Thursday, August 30, 2018

The Hope Jar by Wanda Brunstetter

The Hope Jar by Wanda E. Brunstetter

The Hope Jar

(The Prayer Jars #1)

A Brand-New 3-Book Series from New York Times Bestselling Author Wanda E. Brunstetter.
What happens when making an elderly Amish couple very happy means going along with a lie that gets bigger by the day?

Michelle Taylor is not who her new family in Lancaster County believes her to be. The Lapps were looking for their long-lost granddaughter when they met Michelle and she assumed the identity of Sara Murray. Once homeless and hopeless, Michelle has come to love her new Amish friends and even considers the idea of romance among them.

Finding an old blue jar in the barn that is filled with slips of paper containing thoughts, quotes, and prayers by an unknown author becomes a boost to Michelle’s budding faith— but also convicting. How can she tell the truth without hurting the ones she has truly come to love?

My Take:  I have loved everything I have read by Wanda Brunstetter and this book is no exception. I really liked all the characters both the Amish ones and the Englishers. There is a major deception that happens and is continued throughout the whole book till the very end when the deceptor comes clean. I eagerly look forward to reading the next book in the series to see what happens with all the characters.

I received a review copy of this book from Amazon Vine and Barbour and was not required to write a positive review. 

PICT Tour of Selected by J. Allen Wolfrum

Selected by J. Allen Wolfrum Banner

Selected

by J. Allen Wolfrum

July 1 - August 31, 2018 Tour

Synopsis:

Selected by J. Allen Wolfrum
Former Army helicopter pilot, Susan Turner is Selected as the next President of the United States. In order to avoid a nuclear war, she must overcome personal demons and learn to navigate the murky waters of international diplomacy.
Five years ago, the Dove Revolution changed the political structure of the United States. The President, Senate, and Congress are no longer elected by the public, they are Selected at random every two years. A shadow organization known only as The Board, advances their sinister agenda by taking advantage of their anonymity and Susan's tendency to make brash decisions. Blackmail, espionage and murder are all in play as The Board manipulates geo-political events to spark a war between the Soviet Union and the United States.
With the help of her former Squadron Commander, General LeMae, Susan Turner attempts to lead the nation through these turbulent times while battling her own internal demons. Susan is a battle-hardened war veteran but she must learn what it takes to be a world leader. Nuclear war and the future of the human race hang in the balance.

Book Details:

Genre: Political Thriller
Published by: Indie
Publication Date: December 28th 2017
Number of Pages: 326
ISBN: 1981498974 (ISBN13: 9781981498970)
Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads
 

Read an excerpt:

Susan Turner looked up through a haze of white dust and saw a group of men in black suits huddled around her body. The muffled ringing in her ears overpowered their voices. The men helped her to her feet and they ran as a group toward the entrance to the underground tunnel. Her hearing slowly returned, screams of panic in the hallway replacing the ringing. As they ran, she recognized the men surrounding her were Secret Service agents.
Four agents surrounded Susan as they jogged through the underground tunnel together. Ten yards into the tunnel, she slowed down. In mid-stride, she took off one heel at a time and returned to the pace of the group. There were no words exchanged; they moved together in focused silence. Four hundred yards down the tunnel, the group stopped at two large steel doors. The lead agent opened the doors and light from the helicopter pad above burst into the tunnel.
Before moving toward the helicopter, the agent stand- ing behind Susan shouted into his headset, “Checkpoint Bravo. Waiting for clearance.” He nodded as the response came through and relayed the message to the group: “Let’s move.” They ran from the tunnel into the daylight and across the tarmac to the open doors of the helicopter.
The agent sitting across from Susan handed her a com- munications headset. “Ma’am, are you okay? Any injuries?” Susan wiped the sweat and dust from her face. “No, I’m fine. My family?”
“They’re safe. Your children were brought to a safe location under the Pentagon, and your parents are there with them.”
She nodded. “Is it over?”
He pursed his lips before responding, “I don’t know. I only heard snippets of radio chatter while we were on the way to the helipad.”
Susan leaned back in her seat, cupping her hands over her face and replaying the events in her mind. The group stayed in radio silence for the remainder of the brief flight. The helicopter landed at Andrews Air Force Base and the doors immediately opened. Susan and her security detail rushed across the tarmac and boarded the Boeing 747. She walked onto the plane in her bare feet. Jogging on con- crete caused the pinky toe on her left foot to bleed. She left a trail of blood down the center aisle of Air Force One.
***
Excerpt from Selected by J. Allen Wolfrum. Copyright © 2018 by J. Allen Wolfrum. Reproduced with permission from J. Allen Wolfrum. All rights reserved.
 

