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Review: The Santa Society By Kristine McCord

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I did it. I read my first Santa book before Thanksgiving. Well, seeing as how I have been known to watch The Santa Claus in the summer if I am feeling particularly down, I suppose it isn’t that surprising. And I have to say, as a huge fan of the whole Santa thing, this was a great start to my Christmas Santa Book Season!

 

 “It is my duty to carry the Gift to the world, whatever the price.”

Erin Sinclair lives in the lap of depression, even if she does live in a town called ‘Christmasville.’ She left her home at eighteen, as many teenagers do, a victim of teenage angst and the guilt of her father’s death when she was ten. It wasn’t her fault that he was driving to pick her up from school in a snowstorm when he died in a car crash. But children never understand that they aren’t to blame when horrific things happen, do they?

Now, her mother is gone as well, and Erin missed the last decade she could have spent with her, living in New York and working as a court stenographer while her mother stayed in Christmasville.

I turned 30 years old the day I killed my mother.

Alone, depressed, drenched in guilt for allowing her mother to die from breast cancer at home as she wished instead of forcing her into treatment, and feeling as if her life has faded away in front of her eyes, Erin is irritated when the cowboy propped up in front of the coffee shop early one morning walks away from her, apparently leaving his overgrown ‘maybe mastiff(?)’ tied to a tree in front of the shop. Klaus is huge, looks like a cross between a mastiff and a chocolate lab and watches her sadly from the coffee shop window. Well, she can’t just leave him out in the cold, right? Claiming the dog isn’t his, at least the cowboy leaves her his business card with the number for his real estate office. She is more than ready to get on with her life, whatever it will be, just as soon as she sells her mother’s house and all the memories it contains.

Cue high, tittering elven laughter… (screech! Sound of tires coming to a sudden halt…)

Make that cowboy laughter! Well, what do you expect when Santa lives in the mountains of Idaho?! (Insert big grin here)

The Santa Society is a wonderful Christmas story, full to the brim with hope, faith and love. But it is different than the ‘so sweet it makes your teeth rot on contact’ stories you may have read before. Similar to It’s A Wonderful Life there is human evil here – pride, vanity, hatred, and a Society developed to protect the meaning of Christmas – which may just be the downfall of everything Christmas stands for.

Erin’s mother’s last wish was that she not lose her faith in Christmas, in love, or in the reason for the season. And Reason McCloud may just help her find those things again.

He’s the Reason for the Season.

Reason, or Santa Claus to those in the know, stands for everything that is good, right and truthful in humanity. But will the corruption of those around him destroy Santa, Erin, and the true meaning of Christmas?

This book is a total and complete joy to read, filled with hope and joy, but also suspense and terror, making it more than just another Santa story – in a Very Good Way!

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Review: White Plague by James Abel -Stunning!

White Plague by James AbelAnd I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. – Revelations 6:8 – King James Bible

Paneloux is a man of learning, a scholar. He hasn’t come in contact with death; that’s why he can speak with such assurance of the truth-with a capital T. But every country priest who visits his parishioners and has heard a man gasping for breath on his deathbed thinks as I do. He’d try to relieve human suffering before trying to point out its goodness. -Albert Camus – The Plague Part 2

There is no act of treachery or meanness of which a political party is not capable; for in politics there is no honour. – Benjamin Disraeli
What is the point to winning a war – if all your subjects are rotting in their graves? For me, no ideological or political conviction would justify the sacrifice of a human life. For me, the value of life is absolute, with no concessions. It’s not negotiable. Edgar Ramirez

It begins, as do many things, death amongst them, with silence. The pleas for help stopped coming just after five in the morning, Washington time. The Pentagon staffers cleared for handling sensitive messages sat in horror for a moment and then tried other ways to reach the victims. Nothing worked, so they called the director, who phoned me.

And what follows horrified me, chilled me to the bone, and kept me reading four hours past when I should, by all reasonable measure, put it down and gone to bed. And horrifying the story is, for a lot of different reasons, but mainly? For the absolute, gut wrenching reality of it all. And just how true it is – how likely that something like this will happen.

