Posted in 4 paws, Giveaway, mystery, Review, Thriller on January 23, 2017

Synopsis

After a murdered partner, a cheating wife and a lost job in Houston, Nick Sibelius sets up a private investigation business in a small Texas town hoping to find some peace and maybe, himself. When two lovers disappear and a fisherman turns up dead, he finds himself drawn into a web of crime and deceit involving MaryLou, a beautiful woman with a mysterious past; Junior, a failed farmer whose best intentions seem to always result in a dead body; and Barry, a sociopathic dentist turned illegal toxic waste entrepreneur with a violent right wing agenda. When the felon who killed Nick’s partner in Houston joins forces with Barry, Nick must not only stop the toxic waste dumping while finding his client’s missing daughter, but keep from being killed in the process. In the end, MaryLou’s dark secret will either save him or kill him — whichever comes first.

Review

Not only is this a crime thriller (I don’t think I can call it a mystery because you know what is going on and there isn’t really anything to solve) but it is quite funny too.  The cast of characters is very quirky but they all meld together nicely to make this a very enjoyable story.

I don’t even know where to start with this cast of characters. Nick is the PI that is searching for a preacher’s daughter that he swears was taken by a man….however, I think the preacher can’t accept his daughter dating!  Nick has his own past that has shaped him to be who he is today and he is pretty gutsy but that might be his former police training kicking in during the various incidents.  Junior is something of a redneck that has gotten into some precarious situations all because of money.  Just shows that if you don’t want to work for a living and make a quick buck it isn’t going to pretty or even legal!  Al/Alice is Nick’s office manager and he/she is quite a hoot.  I say he/she because Al wants to become Alice but not quite sure where in the process he/she is, but Nick is good and refers to Alice as a she.  I never knew what to expect and thought it was funny that he/she hit on Nick.  And then there is a love interest for Nick, MaryLou a journalist from Houston.  It is instant chemistry.

This author has hit on a great combination of action and humor and I’m not sure if I have read anything like this, but he has a fan of his work now!  Definitely pick it up if you are looking for something new to read that will keep you on the edge of your seat and laughing at the same time.

We give this 4 paws up.

About the Author

Richard Hacker has been writing most of his life, and professionally, in support of his work in management consulting, public speaking and training in the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries. In 2009 he moved, along with his wife, from Austin to Seattle, shifting his professional focus from business consulting to writing fiction full time. Wanted by authorities for smuggling Texas BBQ across state lines, he now writes and lives in Seattle. His writing has been recognized by the Writer’s League of Texas and the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. As a judge in literary contests such as PNWA and ChicLit, he enjoys the opportunity to give writers honest critique to move their craft forward. In addition, he is the science fiction and fantasy editor for the Del Sol Review, an online literary magazine.

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Posted in 5 paws, Cozy, Monday, mystery, Review on January 23, 2017

Color Me Dead (Henry Park Book 1)
Self Published (January 5, 2017)
241 Pages
E-Book ASIN: B01MQK06WP

Synopsis

Artist Gabby Wolfe has the ability to see not only the beauty of the living, but the despair of the dead. When she returns to her childhood home in Henry Park Colorado, she is forced to bring along her younger brother Mitch. He is on a “break” from college where he was majoring in wine, women and song. If that isn’t enough they also have Mitch’s rambunctious beagle Luigi along who prefers to spend his days wallowing in junk food. When Gabby draws the death of a young woman before it happens, she knows she must tell someone and risk a new job and her professional credibility. Will she reveal her secret in time to save the woman in the water or will it be too late?

Review

I thought this was a great start to a new series. Gabby is an artist and is hired to illustrate some children’s books, but that isn’t all there is to her. She gets visions of things that are going to happen and is able to sketch the image she sees while in a trance like state. She finds out when she moves back to Henry Park (she lived there as a child/teen) that someone else shares the same gift. And then she has a vice that she tries to hide from everyone, she is a smoker. It is actually quite comical how she thinks she is hiding it so well but everyone else can see right through her.

