Sheila's Books Read

Sheila's bookshelf: read

The Best Intentions
Scotland's Melody
The Secret Society of Salzburg
Secret of the Sonnets
20-40-60-Minute Dinners: Meals to Match the Time You Have
Through the Wilderness: My Journey of Redemption and Healing in the American Wild
Secret Santa Claus Club: A Tool to Help Parents Unwrap the Secret of Santa
Mr. Pudgins
Revenge Never Rests
The Best Mistake
Meriden Park
More Inspirational Stories for Young Women
The Great Tree: A Christmas Fable
To Capture His Heart
The Call of the Sea
Esperance
Livvy and the Enchanted Woodland
Come, Gentle Night
The Bad Boy Theory
Guide To Smart Wedding Planning: What You want to know and everything you haven't thought of yet.


Sheila's favorite books »

2024 Goodreads Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge

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Monday, February 19, 2024

One Wrong Move: Jeopardy Falls Book 1-By Dani Pettrey- Romantic Suspense Book Review



One Wrong Move

by Dani Pettrey

February 2 - March 1, 2024 Virtual Book Tour

Book Synopsis:

One Wrong Move by Dani Pettrey

Taunting riddles.
A deadly string of heists.
Two broken hearts trapped in a killer's game.

Christian O'Brady was pulled into a life of crime at a young age by his con artist parents. Now making amends for his corrupt past, he has become one of the country's foremost security experts. When a string of Southwestern art heists targets one of the galleries Christian secured, he is paired up with a gifted insurance investigator who has her own checkered past.

Andi Forester was a brilliant FBI forensic analyst until one of her colleagues destroyed her career, blaming her for mishandling evidence. She now puts those skills to work investigating insurance fraud, and this latest high-stakes case will test her gift to the limit. Drawn deep into a dangerous game with an opponent bent on revenge, Christian and Andi are in a race against the clock to catch him, but the perpetrator's game is far from finished, and one wrong move could be the death of them both.

Dani Pettrey captivates with...

"An intense blend of suspense, love, and faith."
~ Booklist

"Wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likeable characters."
~ Publishers Weekly

Book Details:

Genre: Romantic Suspense
Published by: Bethany House Publishers
Publication Date: February 6, 2024
Number of Pages: 400
ISBN: 9780764238482 (ISBN10: 0764238485)
Series: Jeopardy Falls, Book 1
Book Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookShop.org | Goodreads | Baker Book House

****I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, NetGalley, book tours, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.**** 




My Review

One Wrong Move is a blend of adventure, mystery, faith, and romance, featuring action-packed scenes and unexpected twists. 

The story is split into two interconnected cases, with the primary focus on Andi and Christian unraveling the mystery behind art gallery robberies. The plot thickens with messy legwork, dangerous attacks, and a vivid southwestern backdrop, all tied together with a developing romance between Andi and Christian. I loved how Christian was the ideal hero who offered strength and compassion, which is exactly what Andi needed after being betrayed by her former Ex-Fiance. 

A second storyline explores clearing Andi's name and uncovering who is behind her tarnished reputation and lost FBI career. The combined efforts of Christian's brother, Deckard, and Andi's friend, Harper, added more meaning and depth which also piqued my curiosity about many of the mysteries in the novel. They also worked together beautifully as a team. Maybe the next book will be focused on them as a couple.

 Another thing I loved was how throughout the book, the author skillfully wove in moments showing the characters' reliance on faith, and this theme was consistent throughout the novel. 

Dani Pettrey's latest book is a definite must-read with its dual mystery design, surprising plot twists, and well-developed characters. You are always assured of a compelling read by this author. 




Read an Excerpt:

PROLOGUE

He inhaled the stiff resolution of her death. She’d seen Cyrus. Remembered him. Now he’d need to silence her before she could mention Cyrus to anyone at the gallery. The imbecile should have been more careful, but that’s why he was in play. To assure things went according to plan, to remove anyone who stood in their way, and when it was done, to take out Cyrus and Casey. That he would delight in. Cyrus had been a pain in his rear as far back as he could recall. Casey. He was just a lamb to the slaughter, unfortunate fool.

Enrique released a smooth exhale, then inhaled the spicy scent of the girl’s perfume wafting on the stiff October breeze—­whistling through the wind tunnel the long row of downtown businesses made.

Killing her would alert Cyrus to his presence in the States, but, perhaps it would keep him on his toes. Someone needed to.