Lt. Colonel Joe Rush gets the call at 1am, Anchorage time, as he pounds the streets, running from sleep, running from memories. Memories of decisions which saved lives, while taking others. Which left him with the weight of the world on his shoulders, the blackness of grief in his heart. Two weeks. Just two weeks until he retires. And now, this. A new submarine prototype has surfaced in the Arctic – and it is burning. One-hundred-fifty seven souls, trapped on the ice. And no one is near enough to reach them except the single ice breaker the US government has funded to handle the vast spaces of the Arctic waters. Colonel Rush, MD and virology specialist, must get to them as quickly as possible if they are to save the people and salvage the submarine before Chinese or Russian icebreakers claim it for their own.

Monster storms, crushing ice, bone breaking cold – all are threats which Rush, the few Marines who accompany him, and the few Coast Guard sailors handling the Icebreaker Wilmington must meet and overcome to reach their burned and stranded submariners. The sick submariners. For a sickness is burning through the crew, a sickness that no one can identify.

It becomes a race, a race to save the people, to save the submarine, and to avert a single incident that could be the linchpin starting World War III. For as global warming breaks up the ice, opening trade routes and access to unknown stores of oil, gems, metals and trade routes, the political machinations have begun. Great beasts of war are gathering, stomping their hooves, waving their swords, and foaming at the mouths for the blood of those they would call ‘enemy’.

What is the sickness? Where did it come from? And more importantly, can it be cured before the political machine does the unthinkable in a move to ascertain it’s own power? And who aboard the Wilmington is a traitor? And how high do the traitor’s contacts go – and to whom does he report?

No one becomes depraved all at once. – JUVENAL, Satires

All these questions and more make this a hair-raising, edge-of-your-seat military suspense/thriller beyond compare. With it’s roots dug deeply into current political and military policy, White Plague is, beyond a doubt, the BEST military suspense thriller I have read this year.

Highly recommended.

I received the book from Penguin’s First To Read program in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own and are not affected by this fact. For more information on First To Read, click.

Review: Exchange of Fire (An SBG Novel) by P.A. DePaul

Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. – George Washington

1. A mercenary shall not have the right to be a combatant or a prisoner of war. – Art 47. Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977

Many military officials reportedly (also) expressed concerns that the security contractors were trigger-happy and “out-of-control cowboys who alienated the same Iraqis the military is trying to cultivate.” Defense Secretary Gates said that the contractors were at “cross purposes” with the military goals, and he suggested they be put under his authority. Opening Statement of Chairman Henry A.Waxman, in US Congress, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Hearing on Private Security Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, hearings, 110th Cong., 2nd sess., October 2, 2007

 

exchangeI first found Exchange of Fire on Reading In Pajamas and was intrigued. I love a “Kick Butt and Take Names” heroine, and Wraith definitively qualifies. A sharpshooting badass with a steady hand and a sharp eye, Wraith is part of a four-man (well, two men and two women, but you get the idea) with a super-secret, blackest-of-the-black private . . . well, corporation doesn’t really describe it. More like “If you even think that you know anything about the possibility of this group even existing, they will never find your body” sort of thing. Anyway! Nasty, nasty with razorblades on top.

But don’t think that this is all a bad deal. When the US government needs the really nasty, vicious, “how can they call these creatures humans” taken care of, they call SBG. And SBG gets it done. So, when they needed a cartel taken out that specialized in sex trafficking of young girls, Wraith, Magician, Talon and Romeo, and their leader, Cappy, are sent to Mexico to take care of the problem. However, after six months of chasing the cartel members, and losing young girls to short, horrific experiences, something had to be done. And what happened damaged Magician almost beyond salvaging – but it destroyed Wraith.

Six months later, the story picks up with Wraith living in a ‘bolt hole’ in the Carolinas, working for Grady, an ex-Marine who now runs a games center, full to bursting with go-cart tracks, a monster arcade room, paintball arena, and all the other wonderful, safe, fun goodies that kids and teenagers swoon over. They both have their damaged pasts to overcome, but Wraith’s makes Grady’s look like child’s play. But they are going to have to work together, because the monsters are coming – and they are out for blood.

The story was excellent. Fast action, two strong, capable women with guns and knives and scars pushed all my “Yeah, Baby!!!” buttons. When Magician, Talon, Romeo and Cappy come back on the scene, it is with a level of heart that was real and touching, with a dose of kicking Wraith’s ass, which she certainly deserved. They all have to pull together to get the bad guys. And the bad guys aren’t all on the other side – there is plenty of political backstabbing (with real knives).

