Monday, August 31, 2015

August Mini Musings

The Silenced - This was another good installment in the Krewe of Hunters series.  It's the 15th  book.  I did enjoy the mystery and was surprised at the solution.  The romance was just so-so, though and felt a little forced. I could have enjoyed the book even without the romance. I'm looking forward to the next installment.

Hard to Let Go- The final installment in the Hard Ink series.  I enjoyed Beckett and Kat's story.  They have been circling each other for weeks. They were great together and it was great to see Beckett finally open up. It is hard to believe that the entire series took place over only a couple of weeks. The whole story arc was wrapped up nicely with a great epilogue in the end.  It's sad to see the series end.  I have enjoyed the journey with this group of guys and their loves.

On the Hunt - Honestly, I only read one of the novellas in this anthology.  I got it mainly for Dianne Duvall's Phantom Embrace.  It's part of the Immortal Guardian series.   I had to see what happened to Yuri. So sad, but such a wonderful love story! The immortal guardian series totally rocks!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Books We Didn't FInish - August Edition

The Hand that Feeds You -This is like one of the hottest books of the summer.  It's on every must read list.  I didn't care for it.  I didn't buy the fact that these women were totally duped by this guy.  Most women who online date are freakishly cautious and online stalk a guy until they know everything about every person in their life.  I just wasn't buying the story.

Challenger Deep -This  was a book I got as a review copy.  It was also on a big display at the library so I was kind of expecting big things from this book.  I really, really didn't like it.  I was very confused from the very beginning as to what kind of book this was supposed to be; modern day or pirates?  Then there was this alliteration thing that was super annoying.  Just definitely not the book for me.

Tiny Pretty Things -I've read a few other ballerina books and I've always enjoyed them.  The dancing and the drama is always appealing.   I had hoped I'd like this one.  Tiny Pretty Things never captured or held my interest.  There were too many other books calling my name.

Station Eleven - Once again, this was a book that just didn't capture my interest.  It seemed like the kind of book I would really like and I would be really into.  I think I'm kind of burnt out on the post apocalyptic thing.  I don't want to think about a super flu wiping out humanity right's just not working for me.

Killing Monica:  Being a Sex in the City fan, I thought I would like this book.  I couldn't make it past the divorce party scene.  The main character Pandy was annoying as were all of her friends.  I think if I read the word Monica one more time, I was going to scream.  Parody or not, it wasn't funny.

Book of Numbers - This was a book that I knew was just not going to hold my interest.  I tried the first disc, but gave up.  I was really bored. Besides it  is a really long book and  unless the book sucks me right in, I don't want to waste my time.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

The Precipice by Paul Doiron

by:  Paul Doiron
published by:  Minotaur Books
publish date:  June 16, 2015

When two young female hikers disappear in the Hundred Mile Wilderness—the most remote stretch along the entire two-thousand mile Appalachian Trail—Maine game warden Mike Bowditch joins the search to find them. When two corpses are discovered—the bones picked clean by coyotes—rumors spread that the women were stalked and killed by the increasingly aggressive canines.   His new girlfriend, the brilliant but volatile biologist Stacey Stevens,  insists coyotes merely scavenged the bodies after the women were murdered. When Stacey herself disappears on the outskirts of the Hundred Mile Wilderness, Bowditch realizes that locating her means he must also discover the truth behind what happened to the two hikers. Were the young women really killed by coyotes or, as Stacey insisted, were they murdered by the most dangerous animal in the North Woods?

A few years ago I watched a documentary about the Appalachian Trail, The AT, and the people that hike the entire thing.  It looked so awesome.  There are people that take off for like a year to hike the entire thing from Georgia to Maine.  It's crazy, but people do it all the time.  