Author Bio:

J. Allen Wolfrum
J. Allen Wolfrum is a fiction author and former Marine. He served four years as a Marine Corps Infantryman in the most decorated Regiment in Marine Corps history. During Operation Iraqi Freedom he led an infantry squad on missions spanning from the oil fields of Southern Iraq to the streets of Baghdad.
After the Marine Corps, he spent the next fifteen years exploring life from several perspectives: press operator in a plastics factory, warehouse stocker, confused college student, Certified Public Accountant, bearded graduate student, management consultant, and data analyst.
J. Allen Wolfrum’s writing career began in 2017 with his debut novel, Selected. He uses the unique combination of his Marine Corps, professional and life experience to create a realistic perspective on the political thriller genre. He lives in Southern California with his beautiful wife and two cats.

Catch Up With Our Author On: Website, Goodreads, Twitter, & Facebook!


My Take:  I really enjoyed this book.  I like books that are set in the future and imagine how things might be.  This book takes how we chose our President and turns it on its head.  Presidents are now selected every two years and the previous President becomes the Vice President.  I liked how the story dealt with false news or fake news and shows how that can sway people's opinion.  Overall this was a very entertaining read and I enjoyed it very much.  I would give it a four out of five stars.  

I received a review copy from Partners in Crime and was not required to write a positive review.  
 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!  

GIVEAWAY:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for J. Allen Wolfrum. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on July 1, 2018 and runs through September 1, 2018. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.
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Monday, August 27, 2018

Appointment in Prague by Michael MCMenamin and Kathleen MCMenamin





 

Inside the Book

Title: APPOINTMENT IN PRAGUE: A MATTIE MCGARY + WINSTON CHURCHILL WORLD WAR II ADVENTURE
Author: Michael McMenamin & Kathleen McMenamin
Publisher: First Edition Design Publishing
Pages: 160
Genre: Historical Thriller
BOOK BLURB:
In the novella, Appointment in Prague, one woman, a British secret agent, sets out in May 1942 to single-handedly send to hell the most evil Nazi alive—SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the head of the SD, the domestic and foreign counter-intelligence wing of the SS; second in rank only to the head of the SS himself, Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler; and the architect of  “The Final Solution” that will send millions of European Jews to their doom.
When British Prime Minister Winston Churchill authorizes the SOE—the ‘Special Operations Executive’— in October 1941 to assassinate Heydrich, he is unaware that the entire operation has been conceived and is being run by his Scottish goddaughter, the former Pulitzer Prize-winning Hearst photojournalist Mattie McGary. The SOE is Churchill’s own creation, one he informally describes as the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare and, at his suggestion, Mattie becomes one of its Deputy Directors.
Mattie has a history with Heydrich dating back to 1933 and a personal score to settle. In September 1941, when the man known variously as ‘The Blond Beast’ and ‘The Man With the Iron Heart’—that last coming from Adolf Hitler himself—is appointed Reichsprotektor of Bohemia and Moravia, the remnants left of Czechoslovakia after the Germans had dismembered it in 1939, Mattie is determined—now that he is no longer safely within Germany’s borders—to have him killed. She recruits and trains several Czech partisans for the task and has them parachuted into Czechoslovakia in December 1941.
An increasingly impatient Mattie waits in London for word that her agents have killed the Blond Beast. By May 1942, Heydrich still lives and Mattie is furious.  The mother of six-year-old twins, Mattie decides—without telling her godfather or her American husband, the #2 man in the London office of the OSS—to parachute into Czechoslovakia herself and  “light a fire under their timid Czech bums”. Which she does, but her agents botch the job and Heydrich is only wounded in the attempt. The doctors sent from Berlin to care for him believe he will recover.
On the fly, Mattie conceives a new plan to kill Heydrich herself. With forged papers and other help from the highest-placed SOE asset in Nazi Germany—a former lover—Mattie determines to covertly enter Prague’s Bulovka Hospital and finish the job. After that, all she has to do is flee Prague into Germany and from there to neutral Switzerland. What Mattie doesn’t know is that Walter Schellenberg, Heydrich’s protégé and the head of Foreign Intelligence for the SD, is watching her every move.

