Rescuing Riley was a fun and exciting adventure - even if it seemed a little over the top in the unrealistic realm of things. When Riley comes to visit her best friend Liza and finds out she’s disappeared, she is set on finding her and figuring out just what the heck is going on. But Liza’s cousin, Ex-Navy SEAL Joshua, along with his service dog are supposed to keeping an eye on her.
There are tons of roadblocks along the way, including an annoying assistant that never seems to tell the truth. And when Riley repeatedly runs headlong into trouble even though she’s warned not to - I started to get a little annoyed with her too. If the SEAL and the FBI are telling you it’s dangerous, then you might want to listen to them.
I enjoyed some of the story, and didn’t enjoy the rest of the story. I’m glad I read it because the Gold Coast Retrievers is a great series, and I love how the characters connect with each other from book to book. I just wish I could have liked this one a little bit more.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
I love a good holiday romance – especially one that manages to make the holiday an integral part of the story without losing track of the people and things surrounding it. A Dash of Christmas does an amazing job of bringing out the Christmas without letting it take over too much.
Emery Monaghan is having a really rough go of life right now – and because of her crappy fiancé’s governmental position, it’s all out there for the public to see. When she sees a chance to hide away from all the prying eyes and get away from her horrid family and maybe to a little good, she jumps at the chance. The chance leads her right into the not-so-waiting arms of Carter Montgomery – chef extraordinaire – who has promised to make a charity cookbook for his mother.
These two have a past, and it’s a fun one. Both jealous of each other for a variety of reasons, both secretly liking each other, but always seeming to be at odds and arguing with each other. As they work together, they open up about their dreams, desires, pasts, and present. All while planning a huge holiday dinner to test and show off the recipes they’ve planned for the charity cookbook.
But Carter is driven, and he has a new restaurant that he must open – to prove to the world that he will never stop succeeding. And Emery is determined to prove she can stand on her own and make her own decisions. But are exceedingly stubborn, and when an exceptionally heated argument drags into not speaking to each other, I began to wonder if it would all work out.
Samantha Chase does a fantastic job of bringing our couple together, pushing them apart, and making them better people. All while weaving an intricate web of family and holiday shenanigans around them, setting the stage for a beautiful romance with just the right touch of Christmas magic.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**
Title: Panic (Mass Hysteria #1)
Author: Dawn Brazil
Genre: Young Adult, SciFi Romance
Mass Hysteria is a trilogy of young adult romantic/science-fiction serial novels that tell a continuous story. The books must be read in order, to fully understand the unfolding story.
High school can be hard, especially when your favorite horror movie becomes your reality…
High-School senior, Elizabeth calculates the likelihood of finding love to the probability of starring in a slasher film with her best friend, until she meets Brian Thompson. Love isn’t the only thing that eludes Elizabeth, however. Several threatening notes that promise her demise make a long life also questionable.
When Elizabeth’s best friend shares an article about the death of a girl in Italy, she dismisses it. As more girls are murdered, and cryptic messages are tucked in her locker, she realizes something sinister might be at play. Why? Each of the slain girls look like her.
Excerpt from Panic
© 2019 Dawn Brazil
The single slip of manila paper says only two words: “your next.”
Right away, a few things are apparent: this person’s command of the English language is severely lacking; the scrawl is most likely that of a teenage boy or a toddler of any gender; and thirdly, this note is different from the others. I glance around the brick pillar at the front of our house. The street is silent; not one person is outside from where I stand.
I ball the paper up and toss it in my purse.
I slide into the car beside Stacey and we head to the restaurant—in absolute silence. Silence has many forms. The form we exhibit is awkward—at least for best friends.
We both know why we’re going today. Stacey doesn’t agree with my sentiment for the day, though. I’ve read that if you toss a being outside their natural habitat, one of two things will happen—they will rise to the occasion, or die.
I’m a fighter. I should be able to master the social landscape of female teenagerdom, but it seems I can’t. I flounder—a lot. I cannot explain my high intellect and my innate ability to elicit cringes or gasps of shock when I speak.
Today, that changes.
Once we’re at the restaurant, Stacey says only four words: “This is ridiculous, hon.”
I disagree and we head inside to meet the other girls.
We arrive mid-joke. So, I time my laugh to spill from my lips at the perfect moment.
Except, the sensation rises from my abdomen like gravel tumbling through my mouth. Stacey turns, her lips pursed tight. The other girls stop giggling. Their purrs of laughter are in deep contrast to my piercing cackle.
They frown in unison—everyone but Stacey. She has an ‘I’m sorry I got you into this mess, hon’ look on her face. Though lacking in most social skills, I’m able to read their expressions: ‘What the hell was Stacey thinking, bringing the schizoid?’
I’m painfully aware something is off with me. On a scale of weirdness, I’m not Pinhead. I’m more Carrie, without the powers. I’d change this perception of oddness I convey, but I don’t know where to begin to work on myself. That’s why I’m here today.
