Monthly Archives: May 2016

May’s Hot Picks!!

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Review of “A Legacy of Love and Murder” – Brenda Whiteside

 
 

In Austria to meet her great-grandfather and explore his castle estate filled with priceless art, August Myer arrives to find he’s died suspiciously. As one of the heirs, her life is in danger, turning this fairytale Alpine adventure into a nightmare of veiled threats, unexplained accidents, and murder.

Inspector Tobias Wolf splits his time between his profession and fighting the spread of neo-Nazism. But when the beautiful, intriguing American crosses his path during a murder investigation, ensuring her safety challenges his priorities…and his heart.

When August learns the handsome inspector is concealing a personal involvement and the death of her great-grandfather is somehow connected, she takes the investigation into her own hands. The outcome could be the death of both of them.

 

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

(Per the author’s request, I am posting a WARNING my review does contain the villain’s name. Proceed with caution!)

 
Eike used her body to get what she wanted, hurt and orchestrated the deaths or attempted to kill off anyone who got in her way. In medical terms, she would be classified as a narcissist or a psychopath. However, I think anybody who reads this book would proudly label her a total BIOTCH or as my momma would say, a gold-digging hussy!! 
 
Brenda, congrats on creating a character even my momma would proclaim needed a good ass whopping. 


Oh and Wolf, he sure knows how to rescue a woman….. in style – as in a silver Porsche. 


What a ride, Wolf. Oh, and you ain’t so bad yourself either. 
 
 

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

Score: ❤❤❤❤

 

PURCHASE LINKS: 

Kindle / Print (Amazon) 

Kobo
ARe
The Wild Rose Press

 
 

 

Convinced she was born to be an artist, Brenda never took her love of writing seriously. And then one day, sometime after college, after marrying a man doing a stint in the army, and after the birth of her son, she found more satisfaction filling a blank page with words than an empty canvas with color.
 

Brenda and her husband are gypsies at heart having lived in six states and two countries. Currently, they split their time between the prairie in Northern Arizona and the RV life near Roosevelt Lake. At home or in the RV, she spends most of her time writing stories of discovery and love entangled with suspense.

 
Visit Brenda at www.brendawhiteside.com.
 
She blogs on the 9th and 24th of every month at http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com
 
She blogs about prairie life on her personal blog http://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/

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Review of “Journey of an American Soldier” – John Hazen

  

In 1920, the chance to travel to India on a business trip is a great boon for a smart and talented young man. Until he wakes up in a Calcutta jail, framed for murder. Benjamin Albert is a brilliant rising star at his firm, a war hero and a loving husband and father. But when his own government turns its back on him and leaves him to rot in prison 8,000 miles from home, his wife Catherine must take matters into her own hands and battle a ruthless and unscrupulous corporation abetted by a corrupt colonial government. Timeless issues like racism, anti-Semitism, nationalism and women’s rights are exposed during Catherine’s race to save Benjamin.

 

 
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
 
First thing I liked about Journey of an American Son was the multiple strong roles (male and female) created by John . Hirsch (Harry) traveled to America with his family for the opportunity of a better life. Starting over is hard but starting over in a foreign land, that’s takes guts and determination. Traits also found in his wife (Molly), son (Ben), Catherine (Ben’s wife), and Sergeant Jones. 
 
As a matter of fact, this whole tale kept showcasing their strengths in some form or fashion. The four mentioned above had their share of joys and their share of losses. John wrote a book that didn’t just touch of the bright moments of a person(s) life. So if you are looking for a upbeat story, then I’d pass on this. However, if you want to “live” through their struggles right alongside them, then I suggest going for the ride. It sure as hell is a bumpy one, but one I think you’ll like. 
 
John is, if nothing else, a very detailed writer. Case in point, the trench scene. The action practically exploded off the pages. 
 
One last thing I’d like to remark about: I’m a fast reader but Ben’s capacity to fly through the pages was astonishing. 550 pages in 45 min and can retain all the info/recite it verbatim…. Seriously, that is quite a feat. 
 
 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
 
PURCHASE LINKS:  Paperback / Kindle
 
 
 
Don’t let the gray hair fool you; writing keeps me forever young! Author of four acclaimed suspense novels and working on more!
 
Connect with John via his website or on Twitter.

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Review of “Spanish Lessons” – Jessica Peterson

Vivian Bingley has big plans for her semester abroad in Spain…

Along with her BFF Maddie, Vivian hopes to indulge her inner Art History nerd by visiting the best museums in the world. She also wants to tackle more practical concerns—like a less than stellar GPA in her major, Economics—with the help of a Spanish tutor.

