Thursday, October 8, 2015

Straight Browsing from the Library: Missing by Randa Flannery

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Randa will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


MediaKit_BookCover_MissingHaunted by her best friend's disappearance, always practical Rowan Quaide lives a life of cold logic. As an intelligence analyst, her world is ruled by who has the best strategy and Ro's reasoned control makes her Queen.

A Chance encounter with a man from her past stretches the bounds of reason and throws her into a game of dark deception and danger. With the past creeping from her nightmares into her reality, Ro pits herself against the monster determined to destroy the new love she's found.

As the intel gets more and more disturbing and events begin to spin out of control, she must rely on her instincts and cling to an unreasonable truth, or allow logic to tear her apart.


He turned to her with a considering gaze. “You’re a fascinating woman, Quaide,” he spoke softly. “A strange mix of pragmatic and unwillingly romantic with just a touch of eager rashness.”

Rowan wanted to laugh it off, but was lulled by his voice and those fathomless eyes that always seemed able to hold her gaze so easily. So she simply watched as he slowly moved closer.

“I find myself…” He paused and she saw him swallow, watched the movement of his throat, and noted the unevenness of his breathing. She noted with vague surprise that her own matched it. “Mesmerized,” he finished on a whisper.

She felt the air thicken around them, that quickening of anticipation. Her heart danced in her chest and her limbs quivered. His hand reached up to touch her hair, her neck, her cheek with gentle caresses that made her tingle, made her stomach tighten. She licked her lips nervously and saw his eyes darken, a deep flush answering in her cheeks. It made no sense, she thought dimly, to feel all this before he’d even kissed her.

He lowered his head those final few inches, meeting her trembling lips with his. It was the merest of touches, almost hesitant more than patient. It shouldn’t have made her knees weak or her stomach flutter. It surely shouldn’t have breathed heat through her or caused her to shudder. She’d been kissed before, with the crushing of mouths and dueling of tongues, and those kisses had never made her weak or needy. But this one did. It did all of those things that it shouldn’t have.


MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_MissingRanda Flannery has an a degree in English and writes a variety of romantic fiction, including suspense, comedy, and urban fantasy. Randa is a member of the Romance Writers of America and lives as an expat with her husband and children in FuYang, China.


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Straight Reading from the Library: The Cottage at the Border by Hannah Warren

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Hannah will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


Jenna's earliest memory is of her mother's feet dangling in dust motes, as a three year old left orphaned while her mother's corpse hung from a beam. Her mother committed suicide, that's how she escaped and freed herself. When her own life falls apart Jenna's earliest memory becomes her anchor, she too wants to be free.

Vincent Van Son is Jenna's adopted brother, her psychiatrist, perhaps her only friend. He takes her to the Cottage for recovery, determined to rescue his sister from herself after her failed suicide attempt. The cottage on the border is at Oud Land, and is the location of many dark secrets.

Jenna's close call with death leaves her open to the psychic world, and in this cottage in the onset of a misty winter, Jenna hears them, the voices of the past, memories of what happened on the border. It becomes a journey to herself. She has to listen, to witness, she has no choice. Their stories are her story, and it is a long heritage of murder, deceit, ethnic discourse and betrayal.

Perspective returns to the introspective prima ballerina, she has learned the truth of her family, of this cottage of psychic confessions. She alone emerges from the rubble of six decades of troubled family history, a lone phoenix.

The Cottage on The Border is a tale of murder, mystery, intrigue, familial despair, heartbreak, and spiritual resurrection.

Discovered at her dead mother's feet, Jenna is raised by the Van Sons as their own, but the darkness that was in her mother manifests itself also in Jenna, and she too tries to escape via suicide. With the help of her adoptive brother, though, Jenna goes to Oud Land-- a world that, unknown to either of them, have close ties to Jenna.

This book is part ghost story, part psychological thriller, and 100% enthralling. The characters (both in the present and the past) are very well drawn. They show how secrets and darkness have a way of visiting themselves on the sons and on the sons' son.

Don't begin this book is you have somewhere to go.. it caught this reader's attention and didn't want to let go. 4 stars.

He aimed his Micro Uzi with almost leisurely ease. It was the first time his target was a human being and a powerful, undeniable desire, took hold of Markus. He sought out a young man with a bright blue shirt and brown pants, short curly hair, the ebony skin lighting up in the late afternoon sun.