Maintaining a good distance from his prey, Enrique followed as she meandered through the shops, wearing one of those recyclable grocery bags slung over her shoulder. A baguette and fresh flowers peeked out of the top. She made another stop, this time popping into a coffee shop. He kept walking, stopping a handful of stores down on the opposite side of the street, and waited, letting the other shoppers meld him into the crowd.

A cup of coffee in hand, the girl emerged.

He turned back to look in the storefront before him, waiting until she was far enough ahead for him to resume following. Nearly a fifteen-­minute walk out of town, in an isolated patch of wind-­stirred mesa, sat a two-­story adobe building. Four exterior doors, each with a letter on it. Apartments.

Watching from behind a copse of trees, he waited while she retrieved her keys from her pocket, opened the bottom exterior door on the right, and disappeared inside. He held back, awaiting nightfall. He glanced at his watch. Not long. He surveyed the building, using binoculars to peer through the sheer curtains of her unit. A light in the bedroom shone, and slips of it spilled from what he could only assume was the adjacent bathroom.

He smiled.

The sun dipped below the horizon, and soon darkness shrouded the land. Time to move. Heading around to the back of the building, he found a sliding door to her unit. Easy enough. He jimmied the lock and eased inside.

Water ran in the bathroom, but a voice carried in song from the other side of the apartment. “Carry on Wayward Son.” Interesting choice.

He moved with stealth, approaching what he discerned was the kitchen. A teakettle whistled as steam from the open bathroom door filled the space. The girl turned the corner, dressed in a robe, a teacup in her hand. Her eyes locked on his, and panic flashed across her face as the teacup fell and shattered on the floor.

He smiled. Time to have some fun.

ONE

“Wait here,” Cyrus ordered.

“Why?” Casey asked—­though pawn suited him better. As much as it galled him, Cyrus needed the insipid man. Needed his skills. For now. But when they were done, so was he. “Why?” he asked again.

Cyrus gritted his teeth. So incessant. He shook out his fists. Only a handful of locations to go and the questions would cease. He would cease. “It doesn’t take two of us to get what we came for,” he said, hoping Casey would accept the answer and let it drop, but he doubted it. “I’ve got this. Two of us will only draw more attention.”

“Fine.” Casey slumped back against the van’s passenger seat.

The imbecile was pouting like a girl. And, that knee. Cyrus wanted to break it. Always bouncing in that annoying, jittery way. The seat squeaked with the rapid, persistent motion. He shook his head on a grunted exhale. If Casey didn’t settle . . . if he blew their plans. Cyrus squeezed his fists tight, blood throbbing through his fingers. Too much was at stake. His own neck was on the line.

He turned his attention to the task at hand. “I won’t be long,” he said, surveying the space one last time before opening the van door. The lot behind them was dead, the building still. He climbed out, his breath a vapor in the cold night air. He glanced back at their van, barely visible in the pitch-­black alley.

Shockingly, Casey remained in the passenger seat, his knee still bouncing high.

He shut the van door as eagerness coursed through him. The thrill and rush of the score mere minutes away. Just one quick job and then it was finally time.

He slipped his gloved hands into his pockets. A deeper rush nestled hot inside him, adrenaline searing his limbs. His fervency was for the kill.

He moved toward the rear of the restaurant, where the rental rooms’ entrance sat. His gloved fingers brushed the garrote in his right pocket, and he shifted his other hand to rest on the hilt of his gun. Which way would it go? Garrote or gun? Anticipation shot through him. Rounding the back of the building, he hung in the shadows and then stepped to the door and picked the lock—­so simple a child could have done it. But what had he expected of a rent-­by-­the-­hour-­or-­day establishment?

Opening the door, he stepped inside the minuscule foyer and studied the two doors on the ground level. Nothing but silence. He found the light switch and flipped off the ceiling bulb illuminating the stairwell, then crept up the stairs, pausing as one creaked. He held still, his back flush with the wall, once again shadowed in dark­ness. Nothing stirred.

Reaching her room, he picked the lock, stepped inside, and shut the door, locking it behind him.

She was asleep on the shoddy sofa, a ratty blanket draped across her. Getting rid of her now might be easier, but what fun was it killing someone while they slept? And he needed to make sure she had the items.

He stood a moment, watching her chest rise and fall with what would be her final breaths, then he knocked her feet with his elbow.

Her eyes flashed open as she lurched to a seated position. She rubbed her eyes. “You’re late.”

Less chance of witnesses.

“You have the items?”

She nodded.

“Get them. We’re in a hurry.”

She got to her feet and headed for the bedroom.