But falling for her studly Spanish tutor definitely isn’t one of them.

Madrileño Rafa Montoya is the stuff study abroad dreams are made of: super studly and super smart. He also happens to be super into Vivian. With his wicked dancing skills and his passion for the arts, he tempts her to throw caution to the wind and live out her wildest dreams.

Only problem? Maddie wants Rafa, too, and Vivian promised herself she’d never settle for second best again…not after a hookup-gone-awry last semester left her heartbroken. Is it best for Vivian to protect her heart at all costs? Or is letting Rafa in worth the risk?

 

 
 
 
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
 
Attending school abroad sounds like quite an adventure and it was for Vivian. On her first night in Madrid, she met a sweet, charming, and romantic man who made her less homesick. He brought happiness into her life when she was feeling pretty sad and lost. Lost as in… What the heck am I doing with my life?
 
It was inevitable they would fall in love. Yes, the timing wasn’t ideal. But cupid doesn’t care about that. When his love arrow strikes, there’s no fighting it. You can try but why. LIVE IN THE NOW. 
 
That’s exactly what Jessica had Vi and Rafa doing and the result was a relationship which didn’t end with one semester. With true love, you find a way to stay together because when you love someone that intensely, you make it happen. 
 
Jessica, thank you for writing a truly romantic love story and for also teaching me a bit of Spanish along the way. I am far from fluent but I can say and recognize more than a handful of words now. 


So thanks, teach. You are one heckuva tutor. 🙂
 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
 Score: ❤❤❤❤
 
 
 

Jessica Peterson began reading romance to escape the decidedly unromantic awkwardness of her teenage years. Having found solace in the likes of Rhett Butler and Mr. Darcy, it wasn’t long before she began creating tall, dark, and handsome heroes of her own.

A graduate of Duke University, Jessica worked at an investment bank before leaving to pursue her writerly dreams. She lives with her husband, the tall, dark, and handsome Mr. Peterson, in Charlotte, North Carolina.

www.jessicapeterson.com
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Review of “Catalina and the Winter Texan” – Hebby Roman

 

Catalina Reyes has sacrificed everything to own a beach-front recreational vehicle Park. Widowed and struggling, her Park falls on hard times and needs extensive renovations to stay open.
When Manuel Batista, a widowed and successful contractor rents a slot at the Park, he’s immediately attracted to Catalina and captivated by her fiery spirit and determination. Manuel helps Catalina to renovate her Park. Working together, their relationship sizzles, but Catalina realizes Manuel will return north after the winter. Unwilling to start a long-distance relationship after a painful breakup in her previous marriage, she must learn to trust again.
Can they overcome Catalina’s fears and bridge the gap of hundreds of miles between their homes and families to find a second chance at love?

 
GET YOUR COPY NOW AT AMAZON: KindlePaperback
 
 
 
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)  
 
Catalina and Manny were two people, of mature age, finding love again in an RV park. A setting which is a rarity in romance books. At least, I haven’t run across too many. 
 
Also, most best-selling (romance) reads aren’t solely based around a couple over the age of 50 so I applaud Tena for stepping out of the “norm”.


In Catalina and the Winter Texan, Catalina and Manny had fiery and sweets moments — two adjectives also used to describe them (personally). 
 
Of course, Manny wouldn’t call Cat totally sweet. He would definitely put her in the class of a MILF and she would concur he was a GILF. 
 
Since they couldn’t help but kiss (often) and finally made love, my assessment is 100% true. 🙂
 
Before I wrap up this review, I want to address the amusing sections of Catalina vs. the computer. When Cat couldn’t figure out how to turn it on or how to do a internet search on it, I thought of my mom. My mom is computer illiterate. Heck, she can’t figure out texting and still uses a VCR which can be found flashing 12:00 regularly. 
 
So, Tena, I want to say THANK YOU for making me smile. 
 
HEA
 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score:❤❤❤

 
 Purchase Links:  Kindle  / Paperback
 
 
 
 
 

Hebby Roman is the multi-published, Amazon best-selling author of both historical and contemporary romances. Her first contemporary romance, SUMMER DREAMS, was the launch title for Encanto, a print line featuring Latino romances. And her re-published e-book, SUMMER DREAMS, was #1 in Amazon fiction and romance. Her medieval historical romance, THE PRINCESS AND THE TEMPLAR, was selected for the Amazon Encore program and was #1 in medieval fiction. 