With angry fists the black man was banging on the doors of the warehouse where the white men who had raped Gabra Telahun Ketsela were hiding. The distance was too great for Markus to hear what his target was yelling, but the degree of distress he displayed made clear he must be related to the girl.

Markus kept him in sight, following his elegant moves, the slim, tall body; pure anger in a naked soul. He took in every detail of the man and his entire life sprang up before him. How he had walked barefooted through deserts in his homeland, sat cross-legged in front of the family tent, drinking coffee, laughing, discussing the world. This was an intelligent man.

Born under different circumstances, in another country he could have been a doctor or a lawyer. But now he wasn’t going to be either, ever, anywhere. This nameless Ethiopian would have to pay for all Markus had never achieved himself, because he too was born under circumstances that could never lead to a better life. As he fired, Markus became one with the man that fell. He fell with him.


Hannah Warren was born in Paris (Fr.) in 1956 as a second child to a Dutch father and an English mother. She has lived in The Netherlands almost all her life but maintains strong ties with her own favourite triangle: France, UK and Holland.

Hannah studied Dutch literature and Mass Communication at the University of Amsterdam and later obtained a B.A. in English Literature and Language and a B.A. in Translation from Rotterdam University. After having been a lecturer and a translator for many years, she now works as a staff member at the International Office of HZ University of Applied Sciences in Vlissingen.

Her free-time is taken up by writing fiction and doing Yoga. She also likes going on long hikes while listening to audiobooks. After having been a single mum for nearly two decades, her three children have flown the nest. The great sadness that befell Hannah in March 2014 was the loss of her eldest child, daughter Joy, who died after an intense two-year struggle against bile duct cancer. Currently her second child, son Ivor, is fighting a brain tumour. Her whole life and the future of her children (-in-law) is totally upside down. Writing fiction is Hannah’s main outlet in her grief.

From the age of 8, Ms Warren has written poetry, novels and short stories but it took her over 50 years to become a published author. In the past four years she signed with two small Indie publishing houses, who released Hannah’s first two novels, a literary romance and a suspenseful family saga. She is currently writing the sequel to the second book and also a five-book series about five generations of daughters between 1876 and 2015. Hannah found her niche in writing fictional stories about strong women who lead challenging lives.

Hannah is very happy to have been accepted by the Irish publishing house Tirgearr Publishing in March 2015. On 22 May Tirgearr published Hannah’s two earlier published books Casablanca, My Heart and The Cottage on The Border, first book in The Jenna Kroon Series.

Website and blog:
Tirgearr author site with links to books:
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Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Straight Reading from the Library: The Wishing Stone by Tegon Maus

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Tegon Maus will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


The last time we used it was at the hospital the morning she died.

On that day, all three of us made a silent wish, certain the others had wished the same. Kate died that afternoon and I never thought about it again. It was the last time I believed in magic, in love or... in the existence of God... and then, after three miserable, lonely years... the unthinkable, a second chance... Warwick.


This book is the second in the Eve series by Tegon Maus and, technically, can be read on its own - I did and I had no trouble following the plot. However, I think I would have had a better grasp on the characters had I read the first book, Machines of the Little People, because the feel of the book is that you are expected to know who the characters are. The author does a good job at letting you know who they are, but I'm thinking if you have already spent time with them, the experience reading this one will be greater.

The story is told from Ben's point of view and, as such, we learn about what's going on as he does. The science portion of this SF story is explained in such a way that it's possibly plausible. Without giving away too much, Peter has developed something so new and startling it could potentially change humanity.

The characters though are the best part of the book--they are interesting to say the least. I wish the book were a bit longer so we could have spent more time with some of them, particularly Marcie. She was a hoot. There was a lot of quirkiness with the people involved at Warwick, where Ben and Peter have come so Ben's condition can be studied--at least, that's what Ben thinks.

I like the author's writing style and am going to grab not only the first book, but some of his other books as well. Kudos, Mr. Maus. 4 stars.


We walked in silence back to the front door and outside where the car waited. The driver opened the door for her and Williams slid over out of the way; the desire to get in with her pulled at me as she wrapped her arms around me.

"Be good," I said as we kissed. "If you can't be good... be funny."

"Three days, Ben... I'll be back... and we'll go home. Three days," she said, kissing me again.

"Three days," I repeated and almost before I realized it she had slipped into the vehicle, the door had closed and she was gone.