He followed.

To his surprise, she climbed up on the dresser and reached for the heating vent.

Huh. She was smarter than he’d expected, yet not bright enough to know what was coming.

Pulling the dingy grate back, she retrieved a black velvet pouch and a bundle of letters held in place by a thick rubber band.

“Hand them over,” he said.

She hopped down and hesitated. “I get my cut, right?” She clutched the items to her pale chest.

“You’ll get your cut,” he said, wrapping his hands around the garrote.

She released her hold. Taking the bag first, he slid it into his upper jacket pocket, then slipped the letters into his pant pocket. “Good job.”

She brushed a strand of hair behind her ear, revealing her creamy neck. “Thanks.”

Restless energy pulsed through him.

“Are we done here?” she asked, shifting her stance, her arms wrapped around her slender waist.

“Just about.”

“What’s left to do?” she asked, her head cocked, and then she stilled. She took a step back. So she’d finally figured it out.

“No.” She shook her head, backing into the paneled wall. In one movement, left hand to right shoulder, he spun her around and slipped the garrote over her head.

He’d intended to give her the option—­the easy way with a gunshot to the head or the hard way with the garrote. But the hard way was far more pleasurable, giving him the best elated high.

It really was a shame. She was a pretty thing.

Five minutes later, he was back in the van, leaving the body behind.

“You got everything?” Casey asked as they pulled onto the street, their headlights off.

Cyrus smiled and handed both items to him. They were a go. The appetite for what was to come gnawed at Cyrus’s gut, but in a good way. It was time to feed the anticipation that had been growing in him for nigh on a year. It was time to scratch that itch.

TWO

Christian’s hands gripped the rock face. Granules abraded the tender flesh beneath his nails, leaving them raw. Pushing up on the ball of his foot, he strained, his fingers searching for the crag. Finally, his hand landed on the cold surface—­only three inches deep. On a sharp inhale and slow exhale, he lunged upward—­only the slightest hold kept him from the hundred-­foot drop to the forest below. His foot landed on the next hold, and he settled, his muscles hot in the brisk dawn air. Blood throbbing through his fingers, he shifted the weight onto the balls of his feet.

Mapping the next route in his head, he leaped for the next hold. Air replaced the solid rock for the breath of a second, and searing adrenaline crashed through him as the hold slipped away. His pulse whooshing in his ears, he slid down, finally grabbing hold of a crag on his rapid descent. His fingers gripped hard—­the only thing holding his body weight and keeping him from the ground far below.

He examined the cliff, looking for a foothold. Something. Anything. Adrenaline raked through him, quivering his arms. Not good. Time held motionless until he anchored his foot on a narrow ledge, small rocks shifting under the soles of his climbing shoes. He kept his weight on the ball of his foot while scanning for a new route up. He exhaled as he found it, but it was going to require another leap of faith.

Releasing his hold, he lunged for a more solid handhold. Gripping it, he worked his way up to another ledge—­this one deep enough to settle comfortably onto.

His breathing quickened by the climb, he turned and pressed his back against the volcanic rock—­cool against his heated and perspiring skin—­and exhaled in a whoosh. Talk about a close one. He smiled. One more adventure down.

He held for a moment, taking in the morning light spreading across what seemed an endless sky. Man, he loved this view. Narrow shafts of sunlight streamed down through the early morning fog, lighting the yellow-­and-­orange foliage ablaze. Everyone talked about the beautiful fall colors in New England, but for him nothing beat fall in New Mexico, and it was peak season.

He sank into the silence. Only the occasional chirping of birds in the trees below rushed by his ears on the stiff, mounting breeze.

The brilliant orange sun rose higher above the horizon, its rays glinting off the rushing water of the swift creek at the bottom of the valley—­chasing away the fading chill of night and replacing it with renewed warmth of the coming day.

“Ain’t Worried About It” broke the silence with its melody. Who on earth was calling so early? He prayed nothing was wrong. It was the only reason he kept his cell on him while climbing—­in case there was an emergency and his family needed him.

He shimmied the phone from the Velcro pocket on his right thigh and maneuvered it to his ear without bothering to look at who was calling. “O’Brady.”

“I need you here now!” Tad Gaiman’s voice shook with rage.

Why on earth was Tad calling him so early? Why was he calling him, period?

Tad’s heated words tumbled out. “My gallery’s been robbed!”

“What?” Christian blinked. There was no way. The security system upgrades he’d installed made it impenetrable, or so he’d thought.