Anyway, this book was about that, these two women that were hiking The AT and go missing.  After search teams are formed, their bodies are discovered.  It's theorized that coyotes stalked and killed the women, based on journal entries and the condition of their bodies.  However, Mike Bowditch's girlfriend, Stacey Stevens doesn't believe that.  She knows they were murdered and she's intent on proving that.   Mike, of course, is caught up in investigating the case from his own angle and doesn't realize the trouble that she is in before it's too late.  

I love this series.  Paul Doiron is a great writer.  He does a great job portraying Maine and showing it's not all just lighthouses and lobsters.  I really enjoy all the deep woods descriptions too.   This is a great mystery series and I highly recommend it.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Blog Tour: A Character Interview and Review of Shadows Strike by Dianne Duvall

Today, we are excited to have an interview with a couple of characters from Dianne Duvall's exciting series The Immortal Guardians.  They are here to help promote Dianne's latest book, Shadows Strike.  Enjoy it after my thoughts on the book.

Publisher: Kensington

Date of publication: August 2015

The Immortal Guardians protect the innocent in secret. Sometimes the secret gets out…

U.S. law enforcement agent Heather Lane can read minds. But not the future. The dream of battle and blood that recurs every night must be a fluke, some obscure terror from her own mind. What its significance might be, she can’t guess: an attack from seven psychotic vampires at once, only separated from nightmare by an eighth very different immortal. A handsome, brave man fighting at her side, a man she misses when she wakes.

Then the dream comes true. Heather is flung into a war between predators and protectors of humanity, the man from her dreams beside her again. Except now that she’s awake, she isn’t sure she can trust Ethan, or the shadow organization he represents. The U.S. military doesn’t trust either of them. But against an onslaught of evil like the one that’s coming, it will take everything they have just to survive…

My thoughts:

I'm not even sure I need to write a review for this one because you all know what I will say already.  It's amazing, sexy, fast paced, and just plain fun! You know when I get a new book by Ms. Duvall, I am going to just devour it!  Shadows Strike was no exception. The story picks up about a year after the last book.  It was fast paced and full of twists.  

I loved Ethan and Heather together!  They were just too cute.  It was so fun to see Ethan finally find a love.  It's funny that Ethan kept saying that his gift was nothing special.  I thought it was pretty cool.  Imagine being able to remember everything and have the added benefit of not having your mind manipulated ever.  I'd say that was pretty cool.  I also loved seeing Adira interact with the warriors.  She is too cute.  I can't wait to watch her grow up!

All I can say about this book and series is go buy it and read it!  You won't be sorry!

An interview with Zach and Lisette:

Thank you for joining me!  I’m very happy to be here at From the TBR Pile, celebrating the release of SHADOWS STRIKE, the sixth book in my Immortal Guardians series.  For those who haven’t yet picked up a copy or who aren’t familiar with my series, I thought I would give you a glimpse of Ethan and Heather—the hero and heroine—and the rest of my Immortal Guardians crew in a character interview.  (Also, if you’re new to the series, don’t worry.  Each book can be read as a stand-alone.  You’ll just be more familiar with the secondary characters if you read them in order.)

Today Sheldon, one of the mortals in my series (and a favorite of myself and many readers, thanks to the comic relief he provides) will be interviewing Zach, the dark and powerful winged hero of the last book (Night Unbound) and his heroine, Lisette.  Both play prominent roles in SHADOWS STRIKE.

Sheldon:  Thanks for agreeing to an interview, guys.

Lisette:  Of course.

Zach:  Why are we doing another one of these?  Did the last one not suffice?

Sheldon:  It, uh . . . it . . . sufficed.

Zach:  *arches a brow*

Sheldon:  Well, the whole purpose of these interviews is to make the humans down at the Network feel more comfortable around you immortals and you MIGHT have come across a little . . . scary in the last interview.

Zach:  To whom?  To you?

Sheldon:  Yes.

Zach:  You asked me if you could climb onto my back so I could fly you around like Superman.

Lisette:  *lips twitching*  I forgot about that.

Sheldon:  I asked you HYPOTHETICALLY how you would respond if SOMEONE were to ask you if he could do that.