I watched the car for as long as I could before it finally faded from view.

The others had returned inside, all except Director Meadows.

"Ready?" she asked, rubbing her arms, warming them in the cold air.

"So ready I'm first in line," I joked. The tug of Audrey and homesick hit me all at once.

She slipped a warm arm around my shoulder, guiding me back inside.

As we reentered Roger and the others had disappeared. We were greeted by two people, a man and a woman, both in white coats.

"Mr. Harris, this is Doctor Richard Prout and his wife, Doctor Joan Prout. They will be your -"

"Guides," the woman interrupted, leaning forward a little.

"Yes, I like that... guides... for the next few days," she continued with an odd smile. "They will help you get to the bottom of your... situation."

"Nice to meet you," I said, shaking each of their hands in turn.

Meadows went about her way leaving me with my two new companions.


I was raised pretty much the same as everyone else... devoted mother, strict father and all the imaginary friends I could conjure. Not that I wasn't friendly, I just wasn't "people orientated". Maybe I lived in my head way more than I should have, maybe not. I liked machines more than people, at least I did until I met my wife.

The first thing I can remember writing was for her. For the life of me I can't remember what it was about... something about dust bunnies under the bed and monsters in my closet. It must have been pretty good because she married me shortly after that. I spent a good number of years after inventing games and prototypes for a variety of ideas before I got back to writing.

It wasn't a deliberate conscious thought it was more of a stepping stone. My wife and I had joined a dream interpret group and we were encouraged to write down our dreams as they occurred. "Be as detailed as you can," we were told.

I was thrilled. If there is one thing I enjoy it's making people believe me and I like to exaggerate. Not a big exaggeration or an outright lie mine you, just a little step out of sync, just enough so you couldn't be sure if it were true or not. When I write, I always write with the effort of "it could happen" very much in mind and nothing, I guarantee you, nothing, makes me happier.

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Straight Browsing from the Library: Shatter by Courtney Houston

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Courtney will be awarding a $5 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


MediaKit_BookCover_ShatterI am going to do something that has never been done before.

My name is Telor Conway, and I am going to destroy Death. Bring her to her knees in front of me.

I don’t know how and I don’t know when.

The only thing I know for certain, is that nothing will come between me and my soul mate ever again.

I’ve been given a second chance at life, a life with Catalina. I’ve been given something worth fighting for.

I will fight for it, for her… for us. Even if it is the last thing I do.

I have thrown the gauntlet.

On your marks.

Get set.



I recognized the house immediately. It wasn’t a place I let my mind wonder to often, it held to many bad memories to think about. Lost my entirely family in this house. My father and brother to a drunk driving and my mother to a bitter, broken heart. All she had left was me, the daughter who looked like her father and reminded her so much of her other child.

I stood frozen in the walk way between the dining room and the living room. It looked so untouched, so abandoned. My mother was no where to be seen.

“I took her out of the dreamscape.” An achingly familiar voice said from behind me.

I turned to face Oliver. He had the same charming smile on that he always did.

“Can you read my mind?” I asked, he answered my exact thought with me saying anything.

“I don’t need to.” He came to stand next to me, staring out the large picture window in the dining room. Our backyard looked just as deserted as the rest of the house. Nothing moved, not even the wind. No bird or squirrels. The life outside our house was just as dead as the inside. “It’s written all over your face.”

“Are you real?” I asked him. “Is this just a dream.”

“It can be both, Kit-Kat.” He said. “I am as real as I can be right now. And this is dream.”


MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_ShatterCourtney lives in Kentucky with her husband (Mr. Houston), her two boys (Emmett and Ellis), her two cats (Polly and Jed) and her 3 chickens. Legal Assistant by day and writer by night, Courtney enjoys pancakes, coffee, wine and the number 26. She's a Leo, at least that's what the tattoo on her back says.


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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Straight Browsing from the Library: Flicker by Courtney Houston

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Courtney will be awarding a $5 Amazon to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


MediaKit_BookCover_FlickerMy name is Catalina Franklin. And I should be dead.

When Death called my number, sending one of her Guides to take my soul, she didn't count on one thing. The Guide she sent - He was made for me, and I for him. Pulling me back from the arms of Death, Telor changed my fate - and his. Now we're left with the question of not only how he's still here, but why. Will we get the answers we need? Or will Death find us first? Only time will tell...but ours is quickly running out.


