Tag Archives: death

My Cat Is Blue by Sarah Sommer (Book Review)

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Content Rating:  G – Children’s picture book featuring feelings of sadness and grief (loss of a pet), but no explicit content or language.

 
When someone you love is feeling down in the dumps, you try everything to help. But sometimes, you don’t have the cure, and those blues can even become contagious. It just might be the unexpected that allows you both to shed your blues and move toward a bright and colorful future.
 
 
 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from iRead Book Tours.  I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.

 

In my house, we are big softies when it comes to cats. Therefore, My Cat Is Blue by Sarah Sommer moved my daughter and me quite a bit. After reading page one, we said simultaneously, “Awe.” 

The sad eyes, the overall low expression on the furball, nearly broke our hearts. My youngster didn’t tear up, but I felt my eyes filling with water. 

The once full-of-life kitty didn’t seem to sparkle with joy and excitement anymore. The little girl in the story was understandably worried about her furry friend when he wasn’t himself anymore. As a good owner, she took him to the vet for help. I won’t disclose what happened at the vet’s office, but it had us saying, “Awe,” in a happy tone this time around. 

The words made the story moving, but Bulankina Ka’s illustrations sealed the deal and made it a sentimental read. Bulankina Ka captured every emotion (cat and human) and made us feel what they were feeling.

 We (my daughter and I) loved the transition from dark/lack of color to full-on color scenes. I had the same feeling when I watched Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium regain its magic — JOY. 

Your child might feel sad at the start of My Cat Is Blue, but trust me, they’ll be smiling before you close the book. 

 
 
Heart Rating System:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 
Score: ❤❤❤
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Meet the Author:
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​Sarah Sommer is an award-winning children’s picture book author who blends her love for music, animals, and positivity in her books. Having trained in classical music and performed internationally as a professional clarinetist, rhymes and lyrics are an important part of her writing style. She is an advocate for animals, as seen in her work fostering German shepherds, and as a result, animals are always a central part of her stories. Sarah aims to include encouraging themes, such as helping others, in all of her narratives because we all need a little help sometimes.
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Kissed by Death: Trueborn Heirs Series (Book 3) by Nyna Queen (Book Review)

The stunning finale to Nyna Queen’s original Trueborn Heirs Trilogy.

 

A terrible secret. An impossible choice. And a love worth dying for…

After the horrible disaster at the Summerball, Alexis Harper and her allies are running out of time. Not only has the murder messed up all their careful plans, but Alex is also threatened to become the focus of the investigations. In search of the missing pieces in this enigmatic puzzle, she and Darken embark on a perilous journey to an abandoned prison camp deep in the mountains — and make a discovery more shocking than anything they could have imagined. A discovery that, if revealed, will shake the country to its very foundations.

At the same time, the Spider and the Forfeit find themselves at an emotional crossroads. At this point, it’s all or nothing. But just as they reluctantly admit their feelings for each other, events force them apart and suddenly Alex is faced with a terrible choice: to run and safe her own life or to stay and fight for the truth and the man she loves, even if it may cost her life.

As Alex spins a crazy spider’s trap, one thing soon becomes clear—one way or another, she will end up being kissed by Death…

 

Buckle up for witty banter, steam, and plot-twists that will leave you breathless.

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

 

Kissed by Death by Nina Queen far exceeded my expectations, and the bar was set pretty high after reading By a Thread (book one) and Web of Lies (book 2). 

Kissed by Death had suspense, explosions, life and death missions, mic drop moments, pain and torture, and betrayal. Finally, over a long wait, we had Alex and Darken locking lips and other body parts. 😀

These two, in joined or separate scenes, always kept me on the edge of my seat. When Darken made a person wet themself, I laughed because I knew it would happen. I love being right. (Name withheld to avoid spoilers). During the Master’s hissy fit, I could practically see the spit flying out of his mouth and Alex’s shit-eating grin. 

Every bit of this story was spectacular, and I can’t wait to read Josepha’s story; the summary is located in “What’s Next.”

Final note: I love Alex’s spider senses and her ability to run 30 miles without breaking a sweat. 

 

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

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About Nyna Queen

Nyna started reading fantasy books at the sweet age of six (in fact, as soon as she could read) and never got out of it. After she finished her law degree, she finally decided to commit herself to a career as an author. When she isn’t reading a book or dreaming up another story, she works as a lawyer, indulges in way too much coffee and enjoys long walks in the sun. If you are looking for Nyna, you’ll likely find her behind her laptop, hitting the keys, writing down her latest novel ideas – careful, if you speak to her now, she might not remember later!

