Posted in Blog tour, Review, romance on February 19, 2013

red zone blog banner


After a case ended badly for Rebecca Carson, she’s losing her mind sitting around her apartment waiting on her superiors to allow her to return to work. Since she was a teenager, the only thing she’d ever wanted was to join the FBI. Now that dream was in danger.

Gage Daniels has made a pretty good life for himself. A nice house. A career he loves. As a professional football player, he’s used to getting almost everything he’d ever want with just the snap of his fingers. This includes women. A well-timed smile is usually all it takes to attract the opposite sex, especially in Nashville.

When a stalker threatens Gage, the team owner calls an old friend, Rebecca’s ex-partner Travis Hansen, to help protect his star quarterback and find the person responsible. Hansen offers Rebecca the job, and she jumps at the chance. It’s work, and it will get her out of her apartment. How bad can it be?

Posing as Gage’s girlfriend, however, isn’t as easy as it seems. The man is relentless. Rebecca must work to protect Gage while staving off his advances. She’s there to do a job, nothing more. The last thing she wants is to be another notch on a hotshot athlete’s belt.

As the stalker continues to up the ante, Rebecca finds it harder and harder to keep her distance from Nashville’s star quarterback. He isn’t what she expected in one of the city’s most notorious playboys. Now all she has to do is keep him safe until they can find his stalker, and hope she doesn’t lose her heart in the process.


I don’t know if I knew that this was the 2nd book in a series, but it is definitely not a book that has to be read after the first book.  Sure there might be something about one of the characters in the first book, but I think it was a minor character and not one essential to the plot.

I found this to be a fun read and I tried to figure out through the whole book who was stalking Gage…trust me when I say it wasn’t anyone that was on my radar!  There is great interplay between Gage and Rebecca and we see her defenses crumble and maybe having a relationship isn’t quite so bad.  It is a fairly quick read and worth the time.  Overall we give it 4 paws.




About the Author:

Sherri is the author of four novels: Hidden Threat,Slave (Finding Anna Book 1), Need (Finding Anna Book 2), Behind Closed Doors (A Daniels Brothers’ Novel), Red Zone (A Daniels Brothers’ Novel), and a short story, A Christmas Proposal. She lives in central Ohio with her husband and three cats. Her mother fostered her love for books at a young age by reading to her as a child. Stories have been floating around in her head for as long as she can remember; however, she didn’t start writing them down until she turned thirty. It has become a creative outlet that allows her to explore a wide range of emotions, while having fun taking her characters through all the twists and turns she can create. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found helping her husband in his woodworking shop.

Comments Off on Review: Red Zone by Sherri Hayes
Posted in contest, Giveaway, mystery, Review on February 10, 2013

A few weeks ago I highlighted the book, The First Rule of Ten which is a new mystery series by authors Gay Hendricks and Tinker Lindsay.  That book and this book, The Second Rule of Ten, was sent to me by their publicist to read and review.  They know me well enough to know that if I am to review a book in a series that I really need to read the ones before it…I’m picky like that!

secondrule of ten


Ex–Buddhist monk and ex–LAPD officer turned private eye Tenzing Norbu is back with a new case, a new love, and a whole new set of problems in this fresh installment in The Tenzing Norbu Mystery series.

In The Second Rule of Ten, Norbu investigates the unexplained death of his former client Hollywood mogul Marv Rudolph and searches for the sister, lost during World War II, of wizened Los Angeles philanthropist Julius Rosen. With two cases and an unforeseen family crisis that sends him back to Tibet, Ten finds himself on the outs with his best buddy and former partner, Bill, who is heading the official police investigation into Marv’s death. Cases and crises start to collide. When Ten mistakenly ignores his second rule, he becomes entangled in an unfortunate association with a Los Angeles drug cartel. As he fights to save those he loves, and himself, from the deadly gang, he also comes face to face with his own personal demons. Working through his anger at Bill, doubts about his latest lady love, and a challenging relationship with his father, Ten learns to see the world in a new light—and realizes that in every situation the truth is sometimes buried beneath illusion.