Telor slipped his hand in his shirt pocket and pulled out the ring. “Here, keep this with you at all times.” I shoved it back at him. “No, you keep it.”

“Dammit, Cariad, please, take it,” he said, stopping and pulling me to a stop with him. “Humor me and let me give you the only protection I have to give you.”

“What about you? Why would I take the only protection YOU have for YOURSELF,” I asked. He was insane if he thought I was taking that ring.

“There’s no me after you, Catalina,” he yelled. This was the only time I’ve ever heard him raise his voice. “YOU are my purpose, and I will gladly tear this world apart looking for something that doesn’t exist if it will keep you safe and us together, but for now all I have is this. Please take it, and don’t fight me on it.”

“Do you really have so little faith in us?” I asked as tears threatened to leak from my eyes. He didn’t meet my eyes, and I almost thought he wouldn’t. When he finally did look at me, I wished he hadn’t. All I saw was pain.

“I have all the faith in the world in you,” he said. He didn’t say it, but I was able to read between the lines; he didn’t think that HE could do this.

“I have faith in you,” I said, trying to make him believe in himself the way I did.

“And for that, I am truly sorry,” he said with true regret


MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_FlickerCourtney lives in Kentucky with her husband (Mr. Houston), her two boys (Emmett and Ellis), her two cats (Polly and Jed) and her 3 chickens. Legal Assistant by day and writer by night, Courtney enjoys pancakes, coffee, wine and the number 26. She's a Leo, at least that's what the tattoo on her back says.


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Monday, October 5, 2015

Straight Reading from the Libary: Hope by Sam Rook

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Sam Rook will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


The winged knights—magically altered humans—are the only ones defending the portal from Av'lor to Earth. With defeat imminent, they find an unlikely source of hope in software engineer, Kathryn.

Kathryn doubts her life could get any worse after the death of her mother and daughter. She realizes her mistake after she arrives on Av'lor with only part of her house and hungry creatures looking for their next meal. Once the knights bring her under their protection, she discovers their angry commander is far from welcoming.

Sir Lanclor, Commander of the Knighthood, lives with the curse of betrayal. While the treachery occurred lifetimes before, few see past his guarded shell to the grim man beneath. Barely holding the Knighthood together, his grip tightens when Kathryn joins their ranks. Her stubbornness and surprising strength not only energizes the knights, but also makes Sir Lanclor question his self-imposed isolation.

With the approach of an invading army, Kathryn and Sir Lanclor must find a way to end centuries of war and save two worlds.


This book is an interesting introduction to a new series.  There's magic, a telepathic horse (which I loved), and some interesting characters.  I really liked the characters and am looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

That said, there were a few issues that bothered me - though not to the extent that it hindered my enjoyment of the book.  The book felt rushed--from the time Kathryn and Hal arrived on Av'lor to the time they started training seemed like a very short time.  They didn't seem to have any issues accepting where they were and what was going on. I think the author could have gone into more detail about what they were feeling during the first part of the book.  The book seemed more surface rather than delving deeply into the characters.

It would make a fun movie!  The action sequences, the magical spells, the magically induce wings.. all these elements would be fun to see. 

The characterizations -- especially Kathryn and Lanclor-- are well done.  I especially enjoyed getting to know Lanclor and learn why he was the way he was.  Well done on that aspect, Ms. Rook.

I've already bought the second book in the series and look forward to seeing what else happens with these characters.  3.5 stars.


"They’ll be talking about this for months you know," Sir Lanclor said with amusement. "Lady Kathryn, the brave knight who annihilates Daemons and challenges the great Sir Lanclor."

Kathryn snorted. "Don’t flatter yourself. I just saw your table as the lesser of the evils."

Sir Lanclor straightened. "I think you’ll find you chose wrong."

"Oh please. I prefer your blunt honesty to their honey-coated insults any day. The only reason some of them don’t call me an undeserving Earthling anymore is because they now know I can annihilate them with one spell."

"Fear is a powerful thing." Sir Lanclor closed his mouth flap and gathered his tray.

If everyone feared her, she’d never have anyone. Kathryn piled her utensils upon her tray. "It’s also lonely as hell." She stood up and left the table without a backwards glance. Depositing her tray on the counter next to the trash can, she exited the meal room.