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Kissed by Death: Trueborn Heirs Series (Book 3) by Nyna Queen (Book Showcase)

The stunning finale to Nyna Queen’s original Trueborn Heirs Trilogy.

 

A terrible secret. An impossible choice. And a love worth dying for…

After the horrible disaster at the Summerball, Alexis Harper and her allies are running out of time. Not only has the murder messed up all their careful plans, but Alex is also threatened to become the focus of the investigations. In search of the missing pieces in this enigmatic puzzle, she and Darken embark on a perilous journey to an abandoned prison camp deep in the mountains — and make a discovery more shocking than anything they could have imagined. A discovery that, if revealed, will shake the country to its very foundations.

At the same time, the Spider and the Forfeit find themselves at an emotional crossroads. At this point, it’s all or nothing. But just as they reluctantly admit their feelings for each other, events force them apart and suddenly Alex is faced with a terrible choice: to run and safe her own life or to stay and fight for the truth and the man she loves, even if it may cost her life.

As Alex spins a crazy spider’s trap, one thing soon becomes clear—one way or another, she will end up being kissed by Death…

 

 

Buckle up for witty banter, steam, and plot-twists that will leave you breathless.

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  • WOW! This Book is EXACTLY why I fell in LOVE with the Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Genre!” — Read Between the Lines

  • “I absolutely loved this book! Once started, I just didn’t want to stop reading.” — Elbcrout

  • “After just a few pages you immediately feel like a part of the world, as you are observing from within, watching the events unfold.” — the_survivor

  • “Nyna Queen does an exceptional job diving deep into the minds of her characters, and her imagery and use of metaphors are at the expert level.” — T&S M

  • “I’ve put Nyna Queen on my author watch list. This is superb storytelling.”Tiella150

  • Ms. Queen has positioned herself as one of the best new authors I have ever read. Excellent work.” — Colleen

  • “I couldn’t put this book down. It has a really unique group of characters and a fresh story.” — Amazon Customer

  • “The story is brought together with seamless writing and world-building. The author brings familiar together with the unfamiliar to where everything seems normal. If you want a book with a mystery interwoven with suspense and a sprinkling of a romance then this book is for you.” — Tabby

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A beam of moonlight broke through the drifting clouds, reflecting from solid black eyes not five feet from him.

Darken’s hand jerked toward his sword, pulling it halfway out of its scabbard before he realized it was Alex.

Mother’s mercy and Jester’s grace! And the Blind Child’s cursed eyes in the dark! If the moon hadn’t chosen to blink through the cloud cover at that moment, he might never have known she was there.

Alex let out a soft, silvery laugh as she stepped from the shadows between the trees, her pale face and blond braid seemingly floating bodiless in the darkness around her.

“Jumpy, aren’t we? Expecting an attack, Forfeit?”

The wind carried over her scent, a floral note of jasmine from the perfume she’d worn this afternoon mixed with a hint of feminine sweat from the run, and something so specifically Alex—both sweet and sharp and slightly musky—it unleashed a stream of lava into his blood, burning through his veins and setting his loins on fire. Need almost swept him off his feet.

Darken clenched his jaw and curled his hands into fists. They were on a mission, for heaven’s sake!

Moving with iron control, Darken sheathed his sword and forced himself to relax back against the wall of the shelter, crossing one foot over the other.

“Actually, I was getting worried about you. What took you so long? I thought you might have gotten lost.”

A sharp smile parted Alex’s lips like the flash of a knife’s blade. She rocked forward on her toes. “Lies! I’m almost half an hour before our scheduled meeting time.”

Darken lifted a surprised eyebrow. “How do you know?”

“Shaper, remember?” She tapped her temple with one finger. “We have an extremely good sense of time, like an internal clock, especially with the help of the sun and moon. Speaking of which”—she nodded up at the sky which was a ragged puzzle of clouds and blinking stars—“we only have a few short hours until dawn. If I want to be back at the Canterbury Estate before sunrise, we should get moving.”

Darken cocked his head to the side. “You seem quite eager for someone who just ran over thirty miles.”

“Oh, that! Phst!” Alex waved a hand. “Not worth mentioning. Please, don’t make any concessions on my behalf, I’m all good to go. Unless, of course, you need some more time to rest your royal footsies from your journey?” 

A honey pie would have wilted in comparison to the sweetness in her voice.

Darken locked his teeth and performed a slightly stiff bow. “I’ve only been waiting for you, milady.”

 

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Buy book 1 and 2 today!


