guaranteed tries to seduce her, Cassie is taken aback. Sure, he’s hot. And he could definitely rock her world. But can she have a fling with a man she doesn’t even know?

Like so many others, their romance turned rocky…

When Cassie returns to Chicago and finds a ten-foot tall Josh Dunningham on a radio station’s banner across from her office, she is tortured by memories of their short time together. When they meet again, things explode—in a bad way—and Josh has to prove himself to Cassie to earn her trust. But will he succeed when outside forces also want to tear them apart? When Cassie receives threatening letters and is attacked in her home, Josh is determined to find out who is behind it. But will the stalker’s encore performance bring an end to their show once and for all?

(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
In the news, you hear about record artists in the same breath as with sex, drugs, and rock -n- roll. Therefore, it’s no big surprise M.J. featured all the above in this musical love story. 

You’ll also find Cassie the target of, not one, but two wackos. Jealousy is a bitch and she learned that the hard way. 
The plot centering around the nut-cases was interesting. Not many stories have multiple villains. However, the rest of the story was just ok. I didn’t like Josh and Cassie so much as a couple. Cassie seemed to fall for him too fast and forgave him too easily. 

First, she claims she doesn’t want to be a “one-night stand” or “only one in a pack of a thousand” but she shags him after catching him making out with a woman after a show. Nah, I think I would’ve let him work for my attentions before putting out. Yeah, they had a HEA but still she seemed almost desperate for love.
On a final note: M.J. wrote a catchy song and I’d love to hear a beat behind those lyrics. 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤



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Flames of Auriel by Erin Bedford (Book Review)

When living in a world where the prince isn’t always charming, the princess has a mean right hook, and angels are worshiped like gods, love isn’t always easy to find.

Zoe has never been the lady-like princess she’s read about in fairy-tales, even with her very own handsome prince to sweep her off her feet. She doesn’t know what she dislikes more, his arrogant smirk or the way his grey eyes darken when they fight. Angels help him if he doesn’t keep his hands off the help.

Asher won’t admit it, but he admires the fighting style of his warrior princess. She reminds him of an avenging angel the way her fiery hair whips around her as she takes out her challengers. Dark One help him, but she is as tough an opponent on the battlefield as she is off.

With unknown and unwanted feelings starting to emerge between the two royals, a single goodbye turns into a frantic search for a missing princess. Asher has to find the one woman he never thought he’d miss and keep his kingdom safe from an old enemy. If he fails, the angels may not forgive him this time.

Warning: For mature readers.

“Get out of my way, Asher.”
He placed his arms on either side of her, blocking any chance of an easy escape. She held back a shiver as he brushed his fingers over her cheek so he could tuck her hair behind her ear. Asher was not about to let her ruin their day with her temper.
“Not this time, Zoe.”
Before she could protest, his lips found hers in what she could only describe as the most searing kiss of her life. Unlike the kiss in the hallway, which had been curious and uncertain, not at all what she had expected from him, this one was everything she had expected his kiss would be – relentless and overpowering. She thought about biting him for a second, but instead found herself caught up
in it. She would feel ashamed later at how easy it had been for her to just slide her hands through the curly tendrils of his hair and kiss him in return.
While she had only been kissed by one other person – Garrett – who was always gentle and giving, this kiss was like a battle on its own. Their mouths clashed together as each of them fought for dominance. She found herself moaning into the kiss and forgot for a moment who she was kissing, but eventually they had to end the kiss to breathe. They gaped at the other at the magnitude of what just happened.
Asher recovered first and leaned his forehead against hers. He brushed his fingertips along the curve of her breast, causing a sharp intake from her. He held her gaze with his for a moment and tried to memorize the details of her face in that moment. He noted how her amber eyes had darkened and her face had flushed all the way down to her heaving chest. Asher could not think of a time when she was more beautiful than right then.
“If you want me to stop seeing them I will. Just say the word and I’m yours.”
Zoe’s entire body tensed up at his proposition and for a hot minute she was tempted to say it, but pride would not allow her to give him the satisfaction of knowing how much it affected her.
She leaned her face into his, “What makes you think I care?” She shoved him away and ran as fast as her skirts would allow her back toward the palace.
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
Asher and Zoe argued more than any couple I have ever met but it was all foreplay. It took a while for me to see this because I had trouble warming up to him — much like her. He was kind of a dick for the first 1/2 of the book. He didn’t hide his indiscretions which made Zoe feel embarrassed, hurt, and rightfully pissed the hell off. 
His most douchebag move came about when Garrett entered the scene. Asher became jealous of her bodyguard/companion and rightfully so. Garrett is sweet, charming, a true champion and quite easy on the eyes. Plus, he is her childhood friend. I can see why the green eyed devil made an appearance but the actions Asher took for Zoe to claim him was a dick move — literally. He knew Zoe would come into a certain room so he had a chambermaid giving his “head”the royal treatment to get a reaction out of Zoe. Yeah folks, he actually said that after he claimed his intent wasn’t to hurt her.
Zoe reacted with claw towards the chambermaid but not with him…. Nope, she kissed the daylights out of him. Don’t think many would’ve reacted so kindly. Me included. 
It was actions like these that made me chanting for Garrett. Too bad TEAM GARRETT lost. But don’t fret, his future love interest was introduced. Of course, he will have to wait a few years before they can steam the sheets. 
Side note: the creation of a potion that can destroy male seed to avoid unwanted pregnancies was highly creative. 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
 Score: ❤❤❤1/2
 Paperback – Kindle – Goodreads

