Friday, June 22, 2018

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: Singularity (The Jevin Banks Experience #2) by Steven James

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading. Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice and asks you to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader and share a non-spoilery sentence or two.

This week I'm featuring Singularity (The Jevin Banks Experience #2) by Steven James.

About the Book
When his friend is murdered, illusionist Jevin Banks is determined to find out what really happened. Drawn into a web of conspiracy and top-secret research on human consciousness, Jevin won't stop digging until the truth is revealed. Soon he uncovers a dark secret--one that could change the very fabric of human life on the planet.

Bristling with mystery, suspense, and intrigue, Singularity is the second riveting book in The Jevin Banks Experience. Readers will devour this scientific thriller, flipping pages late into the night until the final shocking page.
 




Book Beginning
15 miles northeast of Las Vegas, Nevada
Plyotech Cybernetics
Research & Development Facility
Sublevel 4
9:32 PM

"Cream? Sugar?"

"No. Black. Thank you." Thad Becker had learned early on in this business not to allow anyone to add things to his drinks or season what he ate. It was a delicate balance - showing trust and exhibiting prudence. But in the end you can either be careful of you can pay the price.

Friday 56 (56% on my Kindle)
"This is a dangerous world you're poking your nose into, Mr. Banks. I would suggest that you leave it alone, but I'm guessing that since you've come this far, that's not going to be enough to convince you."

What have you been reading lately?

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday: Murder at the Flamingo (A Van Buren and DeLuca Mystery) by Rachel McMillan

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights and discusses the books we're excited about that we've yet to read. Generally, they're books that are yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm featuring Murder at the Flamingo (A Van Buren and DeLuca Mystery) by Rachel McMillan releasing July 10, 2018.

About the Book
“Maybe it was time to land straight in the middle of the adventure…”

Hamish DeLuca has spent most of his life trying to hide the anxiety that appears at the most inopportune times -- including during his first real court case as a new lawyer. Determined to rise above his father’s expectations, Hamish runs away to Boston where his cousin, Luca Valari, is opening a fashionable nightclub in Scollay Square.  When he meets his cousin's “right hand man” Reggie, Hamish wonders if his dreams for a more normal life might be at hand.

Regina “Reggie” Van Buren, heir to a New Haven fortune, has fled fine china, small talk, and the man her parents expect her to marry. Determined to make a life as the self-sufficient city girl she’s seen in her favorite Jean Arthur and Katharine Hepburn pictures, Reggie runs away to Boston, where she finds an easy secretarial job with the suave Luca Valari. But as she and Hamish work together in Luca’s glittering world, they discover a darker side to the smashing Flamingo nightclub.

When a corpse is discovered at the Flamingo, Reggie and Hamish quickly learn there is a vast chasm between the haves and the have-nots in 1937 Boston—and that there’s an underworld that feeds on them both. As Hamish is forced to choose between his conscience and loyalty to his beloved cousin, the unlikely sleuthing duo work to expose a murder before the darkness destroys everything they’ve worked to build.

Why I Need It
I've read a couple of Rachel McMillan's novellas and really enjoyed them. I'm really excited to try this full length mystery from her. Plus, I love this time period! And just look at that cover! So gorgeous!

What upcoming release are you looking forward to?

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer TBR List


Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week I'm sharing books that are on my Summer TBR list. Some of them are new and upcoming releases and some are older books that I'm hoping to read this summer.

Thirst of Steel (The Tox Files #3) by Ronie Kendig
Dismantled centuries ago, the sword of Goliath is still rumored to thirst for its enemies' blood. Cole "Tox" Russell only wants to begin his life with Haven Cortes, but he must first complete a final mission: retrieve that sword and destroy the deadly Arrow & Flame Order.

The AFO, however, is determined to claim the sword. Wielding their father's life over Tzivia and Ram Khalon, they threaten to expose Ram's long-held and dangerous secret while demanding Tzivia locate the sword. With the Wraith team slowly being torn apart, things only worsen when Mercy Maddox, a new operative, emerges with the stunning news that the sword is tied to both Ram's secret and a string of unsolved serial murders.

Tox, Ram, and the others are forced to set aside fear and anger to focus only on the enemy. No matter the cost, Wraith must stop or take the enemy down with them.