Gabby has a dysfunctional family. Her brother, Mitch, who she has been tasked to watch over (even though he is in his 20’s) by her mother. Let’s just say he tends to get into some trouble (as most people that age can do). Her mother is a control freak and it was good to see her stand up to her mother near the end of the book (I won’t say too much to not give away some of that dynamic).

The mystery itself was engaging because of Gabby and Gigi (a resident that has cerebral palsy and cannot speak) who both have the gift of the visions. There were lots of suspects as to who killed the “woman in the water” from their visions but the true killer might surprise you. It surprised me a little bit as to the why. I did sort of suspect this person because of all the characters in the book, no one else seemed likely. There are some strong indications towards a few specific characters (including her brother Mitch), but none of them really seemed likely while I was reading the story.

I think this is going to be a great new series and can’t wait to read more.  We give it 5 paws up.

About the Author

Teresa Trent lives in Houston, Texas and is an award-winning mystery writer.  She writes the Pecan Bayou Mystery Series, is a regular contributor to the Happy Homicides Anthologies. Teresa is happy to add her Henry Park Mystery Series to her publishing credits with Color Me Dead, the first book in the series. Teresa has also won awards for her work in short stories where she loves to dabble in tales that are closer to the Twilight Zone than small town cozies. When Teresa isn’t writing, she is a full-time caregiver for her son and teaches preschoolers music part-time. Her favorite things include spending time with family and friends, waiting for brownies to come out of the oven, and of course, a good mystery.

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Check out the other blogs on this tour

January 23 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW

January 23 – Books,Dreams,Life – SPOTLIGHT

January 23 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

January 23 – Readeropolis – INTERVIEW

January 24 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

January 24 – Books Direct – GUEST POST

January 24 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

January 24 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

January 25 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 25 – Cassidy’s Bookshelves – REVIEW

January 25 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

January 26 – Christa Reads and Writes – REVIEW

January 26 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

January 26 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW

January 26 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

January 27 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

January 27 – Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW

January 27 – Turning the Pages – REVIEW

 

Posted in 4 paws, Middle Grade, Review, Western, Young Adult on January 20, 2017

Synopsis

When Annabelle Fortune, the fastest gunslinger in the wild west, inadvertently stops a stranger from attacking a train — and he wears a suit that enables him to fly! — the government believes she’s the only one to have witnessed the Locomotive Reaper and survived to tell the tale.

Promising to find out what he can about her missing father, the Director of the Secret Service persuades Annie to swear in. Too soon, her detested nickname re-stakes its claim.

Partnered with Beau Slokam, whose penchant for gambling leads them straight to the Doom Gang, Misfortune Annie guides the smooth-talking Southerner in a chase through the Rockies, with her Cheyenne friend, Wontoa, rounding out their unlikely trio.

When Annie again meets the Locomotive Reaper, his gadgetry proves far more advanced — and deadly — than even top scientists could have imagined.

A sequel is already underway! Visit Annie at MisfortuneAnnie.com for updates on release, as well as announcements regarding future books in the series!  You can also check out the Facebook page.

Praise

“At a time when women weren’t typically adventurers, especially at Annie’s age, it’s great fun to see a story about a girl who loves an adventure, is capable, and well-respected.  Annie is a great model for young girls.”

“Annie is whip smart and a dead shot. If you are looking for western action, train robbers, and a sharp shooter – look no further.”

“A fast-paced, action filled adventure in the Wild West with a wonderful heroine. Misfortune Annie’s bravery and determination leap off the page from the first scene.”

Review

This book was entertaining and a little different from what I normally read, but enjoyable all the same.

Annie is a gunslinger, and while I don’t know her age, I assume she is rather young (teenager or early 20’s at the oldest). Despite that, she is apparently known for having misfortunes on a regular basis, hence the nickname. She is persistent and when shooting at people tries not to kill them, but rather shoot guns out of their hands or just wound them. Sometimes that is to her detriment as they seem to continue coming after her. She is also a whiz with a rope and does some impressive roping throughout the book. Despite her scrapes and adventures, she is a character that is very likable.

