Friday, November 29, 2013

Frisky Business by Jill Edmondson

So until now, I was a Sasha Jackson Mystery book virgin. I had never read any of these books, and I believe I had only heard or saw them in passing on this very website. When given the chance to review one, considering my inexperience with these books, I dove right in.

Immediately I was intrigued by the general storyline. It had a very true basis to it. The fact that most deaths in the sex industry will kind of be pushed under the rug due to the line of work the victim was in. Sad, but unfortunately a very real situation in these troubled times. I was also intrigued by the main character.

Sasha Jackson is extremely relatable (or is that just me) in the fact that she kind of gets in these weird and awkward, but very effective, situations in order to find her killers. This book states some of her past transgressions, including one which I believe caused her to bare more than her soul (wink, wink). I loved her, and could not get enough of her personality in this book.

I also love some of the people closest to her. They seemed real and honest and possibly a bit quirky at times, and I just could not get enough of them either.

Officially I am on the Sasha Jackson train, and I am going to have to check out the earlier novels, because one book just is not enough!

Frisky Business definitely can be read by itself, but beware, because it will make you want even more of Sasha Jackson's adventures.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cedric of RoseThorn by S. Thomas Kaza

So, I was given this book in exchange for an honest review from the author, and this is definitely going to be an honest review. I must honestly state that this book made me angry. Not because it was not good, on the contrary it was really good, but because it ended so abruptly, with nothing but a black rose to taunt me into desperately wanting to know so much more about the book. The characters, the situation at hand, RoseThorn and Cedric's ultimate fate.

When we first meet Cedric, Lord of RoseThorn, he is witnessing yet another bout with death in his family. First it was his brother, then his children, and now his wife Milona. He watches as she desperately fights for her life in her bed, and hopes against all hope that the healer he sent for reaches the castle in time to help her. But his hoping gets him nowhere. For against his wishes, the dealer of death shows itself, sealing Milona's fate and causing Cedric to lose himself in uncontrollable grief.

When he comes to, however, it seems time may have moved a bit faster than he may have realized when he was mourning Milona. The castle has become eerily quiet. Not the quiet of a kingdom mourning a queen, but the quiet of the missing. Because that is indeed what has become of everyone. They are missing, gone, no longer a part of RoseThorn itself.

Cedric searches throughout the lands surrounding the castle and eventually finds a few peasants to help him with RoseThorn, but apart from that he finds bandits. Roamers of the wood who are willing to slaughter to get what they want. But it seems that these are not just average bandits. They have a leader. Someone who wants Cedric gone and RoseThorn for himself.

Can Cedric and those siding with him fight them off? Or is RoseThorn doomed.

This book is definitely worth the read. I totally recommend it for anyone and everyone, and I cannot wait for the next installment in the story.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Differential Equations

by Julian Iragorri & Lou Aronica

on Tour Nov 1, 2013 - Jan 31, 2014

Book Details:

Genre: Literary Fiction 
Published by: The Story Plant

Publication Date: 4/24/12

Number of Pages: 356

ISBN: Print: 978-1-61188-102-8 E-book: 978-1-61188-103-5

NOTE: Explicit sexual scenes


This evocative, moving, and gorgeously detailed novel is the story of Alex Soberano, a contemporary man in crisis. A tremendously successful New York businessman, Alex finds it difficult to embrace joy and accept love. When his life threatens to boil over, he escapes for a brief respite on the West Coast. What waits for him there is something he never could have imagined. Intertwined with Alex’s story are the stories of three people from different times and places whose lives affect him in surprising ways:
  • A woman from the South American city of Anhelo in 1928 that everyone knows as "Vidente." For decades, Vidente, has been one of Anhelo's most celebrated citizens because she has the ability to read colors that speak of a person's fate. However, during one such reading, she sees her own future – a future that includes her imminent death.
  • A man named Khaled who left his home in Bethlehem in 1920 to seek fortune in the South American town of Joya de la Costa. He has barely begun to gain a foothold when he learns that the wife and three children he left behind have been murdered. When a magical woman enters his life, he believes that destiny has smiled on him. However, destiny has only just begun to deal with Khaled.
  • A nineteen-year-old student named Dro who flies from the South American country of Legado to Boston in 1985 and immediately walks onto the campus of MIT expecting instant admission. Dro's skills at mastering complex, ever-changing differential equations intrigues the associate admissions director. However, the person he intrigues the most is the celebrated US ambassador from his country, and his relationship with her will define his life.
How the stories of these four people merge is the central mystery of this arresting work of imagination. DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS is a story that will sweep you up in its magic, enrich you with its wisdom, and compel you with its deep humanity.