“Do you hear me? My gallery has been robbed!”

“I do.” He kept his voice level. Tad was frantic enough for the both of them. “Which gallery?” The man owned three.

“Jeopardy Falls.”

The one in their hometown? Crime was nearly nonexistent in their small ranching, lately turned tourist, town of five hundred. “Take a deep breath and calm down so you can focus.”

“Calm down?” Tad shrieked, and Christian held the phone away from his ear. Even his sister Riley couldn’t hit that high of a pitch. “Did you not hear me? My gallery’s been robbed.”

“I hear you. Let me call you back.”

“Call me back? You cannot be serious!”

“I’m balanced on a ledge on Manzano.”

“Of course you are.” Tad scoffed.

“I’ll call you when I’m on the road.”

“And how long will it take you to get here? This is a DEFCON 5 situation.”

Christian shook his head. Clearly, Tad had no idea what he was talking about. DEFCON 5 meant peacetime.

“Christian! How soon?”

“I need to climb down and make the drive back to town. I’ll see you in an hour.”

“An hour!”

“We’ll talk through it on my way in.”

Scaling down the rock face as fast as he could, Christian reached his vintage Bronco.

Climbing inside, he clicked on the Bluetooth he’d installed. It’d cost a lot, but in his line of work, he needed to be able to talk while on the road chasing down a case. He shook his head, still baffled that anyone had beat the security system.

He dialed Tad.

Normally his drive along the winding dirt roads through the mountains was calming, but not today.

Tad picked up on the third ring.

“Okay,” Christian said, swiping the chalk from his hands onto his pants—­the climbing towel too far to reach. “Walk me through it. Did the alarm go off?”

“The one on the security system you said couldn’t be beat? No!”

Christian took a stiff inhale. How on earth had someone gotten through the door without the key fob? The fob . . . “Tad, do you have your key fob?”

Silence hung thick in the air as Christian’s Bronco bumped over the ruts in the dirt road, the drop-­off only inches from his tires. He rounded the bend, and the road—­if it could be deemed one—­widened. “Tad?” he pressed.

“Okay, fine. I don’t have it.”

“Where is it?” Christian asked as he headed for the main road that led back to Jeopardy Falls.

Tad swallowed, the slippery, gulping sound echoing over the line. “I think the woman I spent last night with after the gala took it.”

“Riley mentioned she might attend the gala, but she couldn’t make it.”

“It was well attended.”

“And the woman you mentioned?”

“I met her at the gala.”

“She’s not local?”

“I’ve never seen her before last night.”

“So she just strolled into the gala?”

“Yes. It was a semiprivate affair. I sent out invites but welcomed anyone, given it was Friday Night on the Town.”

Their small town had instituted the night on the town for one Friday a month about a year ago, and it had really drummed up business for the eclectic downtown shops.

“Let’s shift back to the gallery,” Christian said. “I’m assuming you used Alex’s fob to get into the building?”

“No. I can’t get in.”

“Why not?” Christian pulled out onto the paved road.

“I can’t reach Alex, despite the fact she’s supposed to open this morning.”

“Okay . . . so walk me through what happened with the fob.”

“I woke up and that . . . woman was gone, and the fob wasn’t where I’d left it. I searched my place, but it’s not there, so I rushed to the gallery. I stopped at Alex’s place on the way, but no answer. She is so—”

“Settle down, Tad. Let’s think this through. Do you think Martha would let you into Alex’s place if you explained the situation?” Maybe the landlady would understand. Jeopardy Falls was a small enough town where everyone knew everyone, which was still taking time for him to get used to. To be known. Well, known at what he was willing to show, which wasn’t much.

“I’m not leaving my gallery. Not until I get inside and see what damage is done. You get the fob from Martha.”

Christian furrowed his brows. “If you can’t get in the gallery and the alarm didn’t go off, how do you know it’s been robbed?”

“Because I can see the three front cases through the porthole windows in the door. They’re open and empty.” A sob escaped Tad’s throat, though he tried to cover it with a cough.

Christian exhaled. “All right. I’ll call Martha, but she might not feel comfortable letting us in.” It was a lot to ask. “Actually, I think in this case, it’s best to have Sheriff Brunswick to reach out to Martha.”

“That’s a good idea,” Tad said. “Give him a call.”

“Wait?” Christian tapped the wheel. “He’s not there yet?”

“No.”

“Did he give you an ETA?” Maybe Joel was on another call. Their county was large, and with only him and one undersheriff, they had a lot of ground to cover.