Hebby is a member of the Romance Writers of America, and the past president of her local chapter, North Texas Romance Writers. She was selected for the Romantic Times “Texas Author” award, and she won a national Harlequin contest. Her book, BORDER HEAT, was a Los Angeles Times Book Festival selection.

Hebbyroman.com|Facebook
Catalina and the Winter Texan | SUMMER DREAMS | TEMPT FORTUNE

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Review of “The Art of Love and Murder” – Brenda Whiteside

April 22, 2014 
 

Lacy Dahl never questioned her past until the deaths of her adoptive parents and her husband. A husband who wasn’t what he seemed. Her research uncovers secrets about the mother she never knew; secrets that dispute the identity of her father and threaten her life.

Sheriff Chance Meadowlark is still haunted by the murder of his wife and the revenge he unleashed in the name of justice. When he meets Lacy he is determined not to become involved, but their pasts may make that impossible. As they move closer to the truth, saving Lacy may be his only salvation.

Lacy begins to think the present is more important than her past…until Chance’s connection to her mother and a murder spin her deeper into danger and further from love. Will the truth destroy Lacy and Chance or will it be the answer that frees them?

 
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
 
I’ve grown accustomed to stories having one, maybe two whackadoodles but Brenda had the crazies popping up every which way we (me and the characters) looked. Three nutcases make for some stimulating reading material which is the point of any great author. A writer does want a reader to remember them, buy more books. 

I can safely say I don’t think I will ever forget Clark, Kitty, or Professor Sheffield. 

One thing did surprise me regarding The Art of Love and Murder.

With so many people causing trouble for Lacy, it’s a wonder she found time for lovin’ but I guess you can’t very well have a damsel in distress without a savior. 

 
Speaking of her savior, Chance might’ve not come riding to her rescue on a horse but he owns a Harley and that’s way better in my book.  
 
HEA
 

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

Score: ❤❤❤

 
PURCHASE LINKS 

Paperback  / Kindle 

 

Convinced she was born to be an artist, Brenda never took her love of writing seriously. And then one day, sometime after college, after marrying a man doing a stint in the army, and after the birth of her son, she found more satisfaction filling a blank page with words than an empty canvas with color.

 

Brenda and her husband are gypsies at heart having lived in six states and two countries. Currently, they split their time between the prairie in Northern Arizona and the RV life near Roosevelt Lake. At home or in the RV, she spends most of her time writing stories of discovery and love entangled with suspense.

Visit Brenda at www.brendawhiteside.com.

Or on FaceBook: www.facebook.com/BrendaWhitesideAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/brendawhitesid2

She blogs on the 9th and 24th of every month at http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com

She blogs about prairie life on her personal blog http://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/

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Review of “To Dance Again” – Hebby Roman

 

They say a woman never forgets her first love, and Maricel Cardona hasn’t forgotten Ramón Morales. She remembers dancing all night in Ramón’s arms to the sensual beat of their homeland, Puerto Rico. When her family forced her to move to the States, she didn’t know she was carrying Ramón’s child.

A self-made multi-millionaire, Ramón hasn’t forgotten Maricel and the passion he felt, dancing with her. Now, at the pinnacle of his success, he’s withdrawn from the world to safeguard his own secret. A secret that, if revealed, would change his life forever.

Reunited after twenty-seven years, will the high school sweethearts get a second chance at love or will their secrets tear them apart?

 
 
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
 
Lovers reunited after so many years apart should spell a true, over the top, romantic read. 


You know the type. The thin books you caught your mom or grandma reading. Pages turned so much the book looks older than it should and several pages have creases from being dog-eared. 
 
This could’ve been one of those stories if it weren’t for the fact I didn’t feel a true emotional connection between Maricel and Ramón. For me, I needed more than a brief glimpse to their past. 
 
I also didn’t like how late the revelation (you have a child) came about or the timing of it. It was as if the author couldn’t figure out when or how to divulge the info and just threw it out there. 
 
For me, this book felt disjointed. I’m sure others will love it. It does have its appeal: sweet union of father/daughter and a HEA. 


For me, I just found it lacking. 
 
 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
 
 
 
 

Hebby Roman is the multi-published, Amazon best-selling author of both historical and contemporary romances. Her first contemporary romance, SUMMER DREAMS, was the launch title for Encanto, a print line featuring Latino romances. And her re-published e-book, SUMMER DREAMS, was #1 in Amazon fiction and romance. Her medieval historical romance, THE PRINCESS AND THE TEMPLAR, was selected for the Amazon Encore program and was #1 in medieval fiction. 