Purchase Links:   

My Thoughts:

I love a good book that can sweep me away to far off places. To times that I would never be able to go to otherwise. So when I decided to read Differential Equations, I was hoping for a book that would do just that. I was not disappointed in the slightest.
Each character in this story is connected. However, the way in which they are all connected is gradually revealed throughout the entirety of the story. The reader is given small facts that are similar in each story, enough to make one speculate, and ultimately are not really told the true connection between them all until almost the very end. But what a beautiful end it is.
There is a review printed on the back of the book that states, "Like eating a fresh lime sorbet with saltwater in your (sex-tousled) hair." - Smallgood Hearth
And what an accurate description. I mean, I don't even have to use my own words for this review. I could just quote that, and it would sum my feelings up in one glorious sentence. This book refreshed my mind. It left me feeling as if I had just come out of a long meditation period, and my problems were gone with the turn of the last page.
This novel is a phenomenal read. It is a book that I could never get tired of reading. This wonderful book, with its natural beauty, has got to be one of the best I have read this entire year.

Author's Bios:

Lou Aronica is the author of the USA Today bestseller THE FOREVER YEAR and the national bestseller BLUE. He also collaborated on the New York Times nonfiction bestsellers THE ELEMENT and FINDING YOUR ELEMENT (with Ken Robinson) and the national bestseller THE CULTURE CODE (with Clotaire Rapaille). Aronica is a long-term book publishing veteran. He is President and Publisher of the independent publishing house The Story Plant.

Catch Up With the Author: 

Julian Iragorri lives in Manhattan. He has worked on Wall Street since the early nineties.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

From Johann to Tannenbaum by Ashlyn Forge

Okay, so I am familiar with the Ashlyn Forge's first book in the Toys and Soldiers series, and I thought after reading that one that the world she created was really cool. But after this one, I cannot wait for future works. Now, just to clarify, this book is not a continuation of the first one, but the perspective and story of a whole new set of characters. With the occasional appearance from Liam of the first book, In Liam's Wake. 

In the beginning of this story, we first meet up with one our main characters, Johann, and learn a bit about him and his family, and then gradually we are introduced to the main secondary character, Tannenbaum. Their beginning interactions were quite funny and endearing. Since Tannenbaum cannot really interact with Johann vocally, due to a terrible act when he was younger, he does more with actions and drawings and origami than anything to get his points across. At times, I was laughing with how wonderfully sweet Tannenbaum seemed.

Throughout the rest of the book, after all the interactions, when Tannenbaum and Johann become close, you find that they are more connected than they think. That Tannenbaum is the reason behind certain aspects of Johann's life being what they are...

There is a lot of growth in this story. Johann begins an insecure man, looking for the easy way out of his problems, but finds a strength in him that he never realized could exist. Tannenbaum begins broken, but finds the one thing that can heal his long-time wounds.

I absolutely loved this book. Loved, loved, loved it. It made smile and laugh and scream in frustration. It made me FEEL! And I personally believe that only the best books can do that.

The Running Game by L E Fitzpatrick

Okay, so...I actually was not expecting to fall in love with this book when I began reading it at first. I thought it was just going to be just another story of potential murder...well that will definitely teach me to read an excerpt in its entirety. Because this is not just another story. This is a phenomenal paranormal tale of extravagant proportions.