“I haven’t called him yet.”

Christian’s brows hiked. “You called me before the sheriff?” Where was the sense in that?

“You put the supposedly impenetrable system in. I want to know what went wrong. And I need you to get me inside if we can’t get Alex’s fob.”

“Me?” Christian tapped the wheel.

“You installed the system, so surely you know how to beat it. And, regardless, you’re the one the sheriff calls when they need a locksmith or safecracker on a case. Though you’re quite more than a simple locksmith, aren’t you?”

Christian stiffened. “Meaning?”

“Whoever did this obviously had knowledge of the system.”

“And . . . ?” Christian tightened his grip on the wheel, his knuckles turning white.

“As far as I’m concerned, you’re to blame.”

Christian swallowed the sharp retort ready to fly and took a settling breath instead. “I’ll be there in twenty.”

He disconnected the call before Tad could throw another barb in his direction. He knew all too well how those stinging barbs felt, but this time he was innocent.

***

Excerpt from One Wrong Move by Dani Pettrey. Copyright 2024 by Dani Pettrey. Reproduced with permission from Bethany House Publishers. All rights reserved.

 

 

****Meet Author Dani Pettrey****

Dani Pettrey

Dani Pettrey is the bestselling author of the Coastal Guardians, Chesapeake Valor, and Alaskan Courage series. A two-time Christy Award finalist, Dani has won the National Readers' Choice Award, Daphne du Maurier Award, HOLT Medallion, and Christian Retailing's Best Award for Suspense. She plots murder and mayhem from her home in the Washington, DC, metro area.

Catch Up With Dani Pettrey:
DaniPettrey.com
Goodreads
BookBub - @DaniPettrey
Instagram - @authordanipettrey
Facebook - @DaniPettrey

 

 

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Friday, February 16, 2024

Murderous Means: A Southern California Mystery By Lida Sideris-Mystery Book Review


 Book Summary

Corrie Locke may not be the best rookie lawyer in town, but when it comes to catching a killer, let’s just say, she’s got enough skills to bring a band of shifty-eyed suspects to their knees.

When the wealthy matriarch of the dysfunctional Means family dies in her sleep, Corrie’s hired to prove the death was anything but peaceful. Problem is, the only evidence she has to go on is a half-baked psychic vision that the matriarch was murdered. To put the matter to rest, Corrie sets her sights on proving the psychic's a fraud. After all, everyone knows psychics are crack-pots. But what should be a simple investigation morphs into something deadly.

The deeper Corrie digs, the more bizarre truths are revealed. Tempers rise as she trails a cunning killer who will do whatever it takes to shut the investigation down before the real truth comes to light. It's up to Corrie to catch a killer… who's about to strike again.

Book Details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Level Best Books (December 5, 2023)
  • Genre: Murder Mystery
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 272 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 168512500X
  • ****I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, NetGalley, book tours, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.****




My Review

Everyone enjoys a good murder mystery, and "Murderous Means" offers exactly that. The story follows Corrie Locke, who is hired to investigate the murder of Jojo Means by investigating her dysfunctional family. Alongside her team including boyfriend Michael, teammate Verra, and her humorous mother, Corrie delves into a web of secrets that are challenging to unravel. 

The plot twists keep readers engrossed as they meet quirky small-town characters and examine various family members as potential suspects.  At one point all of them are considered potential murderers. You will enjoy this aspect of the novel as you laugh at the absurd accusations that at times are put out there. 

Corrie emerges as a bold, intelligent investigator with a very unique approach to solving mysteries. Her tenacity, coupled with her team's investigative style, keeps the story fascinating, humorous, and difficult to set aside. The revelation of the murderer's identity and motive at the end is truly surprising, adding to the book's appeal. 

Author Lida Sideris impresses with her storytelling, ensuring there is never a dull moment in "Murderous Means." This novel is recommended for those seeking an engaging mystery that hooks you from start to finish.


****Meet Author Lida Sideris****

Lida Sideris’ first stint after law school was a newbie lawyer’s dream: working as an entertainment attorney for a movie studio…kind of like her heroine, Corrie Locke, except without the homicides. Lida is a recipient of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America Scholarship award and a Killer Nashville, Silver Falchion Award Finalist for her last two books, which were both selected top mysteries of the year by Kings River Life Magazine. She lives in the northern tip of Southern California with her family, rescue dogs, and a flock of uppity chickens.