DePaul does an exceptional job of weaving the problems of the American tendency towards uncontrolled, private black-ops corporations into the story in a brilliantly realistic manner. Some people will do anything for power, and absolute power, with absolutely no oversight and lots and lots of guns and ammo is more dangerous than we care to admit. The other thing that was handled with a deft touch was PTSD and how it affects the strongest, steadiest soldiers. There is only so much that any human being can handle, no matter how intensive their training.

The only drawback for me, honestly, was Grady. For an ex-Marine, I found him to be, well, let’s just say he lacked sac. My Marine adoptive father would have kicked his backside from here to California. “Geeze, would you like a little cheese with that whine? You would think he went over to the sandbox and played with little pink unicorns and fairies in tutus . . . Just sayin’. Other than wimpy boy, everything else about the book was rock solid, but Mr. Crybaby Pants dropped it a half-star for me. Pfft. I liked Talon lots better! 😉

I received a copy directly from Ms. Depaul in return for a realistic review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

About The Author:

P.depaulA. DePaul is a multi-genre romance author including paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense. As an avid lover of stories, you can pretty much bet her nose is either stuck in a book or in front of a computer madly typing as she listens to the voices in her head (In her world it’s perfectly natural for her characters to tell her their tale so she can put it down on paper to their satisfaction).

dat face!
Check my Website here!

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Review: Exchange of Fire (An SBG Novel) by P.A. DePaul

Over grown military establishments are under any form of government inauspicious to liberty, and are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty. – George Washington

1. A mercenary shall not have the right to be a combatant or a prisoner of war. – Art 47. Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol I), 8 June 1977

Many military officials reportedly (also) expressed concerns that the security contractors were trigger-happy and “out-of-control cowboys who alienated the same Iraqis the military is trying to cultivate.” Defense Secretary Gates said that the contractors were at “cross purposes” with the military goals, and he suggested they be put under his authority. Opening Statement of Chairman Henry A.Waxman, in US Congress, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Hearing on Private Security Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, hearings, 110th Cong., 2nd sess., October 2, 2007

 

exchangeI first found Exchange of Fire on Reading In Pajamas and was intrigued. I love a “Kick Butt and Take Names” heroine, and Wraith definitively qualifies. A sharpshooting badass with a steady hand and a sharp eye, Wraith is part of a four-man (well, two men and two women, but you get the idea) with a super-secret, blackest-of-the-black private . . . well, corporation doesn’t really describe it. More like “If you even think that you know anything about the possibility of this group even existing, they will never find your body” sort of thing. Anyway! Nasty, nasty with razorblades on top.

But don’t think that this is all a bad deal. When the US government needs the really nasty, vicious, “how can they call these creatures humans” taken care of, they call SBG. And SBG gets it done. So, when they needed a cartel taken out that specialized in sex trafficking of young girls, Wraith, Magician, Talon and Romeo, and their leader, Cappy, are sent to Mexico to take care of the problem. However, after six months of chasing the cartel members, and losing young girls to short, horrific experiences, something had to be done. And what happened damaged Magician almost beyond salvaging – but it destroyed Wraith.

Six months later, the story picks up with Wraith living in a ‘bolt hole’ in the Carolinas, working for Grady, an ex-Marine who now runs a games center, full to bursting with go-cart tracks, a monster arcade room, paintball arena, and all the other wonderful, safe, fun goodies that kids and teenagers swoon over. They both have their damaged pasts to overcome, but Wraith’s makes Grady’s look like child’s play. But they are going to have to work together, because the monsters are coming – and they are out for blood.

The story was excellent. Fast action, two strong, capable women with guns and knives and scars pushed all my “Yeah, Baby!!!” buttons. When Magician, Talon, Romeo and Cappy come back on the scene, it is with a level of heart that was real and touching, with a dose of kicking Wraith’s ass, which she certainly deserved. They all have to pull together to get the bad guys. And the bad guys aren’t all on the other side – there is plenty of political backstabbing (with real knives).

DePaul does an exceptional job of weaving the problems of the American tendency towards uncontrolled, private black-ops corporations into the story in a brilliantly realistic manner. Some people will do anything for power, and absolute power, with absolutely no oversight and lots and lots of guns and ammo is more dangerous than we care to admit. The other thing that was handled with a deft touch was PTSD and how it affects the strongest, steadiest soldiers. There is only so much that any human being can handle, no matter how intensive their training.

