Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Book Review: The Henchman series by Eric Lahti




I've caught bits of this author's writing in other places and decided to grab his book. So glad I did. If you like Tim Dorsey or Carl Hiaasen with an edgier graphic novel feel, then this is the book for you.
Henchmen is a group of 'bad' guys headed by a seven-foot-tall woman named Eve. Told in the POV of Steven, Eve's right-hand-man, the story starts with a heist of some high-tech body armor. Celebrating their success at a Japanese sushi bar where one eats off the naked body of a woman, the gang is drawn into battle over the girl who's currently their table. This leads them into a series of adventures involving Congress, secret agencies, gods, and aliens.
There are some laugh-out-loud moments and a lot of the wry humor I really like. The action moves along pretty well. The battle scenes are well-written; obviously, the author knows personal combat and weapons (at least, it seemed so to me).  There are some typos but they didn't bother me as I was anxious to read what happens next.
The book is a novella so it's a quick read, and I highly recommend it if you like this sort of book. Even if you think you don't, try it because I think you might like it.

Arise picks up several months after the first book ends. Steve, Jessica, and Eve find new enemies and some surprising allies. The god of Dreams has taken over Washington DC and started his own religion, and the other gods are not happy. It's up to the Henchmen to take care of the god they freed or face consequences from the other gods.
There are some good fights and the humor I like from this author. I did find the story just a smidgeon slower than the first book, but it's still a good read.

Transmute is the third and last book in the series though I hope there's more. There does seem to be a corollary series I need to investigate.
Steven has taken the place of the god of Dreams. It's frankly taking some getting used to for him, and a bit of a problem for Jessica since they get called away by his followers almost every time they sit down to eat. This story is a bit more fantastical and introduces more characters while bringing back one surprising old character. It's a great story and a fun read.
I highly recommend this author and series if you like clever writing and humor in an action story.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Book Tour & Giveaway: Witches Protection Program by Michael Okon


Witches Protection Program
by Michael Okon
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy 

Wes Rockville, a disgraced law-enforcement agent, gets one last chance to prove himself and save his career when he’s reassigned to a 232-year-old secret government organization.


The Witches Protection Program.

His first assignment: uncover a billion-dollar cosmetics company’s diabolical plan to use witchcraft for global domination, while protecting its heiress Morgan Pendragon from her aunt’s evil deeds. Reluctantly paired with veteran witch protector, Alastair Verne, Wes must learn to believe in witchesand believe in himself.

Filled with adventure and suspense, Michael Okon creates a rousing, tongue-in-cheek alternate reality where witches cast spells and wreak havoc in modern-day New York City.






Michael Okon is an award-winning and best-selling author of multiple genres including paranormal, thriller, horror, action/adventure and self-help. He graduated from Long Island University with a degree in English, and then later received his MBA in business and finance. Coming from a family of writers, he has storytelling in his DNA. Michael has been writing from as far back as he can remember, his inspiration being his love for films and their impact on his life. From the time he saw The Goonies, he was hooked on the idea of entertaining people through unforgettable characters.

Michael is a lifelong movie buff, a music playlist aficionado, and a sucker for self-help books. He lives on the North Shore of Long Island with his wife and children.




Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!










Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Book Tour & Giveaway: The Dream Defenders by Neal Denhartog


The Dream Defenders
by Neal DenHartog
Genre: YA Fantasy 

A vivid, dangerous dream world. Real-life consequences. Better ready your defense.


When fourteen-year-old Nolan Erling wakes up with a headache for the fourth straight day, he suspects the likely culprit to be any number of things—from his annoying baby brother, to vehicular crashes with his elderly neighbor, or even his questionable late-night food choices—not his dreams.


Aeryn Sandman knows the true cause, though. She is a junior agent with the DREAM Institute, a secret organization tasked with protecting the world’s population while they sleep, and she’s on her first assignment.

Her mission: infiltrate Nolan’s life—and his dreams—and keep him safe, all while persuading him to join their protective force.