"A smart caper with a heroine to match." - Kirkus Recommended Review

"The characters are hilarious and this series is a must-read for fans of Stephanie Plum." ~ Kings River Life Magazine

“…An excellent read. It has everything needed for a cozy afternoon curled up on the sofa – murder, mystery, humor, and plenty of action. The plot is extremely detailed and so well written that I found myself hooked on page one.” - Readers’ Favorite


~*~*~*~*Purchase Murderous Means~*~*~*~*

HERE:

Paperback-https://amzn.to/3SUrqJr

Kindle-https://amzn.to/3SUfc3i

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Sleeping Spells and Dragon Scales By Wendy S. Swore-Middle-Grade Fiction Book Review


 Book Summary

From the award-winning author Wendy S. Swore, a contemporary middle-grade novel in the tradition of A Monster Like Me, in which two friends must solve the mystery of Liam's illness using their knowledge of fairy tales.

Something is wrong with Liam. He collapses during soccer practice, he can't stay awake in class, and he's starting to see a ghostly white fox that disappears into smoke. His parents and teachers accuse him of being lazy and staying up too late, but he knows it's something worse. He feels like he's disappearing bit by bit: his strength, his skills, his mind.

No one believes him except for Alaina, a friend and self-proclaimed expert in fantasy and fairy tales. She's seen this sort of thing before and believes Liam has been cursed with a powerful sleeping spell. Her journal is full of possible ways to break a curse--stand in a circle of salt, trick a troll, or wish on a falling star. Liam is skeptical, but with his normal life slipping farther away, he agrees to try her potential cures.

As they search for answers in stories, Alaina shares that she also is dealing with something no one else can see: type 1 diabetes. It rears its head like an invisible dragon, and she carries her medical equipment as a knight's lance and dragon-scale shield to battle it.

As Liam's mystery illness worsens, he will need Alaina's friendship--and perhaps a bit of fairy magic--to find a way to understand the truth of what is happening and regain the pieces of himself that are lost.

Sleeping Spells and Dragon Scales is a story about finding courage in friendship with empathy, and how a powerful imagination can help someone get through hard times.

Book Details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Shadow Mountain (April 2, 2024)
  • Genre: Middle-Grade Fiction
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 304 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1639932313
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1639932313
  • Reading age ‏ : ‎ 8 - 11 years
  • ****I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, NetGalley, book tours, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.****



My Review

Sleeping Spells and Dragon Scales offers a unique blend of fairy tales and reality.

 The story follows two friends, Liam and Alaina, who both face health challenges, Liam's unknown at first. Using a school project on Fairy Tales, they explore possible solutions to Liam's issues. Alaina thinks that the idea of fairy tales and magic might hold real-life remedies for Liam's condition. Buried in books and stories, they have hope that maybe this could be the key to his recovery. Reflecting on her firsthand and courageous experience with Type 1 Diabetes, Alaina believes she can support Liam during this tough period. Many moments of heartache are spread throughout the book on their quest and their friendship goes through tremendous ups and downs. 

Through its heartwarming narrative, this middle-grade novel teaches a valuable lesson on finding strength while dealing with adversity. Wendy S. Swore once again delivers a charming and thoughtful read for young audiences.


****Meet Author Wendy S. Swore****


Wendy S. Swore farms on the Sho-Ban reservation with a corn maze and pumpkin patch that is home to her five kids, two dogs, seven peacocks, eleven ducks, nineteen cats, and two hundred thirty seven chickens. She farms in the summers & writes in the winters.

Kids can write Wendy via the contact form at www.wendyswore.com or via social media:

@WendySwore on Twitter

@WendySwore on Instagram

@AuthorWendySwore on Facebook

Rep'd by Stacey Glick, Member SCBWI, Author of A Monster Like Me (March 2019) & The Wish And The Peacock (February 2020)


~*~*~*~*Purchase Spelling Spells~*~*~*~*

and Dragon Spells

HERE: 

https://amzn.to/49jrDLs

Saturday, February 10, 2024

A Spark from Embers (Tears of Flame Book 1) By Kaylea Prime-Fantasy Book Review


 Book Summary

A spark smolders within every fading ember. Awaiting the right moment to reignite. To blaze into an inferno.

Eighteen-year-old Sadie’s fiery ambitions have faded to embers. Her dreams of escaping the shackles of her conventional life and seeking heroic adventures have been doused by an arranged marriage. Women in 1914 were expected to be Helen of Troy, not Achilles. Doomed to the life of obscurity she always feared, Sadie takes a chance on an anonymous note—and finds a mirror portal to Arwé, the parallel world featured in her shunned great-grandfather’s book.