Despite the era, she is educated and likes to read. That is a plus near the end of the book…but I can’t tell you why because it will spoil some of the anticipation while reading the book.

The book does leave you with a little of a cliffhanger that I assume will be addressed in a future book.

This book would be great for kids to read because of the action adventure, humor and historical setting.

We give this book 4 paws up!

About the Authors

Janet Fogg

Janet Fogg’s focus on writing began when she was CFO and Managing Principal of OZ Architecture, one of Colorado’s largest architectural firms. Fifteen writing awards later, she resigned from the firm to follow the yellow brick road. Ten months after that, she signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press for her historical romance Soliloquy a HOLT Medallion Award of Merit winner.

With husband Richard, Janet co-wrote Fogg in the Cockpit (Casemate), one of five books nominated in 2012 by the Air Force Historical Foundation for best World War II book reviewed in Air Power History.

Keeping her historical knowledge sharp, Janet manages the 359th Fighter Group’s Facebook page, sharing WWII stories and photos about the Fighter Group.  She is also a proud member and 2015/16 Vice President of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She previously served as Published Author Liaison in 2010.

Website | ChiseledInRock.com |  Janet “The Kid” Fogg on Facebook | Goodreads | YouTube

Dave Jackson

Not your typical author, Dave Jackson started writing in his constant pursuit to become a renaissance man, but later fell in love with the art form. He performs stand-up and skits regularly, as Comedy remains one of his many passions and he writes and performs skits, as well as stand-up. Also a songwriter and guitarist, Dave has composed over 300 musical titles.

A country boy, Dave was raised in Oklahoma and taught 6th grade English for two years. He enjoys sharing the tale about when he climbed high into a towering black jack tree and grabbed a dead branch. Snap! He hurtled toward his death, but he held tight to the branch and it slowed his fall, saving his life.

In 2013, Dave enjoyed the release of Tattoo Rampage by Curiosity Quills Press. The novel follows Evangelina Marquez-James, a strong female heroine, who gets her first tattoo as a symbol of courage to carry on after her police officer husband dies in the line of duty.

 ”Gusto” Dave Jackson on Facebook |  Goodreads


 

Posted in 3 paws, Review, romance on January 19, 2017

Synopsis

From the Power of the Matchmaker series:

Mary Buchanan has bigger worries than the radical journalist moving in next door who’s spoiling her father’s digestion: unrequited love for a footman, a fractious aunt, patiently awaiting her destiny…

Already she’s nearly eighteen. No sign of destiny yet, but Mary’s certain he’ll be handsome.

Then she meets the reformer, this Mr. Samuel Brown. Destiny is closer at hand than Mary has supposed—if she can just get Mr. Brown to realize it.

Review

This is a continuation of the Matchmaker series. The books don’t tie to each other except for one character, Pearl, who matches people together.

In this book, Pearl plays a very minor role and in fact I wasn’t even 100% sure she was in the book since she was referred to as Mrs. Chin.

That aside, the story was set in England with Mary Buchanan wanting more from her life than just being a wife. She takes an interest in politics and the new neighbor who is a journalist. Granted she meets him by accident but takes an interest in what he has to say about what is happening in the world of politics.

Mary may be 18 but she is very naive about the world around her. Probably because her father and aunt seem to keep her sheltered. This was probably very common for that time period, but it hindered her in the beginning because she wasn’t really tuned into the world. However, I liked that it made her step out of her comfort zone and meet other people and take an interest in the country she lived in and how they were ruled (a good thing for everyone to do no matte where they live).

Mary thinks she is in love with Samuel Brown, but it is his friend (and brother in law) Mr. Murray that is who she is meant to be with according to Mrs. Chin. I liked that he took a trip to Bath to check on her when she disappeared and how he got to know her during that time. He may not have known or thought she was for him, but it was apparent that they were better suited.