For over a century, the town of Gossamer Grove has thrived on its charm and midwestern values, but Annalise Forsythe knows painful secrets, including her own, hover just beneath the pleasant faade. When a man is found dead in his run-down trailer home, Annalise inherits the trailer, along with the pictures, vintage obituaries, and old revival posters covering its walls. As she sorts through the collection, she's wholly unprepared for the ramifications of the dark and deadly secrets she'll uncover.

A century earlier, Gossamer Grove has been stirred into chaos by the arrival of controversial and charismatic twin revivalists. The chaos takes a murderous turn when Libby Sheffield, working at her father's newspaper, receives an obituary for a reputable church deacon hours before his death. As she works with the deacon's son to unravel the mystery behind the crime, it becomes undeniably clear that a reckoning has come to town--but it isn't until another obituary arrives that they realize the true depths of the danger they've waded into.

Two women, separated by a hundred years, must uncover the secrets within the borders of their own town before it's too late and they lose their future--or their very souls.


Called to Protect (Blue Justice #2) by Lynette Eason
For the past year, Chloe St. John has been working as a K-9 cop with her German shepherd partner, Hank. After being dumped by her fiance for another woman, Chloe has decided that Hank is just about the only male she likes. She's over the whole romance thing and focuses her attention on doing her job. Because a serious case of human trafficking with connections to her missing cousin just landed in her lap.

When US Marshall Blake MacCallum's daughter goes missing, he's ordered to kill the judge he's protecting and tell no one about his daughter's disappearance or she will die. Blake races against the clock to rescue his daughter while Chloe and Hank are asked to be a part of the task force assembled to bring down the traffickers. Chloe finds herself attracted to the silent, suffering man, but thanks to her previous bad judgment, she wonders if she can trust him. And can Blake trust himself around this firecracker of a woman?

Bestselling author Lynette Eason warns readers to buckle in for a fast and furious ride that will have their hearts pumping from the very start.


A Rumored Fortune by Joanna Davidson Politano
Tressa Harlowe's father did not trust banks, but neither did he trust his greedy extended family. He kept his vast fortune hidden somewhere on his estate in the south of England and died suddenly, without telling anyone where he had concealed it. Tressa and her ailing mother are left with a mansion and an immense vineyard and no money to run it. It doesn't take long for a bevy of opportunists to flock to the estate under the guise of offering condolences. Tressa knows what they're really up to. She'll have to work with the rough and rusticated vineyard manager to keep the laborers content without pay and discover the key to finding her father's fortune--before someone else finds it first.

Award-winning author Joanna Davidson Politano welcomes readers to Trevelyan Castle, home of the poorest heiress in Victorian England, for a treasure hunt they'll not soon forget.


A Tale of Family, Brotherhood, and the Healing Power of Love

After the tragic death of her husband, Aven Norgaard is beckoned to give up her life in Norway to become a housekeeper in the rugged hills of nineteenth-century Appalachia. Upon arrival, she finds herself in the home of her late husband’s cousins—three brothers who make a living by brewing hard cider on their three-hundred-acre farm. Yet even as a stranger in a foreign land, Aven has hope to build a new life in this tight-knit family.

But her unassuming beauty disrupts the bond between the brothers. The youngest two both desire her hand, and Aven is caught in the middle, unsure where—and whether—to offer her affection. While Haakon is bold and passionate, it is Thor who casts the greatest spell upon her. Though Deaf, mute, and dependent on hard drink to cope with his silent pain, Thor possesses a sobering strength.

As autumn ushers in the apple harvest, the rift between Thor and Haakon deepens and Aven faces a choice that risks hearts. Will two brothers’ longing for her quiet spirit tear apart a family? Can she find a tender belonging in this remote, rugged, and unfamiliar world?

A haunting tale of struggle and redemption, Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a portrait of grace in a world where the broken may find new life through the healing mercy of love.

National bestselling author Heather Blake is back with wishcrafter Darcy Merriweather in her eighth magical Wishcraft mystery adventure.

Wishcrafter Darcy Merriweather might be a witch with the ability to grant wishes for others, but wishing isn’t going to help her catch a killer…

When wishcrafter Darcy Merriweather’s personal concierge company is hired by elite runner Abby Stillwell to organize the Wicked Mad Dash, a competition that takes place in the Enchanted Village, Darcy is more than willing to help her friend. As blizzard conditions rage on the morning of the race, Darcy’s main concern is the terrible weather—until Abby goes missing…and is later found dead, buried in the snow.