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About Nyna Queen

Nyna started reading fantasy books at the sweet age of six (in fact, as soon as she could read) and never got out of it. After she finished her law degree, she finally decided to commit herself to a career as an author. When she isn’t reading a book or dreaming up another story, she works as a lawyer, indulges in way too much coffee and enjoys long walks in the sun. If you are looking for Nyna, you’ll likely find her behind her laptop, hitting the keys, writing down her latest novel ideas – careful, if you speak to her now, she might not remember later!

 
 

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Gone Green: A Sci-Fi Mystery (Janey McCallister Mystery) by Beth Barany (Book Review)

L’Étoile’s lead investigator Janey McCallister faces her hardest case yet.

On the eve of the hotel space station’s twentieth anniversary celebration, criminals rob the casino’s vault and kill one security guard.

Janey teams up with Orlando Valdez, a sexy undercover cop for the Sol Unified Planets, to hunt down those responsible.

Since the casino has only a day’s worth of cash on hand, she must solve the complex plot behind the robbery before the theft creates a mass panic and puts L’Étoile out of business—and before the killer strikes again.

***

Gone Green is perfect for fans of J.D. Robb’s Eve Dallas books, The Expanse, and Killjoys and CSI. It contains a slow-burn romance, enhanced humans, cool high-tech gadgets, a futuristic vision of the Earth, and a tough kick ass heroine with secrets.

 

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

 

If you loved Ocean’s Eleven or its sequels/spin-off, then you are going to love figuring out how the contents were stolen from a L’Étoile’s vault. Besides the how, you’ll be racking your brain with who was all in on the heist and why. Trust me, this is not a simple puzzle to put together.  

Sure, you might be able to piece some of it together, but I doubt you’ll have it all figured out with ease. In Gone Green, Beth Barany dropped one bombshell after another, which shocked me and had me rethinking suspects. When I thought she had nothing left up her sleeve, that Beth couldn’t surprise me anymore, she dropped the hammer on me once more. Again, I was left with my jaw hanging open. Wondering, like the characters in the book, WTF just happened and why. 

Beth shocked me, amazed me, and thoroughly entertained me. 

Gone Green is a book worth reading, again and again. 

 

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

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Books in the Janey McCallister Mystery series

Into The Black (Book 1)

Lured By Light (Book 2)

Gone Green (Book 3)

Red Running Deep (Book 4) (Coming Fall 2021)

 

Sign up here to be notified about once a month of book news and special events: http://bethb.net/lblnews.

 

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Gone Green: A Sci-Fi Mystery (Janey McCallister Mystery) by Beth Barany (Book Showcase)

L’Étoile’s lead investigator Janey McCallister faces her hardest case yet.

On the eve of the hotel space station’s twentieth anniversary celebration, criminals rob the casino’s vault and kill one security guard.

Janey teams up with Orlando Valdez, a sexy undercover cop for the Sol Unified Planets, to hunt down those responsible.

Since the casino has only a day’s worth of cash on hand, she must solve the complex plot behind the robbery before the theft creates a mass panic and puts L’Étoile out of business—and before the killer strikes again.

***

Gone Green is perfect for fans of J.D. Robb’s Eve Dallas books, The Expanse, and Killjoys and CSI. It contains a slow-burn romance, enhanced humans, cool high-tech gadgets, a futuristic vision of the Earth, and a tough kick ass heroine with secrets.

Kindle Purchase Link

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“What are you doing here?” The question just popped out of Janey’s mouth.

Orlando Valdez leaned against the wall of her boss’s office, obstructing the live feed of the space station’s massive docking bay. He watched her with a piercing gaze, cool and mysterious, giving nothing away.

Anger flared, ballooning hot and itchy all over, even though she’d known he might show up on L’Étoile unannounced.

Venus Hells.

Lead Investigator Janey McCallister faced her boss, Security Chief Daniel Milano, who was seated behind his desk, his rotund middle stretching his red Turkish coat. “What’s he doing here? Is this what you called me in for? I thought we had an urgent briefing.”

Thirty-five minutes ago, Milano had called an earlier-than-usual security briefing without an explanation, other than to hurry her ass to his office, stat, cutting short her morning plans. She’d been scheduled to talk to a medical researcher about her mom’s condition. If Janey could get her mom on a new experimental drug before the current medical trial ended in ten weeks… Those calls regarding her mom could wait but not for long.

Orlando Valdez, Sol Unified Planets special investigator, straightened from the wall and opened his mouth to speak, but the chief waved him off.

