Thursday, December 4, 2014

Family Matters

Family Matters is the fourth DiCarlo Brides novel.

This time we're catching up with Rosemary. And her secret is a nine year old daughter.

This book is all about choices. Past choices that affect the present and present choices that affect the future. Some have been for good and others have yielded bitter fruit.

Rosemary is a tough nut to crack, but when you do, she's full of gooey marshmallow like every one else. You just have to get through her layers, and there are a lot of them. Good thing Harrison is persistent and consistent about persuading her to let him into her life and her heart.

Stakes are high again as threats are made on Rosemary and Cleo. Accidents turn into sinister attempts on their lives.

Watch the family, blood and extended, band together to pull through another stressful situation.

All these people are going to need serious therapy at the end of this series.

As in the previous novels, all the sex is alluded to, but happens off page, which works great for me.

This is my least favorite cover so far. I think it's the dress.

Bring on the next sister.

Rosemary Keogh considers herself pretty adaptable—she dealt with her father’s death-bed edict that she move across the country to work at his latest hotel with five half-sisters, (most of whom she hadn’t known existed) hadn’t she? She settled into the routine, even grew to like most of them, but when tragedy leaves her birth daughter parentless—and she is named as the guardian—her world spins again. 

Trying to raise a nine-year-old who shares her spunk and determination isn’t always an easy thing. When Rosemary starts having mysterious ‘accidents,’ though, her worries shift from being a bad mother to leaving her daughter an orphan yet again. 

Adding to the confusion, Harrison Forest, head of the resort’s human resources department, decides it’s time to shift their relationship from semi-adversarial to something a whole lot more interesting. Can they get past the roadblocks she’s been throwing in their way to make things work? More importantly, will she survive that long?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

The Paladin Pawn

The Paladin Pawn by Michael Young

When nerdy Rich Witz unwittingly becomes a Paladin, a white knight, in training, he is thrust into a world where flunking a test can change the course of history and a mysterious bully is playing for keeps with his life. 
Rich’s grandmother leaves him with one thing before disappearing for good: a white chess pawn with his initials engraved on it. The pawn marks him as the next in an ancient line of white knights. He must prove himself in a life or death contest against his Nemesis, a dark knight in training, all while dealing with math homework and English projects.  With the ghost of an ancestor for his guide, he has seven days to complete four tasks of valor before his Nemesis does, or join his guide in the realm of the dead. 
As Rich rushes to complete the tasks, he realizes the chilling truth: his Nemesis is masquerading as someone at school and will stop at nothing to make him fail. As the tasks grow ever harder, the other knights reveal to him that his failure will break a centuries-old chain and bring the Paladin order to ruin. If he fails, the dark knights win the right to control the fate of the world, a world without hope or the possibility of a new dawn.  So this is one exam Rich has to ace, with no curve and no extra credit.

Here's one of several excerpts to give you a sneak peak of the book: 
They arrived, and Rich pointed to the door. “Here we are. Detention.”
            Aaron backed away a few steps, “What does this mean? It sounds unpleasant.”
            Rich shrugged with one shoulder. “It’s not really too bad. They keep us locked up in a room without speaking for a while and make us work.”
            Aaron’s face went pale. “Are they going to cast us into a dungeon? Do they have torture devices?”
            Rich’s face broadened in a laugh. “No, not unless you consider the old desks torture devices. Come on, it’s only for half an hour.”
            “Surely there is a way to protest this unjust treatment. You did nothing wrong. I thought your society had progressed beyond such barbarism,” said Aaron.

            “Society, maybe. But here in high school, we’re still in the Dark Ages.” 