My take:  Don't let the old fashioned book cover fool you this book is full of twists and turns and thrills after thrills.  I found Mattie to be a very like able main character although I didn't agree how she choose to go about telling her Godfather Winston Churchill or her husband as they had made a promise to each other for the good of their children.  The way the story ended there will definitely be a continuation of this story.  I learned some things about new to me m characters from WWII,

I received a review copy of this book from Pump Up Your book and I was not required to write a positive review. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Book Spotlight of The Other Woman by Sandie Jones

The Other Woman

A deliciously disturbing, compulsively readable debut domestic suspense--prepare to meet The Other Woman: there’s nothing she won’t do to keep you away from her son ...

Emily thinks Adam’s perfect; the man she thought she’d never meet. But lurking in the shadows is a rival; a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves.

Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.

The Other Woman is an addictive, fast-paced psychological thriller about the destructive relationship between Emily, her boyfriend Adam, and his manipulative mother Pammie.

Book Spotlight of The Fashion Designer by Nancy Moser

The Fashion Designer

The American Dream thrives in 1912 New York City
 
Annie Wood, the housemaid-turned-pattern designer in The Pattern Artist, jumps at the chance to design her own clothing line when a wealthy New York couple offer to finance her endeavor. Joining the project is Annie’s new husband, Sean Culver, her best friend at Butterick, Maude Nascato, and a mother figure, Edna Holmquist.
 
Annie and her colleagues give up their careers, risking everything to follow a shared passion: clothes that are both fashionable and functional for modern, busy women in 1912.
 
Personal and financial setbacks threaten to keep the business from ever selling a single dress and test old relationships and new romances. No one said it would be easy. But the promise of the American Dream holds a deep hope for those who work hard, trust God, and never give up.

Monday, July 30, 2018

PICT tour of The Body in the Ballroom by R. J. Koreto

The Body In The Ballroom by R.J. Koreto The Body In The Ballroom by R.J. Koreto Banner

The Body in the Ballroom

by R.J. Koreto

on Tour July 1-31, 2018

Synopsis:

The Body in the Ballroom by R.J. Koreto
President Teddy Roosevelt’s daring daughter, Alice, leaps into action to exonerate a friend accused of poisoning a man just about everyone hated.
Alice Roosevelt, the brilliant, danger-loving daughter of President Theodore Roosevelt, has already risked an assassin’s bullet to solve one murder. She never expected to have to sleuth another, but she’d never pass up the opportunity, either. Anything to stave off boredom.
And such an opportunity presents itself when Alice is invited to a lavish ball. The high-society guests are in high spirits as they imbibe the finest wines. But one man, detested by nearly all the partygoers, quaffs a decidedly deadlier cocktail. An African-American mechanic, who also happens to be a good friend of former Rough Rider-turned-Secret Service Agent Joseph St. Clair, is suspected of the murder-by-poison, but Alice is sure he’s innocent and is back on the scene to clear his name.
From downtown betting parlors to uptown mansions, Alice and Agent St. Clair uncover forbidden romances and a financial deal that just might change the world. But neither Alice nor her would-be protector may survive the case at hand in The Body in the Ballroom, R. J. Koreto's gripping second Alice Roosevelt mystery.