This new series has an interesting main character…who would expect a monk turned LA police officer turned PI to be the main character?!  It is definitely an interesting main character and one that doesn’t disappoint.  Ten takes on his next case (without his PI license quite yet….but when does that stop anyone?).  As with other cases, this one crosses several lines from the film industry to the drug cartel.  It is surprising that he hasn’t gotten himself killed yet!  He has also met a new woman…perhaps she will help him get past his issues and not run her off like he has other women in his life.

Like the first book, I enjoyed the storyline in this book and the interplay between the characters.  Ten and Bill’s relationship gets a little strained at times, but it is good to see that occur because not everything can be easy.  It is told to us that there are issues between Ten and his father (both in the first book and this one) and Ten has the opportunity to try and right that relationship.

I really enjoyed both books and I see that a third book is in the works.  I will have to put that on my list of books to read!

Overall I give the book 4 paws.



I am giving away the first book and the ARC of the second book in this series to 1 lucky winner.  Open to US residents only.   A winner will be chosen on February 28th.  Good Luck!


Comments Off on Review & Giveaway: The Second Rule of Ten by Gay Hendricks & Tinker Lindsay
Posted in fiction, Review, romance on February 5, 2013

song for julia


Today I bring you a review for A Song for Julia by author Charles Sheehan-Miles.  Charles has been a soldier, nonprofit executive, short order cook, IT manager and run a restaurant. He doesn’t believe in specialization. He currently works as a communications and outreach specialist for a law firm representing disabled veterans.


Everyone should have something to rebel against.

Crank Wilson left his South Boston home at sixteen to start a punk band and burn out his rage at the world. Six years later, he’s still at odds with his father, a Boston cop, and doesn’t ever speak to his mother. The only relationship that really matters is with his younger brother, but watching out for Sean can be a full-time job. The one thing Crank wants in life is to be left the hell alone to write his music and drive his band to success.

Julia Thompson left a secret behind in Beijing that exploded into scandal in Washington, DC, threatening her father’s career and dominating her family’s life. Now, in her senior year at Harvard, she’s haunted by a voice from her past and refuses to ever lose control of her emotions again, especially when it comes to a guy.

When Julia and Crank meet at an anti-war protest in Washington in the fall of 2002, the connection between them is so powerful it threatens to tear everything apart.


A Song for Julia delves deep into the past and emotions of the two main characters, Julia & Crank.  Julia grew up with a father who was a diplomat with a mother that didn’t really know much about mothering.  She endures a traumatic event when she is 14 which scars her emotionally and only in meeting Crank is she finally able to work through it all.  Crank isn’t the perfect guy, he has his own set of issues including a brother with Aspergers and his own parent issues.

I enjoyed the book and it made me stop and think about how good my life has been compared to these characters and even those around me.  To see Julia break through her shell and stop doing what everyone else wants her to do made me want to cheer her on.  Life wasn’t going to be easy but she was going to be in control.  Crank was another hot mess but being around Julia helped him resolve some of his own issues and helped him grow up as well.  Julia’s relationship with her mother is tenuous at best and her relationship with her sisters wasn’t much better.  I always like it when I see family coming together and sticking up for each other, even if it just a few…because sometimes that is all that it takes.

I give this book 4 paws, might be something you would like!


Comments Off on Review: A Song for Julia by Charles Sheehan-Miles
Posted in contest, Giveaway, mystery, Review, suspense, women on January 26, 2013

HPRToday’s review is a new series by Hank Phillippi Ryan.

