7.19.2024

Meeting Her Match ~ Review

 
Meeting Her Match
The Matchmakers #3
By Jen Turano
 
 Miss Camilla Pierpont has a most perplexing morning when she narrowly escapes an abduction attempt. Unfortunately for Mr. Owen Chesterfield, she mistakes him, during a rather humorous exchange for one of the attempted abductees. 

Owen just can't understand how his polite exchange with Camilla annoys her so much. He is, after all, very complimentary But not to Camilla's way of thinking. But his request for help in taming his younger sister into a society-type of lady couldn't come at a better time as danger is afoot within her normal sphere of influence. She's always up for a challenge and this one a doozy.

Luella Chesterfield has not only had her heart broken, but thoroughly trodden upon and shoved back at her. And she is in need of Camilla's excellent skills when it comes to making a favorable impression on anyone.

This nook is the third in The Matchmakers series and it is a lighthearted read in spite of the kidnapping attempts and the slights Luella gets thanks to an awkward feud between the local families that she is caught in the middle of. And the ending is not to be missed - I get Beverly Hillbilly vibes when reading it. 
 
Jen Turano gives Historical Fiction a  fun and enjoyable lighthearted twist that is sure to lift your mood with just one chapter.  Meeting Her Match is a not to be missed read that can be read as a standalone title if you have not read the previous titles in the series. 

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.
 
 

BOOK DESCRIPTION

Miss Camilla Pierpont, a renowned matchmaker and influential member of the New York Four Hundred, has vowed never to marry after suffering a devastating heartbreak during her debut years ago. However, when she is nearly abducted along the Hudson River, she finds herself rescued by an annoyingly outspoken, albeit fascinating, gentleman who challenges her in a manner she wasn't expecting.

After learning that Camilla Pierpont has enjoyed success with taking wayward young ladies in hand, Mr. Owen Chesterfield travels to the Hudson River Valley determined to convince Camilla to sponsor his sister, who is in desperate need of social rehabilitation.

Knowing her life is in danger, Camilla agrees to Owen's proposition and travels with him to West Virginia, finding herself charmed by the less-than-formal attitude of his small hometown, as well as by Owen himself. But danger waits in the shadows, disrupting what she knows would be the most spectacular match she's ever made--her own.

AUTHOR BIO

Named one of the funniest voices in inspirational romance by BooklistJen Turano is a USA Today bestselling author known for penning quirky historical romances set in the Gilded Age. Her books have earned Publishers Weekly and Booklist starred reviews, top picks from RT Book Reviews, and praise from Library Journal. She's been a finalist twice for the RT Reviewers' Choice Awards and had two of her books listed in the top 100 romances of the past decade from Booklist. She and her family live outside of Denver, Colorado. 
 
Readers can find her on Facebook, Instagram, and X, and at JenTurano.com.


7.16.2024

Midnight Clear ~ Review

Midnight Clear
Guardians Unleashed Prequel
By Jerusha Agen
 
I always enjoy getting the background info and Midnight Clear gives just a glimpse of that in this Guardians Unleashed prequel novella. It is a short story set at Christmas and a not-so-sweet occurrence happens.

Marion Ainsley, who trains and takes in unwanted dogs, finds herself hosting (not by choice) an undercover cop and a baby.  Her holidays and her life, in general, are fairly solitary other than her maybe friend Phoenix Gray. Yes, THE Phoenix Gray, of the Guardians, and she's as mysterious as ever in this book.

But Marion has resigned herself to a life without a family of her own. She knows what she looks like and that people can't see beyond her outer appearance. So, she is totally baffled by this stranger who entered her life because of a Minnesota snowstorm. 

This will be a Christmas unlike any she has ever experienced, not just because her life is in danger.

This is a page-turner that fans of the Guardians Unleashed series will want to read yesterday. This gives one more piece of the puzzle that is Phoenix Gray.

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.


About the Book:

Her worst fear is another Christmas alone.
Until she isn’t alone.