But when she steps through, the portal closes behind her.

Cut off from her brother Connor and stuck with Tristan, the enigmatic man sent to guide her to Arwé, Sadie learns it will take more than trading the mundane for the magical to reignite the embers of her heart. Controversial fire and forbidden celestial magics threaten to consume her, layered secrets mask friend from foe, and she’s caught in a civil war she inadvertently accelerated. Walking through that portal should have been freeing. Empowering. So why did she feel more trapped?

Convinced his sister is gone forever, Connor enlists in a war he doesn’t believe in. Before long, he uncovers a dark conspiracy rooted in emerging electrical science.

When her enemies offer her the chance to return home, Sadie discovers not even her wild imagination has prepared her for the sobering reality of what happens when you play with fire.

A SPARK FROM EMBERS is 
The Ten Thousand Doors of January meets the Narnia series, except if Lucy had gone through the wardrobe alone, leaving Edmund to enlist and battle the demons of his inner Witch.

Book Details
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Storms & Starscapes Publishing (February 3, 2024)
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 476 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1738088537
  • ****I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, NetGalley, book tours, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.****


My Review
A Spark From Embers is a fantasy novel that explores a unique magical realm. The novel's world-building is so detailed and vivid that the reader feels like they are actually there. The story follows the journey of a young woman seeking her purpose in the world.

 The story is set in Canada during World War I, a setting that adds a fresh perspective to this novel. Sadie and her brother Connor share a close bond, coming from a wealthy family with specific expectations for their future. However, Sadie desires more than a conventional path of marriage and motherhood. Determined to break free from societal norms, she seeks a mystical mirror that serves as a gateway to another world. Transported to a magical realm visited by her great-grandfather long ago, the story reflects a structure similar to the enchanted wardrobe in Narnia.

 Without revealing too much, readers can expect to encounter a diverse cast of characters, epic battles, and witness significant growth in Sadie. While the story may have a slow start, the narrative gains momentum once Sadie enters the magical realm, leading to a thrilling adventure filled with mysteries.

****Meet Author Kaylea Prime****
Kaylea Prime is the author of the fantasy series, Tears of Flame. She is also a librarian with a passion for planning epic programs that immerse kids and teens into their favourite literary worlds. When she’s not writing or working as a librarian, she can be found exploring the beautiful wilderness around her home in Clearwater, British Columbia, with her two kids, husband, and two golden retrievers.



~*~*~*~*Purchase A Spark of Embers~*~*~*~*
HERE:

Friday, February 9, 2024

Just Add Friendship: Everly Falls #3 By Heather B. Moore-Romance Book Review


 Book Summary

Ten years of dating since he left. Ten years of nothing working out. Is it her, or is it him? Or can no one else measure up?

Stephenie Grady can’t figure out why every man she dates turns into a troll, well, not an actual troll with green skin and warts, or the kind of troll who stalks the internet with negative comments, but the kind of troll who dumps her. Yes, she’s been dumped every time, by every guy she’s dated. She’d blame it on the male population, but her girlfriends have amazing men in their lives.

Steph could also tell herself she hasn’t met the right man yet, and that could be true, but what if she already has? What if the right man was in her life ten years ago, and what if he comes to their ten-year high school reunion? And what if her memories of a past relationship don’t measure up to the realities of the boy-turned-man, Cal Conner?

Book Details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Mirror Press (November 1, 2023)
  • Genre: Contemporary Romance
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 233 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1952611385
  • ****I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, NetGalley, book tours, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.****



My Review

Stephanie always found herself in the role of the bridesmaid, never the bride. Her relationships seemed to end in disappointment, leading her to be cautious about any new romantic prospects  When her former high school flame, Cal, unexpectedly reappears at the reunion after a decade, the lingering spark between them is evident. Cal seeks to make amends for departing suddenly years ago, leaving Steph guarded and hesitant to let him back into her heart. Despite Cal's genuine efforts to win her over by assisting with tasks, bonding with her grandfather, and showering her with attention, Stephanie struggles to fully open up to him. 

The residents of Everly Falls begin to notice the deep connection between Stephanie and Cal, and this challenges her to acknowledge her growing feelings for him. After rushing into a romantic relationship, they agree to remain friends, causing Cal to be disappointed. Nevertheless, he continues to pursue Steph, eager to prove his intentions and dedication to her. As they navigate the tangled web of their growing bond, Stephanie and Cal face numerous challenges and revelations that shape their understanding of love and life. 