The only drawback for me, honestly, was Grady. For an ex-Marine, I found him to be, well, let’s just say he lacked sac. My Marine adoptive father would have kicked his backside from here to California. “Geeze, would you like a little cheese with that whine? You would think he went over to the sandbox and played with little pink unicorns and fairies in tutus . . . Just sayin’. Other than wimpy boy, everything else about the book was rock solid, but Mr. Crybaby Pants dropped it a half-star for me. Pfft. I liked Talon lots better! 😉

About The Author:

P.depaulA. DePaul is a multi-genre romance author including paranormal fantasy and romantic suspense. As an avid lover of stories, you can pretty much bet her nose is either stuck in a book or in front of a computer madly typing as she listens to the voices in her head (In her world it’s perfectly natural for her characters to tell her their tale so she can put it down on paper to their satisfaction).

dat face!
Check my Website here!

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addtogoodreads

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Review: Cheating Justice by Misty Evans and Adrienne Giordano

cheating justicePolitics have no relation to morals. -Niccolo Machiavelli
There is a point at which the law becomes immoral and unethical. That point is reached when it becomes a cloak for the cowardice that dares not stand up against blatant violations of justice. -Kurt Huber

Title: Cheating Justice
Series: The Justice Team (#2)
Authors: Misty Evans and Adrienne Giordan0
Release Date: July 21, 2014
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Book Summary:

~ The second novel in the exciting and bestselling Justice Team romantic suspense series!! ~While investigating a government cover-up, former FBI agent Mitch Monroe is framed for murder. A wanted man, Mitch has no choice but to stay off the grid, and he needs Special Agent Caroline Foster—the FBI’s top sniper and a woman who wants nothing to do with him—to clear his name.After sharing a single night of simmering passion with Mitch a year ago, Caroline hasn’t been able to get him out of her head. Or her heart. He’s jeopardized her job once…helping him now could end her career. But a friend has been murdered, and no matter how Caroline feels about Mitch, he’s not the killer. She needs answers, and she needs Mitch Monroe out of her life once and for all.On the run and with no one to turn to, Mitch and Caroline can’t fight the reigniting passion between them. She’ll lose her career if she proves Mitch is innocent…he’ll lose his life if she doesn’t.

Review:

What do you do when everything you thought you knew about truth, about justice, about the very people tasked with protecting what is good and just in the world . . . is wrong. Deeply and irreparably wrong. When everything is falling apart, and good people are dying – all for the sake of hiding a horrendous political cluster fuck.

This is the second in the Justice Team series. In the first, Stealing Justice Justice “Grey” Greystone was fired from the FBI for insubordination. We learn a bit more about Grey in this second volume, but this one actually revolves around two different characters from that book, Mitch Monroe, former FBI golden boy now turned fugitive from the law, and Caroline Foster, FBI agent and FBI SWAT team sharpshooter

Monroe is trying desperately to find out who set up his best friend and fellow FBI agent, Tommy Nusco. Nusco, seconded to the ATF in New Mexico has ended up dead in the street, and upper management seems determined to brand Tommy as a traitor to his country, a rouge agent selling automatic weapons to drug dealers and Mexican gunrunners. When Monroe’s other best friend, Kemp Rodgers, winds up dead after a secret meeting with Monroe in Rock Creek Park, the situation becomes even more dire.

Along with Grey and Monroe’s former partner, Caroline, Monroe and his scruffy yet loyal band of misfits find themselves embroiled in political intrigue and a vast coverup which reaches to the very top levels of the government. Who to turn to, who to trust, is entirely unknown as the depth and breadth of the coverup leads to more murders and deeper levels of governmental malfeasance.

Evans and Giordano have crafted an exceptional political thriller. Yes, yes, I know they call it “Romantic Suspense” and there is some romance in there, as what appears to be a long time attraction between Mitch and Caroline comes to a head. but I was much more impressed by the political story that Monroe, Grey, Caroline and ex-ATF agent Brice Brennan are faced with. Suspenseful, thrilling, and with an exceptional degree of political knowledge <em>Cheating Justice </em>is very much a novel for our times, pointing out the corruption inherent in the modern political system.Highly recommended. i will be downloading the first in the series, and will be watching for a possible third.