Glancing around the table, I attempt a quick recovery. Dogs. Girls like dogs. “I have a dog. He’s the cutest little Pomeranian.”
My words are met with oohs and awws, but Stacey shakes her head once, slightly. I don’t know why she does it. I’ve hit a chord with these girls. I block her shaking head and the bombardment of senseless information streaming through my mind, and continue talking. “He’s a handsome little fur ball.”
“I love dogs,” one of Stacey’s friends says. “My Jax is too freaking cute.”
“My FeFe is too adorbs. What’s your dog’s name, Elizabeth?” Melissa, the closest girl to me asks.
“Norman Bates. He’s a—”
“You named your dog Norman Bates?” Melissa asks.
“Like, isn’t that the crazy dude from that movie? The one who cross-dressed like his mom and like killed everyone?” someone else asks.
“It’s kinda weird… well, a lot weird that you named your dog after a homicidal maniac,” Melissa says. No one speaks after her comment. They all stare in opposite directions.
I almost laugh at their reaction, but stop myself. A rush of thoughts hurry through my head: Melissa’s eyes are the color of her heart—black. She’s a modern Cruella DeVille. She’ll trample over her own mother to get what she wants, which is always materialistic and selfish. She’s also beautiful, and she hates me but loves my best friend Stacey.
I shake my head discreetly. They act like I told them I’m naming my firstborn Freddie Krueger. Which I would do, if I could have kids.
I strum my fingers over my jean shorts and count in my head. Counting reminds me not to speak and further add to the awkwardness of the moment.
“Norman Bates is the best dog name, ever,” Stacey says. She gives me a wink. “More importantly, has anyone seen that new movie? You know… the new romance?” Stacey snaps her fingers like she can’t remember. “Oh, I forget the name. But I heard it’s hot—full of steamy love scenes…” Everyone starts talking, each girl stumbling over the other to get a word in. Like if they don’t articulate what they have to say straightaway, their lives might be in peril.
I don’t understand girls, even though I’ve been part of the gender my entire life.
About Dawn Brazil
Dawn wants to live in a world fully inhabited by fictional characters. She thinks fictional characters are cooler than real people. Except herself, of course. But since the world is not comprised of dreamy book boyfriends, she creates them for everyone to fawn over. Her debut novel, Finding Me, book 1 in the Finding Me series, released on March 3rd 2016.
When she is not writing, she can be found with her nose in a book - swooning over another book boyfriend, drying up tears from a recent heartbreak, or shouldering a wound she received in battle. She also loves to create magic in the kitchen with an array of inspiring dishes she pulls from Pinterest. Dawn lives in South Texas with her sports obsessed husband, three technology infatuated teenagers, and her great, big, colossal imagination.
She is a master juggler and is working on two other Young Adult standalone novels - a high fantasy tearjerker and a science fiction story with a romance that will make your heart ache.
And she is passionate about superheroes - especially Wonder Woman!
Enter to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a Signed copy of the Find Me Series
About Caryn Larrinaga
Caryn Larrinaga is an award-winning mystery, horror, and urban fantasy writer. Her debut novel, Donn's Hill, was awarded the League of Utah Writers 2017 Silver Quill in the adult novel category and was a 2017 Dragon Award finalist. Watching scary movies through split fingers terrified Caryn as a child, and those nightmares inspire her to write now. Her 90-year-old house has a colorful history, and the creaking walls and narrow hallways send her running (never walking) up the stairs. Exploring her fears through writing makes Caryn feel a little less foolish for wanting a buddy to accompany her into the tool shed. Caryn lives near Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and their clowder of cats. She is an active member of the League of Utah Writers and the Utah Chapter of the Horror Writers Association. Visit CarynLarrinaga.com for free short fiction and true tales of haunted places.
Follow Caryn Larrinaga Online
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub | Amazon | Goodreads
Enter to Win a $20 Amazon Gift Card!
Title: In Restless Dreams
Author: Wren Handman
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Sylvia is a normal girl with huge, normal problems–her mother’s attempted suicide; trying to make friends in a rich prep school where she doesn’t belong; whether or not to trust the cute boy with the dangerous eyes. She thinks that’s more than she can handle, but she tests the limits of her endurance when she learns that she is the long-awaited Phantasmer, a human who can change the fabric of Fairy simply by believing in a new story. Sylvia’s life is thrown off course as two warring Courts, the Seelie and Unseelie, both attempt to co-opt her gift to attack the other Court. All while she’s trying not to get kicked out of school for fighting. And it doesn’t help matters that the fairies begging for her help are both attractive young men–with their own agendas.
About Wren Handman
Wren Handman is a novelist, screenwriter, and playwright from the rainy west coast of Canada. Her newest novel, Command the Tides, is a fantasy action romance set in the invented land of Midvalen. Her short stories have been featured in such magazines as Crow Toes Quarterly, and such anthologies as Voice From The Planet. She is currently collaborating on the TV show The Switch, the world's first transgender sitcom.