“Yes, that’s why I called you. And we do have a briefing,” the chief said to her. “But firstly, you should know that Special Investigator Orlando is here on a top-secret Sol case and has a job to do.”

“I can appreciate that, but so do I,” Janey said, prickles buzzing under her skin like a million hopped-up electrodes, urging her to storm out of the small office. She kept herself in place. “We’ll be at capacity soon, and we still have final prep for the gala.”

Milano knew all this. And so did Orlando. He heard all her news in their regular evening vid calls.

“I’m sorry, Janey,” Orlando said to her, a serious look on his face. Looked like he meant it. Micro tension tightened the corners of his lips.

“There’s another matter,” Chief Milano said, weary.

“What’s your case?” Janey asked Orlando, ignoring her boss.

Orlando shook his head, his dark wavy locks falling over one eye.

Stars, he looked great in that fashionable, shimmery blue suit, with a pale pink pocket square, his creamy white silk shirt open at the throat. Yet he held himself with uncharacteristic rigidity in his shoulders, unlike the last time she’d seen him, been with him—a whole week together over three long months ago.

Now he was all business, secretive and tense. His missions for the Sol that took him all over the star system were more than top-secret and politically sensitive. He wouldn’t read her in unless he absolutely had to.

Would he this time?

“McCallister,” Chief Milano said and cleared his throat, breaking her focus on Orlando. “Per inter-Sol regulations, Agent Orlando is to report to you for all security matters. It’s up to your discretion on whether or not you need to clear any of his actions with me. Got that, Investigator?” Her boss gave her a hard stare over his faux antique eyeglasses no one used anymore.

As if he needed to remind her of the rules that governed the private corporate city-state of Bijoux de L’Étoile, this hotel-casino in space.

A jurisdictional dance, every time.

A former investigator himself for various companies and state governments, Milano was a stickler for the rules and spent more time behind his desk filing reports for the hotel owner than another else—other than gambling. Yet he treated her and everyone else fairly.

“Yes, Chief.” Even though she felt Orlando peering at her, willing her to look at him, she kept her gaze on her boss.

Orlando would officially be her direct report, and she’d be his boss. So, she had to keep things professional between them if she was to follow regs. Could she? She had to. This job was her mother’s only financial lifeline. All those expensive medical treatments for her mother’s hard-to-treat disease.

But Orlando didn’t often follow regs during his undercover work.

“I’m sure you two will work well together, as you have in the past. Yes?” Milano lifted an eyebrow at her. Orlando had helped her on two murder cases on L’Étoile.

“We will, sir.” Janey snapped to attention, chin up, shoulders back. Her Space Wing training second nature.

“Chief Milano, it would be my utmost pleasure to work under the investigator,” Orlando said in a silky warm tone.

Cheeky bugger. What happened in the bedroom between them was private.

Milano nodded at Orlando in acknowledgment and fussed with his dancing figurines that lined the edge of his desk, tiny models he created in his off-hours.

“Sir, a word,” Janey said. Had he received the ping about the unidentified vibration she’d felt on her way to his office?

“Just a moment. One more thing.” Milano lifted a finger to cut Janey off, then said in his comm, “Kim, send them in.” Kimani Iona was the station security operations manager, handling the department’s communications for Janey and her team. She was a tech and systems whiz and had become one of Janey’s closest friends at L’Étoile.

A moment later two women entered Milano’s office. Chief Milano stood.

“To start this special briefing, Investigator McCallister and Agent Orlando, I’d like you to meet Veronica Ladipo, a journalist with The Tell Papers, and her business partner, Monica Farmingham. They are here to cover next week’s gala.”

Veronica Ladipo reached out a hand to Janey. She was as tall as Janey was, with an open, friendly smile, striking green eyes, and dark brown hair, a halo around her head. “Investigator McCallister, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I appreciate you taking the time.”

Like Janey had a choice.

She shook the journalist’s hand, exchanging a firm grip. The business partner, Monica Farmingham, nodded in greeting to her and the two men. She was dressed in a grey suit jacket, a cream blouse buttoned at the throat, and a matching grey pencil skirt. In expensive strappy black spike heels out of place with the conservative suit, Monica wore no jewelry and carried a thin real-leather briefcase. Shorter than Janey by at least six inches, coming to Janey’s shoulder, the petite woman had sharp cheekbones, almond eyes outlined in kohl, reminiscent of an Egyptian princess, and had a quiet, powerful look about her. As if she could dominate any boardroom and get her way.

“I’ll stay out of your way as much as possible, though I would like an hour or so of your time soon to interview you and your team,” Veronica said, bringing Janey’s attention back to her.