As Darcy investigates her friend’s untimely death, she learns that she didn’t really know Abby well at all. And those closest to the woman—her secret fiancé, her roommate, her ex-boyfriend, and her co-workers at Balefire Sports—seem to have plenty to hide too. As Darcy digs deeper, she uncovers complicated relationships, a possible embezzlement scheme, and allegations of cheating against a top athlete.

Just when Darcy is convinced she’s hit a dead end in the case, a startling burglary and the hunt for Abby’s elusive ex send Darcy down a dark, dangerous trail. It will take the help from friends, family, and a little bit of magic for Darcy to stop a stone-cold killer from striking again.
 



Madeline Heard wants what many girls want—a little respect, a boost in her career, and to find a guy to share happily ever after. When she gets a sudden promotion at work, it looks like things might finally be going her way...until she realizes the job is not at all what she expected.

Working for the perpetually tan, fitness-crazed Kent Cooper might be the least of her worries, though. Her spotlight-stealing sister-in-law is back in town, and her mother is bent on believing a crazy misunderstanding. To top it off, while she's looking for Mr. Right, her relationship with her friend Josh might be threatening her chances of discovering real love.

There's a fine line between hanging on for dear life and standing up for herself. Can she find a way to have everything she wants, or should she be careful what she wishes for?

From the author of The Camdyn Series, the first novel of the Girls of Wonder Lane series.


When Lucy Pickett arrives at Blackwell Manor to tend to her ailing cousin, Kate, she finds more than she bargained for. A restless ghost roams the hallways, werewolves have been reported in the area, and vampires lurk across the Scottish border.

Lord Miles himself is clearly hiding a secret. He is brash and inhospitable and does not take kindly to visitors—even one as smart and attractive as Miss Pickett. He is unsettled by the mysterious deaths of his new wife, Clara, and his sister, Marie. Could Miles himself be to blame for the deaths?

Working together, Miles and Lucy attempt to restore peace to Blackwell Manor. But can Lucy solve the mystery of Miles? Can she love the man—beast and all?

The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike

And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls' bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley's younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone -- or something -- starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects . . . Harry Potter himself?

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they'll never see. It's a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they'll first need to stay alive.

This 7-novella romance collection will only be available until the first week of July, and then it will be "unpublished" from sell sites. *The ebook edition of the collection will remain on the buyer’s device after the ebook is disbanded.

And then all of the novellas and short stories in the collection will be published separately in print and ebook! Look up each author for sneak peeks of all the gorgeous covers for these upcoming novellas!

All proceeds from the sale of this collection will be donated to the LiveStrong Foundation.
Enjoy seven romances through the ages in this Timeless Love limited time ebook. An open invitation to fall in love with the writing styles of a few new-to-you multi-published authors of your favorite Christian romance eras.

Give Me Thine Heart 1812 Andrea Boeshaar
Moira loathes the man she is set to marry. But when she meets Samuel Stryker, she soon guesses that he's from the colonies. When she finds a deep secret, Sam must make the decision: kill her or take her with him.

This Freedom Journey 1833 Misty M. Beller
Adrien Lockman left France to finally live life on his own terms, but when he discovers a half-starved and half-frozen woman in the treacherous Canadian mountains, the truth soon becomes clear--the only way they'll survive is together.

The Heart of Home 1865 Stephenia H. McGee
Opal Martin aspires to scrub the remnants of the War Between the States from her tattered life. When a nearly drowned soldier appears and asks if he can die on her porch, she must guard against the sudden revival of her heart's hope for love. Tristan Stuart wants to escape the pain of war. He wakes up at a house that's too much like home, with a woman determined to mend him he may discover a life worth fighting for. To save the last of what Opal holds dear, will he become the man she needs or let the troubled waters carry him away?

Enchanting Nicholette 1893 Dawn Crandall
Young, widowed, and newly out of mourning, Nicholette Everstone is an heiress yearning to be loved. Her parents had arranged for her to marry her loving late husband, but the marriage ended tragically on her wedding day. Returning to Boston after being away, she finds there's someone new to her set of friends and family she can't help but fall for. But when she learns of the danger and sacrifices this man takes on, will her heart be strong enough to keep her fears at bay?