Heather B. Moore skillfully crafts a wonderful romance that resonates with readers seeking a fulfilling and authentic love story. For those hoping for a happy ending, 'Just Add Friendship' offers a tale of love, growth, and the enduring power of friendship.

****Meet Author Heather B. Moore****


Heather B. Moore is a USA Today bestselling author of more than ninety publications. Heather writes primarily historical and #herstory fiction about the humanity and heroism of the everyday person. Publishing in a breadth of genres, Heather dives into the hearts and souls of her characters, meshing her love of research with her love of storytelling.

Her ancient era historicals and thrillers are written under pen name H.B. Moore. She writes historical women's fiction, romance and inspirational non-fiction under Heather B. Moore, and . . . speculative fiction under Jane Redd. This can all be confusing, so her kids just call her Mom. Heather attended Cairo American College in Egypt and the Anglican School of Jerusalem in Israel. Despite failing her high school AP English exam, Heather persevered and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Brigham Young University in something other than English.

Please join Heather's email list at: HBMoore.com/contact/

Website: HBMoore.com

Twitter: @heatherbmoore

Instagram: @authorhbmoore

Facebook: Fans of Heather B. Moore

And yes, the Blog still lives: MyWritersLair.blogspot.com

Literary honors: 2020 Goodreads Choice Award Semi-Finalist, Foreword 2020 INDIES Finalist, ALA Best New Books - September 2020, 6-time Best of State Recipient for Best in Literary Arts, 2019 Maggie Award Winner, 4-time Whitney Award Winner, and 2-time Golden Quill Award Winner.

Heather is represented by Dystel, Goderich, and Bourret.

~~~~Books in the EVERLY FALLS SERIES~~~~

Book 1: 

Just Add Romance




Book 2:

Just Add Mischief


Book 3:

Just Add Friendship

                                                                



~*~*~*~*Purchase Just Add Friendship~*~*~*~*

HERE:

Paperback-https://amzn.to/3wcS4nK

Kindle-https://amzn.to/42w2fzP

Thursday, February 8, 2024

Time or Tide: By Ali Benson Moulton-Historical Fiction Book Review


 Book Summary

Dundee, Scotland, 1842

Nae man can tether time or tide…
–Robert Burns

Midwife Deborah Hasley finds happiness delivering other women's babies, swooning over the poetry of Robbie Burns, and stealing an occasional kiss or two from a handsome sailor. But when her beloved sister Rebecca makes an impossible request, Deborah must decide if she dares follow her heart to unexpected places and find room for unexpected love. Based on a true story, Time or Tide follows passionate Deborah from Ireland to Scotland, where loyalty and love collide.

The Time or Tide Book Club Edition includes discussion questions, Scottish recipes, and tips for a great reading group.

Book Details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B0C1JCSSDQ
  • Genre: Historical Fiction/Historical Romance
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Mountain Treehouse Press (April 12, 2023)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 269 pages
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 979-8987947906
  • ***I received a complimentary book from publishers, publicists, NetGalley, book tours, and or authors.  A review was not required and all opinions and ideas expressed are my own.****



My Review

Time or Tide depicts a heartwarming tale of sisterly love and the bravery to do what is right. It articulates the importance of staying authentic to oneself while honoring commitments. 

Deborah, a resilient woman devoted to her loved ones, puts their needs above her own happiness. When her sister makes a request that puts her heart and mind at odds, Deborah, known for her selfless nature, faces a dilemma. Will she sacrifice her shot at happiness, or will she find fulfillment in unexpected love? Set in 1842 Dundee, Scotland, this novel, based on true events, will inspire, arouse strong emotions, and make you contemplate the lengths one can go to find inner peace; even at the cost of abandoning personal hopes and dreams.

 Unlike traditional romances, this unique story will keep readers emotionally invested in Deborah's journey and her relationships with those she loves.

****Meet the Author Ali Benson Moulton****


Ali loves words. Her favorite word is lollygag. Her least favorite word is laundry. She likes spending time wrangling stray words into stories, songs, plays and poems. Ali works as a storyteller at her local library and runs a nonprofit arts organization, but her favorite job has always been mothering. She loves being at home with her husband and 5 children, their spouses, and her grandchildren. Ali studied Human Development and English at Brigham Young University and Brigham Young University-Idaho.

~*~*~*~*Purchase Time and Tide~*~*~*~*

HERE:

Paperback-https://amzn.to/42xD9AB

Kindle-https://amzn.to/3Uw9dmr