Hank Phillippi Ryan is the investigative reporter for Boston’s NBC affiliate. A television journalist since 1975, she has won 28 Emmys and twelve Edward R. Murrow awards for her work. Her work has resulted in new laws, people sent to prison, homes removed from foreclosure, and millions of dollars in restitution. A best-selling author of five mystery novels, Ryan has won the Agatha, Anthony and Macavity awards for her crime fiction. Her newest thriller, The Other Woman, was published by Forge in September 2012 and named to several “Best of 2012” lists. She’s on the national board of directors of Mystery Writers of America (and an instructor at MWA-U) and is president of national Sisters in Crime.

She has another series, also about an anchorwoman, Charlotte McNally mysteries.







Jane Ryland was a rising star in television news…until she refused to reveal a source and lost everything. Now a disgraced newspaper reporter, Jane isn’t content to work on her assigned puff pieces, and finds herself tracking down a candidate’s secret mistress just days before a pivotal Senate election.

Detective Jake Brogan is investigating a possible serial killer. Twice, bodies of unidentified women have been found by a bridge, and Jake is plagued by a media swarm beginning to buzz about a “bridge killer” hunting the young women of Boston.

As the body count rises and election looms closer, it becomes clear to Jane and Jake that their cases are connected…and that they may be facing a ruthless killer who will stop at nothing to silence a scandal.

Dirty politics, dirty tricks, and a barrage of final twists, The Other Woman is the first in an explosive new series by Hank Phillippi Ryan. Seduction, betrayal, and murder—it’ll take a lot more than votes to win this election.


If politics doesn’t make for an interesting and explosive read, I’m not sure what does!  Jane is a reporter and does what reporters do…gets out there and gets the story.  Jake is a cop, with a thing for Jane.  He doesn’t want to tell her things because of her career, but knows that she can help him solve the mystery….even if she puts herself into precarious positions!

The story intrigued me because I wondered how a journalist would balance solving a crime (or helping to solve) and reporting on the situation.  The character had a good balance even if she did get herself into some trouble!

I know I’ve said it on here before, but I rarely figure out who the killer is and this book was no different…..I might have had an inkling towards the end, but Hank does a great job of masking the clues and not making it easy to figure out.

All in all we give it 4 paws and think this will be a great new series.  Check it out!


Interview with the author:


The Giveaway:

The publicist sent me a copy of the book to read and I want to share it with one of my lucky readers!

Comments Off on Review & Giveaway: The Other Woman by Hank Phillippi Ryan
Posted in End of the world, fiction, Review on January 23, 2013



After a terrible virus ravages the planet, Carly Daniels, one of the few survivors, hides in her apartment in Juneau trying to survive the best she can with only occasional forays to gather food. With her is Sam, a wolf puppy she found starving on the streets. He becomes her companion and a reason to continue when giving up sometimes seems like the more attractive option. Still dazed with shock and grief, she hopes for the world to go back to normal soon.

She is discovered by Justin, an ex-soldier who is intent on making his way to Florida before the winter sets in. Justin coaxes her out of her hiding place and convinces her to join him on his journey, because a warmer climate will be their best chance  against the extremes of Mother Nature.

Together, they begin a perilous journey through a nation laid to waste by the disaster. Challenges abound along the way. The weather, injury, and shortage of supplies all help to slow them down. In time, they discover that they aren’t the only survivors. Some are friendly but some have had their minds destroyed by the high fever. Then there are those who simply take what they want, leaving Carly and Justin with no choice but to defend what is theirs.

But their journey is not without joy and love. Together, they face every struggle, including an unplanned pregnancy. Despite the perils of bringing a child into a world of chaos, their baby is a new beginning for themselves and a symbol of hope for the other survivors they find along the way.

This is the story of their journey to find a place to begin a new life, and a home in each other.