“I don’t have time for media interviews, especially now,” Janey said. “And it’s abnormal to have a working journalist on board. L’Étoile’s owner, Frederick D. Schoeneman, is a well-known recluse and never grants interviews to the press.”

Veronica smiled, nodded, confidence oozing, and glanced at Monica. They shared a secret smile.

“A pleasure to meet you, Ms. Ladipo. Ms. Farmingham.” Orlando smiled with sparkling charisma and shook the journalist’s hand, nodded at the business partner, his body tension gone, replaced with languid fluid ease. He turned his full attention on the journalist. “I’m one of your most ardent fans. I read your column regularly.”

Janey frowned. He hadn’t greeted her with a smile like that, and they were dating.

“Call me Veronica, please.” The journalist offered Orlando a bright smile of pure joy and unnecessarily straightened the jacket of her bespoke black suit, primping under his gaze. Monica watched, seemingly unaffected by Orlando’s charm.

An angry, territorial beast roared in Janey’s heart. She rammed it down, then spoke, keeping her tone neutral.

“I’m surprised to see someone from The Tell Papers covering—” Janey swirled her hand to encompass the luxurious surroundings beyond the small security office.

“Social engagements and parties at high-end resorts?” Veronica said. “I know. Not my usual beat of exposés on despots, corporate greed, and industrial cover-ups.” She gave a tinkling laugh. “Monica thought it would be a good change of pace. I agreed, and so did my editor.” She shrugged. “Plus, I was curious to check out the Starry Jewel in the Sky, cover the gala prep and then the gala itself, and congratulate Mr. Schoeneman for his ten years of success. Bijoux de L’Étoile is quite something. Ten years of constructing in high-Earth orbit… Now this…” The awe in her voice sounded genuine.

“It is an impressive feat of engineering,” Janey said. “Schoeneman knows you’re here, I presume.”

“They’ve signed all the right paperwork,” Chief Milano gestured at his screen, gave the requisite commands, and the customs checklist ballooned to fill the wall screen beside him. “Her team was approved by Zurich. Schoeneman informed me personally that she and her camera crew were coming for the gala.”

Schoeneman was due to arrive any day now—another security task on her long list.

“You have a crew with you?” Janey asked Veronica. Great, more people to keep tabs on.

“Yes, they’re waiting in your conference room to meet you.” Veronica offered a smile, open and inviting.

“I don’t know when I will have the time.” Janey glanced at Milano.

“Yes, we need to organize ourselves, our work arrangements,” Orlando said and scrutinized Janey, his gaze intense as if he was trying to communicate a serious message to her.

“I understand,” the journalist said. “We’re here for the entire week. I look forward to speaking with you when you have the time.”

“We don’t have the time,” Janey said.

“We will make sure you get your interviews, Ms. Ladipo,” Milano said, as smooth as any diplomat.

Veronica addressed Milano, determined and peppy, seemingly unfazed by Janey’s refusals. “I’d love a tour of the lower levels for our B reel and then the out of way—”

Whatever else Veronica said and was about to say was drowned out by a deafening high-pitched alarm blaring from Janey and Milano’s wrist comms. The journalist slapped her hands over her ears, wide-eyed shock on her face. The business partner backed up against the wall, her face pale.

The high-pitched alarm shrieked off and on, like a wounded animal screaming in fear, jamming clear thought for a split second. Adrenaline flooded her system.

Orlando rushed to Janey’s side, a question in his eyes. Janey had the same questions he probably did.

What tripped the alarm?

Where?

How?

The red flashing code on her comm was unfamiliar at first. Then her ocular implant decoded it. The alarm was from a normally quiet and out-of-the-way section of the station.

Hells.

Janey waved over her comm, inputting the command to open a channel to the entire security department, and shouted above the horrible din. “We have to go. Now! All hands on this one.” She bolted for the office door that opened on approach.

She rushed into the corridor and raced toward the staff elevator, side-stepping the cleaning bots.

“What is it?” Orlando sprinted into the elevator beside her. “Where are we going?”

Fear tightened her ribcage. The elevator door closed, and she shut off the alarm. “The casino vault. It’s a 10-18. Officer down. Needs immediate assistance.”

 

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Books in the Janey McCallister Mystery series

Into The Black (Book 1)

Lured By Light (Book 2)

Gone Green (Book 3)

Red Running Deep (Book 4) (Coming Fall 2021)

 

Sign up here to be notified about once a month of book news and special events: http://bethb.net/lblnews.

 

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