Teach Me To Love 1899 Kari Trumbo
Izzy Lawson has taken her last abuse. When her husband dies, she rushes to Belle Fourche to stay with the only friend she has. The wall she's worked so hard to build crumbles in the arms of a man so different from her husband. Conrad Oleson can't read and it's shamed him for longer than he can remember. As Izzy reveals her painful past, he can't stay away. He'll do about anything, to get closer. Including, teach her how to love.

Façade 1942 Pepper D. Basham
Olivia Rakes has excellent observations skills for facts and details, but stumbles through matters of the heart. When her brother goes missing in German-occupied France, Livy enlists her services with a group of search-and-rescue spies, who not only thrust her toward espionage, but...romance. Agent Christopher Dawson has avoided Livy since she broke his heart. When the search for his best friend brings them together, the heart takes on a mind of its own. In a world where war changes the rules of life and love, can they work together to complete their rescue mission before the enemy catches them?

Bookishly Ever After 2018 Sarah Monzon
It all started with a bet and a book.
Emory Blake is the ultimate bibliophile. She'd take curling up with a novel over a night on the town any day. But then her best friend, Tate Woodby, accuses her of living between the pages of her paperbacks instead of the real world, and he makes a bet that will force her to experience the adventures of her fictional friends...instead of just reading about them. With her face no longer buried in books, Emory must confront the pain of the past.
 


What's on your summer reading list?

Monday, June 18, 2018

Review: The Story Peddler (The Weaver Trilogy Book 1) by Lindsay A. Franklin

About the Book
Selling stories is a deadly business

Tanwen doesn’t just tell stories—she weaves them into crystallized sculptures that sell for more than a few bits. But the only way to escape the control of her cruel mentor and claw her way from poverty is to set her sights on something grander: becoming Royal Storyteller to the king.

During her final story peddling tour, a tale of treason spills from her hands, threatening the king himself. Tanwen goes from peddler to prey as the king’s guard hunts her down . . . and they’re not known for their mercy. As Tanwen flees for her life, she unearths long-buried secrets and discovers she’s not the only outlaw in the empire. There’s a rebel group of weavers . . . and they’re after her too.



My Thoughts

I'm not gonna lie, it was initially the gorgeous cover that first grabbed my attention. When I read the synopsis, I was completely intrigued. And then, when I finally delved into story, I was utterly enchanted. What a breathtakingly amazing adventure it was!

Tanwen is a great character. She's full of spunk and is instantly likable. Though she's the main character, this story also shares the point of view of a couple of other characters - Braith the princess and the mysterious One in the Dark. Usually when there's multiple POVs, I tend to enjoy one more than the other, but not here. All the characters were interesting and even the most minor among them were multifaceted and fully fleshed out.

This book has garnered a lot of praise and, I've gotta say, it lived up to the hype and exceeded my expectations. It's one of those stories that I became completely absorbed in. Real life faded away and I was right in the middle of it all with these characters and visiting this new and wondrous land of Tir.

The Story Peddler is utterly unique. I've read quite a few fantasy novels, but none quite like this. I highly, highly recommend it to everyone that loves fantasy. I'm very eager for book two!

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and comments are my honest opinion.

Five Stars

Friday, June 15, 2018

Book Beginnings + Friday 56: The Story Peddler (The Weaver Trilogy Book 1) by Lindsay A. Franklin

Book Beginnings is a weekly meme hosted by Rose City Reader that asks you to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you're reading. Friday 56 is hosted by Freda's Voice and asks you to grab a book (any book), turn to page 56 or 56% in your ereader and share a non-spoilery sentence or two.

This week I'm featuring The Story Peddler (The Weaver Trilogy Book 1) by Lindsay A. Franklin.

About the Book
Selling stories is a deadly business

Tanwen doesn’t just tell stories—she weaves them into crystallized sculptures that sell for more than a few bits. But the only way to escape the control of her cruel mentor and claw her way from poverty is to set her sights on something grander: becoming Royal Storyteller to the king.