I’m not even sure how to sum up my thoughts on this book…..WOW is what comes to mind but that seems so understated.  I normally don’t read this genre (end of the world/apocalypse) but had read Ghostwriter by Lissa and thought I would check out this book too.  The characters are very real and I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see what happened next.  Now I was a little surprised that Carly’s “dog” was so protective since it was a wolf and you would have thought other instincts would have come out, but this is fiction so anything can happen.  I was rooting for Justin and Carly hoping that there wouldn’t be a sad ending.  I don’t want to give it away (so I won’t) but the ending is good…but left me wanting more!  However, there is supposed to be a sequel to this book called The Beginning…I sure hope so because I want to know what happens to all of the characters!

I give this book 5 paws and suggest picking it up as soon as you can!



lbryanAbout Lissa:

Lissa Bryan is an astronaut, renowned Kabuki actress, Olympic pole vault gold medalist, Iron Chef champion, and scientist who recently discovered the cure for athlete’s foot…. though only in her head.

Real life isn’t so interesting, which is why she spends most of her time writing.

Her first novel, Ghostwriter was released October 11, 2012, and her second, The End of All Things, will be released on January 24, 2013.

You can find her here:  Facebook * Goodreads * Her Blog

Comments Off on Review: The End of All Things by Lissa Bryan
Posted in Blog tour, Review, romance on December 15, 2012


I read the synopsis for this book and knew it was one that I was really going to enjoy!  I enjoy contemporary romances a lot and when it involves cooking in some form or fashion?  Count me in!

For What It’s Worth by author Karey White is due out December 2012.

You can also find Karey on FaceBook and Twitter


Twenty-four year-old, Abby Benson has dreams of owning her own wedding cake shop. An inheritance from her aunt gives her the ability to make those dreams come true. She hires Dane, a handsome contractor, to help her get the bakery up and running and soon they’re moving toward their own happy ending.

Unsure what to charge for her cakes, Abby has a crazy idea to let the customer decide what they think their cake is worth. This plan has its ups and downs, but the novelty of the idea makes her a local celebrity. When she is interviewed on television about the unusual idea, business booms and Abby has cake adventures she never dreamed possible. But as her fame grows, Abby is swept up in a whirlwind that threatens everything she values. With the challenges that face her, will she be able to determine what is worth the most?


I slept peacefully the night I was on the news. If I’d known what was coming, I’d have enjoyed it more. Peace was about to abandon me.

The phone was ringing when I walked into the bakery Monday morning. There were thirteen messages already on the answering machine. I began taking and returning calls and soon had a dozen appointments set. But the phone didn’t stop ringing. By mid-afternoon, I’d scheduled twenty-two appointments. People were coming from as far away as Everett and Tacoma.

Book Trailer:




I loved this book!  Ok, I have to admit that part of it – inheriting money from an aunt and opening a wedding cake shop when she has never worked in a bakery – seems a little far fetched, but hey it’s fiction!  I easily got past that and the story took off!  Abby is caught up in how quickly her bakery is taking off and some of the stories of those coming in to buy a cake or how they decide what the cake is worth is quite humorous.  There is even a customer that “stiffs” her and how that is comes to be resolved, it is actually quite comical!

I found myself laughing throughout the book and sometimes shaking my head at Abby wondering if she knew what she was doing.

We give the story 5 paws and if you want something light and fun, definitely check out For What It’s Worth, I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Comments Off on Blog Tour: For What It’s Worth by Karey White
Posted in Review, romance on November 28, 2012

The bride’s chasing her fairy tale. And he’s chasing the bride…

Not even the bride could deny a certain punch-line quality to her current situation: hard-nosed divorce attorney dumps her fiancé and her career to take a job selling wedding gowns.

Sydney Garfield has always approached relationships rationally—none of this emotional head-over-heels or opposites-attract business. Marrying Jack Kaiser is the smart thing to do—after all, he’ll be the “perfect” husband. But after a life-changing shake-up at work, Sydney abandons logic—and her fiancé—to chase the fairy tale.