Zach:  And I offered you an honest answer.

Sheldon:  *mutters something under his breath*

Zach:  I heard that.

Sheldon:  I know.  *raises his brows*  Any chance you’ll change your mind?

Zach:  *baleful stare*

Sheldon:  *shoulders slump*  Right.  What about shapeshifting?  Heather said you shifted into a HUGE lion in front of her.

Zach:  *exchanges an amused glance with Lisette*  Yes, I did.

Sheldon:  Will you do that for me?

Zach:  No.

Sheldon:  Spoilsport. 

Zach:  It’s not a parlor trick, Sheldon.

Sheldon:  That’s what David keeps telling me.  Come on.  I’ll bet Lisette would read my mind if I asked her to.

Lisette:  No I wouldn’t.

Sheldon:  *surprised*  You wouldn’t?  Why not?

Lisette:  Because I’ve read your mind before and there’s too much freaky stuff up there.

Sheldon:  Freaky how?

Zach:  *looks askance at Lisette*  Freaky sex stuff?

Lisette:  Yes.  A LOT of it.

Sheldon:  *grins unrepentantly*  That’s what Heather said.  I don’t see what’s so freaky about it.

Lisette:  Well, I’m certainly not going to explain it to you.  So shall we move on? 

Sheldon:  Fine.  What do you think of Heather? 

Lisette:  I like her.

Zach:  As do I.  I think she has handled her introduction into the world of Immortal Guardians, gifted ones, and vampires admirably.

Lisette:  *grins*  I think your shapeshifting might have thrown her a bit.

Zach:  *laughs*  Just a bit.  But she had already been through quite a lot by then.  And I think her passing herself off as a FACS specialist and earning a living using her gift was exceptionally clever.

Sheldon:  Okay, explain to me what exactly that means, because I don’t remember. 

Zach:  She tells the military and law enforcement agencies who enlist her services that she is using the Facial Action Coding System to determine whether or not someone is telling the truth.

Lisette:  So they think she’s studying minute changes in facial expressions when she’s actually reading minds.

Zach:  As I said, very clever.

Sheldon:  It is.  Most gifted ones hide the special abilities they’re born with for their own safety.  Yet she was able to find a way to make a career out of hers without falling under suspicion.  What do you think about her and Ethan getting together?

Lisette:  I think they’re perfect for each other.  She’s telepathic and—

Zach:  Ethan’s head is too hard to read.

Sheldon:  Why is it so hard to read his mind?  Even the elders can’t do it without causing him incredible pain.

Zach:  *shrugs*  Just not much up there to read, I guess.

Lisette:  *laughs and punches him in the shoulder*  Be nice.  *to Sheldon*  Ethan’s mind is just wired differently.  It has something to do with the gift he was born with.

Sheldon:  And what gift is that?

Lisette:  If you don’t know, you’ll have to ask Ethan.

Sheldon:  Oh, come on.  Why are you guys always so reluctant to tell me your gifts?

Zach:  Because you pester us for demonstrations when we do.

Sheldon:  *sighs*  You’re no fun.

Lisette:  *casts Zach a flirtatious glance*  Actually, Zach can be quite fun on occasion.

Sheldon:  Don’t flirt with him!  His eyes will start to glow and . . .  Ah, hell.  His eyes are glowing.

Zach:   *stares at Lisette with eyes that now hold a golden glow*  Sheldon . . .

Sheldon:  You’re going to ask me to wrap up the interview early, aren’t you?

Zach:  Why don’t we wrap this interview up early?

Sheldon:  I still have dozens of questions to ask you.

Lisette:  *strokes Zach’s face*

Zach:  Just what I was thinking.

Sheldon:  What was?  That I need to ask you more questions?

Zach:  I enjoyed it as well.

Sheldon:  You aren’t listening to a thing I’m saying, are you?  Enjoyed what?  The interview?  Wait.  Are you talking to me?  Or are you two doing the telepathic thing?  You aren’t feeling each other up mentally, are you?