One more cool thing about this book . . . There's a playlist! Get jammin' to these great tunes to get an idea of the vibe of this cool novel. 
“Lux Aeterna” from “Requiem for a Dream”
 “Prologue” from the “Harry Potter Soundtrack”
 “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel
 “Arival at Aslan’s How” from “The Chronicles of Narnia”
 “The Impossible Dream” from “Man of LaMancha”)
 “Chariot’s of Fire” by Vangelis
“Hello” by Lionel Ritchie
“One-Winged Angel” from “Final Fantasy”
 “Chevaliers de Sangreal” from “The DaVinci Code”

Buy it Here:

My Review: 
I really like the concept of this well thought out book. The plot is unraveled bit by bit like pulling on a string that unravels a sweater. Lots of questions and cliffhangers keep the pace moving along.  

The characters are well rounded with strengths and weaknesses and very little info dump. You can get to know the characters as they get to know themselves. Rich is especially well crafted. 

There are lots of twists and turns to figure out who is a good guy, who is a bad guy and who just may be an innocent bystander caught in the cross fire. 

The dialogue is suited for the age group and will make a fairly easy and fast read for the intended audience. 

My only real hangup is the structure of the ending. It happens in an odd place for me. I dearly hope there is a sequel/series to finish out this tantalizing story and answer all my questions. In other words, I want more. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Reclaiming His Bride

Reclaiming His Bride is the third book in the DiCarlo Brides series.

We jump the birth order of sisters to number 4, Lana. Guess, we'll catch back up to Rosemary later.

Lana's life is all about secrets, her marriage, her attempts at divorce, her pregnancy. Good thing she's a legitimate child of her father and wasn't a secret on like four of her sisters.

But secrets have a way of coming out and Lana's are no exception, esp. when her husband Blake can't hide his love for her.

This is a good take on how we see what we want to see, even when it's not true, and that time and perspective can straighten out our view. That's all Lana needs to do, even if she does fight it every step of the way.

The one secret that needs discovering is 'Who is the ghost?'. Sadly some will die before the ghost's true nature will be revealed.

Ms. Tullis weaves in some more suspense into this tale of romance.

It's a clean romance, seeing as Lana and Blake are already married, so nothing is amiss in their physical relationship in that regard. Their story may be my favorite so far.

But then, there's always book 4 to read!

Secrets rule Lana’s life. Her father’s death brought some out into the open, but she has a few of her own: 1) she’s been married to Blake for nearly a year—and trying to get a divorce for most of that time. 2) A moment of emotional weakness and too much champagne ended with her in her husband’s arms—and now she’s pregnant.

Blake hasn’t thought of another woman since they first met, though she believes otherwise. When Lana’s hotel-magnate father offers him the job of regional manager—and an office in the hotel Lana would be managing, Blake jumps at it. Keeping her attention when it’s split between her sisters, the ins and outs of running a resort, and the ‘ghost’ who’s been haunting the building isn’t easy. Learning about the baby convinces him to redouble his efforts though—he isn’t going to give up without a fight, and when someone comes after Lana, the stakes are raised again.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

SEALed with Love

SEALed with Love is the second installment in the DiCarlo Brides series.

This time it's all about Sage, her stalker, and former Navy SEAL Joel. And while Sage's disturbingly accurate powers of precognition can be a blessing to those she loves, she can never see anything directly about her own future. Sucks. It should would be helpful if it could reveal her stalker to her!

It is a constant tug of war between Sage and Joel hiding their true feelings from one another and you'll cheer when the rope finally breaks and that longed for kiss finally takes place.

Joel is the perfect protector for Sage, but she's not a weakling and when it counts she fights for those she loves.

It's fun to read a series when you have the opportunity to get to know each character in depth and still have in play those you've already gotten to know and see bits of characters you'll have the chance to get to know in other books. It creates a nice unity thread that keeps you reading the spin-off series.

This isn't a true clean read as the characters don't save sex for marriage and kisses get 'deeper'. There isn't any foul language. Of course, with a stalker in play, there is some violence. Ms. Tullis will keep you guessing to the end who it is. She has a knack for writing suspense.

I'm ready for book three to learn about the next sister. Once you start the series you won't want to stop.