It was a good read, probably my least favorite in this series, but still enjoyable.  We give it 3 paws up!

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Posted in 5 paws, fiction, Review, women on January 16, 2017

Synopsis

A nearly tragic accident leads to a discovery that rocks the Sweeney family’s world

Some families never resolve conflicts. Not so with the Sweeneys. Their sense of family, their love for one another, and their willingness to forgive have always triumphed and brought them back together. Until now. The latest crisis threatens to tear the family apart and crumble the foundation that has always proved itself rock solid.

At the heart of the matter are sixteen-year-old Annie Bethune and her boyfriend, Cooper. At stake are their dreams for the future. As to these dreams, no one in the family holds back when asserting an opinion.

Annie soon begins to feel like a puppet on strings with all those she loves telling her what to do. When those strings become tangled and a family feud develops, Annie, unable to bear the pressure, runs away. Straight into the arms of danger.

Review

This is such a great series and this is no exception. It is heart wrenching in places, keeps you on the edge of your seat in others and gives you a ringside seat into family squabbles where everyone is right and wrong but too stubborn to see the other side.

The main focus of this book is Annie, who is a half sibling to Jamie (Samantha’s son). She is 16 and has a streak of bad luck that sets up the story in this book. She is put into some situations that many teens face on a daily basis and I felt like the portrayal was pretty accurate. It doesn’t help that some of these situations bring out the worse in Jackie and Faith and that inadvertently makes things worse and might be the cause why some things even happened. I know…vague, but when you read the book you’ll understand! Let’s just say they are acting like how most parents would act faced with various situations.

I felt for Annie and while she made decisions that she could based on the time and situation, I wondered how I might react if I were in her shoes. Annie does learn a lot in this book (which spans about a week) and while some situations are sad and others are scary, they leave a good message for anyone reading the book to look at all sides of a situation.

I do hope there might be another book to continue the saga, but if not it ended on a good note and it is left open for more books to follow.

We give this 5 paws up!

About the Author

Ashley FarleyAshley Farley is a wife and mother of two college-aged children. She grew up in the salty marshes of South Carolina, but now lives in Richmond, Virginia, a city she loves for its history and traditions.

After her brother died in 1999 of an accidental overdose, she turned to writing as a way of releasing her pent-up emotions. She wrote SAVING BEN in honor of Neal, the boy she worshipped, the man she could not save. SAVING BEN is not a memoir, but a story about the special bond between siblings.

HER SISTER’S SHOES—June 2015—is a women’s novel that proves the healing power of family. Merry Mary—October 2015—a holiday novella, a young woman longing for a child stumbles upon a Christmas miracle. BREAKING THE STORY released on March 17, 2016. A romantic political suspense filled with passion, peril, and a scandal that will rock American politics.

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Posted in 5 paws, Giveaway, mystery, Review, Time Travel on January 12, 2017

Book One: Temple of Indra’s Jewel

SERIES: Time Traveling Bibliophile Series

Rachael Stapleton

Genre:  Cozy Mystery, Science Fiction Time Travel

Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Date of Publication: (Dec 12 2016)

ASIN: B01N4DDOBU

Synopsis

This Librarian is Just Killing TimeTravel. 

Sophia Marcil loves her grandmother’s twisted tales almost as much as the sapphire ring passed down to her. Wearing it, however, could be her downfall. After slipping the jewel onto her finger she is pushed from a cliff—landing splat in the middle of 19th Century Monaco, where a killer plot to seize the throne could consume her entire future—past and present. Sophia believes she’s being forced into an eccentric millionaire’s dinner theatre but a hidden diary, a secret passage and a whispered conversation reveal to her that the role of a princess is not all fun and games. With the help of a man from outside the palace walls, Sophia undertakes a spellbinding journey straight out of a Grimm tale. Learning the gem’s secrets and the powerful curse behind it are only the beginning.

With time and the constant threat of death hanging over her, she must take a page out of her own history to hunt down someone who isn’t killing by the book. Can she do it before she’s checked out for good?

