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[ 2 ] September 15, 2014

Hey All! This Friday, September 19th, I will be joining the awesome Mia Voss on her on-air program Power Chat to talk all about book blogs! 

The program will take place on Google Hangout at 12pm EST. Click here for more information and to register to attend!

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Review: Blood Line by John Davis

[ 1 ] September 15, 2014

Blood-Line-cover-500-337x500Reviewed by Meghan Hyden

Ron and Val are married.  They are living a nice, peaceful life until one night when two men break into their home and try to kidnap their 16-year-old daughter, Leecy.  The secrets that they have been keeping for years, especially from their daughter, are now out in the open.  After taking out the two perpetrators and contacting a friend on the police force, they think that everything is going perfectly – until the FBI show up.  Now they have to run to protect themselves, having no idea who they can trust, all the while figuring out the mystery of who wanted to kidnap Leecy and why they are after their family in the first place.

Blood Line was a lot of fun to read.  I instantly felt a connection with this family and, in turn, disliked the people who were against them.  The daughter, Leecy, is my favorite – she handles everything a lot better than I thought she would and really shows just how smart she is in different situations throughout the book.  It’s also neat to see just how much she is like both her mother and her father.  The character portrayal and the descriptions of the scenes are great and make it so easy to see what the author is writing inside your head.

The whole story is full of adventure, from the very first pages, and it kept me so interested that I read the whole thing in one day.  The surprises and twists were unexpected and those, plus the characters, were what made it very hard for me to put the book down.  I like adventure books that are exciting from the very beginning, and in this one, there is always something happening.  It makes the descriptions of things that happened in the past a lot more fun because at the same time as learning something, you’re also kind of panicking, hoping they’ll make it past each moment.

Blood Line was also very well written.  I usually have an issue with first person books because, if not done correctly, they can come across as awkward. Blood Line is definitely not awkward. It flows easily and I really enjoyed seeing how the characters grew closer together throughout the whole ordeal.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

You can find Meghan (that’s Meghan spelled the right way) over on her book-ish blog The Gal in the Blue Mask. She’s an avid reader, a book editor, a story teller, a purveyor of delectable fare and pulchritudinous confections, and the best aunt in the world. She loves gardening, hiking, cooking and spending time at the zoo, library and museums. She may not be able to find her wallet, car keys or sunglasses, but she always knows where her Kindle is.

Review copy was provided by John Davis. Compensation was received but in no way influenced the thoughts and opinions expressed in this review.

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Review: Doe Eyes by Staci Hart

[ 2 ] September 15, 2014

22051713Reviewed by A.D. Cole

In Doe Eyes, a third installment to the Good Gods series, Aphrodite, goddess of love, is in competition with Artemis, goddess of the hunt. Each goddess is to pick a human player. Aphrodite’s goal is to help the two humans fall in love. Artemis’ is to keep them apart. Normally Aphrodite would win this competition blindfolded. But at the moment, she has her own personal problems to deal with.

Jon and Josie are the two human pawns. Jon has returned to New York after three years away and he wants Josie back. Josie has been living with the belief that Jon left her three years ago to be with his pregnant ex, and she has no intention of forgiving him. Ever. But when her investigation into the murder of her partner, Anne, becomes desperate, Jon is the only one with the key to helping her catch the killer. Josie is forced to let him back into her life and open her mind to the truth of why he left three years ago.

Each novel in the Good Gods series is structured similarly. There is a competition surrounding two human pawns, offering a standalone contemporary romance within each novel. The serial aspect centers around Aphrodite and her relationships with her best friend, Persephone; her lovers, Adonis and Ares; and her estranged, but devoted husband, Hephaestus.

In these novels, the gods have moved their homes to New York and adopted the culture of the modern times. As a result, they are quirky, relatable, and frequently profane. It’s very much a Sex In the City atmosphere except with immortality and magic. As fun as it is, the human romances are very down-to-earth and real, evoking more than a few shed tears from me, at least.

Doe Eyes is set apart from the first two in that it takes on the structure of a suspense novel, since the two main humans are chasing a serial killer. I can’t help hoping Staci Hart adopts this structure in future novels, as it was very well done and added an element of ticking clock to the whole story.