It isn't Sage Parker's fault that she mistakes former Navy SEAL Joel Watts as the stalker who had been sending her disturbing letters--he shows up every time she turns around. Too bad her father doesn’t tell her he sent Joel to protect her. When the stalker tracks Sage from LA to her new job in Colorado, she's glad to have Joel on her side. She didn’t plan to falling in love with him though—now if he would see her as more than just a client.

Joel takes his job as head of resort security seriously, but Sage is his number one priority, and the one woman he can’t get out of his mind. He isn't sure if he believes in her precognition, or some of her other hokey beliefs, but he soon finds he can't live without her. He just has to catch the stalker before he or Sage end up dead.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Bookmarked Bargains for Four Days

Huge online Ebook Sale.

FOUR DAYS ONLY Great prices from great authors!

This is the perfect opportunity to stock on some good reading for those cold winter months. This event only happens twice a year, so stock up on your favorite books while you can. Click here to go to the Bookmarked Bargains site.
(Be sure to check out all the genres to find all those reading gems)
Then AFTER you shop to your heart's content, scroll
to the bottom of ANY Bookmarked Bargains Page and fill out the Rafflecopter to sign up for our monthly Bookmarked Reader’s Newsletter containing new releases and bargain prices from our beloved authors at Indie Author Hub. Your information will always remain confidential. All names collected will be entered to win a Reader's Party Pack shipped right to your door.

Reader’s Party Pack: $160 value. Designed for readers. Everything a reader needs to enjoy a

good book--blankets, hot cocoa, and more!

Of course, you don't need to purchase
any of the listed books in order to be eligible to win, but you might as
well because they're awesome.
There's something on this list for
everyone to enjoy, so let's get right to it! *Be sure to check the
price of the book before you download so you know you're getting the
sale price.*
Who's Who and What's What in Each Category:
(Use links below or
use the tabs above to find your favorite books and authors)
Below are all the genres and participating authors.

Marie Higgins, Jo Noelle
Stacy Lynn Carroll, Alivia Anderson, Vicki Hunt Budge, Maria Hoagland, Daniel Coleman
Donna K Weaver, Rachael Anderson, Rachel Ann Nunes, Rebecca Talley, Stephanie Fowers, Cami Checketts, LuAnn Staheli, Taylor Hart, Heather Justesen, Heather Tullis, Shannon Guymon, Lisa Swinton, Heather Moore
Christy Dorrity, Valerie Steimle,
Andrea Pearson, Katie Lee O'Guinn, Stephanie Fowers, Susan Tietjen, Theresa Sneed
Tara C. Allred
J. Loyd Morgan, Cindy M. Hogan, Jo Noelle, Tamara Hart Heiner, Janette Rallison
Nichole Van, Joyce DiPastena, Marsha Ward, Marie Higgins, Tina Scott
Monique Bucheger
J. Lloyd Morgan
Christy Dorrity
Daniel Coleman
Donna K. Weaver, Cami Checketts, Rachel Ann Nunes, Theresa Sneed, Kathleen Marks, Christy Barritt, Julie Coulter Bellon, Tanya Parker Mills
R. K. Hinrichsen

**Be sure to check the
price of the book before you download so you know you're getting the sale

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Muffins & Murder

Muffins & Murder is the third installment of the Sweet Bites Mystery series by Heather Justesen.

It's amazing how many people one cup cake baker can uncover in one small southwest town. Poor Tess, finds her third body and while this time she vows to stay out of it, others clamor for her to solve the 'whodunit'. So, once more she finds herself trespassing, borrowing/stealing evidence, and setting herself in the murder's sights.

In the meantime she starts to date Jack and her distant romance with Shawn moves closer to home. Oh, my. Bring on the kisses, which is as steamy as the romance gets. It's a clean/sweet one, so if you're looking for something beyond that, head elsewhere.

I love the continued theme of Tess creating her own family and place in town. It's great fun to watch her play big sister to Lenny.

Also, Tingey starts to let his guard down a little.

As per usual, and half the fun of books like these in my opinion, we have recipes to make. Yum! Better yet, it sticks to desserts. Double Yum!