Excerpt:

“I always said you had the best ass in the FBI.”

Her body froze. Eleven months, five days and—she did the math—twelve hours had passed since she’d heard that voice. The one she’d thought about time and again after his last brief visit to her apartment, and she still managed to be equal parts pissed off, concerned and flat-out heartbroken. That voice could only belong to one person. Thus the remark about her ass and—wow—she always knew he had a set of stones, but this was too much even for Mitch Monroe. The man she’d spent all these months trying to forget. Months of burying herself in cases, months of begging her boss for every available opportunity to keep her mind occupied, months of a busy life that didn’t allow for downtime.

Or thoughts of Mitch.

Without turning, she picked up her weapon. “Well, look what the cat dragged in. A girl puts her career on the line for you and you don’t call, you don’t write, nothing. To say the least, your technique needs work.”

And then he laughed. She’d waited months to hit him with that line and he laughed. Classic Mitch. She closed her eyes and—forget that he was a federal fugitive now wanted for murder—she’d kill him herself and be done with the whole affair.

Mitch, a murderer? She couldn’t believe it. No matter what the White House was spinning about Kemp Rodgers’ death, Mitch wouldn’t kill his friend.

Then, again, she’d been Mitch’s friend once…

Finally, she turned, bracing herself for whatever disguise might greet her, but found none. Brave.

As usual.

She took in his long brown hair pulled back in a low ponytail, his dark eyes and ripped jeans, and shook her head. “You’re insane for coming here.”

He shrugged. “It’s a private range. Not like I walked into Quantico.”

It wasn’t enough that he’d almost destroyed her career when he’d first started working The Lion case, now he wanted to have a second go at it. He was a fugitive wanted for murder and she was an FBI agent. She should arrest him.

Yet, she stood waiting for him to say something that would make a damned difference. I’m sorry? I didn’t do it? Anything that would erase the idea that he could have murdered his friend.

She set her rifle on the table behind her, slid the bolt open. Not loaded. She knew it wasn’t, but she checked anyway. Always.

Mitch shuffled behind her.

Too bad. He could wait like she’d waited for him all these months.

Her canvas carry case sat on the bench seat. Like many people, she preferred canvas over hard plastic because the softer material didn’t make the rifle sweat. She dug through the case for her lens covers, popped them on, set the rifle into the case—bolt upward—and zipped it.

She’d clean the rifle later. For her, keeping a weapon in top working order meant cleaning it after every use. Even if only one shot had been fired, her weapons got cleaned. Every time.

She sensed Mitch moving closer, stirring the air around her, upsetting the energy, letting her know he was near. He had that way about him. Sometimes good, sometimes not.

“I need your help.”

Of course he did. Should have known. Radio silence for eleven months and now he wanted her help. “I should shoot you and dump your body in the Reflecting Pool.”

“Yeah, you should.”

She spun and—crack!—smacked him, sending his head sideways and making her hand sting. She’d never physically attacked anyone before and she couldn’t say it felt right or just, but unleashing it felt good. To let him know he’d hurt her. “We were friends. I helped you and you disregarded me.”

Disregarded you?” Mitch slid a hand over his cheek. “I’ve stayed away and I’m sorry. But what, Caroline? You want to do lunch or hit the shooting range with me? A guy wanted for assaulting your boss and now a federal fugitive?” Gently, he knocked on her head. “Think about it. I was protecting you.”

She didn’t need his protection. “I’m mad at you.”

“Atta girl.”

God, he was annoying. “You had a good reason to take a swing at Donaldson when he threatened you during The Lion case, but honest to God, Mitch, I think he should have swung back and ended it right there instead of trying to throw you in jail. But you should have manned up and never run from the charges, so whatever this is, I can’t help you.”

“Tommy Nusco.”

“You murdered him, too?”

Surprisingly, he blanched. “I didn’t kill anyone. I need to know what went down with Tommy.”

Oh, please. He really had lost his mind if he thought she’d touch that subject. That involved ATF and the State of New Mexico and she wasn’t about to step into that snake pit. “You better worry about what went down with Kemp Rodgers and why the White House is after you. Turn yourself in, Mitch.”

“Kemp told me the White House is buzzing about Executive Privilege being invoked on Tommy’s case. A few hours later, he’s dead. Put two and two together, Caroline. There’s a cover-up in the works and what happened to Tommy is at the heart of it.”