Real-estate mogul Jack can’t believe the woman he’s head-over-heels for is ditching her hard-won success—and him—to work as a small-town shop clerk. That’s her idea of a fairy tale? Hoping she’s merely in need of time, Jack follows Sydney to Smizer Mill, where he invests in the quaint coffee shop next door. Now, he’s got a few new challenges: make a failing coffee shop a success and convince Sydney that theirs is a romance worthy of a true happily ever after.

Genre: Category – Contemporary
Length: 286 pages
ISBN: 978-1-62266-990-5
Release Date: October 2012
Imprint: Bliss

Read an Excerpt Here


This book reminded me of The Runaway Bride with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.  I loved the interplay between Sydney and Jack and how even Ginnie (Sydney’s new boss at the wedding dress store) knew that they were right for each other.  It just took getting away from life (in a way) to figure that out.  When I first started reading this book, it seemed hard to get into the book…it might have been the time of day I started (at night) or my mood…but I’m glad I pressed on because I really enjoyed this book and the light-heartedness between the characters.

Overall I give the book 4 paws and do recommend it when you are in the mood for something light.


Comments Off on Review: Wedding Dress for Sale by Natale Stenzel
Posted in Environmental, Review, Texas on November 23, 2012

A few weeks ago I went to an event called Readers & ‘Ritas which featured many authors, some I had heard of, some that I had not. While at breakfast before the event started, I met Alexandra Allred who happens to live in the DFW area (met a lot of authors that live in this area!). When I realized she was an author I asked her about her most recent novel. After she told me about her work I had to go and buy it because it sounded like a good read. Of course I had to have her sign it….can’t pass up that opportunity!


Bio (from her website) – While I met Alex in person at Readers & ‘Ritas, I had no idea everything she had accomplished in her life!  Wow! 

Alexandra Powe Allred graduated from Texas A&M University with a B.A. in History, saying, “As everyone knows, once you get a degree in history, all you can really do is teach or write. I’m just doing what I can!”

As the daughter of a (now retired) U.S. Diplomat, Allred traveled all over the United States and around the world. Her writing career began before graduation with several pieces on bi-lingual education with national education publications. But the real stories began while living as a youth in Moscow, Russia. Under a communist regime, imagination and the ability to create stories was the very best way to beat boredom (and the freezing cold!).

As her career was taking off, Allred embraced her second passion — sports. She trained for and made the U.S. women’s bobsled team in 1994, becoming the first U.S. National Champion. She was named Athlete of the Year by the United States Olympic Committee and garnered much worldwide attention as she was also 4 1/2 months pregnant at the time! Her training regimen was (and is) used by the United States and International Olympic Committees for pregnant athletes. Following her retirement from the sport in 1998, Allred returned to the literary world with The Quiet Storm. While living in the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, NY, she was able to talk to Olympic and National athletes from all disciplines and share with sports enthusiasts. From there, her career was launched. She did adventure freelance writing for Sports Illustrated, Muscle & Fitness for Her, and Volvo magazines. She held a sports column, worked as an editor for NOW magazines outside Dallas, Texas and began working as a Clean Air advocate, often testifying before the EPA.

Today, she writes (mostly) fiction, teaches kinesiology classes for Navarro Community College while enjoying her family and animals in Texas.


Everyone thought when and how Joanna Lucas decided to leave her husband was the most shocking thing they had ever seen, that is, until she moved. But when the outsider befriends a stripper-turned-Mormon, a one-legged woman who lost her appendage to a loose tiger and the outrageous Jeanie Archer, things really heat up. With such friends on her side, the underworld of polluting and big-dollar politics is finally exposed and that’s just the beginning.


Damaged Goods, while fiction, is based on a lot of true facts.  Think of it as Erin Brockovich comes to Texas!  Alex addresses the issues in a town south of Dallas that had cement plants which cause environmental issues which results in health issues for the residents of the town.