Well crafted and twistedly told, you'll be turning the pages fast all the way to the end. Did you guess the killer ahead of the unveiling?

Best part, it looks like there'll be a fourth installment. Can't wait.

Halloween carnivals are supposed to be all fun and games, but when one of the school teachers is found strangled by a quilted table runner at the end of the night, Tess, bakery owner and amateur sleuth, is on the case. 
Between stalkers, small business rivals and neighbors whose hobbies clash with the victim’s, there is no shortage of suspects. Tess’s social life finally starts to take off as things get interesting with Jack and her good friend and employee, Lenny’s, wedding is only days away, Tess has got her hands full. Will she be able to catch the killer before he or she strikes again?

Thursday, November 6, 2014


Incognita isn't a true sequel to Fairchild as we don't continue the journey of Sophy's character. This one falls more into the category of a spin-off as it follows Alistair.

Poor Alistair. If you don't read Fairchild first then this will be a spoiler to what happens at the end.

I was intrigued to follow Alistair's journey to happily ever after.

First it says much about an author who can switch from writing one novel primarily from a woman's point of view to a man's and do it seemingly effortlessly. Though there are sprinklings of others views scattered throughout the book to give variety. I especially loved seeing the rekindling of romance between Sophy's father and his wife. It gives hope to the long time married set that there is hope to set off the spark again.

One thing there is loads of in this book is motivation. Ms. Fixsen gets us inside the characters heads to show us what is driving their actions rather than just what they do.

The other is vulnerability. Everyone has emotional baggage they're carrying, causes they are fighting for and battles to wage for victory. Not everyone can win, and there are casualties along the way. I bit my lip as I neared the end of the book in fear of what may befall Alistair. Watch for the brilliantly done foreshadowing.

I had the good fortune to snag a signed by the author copy of this the day after it came out. If you ever have the chance to meet Ms. Fixsen in person, do so. She's lovely.

For all those who enjoyed/loved Fairchild, Incognita doesn't disappoint and maintains the high bar of literacy she set for herself and I imagine will maintain for her writing career.

Again a clean historical romance.

I secretly hope we get a book about Jasper. I have several questions about him.

There are worse things than being spectacularly jilted. Losing a leg, for instance, or getting shot—well, perhaps not: The bullet Alistair took fighting in the peninsula never landed him in London’s scandal sheets. 
Captain Alistair Beaumaris never dreamed he’d be tossed over by Lord Fairchild’s bastard daughter, losing both her and her fortune—a singular humiliation that should have taught him a lesson. But when your luck is out, you do foolish things, like quarrel with your oldest friend. Or mistake a perfectly respectable widow for a lady of easy virtue. 
Unfortunately, that kind of blunder needs fixing. 
Yielding to his troublesome conscience, Alistair tracks down the elusive widow . . . but the only thing he doesn’t find is an easy way out.

Thursday, October 30, 2014


Fairchild by Jaima Fixsen was her debut book in 2013 and of course my first time to read something by her.

For some crazy reason I had it in my head that it was a YA Paranormal. How could I have been so wrong and misguided?!

It's an historical fiction romance. I'm not sure it falls under the regency category because of the time period, but it's not far off.

Complications abound from the start for our heroine, Sophy, an illegitimate daughter of a wealthy gentleman. And then one small lie as an adult to an innocent family creates even further duress for her. Still, even trapped in a web of her own making, Sophy finds love and more than one man she can share her life with. As a girl with spunk knows, she can find her own way and make her own path, even if it's not the one everyone expects. I love a heroine who is strong and knows her own mind.

It is a sparkling well crafted cast Ms. Fixsen has created for our literary enjoyment. Everyone has something that makes them unique and she's not afraid to put us in their skin, think their thoughts, and worry for each heart she introduces. There are no 'throw away' characters in this book as you crave to know more about each one she introduces, no matter how minor.