I picked up Tyrabbisaurus Rex for my eight-year-old at PennedCon earlier this year and read it once evening before dinner. It was such a fun book. As an adult, I really enjoyed it, and when I got home, and my son read it, he enjoyed it as well.
“Cuddles,” as the children have named him, is a class pet, a rabbit that truly believes that it is a T-Rex. The book alternates between his POV and those of the children in his classroom. The rabbit’s chapters and internal dialog are hilarious and very entertaining as he tries to escape his captivity and try new things to nibble on.
The children all have their own opinions about Cuddles, and their chapters show those very well. From absolutely wanting nothing to do with him, to thinking he’s pretty cool but not that interesting, to wanting to spend all their time snuggling him – the students and Cuddles interact along with the teacher to create an entertaining story that delicately touches on quite a few things. From making friends, death in the family, self-esteem, and self-image (of the rabbit).
I highly recommend this for boys and girls in the early grade school years. It’d make an excellent read-along for adults and children to experience and talk about together.
About Kim Iverson Headlee
Kim Headlee lives on a farm in southwestern Virginia with her family, cats, goats, Great Pyrenees goat guards, and assorted wildlife. People and creatures come and go, but the cave and the 250-year-old house ruins--the latter having been occupied as recently as the mid-twentieth century--seem to be sticking around for a while yet.
Kim has been a published novelist since 1999 with the first edition of Dawnflight (Sonnet Books, Simon & Schuster) and has been studying the Arthurian legends for nigh on half a century.
Follow Kim Iverson Headlee Online:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | BookBub | Amazon | Goodreads | Smashwords
Enter to win one of these amazing prizes!
My daughter bought me this book for my birthday – and she knows what I like to read. Fairy tale adaptions are sooo much fun, and this take on Beauty & the Beast did a fantastic job.
The atmosphere of the book was exceedingly gothic, and the people and scenery seemed very French (to my uneducated eye). So the stage was set – and in comes Lucie, a girl looking to escape her step-father and find a way to earn her way in the most respectable of ways. She manages to find a job as a cleaning maid at Chateau Beaumont only to find that Chevalier de Beaumont is a monster of a person. He enjoys the misery and pain of others and looks only to further himself.
Enter the curse – the one we’ve seen many times. And suddenly the Chevalier is no more, and in his place is Beast. Lucie watches over Beast in a transformed state herself, but this is where the story takes a new and exciting turn of events.
I love how Lisa Jensen incorporated the roses and Beast’s love for them. I love the little twists and turns she put on the curse to make it unique and surprising. And I loved it when she introduced Rose. So we have two potential Beauties, which is not a way to make this some kinky ménage. It’s just a way to show Beast’s desire for companionship.
The ending was nothing like I expected at all. And I will also add a trigger warning for rape, suicide, and abortion topics.
A lot is going in The Woman in the Window. Anna fox has experienced a trauma, and now she has very severe agoraphobia. She wanders her house alone (living with just her cat) drinking and not quite taking her medication correctly. The circumstances leading up to her situation are vague, and we slowly learn everything as the story continues.
She passes her time watching her neighbors – like hardcore spying on them with a zoom lens - playing chess and learning French online, and talking to other agoraphobics in an online community. She’s happy – mostly – and chats with her family quite often.
A.J. Finn does a fantastic job of drawing you into Anna’s strange world and making you doubt everything you think you know. As we spiral through life and the strange things Anna has witnessed right along with her. I enjoyed being able to follow her train of thought. It brought me into her mind and emotional turmoil when she started doubting everything about herself.
While most of the book is a meandering journey through potential craziness, the end was a heart-pounding rush leading up to a gentle settling of sorts. Don’t expect too much action and thrills from this one. But don’t discount its ability to test what you believe right along with all the characters.
Title: Fade Unto Darkness
Author: Brandy Nacole
Genre: Historical Paranormal
All Hallows’ Eve, 1702.
A time of new traditions in a quaint Maryland colony. Anna anticipated a night of enchantment, instead she spots a ghost on the outskirts of town mocking their display.
Everything Anna has been taught warns her not to trust the apparition who calls himself Caspian. Yet she can’t fight her own curiosity when he offers to show her what lies beyond the veil of life and death.
Now, the clock is ticking. Can Anna find her way back to the land of the living before sunrise? Or will her essence be trapped forever in the valley of souls?
About Brandy Nacole
Gemini Brandy Nacole is a writer of urban fantasy books. She is the author of the Shadow World series and the Spiritual Discord series published by Ponahakeola Press. A reader from a young age, Brandy has always loved folklore and stories of beings that go bump in the night.
Brandy lives in Arkansas with her husband, three never stopping kids, two snooty cats, two very lazy bearded dragons, and one mellow turtle. She is a member of the Ozark Romance Authors in Springfield, Missouri. Whenever she’s not reading or writing, Brandy is spending her time outdoors wheeling, hiking, playing amateur photographer, and enjoying a good laugh.
Follow Brandy Online
Enter to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card