Christmas is supposed to be a happy time. Marion Ainsley is determined this holiday will be everything it’s never been for her. She’s placed gifts under the tree for the dogs in her shelter, Forever Home, and watched every romantic Christmas movie she can find. All she’s missing is a person to love her despite the scars that have driven her into hiding.

Her dream of a real Christmas crumbles when a blizzard moves in, bringing more than snow. She finds a man half-buried on her property. And he’s holding a baby.

The unexpected visitors are being chased by enemies far more frightening. People who will stop at nothing to get what they want.

Will Marion’s mysterious friend, Phoenix Gray, and an undercover police officer be able to keep her safe? Or will this Christmas be her last?

 

7.15.2024

Nightmare Virus ~ Review


Nightmare Virus
By Nadine Brandes

In a world where technology goes wrong, falling asleep could kill you. Dreams have been manipulated so that you can go where you want in them. But somehow a virus has attached itself to the biological components of this technology and once you are infected you have less than one month to live. You are drawn into sleep, each day you have one less hour in the waking world, until you never again awaken.

Beware the Nightmare Virus!

Cain Cross is going to help his brother find a cure before it is too late. But when he to becomes infected he discovers the world within the virus and it is even more dangerous than the virus that has brought him there. He is in a fight for his life and his soul!

This book is a delight to the senses as author Nadine Brandes brings her newest world to life. Dark tunnels, a burning arena, half truths, and lies. The only way to survive is to understand the rules before they change. And if you die in your nightmare you will never wake again.

This book is as great a read as the cover appears to be. I mean look at it and this is the book. This is one book you can judge by its cover and you won't be disappointed. This definitely for fans of Dystopian Fiction and Speculative, Christian Fantasy. 

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.

 

About the Book:

Some viruses go after the body.
But the Nightmare Virus goes after the mind.


When dream technology goes wrong, a virus spreads across the globe, trapping people in a universal dreamscape. They call it the Nightmare Virus.

Cain Cross is determined to find a cure . . . if he can decipher his brother’s chicken-scratch formula notes. But when he gets infected, he has only 22 days until he’s trapped in the mental prison forever. Now, every time he falls asleep, he must fight in a Nightmare Arena until he earns his freedom to live in the “new world” that exists only in the mind.

Then he finds a way to manipulate the Nightmare—to change it by mere thought.

Forced to navigate a world of nightbeasts, mistblades, and half-truths, Cain turns his focus to survival. When the Emperor offers him a LifeSuPod—and access to a cure—in exchange for a dangerous favor, Cain thinks he’s found a way out. But Cain’s new power threatens to take him on paths that jeopardize his very soul.

Will he continue searching for a cure, or will he swear allegiance to the Nightmare? And the bigger question might be . . . will he even have a choice?

 

7.11.2024

The Novel Matrix ~ Review

The Novel Matrix

The Complete Novel Writing Guide
By Brad Pauquette

As anyone who has written a book will tell you it is a big deal. Writing takes work, dedication, and time. But how do you plan and structure the story you want to write so you can go from point A to point B?

In The Novel Matrix author Brad Pauquette calls upon his years of experience helping writers do just that and presents them in this book. I loved how he stated that story in your vehicle to change the world. And this book gives you the tools and knowledge to create your vehicle.

This book provides you with an understanding of the structure and elements you need understand to create a universe in which your story and the characters who live within it will come alive. This is the recipe for creating your story, it is up to you, the writer to follow it. 

This book is a resource you'll want to have readily on hand to refer to as you'll want to refer to it throughout your writing journey. If you are in a writing group this will be a resource you'll want to share with your fellow writers - it provides good information in an easy to follow language that won't scare you away from the written page you are about to create.

I was provided a complimentary ARC of this title with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.

Available to purchase at https://amzn.to/3zJE3j8 

About the Book:

Spoiler: There’s no secret code for writing a bestselling novel.

But there are fundamental principles of story structure that will make your novel work.

Once you understand these fundamentals, writing a novel transforms from a chaotic, enigmatic roller coaster into a succinct and sensible process.