I have to say that while reading this book I tried to picture it in that town south of Dallas.  I’m not sure if my imagination did a good job of that, but hey that is in my head, which you are not!  The characters were multi-faceted and I found myself relating to some of the characters and appreciating the strength of the women who decided to stand up to the politicians.  There were also sad portions of the story (to be expected) that tugged at my heart.  Yes I know it is a story, but I felt like these characters were my neighbors (which they could be in a way).

All in all I give the story 4 paws.  The only negative is that when the author switched between characters and their point of view, it took me a few minutes to figure out whose viewpoint was now being expressed.


Comments Off on Review: Damaged Goods by Alexandra Allred
Posted in Review, Science Fiction on November 3, 2012

Ready Player One by author Ernest Cline was chosen by my book club as the November read.  This book was published in 2011 and there was a big contest that went along with it where the author gave away a DeLorean car (think Back to the Future and the flux capacitor!)




The year is 2044 and the world is in near-ruins. The Great Recession has taken its toll on the world’s economy, and resources are scarce. The Internet and gaming culture have evolved into a creation known as OASIS, a massive multiplayer online simulation game created by James Halliday and Ogden Morrow of Gregarious Simulation Systems (GSS), formerly known as Gregarious Games. Halliday, with no heirs or other living family, dies suddenly and leaves a video will to those in OASIS and a book that was dubbed Anorak’s Almanac, which purports to be a volume written by James Halliday’s avatar Anorak in OASIS. The video says that whoever can collect three keys (Copper, Jade, and Crystal) that are hidden throughout the universe of OASIS and pass through the matching gates will receive his fortune and controlling stake in GSS. This becomes known as the Hunt and people immediately begin the search for Halliday’s Easter Egg. Those searching for the Egg are referred to as “gunters,” a truncation of “egg hunters.” Gunters devote an enormous amount of time to studying 1980s pop culture, the decade Halliday grew up in and was perpetually obsessed with, in the hope it will assist them with locating and solving the puzzles involved with the egg.



Normally I am not a huge science fiction fan…but WOW was this book good!  I don’t know if it was all of the 80’s references and tech speak or what, but I could not put this book down.  I was up until midnight finishing the book because I had to know how it ended.  I had a suspicion (when you read a lot of books some things become somewhat predictable, but not how they get to that ending!) but was still surprised and some of the things that were revealed.

I definitely recommend this book, I don’t think you will be disappointed.  I give it 4 1/2 paws

Comments Off on Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Posted in e-books, fiction, Kindle, New York, Review on September 23, 2012

Earlier this year I reviewed an excellent historical fiction novel by Ed Brodow called Fixer.  If you haven’t picked that one up, definitely add it to your TBR (to be read) list.

Ed contacted me again and asked if I would like to review his new book, Women from Venus.  This book contains four short stories that have interesting twists at the end…

In the first novella, Women From Venus, psychologist Robert Elgar’s successful career as a debunker of alien kidnappings is sabotaged when a beautiful abductee charges him with rape.

The Man Who Could Not Make Up His Mind depicts the ordeal of Clifford Day Vanderwall as his career is destroyed by a predatory fortune hunter in this hilarious satire about love among New York’s upper crust.

Intent on revenge, ex-Marine Tommy Courten tracks his sister’s psychopathic killer to a remote South American
jungle only to be shocked by what he discovers about his own true nature in The Stamp.

In I’ll Take Manhattan, the Lenape Indians offer proof that their tribe is the rightful owner of Manhattan Island and they want it back.


Ed had a lot to live up to after I read Fixer and loved it!  He did not disappoint with with these four short stories.  In fact, I didn’t want the stories to end, I wanted them to continue!  The stories twist and turn in the end and what you think is going to happen or should happen, doesn’t.

I think my favorite was I’ll Take Manhattan because the thought of a group of people lying claim to Manhattan which is nothing but an island…well that is crazy and can you imagine how much people would lose if all of a sudden ownership of the land reverted to a group of people?!  Crazy!

Gracie and April enjoyed the stories too and give them four paws

Comments Off on Review: Women from Venus by Ed Brodow