Book Details:

Genre: Historical Mystery
Published by: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: June 12th 2018
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 1683315774 (ISBN13: 9781683315773)
Series: Alice Roosevelt Mystery #2
Purchase Links: Amazon  | Barnes & Noble  | Goodreads 

Read an excerpt:

President Roosevelt and I were just finishing out talk when A moment later, the office door opened, and Mr. Wilkie, the Secret Service director, walked in. I stood to greet him.
“St. Clair. Glad to see you’re back. Very pleased with the way it went in St. Louis.” He turned to the president. “Have you spoken to him yet, sir?”
“Yes, and he’s agreed.” Wilkie looked relieved, too.
“Very good then. If you’re done, sir, I’ll take St. Clair to her. My understanding is that arrangements have been made for Miss Roosevelt to leave tomorrow afternoon.”
“Exactly. We’re all done then. St. Clair, thanks again. And I’ll be up in the near future, so I expect to see you again soon.” We shook hands, and I followed Mr. Wilkie out the door.
“Is she smoking on the roof again, sir?” I asked. That’s what happened the first time I met Alice in the White House.
He grimaced. “No. My understanding is that she is in the basement indulging a new hobby of hers. But you’ll see.” He led me downstairs, and that’s when I heard the unmistakable sounds of gunfire. Mr. Wilkie didn’t seem worried, however. “Miss Roosevelt somehow got hold of a pistol and has set up her own private firing range in a storage room. We launched an investigation to figure out how Miss Roosevelt obtained such a weapon but were unable to reach a formal conclusion, I’m sorry to say.”
No wonder they wanted me back.
And just as when Mr. Wilkie had sent me to get Alice off the roof, he once again cleaned his glasses on his handkerchief, shook my hand, wished me luck, and departed.
I heard one more shot, and that was it. She was probably reloading. The sound came from behind a double door at the end of the hallway. I carefully opened it, and she didn’t notice at first.
I watched her concentrating on the pistol, her tongue firmly between her teeth as she carefully focused on reloading. It was an old Smith & Wesson single-action, and she was damn lucky she hadn’t blown her own foot off. She was shooting at a mattress propped against the far wall, and from the wide scattering of holes, it was clear her marksmanship needed a lot of practice.
“A little more patience, Miss Alice. You’re jerking the trigger; that’s why you keep shooting wild. And that gun’s too big for you.”
It was a pleasure to see the look of shock and joy on her face. She just dropped the gun onto a box and practically skipped to me, giving me a girlish hug. “Mr. St. Clair, I have missed you.” She looked up. “And I know you have missed me. They say you’re back on duty with me. We’re heading to New York tomorrow, and we’ll have breakfast together like we used to and walk to the East Side through Central Park and visit your sister Mariah.”
I couldn’t do anything but laugh. “We’ll do all that, Miss Alice. But I’m on probation from your aunt, so we have to behave ourselves. You have to behave yourself.”
“I always behave.” She waved her hand to show that the discussion had ended. “Now there must be a trick to loading revolvers because it takes me forever.”
“I’ll teach you. Someday.” I made sure the revolver was unloaded and stuck it in my belt. Then I scooped up the cartridges and dumped them in my pocket.
“Hey, that’s my revolver,” said Alice. “It took me a lot of work to get it.”
“You’re not bringing it to New York, that’s for sure, Miss Alice.”
She pouted. “I thought you’d relax a little after being in St. Louis.”
“And I thought you’d grow up a little being in Washington. You want to walk into the Caledonia like a Wild West showgirl? Anyway, don’t you have some parties to go to up there?”
“Oh, very well. But promise me you’ll take me to a proper shooting range in New York and teach me how to load and fire your New Service revolver.”
“We’ll see. Meanwhile, if you don’t upset your family or Mr. Wilkie between now and our departure tomorrow, I’ll buy you a beer on the train.” That made her happy.
We walked upstairs as she filled me in on White House gossip.
“Oh, and I heard you were in a fast draw in St. Louis and gunned down four men.” She looked up at me curiously.
“A little exaggeration,” I said. I hadn’t killed anyone in St. Louis, hadn’t even fired my revolver, except for target practice.
“You didn’t kill anyone?” she asked, a little disappointed.
“No. No one.”
But then her face lit up. “Because your reputation proceeded you, and they knew there was no chance of outdrawing you.”
“That must be it,” I said.
“But look on the bright side,” she said, still full of cheer. “New York is a much bigger city. Maybe you’ll get a chance to shoot someone there.”
***
Excerpt from The Body in the Ballroom by R.J. Koreto. Copyright © 2018 by R.J. Koreto. Reproduced with permission from R.J. Koreto. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