Whether you’re a new writer or you’ve written several manuscripts, if you’re not yet achieving what you’d like to achieve with your writing—
The Novel Matrix is for you. Hundreds of authors just like you have used this remarkable system to begin and improve their novel writing.

What is a matrix? A matrix is either the natural substance in which something forms, or it can be an interrelated system of information. 
The Novel Matrix is both.

The Novel Matrix explores the natural principles of storytelling that humans instinctively understand and expect in great stories. This is the foundation from which great artwork is born.

The Novel Matrix also relates plot, characters, conflict, and setting together in a way that no other craft book has done. Written in simple, nonacademic language, this is the honest, elegant solution for long-form storytelling you’ve been waiting for.

Armed with this information, you’ll never begin another novel manuscript only to abandon it partway through the writing.

Never again will you completely overhaul a novel manuscript because it just doesn’t 
work, but you have no idea why.
The solution is 
The Novel Matrix.

As one writing student put it, “
The Novel Matrix makes novel-writing scandalously simple.” Don’t start another project without it.

7.10.2024

Fun Fact: I Love You ~ Review

Fun Fact: I Think I Love You
By Gina Lynn Larsen

With 10 days left in high school, Nellie Samsin has the next several years of her life planned out. She doesn't have time for romance. Nope it's on the plan but not yet. She wants to get to college and not lose her focus. But life throws her a curve ball and it alters everything, at least for the summer.

Jensen Nichols has been a constant in the Samsin family for years. Friends with Nellie and her father is his writing mentor. And when Nellie's life takes a major hit it affects him too. Together they support one another and discover they could something more. But could a summer romance become a lifetime?

 This is a teen read that offers a sweet romance that is touched by loss. This is a realistic fiction that offers a clean romance for teens. It also deals with death of a loved one and how this touches one's life. 

As someone who lost a parent at a younger age I can say with certainty a book like this would have been helpful to help others understand what my family and I were going through. Death is never easy to deal with but when it comes unexpectedly or with little warning it is all the harder. One is left wanting one more goodbye, a hug, or even an eye-roll.

Overall this was a good read (a little more kissing than I like) and one that I could recommend to teen readers without hesitation.

I was provided a complimentary ARC of this book with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion. All thoughts expressed are my own.



About the Book:

Fun fact: Nellie Samsin has ten days left of high school, and she’s never been kissed—which is fine with her. Being the yearbook editor and valedictorian has taken all her attention. But when she has a chance to kiss her longtime crush, she hopes it will be a magical experience, except it turns out to be super-not-magical, leaving Nellie heartbroken and angry. 

Jensen Nichols has been keeping three massive secrets: first, he’s been writing a best-selling romantasy series under the pseudonym “Jen Dimes”; second, he’s been harboring a secret crush on Nellie for years; and third, Nellie’s dad has been his writing mentor and coach. Then he sees Nellie kissing his best friend, and his unexpected rush of jealousy means that the time for keeping secrets is over. 

When a family tragedy rocks Nellie’s world, and she learns the people she thought she could trust have lied to her, she feels lost and betrayed. At least she has Jensen. But as their relationship grows closer, Nellie suspects Jensen is hiding something from her. (Fun fact: Keeping secrets is the worst.) It seems Nellie and Jensen are perfect for each other, but they will need to separate fact from fiction for their unplanned romance to last beyond graduation day.

7.09.2024

The Lady Glass ~ Release Day

 Today is the day.
 The Lady Glass by Anneka R. Walker is Now Available.



About the Book:

Theresia Dvorak has nothing left of her parents—nothing save her dowry, a priceless crystal vase stolen and sold by her own stepmother. Theresia will do anything to secure what is rightfully hers—even assume a false identity and steal her future back. When she gains entrance to a house party and has a memorable run-in with the handsome naval captain Rolland Reese, her mission is compromised. She swore never to trust an Englishman again, but when he makes a daring proposal she cannot refuse, she must work side by side with him if either of them is to achieve their aim.