Erin Bedford is a new fantasy romance author, a computer programmer by day, and a hobby hoarder. She enjoys playing RPG games alongside her husband as well as inventing nonsensical games for her daughter’s amusement. Erin lives in the Omaha Nebraska Region and dreams of one day moving where the word snow is nonexistent. Creating fantastical worlds has always been a secret passion of hers and she couldn’t imagine writing any story without some kind of lovey-dovey or smexy goodness in it.

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The Heart Teaches Best by M.J. Schiller (Book Review)



The call had come in the night before, murder at Phat Jack’s, the newest club in downtown L.A.  When he got there, several cars were already pulled into the parking lot, slanted haphazardly across the entrance, their lights casting blasts of colors onto the surrounding buildings, reminding him of the laser lights bouncing around the dance floor inside.  He scooted under the yellow tape, flashing his badge at the uniforms who were trying to keep the curious onlookers back.  The body of Sydney Essex, the famous author, had been found on the pavement, next to her car, her deep blue eyes wide and unseeing, ligature marks readily-apparent on her slender neck, head tipped at an odd angle.


(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

This book has the making to be on the Lifetime Movie Network (LMN). It had a father with dual families, a murder mystery, a nice twist at the end including the psychopath. The surprise with the nut-job wasn’t a fresh idea; as in, I haven’t seen it done on a criminal show or on a soap opera. However, I do love the “classics” and I think you will like it too. 

I also think you’ll enjoy the Sullivan clan. They were a goofy, tight-knit group who has sing-alongs even when it’s not Christmastime. Who does that? Well, besides me and my kids. 🙂

Buy this book. Honestly, I really think you’ll be glad you did. 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
 Score: ❤❤❤❤



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Tiny Glitches by Rebecca Chastain (Book Review)

Howdy and good morning, ladies and gents. 

Today, besides viewing another stellar book review, you’ll find information/link to a Raffelcopter, courtesy of Rebecca Chastian.
What’s the prize, you should ask? Well, how does a $25 Amazon Gift Card sound to you? Great, right? 🙂 I thought so too. 

The raffle is open to all so click on the link —–> a Rafflecopter giveaway <—— and enter today before the clock strikes midnight!!

Oh, and best of luck to all of you!!



Life isn’t exactly normal for Eva Parker: the stronger Eva’s emotions, the faster nearby electrical devices die. Eva can’t have a cell phone, use a computer, or be in a car for more than a few minutes without killing it. Dealing with her electricity-killing curse makes living in modern-day Los Angeles complicated enough for Eva—and that was before she was blackmailed into hiding a stolen baby elephant and partnered with Hudson, a sexy electrical engineer Eva just met.

Dodging repeated attempts on her life made by ruthless corporations hunting the elephant is easier for Eva than quelling her growing affection for Hudson, and while protecting an elephant is hard, controlling her curse is a lot harder. However, Eva must do both, because if she lets her emotions free and falls in love with Hudson, neither of them will survive.

Enchanting and quirky, Tiny Glitches fuses electrifying romance and high-voltage suspense in a rollicking adventure.


(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
This has to be the weirdest book I’ve ever read and that’s NOT a bad thing. In fact, I couldn’t stop myself from reading page after page until I reached the epic conclusion. 
Throughout Tiny Glitches, there was absolutely no boring moments and enough humor to keep a smile plastered onto my face. 
From the get go, Rebecca brought the fun when Eva and Hudson began their unwelcome job of elephant sitting. Yup, you read that right….. ELEPHANT SITTING. At least it was a miniature elephant or elephantini (as referred to in the book). 
In their reluctant adventure with Kyoko (elephant), they had to endure kidnappings, FBI, ninjas, and a gun-toting clown. 
Seriously, I can’t make this stuff up but I’m sure glad Rebecca did. 
Read the book, folks, you’ll be pleased you did. 


Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 



Rebecca Chastain is the international bestselling fantasy author of A FISTFUL OF EVIL, A FISTFUL OF FIRE, and MAGIC OF THE GARGOYLES. She has found seven four-leaf clovers to date, won a purebred Arabian horse in a drawing, and once tamed a blackbird for a day. Dreaming up the absurd and writing stories designed to amuse and entertain has been her passion since she was eleven years old. She lives in northern California with her wonderful husband and two bossy cats.



Twitter: @Author_Rebecca or



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Beneath the Stones by Susan Coryell (Book Review)


Ashby Overton has everything to look forward to, including a promising writing career and her wedding at summer’s end. But, Overhome, her beloved historic family estate in Southern Virginia, is in financial peril and it is up to Ashby to find a solution.

Interfering with Ashby’s plans is a dark paranormal force that thwarts her every effort to save Overhome. Supernatural attacks emanate from an old stone cottage on the property rumored to be a slave overseer’s abode, prior to the Civil War. As the violence escalates, Ashby begins to fear for her life. Who is this angry spirit and why is his fury focused on Ashby?

Mystery, suspense and romance flourish against a backdrop of Civil War turmoil and ancestral strife–where immortality infiltrates the ancient air breathed by all who inhabit Overhome Estate.

Beneath the Stones is now available at all online bookstores in both print and e-book formats: Amazon paper back or Kindle versionBarnes and Noble Nook version.

Small Teaser! 

I moved downward, one step at a time, leaning against the wall for support. I was half-way down when it happened—so suddenly that I had no time to react. Frigid air swooshed down on me from behind, freezing my face so that I screwed my eyes tight shut at the same time something strong and determined pushed against my back violently—so violently that I stumbled, then, tumbled forward, to be caught in Luke’s outstretched arms from several stairs below.

“Whoa!” Luke exhaled from the impact of my body on his. “My God, Ashby. What happened?”

I slumped against him, unable to utter a single word, my breathing shallow and rapid. At last I found my voice. “Something pushed me, Luke. I don’t know what—or who—but it was powerful and deliberate.”

Luke glanced up to the top of the stairs. “Nothing there. I’m going back to the loft to look.”

I stopped him. “I doubt you’ll find anything.” I sniffed the air, expecting a new infusion of foul odor. “And what would you do if you did find anything?”

Just then we both heard it. Hollow, chilling, trailing away from us with every syllable: “Go away. He’s dead. He’s dead. He’s dead….”


(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 

Thank goodness I am only an “observer” to the spookiness surrounding Overhome because if this was actually happening to me…. underpants would’ve been changed more than once. Ominous voices, strange noises, angry spirits……. Nope, I think I will pass on the ghostbusting business, thank you very much. 
Through the Twilight Zone occurrences, what I most loved about BTS was the historical aspects of this novel.  I would like to mention the special note from Susan in the opening credits which I think adds value to her story.
“The Civil War letters included in Beneath the Stone are based on actual letters written from battle fronts by family ancestors, Joseph Franklin Stover and John William Stover. “
That bit of information brought the story MORE TO LIFE (for me) and I think it will for you too. 
One final thing, thank you for educating me (us) on the chemistry behind making wine. It was enlightening!! 


Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤1/2




My Background

A career educator, I have a BA in English and an MAIS in writing, English, and education. I’ve taught English, speech, drama, reading, and English as a Second Language to students from 7th grade through college. I once taught a course to teachers. I married my high school sweetheart and we have 3 children and 6 grand children. I live at Smith Mountain Lake in my home state of Virginia.
I have done all kinds of writing. My free-lance articles have been published inSmith Mountain Laker.Com, Blue Ridge Traditions, Cooperative Living and other local publications. I’ve also been published in The Washington Post and The Roanoke Times, The Smith Mountain Eagle, The Bedford Bulletin, and The Franklin News Post. Here at the lake I’ve written press for four different groups, including The Smith Mountain Arts Council and The Smith Mountain Charity Home Tour. My writing repertoire includes articles for educational and professional magazines and even several recipes for Taste of Home magazines and cookbooks.


When I taught at Thoreau Intermediate School in Vienna, Virginia, I started a literary magazine, A Cabin in the Woods. At Centreville High, where I later taught, I initiated an Authors Club and launched an annual Writers Conference for student writers.
I’ve toured dozens of elementary, middle, and high schools in Fairfax County, giving author talks and conducting writers’ workshops for students. Here at the lake I have worked with creative writing classes at the Gereau Center in Franklin County and participated in student writing contests sponsored by the Lake Writers.

Lets stay connected!! 


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