But recruitment missions are no walk in the park, and Aeryn’s goes horribly wrong when Nolan’s powers unwittingly unleash two dream creatures locked away in a restricted area of the dream world. While Aeryn and Nolan search for ways to contain the escaped beings, they uncover a much greater conspiracy.

For these dreams can kill, and someone is orchestrating their actions in the dream world. If Aeryn and Nolan can’t figure out who is behind it, no dreamer will be safe, and neither will the organization that defends them.


Discover a book with a fresh voice, genuinely humorous characters, and a compelling, original storyline. The Dream Defenders will appeal to readers of all ages.
★★★★★ - "A spectacularly imaginative story." - Indies Today



**FREE July 29th – 31st!!**


Neal DenHartog was born, raised, and currently resides in Iowa. After a fifteen year career in the sciences he decided to rekindle his childhood passion for writing. Now, when he's not donning a lab coat, he writes stories about dreams.




Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!





Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Trad Tuesday: This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie



Usually, I post traditional Celtic songs, but in honor of the Fourth of July holiday I'm going with Woody Guthrie's most famous folk song. "Its lyrics were written by American folk singer Woody Guthrie in 1940, based on an existing melody, a Carter Family tune called "When the World's on Fire", in critical response to Irving Berlin's "God Bless America." When Guthrie was tired of hearing Kate Smith sing "God Bless America" on the radio in the late 1930s, he sarcastically called his song "God Blessed America for Me" before renaming it "This Land Is Your Land."
A March 1944 recording in the possession of the Smithsonian, the earliest known recording of the song, has the "private property" verse included. This version was recorded the same day as 75 other songs. This was confirmed by several archivists for Smithsonian who were interviewed as part of the History Channel program Save Our History – Save our Sounds. The 1944 recording with this fourth verse can be found on Woody Guthrie: This Land is Your Land: The Asch Recordings Volume 1, where it is track 14.
There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me;
Sign was painted, it said private property;
But on the back side it didn't say nothing;
This land was made for you and me.

Lyrics
This land is your land, this land is my land
From the California to the New York island
From the Redwood Forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me
As I went walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
And saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me
I roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me , a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me
When the sun comes shining, then I was strolling
In the wheat fields waving and dust clouds rolling
The voice was chanting as the fog was lifting
This land was made for you and me
This land is your land and this land is my land
From the California to the New York island
From the Redwood Forest, to the gulf stream waters
This land was made for you and me
When the sun comes shining, then I was strolling
In wheat fields waving and dust clouds rolling
The voice come chanting as the fog was lifting
This land was made for you and me

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Book Review: When the Squirrel Sings by Shana Hollowell


When the Squirrel Sings is a sweet children's book about a squirrel. It goes through the animal's day using cute rhymes and bright, colorful pictures. I think it's perfect for very young children who will delight in the story and accompanying illustrations.
I was given this book for an honest review by the author.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Book Review: River by Ryen Lesli


River is your typical seventeen-year-old girl, hanging with her best friend Skye and living in hot
dusty Georgia. She's not fond of Skye's new boyfriend, but it's when she finally meets him that her life turns upside-down. Her mother whisks her away to a new world and removes the suppression of her memories: River finds out she's a Fair and has power, she's a princess (not that she cares much), and oh, she's also bonded to Luca, a boy from her childhood. Luca is now a warrior named Wolf, and he didn't take her leaving him well. Frustrated, River turns to Cat, her Royal (a type of bodyguard) for friendship and comfort.
The author has been very clever in how she integrates the world of the Fair with the Outer World, placing it in Muir Wood in California. The world building is excellent and definitely adds to the story. As River relearns her past, the reader is also introduced to her fascinating environs. And not just the other species, but their customs and way of life.
The three main characters, River, Wolf, and Cat, are a good mix. River is the linchpin, confused by her new surroundings and frustrated with her mother while Wolf covers his hurt with a belligerent shell and Cat does his best between the two of them. While triangles are often a YA trope (not that there's anything wrong with that), I liked that this one doesn't go on that long.
The supporting characters are fun. Scarlett and the other Fair learning swearwords and other slang from River add a comic element that's a nice touch. Finn and Scarlett's romance is also great; it reminded me of Tormund and Brienne from GOT in some ways. The other Warriors are a good mix of guys as are the girls who befriend River.
Angel, the evil villainess of the book, is suitably malevolent and just icky. The tour of her rooms is nausea-inducing, just horrific- and a fine piece of writing. For the most part, the writing is good though I got tired pretty quickly of everyone tugging on braids. The story is fascinating and propels the reader to discover more about this world and these characters until one reaches the cliff-hanger ending. I definitely will read the next book and can't wait for it.