Lisette:  Goodbye, Sheldon.

Sheldon:  *mutters as he rises*  And you think MY sex stuff is freaky.  *louder*  Just don’t get naked until I’m out the door.

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About the author:

Dianne Duvall is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author of the Immortal Guardians paranormal romance series and The Gifted Ones series. Her books have twice been nominated for the RT Reviewers' Choice Award for Best Vampire Romance and are routinely deemed Top Picks by RT Book Reviews, The Romance Reviews, and/or Night Owl Reviews. Reviewers have called Dianne's books "utterly addictive" (RT Book Reviews), "fast-paced and humorous" (Publishers Weekly), "extraordinary" (Long and Short Reviews), and "wonderfully imaginative" (The Romance Reviews).
Dianne loves all things creative. When she isn't writing, Dianne is active in the independent film industry and has even appeared on-screen, crawling out of a moonlit grave and wielding a machete like some of the vampires she has created in her books.

For the latest news on upcoming releases, contests, and more, please visit

You can also find Dianne online . . .

Buy Links:
Amazon | iTunes | Kobo | BAM! | Barnes & Noble | Walmart 

Blog Tour Schedule
August 11
Little Shop of Readers – Exclusive Excerpt
Diane’s Book Blog – Spotlight
August 12
August 13
Ramblings From This Chick – Exclusive Excerpt
August 14
KT Book Reviews – Exclusive Excerpt
August 17
E-Reading After Midnight – Spotlight
August 18
Taking It One Book at a Time – Author Interview
Addicted to Books – Exclusive Excerpt
August 19
Lynn’s Romance Enthusiasm – Exclusive Excerpt
TheSubClubBooks – Character Interview
August 20
Belle’s Book Bag– Chapter One
August 21
Buffy’s Ramblings – Review
August 24
August 25
Indy book fairy – Spotlight
Books and Things – Author Guest Post
August 26
Books-n-Kisses – Guest Post
Author’s Taproom – Exclusive Excerpt
August 27
Rabid Reads – Review
Bookgatherer – Chapter One
August 28
From the TBR Pile – Character Interview
a wife in progress – Author Interview
August 31
Monlatable Book Reviews – Spotlight
The Reading Cave – Favorite Shadows Strike Quotes
September 1
EBookObsessed – Author Interview
Cat’s Reviews – Spotlight
September 2
Reading in Pajamas – Review
September 3
Booklover Sue – Chapter One
September 4
Tome Tender – Review
Angel’s Guilty Pleasures – Author Guest Post
September 7
Books That Hook – Spotlight
Jeri’s Book Attic – Author Interview
September 8
Geeks In High School – Top 10 Immortal Guardians Quotes
Cocktails and Books – Review

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Blog Tour: Review & Excerpt of Gypsy Heat by Jillian Neal

Author: Jillian Neal 
Publisher: Realm Press
Release Date: 8/25/2015

Nadya Montgomery was Gypsy Beach’s own personal wild child. There was nothing she wouldn’t do, especially when it came to Grady Havens. Until disaster struck and tore them apart. Desperate to protect Grady, she ran away from everything and everyone she’d ever known.

Fourteen years later, Nadya returns to the beach to try to rebuild some semblance of her life out of her ex-husband’s shadow, but that means returning to her past and seeing Grady Havens again.
Now a charter boat captain constantly trying to put his past behind him, Grady doesn’t know what to make of Nadya’s return. All he knows is she was always meant to be his, and he intends to make his claim. He wants her back in his life and most certainly back in his bed.

When his entire family is threatened, he’s caught between rekindling his relationship with Nadya and protecting what belongs to him.

Together they try to rebuild what always should have been, but their pasts are determined to keep them ensnared. As passions ignite between them, they realize that even Grady may not be able to keep her safe this time.