Review

This book has a little bit of everything in it – mystery, suspense, romance, time travel and mysticism. It is bound to appeal to nearly everyone!

I had no idea what to expect when I said I would review this book. I like all forms of mystery so figured it couldn’t be bad at all. I was not expecting to be kept on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next. And the ending? Leaves you hanging so you HAVE to read the next book to see how the story continues. (love and hate that!).

I thought Sophia was a brave character especially when she traveled back in time and had to adjust. At least she is a librarian and works in a historical section, so she was able to adapt somewhat to the times.

I thought it was interesting that the premise is that spirits are stuck due to bad choices and the same ones stick together to help right the wrong. You can see who some of the characters are from the past to the present…but there are a few that I think aren’t revealed but I have my suspicions.

All in all a great book and now I have to get the next book to see how the story continues.

We give this 5 paws up.

Other Books in the series

Book Two: Temple of Indra’s Curse

SERIES: Time Traveling Bibliophile Series

Rachael Stapleton

Genre:  Cozy Mystery, Science Fiction Time Travel

Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Date of Publication: (Dec 11 2016)

ASIN: B01MYZ2VAO

 

Synopsis

Family Secrets Can Be a Real Curse. 

Former Librarian turned Time Traveler, Sophia Marcil is looking forward to a shiny new beginning, and that’s just what she gets when the man of her dreams proposes. Unfortunately, the ring Cullen O’Kelley slips on her finger holds a piece of the very sapphire that’s cursed her. Wrenched back to a stately home in 1920, she discovers a hidden chapter in her own family story. In an effort to re-write the past, things get foggy in a London bookshop; long-lost relative’s re-surface, and as a family gathering rapidly goes awry, Sophia ricochets back to the present. Someone close to her is a killer, and this time she’s determined to read between the lines. Her ex-boyfriend seems to be the likely character, but evidence to the contrary soon has her questioning whether she wrote the wrong guy off.

With her wedding day fast approaching Sophia needs to figure out if Cullen’s love, spells death? Jewels are a girl’s best friend, unless they’re cursed, then they’re just worth killing for.

 

Book Three: Temple of Indra’s Lies

SERIES: Time Traveling Bibliophile Series

Rachael Stapleton

Genre:  Cozy Mystery, Science Fiction Time Travel

Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Date of Publication: (Dec 18 2016)

Synopsis

The Past Is Never Far BehindIt Also Won’t Stay Buried. 

The page has turned at last. Sophia Marcil’s nemesis is six feet under and she’s off to return the cursed sapphire to India, so she can settle into the next chapter of her life—a new bookshop and wedded bliss.  One problem, her wedding day has come early and the wrong man stands at the altar. The mysterious temple has sent Sophia back into the past, more specifically, into the body of the soon to be murdered bride of Dunlace Castle—a place she was hired to research. Thankfully her detour into the past is brief and she returns to safety in her own time. But how safe is she? Three dead bodies and her missing groom have Sophia wondering if her time travel has changed more than the castle’s structure. To make matters worse an empty grave leads her to believe that her nemesis is alive and forcing her fiancé to time travel.

Sophia is determined to dig up the truth but will it mean returning to a place she swore she’d written off? Everyone has their cross to bear and Sophia’s might just live to haunt her.

 

Book Four: Temple of Indra’s Witch

SERIES: Time Traveling Bibliophile Series

Rachael Stapleton

Genre:  Cozy Mystery, Science Fiction Time Travel

Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Coming SOON 2017

 

Synopsis

Closing the Book on the PastDoesn’t Mean It Can’t Be Opened. 