R.J. Koreto
R.J. Koreto has been fascinated by turn-of-the-century New York ever since listening to his grandfather's stories as a boy.
In his day job, he works as a business and financial journalist. Over the years, he’s been a magazine writer and editor, website manager, PR consultant, book author, and seaman in the U.S. Merchant Marine. He’s a graduate of Vassar College, and like Alice Roosevelt, he was born and raised in New York.
He is the author of the Lady Frances Ffolkes and Alice Roosevelt mysteries. He has been published in both Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine and Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. He also published a book on practice management for financial professionals.
With his wife and daughters, he divides his time between Rockland County, N.Y., and Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.

Catch Up With R.J. Koreto On: Website , Goodreads , Twitter , & Facebook !


My Take:  This book was very enjoyable.  I haven't read the first book in this series but I will be going back and getting the book to read.  This book had a great character in Alice Roosevelt.  She is a bit of a problem for her father as she is does what she pleases and doesn't think about it.  St. Clair is given the task of being her body guard and is given the task of cleaning up after her.  In this book one of the guests at a high society party dies after being poisoned after drinking some punch.  Alice tells the host of the party that St. Clair will help.  Alice and St. Clair have a playful banter between each other and leads a sense of playfulness to the mystery.  If you like cozy mysteries you will probably like this series. 

I received a review copy from Partners in Crime tours and the opinions are my own. 
 

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great hosts on this tour for more great reviews, interviews, guest posts, and giveaways!  

ENTER TO WIN:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for R.J. Koreto. There will be 3 winners of three (3) Amazon.com Gift Cards. The giveaway begins on July 1, 2018 and runs through August 1, 2018. Open to U.S. addresses only. Void where prohibited.
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Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Lost Mata Hari Ring by Elyse Douglas

Lost Mata Hari Ring: Time Travel Novel by Elyse Douglas

Up-and-coming actress, Trace Rutland, has had nightmares about a tragic past ever since she was a little girl. She struggles with her everyday life, finally seeking help from a hypnotherapist. 

While under hypnosis, she inadvertently experiences a past life in Paris, in 1916, during the First World War. ​ 

Later, while visiting a wealthy man's private Mata Hari collection, Trace is drawn to a glittering ring, once worn by the convicted spy. Trace is enthralled. When she's alone, she slips the ring on and is swiftly hurled into the past. There, she must face herself as she was in the past, while struggling to change the course of her destiny. 

When she meets the handsome Edward Kenyon Bishop, a World War I British flying ace, she falls in love. She is soon swept away into a journey of suspicion and treachery, and must fight for her life. 

Can she survive the past? Can she return to the present? Can true love endure for all time?

My take: This is a time travel story where Trace travels back in time and discovers more about her past life.  This book has it all mystery, romance , history.  I really enjoyed it as I didn't really know that much about Mata Hari.  I like historical fiction and this book was filled with history.  I am not a believer in past lives but I found myself being drawn into the story and holding my breath to see what would happen next.  A very well done story.  I would recommend it if you like historical fiction.  

I received a review copy of this book from Virtual Author Book Tours and the opinions are my own.  