Gypsy Heat is the third book in the Gypsy Beach series.  The story involves Nadya and Grady.  They were childhood friends and teenage lovers until a tragedy made her run from the only home she has ever known.  Now, 14 years later, she is back after having escaped an abusive marriage.  Her plan is to regroup and plan her future.  If she can only avoid Grady Havens while doing it.  But the magic of Gyspy Beach has other plans and the two soon find themselves back in each other's arms. And let's just say there were enough sparks to last for many 4th of July celebrations when these two got back together!

I thought this was a very sweet romance.  The history that Grady and Nadya shared made their fall back in love seamless.  What I loved about this story is that the two acknowledge their past and realize they have a lot to work on before their true HEA. I feel like a lot of times in second chance romances, the reader doesn't get that sense.  I was definitely rooting for them. The story also has a pretty good mystery.  It is clear that someone in town is bent on setting up the Haven brothers and those who live on Gypsy Beach for the recent thefts and arsons.  The solution was definitely a surprise.  

I highly recommend this series.  Each one can be read as a stand alone.  I can't wait to see what comes next!


“What the hell is wrong with you?” Grady huffed as he studied his youngest brother. Beau had been twitchy since he’d entered the new boathouse. He looked like a wary bass circling a hook debating its fate.
“Nothing.” He bristled and fidgeted with the boat keys in his hand. Grady and Nate had been trying to sort through the old fishing boxes of contracts, receipts, licenses, and paystubs at night now that they had an actual office to hold it all.
Nate rolled his eyes. “You know he’s not gonna let it go. Whatever it is just spill it.” He thumbed through a stack of old contracts before tossing them into the trash.
Very conveniently, Beau checked his watch. “I gotta get out of here.”
Moving nothing more than his overly-muscled arm, Grady caught the back of Beau’s shirt and prevented him from escaping.
“What the hell is going on with you?”
“She asked me not to say anything … but I kind of think you should know. Maybe?” Beau made a partial confession.
Grady’s brow furrowed, and he released his little brother. “Who asked you not to say anything?”
His head dropped, and Grady barely made out the word, “Nadya.”
Nate dropped the paperwork in his hand. The entire world seemed to stop spinning at that moment. Grady was unable to make any audible sound. He was stunned.
“You saw Nadya? Like Grady’s Nadya?” Nate beat him to the punch.
“Yeah,” Beau sighed. “She was at the coffee shop. Said she was gonna be here for a few weeks, and …”
“And what?” Grady managed to grunt. His heart felt like some kind of deranged pinball ricocheting from his throat, to his ribcage, to his gut in a nauseating cadence. It rang in his ears.

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About Jillian Neal:

Jillian Neal is a Romance author that manages to blend her imagination, Southern sass, and loving heart in every novel she pens. She showed her talent for weaving intricate plot lines and showcasing dynamic characters in her seven-book, urban fantasy, series, The Gifted Realm. Her skill set continues to shine in her contemporary series, Gypsy Beach, which will leave you with a longing to pack your bags and move to a tiny beach town full of bohemian charm.

She lives outside of Atlanta with her husband and their children.

Buy Links:

Throwback Thursday: Sea Gypsy by Fern Michaels

Author: Fern Michaels
First published in 1980 by Simon and Schuster

He was a man of infinite charm and boundless magnetism. In short, Jared Parsons was not to be trusted. Cathy Bissette thought she had left everything behind--the broken heart, the publishing job, the glamour and riches of New York--for a quiet three-month vacation at home on the shores of North California.

But from the moment Jared sailed the lavish Sea Gypsy into Pamlico Sound she knew her quiet refuge was ruined. She feared this arrogant stranger and the passions he inspired!

Was she running away again? Or into the arms of the man she hated to love...?

That second to the last question in the synopsis was one I wanted to answer with the statement: "Please, run far and run fast!", repeatedly throughout  Sea Gypsy.  I'll ask again, what was with 80s romances?  If that is really the way that men treated women in 1980, I am so glad I was not an adult around then.  Did romance readers really go for this type if neanderthal jerk of a man?