Between The Mysterious Ink Spot, Sophia O’Kelly’s cozy Dublin bookshop, and her role as mother and wife, she is more apt to exchange books and banter these days than blows with a bad guy. But living in the present has its pains; and Sophia can’t help but wonder if her migraines are connected to her fate. Sixteen years ago it was foretold to her that her daughter would become a dark and powerful witch, and stealing Sophia’s ancient spell book might just be the first step in proving the grim prediction true. Looking for answers and relief from the pain, Sophia agrees to a hypnotic regression. Unfortunately for Sophia, time’s up and she finds herself manipulated, betrayed and imprisoned for witchcraft. Meanwhile, back in Ireland, Sophia’s husband and best friend uncover a painting, offer hope that Sophia could be alive. The answers lie in a fifteenth-century castle—all they have to do is navigate time to get there. Of course, they’re not the only ones searching; Sophia’s daughter is determined to tag along, and she’s leading the traitor right to them.

It’s been sixteen years since Sophia O’Kelly closed the book on her past but someone wants revenge and they’re eager to open that particular volume of secrets.

About the Author

 

Rachael Stapleton lives in a Second Empire Victorian home with her husband and two children in Ontario, Canada and enjoys writing in the comforts of aged wood and arched dormers. To learn more about Rachael Stapleton,

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January 5 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

January 6 – The Book’s the Thing  – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

January 7 – Books,Dreams,Life – GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

January 8 – Deal Sharing Aunt – INTERVIEW, GIVEAWAY

January 8 – Island Confidential – GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

January 9 – Readsalot – SPOTLIGHT

January 10 – T’s Stuff – INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

January 11 – Sleuth Cafe – REVIEW, CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

January 12 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

January 13 – Community Bookstop –  REVIEW, GIVEAWAY

January 14 – A Holland Reads – CHARACTER GUEST POST, SPOTLIGHT

January 15 – 3 Partners in shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, too! – SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

January 16 – Celticlady’s Reviews –  SPOTLIGHT, GIVEAWAY

January 17 – Lori’s Reading Corner – CHARACTER GUEST POST, GIVEAWAY

January 18 – Polished Nails and Puppy Dog Tales – REVIEW

Posted in 4 paws, Review, romance on January 4, 2017

Synopsis

From bestselling romantic comedy author Stacey Wiedower comes a story about bucket lists, reality TV, and love despite all modern obstacles…

Four years after completing her first 30 First Dates challenge, blogger and TV producer Erin Crawford is once again racing the clock, this time checking off 35 goals she wants to achieve by her 35th birthday. In the meantime, the network behind YOLO, a reality show based on Erin’s bucket list, shifts her from behind the scenes as producer to center stage as a participant. Amidst growing pressure at work and home, including a cross-country travel schedule that never seems to align with her new husband’s, Erin has the added stress of a camera following her every move as she checks off her list for a national TV audience. From a wedding fiasco to a fateful dance lesson to a nemesis who’s determined to make trouble in her brand new marriage, everything that can go wrong definitely does. So wrong, in fact, that Erin starts to wonder if YOLO is recording her life … or ruining it.

The Unlucky in Love novels:
#1 30 First Dates
#2 Now a Major Motion Picture
#3 How to Look Happy

Review

This is a follow up to 30 dates in 30 days (that I didn’t read) and while this book can be read by itself, I can see where it might be handy to read the other book first, just to get an intro to the characters and how Erin and Ben came to be together.

Erin and Ben have a good relationship but they need to work on their communication and discover this at various points in the book. Perhaps they wouldn’t have found themselves in some of the situations had they talked more earlier on. But that provided the tension that the book needed in various places. not a lot, just enough.

This book made me think about my own bucket list…well the fact that i do not have one. But since I am turning 50 this year I thought I would do a modified one and choose 5 things to accomplish this year. That ties into what I really took away from this book – that we need to live life and not get stuck in ruts and push the boundaries of what we can do or experience in life before we die.

All in all I really enjoyed the book and it leaves you hanging for another one and whether Erin has accomplished #35 on her bucket list!

We give it 4 paws up.

About the Author

Stacey Wiedower started her career as a newspaper reporter before following her passion to interior design school. After spending three years at a firm with bizarre similarities to “Designing Women,” she began funneling all her experience into her work as a full-time writer. Now she pens novels, short stories, magazine articles, website copy and more, and the wacky characters she’s met poke their heads into her stories from time to time. Stacey lives in Tennessee with her husband, also a writer, and a son who’s inherited their overactive imaginations.