During her final story peddling tour, a tale of treason spills from her hands, threatening the king himself. Tanwen goes from peddler to prey as the king’s guard hunts her down . . . and they’re not known for their mercy. As Tanwen flees for her life, she unearths long-buried secrets and discovers she’s not the only outlaw in the empire. There’s a rebel group of weavers . . . and they’re after her too.


Book Beginning
Colored ribbons of light poured from my fingers. One strand broke free and soared above the crowds head, glowing golden in the afternoon sun.

Friday 56 (56% on my Kindle)
I opened my eyes. A clear glass heart hovered in the air between me and Mor. Painted wings fluttered inside the hollow heart.

What have you been reading lately?

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Review: Unblemished (Unblemished #1) by Sara Ella

About the Book
Eliyana can’t bear to look at her own reflection. But what if that were only one Reflection—one world? What if another world exists where her blemish could become her strength?

Eliyana is used to the shadows. With a birthmark covering half her face, she just hopes to graduate high school unscathed. That is, until Joshua hops a fence and changes her perspective. No one, aside from her mother, has ever treated her like he does: normal. Maybe even beautiful. Because of Joshua, Eliyana finally begins to believe she could be loved.

But one night her mother doesn’t come home, and that’s when everything gets weird. Now Joshua is her new, and rather reluctant, legal Guardian. Add a hooded stalker and a Central Park battle to the mix and you’ve gone from weird to otherworldly.

Eliyana soon finds herself in a world much larger and more complicated than she’s ever known. A world enslaved by a powerful and vile man. And Eliyana holds the answer to defeating him. How can an ordinary girl, a blemished girl, become a savior when she can’t even save herself?


My Thoughts

Unblemished has been on my on TBR list for quite a while. It's a book I've been eager to read, but kept getting pushed further and further back in my pile for some reason or another. Since the final book in the trilogy recently released, I decided I HAD to find the time to finally start this series. I'm so glad that I did. It's oh so good, better than I expected it to be. It's super unique and the writing is fantastic. The descriptions are so vivid and El's emotions are so easy to feel, as though they're my own.

The reader is thrown right into this unknown world full of secrets and wonder, right alongside El and learns things right with her. Because of this, things got a little confusing for me, but it didn't bother me too much. It just made me extra eager to figure out what was going on.

There's so many twists and turns. I'd think I had an understanding of things and then, wham... a huge twist would come along and change everything. There were a few times in the beginning that there'd be a shocking reveal and El would kinda brush it off as no big deal, but it was actually a HUGE deal. It was a bit frustrating, but I don't know, maybe it was just me.

Unblemished is a story of good and evil, light and dark, the Verity and the Void. I was entranced by this unique world and the characters in it. It's been said that fans of the TV show Once Upon a Time will enjoy this book and I wholeheartedly agree. I'm excited to dive into book two, Unraveling.

4.5 Stars

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday: The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings that spotlights and discusses the books we're excited about that we've yet to read. Generally, they're books that are yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week I'm featuring The Reckoning at Gossamer Pond by Jaime Jo Wright releasing July 3, 2018.

About the Book
For over a century, the town of Gossamer Grove has thrived on its charm and midwestern values, but Annalise Forsythe knows painful secrets, including her own, hover just beneath the pleasant faade. When a man is found dead in his run-down trailer home, Annalise inherits the trailer, along with the pictures, vintage obituaries, and old revival posters covering its walls. As she sorts through the collection, she's wholly unprepared for the ramifications of the dark and deadly secrets she'll uncover.

A century earlier, Gossamer Grove has been stirred into chaos by the arrival of controversial and charismatic twin revivalists. The chaos takes a murderous turn when Libby Sheffield, working at her father's newspaper, receives an obituary for a reputable church deacon hours before his death. As she works with the deacon's son to unravel the mystery behind the crime, it becomes undeniably clear that a reckoning has come to town--but it isn't until another obituary arrives that they realize the true depths of the danger they've waded into.

Two women, separated by a hundred years, must uncover the secrets within the borders of their own town before it's too late and they lose their future--or their very souls.
 

Why I Need It
I loved The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright last year. So, I was excited when I heard about her upcoming release and that it would be featuring a dual timeline, as well. Plus, the subject matter sounds really interesting.

What upcoming release are you eagerly anticipating?