Rachel Aaron was taught from a young age by her father to run. To never stay in one place too long. To always keep your opponent guessing as to your position, and stay one step ahead. However, she has become complacent. She originally came to S'aven to find her lost sister, but has stayed longer than intended. So when two brothers warn her that she is in danger, and that they were hired to find her by a man who most assuredly does not have good intentions toward her, she instantly packs up and runs like she was taught. But...alas, it cannot be that easy. Otherwise, where is the fun in that?

Charlie and his brother are getting back in the game of finding people. It's what pays the bills, so why not? But when Charlie finds that their recent assignment has a connection to him, he does not have it in him to betray her location to the people that want her. He abides by the Reacher code inside of him, because that is the very power, the very connection, they share. So, he decides to help her. But when you work for the big man in town, it seems that things are not always on your side.

Danger comes in many forms in this book. Whether it be a leader searching for a killer's identity, willing to do whatever it takes to get it, a wife who is willing to sacrifice anyone for the man she loves, or a man who will play whichever side gets him the revenge he so desires.

This book was amazing. I unfortunately could not read it all in one sitting, because of the reality of having a job (WHY!!! Haha), but I never stopped thinking about it when I was away. I was always wondering what was going to happen next, and that is the most important thing in any story. To keep the readers enthralled enough to wonder what will happen if they keep reading. What will happen to the very characters they both love and hate. Will a hated character become a loved one? Will a loved one suddenly turn on you? This is a wonderful book, and I will be searching for more of Fitzpatrick's stories in the future.

Runemaster by Paul E. Horsman

After the aftermath of the storm that closed out the first book in the Shardheld Saga, Kjelle, Muus, and the rest of their group have been separated. While Muus, Prince Olthin, and Hraab have headed off to the land of Brytanna, Kjelle, Birthe, and the paladin have headed off in a different direction. With each group believing the others to be dead, there is much sorrow between them.

Kjelle must deal with the loss of the boy who made him feel brave, while ultimately finding his own courage in Muus' absence. Can he do it? Or was he coddled to the point of never knowing any different. I think he will ultimately surprise everyone in the end, by finding a strength he never knew he could have.

Muus is gradually remembering his home and the family he lost long ago. But with the clock ticking, he needs to hurry up the process. So he must find the one person who can ultimately help him dissipate the fog shrouding his mind. Will his journey be eventful? Or will his memories continue to be clouded?

The world's fate sits atop his shoulders. Even with friends around him, can Muus continue to bear this immense load?

I absolutely loved this book. I love how Kjelle is finding himself more with the absence of Muus. It took a terrible storm to wrench him from the safety he felt when Muus was around, and he is seeming to begin to hold his own. I cannot wait to see what else is in store for this character.

There are so many people that are met in this second book of the series. So many new faces who are helping Muus on his journey as the Shardheld. So many people who are being helped by him. I hope against all hope that he does succeed in his journey to fulfil the destiny laid out for him. I also hope that the tyrant taking over the lands gets his just desserts. He deserves it.

The third book cannot come soon enough. I am eagerly anticipating more to this story.

Shardfall by Paul E. Horsman

When a strange stone seems to fall from the sky and lands at the top of the Silfjall mountain near Eidungruve Hold, it sets a string of events in motion that could change lives forever.

Muus is a thrall, a lowly companion to Prince Kjelle. Captured and brought to live with the Nords as a boy, he has a past he cannot remember and so must deal with the fate life has dealt him. But fate has more in store for him than he realizes.

When the prince is called by his father to investigate the matter of the strange stone at the top of the mountain, he has Muus come with him. When they arrive at the sight of the landing, Muus' courage in the face of the unknown causes him to pick up the stone, causing the stone to choose him for a destiny that will take him back to his home. His true home. The home he was taken from and now barely remembers. Throughout his journey, he is going to learn more about himself, the legend of this stone he now holds, and the magic buried deep within.