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Posted in 5 paws, Review, Time Travel on December 26, 2016

Synopsis

Seattle, 2010. When her entrepreneur husband dies in an accident, Michelle Preston Richardson, 48, finds herself childless and directionless. She yearns for the simpler days of her youth, before she followed her high school sweetheart down a road that led to limitless riches but little fulfillment, and jumps at a chance to reconnect with her past at a class reunion. But when Michelle returns to Unionville, Oregon, and joins three classmates on a spur-of-the-moment tour of an abandoned mansion, she gets more than she asked for. She enters a mysterious room and is thrown back to 1979.

Distraught and destitute, Michelle finds a job as a secretary at Unionville High, where she guides her spirited younger self, Shelly Preston, and childhood friends through their tumultuous senior year. Along the way, she meets widowed teacher Robert Land and finds the love and happiness she had always sought. But that happiness is threatened when history intervenes and Michelle must act quickly to save those she loves from deadly fates. Filled with humor and heartbreak, THE JOURNEY gives new meaning to friendship, courage, and commitment as it follows an unfulfilled soul through her second shot at life.

Review

I love time travel stories and John Heldt writes some great ones! This is the second in a series but they are not all tied together (although 1, 3 and 5 have the same characters!)

I’ve always wondered, if you could travel back in time, would you change anything about your past? Would you disappear if something happens to your younger you? Michelle (aka Shelly) gets a chance to figure that out when she accidentally ends up in her hometown her senior year of high school. So much happened that year and not all for the best. I liked her interacting with her younger self but not revealing who she really is and spilling the beans. Michelle has a positive influence on not only her younger self, but many of the teens in the small town. It was a different time (1979-80) and kids were different than they are today.

I liked how the story wove in the future and the past and even other people that went missing the same way Michelle did 31 years in the future. The ending is a bit sad, but still had a happy ending.

We give this book 5 paws up!

About the Author

Heldt-Bio-Mug-3John A. Heldt is a reference librarian and the author of the critically acclaimed Northwest Passage time-travel series. The former award-winning sportswriter and newspaper editor has loved getting subjects and verbs to agree since writing book reports on baseball heroes in grade school. A graduate of the University of Oregon and the University of Iowa, he is an avid fisherman, sports fan, home brewer, and reader of thrillers and historical fiction. When not sending contemporary characters to the not-so-distant past, he weighs in on literature and life on his blog.

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Posted in 5 paws, Review, women on December 23, 2016

 

outofpractice

OUT OF PRACTICE

When your relationship is on life support, the Breakup Doctor is on call.

There’s no shortage of broken hearts in Breakup Doctor Brook Ogden’s successful breakup counseling practice—if love is a battlefield, then Brook is the cavalry. Luckily her own love life is in full recovery: after a long, tortuous road, she and Ben Garrett are finally headed down the aisle.

But when a local TV personality—and former frenemy—invites Brook onto her show, she’s blindsided live on the air when the interview turns into an act of long-delayed revenge meant to publicly humiliate her. Brook’s an expert at getting back on your feet when life knocks you down, but as the blows keep piling on—with a betrayal she never saw coming and a family crisis that threatens to pull the foundation out from under her—her confidence starts slinking away. With her clients dropping her faster than a one-night stand, suddenly the Breakup Doctor’s career is in critical care.

Brimming with both the sublime and ridiculous aspects of love—romantic and otherwise—Out of Practice is a funny and heartwarming tale about loss, grief, and failure that will resonate with all who have loved, lost…and dared to love again.

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Review

Loved this book and how it wrapped up this whole series!

Brook and Ben are still together and planning a wedding, well sort of…there is no date and Brook isn’t feeling the love on it all. She loves Ben, just can’t get in the wedding planning groove. And it doesn’t help that she is blindsided by a classmate from high school that is hell bent on revenge all these years later. Seriously, let it go!