Monsterland Reanimated by Michael Okon

Monsterland Reanimated

After Monsterland has been destroyed, the entire world is thrown into chaos. Wyatt Baldwin and his friends must go beyond the boundaries of their small town to reestablish contact with the outside world. During their journey they discover a new threat released from the bowels of the defunct theme park. The danger of werewolves, vampires and zombies pale in comparison to an army of relentless mummies, Vincent Conrad’s reanimated monster and the menace of a life-sucking ooze they call The Glob.  Wil Wyatt and his friends survive when they reenter the scariest place on earth?

My take:  The world is in chaos after the events that happened in the first books of this series.  This is the second book in that series and it is non stop action from start to finish.  There are love stories and just like most teenage love stories once you have what you thought you wanted things change.  There are some unlikely pairings and some unlikely things that happen but like all monster movies you have to suspend your beliefs a bit. after all the monsters are what we are all here for after all.  There are some of the old monsters from the last book but there are some all new monsters in this book.  When things don't return to semi normal after Monsterland is destroyed Wyatt and his friends set out to find out what is going on.  Along the way the whole group encounter the new monsters and have to find out how to defeat them and the mastermind behind them.  
I really enjoyed this book and I practically flew through it to find out what was going to be thrown at this group and how they were going to  conquer these monsters.

I received a review copy of this book from Pump Up Your Book and was not required to write a positive review.




Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Rive to Redemption by Ann H. Gabhart

River to Redemption

Orphaned in the cholera epidemic of 1833, Adria Starr was cared for by a slave named Louis, a man who stayed in Springfield, Kentucky, when anyone with means had fled. A man who passed up the opportunity to escape his bondage and instead tended to the sick and buried the dead. A man who, twelve years later, is being sold by his owners despite his heroic actions. Now nineteen, Adria has never forgotten what Louis did for her. She's determined to find a way to buy Louis's freedom. But in 1840s Kentucky, she'll face an uphill battle.

Based partly on a true story, Ann H. Gabhart's latest historical novel is a tour de force. The vividly rendered town of Springfield and its citizens immerse readers in a story of courage, betrayal, and honor that will stick with them long after they turn the last page.
 

My take:  I really enjoyed this book.  I really didn't know much about the cholera epidemic and this peaked my interest.  I liked how the author used the slavery issue in this book and how she portrayed slaves as kind people but they were always worried how people would think how they interacted with a small white child even if that child had no one in the world to take care of her.  I liked the relationship between Adria and Ruth and how they made a family after the epidemic took their other family.  I enjoy historical fiction and I would say that this book is at the top of my list.  I did get a bit frustrated at Adria and her choices at times but I enjoyed the book anyway.  

I received a review copy of this book from Revell and all opinions are my own.  

The Edge of Over There by Shawn Smucker

The Edge of Over There

Before the Tree of Life, everything in Abra Miller's life had been predictable. But after the Tree and the lightning and the angels, everything felt tenuous, like holding a soap bubble in the palm of her hand. She spent years looking for signs of that other world, waiting for it to break through. When it didn't, her friendship with Sam Chambers grew cold and distant, and they both wondered how any of it could actually have happened.

Four years later, 16-year-old Abra's long-delayed quest to find the next manifestation of the Tree of Life is renewed when she sees a woman walking up the road--a woman who looks exactly like Sam's dead mother. The woman directs her to New Orleans where she will find the grave of Marie Laveau, one of seven gateways between this world and Over There. As Abra enters The Edge of Over There and begins her pursuit of the Tree once more, she doesn't know whom to fear or whom to trust. But she's starting to think that some doorways should never be opened.
 


My take:  This book is a sequel and you may want to read the first book before you read this one.  It isn't entirely necessary but you may be a bit lost like I was at the beginning.  This book was very good and had a bit of fantasy to it.  I liked following Abra on her journey and look forward to the next book.  I will be going back and reading the first book in this series.  

I received a review copy of this book from Revell and was not required to post a positive review.