As it's a period peace and dealing with the gentry set, it is a clean romance, free of language and sex. A story of a lower class would breed some of that, but not here.

The pacing is steady and drives you home to the end. You'll not want to put it down. Plenty of twists, turns, and of course a Cinderella ending. That's what romance readers want and Ms. Fixsen doesn't disappoint.

Oh, and I should mention it's wonderfully researched and full of the flavor of that era.

Now, grab your copy and get lost in a world of ball gowns and coats.

Truth or dare?

Good English families all have a house in the country with a deer park, a trout stream, and an army of gardeners. They should have a son and if it can be managed, he should be handsome. Cleverness isn’t important. Daughters in limited quantities are fine so long as they are pretty. Bastards are inconvenient and best ignored. It's not a big problem, unless you are one. 
Unfortunately, Sophy is. 

Sick of her outcast role, she escapes her father’s house, only to fall from her horse during a spring storm. Injured, soaked, and shivering, she stumbles to a stranger’s door—Tom, a blunt edged merchant from a family of vulgar upstarts. Mistaking Sophy for the genuine article, he takes her in. 
Sophy can’t resist twisting the truth. Soon she’s caught in her own snare—and it might just be a noose.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fall Favorites Giveaway!!!

If you love books and money to buy them, then don't miss this AWESOME giveaway!

28 authors have come together to give you a

 reading list of FUN FALL FAVORITES!


Click on the image to read a summary of each book :)


$300 Amazon Gift Card 

OR PayPal Cash

GIVEAWAY ends 11/17/14

No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older and legally able to receive and use an Gift Code. This giveaway is not associated with Rafflecopter, Facebook, Twitter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. Void where prohibited by law.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway was organized by I Love to Read and Review Books :)

and is sponsored by the following authors ~

(While we can no longer ask you to "LIKE" Facebook pages as an entry~ Facebook links are below ~ as "LIKES" would be very much appreciated :)

Friday, September 26, 2014

Lexi's Pathetic Fictional Love Life

This is my first read by Jo Noelle and it's a good one. 

I like Lexi. She's reserved, selective of her friends, and nearly misses the best thing in her life in pursuit of a crush. But as this is high school, you can't really be surprised by that. How many of us miss the thing under our noses by looking too far afield for the unattainable? 

The high school setting hits the mark. The characters are age appropriate in their thinking and responses. The romance is likabley sweet as are the characters.It's fun to watch all their growth and see how the sibling rivalry plays out. 

The YA set and some adults will enjoy this read. 

Lexi Middleton has been socially invisible to her classmates, but starting her junior year, that’s going to change. First, she’s determined to hook a boyfriend, ensuring dates with flowers and possible kisses on the doorstep. Second, she wants to be a writer for the school paper, even though it freaks her out to think of everyone judging her by her punctuation and metaphors. High school is difficult enough—keeping up her grades, dealing with increasing sibling rivalry, and trying to stay out of the way of her personal nemesis, Amberlee—but when Lexi catches the eye of her long-time crush, she also becomes the focus of mean-girl tactics. Caught between who she was and who she wants to be, Lexi must decide how to confront a bully, and choose who to let into her heart.

About Jo Noelle:
Jo Noelle grew up in Colorado and Utah but also spent time in Idaho and California. She has two adult children and three small kids.

She teaches teachers and students about reading and writing, grows freakishly large tomatoes, enjoys cooking especially for desserts, builds furniture, sews beautiful dresses, and likes to go hiking in the nearby mountains.

Oh, and by the way, she’s two people—Canda Mortensen and Deanna Henderson, a mother/daughter writing team.


Monday, September 22, 2014

"Meet My Character" Blog Hop

I was invited to this "Meet My Character” blog hop by author Misty Dawn Pulsipher.

Misty Dawn Pulsipher was born and raised in Utah. She attended Snow College where she developed a love for writing. Misty served as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Washington, D.C. area. She and her husband now reside in Maryland with their three children, two dogs, and the colony of squirrels that lives in their back yard. When she’s not writing or procrastinating an edit, Misty is reading, baking, sewing, playing the piano, or bribing her family to play Monopoly with her.