She faced him, still hating that he stood a good six inches taller and managed to make her feel small. She folded her arms and stepped forward, got right into his space. “No.”

“Whatever they’re concocting about Tommy is bullshit.”

“I don’t know that.”

“Yeah, you do. When we all worked together, we hung out. You knew him.”

“Not that well.”

He rolled his eyes in that typical I’m-Mitch-Monroe-and-I’m-bored way of his. “He was not dirty. Whatever he was doing, the government is letting a dead agent take the heat. Why not? He’s dead anyway. Doesn’t matter that he was a decorated officer. The government obviouslyneeds to clean up a mess and—” he inched closer, tilted his head and stared right into her eyes “—I know all about how the government cleans up a mess.”

Back away. She should, but that would play into what he wanted. He wanted to control this conversation. His looming presence used to be enough that she’d give him that control.

Not this time.

She tilted her head the opposite direction, eased out a half-smile. “Mitch?”

“Yes?”

“Screw you.”

She turned her back to him and scooped up her rifle case. Right now, she needed to walk away and not let him talk her into something that would wreck her career.

Buy Links: 

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Facebook Party

Misty and Adrienne will be hosting a week-long Facebook Party on the Justice Team Series page which will include several giveaways each day! Details will be announced on page as they are available.

Link to Justice Team Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JusticeTeamSeries?ref_type=bookmark.

About the Authors:

Misty Evans:Misty Evans Photo

USA Today bestselling Author Misty Evans has published over twenty novels and writes romantic suspense, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance. As a writing coach, she helps other authors bring their books – and their dreams of being published – to life.

The books in her Super Agent series have won a CataNetwork Reviewers’ Choice Award, CAPA nominations, the New England Reader’s Choice Bean Pot Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2010 and the ACRA Heart of Excellence Reader’s Choice Award for Best Romantic Suspense in 2011.

Her Witches Anonymous series was dubbed a Fallen Angel Reviews Recommended Read. The Super Agent Series, Witches Anonymous Series, and the Kali Sweet Series have been on multiple Amazon Kindle bestsellers lists. Her culinary romantic mystery, THE SECRET INGREDIENT, and the first book in her Deadly series, DEADLY PURSUIT, are both USA TODAY bestsellers.

Misty likes her coffee black, her conspiracy stories juicy, and her wicked characters dressed in couture. When not reading or writing, she enjoys music, movies, and hanging out with her husband, twin sons, and two spoiled puppies.

Connect with Misty: Website / NewsletterFacebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Pinterest

***

Adrienne Giordano:Adrienne Giordano Headshot

USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Giordano writes romantic suspense and mystery.  She is a Jersey girl at heart, but now lives in the Midwest with her workaholic husband, sports obsessed son and Buddy the Wheaten Terrorist (Terrier). She is a co-founder of Romance University blog and Lady Jane’s Salon-Naperville, a reading series dedicated to romantic fiction.

Connect with Adrienne:  Website / Newsletter / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Street Team

Giveaway:

There will be a tour-wide giveaway of a $25.00 Amazon Gift Card and a Justice Team Series Swag Bag

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the tour!

July 21, 2014

Becky on Books…and Quilts

So Many Reads

Ramblings From This Chick

A Closet Full of Books

TBQ’s Book Palace

 

July 22, 2014

Cricket’s Chirps

Musings From An Addicted Reader

So I Read This Book Today

Blogging by Liza

Omnimystery Reviews

July 23, 2014

According to Squenn

Foxylutely Book Reviews

Insightful Minds Reviews

Read Your Writes Book

Just The Write Stuff

July 24, 2014

Em & M Books

What I’m Reading

Reading On The Rocks

Romance Reviews Today

Doing Some Reading

July 25, 2014

Amy Manemann’s Blog

Romance Junkies

Long and Short Reviews

July 26, 2014

Just Romantic Suspense

The Book Nympho

Brooke Blogs

Book Passion For Life

The Reading Cafe

Renee Entress’ Blog

 

Bring on the CHOCOLATE!!! Treasures, Demons, and Other Black Magic Cover Reveal!

 

Treasures, Demons, and Other Black Magic!