"Lady Kathryn, wait." She glanced back to see Sir Lanclor hurrying after her. He caught up to her in a few strides and fell in beside her. "That conversation didn’t end like I intended."

"Oh, really? What was your intention?" Kathryn regretted the bitterness in her voice.

Sir Lanclor sighed in frustration. "You surprised me. I usually have time to think before I speak."

"You think before you speak?" Kathryn exaggerated her look of surprise as she glanced his way and his eyebrow turned down in disapproval. She heard him growl deep in his throat before responding.


Sam Rook lives in Vermont with her husband and two children. Her passion for fantasy novels began in high school with her desire to write following shortly thereafter. Software engineer by day, fantasy author by night, she strives to give her readers a chance to enjoy worlds that transport them away from the stress of everyday life. Check out her website here:

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Straight Browsing from the Library: A Hard Day's Night by Mia Kerick

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This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Mia will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.


MediaKit_BookCover_AHardDaysNightHigh school senior Kalin (Lennon) Macready knows several facts for certain: John Lennon is his hero. Beaumont Finley Danforth II (Fin) is his best friend. And—this is the complicated one—he feels more for Fin than mere friendship.

For weeks, Lennon pesters Fin, who like Lennon admits to questioning his sexual orientation, for a commitment to spend twenty-four hours together exploring “the gay side of life.” Fin reluctantly agrees. Each boy will seek to answer the daunting question, Am I gay? Lennon pre-plans the day, filling the hours with what he assumes “gay life” is all about: shopping for fashionable clothing, indulging in lavish dessert crepes, boogying to Taylor Swift’s “Shake it Off”, and yes, listening to show tunes.

However, Lennon quickly realizes that in creating his plan he has succumbed to the most common and distorted of gay stereotypes. Can he be gay and not fit them? And more importantly, is it possible that spending one very hard day and night together will help Fin accept that he’s gay, too? If so, maybe Lennon has a shot at winning the heart of the boy of his dreams.

“A Hard Day’s Night” is an amusing young adult contemporary romance about two boys who seek to discover if they must fulfill stereotypes to be together.

In the end, maybe all you need is love.


We’re surrounded by lit up mirrors. I mean, I’m totally relating to Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds at this point. It’s like being on a trip—talk about plasticine porters and looking glass ties.

“Giovanna, iz vhat you call me. I vill be making you up to be irrezeesteeble— preety like two perfect dolleez—you vill see, no?” My spine stiffens, letting me know in no uncertain terms that I may not be ready for this step. And if I’m wavering at the mere prospect of being made up like a “perfect dolly”, I’m certain Fin is close to panic-attack-mode. “Seet down, my booteeful boys....”

“Breathe, Fin... in, out....”

I offer this type of encouragement service to Fin at school before he takes major calculus tests. His parents freak out if he gets anything below an A minus on a test or quiz, which sometimes causes his nerves to act up.

We might be tall, but Fin and I still have to stand on our tiptoes to slide our asses onto the two matching bar stools set up in the middle of the tiny mirrored room, which was likely once been a storage closet. Giovanna is an incredibly tall, and rather masculine, glass of water, and I guess she just doesn’t like to bend over. Or maybe she does like to bend over, but just not while she’s working. In any case, we sit side-by-side like two perfect victims on the too-high stools under the glaring searchlights.

“Who I do first?” Her question sends chills of trepidation shooting up my already stiff spine. But when she unceremoniously drops a handful of cosmetics on a table near the wall and moves directly in front of us, I gather that what she means by “do” is just apply makeup. And although Giovanna’s new position blocks a portion of the blinding light (that just so happens to be shining down upon us with the directness of the sun in the tropics), her broad shoulders are still as intimidating as a linebacker’s. I shrink down onto my stool, nonetheless aware that I will be the first to find myself being worked over...I mean, worked on, by Giovanna’s impressively large mitts...or hands. Yes, hands.

“That’d be him... he’s first.” Fin pokes me rather unceremoniously with his elbow and I nod, although I will admit I am finding it a challenge to subdue my fight or flight instinct.


MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_AHardDaysNightMia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty-two years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships, and she believes that physical intimacy has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press, Harmony Ink Press, CoolDudes Publishing, and CreateSpace for providing her with alternate places to stash her stories.

Mia is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights, especially marital equality. Now marital equality is the law of the land!! WOOT!! Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.

Stop by Mia’s Blog with questions or comments, or simply share what’s on your mind.

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