Rolland is stunned when his homecoming from the war takes a decidedly deadly turn. The quickest solution is to throw a house party and invite all the suspects. With the stakes incredibly high, Rolland must root out the killer before they turn their sights to the next potential victim: his own father. The mysterious Theresia is undoubtedly the most suspicious of his guests, but against all odds, he finds himself risking everything to protect her. As Rolland unravels a tangle of clues, he faces the greatest threats of all: a heart of fire and a future as fragile as glass.

Author Bio:


Anneka R. Walker
 
is a best-selling author of historical and contemporary romance. With humor and an abundance of heart, she crafts uplifting stories you won't soon forget. She is the winner of the Swoony Award, the LDSPMA Praiseworthy Award, and various chapter contests. Her books have received praise from Publishers WeeklyHistorical Novel SocietyMidwest Book Review, and Readers Favorite. She graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in English and history and hopes to never stop learning. She is a blessed wife, proud mother of five, lover of Jesus, connoisseur of chocolate, and believer in happy endings.


7.05.2024

An Art Lover's Guide to Paris and Murder ~ Review

An Art Lover's Guide to Paris and Murder
Countess of Harleigh Mystery #7
By Dianne Freeman 

An invitation to investigate the death of Paul Ducass, finds George and Frances heading to Paris. The police ruled it an unfortunate accident, but George's Aunt Julia is convinced it was foul play. Before the wedded duo can find the answers Lady Julia falls to her own unfortunate accident. Oh dear, a fine to-do these two sleuths find themselves in. 

With a plethora of potential suspects what are they to do? Why investigate of course. And investigating is what they do best. But along the way to discovering the truth they uncover more than one secret that can and will change everything. 

This was an interesting read and the author did an excellent job protecting her villain until the end. There several interesting elements that are so well concealed  that once they it sends the investigation into new territory with new potential suspects. 

This book is the seventh the Countess of Harpsichord series but it can easily be read and enjoyed as a stand-alone title. The story is easy to follow, and the characters are well developed. Get ready for an engaging 20th century who-dun-it, and a disturbing number of ruined outfits. Solving murders can be just a tad dirty. 

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book with no expectations but that I provide my honest opinion. 



About the Book:

Filled with Victorian-era intrigue for readers of Rhys Bowen, Deanna Raybourn, Tasha Alexander, and Julia Seales, Dianne Freeman’s Agatha Award-winning series takes a delightful jaunt to the City of Light as Frances Wynn, the American-born Countess of Harleigh, encounters a murder scene at the Paris Exposition.

Frances and her husband, George, have two points of interest in Paris. One is an impromptu holiday to visit the Paris Exposition. The other is personal. George’s Aunt Julia has requested her nephew’s help in looking into the suspicious death of renowned artist Paul Ducasse. Though Julia is not entirely forthcoming about her reasons, she is clearly a woman mourning a lost love.

At the exposition, swarming with tourists, tragedy casts a pall on the festivities. A footbridge collapses. Julia is among the casualties. However, she was not just another fateful victim. Julia was stabbed to death amid the chaos. With an official investigation at a standstill, George and Frances realize that to solve the case they must dig into Julia’s life—as well as Paul’s—and question everything and everyone in Julia’s coterie of artists and secrets.

They have no shortage of suspects. There is Paul’s inscrutable widow, Gabrielle. Paul’s art dealer and manager, Lucien. Julia’s friend Martine, a sculptress with a jealous streak. And art jurist, Monsieur Beaufoy. The investigation takes a turn when it’s revealed that George has inherited control of Julia’s estate—and another of her secrets. While George investigates, Frances safeguards their new legacy, and is drawn further into danger by a killer determined to keep the past buried.

AUTHOR BIO


Dianne Freeman
 is the acclaimed author of the Agatha and Lefty Award winning Countess of Harleigh Mysteries, a two-time finalist for the Macavity’s Sue Feder Memorial Award, and a finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award. She spent thirty years working in corporate accounting and finance and now writes full-time. Born and raised in Michigan, she and her husband now split their time between Michigan and Arizona. 

Visit her at DiFreeman