Though there’s a standalone element to each novel, they really need to be read in order to understand where Aphrodite is in her life. If you’re looking for something truly unique in urban fantasy romance, I highly recommend this series. It’s fun and edgy, heartwarming, and well-written.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

A.D. Cole is a homeschooling mother and aspiring romance novelist. She lives in the Ozark foothills and spends her free time reading, writing, baking and pondering life’s little mysteries.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Staci Hart. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Mailbox Monday

[ 12 ] September 14, 2014

Welcome to Mailbox MondayMailbox Monday are hosted by Marcia at Mailbox Monday blog

Here are the books that made their way into my mailbox last week:

For Review – Paper Copies


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Review: The Heist by Daniel Silva

[ 1 ] September 14, 2014

51LEPFYYjRLReviewed by Caleb Shadis

The Heist is the 14th Gabriel Allon book and I enjoyed this one even more than the last couple I’ve read.  Some of the books, especially the ones with Ivan, can get a bit on the gruesome side with very detailed accounts of all the nasty things people can do to each other. This one skips over most of the gore and it’s much more an international spy thriller–James Bond meets Mission Impossible.

Gabriel has been collecting a large list of ‘friends’ whose sense of right and wrong and what laws to abide by vary greatly. This time around he gets them all to help him pull off the worlds biggest heist. He started it all because his friend Isherwood happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Julian Isherwood went to a villa in Italy to discuss the sale of some artwork and what he found was artwork of a different kind. The man he went to see had been beaten to death by professionals. This put Julian in a bad spot and it was used to get Gabriel to look into the matter. Apparently the dead man was a fence for priceless stolen paintings, and the rumors were he was selling a very sought after piece, which might have had something to do with his demise. Someone has been buying up all the stolen artwork they can lay their hands on and this is a common way for the rich to hide money for safekeeping.

Gabriel gets all the criminals he has had associations with together to put on a sting like none other. The first order of business is to try and identify this mysterious buyer.  To do so, Gabriel needs a very tempting piece of artwork and the easiest way to get a stolen painting to sell is to steal one.

While I like all of the Gabriel Allon books I have read, this is one I’ve enjoyed reading the most.  I don’t mind the dark ones, with the gruesome details of death and torture, but this one proves Gabriel doesn’t need it. I do like how each book in the series targets people and places to showcase the terrible things governments and other groups do to people because they can. Silva is trying and I believe succeeding in bringing to light many atrocities that have and continue to happen around the globe.

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Caleb is a software engineer and amateur woodworker living in southern Minnesota. He has more hobbies than he has time or money for, and enjoys his quiet time reading.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Harper. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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Review: Fools by Joan Silber

[ 2 ] September 14, 2014

05book"Fools" by Joan Silber.Reviewed by Alisha Churbe

Joan Silber’s newest, Fools, is a collection of six short stories.  Silber’s short stories are long stories, rich in character and plot.  Her stories cover large expanses of time (years in some cases).  Her stories are told from the point of view of a single character, many times starting centered on an event, strolling quickly to another time and place and always ending in a different time and place.  The stories illustrate the bulk of the character’s life, showing the importance of certain decisions and actions, showing how the consequences change them.  The stories are encompassing of the character’s life, but they are not so overwhelming that they would be hard to digest.  The shifts are subtle and flow easily.  Though the stories ​are longer than the average, they are concise, not meandering and are well worth the time.

The book has a loose linking of characters but each story can easily stand on its own.  The linking of the stories is subtle, not overly deliberate.  It is the theme of being a fool that runs throughout and binds the stories together.  Silber illuminates foolishness differently throughout, whether a fool for money/wealth, love, or moral principles.

The title story, “Fools,” runs for the first 57 pages of the book.  It is a lengthy and interesting story about a group of friends, young anarchist rebels, including the infamous Dorothy Day before she was famous. In another of the stories, “Two Opinions,” the main character, Louise narrates the story beginning with visiting her father in prison when she was nine years old.  We follow Louise through her first love at sixteen and marriage to a man named Ted when she was in her second year of college.  The story continues to move swiftly through time, pausing to show the reader important events and ends years later.  Other stories span continents.

Silber continues to ​amaze and show her strengths as a writer with this newest collection. Fools is of the same caliber as her previous works and no doubt she’ll have more great collections in the future. The stories are very well written, addictive and immersing.

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Part-time fiction writer, Alisha Churbe lives in Portland, Oregon. In the rare instances when you can pry her away from books, Alisha can be found travelling in foreign countries, cooking, or hiking with her husband Michael and dog Euro.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by W.W. Norton & Company. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.

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