I quite enjoyed this book. Fantasy is a genre that I absolutely believe can take your breath away, if done right. This book had very vivid scenes, and I love the storyline. It seemed a quick read to me once I got about a chapter or so in, and I couldn't put it down. Will absolutely read the second book to this series, and also am anxiously awaiting the release of the third book.

Wonderful start to this series.

Cloaked in Fur by T.F. Walsh

Okay, so I have absolutely no bad things to say about this book whatsoever. Nothing. Zip. Nada...You get my point.

From the very first page to the last, this book drew me in. It had me by its wolf claws, and kept a tight grip on me until I flew through the pages like nobody's business. It would not let go until I read every word.

Daciana is a girl with a secret. A secret of paranormal proportions. She is a moonwulf on the verge of her final change into a full wulfkin. However, she only longs for normalcy, humanity, and a happy life with her human boyfriend, Connell. Now, Connell knows nothing about her little secret, and Daci hopes to keep it that way. Until she can find the elixir that could change her completely human, anyway. But that might take a bit longer than expected.

It seems there have been killings around her area. Killings of people she has known, and the police seem to have only one main suspect at the present time...her. This does not bode well for her and Connell's relationship considering he works for the police and she has been disappearing mysteriously for quite a few nights with no word to Connell as to her whereabouts.

Daci knows the identity of the true killer. But she cannot reveal its identity without also revealing what she herself is.

This book was AWESOME! It reminded me of Moonlight (you know, the show with the vampire in it who works with the police?), mainly because of the whole paranormal creature helping out the police with a case thing. There is so much to this book. It is all meat and potatoes, and I love that. There is an excitement to this book. And, since it is also a romance, there is a perfect blend of action and romance. I love when there is a perfect blend. 

I could talk about this book all day, but will basically sum the rest of my words up into one sentence. READ THIS FOR YOURSELVES! You will definitely know what I am talking about when you pick up this book and dive right in.

Skipping Stones by J.B. McGee

Wow. Just wow. You know, when I first read the blurb to J.B. McGee’s book,Skipping Stones, I honestly had no idea what I was in for. I knew there would be a bit of romance, but there is also a dash of heartbreak and uncertainty mixed in with a heaping spoonful of hope. Hope that life gets better. That the hurt we experience throughout our journey will ultimately be worth it when all the good finally decides to come rushing in…

Alex Hart is just your normal, average fifteen-year-old girl with a family who loves her unconditionally. But when a trip to her grandparents’ house turns into a life-changing tragedy, she no longer sees the comfort and familiarity of the things around her. Everything is turned upside-down, and she does not know which way to turn.

Drew Foster seems to appear out of thin air in Alex’s eyes when she goes for a walk to try and escape her pain and sadness. At first, she just wants him to go away, but his genuine concern for her and his promise to teach her to skip stones overrides this initial feeling of hers, and she gradually allows herself to open up to him. They become almost inseparable, and their love seems so strong. However, this is not to last, because Drew seems to disappear just as quickly as he manifested.

Why did he go? Where did he go? Were all his feelings for her true, or was he just playing her? These are all questions that Alex must face in the years to come. But as she tries to answer them herself, and tries in her mind to forget Drew, her heart still longs for him, aching for his very presence once again.

This book was phenomenal. It went from the present, where we first meet Alex at about age thirty reminiscing as she heads back home, to the past, where we see a bit of her first encounter with the love she had and lost at fifteen, back to the present, where we see how she copes with trying to forget him and get on with her life, which gets very hard when at one point she believes he has come back to her and no one else seems to believe her.

I am reminded of true love with this book. The idea that two souls can be apart for so long, but yet still long for each other is beautifully brought to life throughout the pages of this work. Honestly, I don’t have a tendency to cry with books, but this one almost did it. That is a pretty big deal.

This book was from the heart. It was endearing, heartbreaking, and lovely all rolled into one. I will definitely be looking up J.B. McGee’s other works.

Recommended for anyone who loves the idea of being given a second chance with the one you thought lost forever.