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Book Review: Rogue Most Wanted by Janna MacGregor


Lady Theo is a Countess in her own right due to a Scottish law but is being challenged by an English Duke who wants her land.  Theo has lived an isolated life due to her grandfather's ill health, but is determined to do the best for her estate and tenants. She goes to a neighbor for help who suggest marriage might be a way out of her issues and brings her great-nephew William Cavensham up to Northumberland as a possible candidate.
The two decide almost at once they don't suit - William has vowed never to love and Theo wants a loving marriage - but they become friends.
This was a sweet romance, and it was nice to see the rest of the extended Cavensham family again. William and Theo are both interesting characters, but I thought I would like this more than I actually did. The problem is all the dithering: William can't make up his mind if he wants work or marriage, Theo can't decide if she loves William or not, and the author can't make up her mind up about her characters. It drove me crazy, especially when shy Theo who wants to be friends basically suddenly becomes bold and seductive.
The story was fine but I wish there was a little more consistency and a better buildup to their romance. I want to thank Netgalley who provided this book for a fair and honest review.

Amazon

Release Blitz: More Than A Rogue by Sophie Barnes




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 The Crawfords, Book 2
 Historical Romance
 Release Date: June 25, 2019

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All she wanted was a kiss…

What she got, was fiery passion…

Emily Howard knows she is destined to be a spinster. She has accepted this fate, but that doesn't stop her from wanting to experience kissing. What she doesn't expect, is for Griffin Crawford, the handsomest man in the world, to do the honors. Or for all her female relations to discover her in his embrace. Naturally, marriage is instantly mentioned, but since Emily knows this is not what Griffin wants, she tries to escape him, her family and the ensuing scandal.

When Emily flees the Camberly ball in the wake of their kiss, Griffin goes in pursuit. He will not allow his sister-in-law's determined friend to risk her safety for any reason. And risk it she will if she means to return to her countryside home by herself. But the longer he remains in her company, the more he is tempted to kiss her again. If only he could risk falling in love and remain in England forever.



Other Books in The Crawfords Series:




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No Ordinary Duke
The Crawfords, Book 1
Release Date: August 2018



He’s everything she’s trying to avoidBut somehow precisely what she needs…

Caleb Crawford doesn’t want to be a duke. He’d much rather build houses for a living. So when fate disrupts his peaceful life and burdens him with the responsibilities of a newly inherited title, he does what any sensible man would do by fleeing London, disguising himself as a laborer, and seeking refuge with three young spinsters who need his help with a leaky roof.

Ruined by a marquess who promised her the world, Mary Clemens has sworn to avoid marriage forever. Instead, she intends to live out her days with her friends and the orphaned children they’ve taken into their care. But when Mr. Crawford comes knocking, Mary finds herself in real danger of risking heartbreak all over again. Especially when she discovers that he’s not at all what he seems.






About the Author

 photo More Than A Rogue Author Sophie Barnes_zpsf43ajvw5.jpg
Born in Denmark, Sophie has spent her youth traveling with her parents to wonderful places all around the world and has lived in five different countries on three different continents.

She has studied design in Paris and New York and has a bachelor's degree from Parson's School of design, but most impressive of all - she's been married to the same man three times, in three different countries and in three different dresses.

While living in Africa, Sophie turned to her lifelong passion - writing.

When she's not busy, dreaming up her next romance novel, Sophie enjoys spending time with her family, swimming, cooking, gardening, watching romantic comedies and, of course, reading. She currently lives on the East Coast.