Brook is also in a quandary where her career is going and is she doing what she should or is there something else out there. Basically this book is all about Brook reevaluating her life and I think we can all relate to that at one point or another.

I really enjoyed the book and while I guessed where some things would go (the wedding location), I was very happy with the way it all turned out. There was one question I had but it was answered near the end so it wasn’t something left hanging that wasn’t resolved. Ambiguous I know, but can’t spoil anything!

We give it 5 paws up and are sad that this series has ended but look forward to a new series from Phoebe!

 

About the Author

Phoebe Fox is the author of the Breakup Doctor series, and has been a contributor and regular columnist for a number of national, regional, and local publications (she currently writes about relationships for the Huffington Post, Elite Daily, and She Knows). She has been a movie, theater, and book reviewer; a screenwriter; and has even been known to help with homework revisions for nieces and nephews. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband and two excellent dogs.

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Posted in 5 paws, Craft, Review on December 21, 2016


Synopsis

Keep your children’s hands busy during church services with Bible Origami. Instead of folding the service programs into paper airplanes, they can fold Noah’s ark, an oil lamp, or Joseph’s coat! As you develop the unique skill of creating these simple-to-intermediate origami designs, you will find opportunities to use them with all ages for lessons, activities, crafting, and everyday fun!

Q & A with Todd

Where did you get the inspiration to write a book on origami?

I have an amazing wife, Jill, who when I told her my idea told me to, “Go for it.”  She is amazing creative in her own right and she has always been supportive.  Whenever I would get stuck, she was there to encourage me.  She inspired me and inspires me.  I also have four great kids, Kylie, Jolie, Sophie and Dean who have been my guinea pigs when it came to practicing my different models.  They would tell me if it was too hard, or didn’t look like what I was trying to portray.  They were also part of my amazing team.

Who is this book written for?

First, I think origami is a wonderful teaching tool for kids as it combines following instructions with a hands on approach that kids enjoy.  Plus, the end result is always an accomplishment that the folder can look at as something they have created.  I can see origami being used in church schools and home school programs, as well as with family for fun activities on Sundays.  It requires very little in preparation, just paper.  I’ve also heard of it being used with older youth in missionary activities where they leave notes for people on some of the designs.  Rather than a post it note with a reading assignment, the person being taught is left with the assignment written on a dove or oil lamp.

What is the connection between origami and your career as a counselor?

I really do not use origami when I am counseling other although I have heard of some people doing that.  The only real connection is that origami provides a nice break for me from my work.  After a few hours of intense counseling sometimes it feels good to sit at my desk, take my mind out of counseling mode, and fold a couple of fun models to change things up a bit.

Review

What a fantastic idea to keep younger children occupied during church but to do something with a message.  This book shares many stories from the bible and each page has a “Did You Know” at the top of each page with a fact that you may or may not have known about the bible.

I’m only a semi crafty person, but my stepson has done Origami before so I asked him for his assistance in trying some of these pieces.  I could handle most of the level 1 and level 2 took some time.  He was able to do various level 3 pieces with ease.  The drawings are explicit and show you step by step how to recreate the different pieces.  While mine looked ok, I’m sharing some pictures from the author of the different origami in the book.

 

Dove

Fishes & Loaves

Manger & Child

We think this is a great book and give it 5 paws up!

About the Author

Todd Huisken is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Irvine, California.  He had a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Brigham Young University, a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of San Diego and has been in practice for 21 years.   Todd has served as the Assistant Director of Disaster Mental Health Services for the Orange County Chapter of the American Red Cross.  He has worked with victims from the San Diego Fires, Hurricanes Ivan and Katrina, and spent two weeks in Haiti following the earthquake in 2010.  He’s a writer, a runner and a paper folder.  Todd has been married to his beautiful wife for 26 years and they have three daughters and a son.  In their free time, the Huiskens try to make Disneyland their second home.

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