TREASURES_cover treasures_coverreveal_stockchocolate_comingsoon

OH, yummy! Now I am going to have to go make rich, gooey DARK Chocolate cupcakes, then find my athame and have a party! Yippee, skippee, Rah Rah YUM!!!!

 

Biography

Meghan Ciana Doidge is an award-winning writer based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. She has a penchant for bloody love stories, superheroes, and the supernatural. She also has a thing for chocolate, potatoes, and sock yarn.

Novels – After The Virus, Spirit Binder, Time Walker, Cupcakes, Trinkets, and Other Deadly Magic – Dowser #1, Trinkets, Treasures, and Other Bloody Magic – Dowser #2, Treasures, Demons, and Other Black Magic – Dowser #3

Novellas/Shorts – Love Lies Bleeding and The Graveyard Kiss

WARNING: author has been known to manipulate characters with chocolate, sex, and fantastical plotting. Readers beware http://author.to/meghancianadoidge

 Linkscupcake

Blog, www.madebymeghan.ca

Twitter, @mcdoidge

Facebook, Meghan Ciana Doidge

NEW RELEASE MAILING LIST

Amazon Author Page

Goodreads Author Page

meg

Mark Your Calendar! Thursday Is Cupcake Day!

dowserbanner
Check out the first two. Like chocolate, you won’t be able to resist the third!

I can hardly wait! going to go back and give the first two a quick read so that I am prepared for the next!!

And don’t forget Meghan’s other wonderful books! These are new covers for the Dowser series, but her other works have great covers as well, and you can even see the old-style cover for Cupcakes below.

doidge
Click for Meghan’s Goodreads page!

Review: The Chase by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg

chase
Chase ’em
Catch ’em
Bring ’em down.

“Money and corruption are ruining the land, crooked politicians betray the working man, pocketing the profits and treating us like sheep, and we’re tired of hearing promises that we know they’ll never keep.” – Ray Davies

“The beast for me is greed. Whether you read Dante, Swift, or any of these guys, it always boils down to the same thing: the corruption of the soul.” – Ben Nicholson

Nick and Kate are a mismatched pair. A world famous thief and con artist, paired with a solid, principled FBI Agent. Wow. I immediately went to Neal Caffrey onWhite Collar“, a television show where a world famous thief and con artist played by Matt Bomer (who can’t love those blue eyes?) is paired with a solid, principled FBI agent after the thief is caught by said agent. The FBI Agent in White Collar, Peter Burke, played by Tim DeKay is male, a married man with a gorgeous wife, Elizabeth (Tiffani Thiessen) and a yellow lab – the perfect FBI family. But with Kate, of course, you have the possibility of a “romance” unlike with Nick and Neal. Having captured Nick, Kate’s job now is to partner up with Nick and solve highly complex white collar crimes.

In this case, the job is to steal back the famous Bronze Rooster originally stolen from the century-old Zodiac fountain in the Imperial Gardens of the Old Summer Palace in Beijing – and later stolen from the Smithsonian. Oh, the government knows it was stolen – they replaced it with a nearly exact replica to hide the theft and hide any embarrassment and political strife caused by the theft.

Problem is, now the Chinese government wants it back. And the man who had it stolen, and hidden away in his underground bunker filled with items from the most infamous art thefts in history? None other than Carter Grove, ex-chief of staff to the previous President of the United States. A man who is now head of the infamous “BlackRhino” paramilitary organization.

“While he was chief of staff he threw lucrative defense contracts their (BlackRhino) way and encouraged the president to wage wars.” Jake O’Hare – The Chase

Traveling from Scotland to Shanghai and back to the US, Nick and Kate battle “BlackRhino” (sound familiar?) to retrieve the Bronze Rooster. When a clueless Smithsonian employee hands over the fake rooster to the Chinese government via Chinese multibillionaire Stanley Fu, whose A380 superjumbo jet is better tricked out than Air Force One, Nick and Kate find themselves hiding in the trunk of a 1969 bright red Dodge Charger Daytona (moan) and safecracking, killing, fighting and running through the streets of Shanghai in order to retrieve the fake and replace it with the original – and then get away.

“The value of art to me is who owns it, how hard it is to steal, and how looking at it makes me feel.” Nick Fox – The Chase

Wow. That sounds SO much like Nick Caffrey… Anyway! This was a quick read, and not having read the Stephanie Plum series in quite some time, I was reminded how Evanovich likes to use comedy to brighten up her stories, and this one did not disappoint in that aspect. It was also a hoot to recognize “Carter Grove” and his erstwhile companion who did eight years in the White House with a devastatingly poor record and a pattern of corruption which vies with that of any Mafia family, as well as the exploits of the men and women associated with “BlackRhino.”