Hebby is a member of the Romance Writers of America, and the past president of her local chapter, North Texas Romance Writers. She was selected for the Romantic Times “Texas Author” award, and she won a national Harlequin contest. Her book, BORDER HEAT, was a Los Angeles Times Book Festival selection.

Hebbyroman.com|Facebook
Catalina and the Winter Texan | SUMMER DREAMS | TEMPT FORTUNE

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Review of “Climb Up the Steel Mountain” – Len Steiner

 
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Kay was still alive and he had to save her now, right away. That was his duty as a cardiologist. He had read about the latest surgical procedures and went over them in his mind, but he had never really done one. Dr. Louis Stafford accomplished his first heart transplant and he prayed to God that it would be completely successful and his patient would live to a ripe old age.

Purchase links: Paperback / Kindle
 
 
 
images-13
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
 
While I can appreciate the journey Louie had to take to become a doctor, the anguish of all the losses he’s faced, and the mental and physical pain he’s had to endure, this book was dry – slow paced and had me yawning at times. That’s not a positive sign when I’m reading it while the sun is still high in the sky. 
 
I will say Len did a marvelous job with his medical research. However, other parts of the story were just as detailed and that’s where he lost me.
 
One section of the story, which I felt could’ve benefited from more details, was his time in Vietnam. This area was barely touched on. He was there and back home in a blink of an eye (or at least a few pages). It was a major part of his life downgraded to a blimp in time. 
 
Positive notes: I liked no matter how detached his mother, Emma, was during his childhood and adult years, he still rescued her — from Andy’s drunken tirades and from money woes. Also, I did like the history lesson regarding Pittsburgh and the medical jargon. You never know, it might come in handy if I ever make in on Jeopardy. 
 
 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤
 
Purchase links: Paperback / Kindle
 
 
 

Len Steiner has a dynamic background. He is not only a fiction writer but worked 13 years in Saudi Arabia for a major company and was Program Director of the Saudi AF Air Defense Program. He is author of 15 short stories in the Poe genre as well as his medical novel, “Climb Up the Steel Mountain.” He has written for military and civilian publications including lyrics for two musical comedies. He had a short story dramatized on BBC World Service Radio. He has also won awards for his volunteering efforts. He is from Pittsburgh, PA and lives in Madison, AL. He is a graduate of The University of Nebraska.

 
 

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Review of “Fleeing Beauty” – Mark Love

 

Jamie Richmond used to live a nice, quiet life. But last fall she witnessed the shooting of a police officer and figured out who did it. Then this winter saw her best friend targeted by a stalker and kidnapped. Yep, Jamie solved that one and came to the rescue. Now it’s summertime and the living is supposed to be easy. All she wants to do is write her novels and spend free time with Malone, the guy who has been by her side since all this craziness began. But that’s not likely to happen.

 
Jamie’s father was a very successful sculptor who tragically died more than twenty years ago when she was just a child. What she remembers about him is little more than bits and pieces. A storeroom filled with crates of his work is discovered in an old converted factory. This potential fortune in artwork has been waiting all these years. 

Jamie recruits Malone and a few close friends to help her unpack the crates and bring her father’s gifts out to the light of day. News of this discovery leads to a robbery. Now Jamie is determined to figure out who is behind the crime.
 
 

 
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
 
Unlike Devious, I didn’t completely solve the mystery of who stole the sculpture,”Spring Dance”. I was only 1/2 correct due to a couple of surprise guests. Even the characters in the story were like — Who the %*#! are these guys? 
 
Talk about throwing us a curveball! 
 
I will say, before the story ends, Mark will explain almost everything. Jamie still needs to solve the puzzle box left to her by her deceased father, and we still don’t know Malone’s first name. 
 
I will say this, after their near death experience, he started to tell her and she stopped him. 
 
I could NOT believe it. Mark, you are such tease. 😉
 
This is one of those times I wish these weren’t fictional characters. If they weren’t, I would ask Malone to whisper it to me…. Nice and slow… *winks* 
 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤1/2
 
 
 
 
 

I am a Michigan native, who up until recently lived in the Metro Detroit area, where crime and corruption always seem to be at the top of everyone’s news. So there’s always the chance to find something that can trigger a story idea and enough interesting characters to jump start your imagination.