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Monday, June 24, 2019

Book Blitz & Giveaway: Tabloid by Jackie Paxsonby


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Romance with a splash of humor
Dirty Laundry #1
Date Published: 5/25/19

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1 gossip writer + 1 A-list movie star = 1 fake relationshipor does it?

After breaking a story that rocks Hollywood, Talia is the top gossip writer around. One night will put all of that into question. The writer becomes the story when she gets caught doing the walk of shame from A-lister Zee Jaxon’s home.

To save both of their reputations he suggests a fake relationship. Pretending should be easy. It shouldn’t mean the fake feelings become real. Accepting the real feelings means the lies they’ve told are even harder to hide.

When the truth comes out can their love survive or will everything just fade to black?



Excerpt

“I forgot to tell you something.”  Zeke said as they walked hand and hand to baggage claim.

“What?”

“Please don’t hate me.”  He kissed their linked hands.

“What did you do?”

As Zeke and Talia turned the corner to pick up their bags Talia saw a giant poster being held by a tall muscular guy wearing a too tight t-shirt and dirty jeans.  Scrawled on the poster were the words she was going to have etched on her brother’s grave.

WELCOME HOME, TALLY!

SORRY PORN DIDN’T WORK OUT FOR YOU!

GLAD YOU GOT THE HELP YOU NEEDED IN REHAB FOR THE FIFTH TIME!

“You asked Rex to pick us up?”

Zeke bit his lip trying not to laugh at the poster.  When Rex saw the poster had gotten their attention, and many others around them, he flipped it over.

WELCOME HOME, ZEKE!

I GOT THAT MEDICATION FOR YOUR STD!

HOPEFULLY THE SORES ARE NO LONGER LEAKING!

“I’m seeing my mistake now.”  Zeke said.

“I bet you are.”

Rex strode over to Zeke and Talia.  He dropped the poster and opened his arms wide.  Talia walked up to give him a hug, but landed a swift punch to his nuts.  Air whooshed out of his lungs.  Rex collapsed on the ground.  Fellow passengers walked around him.  The granny from the plane caught my eye and gave me a thumbs up.

“Hello, Rex.”  Talia stood with her hands on her hips watching her brother struggle.

“I’m….tellingmama.”

“Go ahead.  Then I’m going to show her the poster you made.”

“Fine.”  Rex managed to get off the ground.

“Thanks for picking us up, ass wipe.”  Zeke said.

“No problem.  How could I strand my best friend and sister at the airport?  Especially when they are now seeing each other.”  Rex looked at them skeptically.

“What car did you bring?”  Talia changed the subject before questions could be asked.

“The pick-up.”

“What?  Why didn’t you bring mama’s SUV?”

“Why would I?  My pick-up is fine.”

“It’s a bench seat. “ 

Rex smirked at her.  “Yep.  We will be getting real close for the next hour.”

“Hour?  It takes close to an hour and a half to get to Grandin.  How fast do you plan on going?”  Talia stopped and looked to her brother.

“You didn’t tell her?”  Rex asked.

“I didn’t have a chance.  We had a bit of an issue on the plane.”

“What happened?”

“Never mind that tell me what is going on.”  Talia stared at Zeke.

“We are going to go to my farm. It’s a half hour outside of Grandin.”

Talia glared at both of the men in front of her.  Turning on her heel she grabbed her bag and marched off toward the short term parking.   She easily found his beat up truck.  Slinging her bag into the bed she stood next to the passenger door.

“In a hurry to get to your love nest, Tally?”  Rex asked.

Talia ground her jaw as she stared at her skeptical twin.  When Zeke’s arm wound around her waist, pulled her close and kissed her temple Rex groaned and wrenched the door open.




About the Author:

Jackie is a single mom of a rambunctious boy and his dog, Cady.  She is an avid reader with a blog under the name of The Book Maven.  Reading has been a passion of hers from the time she could pick up a Sweet Valley High book.  Writing is a new adventure where she gets to curse, be clumsy and fall in love with every page.



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