“Because it’s not enough for BlackRhino that you know how to kill. It’s important that you like to do it.” – Jake O’Hare – The Chase

The theme of corruption, greed, and viciousness was well described and sickeningly accurate, which made me like the book possibly more than I would have otherwise. Its derivative nature was disappointing, but the funny parts and the sheer improbability of the story, along with the sharp pokes at previous US governmental officials, bumped it up another star for me.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in return for a realistic review. All opinions stated within are my own.

Review: Influential Magic by Deanna Chase

influenc
The cover is what caught my eye first – beautiful!
I look forward to the next.

I first came across Deanna Chase in 2012 with her book Haunted on Bourbon Street. The book, featuring Jade Calhoun, was set in New Orleans and features Jade, an empath, and a creative and interesting group of friends, including a couple of strip club owners, a coven, and couple of ghosts with very different agendas. Since then, I happily enjoyed both Witches of Bourbon Street and Demons of Bourbon Street. There are still two more (that I know of) in the series that I have already purchased and are sitting in my TBR pile waiting for their turn. And I am very much looking forward to them.

Influential Magic is also set in New Orleans, and is the first in a series subtitled Crescent City Fae. This new series stars Willow Rhoswen, owner of The Fated Cupcake and part-time vampire hunter for the Void. Oh, and she is also a faery – complete with wings and flight capabilities. Well, when she isn’t around vampires, whose walking death drains her earth magic, and thus her life force. A very uncomfortable position to be in when your evil faery auntie, who is also the Director of the Void policing agency partners you with a vampire in order to investigate dastardly deeds by the local vampire corporation. Especially when that vampire happens to be your ‘used-to-be-human’ boyfriend. A boyfriend, who suddenly dumped you with a quick text message (jerk!), then turns up later turned – literally.

What happens to Willow in this volume of the Crescent City series is a neat bit of creative urban fantasy, but it also carries an undercurrent of politics and xenophobia which reflects what is happening in this world, this reality, even now. I am, admittedly, not a ‘vampire groupie’ as so many are these days. Been there, done that, would really like for that whole ‘cold, dead, walking corpses’ to be over already. I mean, come on – have you ever felt a real corpse? Gross. I couldn’t imagine kissing cold, dead lips, much less getting down and dirty with other parts! However, in Chase’s alternate universe, her vampires are, though still cold and walking dead, much more ‘real’ people than others in the genre, with lives and families whom they love – even if they are still overwhelmingly entitled, making them both vicious and brutally efficient killers when crossed.

Overall, I really liked Willow. She takes a lot of damage, both physically and emotionally in this first book, and overall she handles it well. I did find her rather naïve at times, railing against those who would take care of issues in a vigilante fashion, while openly acknowledging that the governmental agencies are deeply corrupt. At the same time, I honestly admired her for understanding the siren song of power and how it can so easily corrupt.

The fantasy storyline is creative, well written, and believable as an alternative reality of a world which evolved under magical conditions, while still aligning closely with our own. There is a bit of a triangle aspect, between Willow and David, the vamp ex boyfriend and Talisen, her childhood friend and mentor who is another faery. The triangle seems to correct itself at the end, and I honestly hope that the concept doesn’t carry on through the other books, as I find those sorts of story lines to be crutches for poor story development. However, the Shih Tzu that turns into a wolf? Awesome! And I hope that Willow will be spending more time in her bakery, creating magically infused cupcakes, and more time with her best friend, Phoebe, a witch. There were a lot of ends left free, leaving room for a great deal of really good story development as we learn more about Willow, her skills, and her family and friends. And having listened to the Audible Edition, narrated by Gabra Zackman, one of my favorite narrators of all time, there was a whole other level of enjoyment that I was able to gain from the book.  And right now, Influential Magic is only $1.99 for the Audible Edition! What’s not to like? Especially when it is also text-to-speech enabled for the Kindle edition. I prefer the Audible editions, as I can download them onto my Zune and pop it into my pocket while I am doing other things, but having it in both editions means I can read it any way I wish. Cool…

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