While I have worked in many industries and career paths over the years, one of my passions has always been writing. I was even able to parlay that passion for a while, working as a freelance reporter for a couple of newspapers in the Detroit area. Writing features and hard news helped me hone my talents. But while newspaper work was interesting and paid a few bills, it was a far cry from the fiction writing that I enjoy the most.

I’ve always been drawn to mysteries and thrillers, the kind of stories that have a fast pace, that keep you moving and keep you guessing as to what’s going to take place next. Mix those in with some elements of crime, perhaps a glimpse of the seedier side and you’ve got me. So it’s always been one of my goals to write stories like that.

While taking a creative writing course in college, the instructor suggested I might have more success getting short stories published first. So I focused on short stories. And he was right. I was able to publish a number of these in small press magazines. Seeing my name and stories in print was definitely a kick. I realized my short stories looked like episodes from “The Twilight Zone” or “Tales from the Crypt”, with a mix of humor and an unexpected twist at the end. Recently I packaged three of those together and published them on Amazon under the title “Three to Get Ready”

A few years ago I discovered a new online publisher looking for novels. I submitted one, a mystery/romance story for consideration. They jumped at it. Then I submitted “Fade Away” a thriller with a little sci/fi twist. They wanted that one too. Two more years and two more books were published. But sadly, they folded their operations. Fortunately, all the rights reverted to me. So I decided to put two of my novels, “Fade Away” and “Desperate Measures” on Amazon’s Kindle Prime and see how things go.

I also have a series that could be considered Mystery/Romance that have been released by Secret Cravings. “Devious” and “Vanishing Act” were published in 2013 as part of the Jamie Richmond Mysteries. The third book “Fleeing Beauty” was released in October 2014.

I am pleased to add that “WHY 319?” was published by Black Rose Writing in September 2014. This is a police procedural mystery, where a serial killer is leaving their victims in room 319 of different motels around suburban Detroit. The killer leaves the message ‘Why 319?” written in the victim’s lipstick on the bathroom mirror.

http://marklove024.blogspot.com/
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https://www.facebook.com/MarkLoveAuthor
http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B009P7HVZQ

 

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Review of “Tempt Fortune” – Hebby Roman

Desperate to escape an arranged marriage, Angelina Herrera flees from Cuba to Key West to start a new life and build her own business. But when her past catches up with her, she realizes the only way she can avoid the arranged marriage is to marry another … in name only.

Drawn to the fiercely independent beauty Angelina, Cuban revolutionary, Alejandro Estava marries her. Though outwardly he agrees to the platonic relationship because of his secret past, he cannot deny his powerful desire to possess her completely.

But tempestuous forces more powerful than the hurricane descending on their island home unleashes their mutual passion while threatening their yearning for a lifelong bond.

 
 

—–> REVIEW <—–
(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique) 
 


Angelina/Alejandro and Destiny/Nathan’s relationships once again prove that “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” and thank goodness Hebby touched on the fact that good looks DO NOT make for good bedfellows. Case in point: Both women found themselves at the hands of two scoundrels who’s nefarious intentions almost cost them everything. Yet, in true romance fashion, love prevailed and we saw two HEA’s. 
 
That’s good, right? 
 
I thought so, too. 
 
My only complaint was the journey to the HEA’s. Nathan fell in love after one date/kiss. Probably at first glance. His sudden mad love for Destiny caused him to propose on their first date and a few times later too. Most women would find this behavior too much, too fast. I sure would. Women like to be wooed, courted, asked at on more than one date before they allow a man to put a ring on their finger. 
 
On the flip side, Alejandro and Angelina just couldn’t get their ducks in a row. Now their love story seemed a bit more realistic and relatable. 
 
 
Heart Rating System – 1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
 
 
 

 

Hebby Roman is the multi-published, Amazon best-selling author of both historical and contemporary romances. Her first contemporary romance, SUMMER DREAMS, was the launch title for Encanto, a print line featuring Latino romances. And her re-published e-book, SUMMER DREAMS, was #1 in Amazon fiction and romance. Her medieval historical romance, THE PRINCESS AND THE TEMPLAR, was selected for the Amazon Encore program and was #1 in medieval fiction.

Hebby is a member of the Romance Writers of America, and the past president of her local chapter, North Texas Romance Writers. She was selected for the Romantic Times “Texas Author” award, and she won a national Harlequin contest. Her book, BORDER HEAT, was a Los Angeles Times Book Festival selection.

Hebbyroman.com|Facebook
Catalina and the Winter Texan | SUMMER DREAMS | TEMPT FORTUNE

 
 

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