Misty is the author of two Austen overhauls, Pride's Prejudice and Persuaded. Get them here:

You can read her “Meet My Character” interview on her blog at:

Now for my character interview

What is the name of your character?
Amanda St. Claire

Is he/she fictional or a historic person?

When and where is the story set?
Modern day in Las Vegas, Des Moines, IA, Dallas, TX, and Africa

What should we know about him/her?
Amanda is a woman with a plan who sticks to the plan and doesn't like to change the plan, i.e. monkey wrenches/surprises. She's a blond girl-next-door.

What is the main conflict?
Post college graduation she mistakenly marries the guy she loathes - Blake Worthington, who married her on purpose.

What messes up his/her life?
The marriage and coming clean about it with her family.

What is the personal goal of this character?
To get rid of Blake as fast as possible and head off to her nursing job in Africa.

Is there a working title for this novel and can we read more about it?
Ring on Her Finger

When can we expect the book to be published?
Ring on Her Finger was published on Sept. 3, 2014. Now available!

The blog hop will continue next Monday, September 29, 2014 with:

Mystery authors to be named later this week. Check back. I'll also announce the update on FB.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Palace of Stone Princess Academy #2

I wasn't a big fan of the first Princess Academy.

I finished it and thought it was interesting but wasn't sure about the whole quarry speak thing. I enjoyed the characters though and a lot of the ideas presented.

This book was more to my taste. It was great to be back with the characters I enjoyed before and their reactions to being plunked down in the city out of their comfort zone. Lots of good questions raised, conflicts, and just the right amount of blossoming romance.

Clean and well written, I'd choose this one to read again over the original.

You will need to read the first one to understand this one. Palace of Stone is not meant to be read as a stand alone book.

Which Princess Academy did you like better?

Coming down from the mountain to a new life in the city seems a thrill beyond imagining. When Miri and her friends from Mount Eskel set off to help the future princess Britta prepare for her royal wedding, she is happy about her chance to attend school in the capital city. There, Miri befriends students who seem so sophisticated and exciting . . . until she learns that they have some frightening plans. They think that Miri will help them, that she should help them. Soon Miri finds herself torn between loyalty to the princess and her new friends' ideas, between an old love and a new crush, and between her small mountain home and the bustling city. 

Picking up where Princess Academy left off, this incredible stand-alone story celebrates the joys of friendship, the delight of romance, and the fate of a beloved fairy tale kingdom.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Awakening Avery

An emotional journey is the best way to describe this book. It is very character driven.

It's rich with brilliant description that really bring the characters and settings to life. Of course, I benefit personally by having been to Baltimore on a regular basis and having vacationed on Anna Maria Island as well. Both have unique beauty and charm.

There are a lot of tangled up hearts and relationships to unravel. Ms. Lewis works the tension just right and keeps the pace moving.

It's a great beach read, but you don't have to be at the beach. It just makes me want to be there.

If you're looking for a wholesome book, pick up this one. Clean: no language or sex. Maybe a kiss?

The ending seemed just a bit of a stretch for me, but it's a romance and I've read ones that stretch far larger distances to get to happily ever after! Now, I want to know what happens next in all their lives. Sadly, we only get to spend one summer with this crew.

Where would you rather vacation, Baltimore or Anna Maria?

Avery Elkins Thompson is depressed after her husband's untimely death. Her carefully controlled world is imploding, and her adult children fear they are losing her too.

Avery returns to Baltimore to sell the family's waterfront condo, and she meets rodeo-ers-turned-real-estate-brokers Teddie and Rider Davis, and Avery's quiet life will never be the same again. They arrange a house swap with widower Gabriel Carson from Anna Maria, whose overprotective parenting has resulted in two self-centered, twenty-something daughters. Avery and Gabriel are in for the summer of their lives as they step into one another's messy, complicated worlds.