I really can't recommend this early romance by Ms. Michaels.  I didn't see where they fell in love with each other.  Jared treated Cathy like crap throughout the entire book, so how exactly did she fall in love with him?  She even admits it at one point!  I'm not even sure why I finished this one.  I think I was holding out hope that Cathy would wake up, tell Jared off, and walk off into the sunset with just her dog!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Blog Tour: The Reinvention of Albert Paugh by Jean Davies Okimoto

Author: Jean Davies Okimoto
Publisher: Endicott and Hugh Books
Date of publication: 2015

Dr. Albert Paugh is flunking retirement. After selling his Vashon Island veterinary practice, he soon finds himself not only lost without his work, but suddenly single. His efforts to carve out a new life, both as a bachelor and a retiree, only leave him feeling like his golden years are fast becoming years of gloom. His regrets pile up until he moves to Baker’s Beach where he gets to know a very special neighbor, learns that friends are the family you choose, and finds a new sense of purpose. The Reinvention of Albert Paugh is a sweet, funny love story about retirees that will delight readers (and dog lovers) of any age.

The Reinvention of Albert Paugh is the third book in Jean Davies Okimoto’s Island Trilogy, following The Love Ceiling and Walter’s Muse.

The Reinvention of Albert Paugh is a sweet story about a man in his 60s who is failing at retirement.  I thought it was a cute story and something that would be a good read on a rainy day.  Al is a retired veterinarian who has just finished nursing his wife through lung cancer.  He is regretting his decision to retire and sell his business when his wife drops a bomb on him.  She wants a divorce because she wants a different life.  Suddenly, Al is at a crossroads; not sure what to do with himself.

As I said, this was a sweet story about a man who is trying to figure out what to do with the rest of his life.  If you ask me, he was better off without Eleanor.  She was holding him back!  I liked how the small community embraced him.  I also loved watching his friendship with Bonnie grow.  That was very endearing.  I was rooting for Al to find his way.  I kind of felt bad for him as single women threw themselves at him once they found out he was single.  It was cute that he was kind of clueless.  

I haven't read the first two books in this series. I honestly don't think it matters as the book stood up well as a stand alone.  As I said, it's a cute story and worth checking out.

About Jean Davies Okimoto

Jean Davies Okimoto is an author and playwright whose books and short stories have been translated into Japanese, Italian, Chinese, German, Danish, Korean and Hebrew. She is the recipient  of numerous awards including Smithsonian Notable Book, the American LibraryAssociation Best Book for Young Adults, the Washington Governor’s Award and the International Reading Association Readers Choice Award. Her picture book, Blumpoe the Grumpoe Meets Arnold the Cat was adapted by Shelly Duvall for the HBO and Showtime television series “Bedtime Stories.” Her debut novel for adults The Love Ceiling was a season’s pick by the King County Library System, named to the ABA Indie Next Reading Group List and ebook Fiction Winner in the 2009 Indie Next Generation Awards. She has appeared on CNN, Oprah, and The Today Show. Jeanie, who is also a retired psychotherapist, began writing for adults when she and her husband Joe retired to Vashon Island in 2004 where they (and their dogs Bert and Willie) are visited by deer families and their six grandchildren.

For more information on Ms. Okimoto, please visit her website at

Jean Davies Okimoto’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:
Monday, August 3rd: Book Dilettante
Wednesday, August 5th: Mama Vicky Says
Monday, August 10th: The Book Wheel
Tuesday, August 11th: Bibliotica
Wednesday, August 12th: Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Thursday, August 13th: BookNAround
Friday, August 14th: Peeking Between the Pages
Monday, August 17th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Wednesday, August 19th: Life is Story
Monday, August 24th: Joyfully Retired
Wednesday, August 26th: From the TBR Pile
Friday, August 28th: View from the Birdhouse